Grab-And-Go Gourmet Goodies for a Summer Soiree
Summer is meant to be fun—a time to unwind with family and friends. In Hampton Roads that often means at the beach; scores of folks flock to vacation homes, beach cottage rentals and time shares for long weekends throughout the season.
And, as the saying goes, ’ya gotta eat.
We’ve got a plan where you can still get your gourmet on and have time to work on that tan: let someone else do the work.
You don’t have to hire a personal chef or even a caterer; just a little bit of shopping and a little bit of prep work will have your guests thinking you spent all day in the kitchen; only your tan lines will give you away.
Here is our menu and how-to:
Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs
Everyone loves deviled eggs, but add a little twist to some with the addition of pimento cheese, the unofficial pate’ of the south.
You can hard boil fresh-from-a-farmers market eggs (find a list from Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads) in no time, or if you are in a real time crunch, grab some from a salad bar at a grocery store.
Remove the yolk and mash with a few tablespoons of house-made pimento cheese from The Creative Wedge (located in Virginia Beach’s Hilltop West Shopping Center) and a teaspoon or two of Greek yogurt to smooth things out. Use a large tip on a pastry bag to pipe mixture back into egg halves and garnish with a few chopped chives.
Want to mix things up even more? Here’s a recipe for Lemon Pesto Deviled Eggs.
Have a little Mex-South fusion going on with just a few simple ingredients.
Grab some pulled pork or pulled chicken—sold by the pound as take-out—from Jake’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que (Virginia Beach), and toss it in the delicious Cowboy Syd’s D-Lish sauce from Chef Sydney Meers of Stove the Restaurant in Portsmouth. The sauce is sold by Syd and at all six area Taste stores; there are three in Virginia Beach.
Make a simple Classic Southern Slaw (from my book, Dishing Up Virginia); follow this recipe, then warm flour tortillas on the grill for just a minute or two to make them pliable and get some grill marks. Fill them with the barbecue meat and slaw, fold over, and serve with extra sauce on the side.
Drunken Blueberry Cheesecake Parfait
This is a simple and sinful dessert. Start with taking a pint or two of local blueberries and put them in a large jar with two tablespoons sugar, a cup of limoncello and the zest of two lemons; shake to coat, seal the jar and refrigerate overnight.
Grab a Traditional New York Cheesecake from La Dolce Vita (Virginia Beach) and, using an ice cream scoop, portion out servings in parfait glasses. Spoon some of the macerated berries on top, and garnish with fresh whipped cream and mint sprigs.
While you’re at La Dolce Vita, ask if they have any dossants (baked on Sundays).
Tinto de Verano and Kalimotxo
Get a little crazy—and a little Spanish—with these red wine drinks made with soda. (Yes, soda!) We find exceptional wines at exceptional prices at Tinto Wine & Cheese, Etc. in Virginia Beach’s Hilltop West.
For Tinto de Verano, mix equal parts red wine and lemon-lime soda in a tall glass with ice. Stir gently. Top with some seltzer and garnish with a lemon wedge.
For Kalimotxo, mix equal parts red wine and cola in a tall glass with ice. Stir gently. Garnish with an orange wedge.