Summer is almost over, but there’s still time for one last (or two!) barbecue parties. And I’ve found three delicious and easy recipes to end summer with a bang. All recipes are from the fabulous LCBO.
To drink: Strawberry Lemonade Martini
This is the perfect fruity refresher while we’ve still got warm days. Your guests will be impressed by your bartending skills, but it’s actually very simple to make. For each cocktail, you will need:
- 3 to 4 fresh strawberries: remove the stems and cut roughly into chunks
- 1-1/2 oz Barcardi Limón
- 4 oz lemonade
Put the strawberries into a cocktail shaker and mash thoroughly with a spoon. Fill the shaker with ice and pour in the Barcadi and lemonade. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. And you’re done! If you want to garnish it, you can either float a strawberry slice in the cocktail, or perch one on the rim of the glass.
Appetizers: Grilled Coconut Shrimp
This one takes a little bit of prep time, but it’s sure to be a hit with guests. You will need:
- 1 can (400 mL) coconut milk
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) fish sauce
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tsp (10 mL) green curry paste
- 4 lime leaves or 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lime zest
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped mint, divide into 2
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped cilantro, divide into 2
- 1 lb (500 g) fresh or defrosted large shrimp, uncooked
- ¼ cup (60 mL) unsweetened shredded coconut
- Salt to taste
- First step is making the marinade. Pour all the coconut milk in a skillet over heat until it boils. Reduce heat and continue to simmer until it’s reduced about 75% and becomes thicker like heavy cream. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Stir in sugar, fish sauce, ginger, curry paste, and lime leaves. Continue to simmer for another 5-6 minutes until the sauce is even thicker.
- Stir in lime juice and half each of the mint and cilantro (you should have divided it earlier in the prep). Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool. Divide sauce into 2 separate bowls.
- Season shrimp with salt and coat well with sauce in 1 bowl. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, you can finish the other bowl of sauce, which will be used for dipping. Stir in shredded coconut and the rest of the mint and cilantro.
- Also preheat the barbecue to high. After the shrimp is done marinating, take them out and you can throw away this sauce. Grill shrimp for about 1-1/2 minutes per side, until they have turned pink and curl slightly. Let cool and serve with the dipping sauce. Serve on bamboo skewers if you want.
Dessert: Grilled Fruit Skewers
This makes a perfect end to a summer bbq. It’s super easy to make, not to mention healthy! You will need:
- 1 lemon
- ½ cup (125 mL) honey
- ¼ cup (60 mL) lightly packed brown sugar
- Bamboo skewers
- 12 large strawberries
- 6 peaches
- ½ pineapple
- 1 cup (125 mL) hazelnut spread
- 4 to 6 tbsp (60 to 90 mL) 35% whipping cream
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) Captain Morgan Pineapple Flavoured Rum Liqueur
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) honey
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
- Vanilla ice cream
- Prepare the marinade first. Place the juice and zest of one lemon into a shallow dish. Stir in honey and brown sugar until all mixed.
- Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the fruits into the sizes you want. Coat the fruits in the marinade and let sit for a few minutes. Then place a few pieces unto each skewer.
- Spray barbecue grill with oil and and preheat the barbecue to medium. Grill fruit skewers until the marinade caramelizes and grill marks appear.
- For the topping, thoroughly stir the hazelnut spread, whipping cream, rum liqueur, honey, and vanilla extract until it’s a smooth creamy sauce. Dip hot fruit into it to eat, and serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.
*All recipes are courtesy of LCBO.