Potluck Parties: Tropical Menus

Posted by on Friday May 7th, 2010 | Print

BRUNCH: Julia’s Citrus-Sugared Dutch Babies

COCKTAIL HOUR: Sarah’s Coconut-Lime Coolers
DINNER: Lainey’s Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Tacos with Red Slaw
We host and attend our fair share of potluck parties. But they all take place in the city. There’s one on the agenda that’s a meet-up of all the good NYC folks who participate in Food52, but that’s only as far away as Central Park. Small fry when compared to St. Thomas.

In St. Thomas, instead of seasonal green salads and pesto chicken sandwiches and green beans with cured shallots, we eat Citrus-Sugared Dutch Babies and drink Coconut-Lime Coolers. It’s really nice in the Carribbean–unfortunately, going there and cooking there is all just a dream.
However, a little imagination never hurt anyone. We enlisted your imaginations to figure out menus during the imaginary trip giveaway we fake-ly hosted on April 1st, aka April Fool’s Day. (We’ve been giving away lots of real stuff since then, and we’ll be giving away more in the coming weeks!) But the creativity of our readers turned out not to be imaginary at all. The menus people submitted were mouthwatering and unique, and we wanted to make them less fake and more real. So we asked the winner, Sarah, as well as a few other commenters, to write up recipes and send us pictures of their food. What follows are the documented dishes that readers might have served us had they won our non-existent contest. If that’s a bit of a puzzle, don’t worry. Just relax, guzzle your cocktail, take a big bite of shrimp taco, and read on.
From our kitchen, transported to your kitchens (if not to St. Thomas), to yours,

Citrus Sugared Dutch Baby
(adapted from Joy the Baker, who adapted it from Gourmet)

1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3 eggs (at room temp)
2/3 cup warm whole milk (I used skim)
the juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter

Place skillet on middle rack of an oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Stir together sugar and zest and set aside. Whisk the eggs until pale and frothy (alternatively you can use an electric mixer on high speed). Beat in milk, juice, flour, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt–whisk/beat until smooth. Add butter to the hot skillet and swirl to coat. Add the batter and return to the oven. Bake until puffed and brown on top (about 18-25 minutes)

Top with sugar and love.

Coconut-Lime Coolers
Makes 1 Pitcher


2 cups coconut rum
3 scoops lime sherbet
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup coconut water

Fill blender pitcher over halfway with ice and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Pour the drink into festive glasses and garnish with a slice of lime and some zest.

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Tacos with Red Slaw
Makes 2-4

For the Shrimp:
2/3 cup fresh finely chopped cilantro
Juice and Zest of 2 limes
1 tbls olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
Salt and pepper
½ lb shrimp (I used 31-40 count shrimp, because the smaller ones work better in tacos so about 16 shrimp)

For the Slaw:
1 tbls fresh finely chopped cilantro
6 tbls mayonnaise
1 tbls sugar
½ tsp celery salt
1 ½ tbls apple cider vinegar
Juice of ½ a lime
Salt and pepper
1½ cups coleslaw (you can use the bag bought in the store or finely chop half a head of cabbage)

Other ingredients/toppings:
Diced tomato
Thinly sliced Jalapeno
Avocado slices
Diced red onion
1 or 2 limes
Chopped cilantro

For the shrimp marinade, mix the cilantro, lime juice and zest, olive oil, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Peel and devein the shrimp (deveining is a preference issue), place them in a zip top bag and pour in the marinade. Massage the marinade into the shrimp a little and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes (not much longer as the acid in the lime will begin to cook the shrimp).

While the shrimp are marinating make the coleslaw dressing by mixing the cilantro, mayo, sugar, celery salt, apple cider vinegar, lime juice and salt and pepper together. Pour over the cabbage, you may not use all the dressing just as much as you like, don’t soak the cabbage as you want it to be a little drier than normal coleslaw so the tacos don’t fall apart.

Grill the shrimp on an indoor grill pan or sauté in a skillet about 2 minutes on each side until they are pink and begin to curl up, don’t over cook they will be tough! Heat the tortillas in the microwave with a damp paper towel about 20 seconds for the steamed effect.

Assemble tacos with coleslaw, shrimp, and additional toppings as preferred. Serve with rice and beans if desired, and a margarita is the perfect cocktail!

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  • http://www.coeurdela.blogspot.com caroline

    Oh my all of these recipes look incredible!!!

  • Anonymous

    Mmmm, all of this looks amazing, especially that citrus dutch baby!

  • http://www.thebitesizedblog.com Jonathan Meter

    I like the image of the citrus dutch baby. Dark, dramatic light, the shadows are nice and i find that highlight on the fork appealing.

  • http://collology.blogspot.com Colleen

    Yum to the shrimp tacos!

  • KenB

    Looks good, and pretty healthy too!