September 2008

Wow! This summer was certainly quite different from the last few I’ve experienced. I had two boys home full time, and although Angie was out at sleep away camp, Jerry has been restructuring his practice and that left me with a “staycation” option, and a few quick “Sofrito Girl” getaways. I managed to eat some pretty good food, however, in my never-ending quest to find the perfect seviche, or pastelillo crust. I ate at some very fun restaurants (see, and tested many more recipes for my work in progress, and had meetings for the classified project of the century, ‘wink’, and more or less enjoyed the semi-down time of the summer. I wrapped Labor Day off with a family barbeque, that quickly turned into something completely different (which is usually the case at Casa Daisy!), and quite frankly, I am now stoked and ready to embrace the cool evenings of September, and all of the treasures to be savored in this season.

Labor Day was supposed to be an easy, laid back affair; Erik asked me if we could grill, and he might mention it to a couple of friends. You are all well acquainted with my motto: “Cook enough for all here, and anyone that shows up!”, so that’s never an issue. I thought I would make some grilled hot dogs (Boars Head loose dogs, my fave!), smoke some pork spare ribs, and fry up a mess of southern fried chicken along with a few salads, and some ices from the local NYC ICY. Sounds fairly easy, right?

When all was said and done, Erik’s girlfriend joined us for dinner, and Lee and Loni, my poor, long suffering neighbors were going to the US Open, and their good friend Mike (whom I love!) was picking them up, so I told Loni,”You know, it’s never idea to watch tennis on an empty stomach…you guys better stop at the house first. Long story short…much yumminess ensued.

I started things off with traditional deviled eggs and cold beer. We had the crispy, juicy fried chicken (my secret recipe of a few herbs and spices), the bbq smoked spare ribs, and the hot dogs on the grill. I love how no matter what’s on the menu, if you make grilled hotdogs everyone grabs those first! The salads were wonderful; I made a simple Heirloom Tomato Salad with basil and garlic with a fruity extra virgin olive oil from Greece, that my friend Cristos made from olive trees on his farm that a rapturous. This is the best time of the year for tomatoes. I also made a Red Beet and Granny Smith Apple Salad with a white Wine Vinagrette that was too pretty to bear, and unbelievably delicious Judge for yourself:

An Avocado Red Onion Salad with a Cilantro Lime Citronette was a virtual party of buttery goodness and acid kapow in your mouth, with the red onion just hinting bite. And I rounded out the menu with the sweetest corn on the cob I have ever tasted! You can pictures for all the dished on

That was the perfect farewell to summer. Tuesday I was back in the kitchen, looking forward to the comfort that an asopao would bring me in the cool evenings ahead (and I look forward to those with anticipation!). This month’s exclusive recipe will be featured on Boriquablog as a tutorial, the Asopao de Mariscos, the beloved soupy rice dish of Puerto Rico, chockfull of shrimp and crabmeat. You can round out your asopao with some Dulce de Papaya and a bit of cheese….anything else with your Asopao de Marisco is going to weigh you down make you fall asleep!…Not that that’s a bad thing!

Please join me in my farewell to summer and my embracing autumn, and all the deliciousness that comes with it!

Hasta pronto!

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