Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cold & Creamy Cantaloupe Soup

A simple concoction of puréed melon and milk, brightened with a little lemon zest. So simple and yet ... somehow so unusual, so comforting, so not-your-every-day cantaloupe.

Cold & Creamy Cantaloupe Soup
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

Once upon a time a Sunday, a girl sat on a stool in what by the standards of the day was a big kitchen. She marveled at the commercial cooktop's high-BTU burners and the double ovens.

This was no showcase gourmet kitchen. It was a cook's kitchen with good knives within easy reach, a granite workspace for rolling crusts and croissants, a pantry lined with not-then-common small appliances, a food processor, a bread maker, an ice cream maker, a wine cooler. Years of Gourmet magazines were in easily searchable stacks.

Mostly, she marveled at the kitchen dance performed by the cooks, a husband and wife team working in rhythm side-by-side, conferring, consulting, connecting with one another and the food.

That hot Sunday, a steamy day in July – it was Dallas, after all – the girl fell off her tall stool into the world of simple, seasonal food prepared with care but without fuss.

ALANNA's TIPS This soup will knock you over. Allowed to meld overnight, it takes on a lemony sweetness that makes for something almost sippable, completely spoonable. The soup will separate as it chills but easily re-combines with a good stir or shake.
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!

COLD & CREAMY CANTALOUPE SOUP

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 24 hours
Makes 8 cups
  • 1 large ripe cantaloupe, washed well
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • Dash white pepper
  • Dash salt

Slice the skins off the melon, cut in half and remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into rough cubes. Purée in a food processor or blender, this should yield about 5 cups.

In a large pot, combine the cantaloupe, butter, sugar and lemon zest. Gently bring to a boil and let simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Stir in the milk and bring back to a simmer, let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate overnight.

Serve chilled in chilled bowls as a starter or as a main-course soup with a salad or sandwich or as a savory fruit dessert.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Cup: 144 Calories; 8g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 24mg Cholesterol; 92mg Sodium; 14g Carb; 1g Fiber; 14g Sugar; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 3 & Points Plus 4.
NUTRITION NOTE This is the kind of recipe I look at and wonder, Hey, is all that butter needed? Could it be just as good made with skim milk? The answers are "yes" and "no". Just to see, I tried recently. The soup was okay-good but not knock-you-over and can't-wait-to-make-it-again good. I do think you could cut back on the butter to 2 tablespoons but think whole milk is important to both texture and taste.
Adapted from a recipe copied onto a 3x5 card that day in Dallas, from Phyllis Murray, my mom's girlhood friend, and her husband Bob.

This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2012

Cottage Cheese Pancakes BLT Pasta Salad (<< this week's favorite savory recipe) Easy Fruit Sorbet Grilled Steak with Summer Tomato Salad Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella for a Crowd

This Week, Elsewhere

Joe's Famous White Chocolate Bread Pudding from Jilly's Cafe & Steakhouse
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
My Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Corn & Cucumber Salad with Fresh Blueberries
~ more Recent Recipes ~
A Veggie Venture


More Cool-As-a-Cantaloupe Concoctions

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Cantaloupe Salad with Feta & Basil Cantaloupe Smoothie Shrimp Salad Recipes

Shop Your Pantry First

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© Copyright 2012 Kitchen Parade



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Baked Chicken with Fresh Peaches

A simple summer supper, just quick-seared chicken breasts finished during a short stint in the oven surrounded by fresh and summer-juicy peaches.

Baked Chicken with Fresh Peaches
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

"A weed is only a flower out of place," my mother used to say. She had a knack for gardening, her able assistants the short cool summers and long light-filled days of Northern Minnesota.

As Mother Nature bears down on much of the U.S. – punishing heat and parching dryness – during this summer of 2012, my own gardens wither and I'm deciding that my definition of a weed is different. "A weed is what survives heat, drought and neglect while the pampered and watered potted plants scorch and shrivel."

HOW TO RIPEN PEACHES Peaches will continue to ripen off the tree, the ones we find at the supermarket and even the farmers market are often days from juice-drippling-down-your-chin ripeness. To move the process along, store a few peaches at a time in a closed paper bag at room temperature on the counter. I tend to buy a few peaches at a time every few days just to have ripe peaches every at the ready.
ALANNA's TIPS Try to choose a spice blend with a little kick. Chicken breasts are <<< huge >>> anymore, the two shown in the photo weighed nearly a pound and a half, that's six servings, not two. If you're watching calories or counting points, you may want to cut the breasts into individual servings before browning. Another way to do this is to slice the breast meat after it's cooked. Do you prefer dark meat? I often do too. Substitute chicken thighs or legs for breasts. Thick chops would be good too although the cooking time would be longer. To easily cut chop basil leaves, use the "chiffonade" technique. Stack the leaves one on top of another, then roll into a cylinder and cut crosswise across it.
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!

QUICK SUPPER:
BAKED CHICKEN with FRESH PEACHES

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 35 minutes
Serves 6 (easily multiplied & divided)
    CHICKEN
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1-1/2 pounds
  • Spice blend (see TIPS) or salt & pepper to taste
    PEACHES
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped (see TIPS)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 ripe peaches, sliced
  • Fresh basil, for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350F.

CHICKEN Heat oil on medium heat in a large, oven-safe skillet. Sprinkle chicken on both sides a spice blend or salt and pepper. Drop into hot skillet and let brown on one side for 2 - 3 minutes without moving, then turn over and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes on another. Transfer meat to a plate, leaving drippings in the skillet

PEACHES Add onion to the skillet and let gently cook, just until softened. Stir in ginger, garlic and fresh basil and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken stock (the pan should sizzle) and stir, collecting up the bits of "fond" on the bottom of the skillet. Remove from heat. Arrange peaches around the edge of the skillet and chicken breasts in the center. Bake for 15 - 25 minutes until the juices in the center of the thickest part of the breast run clear.

TO SERVE Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve tableside or slice the chicken, transfer to individual plates and serve.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per serving: 205 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 66mg Cholesterol; 131mg Sodium; 13g Carb; 2g Fiber; 10g Sugar; 28g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 4 & Points Plus 5. This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized' with decreases in portion size and increases in flavor.
Adapted from Southern Living, a recipe which caught my eye in the June issue.

This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2011

Asian Chicken Salad Peacherry Blues Fruity Gazpacho Herbed Ricotta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Easy Radish Spread Pita Crisps Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Homemade Blackberry Sauce Carrot & Zucchini Bread (<< this week's reader favorite!) Homemade Peach Syrup with Fresh Peaches

This Week, Elsewhere

Summer Blend Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette from 54th Street Grill and Bar
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
My Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Cooler Corn - How to Cook Corn in a Beer Cooler
~ more Recent Recipes ~
A Veggie Venture


More Quick-Supper Recipes for Summer

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Mediterranean Eggplant Chicken Greek Salad Easy-Easy Marinated Flank Steak

Savoring the Season: More Recipes for Fresh Peaches

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
First-Prize Peach Pie with Lattice Crust Peach Blueberry Cake Peach Un-cobbler
~ more peach recipes ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2012 Kitchen Parade