The other day I had a few friends over for drinks before we had out for dinner. I wanted to make a few quick appetizers to go along with the martinis.

After a short discussion we went for:

Tuna tartare on crackers
Caprese skewers
Shrimp and prosciutto
We prepared all of them in the afternoon and finished them off in the early evening before the guests arrived. The tartare is really the only one that requires at least an hour so the tuna can marinate properly.

Let’s start with the caprese skewers.

This is really easy. Ingredients:

cherry tomatoes
byte-size mozzarella
lots of basil (one of those big bags they have at the market)
olive oil
salt and pepper
toothpicks – regular skewers are really too big!
Just cut the cherry tomatoes in halves. I used two mozzarella bytes and two cherry halves for each skewer (note I used too. In the food processor add the basil, 3-4 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. When you are ready to serve just spread some of the basil-olive oil mix on top of the skewers! Super easy, super fresh and super tasty!

Prosciutto-wrapped shrimp.

This is also very easy to make. In fact, you can prepare it earlier and just cook it right before (it takes 5mins). Ingredients:

big prawn with no shells
prosciutto slices (no need to buy the most expensive one)
Wrap half slice of prosciutto around the shrimp. Done! I like to cook it over a hot non-stick pan. It almost acts like a grill and the prosciutto gets nice and crispy. The shrimp cook really fast, so you’ll need to cook each of them for couple of minutes (one minute each side).

Tuna Tartare cracker.

In this case I actually used a recipe from one of Ina Gartner’s books. You can also find it online on the Food Network website: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_28673,00.html

My take: you don’t need all the ingredients (but you have to use lemo!) or stick precisily to the quantities indicated. I made this dish, took my liberties and it always tastes good. You must use good tuna! Don’t skimp on the tuna!

A nice presentation helps!


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Summer is in full swing in Seattle and it’s great time for “summer food”.

Couple of days ago I prepared a grilled pranw salad. It takes about 5 mins and it very tasty!


1/2 pound of prawns (medium size)
half bell pepper
a few slices of chopped hot chilli pepper
extra virgin olive oil (3-4 tablespoons)
salt, pepper
Quick steps:

1 – In a small bowl add the olive oil, chopped garlic and chopped chilli peppers.

2 – On the bbq start cooking the shrip, it really takes a few mins (couple of mins each side)

3 – Now mix the chopped tomatoes, bell pepper and olive oil mix.

4 – time to serve!