Summer Night’s Go-To Dinner Party Menu


Spicy Garlic Salmon with Pesto Lemon Rice 

Super Simple Gazpacho

Pavlova with Berry Peach Compote 

Gazpacho Shots Image 1 BLUEPRINT:This is a perfect summer evening dinner party supper for six. You can make the gazpacho, meringue & berry compote for the pavlova a day ahead. Prep your salmon, ingredients for the rice & whipped cream for dessert earlier in the day. Don’t forget to get your basil & cilantro ready for plating the soup & salmon. Have it washed & ready to go in a Ziploc. Make sure to warm the plates for the main course and don’t forget to use the Kitchen Moxie Worksheet!

Grocery List:

  • Fruit: 6 ripe peaches, 2 1/2 cups of fresh raspberries, 2 lemons
  •  Produce:2 lbs plum tomatoes (although technically a fruit), 1 large onion, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper
  •  Staples: 2 cups rice, 2 cups olive oils, 5 1/2 tbs chicken or vegetable stock, non-stick cooking spray
  • Dairy: 4 eggs, 16 fl. ozs heavy cream, 1 small container sour cream, 1/4 cup shredded parmigiano reggiano
  • Frozen:
  • Baking: 10 ozs superfine sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tbs of confectioners’ sugar, 2 tbs corn starch
  • Meat & Fish: 6 six oz salmon fillets (no skin)
  • Spices: chili powder, cumin, 5 1/2  tsp garlic puree, salt, pepper
  • Fresh Herbs: 1 bunch basil, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 sprig of mint
  • Other:1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts, parchment paper


Super Simple Gazpacho

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, large heavy bottomed sauce pan, chef’s knife, knife, food processor (or blender or immersion blender)

Serves: 6

  • 2 lbs of plum tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/2 red pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 yellow pepper (chopped)
  • 2 tsp of garlic puree
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer)
  • 2 tbs chopped basil (plus 6 whole leaves for plating)
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tsp super fine sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine the tomatoes, onion, peppers, garlic puree, vegetable stock and sugar in a large heavy bottom saucepan over high heat bringing to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Place in a food processor, add the chopped basil and pulse till smooth. Put in the fridge for at least an hour. Add 1/2 cup of the sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Put in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To Serve: This dish is so fresh and perfect for a warm summer evening. Put in wide open bowls. Add tiny dollop of sour cream and a fresh basil leaf. Yum!


Spicy Garlic Salmon with Pesto Lemon Rice 

For The Salmon: 

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, baking sheet, aluminum foil, non-stick cooking spray, and spatula

Serves: 6

  • 6 six oz salmon fillets (no skin)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 tsp of garlic puree
  • 1 1/2 tbs of olive oil

Pre-Heat oven to 500˚F. Place salmon fillets on a foil lined baking tray (sprayed with a non-stick spray). Season each piece with salt and pepper. Rub each fillet with a ½ tsp of garlic puree.  Combine the chili powder and cumin. Sprinkle each with the spice mix and rub in with the back of a spoon. (At this point you can cover with saran wrap and place in fridge until ready to cook). Drizzle each salmon fillet with olive oil and bake for 10–12 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to your liking.


For The Rice: 

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, medium heavy bottomed sauce pan with tight fitting lid, chef’s knife, cutting board, food processor, spatula

Serves: 6

  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro + 6 sprigs for plating
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic puree
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • zest of 1/2 lemon + juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Place 3 cups of water in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add 1 tbs of butter and 1 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and add in 1 1/2 cups of rice. Bring back to the boil & immediately lower the heat until the water is at a low simmer. Place the lid on top and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Don’t peek in the pot during the cooking time & make sure to let the rice sit off the heat for about 5 minutes.

Place the cilantro and nuts in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the garlic puree and pulse again to combine. Slowly add the olive oil while the food processor is running. Stop the food processor and scrape down the sides if necessary. Add the parmigiano reggiano cheese, ½ tsp of salt and ½ tsp of fresh ground pepper and pulse again till just combined. Add the cilantro mixture, lemon and lemon zest to the rice prior to fluffing up and serving. Season with additional salt & pepper to taste.


To Serve: Place the rice in the center of a warmed wide open bowl or plate. Place Salmon on top with a sprig of cilantro.


Pavlova with Berry Peach Compote 

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, chef’s knife, cutting board, stand alone or hand mixer with whisk attachment, spatula (or off-set spatula if you have one), medium size pot, wooden spoon, citrus juicer, zester (microplane), baking tray,  parchment paper

Serves: 6 – 8

  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 oz of superfine sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups of raspberries
  • 6 peaches (peeled & sliced)
  • zest of 1 lemon + juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs confectioners’ sugar (+ 1 tsp to dust over the top of the Pavlova before serving)
  • 16 fl ozs heavy cream
  • 6 – 8 sprigs of fresh mint

For the meringue: Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Prepare a baking sheet with a little non-stick cooking spray and then place a sheet of parchment on top. (The non-stick spray helps the parchment stay in place.) To make the meringue place the egg whites in a bowl and whip them until they are stiff. A good way to know they are ready is to stick a spoon in and scoop up a little. Turn the spoon upside down and if the meringue sticks it’s ready and time to add the sugar. Add the 8 ozs of superfine sugar a tablespoon at a time while the mixer is still going. Once all the sugar is in incorporated, spoon the meringue onto the parchment lined baking sheet creating a nest of bed for the berries and cream. I use an off-set spatula, but any spatula will do. It doesn’t have to be perfect- in this case rustic is good! Place in the oven and turn down the temperature to 275 ˚F. Bake for 1 hour and then let the meringue cool.

For the compote: Place the raspberries, peaches, ½ cup of sugar, 2 tbs of corn starch, lemon zest and juice in a pot. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, berries release their juice and the sauce starts to thicken. Take off the heat to cool.

For the Cream: Place the heavy cream in a cold (I put mine in the freezer for about 5 minutes before I use it) mixing bowl and whip. Add in 2 tbs confectioners’ sugar and continue whipping until soft peaks form.

Tip: I like to fold a little of the compote into my whip cream prior to putting on top of the meringue. It gives it beautiful color incorporates the flavor in another layer of the dessert.

To Serve: Place the cooled meringue on a serving dish. Add the whipped cream and spread out across the meringue evenly. Spoon the berry compote on top. Add a sprig of fresh mint and dust with a little more confectioners’ sugar.

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