On top of planning summer vacations, attending summer weddings and trying to fit back into that fabulous bikini that you wore last summer, you'll need to plan your summer menu. With these easy Latin summer recipes—including appetizer, entree and dessert—you can check the menu to-do off your list!
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This fabulously sexy appetizer option is something I had in St. Maarten and fell in love with it. Talk about a soothing soup used as a palate cleanser! Made with tarragon foam, you’ll make this shooter, year-round.
BUTTERNUT-ORANGE SOUP with TARRAGON FOAM
Courtesy of The Holland House, St. Maarten
- 1 whole butternut
- 3 oranges for juice
- 1 orange peel for grate
- 10.5 oz heavy cream
- 10.5 oz vegetable stock
For Tarragon foam
- 5.25 oz milk
- 5.25 oz dl heavy cream
- 1 head of tarragon
- 1 tsp. spoon Pernod
- Clean the butternut and cut it in small pieces .
- Boil butternut in a little hot water until it’s done .
- When boiled butternut is ready, put it (including water), vegetable stock and heavy cream in blender and blend it until it’s smooth .
- At the same time put milk and cream in a sauce pan on a low fire .
- Add the head of tarragon and let it draw as tea for about 5 minutes .
- Add the Pernod after which you use a mixer to create the foam .
- Serve the soup in pre-heated deep plates and add the fresh squeezed orange juice and the orange grate to it .
- Before serving add fresh grounded pepper and salt for extra taste .
- Finally add the foam on top and serve immediately.
My mid-afternoon snack or lunch choice is the almighty Cuban sandwich. I made this last week especially for you Latina readers and talked about it on my blog, but I left the recipe out just so you could see it here first! This sandwich is big, I’ll be honest, but for party purposes, mini ones are perfect. Just cut them up into 4 or 6 smaller pieces. It’s juicy, meaty, flavorful and easy to make. It’s all about stacking and having the right seasoned cerdo and ham.
The Almighty Cubano
- 8" Cuban bread
- 1.5 tbsp. mustard
- 5 oz. smoked or roasted pork
- 3 oz. sweet cured ham ( Black Forest is a good option)
- 4 slices of sandwich pickles
- 3-4 thin slices Swiss cheese
- Butter for spreading outside of bread and grill pan
Using a bread knife, cut Cuban bread in half. Spread mustard on each side of bread. Start stacking. Add cheese and 2 pickles on each side. Add pork on one side and top with ham. Place other half of bread on top of stacked side. Using a stove-top grill pan (unless you have a plancha), butter the grill pan and both sides of the sandwich using a pastry brush. Turn heat to medium. Use another heavy kitchen utensil (a foil-wrapped brick is a great option), press down on sandwich, and cook sandwich one each side for 5-6 minutes, allowing the flavors from the cheese, pork and ham to infuse and for the sandwich to flatten down ¾ from its original size.
Cut sandwich diagonally. Serves 1 or 2.
Green Tea Ice Cream Lemon Cups
For dessert, if you don’t make this, you’re missing out. Ice cream in lemon cups! Genius, right? Take your fave flavor and fill a frozen empty lemon cup with it. Serve frozen and it’ll be a hit all summer long.
- 6 full scoops of your favorite ice cream (I love green tea for Summer; mamey or coconut would be amazing!)
- 3 lemons, pitted and cut in half
Gut out the lemons with a pitting tool, ensuring to remove all the inside skin of the lemon. Freeze the cups for about one hour. Remove from cooler and fill with ice cream, no more than 2” high. Place lemon cup on ice trays and freeze again for another 30 minutes. You can use a spoon to eat or just eat like a small cone!
Yields 6 cups.