Recipes to Kick Off Summer

MOUNT GAY© RUM "ISLAND COOLER"

Serves 1

Ingredients

- 2 oz. Mount Gay© Extra Old Rum

- 2 oz. Zico Pure Premium Coconut Water

- 1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

- 1/2 oz. Demerara Syrup

- 5 Mint Leaves

Directions

1.Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.

2.Shake and strain over crushed in a Collins glass.

3.Garnish with a mint sprig and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters.

SWEET CORN SOUP WITH BACON & JALAPENOS

Serves 2.

Ingredients

- 1 cup sliced leeks, light green and white parts only

- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

- 3 cups freshly shucked corn

- 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

- ¼ lb, thick-cut double smoked bacon, cut into large dice

- 1 teaspoon finely diced jalapeno, seeds removed

- freshly ground white pepper, to taste

- 1/3 cup heavy cream

Directions

1.In a saucepan sauté leeks in butter, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until tender and caramelized.

2.Add corn and broth and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, or until corn is tender.

3.Meanwhile, sauté bacon over medium-low heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy but not overcooked, about 5-7 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

4.In a blender puree soup until smooth and pour back into pan.

5.Heat soup over moderate heat until hot and remove pan from heat.

6.Add white pepper and salt to taste and stir in heavy cream.

7.Divide soup between 2 bowls and garnish with bacon and jalapeno.

SUMMER WATERMELON & TOMATO SALAD

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

- 4 cups fresh watermelon, cut into large chunks

- 4-6 beefsteak tomatoes (substitute for your favorite variety), sliced thick

- ½ bunch of fresh basil or tarragon, washed and picked

- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

- 3 tablespoons of balsamic glaze

- kosher salt, to taste

- fresh pepper, to taste

Directions

1.Arrange the watermelon and tomatoes on individual plates or one large platter (perfect for a luncheon).

2.Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic glaze.

3.Garnish with whole pieces of basil, salt and freshly ground pepper.

SEARED BABYBACK RIBS WITH ROASTED GARLIC & ARGULA PESTO

Serves 4.

Ingredients

For the Ribs

- 2 half racks, babyback pork ribs, trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat

- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper

- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

For the Pesto

- 1/2 head new garlic or 3 large regular garlic cloves, minced

- 4 cups (packed) arugula leaves (about 6 ounces)

- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

- 1/4 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

- 1/4 cup olive oil

Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer

Directions

For the Ribs

1.Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot, at least 2 minutes.

2.Meanwhile, pat ribs dry and rub the meat all over with salt and pepper.

3.Add oil to hot skillet, then brown racks, in 2 batches if necessary, on all sides (not ends), about 10 minutes per batch.

4.Transfer racks to a small (13- by 9-inch) roasting pan.

5.Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

6.Roast 25-30 minutes, then cover ribs loosely with foil and roast until thermometer (inserted diagonally into center of meat) registers 155°F

7.Roast 5 to 10 minutes more and then let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

8.Cut each rack into individual.

For the Pesto

1.Roast garlic cloves in the olive oil over medium low heat until golden brown. Allow garlic and oil to cool completely.

2.Blend arugula, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese in processor until almost smooth.

3.With machine running, gradually add prepared garlic and olive oil; process until well blended.

4.Season pesto to taste with salt and pepper.

5.**Pesto can be made ahead. Cover and let stand up to 2 hours at room temperature or refrigerate up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before using**

6.To serve: Arrange ribs on large platter and drizzle with the pesto.

SUMMER MIXED BERRY SHORTCAKES WITH CREAM

Ingredients

- 3/4 cup sugar

- 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

- 1/2 cup blueberry jam

- 5 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

- 5 cups quartered hulled strawberries

- 4 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

- 2 1/3 cups chilled whipping cream, divided

- 2 cups all purpose flour

- 2 teaspoons baking powder

- 1/2 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

1.Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 400°F.

2.Mix sugar and lemon peel in small bowl.

3.Melt jam in large skillet with 2 tablespoons water.

4.Mix in 3 tablespoons lemon sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, then berries. Set aside.

5.Combine 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons lemon sugar, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in medium bowl and whip. Cover; chill.

6.Mix flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and 1/3 cup lemon sugar in large bowl.

7.Quickly mix in remaining 1 1/3 cups cream and 2 tablespoons lemon juice until dough just comes together.

8.Drop dough by rounded 1/3 cupfuls in 6 mounds on ungreased baking sheet.

9.Sprinkle dough with remaining lemon sugar.

10.Bake biscuits until golden, about 23 minutes.

11.Cool slightly on rack.

12.Split biscuits; fill with berries and cream.