The ever-fabulous Barb of Vino Luci Style (who is also my friend and my web designer!) recently began to highlight recipes from Bon Appétit’s RSVP section. When I saw her gorgeous Blueberry Cornmeal Cake from the May issue, I knew that I wanted to join in the fun too.
For those who don’t know, the RSVP section features recipes for dishes readers have tried at restaurants or on their travels and would like to recreate at home. When Gourmet was still around, I wrote to them requesting a recipe for a pasta dish we had eaten in Todi, Italy and it has since become a firm favourite in both my and my parents’ household – I love the idea of recreating fabulous food moments from travel destinations at home so Barb’s idea to make a dish a month from RSVP was right up my alley.
To catch up, I am posting both June and July’s entries in one post.
From June’s issue, I chose the “Raspberry Smash” cocktail.
I was intrigued by the mix of champagne and vodka – wasn’t sure how that was going to work but it was really refreshing. I used frozen raspberries since that’s what I had and they worked fine. I think that might have contributed to the Kool Aid-like colour!! We also used prosecco in place of champagne – again, a perfectly acceptable substitute.
from Bon Appétit June 2010
Smashing (called muddling in the bartending biz) the raspberries with the vodka, sugar, and lime wedges brings out the berry flavor.
Yield: Makes 2
2 lime wedges
Sugar (for dipping)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
6 tablespoons vodka
4 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
1/4 cup chilled Champagne
Run 1 lime wedge around rims of 2 old-fashioned glasses. Dip rims in sugar. Place both lime wedges, raspberries, vodka, and 4 teaspoons sugar in cocktail shaker; using muddler or wooden spoon handle, smash fruit mixture. Add ice; shake 10 seconds. Divide between glasses (do not strain), top with Champagne, and serve.
Adapted from Bella Vista restaurant in Santa Barbara, California
From the July issue, I chose a simple pasta dish with flavours I love – cilantro, lime and feta cheese being the major players. A splash of tequila and some sautéed shrimp make this a perfect summer’s dinner.
We all agreed that this dish could use a bit more “kick” – not necessarily spice but perhaps some lime zest tossed with the pasta at the last minute. In any case, it was really tasty and I can see myself making this pesto again and again. This took literally 30 minutes to make, so perfect for those summer nights you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen!
Linguine with Shrimp and Cilantro-Lime Pesto
from Bon Appétit, July 2010
1 1/4 cups packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus 1/4 chopped
1/4 cut (scant) chopped green onions
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeno chile
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pound linguine
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 Tablespoons tequila
1/4 cup crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
red pepper flakes (optional)
Blend 1 1/4 cups cilantro leaves and next 4 ingredients in processor until coarse puree forms. With machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup oil. Season generously with salt. (Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, but firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook until almost opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; add tequila. Return skillet to heat and stir until sauce is syrupy, about 30 seconds. Add pesto; stir to coat. Remove from heat.
Add pasta to sauce in skillet; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta and shrimp among 4 plates. Sprinkle dish with Cotija or feta cheese, chopped cilantro, and red pepper flakes (if you choose) and serve.
Adapted from Tejas Texas Grill & Saloon.
I can hardly wait for my August issue of Bon Appétit to arrive