Dress & Dine – Seafood Boil

Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Growing up on the East Coast, I’ve always associated summer with seafood. However, don’t let me confuse you into thinking that I’ve always liked seafood, because I haven’t. When the Little Mermaid was introduced into my life, seafood dishes didn’t stand a chance. In fact, I was so obsessed with that movie that I avoided eating all sea life until about the age of 16 (Oh, you mean you don’t base your diet of your favorite Disney movie?! It’s all the rage! #dietbydisney). Except for the forced pieces of fish on Fridays during Lent, I was only about creatures of the land. Then someone (read my Mom) forced me into trying shrimp cocktail…and I kind of liked it. Eventually I began to drift away from the mermaid days and into the land of adult tastebuds where I found that fish wasn’t all so, well, fishy, crab cakes weren’t so crabby, and lobster rolls were actually kind of amazing. I’m still picky about my seafood- I don’t really get cravings for it, I only eat calamari and clams fried, I’m not a fan of oysters or salmon, and I refuse to eat seafood unless I’m by the coast and I know it’s fresh (sorry Midwest). So you’re probably wondering why the heck I even bothered to do a seafood boil? Well, in case you missed it up there seafood and summer go hand-in-hand, especially when you live on the coast. Secondly, a seafood boil can be completely customized to fit your (sometimes picky) seafood needs. Last but not least, I love a burger as much as the next girl, but sometimes, it’s just fun to switch things up when it comes to summer entertaining.

Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress// Since I’ve now mentioned several times how seafood and summers and living by the sea all go together, it would make sense to wear something nautical (read stripes). However……I decided to go with plaid. I know. Me not wearing stripes is basically the equivalent of Saint Laurent without the Yves. It’s weird. Let’s move on. So obviously, the outfit is super caj, because it’s summer and it’s a weekend and you’re cooking over a fire (or grill) and basically ain’t nobody got time to be all fancy pants. So an over-sized plaid shirt (borrowed from the Mr.), jean shorts, and booties it is. 

Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dine// Cooking a seafood boil is great because it’s literally fool-proof (i.e. even a non-cooker can cook this) and you can customize it as much as you want. For us, we did-

  • Shrimp
  • Mussels
  • Kielbasa (cut into pieces)
  • Red Potatoes (cut into pieces; could also use the mini potatoes)
  • Corn-on-the-cob (cut into halves)

You could also do-

  • Lobsters
  • Crabs
  • Clams
  • No potatoes or corn
  • Only one type of seafood
  • All types of seafood and no meat

Obviously, the options are endless. As far as serving the seafood boil, I recommend keeping everything else easy and rustic. Cover the table with old newspaper, have some fun napkins, put silverwear in a mason jar, add a few plants (for daytime) or candles (for nighttime), and then serve the seafood on a baking sheet. Because the seafood is filling (especially if you add in the corn and potatoes) I simply recommend having a crusty bread on the side (we sliced ours, then brushed it with olive oil and grilled it for a few minutes), as well as drawn butter (for the veggies and mussels), and for drinks, craft beers complete the meal nicely. 

Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef Dress & Dine - How to Host a Seafood Boil via @runwaychef I know there aren’t many summer days left, but you can definitely do this through the end of September and of course, there’s always Labor Day weekend!

Seafood Boil
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lbs. unpeeled Shrimp
  2. 2 lbs P.E.I. Mussels
  3. 2 Kielbasa (cubed)
  4. 4 Ears of Corn (halved)
  5. 6 Red Potatoes (halved or cubed)
  6. 3 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
  7. 2 Bay Leaves
  8. 2 tsp Salt
  9. 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  10. 1/2 tsp Sugar
  11. 1 Lemon (halved and juiced)
  12. 1 12oz can of beer
  13. 8 Cups of Water
Instructions
  1. Add 8 cups of water, Old Bay seasoning, salt, pepper, sugar, bay leaves, beer and lemon juice to a very large pot and bring to a boil (on the stove, over a fire or on a grill).
  2. Add potatoes and corn and let sit in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, add in the mussels and kielbasa and let pot cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Once the 3 minutes has surpassed, add in the shrimp and let the pot cook for another 7 minutes.
  5. Periodically check the shrimp during this time. If the shrimp have a rosy-pink color they are done and you can take the pot off the heat. Let the pot sit for approximately 5-7 minutes, this will allow all of the flavors to mold and come together.
  6. Once the pot has sat, take out corn and potatoes and place on tray, followed by the kielbasa, mussels and shrimp. Serve immediately.
  7. Store leftovers in a tightly covered container for up to 2 days.
Notes
  1. Amounts can easily be cut in half, doubled, tripled, etc to make this more appropriate for a smaller or larger group of people.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/

