Friday, July 28, 2006

Fruity Gazpacho

The Recipes: Two recipes today, both really show off summer's best fruits.

First, an unusual savory-sweet soup I call "Fruity Gazpacho" that's good as an appetizer, an entrée, even a dessert. It mixes fruits and vegetables and is positively fresh and delicious. Next, a light and summery fruit salad, sweetened with no more than a little sugar and fresh mint.

The Story: How I became a seasonal cook, way back when.

Fruity Gazpacho @ KitchenParade.com, an arrestingly colorful fruit 'n' vegetable soup that's good as a starter, an entrée, even a dessert. Positively fresh and delicious. Vegan, gluten-free, paleo. Weight Watchers PointsPlus 4.

Blame the gazpacho.

Yes, it was a bowl of tomato-y, onion-y, pepper-y soup that heaved my culinary style into the camp called seasonal fare.

Setting: A basement meeting room in a downtown hotel in Kansas City.

Time: November, not the unseasonably warm and sunny golden days that Missourians love but an unseasonably wet and bone-chilling day that Missourians dread.

By noon, the group was shivering and starved, happy to move just to generate heat, better yet to hunt up lunch in the next room.

Waiting there were big bowls of soup. “Ohhhh,” we thought. “Something warm!” But instead the soup was cold, spicy gazpacho, a summer specialty. Not a spoonful was eaten.

So make it hot soup in November. But on a steamy summer day, cold soup is refreshing and soothing. This is a new-this-summer favorite shared by a Webster Groves reader who reports that her young sons eat it up.

It’s savory enough for a starter, hearty enough for a main dish and sweet enough for a dessert – really!

ALANNA's TIPS Fruity Gazpacho holds its taste and color in the fridge for several days so don’t hesitate to make two batches one after the other to use up the cucumber, pepper and avocado. If you’re watching calories closely, the avocado creates a creamier texture but isn’t essential. I've learned the hard way to pull out the food processor: my low-power blender doesn't have enough power to blend this mixture. It might do better if the melon and vegetables were cut into small pieces.

READER RECIPE: FRUITY GAZPACHO

A starter, entrée or … dessert!
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Makes 5 cups
  • 1/2 a honeydew melon, skin washed well before cutting, cut into large pieces
  • 2 cups green grapes
  • 1/2 a cucumber, preferably English, peeled and seeded if not
  • 1/2 a green pepper
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds & membrane removed
  • Zest & juice (about 1 tablespoon) of a lime
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley
  • For garnish, quartered grapes and diced cucumber, pepper and avocado or lime slices, optional

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor (see TIPS) until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 135 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 29g Carb; 3g Fiber; 30mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 4

SUMMER FRUIT SALAD

Lovely flavor, texture and color contrast
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
  • Blackberries or cherries
  • Green grapes
  • Peaches, chopped
  • Other fresh fruit, to taste
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Gently combine the fruit. Whiz the mint and sugar in a food processor and sprinkle over the fruit.



Summer Fruit Salad @ KitchenParade.com, just summer fruits sweetened with mint sugar. Vegan. Gluten Free.

At its peak, summer fruit requires no adornment. Summer Fruit Salad is sweetened with no more than a little sugar and fresh mint. Here's the recipe, Summer Fruit Salad.


Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

More Cold Soups for Summer

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Cantaloupe-Tomato Gazpacho Cold & Creamy Cantaloupe Soup Vichyssoise

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

Quick Links to This Page

(for easy bookmarking and searching)
~ Summer Fruit Salad ~





© Copyright 2006, 2010 & 2015 (repub) Kitchen Parade



Friday, July 21, 2006

Two Favorite Refrigerator Pickles

Who loves refrigerator pickles as much as I do? 'Refrigerator pickle' may not be a universal term but it's what I call pickled vegetables that keep in the refrigerator anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, preserved without the trouble of "canning". Along with 'refrigerator salads', refrigerator pickles are so handy to have on hand to add to a salad, a quick lunch plate, even a small midday snack.

Cucumber & Pepper Refrigerator Pickles

When it’s too hot to cook during summer’s dog days, experience a refreshing waft of cool air just by opening the frig to reach for a jar or two of pickled vegetables. Both these make for easy, tooth-crunching sides for grilled meat or supper salads.

