Summer Flavors

Hurray for the carefree days of summer, when we enjoy backyard barbecues, family gatherings, Fourth of July celebrations and, of course, all our favorite dishes of the season.

In the summer months, at the top of the “request list” is my frozen Key Lime Pie, which I adapted from an Ina Garten recipe. Who doesn’t love Key Lime Pie and the fact that it is frozen is such a treat during the dog days of summer. It’s also one of my favorites because it can be made days in advance. All you have to do is prepare the fresh whipped cream right before you serve it, which takes less than five minutes. 

My Pulled Pork Sliders are perfection, and are sure to be a big hit with just about any man in your life. I love to put these on Hawaiian Rolls because the sweetness perfectly complements the tangy pork, and crunchy onion straws—combining the straws with the pulled pork literally takes it up a notch and will have your guests coming back for more. This recipe can also easily be done in two batches so you have one batch on reserve (you can even freeze the pork) for another occasion. Broccoli Slaw is a great side with these. You can find my recipe on in one of my past features. 

For the seafood lover, the Shrimp Crostini is bursting with flavor and can be prepped ahead of time. My suggestion is to have plenty of shrimp and avocado on hand, because these appetizers disappear in a flash!

Until next time…Mangia Bene! OS

Garlic Shrimp Crostini with Avocado

12 slices baguette
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 ripe avocado
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp.diced red onion
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 large shrimp
3/4 tsp.smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp.cumin
1/2 tsp.salt
1/2 tsp.freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 and move rack to the top. › Line a baking sheet with parchment and place baguette slices in even layer. › Mix butter and garlic salt in small bowl. Brush mixture on each side of slices. › Bake 10-15 minutes, until crisp. › Mash avocado in a bowl and mix with the lime juice, red onion and cilantro. Set aside. › While baking crostini, heat oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high and add shrimp, paprika, onion powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir and turn shrimp once or twice and cook until they are pink, about 5 minutes. › Spread crostini with mashed avocado and place shrimp on top. Serve immediately.

Frozen Key Lime Pie

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melt

7 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)

1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Thin lime wedges

Preheat oven to 350. › For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. › Press into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. › Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely. › For the filling, in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment beat egg yolks and sugar on high for 5 minutes, until thick. Then on medium, add condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. › Pour into the baked pie shell and freeze. › Remove pie from the freezer 15 minutes before serving so that it softens a bit to slice. › For topping, beat the heavy cream on high with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. › Spoon or pipe onto the pie and decorate with sliced limes.


Pulled Pork Sliders

4lb pork butt roast boneless or bone-in
3 tbs light brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 tbs olive oil

Trim fat from pork and cut into equal chunks. › Combine dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together. › Add pork roast chunks to rub mix and coat well. › Add 2 tbs olive oil to instant pot and set to saute. Once it indicates hot, add two pieces of the pork. Sear on each side for about 2 minutes each. Remove pork and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining pork pieces. Once pork is seared and removed from pot, press cancel and add a 1/2 cup chicken broth. › Use a wooden spoon and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Make sure to scrape up all the bits. Then add remaining chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. › Place pork chunks directly into the liquid in the pot, spacing out as best possible. Secure lid and make sure vent is set to sealing. Pressure cook/manual on high pressure for 60 minutes. Then let pressure release naturally for 20 minutes or until pin drops. › Remove pork to a large bowl and shred with two forks. Drain the juices reserving one cup to add to barbecue sauce.

Barbecue Sauce
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups tomato ketchup 
1 cup of broth from the instant pot
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 tsp spicy brown mustard
3 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Tabasco or cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stirring to combine. › Add 3/4 to 1 cup of juices reserved from your slow cooker. › Adjust to taste: add salt as needed, sweeten with brown sugar/honey or add vinegar for tart/sour. › Add back into instant pot and simmer until ready to serve. › Cut Hawaiian slider rolls in half leaving the bottoms all intact. Spread some pulled pork over the entire bottom. › Top with onion straws and top of roll.

Maui Onion Straws
2 cups Peanut oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp.cayenne pepper
1 tsp.paprika
1 tsp.garlic powder
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 sweet Vidalia Onion

In a medium sauce pot, heat the oil to 350. › Whisk the egg and milk in a medium bowl. › Mix the flour, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper in another medium bowl. › Cut the onion in half, then slice into 1-inch-thick half rings; separate into short straw-like pieces. › Add to the milk mixture to soak. Once the oil is hot enough, remove the onions from the milk mixture, shake off excess and dredge in the flour mixture, 4 or 5 pieces at a time. › Add to the pot and fry until golden brown; transfer to paper towels to drain.

I make the onion straws while the pork is cooking. I make the barbecue sauce with all ingredients except the reserved juices, then you are pretty much close to being all set by the time the pork is finished.

Posted in Living, Table

Share this post


What's New at Ocala Style

Read These Writers

Our area has an abundance of authors. Check out some...

‘Water Shapes Florida’

The new exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History...

Mastering Your Garden

The dog days of summer can be a good time...

Alligator Allegory

My grandparents were the first to build a home along...

Making Moves

Meet the Ocala-based casting director who has steadily been building...

From France to Ocala

Dr. Jose Gaudier will lecture about the Olympic Games Paris...