Archive | June, 2012

Good for the Grill: Shrimp With Garlic Butter

20 Jun

Last week was my brother’s birthday, and while I didn’t post on the actual day, I thought I’d give a little shout-out to the dude who loves to man the grill– Tony usually cooks his own birthday dinner, as a matter of fact.

Opening presents, 1975

Tony with lobster (a birthday gift from me), which he also cooked, 2004

SHRIMP WITH GARLIC BUTTER (serves 6)
2lbs. fresh medium-to-large shrimp, shelled, de-veined and skewered
8T butter
1/2C olive oil
1T lemon juice
1/4C finely chopped shallots
1t salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4T finely chopped fresh parsley
Lemon quarters for squeezing

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  In a shallow dish, large enough to hold shrimp in single layer, melt butter.  Stir in olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add shrimp and turn them in the butter and oil until well-coated.  Grill for about 5 minutes, brushing with extra sauce, then turn and grill on other side for 3-4 minutes, or until just pink, but not overcooked.  Transfer to serving platter, pour remaining sauce over the top, sprinkle with chopped parsley and garnish with lemon quarters.

Summer fun with Gia and Tony

This recipe is really fast and easy; perfect for the summer months when you just want to hang out and play all day.  Mangia!

Beach Bash: Summer Salad

7 Jun

My family is lucky enough to have a vacation destination we’ve been visiting every summer since I was three months old (my father’s family has been going since 1955).  I’ve lived on both the East and West coasts and have spent time on many American beaches.  Our tiny town in Michigan remains my favorite sandy spot.  It’s literally the only waterfront location I’ve ever been where you can park yourself on your towel for the day, look to your left, then look to your right, and see absolutely no one else.  Heaven.

Accommodations growing up were “rustic.”  No television ever, and no phone when I was very young.  I remember having a shower installed when I was nine, which was a BIG deal (no more shampooing in Lake Michigan!).  The sun sets very late there during the summer, usually around 10PM, so we’d often have a late afternoon snack on the beach, then a late dinner on our porch facing the water, watching the spectacular sunset.  Good eating.

Remember when people used to tan?  Afternoon snacking, 1981

So here’s a Summer Salad recipe you can make ahead, pack up for a picnic (beach or otherwise), and enjoy now that the weather is warm and wonderful.

SUMMER SALAD (serves 4)
4oz. cooked asparagus spears
4oz. cooked green beans
4oz. artichoke hearts, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cucumber, diced
3T olive oil
1t red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil, chopped

Cut asparagus spears and green beans in half.  Mix oil, vinegar, salt and pepper into bowl.  Add the vegetables and toss lightly.  Sprinkle with chopped basil.

Tony, age 6, working up an appetite

This recipe is also fitting because asparagus is at its best right now in Michigan.  We make a point to have it every summer, along with corn-on-the-cob and cherries.  When I was young, we’d also have a special treat ONLY allowed on vacation, Hawaiian Punch and my personal favorite, s’mores.  So sophisticated.  Mangia!