Avocado Relish Bruchetta
Ceviche in Cucumber Shot Glasses
Sticks of Ham with Honey
Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
Pringles with Poppadums
Use packet Minestone Soup mix, add water, a couple cups of chopped veggies (carrots, celery, onions, rutahagas) along with a can of tomatoes, a can of kidney beans and a couple of handfuls of small noodles. Or leftover rice or noodles.
12 – 10” flour tortillas
1 can refried beans
2 chorizo sausages, sliced
1 ½ c grated cheese
1 onion diced
1 can corn kernels
3 tomatoes diced
1 red pepper diced
1 yellow pepper diced
½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
3 sprigs cilantro
Lightly grease the Oven pan. Then layer flour tortillas with refried beans, chorizo sausage, grated cheese/tortilla/onion, corn, tomatoes, both kinds of peppers, cheese/tortilla. Keep repeating. Top layer grated cheese with chili powder, cilantro. Bake 5 minutes. Cut in pizza slices.
3. ARTI APPIS
In a small pot, mix together:
1 can artichokes,
drained 2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
Warm over a low heat and scoop with crackers.
4. AVOCADO RELSIH BRUCHETTE
2 ripe avocados diced into 2 cm cubes
1 cup corn kernels
¼ c diced red onion
1 clove garlic
¼ c cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
1 loaf bread or baguette
slice baguette on angle half inch thick. Paint on olive oil and grill in fry pan. Rub garlic clove on bread. Place 1 tbsp relish on each slice bread.
Can also use on top of pan-fried fish or in a fish taco.
5. HOT DATES
a. 12 large pitted Medjool dates, 4 oz Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese (can substitute local cheese like goat cheese) shaved, 6 slices bacon, cut in half. Stuff dates with slices of cheese, then wrap with bacon. Secure with tooth pick. Bake in Oven, Dutch Oven or fry pan with lid for 20 minutes or until bacon crispy and fully cooked.
b. Pitted plump dates sliced lengthwise, stuffed with cream cheese and topped with a roasted almond
c. 3 Medjool dates per paddler (remove pits, spread open and keep sections together) + cream cheese (1 oz/paddler) + candied ginger (3 chunks/paddler). Melt dark chocolate melting wafers (1/2 c/paddler) in pan over simmering water. Dip dates into molten chocolate.
6. SEA URCHIN
If tide right, dive for sea urchin (uni in Japan). It is an acquired taste.
1 diving mask (wetsuit is optional, a hood helps)
1 sturdy knife to pry the urchins off
1 leather work glove to grab the urchin
1 urchin bed (in exposed rocky areas)
1 low tide (the lower the better)
a bit of tamari soy sauce some wasabi (green horseradish paste)
Seal-land on the rocky shore, or have someone raft up with you while you jump overboard. (I prefer to keep my wetsuit dry, and wear it after diving-also, it’s easier to get down to the bottom without the wetsuit’s buoyancy.) As you descend, look carefully at your prey-you might as well get the biggest urchin you can on each dive! Try both the red and purple ones, to see which you prefer.
Quickly jam the knife underneath the urchin, before it can clamp on (if it clamps on, don’t fight it as you’ve already lost the contest-choose another). Twist the knife to pry the urchin off. It will float free (or begin tumbling downward, if found hand, gently. Try not to drop the knife. Swim back to the surface, and place the urchin in the prearrranged location-a sack held by your friend, in the front of your cockpit, or whatever. Avoid panicky movements-remind your friends that handling urchins is just like sleeping on a bed of nails- hold the urchin with both hands to distribute the pressure, and the spines will not penetrate. If they do, seek medical aid-they’re not fatal, but are mildly poisonous.
The cold water tends to limit your harvest. One or two is enough for a group, unless you have any connoisseurs amongst you-then get 1 each for those people.
Go to a warm, sunny beach (a cold, drizzly beach will do in a pinch), and prepare to clean the urchins. Hold the knife’s tip against the urchin’s shell-wrap your fingers around the end of the handle, and hit that end with your other palm. Once the blade pierces the shell, one twist should neatly split the urchin in two.
Inside you will find a ghastly mess of guts, membranes and partially digested seaweeds (these animals are grazers). Shake out all his loose material, and you will spy the cherished goal of this cold and macabre enterprise-the bright orange gonads of the urchin. Did I say gonads? Just tell your friends it’s the eggs, or they’ll begin to lose their appetite.
Use a spoon to scrape out the orange sections- five to an urchin, shaped like sections of a grapefruit. Carefully wash away the remaining bits of red membrane and green seaweed.
This delicacy is best eaten raw. If you want to get fancy, squeeze a bit of wasabi onto each section, and sprinkle on a bit of soy sauce. A practical and visually appealing presentation is to serve each piece of uni on a blue mussel half-shell- open your mouth, tip the shell, and down the hatch!