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Zucchini Casserole

Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef #vegetarian What I’m about to say is going to sound a little odd, especially since part of my job is writing recipes, buuuut……I almost never follow a recipe (don’t worry, I do test all the recipes that make it onto this blog). I have a folder full of recipes that rarely get touched, magazines that only get browsed through, and cookbooks that are used for decorative purposes. About 95% of what I cook, I just wing. I throw in a little of this, a little of that, and a pinch of this (I rarely measure things either) and it just works. This is how I’ve cooked most of my life as has my Mom. I do get inspiration from magazines and cookbooks, but the recipes that inspire me are ones that I usually follow more as guidelines than as an actual recipe. Obviously, then, for me to say I found a recipe that I like and follow almost to a ‘T’ is a big deal. Such is the case with this zucchini casserole recipe. My Mom found this recipe a while back and started making it all the time. When I moved out, it was one of the recipes I made sure to take with me. Mr. RC and I now have it on a pretty regular basis. It’s healthy and light enough for summer but comforting enough for cold winter days. And in case you’re worried about satisfying the carnivores in your life, you’ll be happy to know Mr. RC loves his meat but is constantly requesting this dish. Whether you follow recipes or you don’t, this is one I highly suggest you add to your arsenal.

Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef

Zucchini Casserole
Serves 6
A tangy and nutty casserole that is both healthy and light while also being the perfect comfort food
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup bulgur (I've also use quinoa and brown rice)
  2. 3/4 cup boiling water
  3. 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 cups sliced onions (about 1 1/2-2 medium-sized onions)
  5. 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  6. 6 cups thinly sliced zucchini or summer squash (about 3 small or 2 medium/large zucchini)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  8. 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  9. A dash of black pepper
  10. 2 eggs
  11. 1 cup feta cheese crumbles (5 ounces)
  12. 1 cup cottage cheese
  13. 1/4-3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (depending on tastes preferences)
  14. 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  15. 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  16. 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
  17. 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced (or a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced)
  18. 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl place the bulgur and the boiling water. Stir and set aside until the water has been absorbed.
  2. In a medium-sized skillet, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until the onions are just translucent. Add the zucchini, dried herbs, and black pepper and continue to sauté on medium to low heat until the zucchini is tender. I sometimes cover the pan with a lead to help the veggies cooke faster.
  3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then mix in the cottage cheese and feta cheese.
  4. To the bulgur, add the tomato paste, soy sauce and parsley and stir until combined.
  5. To assemble the casserole, grease a 9x9" pan. Then layer the bulgur mixture on the bottome, the sautéed vegetables in the middle, and finish with the feta mixture. Top with the cheddar and the tomatoes.
  6. Cover with foil then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. I usually take the foil off after about 30 minutes so that the top gets crustier.
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes for easier serving. Store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Notes
  1. This pairs nicely with a tossed salad, some crusty bread and a nice glass of red wine.
  2. To bake this in a 9x13" pan, I only double the bulgur mixture.
Adapted from New Recipes from Mossewood Restaurant
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
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Summertime Italian Pasta Salad

Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef One of the most common lunches we had growing up was pasta salad. There was no set recipe. It simply consisted of whatever veggies we had on hand, dressing, maybe some cheese and/or meat, always a bit of lettuce (which I hated at the time), and pasta (obviously). Because this is how I still make my pasta salads, I’ve never felt the need to write out an actual recipe (also, because the recipe would read something like “Take everything you have in your fridge and toss it in a bowl with some pasta.”). I lie. I did write down one pasta recipe, for this healthy deli-style pasta salad. It was so good that I knew it needed to be replicated and that was only possible with a recipe. But all other 27,895 pasta salads I’ve made in my lifetime are pretty much a one time deal. Until I made this salad. It’s kind of like the pasta salads I’m used to making where everything gets thrown into a bowl, except the things I threw into the bowl this time were so good, that like my deli pasta salad, it just had to be written down.

Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef

Summertime Italian Pasta Salad
A light & healthy pasta salad loaded with the fresh flavors of Italy
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. Pasta, cooked al dente (I used half a box)
  2. Proscuitto (I used 4 slices)
  3. Cherry Tomatoes (about 1/2 cup)
  4. Olives (about 1/2 cup)
  5. Radishes (about 3-4, sliced)
  6. Basil (a handful, shredded)
  7. Arugula (a large handful)
  8. Parmesan (about 1/4 cup, grated)
  9. Truffle cheese (optional; I used about 1/3 cup of mini cubes)
  10. Olive oil (a generous drizzle)
  11. Salt & pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Toss all ingredients together in a large serving bowl. Drizzle generously with olive oil and toss with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge for up to 2 days in a tightly sealed container.
Notes
  1. I put the amounts I used in parentheses, but please keep in mind all of these ingredients are completely adjustable, based on taste preference as well as what you have on hand. Feel free to leave anything out and/or add anything else in. I think this would taste great with some roasted corn or cauliflower as well as goat cheese.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
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Dress & Dine – Outdoor Pizza & Movie Night

Dress & Dine - Outdoor Pizza & Movie Night || Runway Chef My favorite nights are always the ones that happen to include pizza and movies. I mean, what could possibly be better than lounging in comfy clothes, stuffing your face and zoning out to a movie? Obviously, pretty much nothing. Unless of course you take said movie night and move it outdoors. Warm summer nights? Grilled pizza? Backyard lounging? Yes, yes, and yes! Read on for all my tips on hosting an outdoor pizza and movie night in this month’s Dress & Dine, and, in the comments, I would love to know what your favorite pizza toppings are as well as your favorite movie! 

what to wear to a pizza party Dress// I don’t know about you but when I think pizza and a movie, I think comfy, comfy, comfy. If I’m staying in, you better believe I’ll be in sweats and an over-size tee with my hair in the messiest of buns. If I’m going out the sweats get replaced by leggings, and if I’m going with someone other than my husband the leggings get replaced by boyfriend jeans (sometimes). Regardless of the bottom half, the bun and oversized tee remain constants. For this outdoor pizza extravaganza, I updated the jeans and tee look to something more appropriate for summer entertaining. Regular jeans were replaced by white ripped jeans, I went with a t-shirt that wasn’t oversized (and was nice and bright for warm weather), and my messy bun became a neater, tighter bun (at least until the humidity hit it).  Of course, some fun earrings were needed to tie the look together and make it party appropriate.

how to host an outdoor pizza and movie night Dress & Dine - Outdoor Pizza & Movie Night || Runway Chef

Dine// Having a “make-your-own pizza bar” is one of the easiest entertaining ideas you’ll ever do. Set-up a variety of toppings (the options are endless so have as many or as few as you want) and pizza dough balls (you can pre-make these ahead of time, just roll them in flour so that they don’t stick to each other) and you’re good to go. Since this pizza party was an outdoor affair, I kept the toppings more summer-appropriate. Mr. RC stuck to grilled veggies and mozzarella on his pizza, while I did proscuitto, arugula, peaches, sautéed onions, sage, truffle cheese, parmesan cheese, and balsamic drizzle on mine. Here’s a complete list of all the toppings we had:

  • Proscuitto
  • Arugula
  • Tomatoes
  • Grilled zucchini, yellow squash, and asparagus
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Sautéed mushrooms, onions and peppers
  • Peaches, sliced
  • Fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, sage)
  • Cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, truffle cheese)
  • Olive oil and balsamic vinegar glaze

Of course, you can’t forget about dessert! We decided to do s’mores pizzas as they are super easy and probably taste better than an actual s’more (although the verdict is still out on this one). Here’s what you need for your s’mores pizzas:

  • Graham crackers
  • Marshmallows (mini or regular size work)
  • Dark chocolate chunks (can also use chocolate chips)
  • Peanut butter chips (butterscotch would also be a great flavor to have)

For the pizza dough, there are many affordable and healthy pre-made dough options. Orrrrr, you could just make my 5 minute pizza dough recipe that requires no kneading, no waiting time, and no rising. Yes, you read that right. Yes, this is basically the best thing since sliced bread, or sliced pizza. Either way, it’s the best. My Mom started making this recipe years ago and then passed it on to me. It’s the only pizza dough recipe I’ve ever used and, since it’s the best pizza crust I’ve ever had, I’m going to say it’s the only pizza dough recipe I’m ever going to use. A bold statement I know, but trust me. And if you don’t, just make this dough so you can see taste for yourself. 

meat and cheese plate grilled vegetables sauteed mushrooms, peppers and onions outdoor tabletop decor s'mores pizza pizza party grilled summer pizza grilled pizza grilled vegetable pizza arugula and proscuitto pizza grilled s'mores pizza outdoor pizza party