MARINATED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Baby cabbages in an herb dressing
(see photo below)
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Chill 4 hours before serving
Serves 8
  • Generously salted water to cover
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, preferably fresh of about equal size (frozen sprouts also work)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt & sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano & thyme
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Bring water to a boil. If using fresh sprouts, trim stem ends, remove outer leaves and cut an X into core with tip of a knife (this promotes even cooking). Cook for 6 – 8 minutes until cooked but still bright green. Drain.

Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add hot sprouts, stir several times. Chill for 4 hours before serving.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 67 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 11g Carb; 4g Fiber; 182mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers Old Points 1, PointsPlus 1

CUCUMBER & PEPPER
REFRIGERATOR PICKLES

Homemade pickles without the fuss
(see photo above)
Hands-on time 15 minutes
Chill 4 days before serving
Makes 6 cups
  • 1-1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (4 tablespoons for sweeter pickles)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (makes for great color!)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 English cucumbers, quartered lengthwise, then cut in chunks
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper (or a mix), diced
  • 1 sweet onion, in half moons

Bring vinegar, sugar and seasoning to a boil in a saucepan.

Meanwhile, prep vegetables and arrange in layers in a six-cup glass container. Pour hot liquid over top. Refrigerate for 4 days, turning occasionally. Use within two weeks. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Half Cup: 29 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 7g Carb; 1g Fiber; 199mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers Old Points 0, PointsPlus 1
ALANNA's TIPS Both recipes work beautifully with frozen vegetables for extra-easy on-hand vegetables. A six-cup container holds two pounds of frozen vegetables. If you like, add a bit of diced onion or colorful sweet pepper. Do use a glass container for the vinegars and spices will permeate and stain plastic. Besides, clear glass filled with summer-bright, ready-to-eat vegetables just looks so pretty!

Another Favorite: Marinated Brussels Sprouts


Marinated Brussels Sprouts

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite refrigerator pickle recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. "Like" Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

More Favorites for the Refrigerator

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Alice Waters' Coleslaw Bloody Mary Salad Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
~ more salad recipes ~

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(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

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~ Marinated Brussels Sprouts ~





© Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade



Friday, July 14, 2006

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

My longtime favorite recipe for blueberry pie, fabulous with fresh blueberries that "pop" in the light sour cream filling and topped with a toasted-almond streusel.

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie ♥ KitchenParade.com, my longtime favorite recipe for blueberry pie, fabulous with fresh blueberries that 'pop' in the light sour cream filling and topped with a toasted-almond streusel.

"Yes." That’s the answer, always accompanied by a puckish grin, when some of my favorite men, not a yes-man among them, are asked about their favorite pies. Cream pie? Fruit? With meringue? À la mode? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Left over for breakfast? Yes again, at least when the answer comes from my own father.

Credit thirty years of pie-baking to my Uncle Marv, who beamed and extolled and then insisted on seconds with my first pie, a creditable Thanksgiving apple, when I was just sixteen. With such psychic income, what aspiring cook wouldn’t happily enter the pie business?

In all that time, this blueberry pie ranks high among favorites. It shouts summer, the berries puffed plump in light, sweet cream. It smells delicious and tastes even better.

It will make yes-men (and yes-women) of us all.

When I was a girl, blueberry picking was an all-hands endeavor at the summer cottage in the Whiteshell of Manitoba. "No picky-no eaty," Nana would admonish as she led all the aunts and cousins into the rocky woods to brave bears and skeeters to gather buckets of wild blueberries.

So there's a special spot in my palate for the northern orbs of summer ... and while wild berries are a rare treat these days, during the season I'll buy pint after pint (after pint) of berries as long as they last at the supermarket.

