Food and entertaining contributor Korey Provencher's secret to simple summer suppers? Your guests will have no clue that the food is actually from a restaurant!
Summer's almost here -- HOORAY! -- which means a couple of things: 1) You're scrambling to fit into that bathing suit you swore you'd wear this summer, and 2) You're planning BBQs and parties you'll be hosting.
Both of those sound like a lot of work. Korey can't help you drop 10 pounds in two weeks, but he can take some stress out of entertaining. Take the simple route and think about cooking in a new way: Dishes from your favorite neighborhood restaurant can be turned into crowd-pleasing hors d'oeuvres in a matter of minutes. Here's the guide to the easy life this summer:
Take Out Fake Out
Mini Fiesta Tacos
Order pulled pork or beef from your local BBQ restaurant (order the sauce on the side). At home, combine meat with jarred taco sauce and assemble the tacos. On a round tortilla chip, layer a small amount of store-bought guacamole, a spoonful of meat, crumbled Mexican queso fresco cheese, and fresh cilantro. So delicious and so easy.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Dial up your local Chinese take-out joint and order chili sautéed shrimp. They'll be a little spicy--but that's perfect. On a wooden skewer (pre-soaked in water to avoiding burning on the grill), layer one shrimp, one chunk of pineapple, and a one inch piece of green onion. Grill for about four minutes, turning once. The cool pineapple will be refreshing and cool the heat of the shrimp.
Simple Veggie Quesadillas
Order veggie quesadillas from your favorite restaurant. Using a small round cookie cutter (about an inch and a half wide), cut individual size portions from the larger quesadillas. Top each with a small amount of sour cream spiked with fresh lime juice and chili powder.
Sweet & Spicy Edamame
A tasty snack idea that's easier than boiling water: In a small mixing bowl combine one tablespoon of honey, a few dashes of hot sauce, fresh lime juice, chili powder, salt and pepper. In a large zip-top bag, toss cooked edamame--from the local Japanese restaurant--with the honey/chili mixture and serve.