3 Simple Last-Minute Dishes for Your End Of Summer Parties

Summer is coming to an end, which means you’ve got one?last?chance? to up your dinner party game. For those of you panicking right now, don’t. We tapped chef Matt Simpson of Montecito in Toronto for a few easy, last-minute dishes to whip up. While these recipes may look like they took hours of labour, they’re actually quite easy to recreate (let’s face it, some of aren’t blessed in the culinary department). Behold, a simple tuna crudo, delicious street corn and a classic burrata salad, all of which beg to be documented via Instagram. Cheers!

Tuna Crudo

1 pound fresh albacore tuna
1 litre Verjus marinade (recipe below)
200 ml lime juice
3 Anaheim chilies, thinly sliced
125 ml crème fraîche (or sour cream), in a squeeze bottle or piping bag
Half a bunch of mint leaves, picked
Maldon salt

Ingredients (for Verjus marinade):
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced
2 limes, zest and juice
125 ml Verjus
60 ml rice wine vinegar
125 ml cold-pressed canola oil (or olive oil)

How to (for the Verjus marinade):
1. Slice the red onion and add to a bowl.
2. Season onion with 2 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp sugar, and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Add the sliced cucumber, lime zest and juice and vinegar and let sit for another 5 minutes.
4. Add the Verjus (chef Matt uses one from Niagara Pinot Noir) and then whisk in the oil.
5. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary. Refrigerate until needed.

How to (for the dish):
1. Slice tuna into a half inch slices and place into a bowl.
2. Cover the tuna with Verjus marinade and lime juice.
3. Stir to combine and allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Arrange slices of tuna on a plate. Season with Maldon salt and top with the rest of the marinade.
5. Garnish the dish with the sliced chilies, dots of crème fraîche and mint leaves.

Street Corn

3 cobs of corn, shucked and steamed or boiled for 2 minutes
250 grams butter, softened
1 shallot, small dice
3 tbsp ancho chili powder
Hot sauce (your favourite brand)
250 ml sour cream
Half a bunch of coriander
2 tbsp lime juice
1 small piece parmesan
Lime wedges

How to (for the ancho butter):
1. Gently heat shallots in butter until soft.
2. Add ancho powder and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and then set aside to cool.

How to (for the coriander crema):
1. Blend sour cream, coriander and lime juice together and set aside

How to (for the dish):
1. Cut each corn cob in half and then grill until charred on all sides, brushing with the ancho butter as you go.
2. Once done, plate and drizzle with hot sauce and coriander crema.
3. Grate parmesan cheese over top and serve with the lime wedges.

Burrata Salad

1 250g ball of burrata
2 heirloom tomatoes
1 heirloom cucumber
4 basil leaves, picked
4 nasturtium leaves
2 nasturtium flowers
1 tsp elderflower vinegar (or cider vinegar)
2 tbsp cold-pressed canola (or olive oil)
Maldon salt
Black pepper mill
4 slices of sourdough, grilled

How to:
1.Take the burrata out of the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
2. Slice the burrata in half and place cut side up in the middle of a large bowl. Season with Maldon salt and black pepper, and drizzle 1 tbsp of cold-pressed canola over top.
3. In a separate bowl, cut the tomatoes into wedges and the cucumber into slices. Tear up the basil leaves and one of the nasturtium leaves. Dress with the elderflower vinegar, 1 tbsp of cold-pressed canola, Maldon salt and pepper. Stir gently and then arrange around the burrata.
4. Garnish with the other nasturtium leaves and flowers and serve with the grilled sourdough.

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