BAT Biscuit Sliders

Posted on: Thursday, August 18, 2016

It’s tomato time, everyone! I just returned from a windy drive down country back roads to Lapsley Orchard where I was instantly greeted by bucketfuls of the colorful gems. Green, heirloom, small, large, I picked up the biggest one I could find and was overcome by the subtly sweet aroma. I excitedly took home a couple dozen.
While I could easily enjoy the fruits with a light sprinkling of sea salt, I also enjoy creating new recipes each summer to showcase the beauties. Last year, it was an Heirloom Tomato Open Faced Sandwich with Feta Herb Butter, the year before, a Savory Tomato Crisp and the year before that, a Tomato Pie. This year, I assembled a BAT ('A' for arugula instead of lettuce) with a Southern twist. I baked homemade buttery biscuit sliders and layered tomatoes, spicy arugula, crispy bacon and a simple basil mayonnaise. I wrapped each slider in parchment to enjoy lakeside with some sweet tea.
BAT Biscuit Sliders

Buttermilk Biscuits (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 T granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1 t salt, plus more for sprinkling
9 T chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
2 T unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c buttermilk

2/3 c c mayonnaise
1/4 c chopped fresh basil
2 c baby arugula (or any fresh green you prefer)
12 slabs of crispy cooked bacon, cut in half
3-4 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced in thick rounds
Salt and pepper throughout

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chilled butter and with a wooden spoon, gently mix until a large, messy lump is formed. Drizzle in the buttermilk and gently incorporate with the spoon. 

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and gently form into a more uniform shape. Gently pat down until the mixture is 3/4-inch thick. Using a small circle cutter (I used the rim of a small mason jar), press down into the dough all the way through to create a round and gently transfer the piece to a lined baking sheet. While this recipe usually forms larger biscuits, by using a small cutter, this recipe will form 12 biscuits.

Before baking, brush each mound with a little melted butter and a sprinkling of salt. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and fluffed up, about 14 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, fresh basil, salt and pepper and set aside.
Once the biscuits cool slightly, begin assembling the BLTs. First, carefully slice each biscuit in half, then slather a layer of the basil mayo on each bottom half, top with two pieces of crispy bacon, a small handful of arugula, 2-3 tomato slices, and cover with the top halves.

Hmmm what to do with the remaining tomatoes...

Frozen Watermelon Rosé

Posted on: Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My method for dealing with the heat wave is slightly different than Kara’s, in the form of an icy cocktail with just three ingredients. Influenced by the current “frosé” trend, I blended crisp rosé, tropical watermelon and zingy lime. I popped the fuchsia mix into the freezer to firm up. Next, I spooned heaping mounds of the refresher into fun cocktail glasses. Whether beachside, poolside, or AC-side, the icy blend of rosé and watermelon will certainly brighten your table and cool you off.
Frozen Watermelon Rosé
1 bottle rosé
4 cup diced watermelon
Juice of 2 limes

Add the watermelon cubes, rosé, and lime juice into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a shallow, 13 x 9 baking dish and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours until set slightly. There will be some liquid remaining, that’s okay. Use a spoon to scrape up the frozen mixture and pour it into glasses. Serves 4.

If you’d prefer a bit more sweetness, add a few spoonfuls of our Minty Simple Syrup. Recipe here:

Chimichurri with Grilled Shrimp

Posted on: Thursday, July 28, 2016

In the midst of this brutal heatwave, the last thing you want to do is turn on the stove. I sometimes find myself in a predicament- how to make tasty meals without making your kitchen a sauna. My go-to approach is to create no-cook sauces like basil pestos, olive tapenades and salsas. Just cut up your ingredients, blend them together, and you’re good to go!
With my ceramic pots overflowing with herbs, I decided to blend up a simple chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri is native to Argentina, typically made from oil, vinegar, garlic, jalapeño and a bunch of herbs. I was first introduced to the tart salsa by an Argentinian friend over steak, and fell in love with the spicy punch it added. The gorgeous green puree adds a pop of color to any grilled meat, chicken or seafood dish. I often drizzle it over steak tacos, over an omelette, or serve it alongside grilled kebobs for dipping. Last night, I decided to grill some lightly seasoned shrimp which takes just a few minutes to cook, and drizzled the gorgeous green chimichurri on top.
Chimichurri with Grilled Shrimp

Chimichurri Sauce
3/4 c EVOO
1/2 c red wine vinegar
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 c fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Generous salt and pepper

Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until well blended. Set aside until time to serve.

