WHITE PEACH SANGRIA

1 liter Sauvignon Blanc
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons honey
3 peaches, fresh and ripe, sliced into thin wedges
4-5 sprigs of mint

Mix the wine and lemon slices with the honey until dissolved. Add the peaches and mint.

Makes 1 ½ quarts.

GRILLED ANTIPASTO PLATTER WITH MEZZO SOPRANO SAUCE
Grilling Method: Direct/Medium Heat

Soprano Sauce:

6 anchovy fillets, drained and finely minced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon capers, drained and coarsely chopped
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
See Salt, to taste

To make the Soprano Sauce: Combine the anchovies, garlic and capers in a small bowl or a food processor. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season further with salt if desired. Set aside.

½ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and each cut into 4 long slices
4 medium zucchini, each cut into 4 long slices
2 small radicchio, cut into quarters
1 medium eggplant, cut into 4 long slices; then each slice cut in half widthwise
3 small bunches green onions, trimmed
1 pint small, ripe cherry tomatoes, tossed in a bowl with a little oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Kosher salt

Lightly coat cut vegetables with oil. Sprinkle with salt.

One by one lay the vegetable slices and green onions on the cooking grate over Direct/Medium heat. (Do this in batches if necessary so the grill is not crowded.) Cook about 5 minutes. Turn the vegetables over and baste with the vinaigrette. Cook 3 or 4 minutes longer. As soon as vegetables are done, remove from grill and transfer to a platter: the zucchini, radicchio and green onions should be done first; the eggplant will take a little longer and the sweet potatoes will be the last to cook through. While the vegetables are warm, coat with Soprano Sauce. Let cool to room temperature and coat again if necessary.

When all the other vegetables are done, place the tomatoes onto the cooking grate to mark and warm through, about 2 minutes. Coat with Soprano Sauce and place onto the platter with the other vegetables, if desired. Decorate with lemon wedges and serve at room temperature.

Serves 6-8

SALT CRUSTED SHRIMP WITH POTENT LEMON-GARLIC DIPPING SAUCE
Grilling Method: Direct/Medium Heat

Dipping Sauce:

½ cup best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 large lemon
Zest from ½ lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 stems fresh oregano
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Shrimp:

16 Jumbo or Collosal shrimp in the shell (or frozen black tiger shrimp)
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup Kosher salt

Make the Dipping Sauce:
Whisk together the oil and lemon. Stir in the garlic. Take the leaves off the oregano stems and leave whole, add to oil mixture. Let sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes to marry the flavors—or make up to 12 hours in advance. Set aside.

If desired, devein the shrimp with a “shrimp deveiner” or, using a small sharp knife, make a slit about ¼-inch deep down the backs of the shrimp and remove the vein but do not remove the shells. Place the shrimp in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil to coat lightly all over. Just before putting on the grill, sprinkle the salt evenly over the shrimp and toss well to make sure each shrimp is thoroughly coated in a crust of salt.

Place the shrimp in the center of the cooking grate, 3 to 4 minutes per side or until the shrimp is pink and the flesh is opaque (white). Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Serving Tip: This is my favorite party “ice breaker” appetizer. I place the oil-tossed shrimp in a bowl on a tray with a small bowl of the kosher salt, my tongs, lots of napkins, a platter and the prepared dipping sauce. Once everyone is armed with a cocktail, we hit the deck to start the party. While we are talking, I toss the shrimp in the salt, grill them and place them on the platter. Then the fun begins, everyone takes a shrimp, peels and dips it in the sauce for a fun, casual and interactive appetizer! By the time the shrimp, and our cocktails are gone we are either fast friends or better friends! Alternatively, you can arrange 4 shrimp on each serving plate and accompany with a small ramekin of the dipping sauce but the girls think serving them hot off the grill is sooo much more fun!

Serves 4

Figs

A coarse-laden meal like Thanksgiving calls for light appetizers or nibbles as the Girls are fond of calling them. Otherwise, the guests fill up on the starters before they even sit down for the main event! This menu is designed to spotlight the turkey and trimmings and make short work of the appetizers and dessert! Nibbles Fresh Pears with Stilton Spiced Pecans and Pumpkin Seeds * * * Dinner Renaissance Ribs Orange Brine for Grilled-Roasted Turkey Grilled Maple Glazed Turkey Southern Sausage Dressing Cider-Roasted Sweet Potatoes Creamed Spinach Casserole Smashed Potatoes with Caramelized Garlic Pan Gravy Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins with Dried Cherries and Walnuts Cranberry Sauce with Port wine * * * Dessert Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream Baked Apples with Vanilla Ice Cream and Mexican Caramel Sauce * * *