ZESTY SCARLET SALSA
Recipe by Jeanne Raffetto Tentis
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 plump clove garlic (or to taste)
1-2 jalapeno peppers
4 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3 scallions, minced
1/3c freshly squeezed limejuice (approx.3 limes)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Boil cranberries for 1 minute in 1 quart of water. Drain well.
Mince the garlic. Seed and mince the jalapenos. Combine with chopped cilantro, scallions, and cranberries in a medium bowl. Using your hands, mix well squeezing some of the cranberries to pulp and leaving some whole for texture.
Add the lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Add additional amounts of these ingredients if necessary, tasting as you go along, until you reach the perfect combination of sweet, sour and spicy.
Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled with white and blue corn chips. Makes a great party dip for the Fourth of July or during the holidays!
ANTIPASTO SAUSAGE SKEWERS Makes 24 skewers
Extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray
12 oz. fully cooked Italian sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
c lightly packed fresh basil
1 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers. Drained, rinsed and cut to 1-inch pieces
2/3 c sun-dried tomatoes
2 jars (6oz.) of marinated artichoke hearts
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, mist with cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Add the sausage and cook turning 2-3 times until heated through and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
Thread 1 small or large basil leaf onto a small wooden skewer. Add a piece of red pepper, sun-dried tomato, artichoke heart, and sausage. Arrange them so they can stand on the sausage end. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make about 2 dozen skewers.
Serve on a bed of arugula or young greens for color.
SEAFOOD TOSTADO BITES Makes 24
Two 8-inch flour tortillas
1c vegetable oil
4T unsalted butter
1 leek, white and pale green parts, cleaned, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
24 shelled and deveined small shrimp (about lb)
lb scallops, cut into -inch pieces
lb lump crab meat
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
c dry white wine
2T minced parsley
Mexican hot sauce (optional)
On a cutting board, cut the tortillas into 24 triangles, about inch. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the tortillas and fry until golden, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tortillas to a paper towel lined plate.
In a large deep skillet, melt 1T of the butter. Add the leek and cook over moderate heat stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, scallops and crab and season with salt and pepper.
Add the wine and simmer until shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer seafood to a bowl.
Add the remaining 3T of butter and parsley to the skillet and simmer until the liquid is reduced to a few tablespoons, about 3 minutes. Return the seafood to the skillet and toss to coat.
Spoon the seafood into Chinese soup spoons or shot glasses, garnish with the tortilla triangles and hot sauce, if using and serve immediately.
Make ahead: The fried tortillas can be kept overnight in an airtight container. The cooked seafood can be refrigerate for up to four hours and then warmed before serving.