Tropical Menus for a Cool Summer Meal

Tostones with Chile Vinegar

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 large green plantains, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Chile Vinegar

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°. Working in batches, fry the plantains just until pale golden, 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the plantains to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Using a meat pounder or ceramic mug, flatten the plantain slices until they’re 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Reheat the oil to 375°. Working in batches, fry the plantains until crisp, 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Serve with the chile vinegar.

Banana Chutney

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Water, as needed

Directions

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno, ginger, turmeric, and allspice and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in bananas, vinegar, honey, rum, tomato paste, soy sauce, and salt; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer ketchup to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Thin with water as needed to reach a ketchup-like consistency. Season with additional salt to taste. Transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Ceviche

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of (shrimp, tilapia, or lightly grilled Bay scallops)
  • 1 cup of Lime juice
  • ½ cup of seeded, diced Tomatoes
  • ½ cup of peeled, diced Cucumbers
  • ½ cup of diced red or white onions
  • ¼ cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 finely diced Jalapeno or Serrano chile (seeded)*
  • ½ cup of clamato or tomato juice
  • 1 T of hot sauce
  • Corn tortilla chips
  • 1 finely sliced Avocado

Directions

Preheat grill and lightly oil the surface.  If using scallops, pat dry and lightly season with salt and pepper and grill for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side and let cool.  Cut each scallop into 3 or 4 pieces.

If using Tilapia, dice the partially frozen fillets (frozen fillets will dice much nicer).

Put the shrimp, tilapia, or scallops in a medium bowl. Pour the lime juice over the seafood and mix gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until (shrimp is pink, or the fish is white throughout, or the scallops are tender) at least 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator and drain off the lime juice.  (If using Tilapia, gently squeeze the fish with your hands). Discard the lime juice.  Add the tomato, cucumber, onion, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste if needed.  Add the clam-tomato juice and the hot sauce and chile, if using.

Top the chips with the ceviche. Arrange the avocado slices on top of the ceviche and serve immediately with the lime wedges alongside.

 

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  5. Once chilled, whip heavy cream, powdered sugar, and lime zest until stiff peaks are formed and pipe over the top of the pie using star tip. Sprinkle the lime zest as a garnish on top of the whipped cream and serve chilled.

Complete Ingredient List

Pantry

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 1 T of hot sauce
  • Corn tortilla chips
  • 2 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Produce

  • 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
  • 1 finely sliced Avocado
  • 1 cup of Lime juice
  • ½ cup of seeded, diced Tomatoes
  • ½ cup of peeled, diced Cucumbers
  • ½ cup of diced red or white onions
  • ¼ cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 finely diced Jalapeno or Serrano chile (seeded)*
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

Seafood

  • 2 pounds of (shrimp, tilapia, or lightly grilled Bay scallops)

Grocery

  • 1 Box Israeli Couscous, cooked according to package directions and cooled
  • ½ cup of clamato or tomato juice
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

Dairy

  • 2 cups plain yogurt (Greek style)

Prep Foods

  • Rotisserie Chicken