ALANNA's TIPS Sorry, this pie really needs fresh blueberries to be special. It's how they soften and "pop" after baking. This is the pie recipe I use for frozen berries during the winter, it's a rustic Blueberry Galette. Two pints of berries fit perfectly in a standard pie dish. If yours is a deep dish, use three pints. Unsurprisingly, the better the berries, the better the pie. One year, the pie was (slightly) disappointing because the berries had so little flavor. And I only use full-fat sour cream in this pie too, even though I'm a fan of low-fat sour cream in many, many situations. Refrigerated pie crusts are big time savers and have improved immeasurably. Though not comparable to a perfect homemade crust, they’re quite good, especially when rolled, just a bit, slightly thinner. If you'd like to try making a homemade pie crust, be sure to check out the photo instructions and tips for How to Make Flaky Tender Pie Crust. Tips for crust makers: for perfect slicing, lightly butter the pie pan before arranging the crust; for easy handling, use equal parts cake and all-purpose flour; for delectable flavor, use half lard, half butter; for tenderness, refrigerate dough for an hour before rolling. For years, I’ve substituted a Penzey’s spice blend called "cake spice" in recipes calling for cinnamon or nutmeg. Last summer I discovered Penzey's "baking spice". It turns this pie from superior to sublime.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

BLUEBERRY SOUR CREAM PIE RECIPE

Berries puffed in light sweet cream
Hands-on time: 15 minutes over 70 minutes
Time-to-table: About 3 hours
Serves 10
    CRUST
  • 1 unbaked pie crust, homemade or refrigerated (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
    FILLING
  • 2 or 3 pints (4 or 6 cups/550 or 775g) fresh blueberries (see TIPS)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (8oz/227g) full-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (16g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (see TIPS)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
    TOPPING
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons/1/2 stick/57g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (32g) all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar or raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup (2oz/56g) toasted sliced almonds

CRUST Roll out the pie crust, then transfer it to a glass pie dish. Freeze the crust for 10 minutes while the oven heats up. (These next extra steps help the crust get brown and crispy.) Put an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and put a baking sheet upside down on that rack. Heat the oven to 400F/200C. Before putting the crust in the oven, gently cover the crust with foil being especially careful with the edging. Fill the foil with sugar (my favorite!) or dried beans or pie weights to keep it in place. Bake the crust until the sides set, about 12 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil. The crust is now "par baked" – it's only partially baked but has a head start before the fruit is added.

FILLING Pick through and wash the blue berries, drain well in a colander.

Whisk the egg in a large bowl. Add the remaining filling ingredients and combine well, then gently stir in the blueberries. Pour the filling into the partially baked crust.

BAKE Bake until filling is just set, about 25 minutes. It's not done yet, not until the topping is on and baked!

TOPPING (Update! For streusels, I used to always fully melt the butter in the microwave. Not anymore! Why not? Because melted butter makes for a greasy streusel. In fact, as I look at the current photo, I can tell from the buttery gunk on top that I melted that butter! Must fix that! If your butter is stone-cold from the fridge, you can verrry gently warm it in the microwave. First, cut it into tiny cubes, then microwave 6 seconds at a time, maybe once, maybe twice or three times. But no melting!) Cut the butter into tiny cubes. Stir in the remaining topping ingredients. With your fingers, rub the ingredients together until well combined, then drop in small dollops evenly across the top of the pie.

FINISH BAKING Bake until the topping browns slightly and crisps up, about 12 minutes.

COOL & SET Cool to room temperature, then chill to set the filling. Allow several hours for cooling and chilling.

NUTRITION INFORMATION for BLUEBERRY SOUR CREAM PIE Per Slice, assumes 10/8 slices: 387/484 Calories; 21/27g Tot Fat; 11/14g Sat Fat; 43/54g Carb; 3g Fiber; 325/397mg Sodium; 58/73mg Cholesterol; 25/32g Sugar; 5/6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 9/11, WW PointsPlus 11/13, WW SmartPoints 17/22 (and worth it!) WEIGHT WATCHERS TIPS Portion size matters, especially with a rich indulgence like a good piece of pie. Beginning in 2012, I'm changing my standard portion size for pie from 8 slices to 10 slices. Since it will take awhile to make the transition, I've included the nutrition information for 8 slices as well.

More Recipes for Summer Pies & Tarts

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Summer Berry Pie Blueberry Cheesecake Pie Easy Elegant Fruit Tart

I ♥ Blueberries!

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Peach Blueberry Cake Peacherry Blues (Peach, Cherry & Blueberry Sauce) Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ blueberries ~
~ sour cream ~
~ almonds ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~





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