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Posts Tagged ‘summer recipes’

Thai Barbecue Chicken Think Thai. Think of some of the most aromatic and flavor-packed ingredients that go into Thai cooking – lemon grass, ginger, coriander, and fish sauce. Think about expanding your barbecue repertoire. Think about the option of grilling outdoors or baking indoors. Think about a perfect dish to serve at a summer party. Think about eating juicy pieces of delicious chicken. Need more encouragement? Click on the photo to enlarge it. Okay, stop thinking now. Go out and buy the ingredients to make your own exotic Thai barbecue chicken for dinner tonight!

Barbecue Chicken
The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Thai Cooking

INGREDIENTS
1 chicken, about 3 to 3½ lb, cut into 8 to 10 pieces
Lime wedges and fresh red chillies, for garnish

For the Marinade:
2 lemon grass stalks, roots trimmed
1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 shallots, coarsely chopped
1/2 bunch coriander (cilantro) roots, chopped*
1 tbsp palm sugar or light brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce

DIRECTIONS
1. Here’s how to make the marinade: Cut off the lower 2 inches of the lemon grass stalks and chop them coarsely. Put into a food processor with the ginger, garlic, shallots, coriander, sugar, coconut milk, and sauces. Process until smooth.

2. Place the chicken pieces in a dish, pour over the marinade and stir to mix well. Cover the dish and leave in a cool place to marinate for at least 4 hours, or leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

3. Prepare the barbecue or preheat the oven to 400°F. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade. If you are cooking in the oven, arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on a rack set over a roasting pan.

4. Cook the chicken on the barbecue over moderately hot coals or on medium heat for a gas barbecue, or bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes. Turn the pieces and brush with the reserved marinade once or twice during cooking.

5. As soon as the chicken pieces are golden brown and cooked through, transfer them to a platter, garnish with the lime wedges and red chillies and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Instead of cutting up a chicken into parts, I opted to use chicken wing parts.

2. *The cookbook author notes that “Coriander roots are more intensely flavoured than the leaves, but the herb is not always available with the roots intact.” According to Fine Cooking, “If you can’t find any cilantro root, substitute chopped cilantro stems with a few leaves mixed in.” I read in several places that an appropriate substitution is two cilantro stems for each root, since coriander stems are not as potent as the roots.

3. My marinade looked greener than the photo in the cookbook – I added too much cilantro.

4. Palm sugar is sold in hard-packed cakes at Asian markets. Grate the cakes to measure and use.

5. I let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator overnight and for an additional half-day.

Enjoy!

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Citrus Gazpacho A trip to the American Southwest and blistering hot days prompt me to explore the world of chilled soups. After eating at Cafe Pasqual’s, a James Beard America’s Regional Cooking Classics award winner, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I left a few pounds heavier. Not only did I eat every bit of food that was placed before me, I also toted home two of Cafe Pasqual’s cookbooks in my suitcase. In one of the books, Chef Katharine Kagel shares a much-requested recipe for a refreshing citrus-flavored gazpacho.

Citrus Gazpacho
Recipe from Cooking with Cafe Pasqual’s

INGREDIENTS
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest and fruit of 1 orange
Zest of 1/2 and fruit of 1 pink grapefruit
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Fill a large saucepan with enough water to cover the tomatoes. Place over high heat and bring to a full boil. While the water is heating, use the tip of a sharp paring knife to score a small X on the bottom of each tomato, just piercing the skin.

2. Put the tomatoes into the boiling water for 20 seconds. Use tongs to transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl filled with ice and water. (This will stop further cooking.) Allow the tomatoes to cool for a few minutes, remove them from the water, and peel their skins with either a paring knife or your fingers, starting at the scored end. Discard the peel.

3. Core and dice one tomato and reserve it. Slice the other tomatoes in half crosswise, and squeeze out the seeds. Remove the cores. Put the tomatoes into the container of a blender.

4. Place the garlic, vinegar, orange juice, and orange and grapefruit zests into the blender with the tomatoes and whirl. Transfer the puree to a serving pitcher or a serving bowl and add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and olive oil.

5. To prepare the fruit, use a paring knife on a cutting board to cut off both ends of the grapefruit and orange so that the fruit can securely stand on end for cutting. Starting from the top of the citrus, slice off all the peel and pith, following the contour. All the fruit will now be exposed. Cradle the fruit in the palm of your hand you aren’t using for slicing, and use the paring knife to cut loose each fruit segment from the inner side of the membrane. Angle the long side of the blade between the fruit and the membrane toward the center of each segment, cutting in a V configuration. No membrane should be attached to the fruit segments.

