Top Chef’s Carla Hall Shares Her Favorite Scrumptious Summer Recipes

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Carla-Hall

The summer social season is in full swing, and there’s no better way to welcome the warm weather and show off your sun-kissed skin, than with long leisurely meals under the stars. Instead of battling the crowds, host your own your festive fête on your Manhattan rooftop or Hamptons backyard with mouth-watering recipes from Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s The Chew and former Top Chef contestant. These foolproof creations are sure to wow your guests and make you the star of the evening. 

Spicy Eggplant Dip

IRRESISTIBLE APPETIZER

Spicy Grilled Eggplant Dip (serves 4-6)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
3 baby Italian eggplants
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 serrano chilies, thinly sliced
6 Tbsps Extra Virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
5 Pitas
2 Tbsps white sesame seeds
¼ cup basil

Directions:
1) Preheat outdoor grill to 400 degrees F.
2) Using a sharp knife cut eggplants lengthwise. Crosshatch the flesh of the eggplant.
3) Place 3 eggplant halves into a foil packet. Repeat process with remaining eggplant.
4) Season each ½ eggplant with 1 Tbsp of olive oil, garlic, serrano chilies, salt and pepper. Close up the foil pack by sealing the sides and top. Grill for 15 minutes.
5) Meanwhile, prepare the pitas. Lightly brush the front and the back of the pitas with olive oil. Generously sprinkle both sides with sesame seeds. When ready to serve dip, place pitas on the grill for about 2 minutes a side, until golden brown. 6) Remove and cut into triangles.
7) When eggplants are cool enough to handle scoop out the flesh into a food processor. Pulse until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.
8) Fold in fresh basil and serve warm with freshly grilled pita chips.

Chicken Kebab Ingredients

ENTICING ENTREE

Kebabs (serves 4-6)
Prep time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Steak Kebabs
Ingredients:
1 1⁄2 lbs boneless sirloin, cut into 1 1⁄2 inch cubes
1 orange, juice and zest
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsps honey
1⁄2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
6 sprigs thyme
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Chicken Kebabs
Ingredients:
1 1⁄2 lbs chicken, thighs and breasts mixed (boneless, skinless), cut into 1 1⁄2 inch cubes
1 grapefruit, juice and zest
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsps honey
1⁄2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
1 cup mint leaves
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Pork Kebabs
Ingredients:
1 1⁄2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into 1 1⁄2 inch cubes
1 lemon, juice & zest
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsps honey
1⁄2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
3 springs rosemary
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
12 inch skewers, soaked in water for at least 1 hour

Directions:
1) Preheat outdoor grill to 400 degrees F.
2) Place all ingredients into a zip top bag. Allow each meat to marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
3) Remove meat from marinade and skewer. Place skewers of meat on grill and cook until desired doneness. The chicken should be cooked until an internal temperature
of 165 degrees F is reached and the pork, an internal temperature of 145 degrees F
is reached.

Pina Colada Popsicle Ingredients

Pina Colada Posicles

DECADENT DESSERT

Pina Colada Popsicles (makes 10-12)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 lime, thinly sliced into rounds
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup pineapple juice
2 cups pineapple chunks
10-12 popsicle sticks

Directions:
1) In a small saucepot, stir together sugar and water. Toss in the sliced lime, simmer over medium heat until sugar is absorbed and lime is fragrant. Strain and allow to cool slightly.
2) Place simple syrup, coconut milk, pineapple juice and pineapple chunks in a
blender. Gently blend until almost smooth but still has some fresh pineapple visible.
3) Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze 8 hours or overnight. Remove from molds and
enjoy a refreshing, healthy treat!

Photo Credit: Greg Powers

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