Mango Watermelon Salsa

Fruit Salsa

 

This is a fresh fruit salsa, utilizing seasonal ingredients. Although I simply added two fruits, feel free to add any other seasonal fruit that will hold up to dicing such as pineapple. This fruit salsa is a great accompaniment to grilled poultry, fish, or vegetables. Serves 6-10

Ingredients

Watermelon and Mango

1/2 medium or large seedless watermelon peeled and diced
2 ripe mangos peeled and diced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed and diced (use a red, yellow, or orange bell pepper if jalapeño peppers are too spicy for your tastes)
1/2 red onion peeled and diced
1/2 cup orange juice or fruit nectar flavor of your choice
2 sprigs fresh mint

Directions

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Lightly toss. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least two (2) hours. Serve.

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Homemade Sangria (Recipes for Red and White)

 

sangria

I must admit that I enjoy dry red wine and brut champagne more than sweet wines, but when entertaining, a sweet fruity sangria goes a long away and is always a hit with guests. Sangria typically consists of wine, fruit, and brandy, but I make both my white and red sangria using wine, fruit, flavored vodka/liqueur, and fresh fruit nectar. Below you’ll find two recipes: one for white sangria and one for red. You can change the flavor profile by changing the nectar flavor, vodka flavor, and fruits used. By the way, homemade sangria makes a great host/hostess gift! By the way, Trader Joe’s “Two Buck Chuck” keeps these recipes inexpensive!

 

Serves 10-20 (honestly, no one drinks an 8 ounce serving of sangria… that is accounted for with this recipe)

 

TRADITIONAL (RED) SANGRIA 

Ingredients

4 bottles of red wine (each bottle is 750 ml or 0.75 liters)- Preferably inexpensive bottles of Pinot Noir or Simple Red Table Blend

1 cup/8 ounces orange flavored liqueur (i.e. Grand Marnier)

2 cups/16 ounces flavored vodka (i.e. Stoli orange)

1 cup fruit nectar (i.e. Goya/Jumex/Etc peach, passion fruit, mango, pineapple, etc)

juice of 2 limes

juice of 2 lemons

1 red apple cored and thinly sliced

1 green apple cored and thinly sliced

2 peaches thinly sliced

2 orange peeled and cut into wedges

Optional- 1 lemon and 1 lime sliced thinly  (if using, remove from Sangria if you have leftovers. Allowing it to set for long period of time or overnight will make sangria bitter)

Directions

Combine all ingredients in large punch bowl/pitcher. Cover tightly and chill for at least two hours (or refrigerate all liquids before combining and chill for at least 20 minutes). Serve chilled or over ice.

WHITE SANGRIA 

Ingredients

4 bottles of white wine (each bottle is 750 ml or 0.75 liters)- Preferably inexpensive bottles of  Pinot Grigio or Simple White Table Blend

1 cup/8 ounces peach flavored liqueur (i.e. Schnapps)

2 cups/16 ounces flavored vodka (i.e. Stoli orange)

1 cup fruit nectar (i.e. Goya/Jumex/Etc peach, passion fruit, mango, pineapple, etc)

1 red apple cored and thinly sliced

1 green apple cored and thinly sliced

1 pint raspberries or white cherries

2 peaches thinly sliced

Optional- 1 lemon and 1 lime sliced thinly  (if using, remove from Sangria if you have leftovers. Allowing it to set for long period of time or overnight will make sangria bitter)

Directions

Combine all ingredients in large punch bowl/pitcher. Cover tightly and chill for at least two hours (or refrigerate all liquids before combining and chill for at least 20 minutes). Serve chilled or over ice.

Flat-bread “Pizzas” (Three Recipes)

An inexpensive way to entertain guests and make food preparation easy on the host is to invite friends and family over for wine and tasty hors d’oeuvres. When it comes to wine, you can choose your  favorite dry red or white wine, although I find it much more economical and visually appealing to create a large pitcher/punch bowl of red or white Sangria (I will post the Sangria recipe later). When choosing hors d’oeuvres, I think simplicity and taste are key. For that reason, my “go to” hors d’oeuvres are flat-bread pizzas. The only item that is not homemade is the naan/flat-bread. Naan, is a leavened, oven-baked flat-bread used most often in West, Central, and South Asian cooking. I purchase naan at my local grocery store or Asian market. Naan often comes in various flavors such as rosemary and sea salt, garlic, or traditional plain. Of course, you are welcome to make your own. Have fun experimenting with flavor combinations, especially sweet and savory. Below you’ll find my favorite three flat-bread combinations.

Yours in service,

L. Tamar

PEAR AND GORGONZOLA FLAT-BREAD 

Ingredients

2 plain naan

2 anjou or bartlett pears (make sure bartlett pears are firm, not over ripe i.e. not mushy)

1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons salted butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar

Directions

In sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar. Toss chopped pecans in brown sugar mixture. Make sure to coat pecans thoroughly. Remove from sauce pan and spread in thin layer on prepared cookie sheet (covered in wax or parchment paper). Bake at 250 F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand until completely cooled.

Place naan on pizza or cooking sheet. Drizzle each with olive oil.

Slice pears very thinly using sharp knife or using a mandolin. Do not remove skin. It’s easiest to cut pear away from core, cutting it into 4 pieces prior to slicing.

Top each naan with one whole sliced pear.

Next sprinkle each naan with 1/2 of the crumbled gorgonzola cheese.

Top each naan with half of the candied pecans.

Bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven. Let cool. Cut into bite sized pieces. Serve.

pearpear and cheesepear cheese and pecans

ARUGULA, PROSCIUTTO AND CARAMELIZED ONION FLAT-BREAD 

finished arugula

Ingredients

2 garlic naan

1 cup fresh basil

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 bulbs garlic (preferably roasted)

2 teaspoons salt

2 yellow or red onions sliced thinly

4 tablespoons salted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese

8 slices prosciutto sliced thinly

2 cups fresh arugula (rinsed and dried)

Directions

Place naan on cookie/pizza sheet.

Blend next for (4) ingredients (basil, salt, olive oil, and garlic) on high using blender to create fresh pesto. Blend until smooth.

Spoon 1/2 of pesto onto each naan.

Melt butter over low/medium heat in medium sauce pan with top. Add sliced onions and brown sugar. Cook slowly over low heat until onions are translucent, soft, and reduced by half. This may take up to an hour or an hour and a half. Remember: Low and Slow. Remove from heat and let cool.

Place 4 ounces of sliced mozzarella on each naan. Top each with half of the caramelized onions.

Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and top each naan with half of the sliced prosciutto. Return to oven for another 5-7 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately top with fresh arugula.

Let cool slightly. Cut into bite sized pieces. Serve.

fresh pestopesto pesto and cheeseonionscooking onions onionsonions cheese pestoonions cheese pesto hamarugula

TOMATO AND FRESH BASIL FLAT-BREAD 

tomato finished

Ingredients

2 garlic naan

1 cup fresh basil

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 bulbs garlic (preferably roasted)

2 teaspoons salt

8 ounces sliced mozzarella

10 sliced campari tomatoes

10-12 fresh basil leaves

coarse salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Directions

Place naan on cookie/pizza sheet.

Blend next for (4) ingredients (basil, salt, olive oil, and garlic) on high using blender to create fresh pesto. Blend until smooth.

Spoon 1/2 of pesto onto each naan.

Top each naan with 4 ounces of sliced mozzarella cheese.

Top each naan with half of tomatoes.

Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and add fresh basil, salt, and red pepper flakes immediately.

Cut into bite sized pieces while still hot.

pesto pesto and cheesetomato and cheesetomato cheese basil