Grilled Shrimp
1.5- 2 lbs medium-sized shrimp, deveined and peeled
1/4 c EVOO
1 T lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t cayenne pepper or pinch of red pepper flakes (optional for an added kick)
Salt and pepper

Add the shrimp to a shallow dish with the olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and cayenne, and let sit for 20 minutes to marinate. 

Heat the grill to medium-high. Once ready, thread the shrimp onto sets of 2 skewers, pushing the shrimp so that they are snugly together, with five to six shrimp on each. Grill the shrimp just 3-4 minutes on each side, until they are pink and slightly charred. Transfer the skewers to a serving sheet, drizzle generously with the chimichurri sauce, and serve. Serves 6.

I enjoy the Chimichurri with Grilled Shrimp over a bed of brown rice or with grilled pieces of naan for dipping.

Baked Egg in Avocado Boats with Feta

When weekends are full of summer visitors, I enjoy whipping up a healthy and abundant breakfast before a morning jog or paddle sesh that will satisfy us all until a picnic lunch on the beach. It’s always fun to diversify the breakfast staples. For some, it’s pancakes and bacon or oatmeal and berries. For me, it’s scrambled eggs and avocado toast. This past weekend, I went a step further and cracked the egg into the avocado - it actually worked!
I sliced several avocados in half, removed the pits, cracked an egg inside and baked them off while I sliced some fruit and toasted my favorite When Pigs Fly seeded whole grain bread. Once the egg whites were set and yolks slightly runny (or very runny, depending on your preference), I sprinkled feta cheese and drizzled a bit of Sriracha on top for everyone. The tiny avo-egg bowls were as visually appealing as they were packed with flavor. To enjoy, you can knife and fork each bite, spread the mix on toast, or bite right into the palm-sized boats. These are easy, versatile and pleasing!
Baked Egg in Avocado Boats with Feta

4 avocados, halved and pitted
8 large eggs
1 c crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper
Sriracha, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

With a spoon, scoop out about 2 T of the avocado flesh from the center of each half. Place the halves snuggly skin-side down in a small baking dish. Drizzle each half with EVOO, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Gently crack 1 egg into each avocado half. If the whites seep out a bit, that’s okay.

Place the baking dish in the oven and bake until the egg whites are set with the yolks slightly runny, about 15-17 minutes. Remove the avocados from the oven, sprinkle with the feta, a drizzle of Sriracha, salt and pepper and serve. Serves 2.

Feel free to put your own spin on the avo-egg bakes with a sprinkle of chives, drizzle of pesto, or dollop of aioli. 

Cape Cod Escape

Posted on: Monday, July 11, 2016

This past weekend, with Marylou’s iced coffees in hand, we traveled over the Bourne Bridge for a little Cape escape in Barnstable County. While mother nature did not cooperate for a beach day, there was much to do and see. Our home base was a beautiful pond-side colonial in East Sandwich.
We headed to Boardwalk Beach for an afternoon stroll across the picturesque estuaries and along the windy shore. Once our toes touched the angry ocean, we decided it was time for lunch.
We drove about a half hour east to Dennis, and found the cutest seafood shack on Sesuit bay. Sesuit Harbor Cafe is a must for all that is seafood. Whether you enjoy crisp and light fried fish, overflowing lobster rolls, or freshly shucked oysters, this place has it all. For those who are not seafood fans, they have some tasty chicken fingers with honey mustard sauce, too.
After a relaxing lunch dockside, we passed through Barnstable County, in awe of the shingled homes and immaculate lawns overflowing with blooming hydrangeas. As we window-shopped in Barnstable, we brainstormed what to make for dinner. Our friend Taryn brought her taco press, so fish tacos were a no-brainer. We drove to Cape Fish and Lobster and chose a gigantic swordfish steak to grill. On our way home, we stopped at Crow Farm for their homemade beach plum jelly and the makings for a berry and peach pie.
There’s just something so calming and majestic about the Cape. Such a wonderful retreat!

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