6. Add the fruit segments to the gazpacho mixture and stir.

7. Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

8. Chill well before serving.

Makes 6 cups

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I couldn’t find pink grapefruit at my local market, so I used a red grapefruit instead.
2. The recipe didn’t indicate when to add the reserved diced tomatoes, so I added them in with the cucumbers, bell pepper, and red onions.
3. I added 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
4. Chef Kagel notes in her recipe, “The trick to this recipe is to cut all the diced ingredients into uniform dimensions.”

Enjoy!

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Creamed summer Corn Ears of sweet summer corn require little embellishment to be fully enjoyed, but for a change of pace try this refreshing version of a traditional creamed corn dish. Just a little bit of lime zest, lime juice, and cayenne pepper transforms a normally predictable dish into a bright, surprisingly-sophisticated summer side dish.

Produce man Michael Marks gives this advice on selecting and storing fresh corn: When you’re picking your corn, make sure the husk is bright green and looks fresh. If it’s tanned and shriveling, it’s old or heat has gotten to it. Feel the top end. Fully mature ears of corn will have a rounded top. If the top feels pointy, it’s likely immature. Then pull down the husk and take a peek. There should be no cracks between those plump kernels. If you see any dimples in those kernels, step away from the corn. It’s old; the sugars will have turned to starch and it won’t be pleasant to eat. As soon as you get your corn home, refrigerate it and try to enjoy it within a couple of days.

Creamed Summer Corn
Torie Ritchie’s adaptation of a recipe from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller

INGREDIENTS
6 ears white or yellow corn, shucked
1 large lime
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
Pinch cayenne
1-1/2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

DIRECTIONS:
1. With a chef’s knife, cut down each ear of corn to remove kernels. Place kernels in a bowl. (To remove excess silk see note below.)

2. Holding one cob over the bowl at a time, use the back of a knife or a spoon to scrape any remaining corn and “milk” (corn juices) from the cob into the bowl. Repeat with remaining cobs.

3. Grate the zest from the lime onto a small plate and set aside. Cut lime in half. Juice lime into a ramekin and have a tablespoon measure handy.

4. Melt the butter in a large fry pan over medium heat. Add corn kernels and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Season to taste with salt.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the corn, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the corn starts to sizzle, about 12 minutes.

6. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cream, cayenne and lime zest. and bring to a boil. Adjust heat to medium and simmer until cream is thickened and almost absorbed, 6-8 minutes.

7. Taste and add more lime juice, salt, or cayenne as desired and stir in remaining cream for a creamier texture, if desired.

8. Remove from heat, stir in chives and serve.

Serves 4 to 6

LINNELL’S NOTES:
1. The easiest way to cut kernels off a corn cob is to stick the stem end into the hole of a Bundt pan. Holding the cob carefully, run your knife down the cob to remove the kernels. As you cut off the kernels, they will fall into the Bundt pan. Kitchen Tip: How to cut kernels off a corn cob

2. Here is Torie Ritchie’s note on removing corn silk: To remove any last bits of silk from the corn kernels in the bowl, set another bowl of water next to it. Swish your hands through the corn kernels in a circular motion to let your fingers pick up most of the remaining silk strands. Rinse your hands in the water bowl as you work to remove the silks. Repeat this a couple of times. I tried her technique and it worked for the most part — I still had to pick out a few strands of silk.

3. At step #7, I added a tiny bit more cayenne and the rest of the lime juice.

4. I keep an 8-ounce box of shelf stable whipping cream from Trader Joe’s in my pantry for convenience. No last minute dash out to the market to purchase whipping cream for me!

5. This recipe would go well with any tropical-type menu.

ENJOY!

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Zucchini Soup While waiting for a clerk at a used book store to sort through my bags of audio books, I casually walked up and down the aisles. A magnetic force, of some kind, pulled me to a bookcase in the far corner. That’s where my husband found me — sitting on the floor with a pile of cookbooks. He looked at me and said nothing. I could tell he was thinking, “Great, that’s all she needs is another cookbook.” I looked back at him and quickly said, “Don’t worry, I’m not buying all of these! I’m going to narrow it down to just one.” And I did. Susan Branch’s cookbook, with its tried and true recipes, lovely watercolor illustrations, handwritten pages, and a terrific price tag of $2.99, proved to be “the one” for me. It was serendipitous, as freshly harvested zucchini sat on my kitchen counter, waiting to be the stars in a delicately-flavored zucchini soup recipe from my new cookbook.

Zucchini Soup
From Heart of the Home by Susan Branch

Ingredients:
4 cups sliced zucchini
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup water
1 10 ounce can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 cup half & half
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Sauté onion in butter several minutes.
2. Add zucchini and water. Simmer 30 minutes.
3. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
4. Blend in blender at high speed until puréed.
5. Return to saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat to simmering. Serve.

