Salt Crusted Shrimp With Gochujang Dipping Sauce

Salt Crusted Shrimp With Gochujang Dipping Sauce

A perfect end-of-summer grilled appetizer for dinner or a football watch party, our salt and pepper peel-and-eat shrimp with spicy gochujang is guaranteed to disappear fast.

Gochujang Dipping Sauce
2 Tablespoons Gochujang2 Tablespoons White vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoons Honey
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

Whisk together and set aside.

Salt Grilled Shrimp
16 Jumbo shrimp in shell
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼  cup of Kosher salt

Heat a BBQ grill to hot. Devein the shrimp by making a ¼-inch deep slit down the backs of the shrimp and remove the vein but not the shells.

Add  the shrimp in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil to coat lightly all over. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the shrimp and toss to even distribute the salt over the shrimp so they are coated in a crust of salt.

Skewer the shrimp and place the shrimp in the center of the grill grate. Cooke for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until the shrimp is pink and the flesh is opaque (white).

Serve immediately with dipping sauce on the side to peel and eat.

Eggplant Rounds with Spicy Ginger Tomato Jam, Mozzarella, and Fresh Basil

Eggplant Rounds with Spicy Ginger Tomato Jam, Mozzarella, and Fresh Basil

These later summer veggie appetizers will keep you coming back for more. Pan-fried eggplant slices topped with a delicious, spicy tomato jam then mozzarella, baked, and topped with a fresh basil leaf.

Ginger Tomato Jam
1 pound fresh or canned Roma tomatoes peeled, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 Anaheim pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced

Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has the consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Can be made a week ahead. Keep refrigerate, bring to room temperature when ready to use.

Eggplant Rounds
2 long thin Japanese eggplant cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Kosher salt
⅓ cup cornstarch
1 large egg
½ teaspoon coarse salt plus additional for sprinkling the eggplant
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Grapeseed or Canola oil for deep-frying

Place a cooling rack inside a sheet tray.

Lightly sprinkle salt over the eggplant slices and place salt side down on paper towels to remove excess water. Sprinkle salt over the top and cover with paper towels pressing lightly to remove excess water.

Add into three separate shallow dishes: the cornstarch mixed with ⅛ teaspoon salt, the egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, and the panko bread crumbs mixed with ½ teaspoon of salt. Dredge each eggplant slice in the cornstarch, coating it thoroughly and shaking off the excess. Next, coat it with the egg mixture and then dredge it in the breadcrumbs, pressing on the crumbs to make them adhere. Transfer the eggplant on to the cooling rack that is over the sheet tray and let it dry slightly. In a deep heavy skillet, heat ½ inch of oil until shimmering and 375°F.

Sauté the eggplant slices in batches in the oil for 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain any excess oil.  Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and move the eggplant over to the parchment paper. Make about 18-24 slices.

To assemble
½ pound of fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced and cut to fit the top of the eggplant slices
18-24 fresh basil leaves

Preheat the broiler on high. Place the eggplant rounds on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Top with 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons of tomato jam, and a thin slice of mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler to just melt the cheese. Remove and top immediately with a basil leaf and serve.

Squash Fritters with Tomato Jam

Squash Fritters with Tomato Jam

Summer Squash is plentiful so it’s time for Fried Squash Fritters with Ginger Tomato Jam. Crispy pan-fried fritters filled with fresh squash, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese then topped with a zesty summer tomato jam.

Ginger Tomato Jam

1 pound fresh Roma tomatoes peeled, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has the consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour. Can be made a week ahead. Keep refrigerate, bring to room temperature when ready to use.

Squash Fritters
3 cups grated summer squash, about 2-3 medium squash
1 cup toasted panko bread crumbs*
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 green onions, finely sliced
2 large eggs, beaten until yolks and white are combined
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more if needed

Using a food processor or a box grater, grate the squash. Lay on a clean kitchen towel; roll up and squeeze several times, as tight as possible, to remove excess moisture. Measure out 3 cups.

In a medium bowl, combine the squash and with the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, green onion, eggs, oregano, salt, and pepper. Shape mixture into 2 ½ inch patties, pressing together firmly. Place on a parchment-lined sheet tray and refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, carefully add half the squash fritters to the pan and sauté for 4 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Be sure to turn over carefully. Remove and keep warm. Add extra oil, about 2 tablespoons if needed, and sauté the rest of the fritters. Served warm topped with the tomato jam.

*To toast the bread crumbs – lay in a single layer on a sheet tray and toast in a 350˚F preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until light brown.

