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Summer tips from TV chefs

Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, Sandra Lee, and Eric Ripert share their secrets

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Eric Ripert

A Top Chef-Tested Salad

”This green papaya salad is refreshing and exotic,” says Eric Ripert, 45, the new judge on Bravo’s Top Chef: D.C. who’s also wrapping up production on season 2 of his delectable PBS show, Avec Eric. ”It gives lightness to seafood and can also be served with any white meat. On its own, it’s the perfect summer appetizer.”

1 large green papaya, peeled, seeded, and julienned

1 small carrot, peeled and julienned

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced

¼ cup fresh cilantro, julienned

¼ cup fresh mint leaves, julienned

¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon mirin

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Let the salad marinate for 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Serves 4.

Recipe from the upcoming Avec Eric cookbook (out in November)

Perfect Cocktails to Beat the Heat

Looking for a little liquid refreshment? Try these cooling concoctions from three Food Network personalities.

Sandra Lee’s

Shimmer-tini

”It’s an unbeatable flavor combination — reminds me of an easy, breezy vacation day on the beach,” says the host of Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee.

Ice cubes

2 shots vanilla vodka

1 shot unsweetened pineapple juice

½ shot bottled key lime juice

2 tablespoons cream of coconut

Fill a martini shaker with ice cubes. Add ingredients, and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass. Makes 1 drink.

Paula Deen’s

Watermelon Cooler

”This is one drink that’s so yummy, it can almost pass as dessert,” says the host of Paula’s Best Dishes.

1½ pounds (4 cups) sliced seedless watermelon, rind removed

1 cup lemon sorbet

1 lemon, zested

1½ cups cold water

Watermelon wedges and mint, for garnish

In a food processor, blend watermelon, sorbet, and lemon zest until very smooth. Stir in 1½ cups cold water; cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve over ice, and garnish with watermelon wedges and mint. Makes 2 drinks.

Guy Fieri’s

It’ll Thump Yer Melon

”Nothing like a fresh melon cocktail for the summer,” says the host of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. ”It’s cool and refreshing.”

2 cups casaba melon, peeled and cubed, plus ½ cup balled

2 cups watermelon, peeled and cubed, seeds removed, plus ½ cup balled

½ cup sugar

8 cups ice

10 ounces citrus vodka

5 ounces melon liqueur

½ cup lemon juice

In a blender, add cubed melon and watermelon, sugar, and 2 cups of ice. Blend until smooth. In a pitcher, add remaining ice, vodka, melon liqueur, and lemon juice. Stir in fruit puree, and garnish with melon and watermelon balls. Makes 6 to 8 drinks.

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