It is STILL Summer: Coconut Shrimp Meatball on Crostini with Fruit Salsa

Soooo, are any of you folks on Pinterest?  I am and I waste hours (yes, hours) of my life looking at pins, pinning pins, liking pins and thinking about pins.  Clearly, I have too much free time (at work).

It’s bumming me out lately that people are pinning Halloween stuff and (gasp) Christmas stuff.  I mean, slow down, y’all.

It’s still totally summer, if you ask me.  I literally just started buying and wearing tank tops because I sort of have a tan (a tan for me is not really a tan by normal standards, but at least nobody is blinded by my upper arms anymore).  Also, all the summer clothes are on clearance now and that makes me happy.

Let’s just relax.

And enjoy summer.

How about a coconut shrimp appetizer for your cocktail party?  It screams SUMMER!

Quit trying to plan ahead and live in the present…mostly just so I can enjoy my tank tops and flip flops for a little longer.

Coconut Shrimp Meatball on Crostini with Fruit Salsa

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Gridiron Grub: Polenta Crab Fries

Starting Monday, you’ll hear all about the dining/debauchery that went on when the entire ES crew descended upon Philly for a weekend. To ease us into that, here’s a Gridiron Grub dish inspired by my favorite football-related Philly food stop: Chickie and Pete’s Crab Fries.

Chickie and Pete’s is a local restaurant that started in the late 70’s and has grown to include locations in all the city’s stadiums, Philadelphia International Airport, southern New Jersey and more. It sounds like a chain and out-of-towners grow even more perplexed by the fact that these “crab” fries don’t even contain crab. Despite this obvious omission, for locals they are synonymous with hot summer nights watching the Phils and cool fall afternoons with the Eagles. That being said, if you are not from Philly and you saw ES  put up a recipe about sprinkling some Old Bay on french fries, I know we would get even more complaints than we do about our potty mouths. So, here’s my updated take, with some much needed crustacean added in.

Polenta Crab Fries w/Horseradish Cream Sauce

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Attack of the Meme: The 15 Best Food Charts

According to well, me, and this article, tumblr is the new twitter. And I can’t get enough of I Love Charts for their hysterical, progressive and, of course, food-focused content. Here’s the best 15 food charts from the past few weeks. Yes, weeks, they post that much.

15. Dirt Gets Such a Bad Rap

(Photo: Fake Science)

14. Top Left, Please

(Photo: Bad Postcards)

13. Truth

(Photo: Extremely Moderate)

12. Everything is Better in Japanese

(Photo: Interior Design Room)

11. #5

(Photo: Sound of Science)

10. Where’s Coddled?

(Photo: Flowing Data)

9. Apparently “The Jitters” is a Technical Term

(Photo: Unclear)

8. Chanukah Wish List

(Photo: Zouch)

7. What Is a Cheeseburger, Alex?

(Photo: Zouch)

6. Team Sriracha

(Photo: The Sriracha Cookbook Blog)

Next: The top 5

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…And the Living’s Easy

food-corn-maze-1621099-l

Gansie’s recent post about avocados, citrus trees, and Hollywood celebrity sightings had me envious of all that is SoCal, including the seemingly perpetual 75 degrees and sunny forecast. I woke up this morning and it was 49 degrees outside! You see, I live in a part of Pennsylvania where it also snows or flurries every day from December to March, so my envy was coming from the fact that summer is quickly coming to an end.

School buses are beginning to pop up on every block, some leaves are becoming slightly tinged with yellow, and political ads are everywhere. Fall does have its culinary benefits; things like pumpkin pie, green chicken chili, agave and cinnamon acorn squash, pumpkin ravioli with sage butter, fresh orchard apples and the roast chicken with sausage and apple stuffing that I make with those apples….OK so maybe fall’s not all bad, but I am getting off track.

It is still summer and in the hopes of filling the remaining weeks of it with delectable meals for all those in ES nation, I thought I would post my top 3 “summer” dishes. Summertime food to me does not have to be complex or have exotic ingredients.It is quick, simple, fresh, can often be cooked outside and pairs well with any adult cold beverage (my favorite lately has to be Flying Dog brewery’s Classic Pale Ale). Take a look and feel free to shout out your top summer dishes in the comments.

3. Grilled Sweet Corn with Chili-Lime butter

Variations of this have popped up more and more on many a cooking show, but for good reason; it may be one of the simplest and tastiest sides out there. Corn’s flavor doesn’t last long. As soon as it is picked, the sugars in each kernel start turning into starch, so the key is to get it fresh. Whether it is a farmers market or a roadside stand, you can find it almost anywhere during the summer. I have seen recipes suggest that you should soak the husks in water and other such steps, but I firmly believe that down and dirty is the way to go. Husk the corn, toss it on a hot grill and turn regularly until the kernels have a slight char. While the corn is cooking begin melting a stick of butter and add the juice of 1 lime. I leave the chili powder for everyone to sprinkle on themselves because some like it hot and some don’t. If you are feeling up to it, you can always make your own chili powder, which far outshines  any store-bought option.  For this dish, I recommend toasting dried chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos) in a skillet for a few minutes on medium heat until they become nice and fragrant. After that, just grind them up, sprinkle and serve. If the citrus and heat doesn’t do it for you, make your own butter. Some ideas for flavors to incorporate could be roasted red pepper, green goddess, raspberry, almost any herb….the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

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Who Isn’t a Little Soft in the Middle?

crab cakes

I went to my first crab feast of the season two weeks ago. While I like softshell crabs and crab cakes, my favorite way to eat this crustacean is to break the shit open with my hands. As lazy as I am in life, I love the hard work it requires to eat a boiled crab. I love the newspaper thrown over a backyard table. I love how Old Bay coats everything from my finger tips to my elbow. I love the taste of determination when I pull out a leg and all of the meat comes with it. And of course I love the beer and drunkenness that always attaches itself to the crab feast.

The sides are pretty great too. There’s usually a boiled potato dish in the mix. But I wanted to bring something a bit different. And something I could whip up quick. I turned to my old friend, Jiffy corn bread mix.

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