I was lucky enough to be included recently in a friend’s birthday celebration. Not only was the evening wonderful, the food was uh-mazing! I would expect nothing less from the fabulous Chef Chuck, having hired him for my husband’s big 4-0 a year ago (click here for details.) Chuck, known to many as Sheryl Crow’s chef and co-author of their cook book: If it Makes you Healthy, was kind enough to share the cocktail and appetizer recipes from my friend’s b-day dinner, as they were stellar and left me yearning for more!
Invite some friends over and start with these Avocado Fries and this Cucumber-Lime Cocktail. Throw some salmon on the grill to round out the meal and your supper is complete. I promise that you will be referring people to today’s post for the recipes.
(As a side note, we can not use our fabulous “recipe print” platform when we include multiple recipes in one post. To download to print, simply cut and paste the recipe into a document or email. Our apologies. As a side note, when I made these, my husband pointed out how this would make a great sandwich on crusty French bread with arugula, tomatoes and goat cheese, along with the fried avocado, chorizo sausage and spicy buttermilk dressing. YUM. Can some local restaurant make that as a lunch special, please!?)
Avocado Fries with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing and Crispy Chorizo
Canola Oil for Frying
1/4 cup Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
2 firm-ripe medium avocados (pitted, peeled, and sliced into 1/2 inch wedges)
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches oil until it registers 375 degrees on a candy thermometer. If you have access to a fryer, heat oil to 375. Meanwhile, mix flour with 1/4 tsp. salt and place in a shallow plate. Also place beaten eggs and panko in separate shallow plates. Dip avocado slices in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, then panko to coat. Set on baking sheet or large plate until ready to fry. Fry a quarter of avocado slices at a time until deep golden, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer slices to a plate lined with paper towels. Keep warm in oven while cooking remaining avocados. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
Spicy Buttermilk Dressing
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon paprika
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp chile powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Mix all ingredients into a bowl and chill immediately.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 ounces good Spanish chorizo, small diced or chopped
Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet (cast iron if you’ve got one) over medium heat. Add the diced chorizo and cook, stirring frequently, until the chorizo is crispy. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.
Cool as a Cucumber Cocktail
4 large cucumbers
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 cup San Pellegrino
8 oz Hendrix Gin
1/4 cup lime juice (fresh squeezed or organic, not from concentrate)
3 tbsp. agave nectar (adjust to personal taste)
*Slice one cucumber and set aside as garnish
Preferred Method: If you have access to a juicer, use it to juice cucumber and rosemary. Pour the juice through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl. To enhance the rosemary flavor, you may add a couple of sprigs to the juice, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Alternative: Peel and chop three of the cucumbers, transfer to a food processor, add rosemary and puree.
Pour the puree through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl. Press the solids to extract all of the juice.
Or, you can always have a juice bar –like Whole Foods– juice for you!
Add San Pellegrino, gin, lime juice and agave syrup to the cucumber juice. Stir until the agave is dissolved. Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish with cucumber slices and rosemary sprigs.
Don’t you just love summer?!
For some other fabulous summer recipes see:
Our Mexican Corn post: click here
Our Asian Salad with a Ginger Cocktail: click here
Our Mozzarella, Tomato and Avocado Salad: click here
Our Lettuce Wraps with Asian Cucumber Salad: click here