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Hurricane Party

Good food, great friends and bad weather: That’s life in August in the Big Easy. We’ve learned the hard way that severe weather warnings shouldn’t be taken lightly, but we also recognize the fact that seasonal thunderstorms and power outages don’t have to stop the party. Although gracious hosts generally live by the “fresh is best” motto, all agree that in inclement weather a quick trip to the grocery store is not always possible. So this hurricane season, keep your pantry stocked with dried and canned goods that are packed with gourmet potential. You won’t need electricity or refrigeration to concoct these delicacies. All you’ll need is resourcefulness, creativity and candlelight — and lots of Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Mix!

Gazpacho Martinis
2 14.5-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
Combine the first eight ingredients in a large martini shaker. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Pour into four martini glasses. Add TABASCO sauce to taste, and garnish with avocado cubes. Serves 4

Tapenade Toasts
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons capers
1 1/2 cups fresh parsley
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
Ground black pepper
12-16 Italian toasts
Using a mortar and pestle, crush the pine nuts into a paste. Add olives, a few at a time, and crush until olive pieces are very small. Add the capers and parsley, and mash until the mixture reaches a chunky consistency. Transfer into a bowl. Stir in olive oil, lemon juice, dried basil and black pepper. Spoon mixture on top of toasts. Serves 4

Recipes from The Storm Gourmet: A Guide to Creating Extraordinary Meals Without Electricity
by Daphne Nikolopoulos

Preparation Needed

Daphne Nikolopoulos shares the five nonelectric utensils that are essential for your storm-ready kitchen.

1. Manual can opener: Choose one with a soft grip and a good locking system.
2. Whisk: It will get mixtures smoother than a spoon if you’re blending and mixing without electricity.
3. Screw-top jars: Keep various sizes on hand for shaking dressings and sauces.
4. Martini shaker: It’s the ideal makeshift blender.
5. Mortar and pestle: It takes some elbow grease, but using a mortar and pestle is the perfect way to mash everything from spices to garlic. F

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