Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kings of Leon and a Mediterranean Tailgate Spread

Last Night Kings of Leon played at Walnut Creek. I prepared a spread of goodies for the pre-show parking lot events, it was fantastic.

Fresh off of a recent breakup, and as a treat for the hard work I've been putting in to training for my upcoming ten-miler and half-marathons, I spent yesterday getting a new coif and shopping for some new duds! I haven't felt so good in a while!  Read on for our awesome tailgate spread!

Event: Kings of Leon Tailgate
Location: Walnut Creek Amphitheater Parking Lot
Reason: Our Sex Is On Fire
Menu: Greek Style Orzo and Shrimp Salad
          White Bean Dip
          Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Greek Style Orzo and Shrimp Salad
1 lb. dry orzo (I like to use the whole wheat kind if it is handy)
4 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (I zap a large lemon in the microwave for about 20 seconds and use the juice)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (one of the herbs I tend to use dry)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb. cooked and cleaned shrimp
3 fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped or a pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 small container of feta cheese, crumbled
1 small can sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
2 Tablespoons fresh mint, minced
2 Tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced
From One Kooky Cook

Boil orzo and garlic cloves about 9-11 minutes.  Drain and rinse twice.  I like to add a splash of vegetable oil to make the pasta less sticky and give it some sheen.  Set garlic cloves to the side.  Prepare shrimp.  I like to buy one pound packages of large cooked frozen tail-on shrimp to keep around for this recipe.  It is so easy to keep the ingredients on hand and whip up in a hurry. Allow the shrimp to thaw while preparing the rest of the salad.  A shot of cool water every couple of minutes will help to speed up the thawing process without cooking the shrimp further.

From One Kooky Cook
Mash garlic cloves with 1/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt to form paste.  Whisk together with lemon juice, thyme, and olive oil to make dressing.

Combine orzo, shrimp, tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, black olives, mint, and parsley.  Toss well with dressing.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with additional minced mint and parsley if desired.

From One Kooky Cook

White Bean Dip
1 can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 good sized shallot, rough chopped
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (juice of one large lemon)
1/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 Tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsely, minced

Combined beans, shallot, lemon juice, salt, olive oil, and oregano in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Garnish dip with parsley.

Serve with pita chips or crackers (I like Carr's Roasted Garlic Table Water Crackers), strips of red, green, and yellow bell pepper, grape tomatoes, and cucumber slices.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
8-10 large sized strawberries, rinsed
4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate

Melt baking chocolate, microwave 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted.  A small spoonful of shortening can be added to make smoother, but chocolate will not re-harden as readily.  Dip strawberries into chocolate and transfer to parchment paper.  Cool in refrigerator until ready to serve.

From One Kooky Cook
From One Kooky Cook

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