It’s a great time of year to embrace the lazy summer days and host a backyard barbecue (or indoor summer shindig if you’re not cut out for the heat).
Whether you’re the type to prepare it all solo or invite each friend to bring a dish — we’ve supplied just the menu for you and your guests.
Some local restaurants collaborated to plan one menu. And, because their selections were so superb, we finagled them into sharing their secret recipes (you’ll never tell anyone, right?).
The only thing that’s not included is the red gingham tablecloth. So get fired up (and fire the grill up while you’re at it) for your own backyard party.
Off the Hook Seafood Co.
6630 Gateway Ave., Sarasota | 923-5570
STARTER: Shrimp and roasted red pepper skewers with Sriracha mayo (Serves 4)
8 baby red and yellow peppers
Smoked potato salad:
2 boiled potatos, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 cup mayo
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup mayo
1 teaspoon garlic
Juice 1 lime, lemon and orange
2 ounces Sriracha
1 teaspoon salt
Combine all the potato salad ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate.
Soak large kebab skewer in water for 15 minutes; pat dry. This is to avoid burning on the grill.
Thread shrimp and bell pepper onto wooden skewers, alternating the pieces and dividing them evenly.
Season with blackening.
Arrange skewers on a grill, turning over once until the shrimp are lightly browned and cooked through and the bell pepper has softened, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Serve the skewers on a bed of potato salad with Sriracha mayo drizzled over the top.
1525 Fourth St., Sarasota | 388-7539
SALAD: The Blue Rooster’s cucumber ambrosia salad (Serves 5)
Ingredients – Marinade:
½ cup white wine
½ cup honey
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon paprika
2 cucumbers, shaved â…› inch
½ ounce arugula
4 segments of grapefruit
8 segments oranges
1 ounce balsamic glaze
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup sour cream
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup roasted pineapple
½ cup honeydew
½ teaspoon fresh basil
½ cup toasted coconut
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar
Combine the ingredients of the marinade, and marinate the cucumbers for 12 to 24 hours.
Roll segments of citrus and celery inside one strip of cucumber; do this three times and put them on a plate. In between these cucumber mounds, place the arugula and additional citrus. Dress the mounds of arugula with the dressing. Drizzle balsamic reduction over the whole plate.
Combine the ingredients of the dressing in a food processer and drizzle on the top of the arugula and citrus. Cover the entire dish with a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
1296 First St., Sarasota | 953-1971
MAIN COURSE: Peppered Cowboy Ribeye Beef on a bed of arugula and roasted artichokes (Serves 2 to 4)
25-ounce cut ribeye beef
Sea salt and crushed black peppercorns
6 cooked artichoke segments
2 ounces kalamata olives
2 ounces shaved red onion
2 ounces green beans, split down the center
2 ounces sundried tomatoes
2 ounces roasted red peppers
2 ounces shaved Parmesan
5 ounces arugula
½ shallot minced
½ clove of chopped garlic
½ ounces Dijon mustard
¼ ounces brown sugar
¼ cup sherry vinegar
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil
Using sea salt and crushed black peppercorns, create a crust covering each side of the ribeye.
Grill for 4 minutes on each side.
Move to the top rack until 130 to 140 degrees or until the center feels firm (medium rare). (You could also finish it in your oven.) While the meat is finishing, grill the artichokes until they are warmed through.
Combine all vinaigrette ingredients aside from the canola oil. Slowly whisk in the canola oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
Cover the plate completely with arugula and artfully place the other ingredients along the perimeter. Place meat (sliced into ¼-inch strips) in the center of the salad bed.
Harry’s Continental Kitchens
525 St. Judes Drive, Longboat Key | 383-0777
SIDE: Harry’s corn salad (Serves 8)
8 ears of roasted or grilled corn
10 ounces feta cheese
One red pepper, diced
6 green onions, diced thin
12 ounces mayonnaise
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup sugar
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Roast or grill corn ears until brown. Cool and cut off of cob.
Put in bowl and add diced pepper, green onion and crumbled feta cheese.
Mix in separate bowl: mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar and cayenne pepper and salt and pepper.
Add to corn mixture and mix. Let sit for half an hour and drain excess dressing as desired.
The Short Giraffe
1412 State St., Sarasota | 706-2075
DESSERT: Summer fruit tart (Serves 8)
Fresh fruit of your choice (shown here with sliced strawberries and raspberries)
Shortbread dough (can be your favorite homemade cookie recipe or store mix)
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream (add more for consistency if too thick)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat shortbread dough, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla with spoon. Stir in flour. If the dough is crumbly, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons butter softened.
Roll dough ¼-inch thick on lightly floured surface. Press into the sides of your tart pan to give an even seal and break off any excess hanging over the rim.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until set and bottoms are light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Whip all the ingredients for the mascarpone cream for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Spread evenly into cooked tart shell. Garnish with fruits of your choice.