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How to throw a themed party

Tired of the same ole’ BBQ, cookout or get-together? How about throwing a “themed” party, with little to no fuss?! Kristen York, Head Chef with “A Cut Above Catering,” shows us how!

Here are the full recipes!Fried Plantains (Tostones) with Cilantro Lime Crema Prep Time: 5 min Total Time: 15 minYield: 4-6 servingsFor the Tostones:2-3 ripe green plantains (*note, they turn brown when fully ripened. Look for plantains with nice even dark color, slightly soft, no “squishy” spots.)1 1/2 cups of canola oil (or enough to fill skillet 3/4 inch deep) Sea Salt or Kosher Salt to tasteIn a deep medium sized skillet, add oil and on medium to medium-high.Meanwhile, slice both ends off of each plantain. With the tip of your knife, cut a straight line, lengthwise, through peel from top to bottom. Use your fingers to separate the peel from the flesh, working along the line you created. It’s okay if you score into the flesh of the plantain. It will live 😉Cut each plantain into 3/4 inch slices. Make sure the oil in your pan is shimmering, before adding the sliced plantains. Cook the slices for about one minute on each side, until golden. Using tongs, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Next, locate any kind of smashing device somewhere in your kitchen. (Glasses, coffee mugs, and measuring cups are all good candidates). Just make sure it’s flat on the bottom and no larger than 3-4 inches in diameter. On a cutting board, stand your plantain pieces upright and smash them! If your plantain is sticking to the bottom, a little oil applied beforehand will help. You can also use a knife or spatula to remove those stubborn ones. Give them a second go-around in the hot oil for another few minutes on each side. They should be golden brown. Transfer to your paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt to taste. For the Cilantro Lime Crema1 cup sour creamJuice of 2 LimesZest of one lime1-2 garlic clovesA small handful of fresh cilantro (about 1/3 cup) Pinch of saltIn a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients until well blended. This can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Grilled Flank Steak w/ ChimichurriServes 4Prep time: 10 minutesCook Time: 20 minFor the Steak2 lbs of flank, skirt, or flat iron steak1/2 tbsp salt1 tsp granulated garlic1/2 tbsp black pepper1 tsp cumin2 tsp chile powder2 tbsp olive oil (not extra virgin)Mix all seasonings in a smal bowl. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to approximately 400°F. Rub steak with olive oil, and then apply spice rub. Once grill is nice and hot, grill steak for 3-5 minutes on each side, until desired temperature. Tent with foil, and let rest for at least 15 minutes. For the Chimichurri1 cup fresh parsley (large handful)1/3 cup fresh cilantro (medium handful)2-3 stems of oregano leaves, stems removed3 tbsp red wine vinegar1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oilJuice of one lime2-3 cloves of garlicA Pinch of SaltBlack Pepper and Crushed Red Pepper to taste

In a food processor or blender, combine vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, parsley, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse several times and then add the olive oil in a steady stream while the machine is running. This is even better made a couple of days ahead of time. Use it to marinate meats or as a basting or finishing sauce for chicken and fish.

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