Get it while it’s hot

Like most of us, you probably can’t wait for longer days, warmer nights and making memories all spring and summer long. We’re happy to share some of our favorite recipes to get your outdoor parties started. Easy to prepare, you’ll have plenty of time to relax, unwind and enjoy your guests. Bon appetit!

Thai Barbecue Spiced Shrimp

Serves 6

 

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons bottled minced garlic or 6 fresh cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons curry paste
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 12 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a shallow dish or resealable bag, mix together lemon juice, soy sauce, oils, mustard, garlic, brown sugar, curry paste and 4-5 grinds of pepper. Add shrimp, cover and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat grill on high heat. When grill is hot, lightly oil the grate. Thread shrimp onto skewers or place in a grill basket for easy handling. Transfer marinade to a saucepan, and boil for a few minutes. Grill shrimp for 3 minutes per side or until opaque. Baste occasionally with marinade. Serve alone as a pick up or over cabbage salad or seasoned rice.

 

Sassy & Sweet Potato Chips with Cilantro Dip

Serves 6

 

Chips

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices

Preheat outdoor grill on medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Whisk olive oil, garlic, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add sweet potatoes and stir until thoroughly coated.

Place coated sweet potatoes on preheated grill. Cook, flipping sweet potatoes every 5 minutes, until crisp around edges and tender in middle, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with cilantro dip (below).

(For spicier sweet potatoes, use 2 tablespoons chili oil and 2 tablespoons olive oil.)

Dip

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 ½ tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

In a small bowl, beat dip ingredients until blended. Serve with chips.

 

Spicy Watermelon Margaritas

Serves 6

 

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Zest from 1 large orange
  • 4 cups cubed seeded watermelon
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cups tequila blanco
  • ½ cup triple sec
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • salt or sugar for rimming glasses (optional)
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • Crushed ice

Bring sugar, water and orange zest in a small saucepan to boil, stirring constantly. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove simple syrup from heat and allow to cool completely.

Place watermelon in a blender or food processor. Pulse until pureed. Add jalapeno and pulse again briefly. Stir watermelon puree into a large pitcher with simple syrup, tequila, triple sec and lime juice.

Place a small amount of salt or sugar into a saucer. Rub edge of margarita glasses with a lime wedge to moisten. Lightly dip rim of each glass into saucer and tap off excess salt or sugar. Garnish glasses with lime wedges and serve with crushed ice.

(To make a frozen version, crush 1½ cups of ice in a high-quality blender. Add watermelon, jalapeno, tequila, triple sec, lime juice and simple syrup and blend until smooth.)

 

Many thanks to our chefs, Ned Bruce, Zoey, Snoopy, Jewels and allrecipes.com. Send us your recipes!