Serves 4

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Because the zucchini from my garden were large and because I didn’t want to waste half a zucchini, I ended up using 5 cups. The next time I make this soup, I will use five cups of zucchini again.
2. I used fat-free half & half with perfect results.
3. Because condensed soup contains a fair amount of sodium, I added very little additional salt.
4. Since zucchini and basil are both summer produce, I will try adding fresh basil to the soup the next time I make it. The equivalent of dried herbs to fresh herbs is usually 1 teaspoon dried = 1 tablespoon fresh.

Enjoy!

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Cool and refreshing  – what more could you want from a recipe using ripe summer melons? How about something unexpected? The first few bites of this sweet melon mélange reveal subtle hints of orange and ginger, but the next few bites pique your interest. A splash of Cointreau elevates the flavors from sophisticated to sublime. Should you serve this dish as a salad or as a dessert? Your choice – it’s great for both!

Melon With Orange-Ginger Syrup
Recipe from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:
1 cup freshly squeezed and strained orange juice (about 4 oranges), plus zest of 2 oranges
1 cup sugar
1/2 ounce ginger, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Cointreau
1 small honeydew melon, cut in half, seeded
1 small canary melon, cut in half, seeded
1 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch wedges
Mint sprigs, for garnish

Directions:
1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Place the orange juice, sugar, and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil; Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved and syrup has thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; strain syrup into a clean bowl; add the Cointreau; stir to combine. Set bowl in ice bath, or chill in refrigerator, until syrup is cold.

2. Using different sizes of melon ballers, cut balls from the honeydew and canary melons. Place balls in a medium bowl; add 1/2 cup cold syrup and orange zest. Toss to combine.

3. To serve, arrange cantaloupe on a platter. Spoon melon balls on top. Serve extra melon balls on the side. Drizzle melons with syrup; garnish with mint. Serve with remaining syrup on the side.

Serves 8.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. With all the wonderful melons available, don’t feel restricted to only using the types of melons called for in the recipe. Do, however, try to select a variety of melons that will give you a colorful array of melon flesh.

2. The recipe suggests creating different size melon balls. I’m sure the presentation would have been more attractive if the melon balls were different sizes, but I only have one melon baller. That’s life!

ENJOY!

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Summer isn’t summer unless watermelons are on the menu. There’s nothing quite like biting into a slice of crisp, juicy-sweet watermelon on a hot summer day. To that end, I double your delight by presenting two recipes that highlight the qualities of watermelons and create surprising melon moments at the beginning or at the end of your meals!

Recipe Number One: The Beginning
Watermelon for appetizers? You betcha! This appetizer has it all: a salty and tangy dip juxtaposed against the sweet crunchiness of melon, with an added a kick at the end. So unexpected, but so delicious!

Watermelon Appetizer with Asian Dipping Sauce
Adapted from an August 1992 Sunset Magazine recipe

Ingredients:
1 small (6-8 lb.) or 1 cross-cut piece (4-5 in. long) watermelon
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar*
1 T minced pickled ginger
1 T sugar
1 T fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla) or soy sauce
About 1 T crushed dried hot red chilies

Directions:
1. Cut melon into small 1-inch wedges (with rind) and place on serving platter.
2. Make Asian Dipping sauce by mixing together the lime juice, rice vinegar, pickled ginger, sugar, and fish sauce.
3. Place dipping sauce in a small, shallow serving dish next to watermelon platter.
4. Place crushed red chilies in another small, shallow serving dish and place this next to the watermelon platter as well.
5. To eat, dip melon into sauce, then into chilies, as desired.

*or 1/3 cup rice vinegar and 2 teaspoons sugar

Recipe Number Two: The End
Eating watermelon for dessert is not unusual, but this recipe for Watermelon Icicles shines because of its simplicity. It’s a perfectly refreshing and low-calorie treat for a hot summer day.

Watermelon Icicles
Adapted from a 1992 August Sunset Magazine recipe

Ingredients:
Wooden ice cream sticks or “Popsicle” sticks
1 Seedless watermelon

Directions:
1. Cut watermelon into triangular-shaped pieces about 1-inch thick and 3-inches wide at the base. Remove rind.
2. Push an ice cream stick into the wide part of the slice, almost all the way through.
3. Cover a flat baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.
4. Lay the watermelon wedges in a single layer on the baking sheet.
5. Cover with plastic wrap.
4. Freeze until solid, about four hours.
5. Serve, or transfer to a freezer container and freeze up to 1 month.

Enjoy!

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