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To create a memorable dinner party for the red-hot nights of late summer, turn to the bounty of the season for inspiration. Combining vibrant colors and vivid flavors, this feast is a treat for the palate: the tang of fresh herbs, the spark of cracked black pepper, and the tartness of strawberries, tomatoes, vinegars and berries. We've provided the recipes for this three-course meal -- now it's time for you to fire up the barbecue and dazzle your guests.
The MenuGoat Cheese Medallions on a Bed of Mixed Field Greens
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Three-Tomato Relish
Grilled Curried Potato Salad, and Lemon-Butter Green Beans
Black 'n' Blue Ice Cream Sundaes
First CourseGoat Cheese Medallions
2 ounces of goat cheese (chilled well in advance)
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour to coat
1 well-beaten egg
Bread crumbs to coat
Olive oil to sauté
Sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper. Cut cheese into half-inch medallions, being sure to handle the cheese as little as possible throughout. Dredge the medallions first in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, being sure to coat cheese well with each step. Sauté medallions in olive oil added to a hot pan.
Turn the medallions after the edges begin to brown, about a minute or so. Saute for another 45 seconds.
Remove medallions from pan and serve atop a bed of fresh greens and herbs (try basil, oregano, thyme or parsley). For an added taste dimension, add halved strawberries sprinkled with cracked black pepper and toasted pecans to this dish. Then simply dress the greens with olive oil and vinegar.
Second CourseGrilled Pork Tenderloins
Trim two or three pork tenderloins (1 1/2-1 3/4 pounds each), and season with salt and pepper. Sear them on an extremely hot grill (about 500 degrees Fahrenheit). Roll a quarter turn every 4 minutes with tongs to mark all sides.
Reducing heat to low, keep the cover open and cook for another 5 minutes. If possible, remove to higher rack and finish on low for about 35 minutes with lid down.
Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Slice diagonally just before serving.Three-Tomato Relish
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1/3 cup champagne vinegar (or any good white wine vinegar)
1/8 cup good-quality olive oil
Leaves from three sprigs of thyme
Pinch of salt
Pepper to taste
1 large green tomato
1 large yellow or orange tomato
1 large red tomato
Combine first six ingredients in a glass bowl. Whisk until sugar dissolves. De-seed tomatoes and cut into half-inch dice. Pour oil and vinegar mixture over tomatoes and let sit at room temperature at least two hours before serving.
Grilled Curried Potato Salad
1 pound new potatoes, such as Yukon gold
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to tasteDressing:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup good-quality olive oil
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
Preheat gas grill to high with the lid closed for about 20 minutes.
Slice potatoes a half-inch thick. Toss them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Lay potato slices in a single layer on the grill. Cover and cook for about 7 minutes. Turn with tongs and cook 3 minutes. Remove from grill and fold potatoes into dressing. Let stand at room temperature until ready to serve.Lemon-Butter Green Beans
Trim beans and cut in half. Juice the lemon and remove the seeds.
Pour 1/2 cup of water into a hot pan on the stove top. Add beans, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add butter and lemon juice and sauté for one more minute. Serve immediately.
Third CourseBlack 'n' Blue Ice Cream Sundaes Phyllo Cups
1/4 pound butter melted at room temperature
6 sheets frozen phyllo dough that has been brought to room temperature
Cut the parchment paper slightly larger than the sheet of phyllo, and place on work surface (preferably marble). Place one sheet of phyllo on the parchment and drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of butter, working to the outside edge. Repeat five times, building on the previous layer of phyllo.
Slice the sheet into six rectangles with a sharp paring knife. Grease six ramekins or a muffin tin with butter. Cut a slit halfway through the long side of the rectangle. Overlap the corners on either side of the slit to form a cone. Place the point of the cone in the bottom of the ramekin.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and press down the center of each phyllo cup. Return to oven and bake for 15 mintues or until lightly golden. Let cool and store in airtight container.Macerated Berries
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 pint of blackberries
1/2 pint blueberries
Place berries in glass bowl. Sprinkle powdered sugar over top. Let stand at room temp while sugar draws out juices Stir every half-hour for at least two hours before servingFilling and topping the sundaes
1 pint whipping cream
1 container of your favorite ice cream (French vanilla or peach works well), softened slightly
6 phyllo cups (see above)
1 pint macerated berries (see above)
Beat whipping cream on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Scoop ice cream into phyllo cups. Top with berries and whipped cream. HS