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Entertaining the Question
Outdoor Festivities Call for Creative Marinades, Tasty Sides and the Best Drinks
July, 2006 - Issue #21
Fire up the barbecue because it's summer in Santa Clarita!

This season, make an effort to be creative with your rubs and marinades. Instant espresso with ancho chile powder is so great as a beef rub. Pineapple juice, orange juice and fresh lime juice can be added to oil and garlic to make a marinade. Throw in some fresh herbs like rosemary and oregano.

For inspiration, we look in our refrigerator to see what needs to be used. Many a great marinade has been created from this method; too bad we can't always remember what we did to achieve the final product! Think outside the box: We've added tequila, beer and cola to our marinades. Embrace your playful side for amazing results.

Now on to side dishes. There is more to the backyard barbecue than potato salad, macaroni salad and grilled corn. This season, try out new foods. When grilling peppers, don't just use red or yellow bell peppers; add wax peppers, poblanos or anaheims. Go to the Farmers Market, look for produce that you have never used before and throw it on the grill. We are using grilled fennel right now; the flavor it adds will surprise you.

To help with your adventure with the grill, have a beverage. Wait until you taste this margarita. You will never use bottled margarita mix again! For a real treat, try the yummy Brazilian milkshake.

Grilled Potatoes and Zucchini with Sherry Vinaigrette
1/2 cup Sherry Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
4 pounds red-skinned new potatoes, unpeeled
1 pound medium zucchini, cut into AŻ inch thick rounds
3/4 pound radicchio, coarsely chopped
8 ounces chilled soft goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
Chopped fresh chives


Whisk vinegar and mustard in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in three-fourths cup oil, then shallot. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; cool. Cut potatoes in half; place in large bowl. Add one-and-one-half tablespoons oil and toss to coat; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine zucchini and one-half tablespoon oil in medium bowl. Toss and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

On the barbecue, grill potatoes until golden, about five minutes per side. Transfer to bowl. Grill zucchini about three minutes per side. Add to potatoes. Add one-half cup of vinaigrette; mix gently.

Mix radicchio into potato salad; add more vinaigrette and salt and pepper. Mix in half of the cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and chives. Serves eight.

Cabbage, Fresh Fennel and Carrot Slaw
1 2-1/2 pound cabbage, quartered, cored, and very thinly sliced
2 fresh fennel bulbs, trimmed, halved, very thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled, coarsely shredded
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce


Combine cabbage, fennel, onion and carrot in large bowl. Whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar and hot sauce in medium bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Add dressing to cabbage mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate at least two hours. Serves 10.

The Margarita
1-3/4 cup Cuervo Gold Tequila
1/4 cup orange liqueur
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp finely grated lime zest
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
8 lime wedges for garnish
Ice


In advance, combine tequila, orange liqueur, water, lime juice, zest and sugar in a pitcher. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then let the mixture steep in the refrigerator, covered, for six to eight hours.

Salt the margarita glasses. Add ice to the margarita mixture and stir, or combine in a shaker and strain. Pour into the prepared glasses. Garnish with lime wedges.

Batido
1/3 cup Coco Lopez
1/3 cup cachaca
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
4 cups crushed ice


Combine the coconut cream, cachaca and condensed milk in a blender with the ice and process until smooth. Pour into tall glasses and enjoy the festivities.

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Cindy and Tamra are the vivacious duo that makes up RSVP Catering.
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