A word of warning-the urchin eggs are an acquired taste. For first-time users, a small piece of one section is plenty. I found it fairly revolting my first time, but as I survived my first taste, curiousity got the better of me, and I tentatively nibbled at a bit more, then a bit more. The sweet, milky, seafoody taste grew on me, and now I am a full-on addict, known to endure near-hypothermia for a few sweet morsels!
For the less adventurous, urchin eggs can be cooked, although I’ve never tried it. Just fry them up in butter and garlic.
7. CEVICHE IN CUCUMBER SHOT GLASSES
2 fillets fish
juice of 10 key limes
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
¼ c diced red onion
1 tomato diced
½ c jicama, grated
½ c cilantro, finely chopped
1 serrano chili, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Chop fish into tiny cubes. Combine lime and orange juices and red onion in bowl and marinate fish for 15 minutes. When the fish is ‘cooked” and the flesh turns white, mix in the chopped veggies. Cut the end off each cucumber and hollow out the insides. Can decorate outsides by slicing or peeling designs. Dice the insides of the cucumbers and add to the ceviche. Add the salt at the very end (stops the cooking process). Fill the “shot glasses”. Extra cucumber containers can be used with tequila, lime and salt as edible shot glasses.
8. OLIVE OLÉ.
Pitted green olives, chunks olive bread, thinly sliced chorizo, salad leaves.
9. ALMOND TAPAS
Toast a cup of whole almonds in frypan with a bit of olive oil. Dust with paprika.
10. STICKS OF HAM WITH HONEY
1 packet bread sticks
3 oz honey (orange blossom best)
4 oz thinly sliced ham (Iberico or Serrano traditional)
Cut the ham slices into slices about 1” wide. Dip 2” of the tips of the bread sticks into the honey and drain. Wrap the ham around the sticks beginning at the tip, overlapping like a bandage.
11. TORTILLA ESPANOL
Chop 4 potatoes (red or gold skinned) into ½ “ cubes and 1 yellow onion. Heat olive oil and onion and potatoes until just tender. Whisk 6 eggs well. Combine with onion and potatoes, cook over medium heat until top no longer liquid. Flip using a plate and cook for 3-5 minutes more. Serve hot or cooled cut into wedges or cubes and served on tooth picks.
12. GARLIC SHRIMP
8 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
½ c olive oil
1 kg prawns with shells on
chopped parsley for garnish
garlic mayonnaise for dipping (1 c garlic minced mixed into 1 c mayo)
Marinate shrimp in garlic/oil in bowl for at least 30 minutes. Heat fry pan medium-high. Add as many shrimp to form one layer. Sprinkle garlic/oil over shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Turn, drizzle with oil and cook 2 minutes more. Repeat till all shrimp cooked. Garnish chopped parsley. Serve garlic mayo.
13. GRILLED EGGPLANT PARMESAN
Marinade. 2 cloves garlic, ¼ c olive oil, 4tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp tamari or soy sauce, ground black pepper, chili powder to taste.
Use Japanese eggplant as its small diameter makes for bite-sized rounds. Slice 1cm slices. Soak in marinade for at least 15 minutes before grilling. While eggplant grilling, slice 2 medium tomatoes in thin rounds, grate 1 cup mozzarella.
When the eggplant cooked and tender through, stack tomato and mozzarella on top, sprinkle chili powder, continue grilling till cheese melts. Remove, place basil leaf on top, cool and serve as appetizer. Can also be served with bread as a sandwich.
a. VEGETARIAN STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS
Clean 4 large portobello mushroom by removing the stem and all the gills. Marinate for 15 min. in above marinade. Grill clean side down.
Stuffing: In frying pan, sauté in 1 tsp olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, ½ onion diced till golden. Add 1 small zucchini diced till tender. Add ¼ c chopped fresh parsley and 1 cup Panko bread crumbs. Stir in 1 c grated mozzarella cheese.
Flip over the mushroom and stuff with vegetarian mix. Grill till cheese melted in the stuffing. Remove from heat, cut into halves or quarters as appetizer or fancy main dish. Add canned crabmeat as a protein source.
b. HOME-STYLE RISOTTO MUSHROOMS
1 pkg. Lundberg Creamy Parmesan Risotto
½ tbsp. olive oil
2 ½ c water
12 large mushrooms
1 sploosh sherry
¼ c grated parmesan
Saute rice from package in olive oil in heavy saucepan. Add water and seasoning pouch, stir well, heat to boiling, simmer x 20 min stirring occ.
Clean and remove stems mushrooms. While upside down, fill each with risotto mixture. Sprinkle parmesan. Bake 400° 20 minutes until mushrooms tender and cheese bubbly.
15. PRINGLES AND POPPADUMS
Joining ‘Pringles’ are other ‘chips in a can’ which pack well for paddling—Hunter’s ready-to-eat, bite-sized poppadums and Torengos tortilla chips.