Southwest-Inspired Twists On Familiar Summer Recipes

It’s our riff.

  • Category
    Eat & Drink, Homes
  • Produced & photographed by
    Kara Mickelson
  • Above
    Summer Fruit Shortcake

Summer Fruit Shortcake

(Pictured Above)

Serves 2


Avoid the heat of the oven on a hot day with these gluten-free honey almond cornmeal biscuits. They can be whipped up in a jiffy using a microwave. Add fresh seasonal fruit for a delicious dessert in minutes.

  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons mild olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1½ teaspoons almond extract
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Frangelico liqueur (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons apricot jam (optional)
  • ½ cup fresh sliced strawberries
  • 1 nectarine, seeded and sliced into small wedges
  • ½ cup Rainier cherries, seeded
  • Honey Yogurt Whipped Cream

In a small bowl, whisk together almond flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined. Add eggs, oil, honey, and almond and vanilla extracts to the dry ingredients. Mix completely. Fill 2 (4-inch) ramekins with equal amounts of batter. Place one ramekin in the microwave and heat on high for approximately 1 minute. The batter will rise while cooking. Carefully remove (ramekin will be very hot). Place on a wire rack to cool for 1 minute before unmolding. Repeat cooking steps for second ramekin. Biscuits can be made one day in advance. Cool and store wrapped or covered under refrigeration. Heat for 15 to 20 seconds in the microwave before serving.

Slice biscuits, creating a top and a bottom, and place on plates or a platter. With a pastry brush, brush liqueur on the top of the biscuit base. Spoon a teaspoon of apricot jam on the base of each biscuit or drizzle with honey. 

Add sliced strawberries on top of biscuits. Arrange the rest of the fruit on the plate or platter surrounding the biscuits. Top each biscuit base with a large dollop of Honey Yogurt Whipped Cream. Add the top biscuit and drizzle with more honey. 

•••

Honey Yogurt Whipped Cream

  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey

Whip cream until soft peaks form. Whip in yogurt and honey. Add more honey to taste. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Make up to 1 day in advance and store covered in refrigerator. Whisk briefly before serving.

Grilled Tuna Fish & Chips

Serves 4


Fire up the grill for this healthy take on fish & chips. At the risk of fishing for compliments, we think you will love this seafood swap.

  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil (such as grapeseed or safflower)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 tuna steaks
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons crushed coriander seeds
  • Olive Butter
  • 3 small lemons & 1 small lime, cut into wedges

To make the fries, heat grill to medium high (450º). Lightly oil a large cast-iron skillet and place a sheet tray near the grill for cooked fries. Cut potatoes lengthwise into batons that are ¼-inch thick and 3½-inches long. Place potatoes in a bowl of water to cover. Add ¼ cup salt and stir with your hands to release the starch. Chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes or overnight. 

Drain potatoes and dry well with paper towels. Place in a bowl or plastic bag and drizzle with oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper. Mix ingredients to evenly coat potatoes. Place potatoes in oiled skillet, leaving space in between potatoes so they don’t steam. (Cook in batches if necessary.) Cook potatoes for 30–35 minutes or until light golden brown and crispy on the edges. Flip fries with a spatula only if they are getting too crispy on the bottom. Transfer cooked fries to a sheet tray and place on top rack of grill to keep warm until all potatoes are cooked. 

Start tuna steaks after fries have cooked for 25 minutes. Dry tuna steaks with paper towels to remove any moisture. Rub each side of steaks with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill tuna without turning for 3½ minutes or until grill marks are visible. Flip steaks and cook another 2½ to 3½ minutes. 

Top each steak with an equal amount of crushed coriander seeds and a teaspoon of Olive Butter (recipe below). Finish cooking until an internal temperature reads 125º to 130º if you have sushi- grade tuna and like it rare, or 140º to 145º if you like it medium to well done. Transfer to a serving plate. Squeeze a wedge of lemon juice and place a slice of Olive Butter on top. Serve with baked fries and citrus wedges on the side.

•••

Olive Butter

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup sliced green olives, seedless
  • 1 tablespoon rough-chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon rough-chopped oregano leaves

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until slightly firm. Remove and place on a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll into a 2-inch by 4-inch log and place into refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Butter can be made two days in advance if stored tightly wrapped in refrigerator.

Fruit & Nut Breakfast Porridge

Serves 2 (10-ounce bowls)


In place of oatmeal, try this grain- and dairy-free breakfast porridge. It’s light yet filling and chock-full of high-fiber fruits, warm coconut milk and crunchy tropical nuts … like sunshine in a bowl!

  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled, seeded & cubed
  • 6 dried plums, pitted
  • 2 Medjool dates, seeded
  • 8 macadamia nuts or Brazil nuts
  • ½ cup watermelon, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 banana, cut in 1-inch cubes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled, chopped or grated

Place all ingredients into a medium saucepot. Heat to a simmer. Remove from heat and ladle equal amounts of the porridge into the bowls.

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