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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Guest Blogging & Cooking with Aveline Caterer's

I am so thrilled today to have a guest blog written by an old friend from back home on good old Long Island. This friend, husband and; father is also an incredible chef and whipped up some amazing summer grilled treats to share with us today. When Reg agreed to do this post, I couldn't wait to open the email to see what goodness lied ahead as I knew it would be delicious and family friendly. Happy Summer to you and your family, Reg...Thank you for sharing your recipes with Dooley Noted Style!

Meet The Ligonde's

Reginald Ligonde is the chef owner of Aveline Caterers and Event Services, Aveline Caterers, a full service off premise catering company based on the South Shore of Long Island. Chef Reggie, along with his friends at Bottle of White, also offer complete wine tours to the wineries out on the East end of Long Island. Chef resides in Brightwaters, NY with his lovely wife of 9 years, Colleen, his 8 year old son Avery, 3 year old daughter Madeline, and his best friend, a rescue black lab named Abbey!


So being a chef, I find myself in a pickle when it comes to balancing being a daddy and husband to pretty picky eaters. I have to balance my need for cooking amazing meals with keeping in my mind that my roommates might not be as excited or adventurous as I am! As picky as my crew is, there are a few things that I can cook and they love no matter the presentation, shrimp and chicken.  One of my favorite things to prepare are Mediterranean grilled jumbo shrimp skewers served with fresh grilled Long Island cherry tomatoes and peppers, all topped with a cilantro garlic wine sauce. I often chose to prepare chicken wings, both the drumette and the flat wing, because they are small enough for the kids to enjoy.  Shrimp skewers and chicken wings are also perfect for entertaining because they can be served as starters or the as the main entrée and let's face it, kids love food on a stick!

I marinate both the shrimp and chicken wings in the same special herb and spice blend (recipe below). The marinade is a mixture of herbs such as cilantro and parley, with garlic, green onions and Serrano peppers. I like to leave the seeds in the pepper to give it a little zing. I also add my secret weapon, a “Good Seasonings” packet! Yes, Good Seasonings, the salad dressing, and I use it on almost everything.  It has the perfect mixture of garlic, onion, sweet red bell pepper, carrots and Italian spices. Trust me; pick up a pack in the supermarket and add it to ALL your favorite recipes. In the summer on Long Island, there are many local farmers markets offering a beautiful selection of fresh and beautiful veggies. I got a beautiful mix of sweet red and yellow cherry tomatoes and sweet red, yellow, and orange mini peppers. I also like to serve the both meals with fresh Long Island sweet corn, which I grill in the husk and a small side of red leaf lettuce with a simple lemon, garlic olive oil dressing.

Cooking the meal is the easiest part and one of the other reasons I love it. Make sure you have a clean, hot, well-oiled grill. I usually cook the shrimp and veggies at the same time, on opposite sides of the grill.  One of the most important grilling tips I can share is to make sure you let the food “do its thing” and turn only ONCE! This ensures nice grill marks and a perfectly cooked product. Once the veggies, pineapples, and shrimp are finished and removed from the grill, I clean the grill, oil it again, and begin to cook the chicken wings. Make sure to use a clean pair of tongs when cooking the chicken, and to have separate utensils for working with the raw and cooked chicken.

I like to use a store made jerk sauce for the wings (save A LOT of time and its pretty fabulous) this one is my favorite to use.  You can find this in your local supermarket in either the condiment or “ethnic” foods aisle. I also like to add fresh cilantro, the juice and chunks of the grilled pineapple, and a little dark rum if you have it because let's face it a little booze makes everything better.

The best part of this whole experience is to watch my lil monkeys faces when they sit down to eat the shrimp and chicken wings.  Although I know it is a pretty epic meal, they enjoy it as much as chicken nuggets from McD’s! As long as they enjoy it and I get to see those beautiful smiles, you can call me Chef McDad!

Grilled Jumbo Mediterranean Shrimp Skewers

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup of green onions, bulb cut off
12-15 cloves of garlic
¼ cup of olive oil
2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
2 pound large shrimp (16/20), shelled, deveined, tails left on and patted dry
1 Serrano chili, with seeds
1 packet of “good seasonings” Italian dressing
 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Special equipment: 6-inch skewers, soaked in cold water for at least 1 hour

Grilled Tomato Relish

1 pint fresh sweet cherry tomatoes(mixture of red and yellow)
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves(leave a ¼ for garnish)
4 cloves of chopped garlic
1 large lemon zested and juiced
¼ cup of dry white wine
¼ cup of olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the shrimp: Add all ingredients, excluding skewers, to food processor and blend to a paste like consistency. Remove from the bowl, reserve about a cup of the marinade for the wings and toss the remaining to the shrimp that has been coated in the packet of good seasonings spices and toss to coat in the mixture. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
Prepare a charcoal grill or gas for direct grilling, high heat.
For the grilled relish: Coat the cherry tomatoes with 2tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp each of salt and pepper. Use a medium size sauce that is on med high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan, then the garlic and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, immediately add wine, lemon juice and butter. Add grill tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste and immediately remove from the fire.  
Thread 2 skewers through 6 shrimp so that the shrimp lay flat. Grill until golden brown and slightly charred on both sides and just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
Remove the shrimp to a platter and poor grilled tomato relish over skewers

Grilled “Island” wings


Spice marinade made above
18 chicken wings (about 3 1/4 pounds), the wing tips cut off and reserved for another use
4 green onions, green parts only, coarsely chopped( reserve for garnish)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 pineapple, peeled, sliced and core taken out

Use the marinade from the preceding shrimp recipe
For the wings: Add new spices to already made marinade and blend in mixer. Pour the marinade over the wings, turning them so that they are well coated. Leave them to marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight, turning the wings over once or twice.
Prepare a charcoal grill or gas for direct grilling, medium heat
Barbecue or roast the wings, turning them a once, until they are fully cooked through, about 15 minutes. Cook's Note: The juices should run clear when a skewer is pushed into the wing's thickest point. Baste every so often with the jerk sauce
While the wings are cooking, place pineapples slice on the barbecue, for a few minutes until it they have caramelized with nice grill marks. Keep a close eye on the pineapples to prevent them from burning.
Serve the wings with the grilled peppers and pineapples.

Serve and enjoy!!!

can you stand the cuteness of these two - I cannot, absolutely adorable!

The Chef & his biggest fans


  1. Looks like I know what I'm making for dinner tonight ~ Chef "McDad's" Mediterranean Shrimp :-) This Good Seasonings secret weapon has me totally was my favorite dressing as a kid, so I can't wait to see how it translates into a marinade!

    1. I know - I love a secret to a trade, so going to try this weekend! Let me know how yours comes out!

    2. P.S. I have used these recipes a few times since this post and LOVE them! I've even used the Good Seasonings trick in other homemade marinades along with fresh herbs (instead of yanking out the whole spice rack), and it's been two-thumbs-up every time. Thanks again!!

  2. Yum! I am going to try to make the shrimp this weekend for a BBQ I am invited to. Thanks for sharing!


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