Summer Fruit Tart With Grand Marnier

Summer Fruit Tart With Grand Marnier

This summer fruit tart recipe is a delicious way to celebrate Grand Marnier Day! Topped with a combination of fruits to bring out summer’s sweetness, the shortbread crust is filled to the brim with a Grand Marnier and Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream.

Shortbread Pastry Crust
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
¼ cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg

Pastry Cream
1 ¼ cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier

½ cup apricot jam or preserves
3 cups of summer fruit such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, plums, pineapple, peaches

To make the shortbread crust: In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Place the butter in a mixer bowl, add the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Lightly whisk the egg then add to the butter mixture, beating until just incorporated. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix just until the dough forms into a ball. Dump out on a floured surface and flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, or place in a zip-top bag. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or just until firm.

Lightly butter an 8” or 9” tart pan with a removable bottom or an 8” or 9” tart ring. Roll the dough into an 8” or 9” circle then add to the pan or ring and evenly pat the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the container or pastry ring. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for a least one hour.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400˚F. Lightly prick bottom and sides of the pastry crust with the tines of a fork and place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Bake the crust for 5 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350˚F and continue baking the crust for about 15 minutes more or until dry and lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the pastry cream: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together. Sift the flour and cornstarch together into the egg mixture and mix into a smooth paste.

In a saucepan, add the milk and heat until the liquid starts to foam up. Remove from heat and slowly temper small amounts at a time into the egg mixture, constantly whisking to keep a smooth mixture. Pour the egg mixture into a clean medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until just boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, remove from heat and immediately whisk in the vanilla bean paste and Grand Marnier. Pour into a clean bowl and quickly cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a layer from forming. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until very cold. When ready to use, whisk to remove any lumps that may have formed.

Topping: Heat the apricot jam with one tablespoon of water in a small saucepan over medium heat until liquid. Remove from heat and strain the jam through a fine strainer to remove any fruit lumps.

To Assemble Tart: Be sure to assemble the tart on the day it will be eaten. Remove the tart from the sides of the pan and remove the bottom of the pan, then slide the tart shell on to a platter.

Spread a thin layer of apricot glaze over the bottom and up the sides of the baked tart shell to help prevent the crust from getting soggy. Let the glaze dry for 20 minutes. Spread the pastry cream onto the bottom of the tart shell over the glaze. Arrange the fruit on top and carefully brush a very light coating of fruit glaze on the fruit. Refrigerate until ready, serves 6.

Edamame & Garlic Scape Hummus

Edamame & Garlic Scape Hummus

Enjoy garlic scapes while they are still in season with a tasty hummus made with edamame, chopped garlic scapes, pine nuts, and lemon. Perfect for dipping with grilled pita bread that’s been brushed with olive oil and topped with kosher salt and Za’atar spice mix.

3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame
3/4 cup chopped garlic scapes
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons basil oil or olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Boil the edamame in salted water for 4 to 5 minutes; drain thoroughly. Or microwave, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes.

In a food processor add the edamame, garlic scapes, pine nuts, water, lemon zest and juice, salt, cumin, and coriander; process until very smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the oil and pulse until absorbed.

Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the parsley. Then drizzle with the remining oil. Serve with grilled naan, baguette, or fresh veggies for dipping.

Crispy Stuffing Balls with Cranberry Sauce Dip

Crispy Stuffing Balls with Cranberry Sauce Dip

The deliciously crunchy stuffing edges on this appetizer are so good you’ll find yourself saving the Thanksgiving stuffing just to make them. Prepared stuffing is combined with cheese and egg, and cranberry relish is transformed into a sweet and tart dipping sauce when these Thanksgiving stars are used in this leftover makeover.


Stuffing Balls
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup finely chopped onion
¼  cup finely chopped celery
1 carrot, grated
2 cups prepared stuffing
1 egg, whisked
½  cup shredded fontina cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage


Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and cook until crisp-tender, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Add the remaining ingredients to a large bowl then add the vegetables. Mix until well combined and using a 1 ½“cookie scoop, form into 24-28 balls. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 18 minutes or until browned and crispy. Remove to a plate and serve warm with the Cranberry Dipping Sauce. Makes 24-28 appetizers.


Cranberry Dipping Sauce 
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
1 ½ teaspoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons cranberry vinegar*
1 cup Cranberry Relish, preferably New England Style Apple-Orange
Dash ground cinnamon


In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch and orange juice, whisking until smooth. Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, cranberry sauce, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring until thickened. Add to a high-speed blender and purée until smooth. Strain into a bowl and serve warm with the Stuffing Balls.


* While Cranberry Vinegar is preferred,  Apple Cider Vinegar can be substituted.