5-Minute Pizza Dough
The easiest and tastiest pizza dough you'll ever make; no knead, no rise, no wait and ready in 5 minutes
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 teaspoons of yeast
  2. 2 tablespoons of sugar
  3. 1 cup warm water
  4. 2 tablespoons oil (I use vegetable or olive oil)
  5. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  6. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast and sugar. Add in the salt, then the oil and finally the flour. You can then proceed to use the dough immediately or let it rest for up to 30 minutes. I've also covered the dough with plastic wrap and kept it in the fridge for 24 hours before using it.
  2. To use the dough, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Prepare your baking pan (or cast iron skillet or pizza stone). I spray mine with oil then sprinkle it with a dusting of fine cornmeal. Spread your dough onto the pan then top with your favorite toppings. For a baking sheet, bake the pizza for about 20 minutes. For a cast iron skillet, start with the pan on a medium heat burner for 5 minutes, then bake for 15 minutes. For a pizza stone, bake 15-20 minutes. For the grill, preheat your pizza stone for about 20 minutes. Cook the pizza on the stone for about 5-6 minutes or until the edges are golden-brown.
  3. This makes enough dough for for one 10"x13" baking sheet, 2 12" skillets, 1 pizza stone or about 7-8 mini pizzas.
Notes
  1. Use extra flour or cornmeal on the dough and your fingers when you are pressing the dough into the pan. It will keep it from sticking to your fingers and will help the dough to spread out more easily.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/

Greek Salad

Greek Salad Up until we went to Greece, I typically thought of Greek salad as rather blah. With bland produce and a basic dressing, about the only thing the salad had going for it was the feta cheese (give me all the feta!!). And then, in Santorini, I had the most life-changing Greek salad ever. Literally, my life will never be the same (you can see the salad here). I have visions of this salad while I eat lunch, or nightly dreams where I’m back in Santorini eating it, and to this day I can still taste the sweet, crisp vegetables, the crunchy bread, and the salty feta all topped off with the slightest hint of oregano. The vegetables alone would have been life changing. They were literally bursting with juicy flavor unlike any I had ever experienced (even homegrown) and the green pepper (which I’m normally not a fan of) tasted like candy. Now, every time we go to a Greek restaurant, I order a Greek salad, in the hopes that it will somehow magically be like the one in Santorini, and every time I’m so let down by the plate they bring out, that I just want to send the plate back. I’ve informed Mr. RC that the only remedy to this problem is to go back to Santorini so I can get my Greek salad fill (and hoard about 50 pounds of it back on the plane). He had to go and be all practical and suggested I just recreate it at home. Obviously, my idea is much better, but to tide me over I’ll go with his idea. Of course, it’s not exactly identical (the vegetables aren’t quite up to par in flavor and mine is missing scallions), but this Greek salad is still, most definitely, life changing. 

Greek Salad Greek Salad Ingredients Croutons cucumber, tomatoes, peppers Greek-Salad-Recipe

Greek Salad
A light and fresh dish based on a traditional Greek salad served in Santorini
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. Kalamata or Greek mix olives
  2. Caper berries
  3. Feta cheese
  4. Tomatoes
  5. Green pepper
  6. Cucumber
  7. Bread (I like to use a rustic or Italian style)
  8. Parsley
  9. Oregano
  10. Lemons
  11. Olive oil
Instructions
  1. First, make the "croutons". I like to use a cast iron skillet, but a regular skillet would work as well. Place the pan on a burner turned to medium heat. Add in some olive oil, and let it heat for a couple minutes before adding the bread. Toss the bread in the oil, and cook for a few minutes, tossing the whole time, until the bread is crispy and golden. Turn the burner off and set the pan aside.
  2. Next, prep and cut the vegetables and cheese. The feta cheese I like to cut into thick triangles and the tomatoes I like to cut into sixths. The peppers and cucumber I cut into thin, matchstick strips that are about 3-4 inches long.
  3. To begin assembling the salad, place a generous handful of croutons on the bottom of a large plate. Next, arrange the cucumber and pepper strips on top of the bread. Add on a few tomato slices and pieces of feta. Drizzle the entire plate with olive oil and squeeze on the juice of half a lemon. Finish the salad off with a sprinkle of oregano, salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley.
Notes
  1. This salad is great as an appetizer, a light lunch, or as a part of a dinner meal. We love to have this with grilled chicken and a glass of red wine.
  2. This can be prepared up to 6 hours in advance and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. Any leftovers can be refrigerator but keep in mind the bread will get soggy, so I would recommend storing the two separately if you do happen to have leftovers.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/