Cooking and Chef Recipes

Taste the Seashore Summertime Salad

Divas summertime salad

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy with this bowl of big shrimp, sweet crab, peppery watercress, a zing of fresh red onion and a backbeat of  basil and mint.  

The dressing plays along, a simple harmony of lemon juice and olive oil hitting just the right notes. And for a little hot fun in the summertime, the divas amp up the chili peppers for a slow burn.  

Shrimp and crab are crowd-pleasers, but almost any seafood combo will do. You might prefer calamari and scallops, or maybe lobster and tiny mussels. Mix and match your favorites from the market, just leave time to cook your ocean treasure.  

It's best if this salad sits for about an hour so the flavors meld before serving—no need to put it in the fridge. Just pile it on a platter and share at the table, a nice supper of fresh seafood in a dressing, a crisp white wine and some crusty bread.

 It might be hot, hot, hot, but you’ll keep your cool. 

Yes We Tandoori Turkey Burgers

tandoori turkey burger copy

July is burger month in most every backyard across the land. But where's the beef? Health and style-conscious divas are grinding up fresh ahi, shrimp, chicken and turkey breast to get their burger on.

In theory, ground turkey breast should make a decent burger, but its fragile texture is woe to conform to patty status. Even with the addition of egg and bread crumbs, the result is more mom's meatloaf than burger. 

Chia to the rescue. The tiny seed swells to 12 times its original size, forming a flavorless texture-enhancing gel which elevates the turkey burger.  For flavor, we're adding turmeric and cumin spiced tandoori. Serve 'em up on buns, naan, or red leaf lettuce cups topped with sliced apple, red onion and a basic raita.

Mango Chorizo Fried Rice

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Oh, mango-licious June! Fruit that gives to an oh-so-gentle squeeze, as ripe and rosy as a blushing June bride. Grab your reusable produce bags and run, don't walk, to the nearest farmer's market. 

Perhaps mangos are best devoured over the sink, the sweet, sticky juice flowing over your chin. But we love them in a host of creative dishes: salads, salsas, gazpacho and more--they are even delish pickled with black mustard seeds and Indian spices. And there’s a laundry list of laudable health benefits: vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber to name just a few.

We love this trendy Latin-Asian creation with fried rice, slivered rounds of smoky chorizo, spicy jalapeños, fresh basil and mango. Serve it with eggs scrambled in the same pan, or fry the eggs separately and serve on top. A brunch, lunch or quick supper to celebrate the season, mango style.

Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Icing a Dad's Day Treat

Diva chocolate cake

For dads who love sweets, there’s nothing quite like a chocolate cake baked from scratch – the pure, rich flavors of dark cocoa beat a box mix any day.  Except for the measuring, it’s doesn’t take any longer to create your own masterpiece, the perfect gift of love for Father’s Day.

Add this golden caramel frosting with a flourish of sea salt and you’ve got flavors that sing. Our newest “divas in training,” teen-age twins named Juliet and Olivia, created this masterpiece that we just had to share. And if 13-year-olds can do it, so can you. 

African Fruit Fool a Mother's Day Treat from the Divas of Dish

Divas fruit fool

Ahhh, Mother’s Day – the only day of the year when you’ve got an excuse to stay in bed and let the kids (and hubby) bring you breakfast with the paper and a steamy latte. 

Instead of a messy repast of bacon and eggs (and a messy kitchen for you to face), show them this sweet, easy recipe that we think is just right for nibbling in bed, and a nice counterpoint to a cup of coffee. We sampled it years ago on a Disney trip at Boma – Flavors of Africa restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. 

A little bowl of sweetness that’s perfect for sharing. Happy Mother’s Day from the divas. 

Diva Coctel de Camarones

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There are dozens of ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Beyond boxed taco shells heaped with beef and melted cheese, we envision a lighter and más auténtico menu.

Pulled from sparkling Mexican waters (or your grocer's freezer), nibble succulent wild shrimp, chilled for hours in a tangy sauce spiked with fresh herbs, tomatoes and chipotle chilies. The Mexican shrimp cocktail is all about the sauce, thicker and sweeter than ceviche, with an unexpected splash of orange soda.  Scoop it up with crunchy corn tostadas or lettuce cups. For sipping, mix up a batch of lusciously light wine margaritas. Cool, bubbly and sans tequila (after all, “seis de Mayo” is a workday. 

Crunchy Creamy Chopped Southwestern Salad from the Divas of Dish

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As temps and hemlines rise, the divas rally 'round the green stuff. Gone are the days when unwieldy cuts of iceberg, tomato and cucumber ruled the bowl, today we are tossing in all things edible: cooked, raw, blanched or toasted with creamy and non-creamy dressings, preferably fresh. 

We love this chopped salad for its crunchy texture. Cabbage replaces softer lettuces, along with sweet-crisp jicama, scallions, peppers, chilies, lots of fresh cilantro and pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds). Substitute the chicken breast for lime-marinated grilled shrimp, or serve the salad simply, as a side dish or veggie entree. 

To go with, we're whisking up a from-scratch creamy cilantro dressing. As with any dish, we encourage your creativity. Inspired add-ons might include a drizzle of low-sugar barbecue sauce, corn relish, tortilla strips or crumbled cotija cheese.

Sweet Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Ah, tomato season in Florida, such a joy to find the sweet, juicy orbs ahead of the Northern imports. We have a back yard full and love them straight off the vine. But nothing beats a slow-roasted tomato – so sweet you’ll swear that someone snuck in some sugar. 

Divas roasted tomatoesRomas are good, but any tomato will do, especially those that are starting to get a little too soft. A slow roast brings out the best, so that even second-rate tomatoes turn into something special.  We use them in pasta, chopped on fish, on sandwiches, warm in a cool, crisp salad for a little pizazz.  They make a satisfying snack right out of the fridge – but be careful, we guarantee you won’t eat just one. 

The Other Red Sauce

the other red sauce1 copyConsider this the other red sauce: naturally sweet red bell peppers, preferably organic, roasted with garlic until nicely charred, whirred in a blender until smooth, then married with a dollop or two of creamy, decadent butter. Caramelizing the ruby red beauties renders them even sweeter, creating the perfect complement for pasta, roasted veggies or just about anything grilled. 

As you probably already know, red bells are one of the most healthful veggies one could lust after. Swoon for vitamins A, C, and B-6, along with lycopene and all those free-radical-fighting antioxidants. A bit of roasted garlic and extra-virgin olive oil make the super sauce a super food.

As we couldn't go wrong, we're pairing the sauce with blissfully buttery sea bass. To go with, try grilled asparagus or just-wilted spinach tossed with feta.

Savory Breakfast Oatmeal from the Divas of Dish

We grew up eating oatmeal with a giant spoonful of brown sugar and a pile of fresh berries, topped off with a splash of milk.  But some mornings, the divas feel like a savory start to the day – and why not keep heart-healthy oatmeal at the bottom of the bowl?

Divas Oatmeal Instead of sugar and berries, our favorite combo is a crispy shitake mushrooms, onions and garlic with a drizzle of sesame oil and a splash of soy sauce.  With a handful of chopped arugula and dash of hot pepper flakes, we’re set. But this is one you can make your own: bacon, diced tomatoes or a poached or fried egg, whatever suits you fancy.  Cook up a batch of oatmeal and keep in the fridge, then thin with a little warm chicken or veggie broth to create a satisfying meal that helps keep the dreaded cholesterol in check. 

We love hearty, steel-cut oatmeal, though it takes a tad longer to cook.  But if your preference is instant oatmeal and you’re out the door, that works too. This is one of those recipes you simply can’t mess up. 

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