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It's summer and the tomatoes are jumping.

Try them in Chef Hensinger's swampy tomato salad

IN SUMMERTIME THE LIVING is easy, and not just because fish are jumpin' an' the cotton is high. Summertime is also the season when tomatoes look, smell, and taste great, and when every gardener's meal includes a platter of sliced tomatoes. If you should ever tire of just plain tomatoes, try James Hensinger's Summer Salad.

This dish is reminiscent of the Mexican sopa seca--dry soup. These soups are neither liquid nor solid, but might be described (without prejudice) as swampy. Hensinger's salad could be likened to a gazpacho seco.

Summer Salad

2 slices bacon

1/2 cup bottled ponzu sauce

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons minced chives

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)

1 teaspoon prepared wasabi

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

2 teaspoons sugar

4 large (about 2 lb. total) ripe tomatoes

1 large (about 1/2-lb.) firm-ripe avocado

1 can (2 1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained

In a 6 to 8-inch frying pan over medium heat, brown bacon (or cook in a micro wave oven). Drain bacon well on towels; let cool, then crumble.

In a small bowl, mix ponzu sauce, soy, chives, cilantro, wasabi, ginger, garlic, sugar, and bacon.

Core tomatoes; cut tomatoes into 3/4-inch cubes into a wide bowl. Peel and pit avocado. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes; add to tomatoes. Scatter olives over avocado, then pour dressing over salad. Mix gently. Serves 6 to 8.

Per serving: 88 cal. (53 percent from fat); 2.5 g protein; 5.2 g fat (0.9 g sat.); 9.7 g carbo.; 643 mg sodium; 1.3 mg chol.

A NATIONAL OBSESSION with physical fitness paired with a vestigial puritanism has drawn us to speak of desserts as if they were matters of right and wrong. Desserts are "sinfully rich": chocolate decadence is an outstanding example of this moralization. Ice cream, which by law contains a significant quantity of butterfat, is particularly a subject of suspicion.

Bill Robbins of Bolinas, California, sends us absolution from the sin of dessert in the form of a nonfat frozen coffee ice, or sorbet. It's more delicious than its spartan ingredient list would suggest, and the ingredients are nearly always at hand.

Nonfat Coffee Freeze Dessert

3 tablespoons instant coffee powder

6 tablespoons sugar

2 cups nonfat milk

In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan, mix coffee powder, sugar, and 1/3 cup milk. Stir over medium heat just until coffee and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and pour into a shallow 1- to 2-quart metal pan. Mix in remaining milk. Freeze, airtight, until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 1 week.

Let stand at room temperature until you can break frozen mixture into large chunks with a heavy spoon, 5 to 10 minutes.

Whirl chunks in a food processor or beat with a mixer to a smooth slush; serve at once. Serves 4.

Per serving: 120 cal. (1.5 percent from fat); 4.4 g protein; 0.2 g fat (0.1 g sat.); 25 g carbo.; 65 mg sodium; 2.5 mg chol.

POULTRY OR MEAT AND fruit have been good companions through the years; consider duck with orange, turkey with cranberries, and ham with pineapple. It's no surprise, then, that Gary Kerns was inspired to expand the concept. He stuffs a turkey breast with dried apricots. The availability of turkey in parts makes this white meat roast possible.

Apricot-stuffed Turkey Roast

1/2 turkey breast (about 3 1/2 lb.), boned and skinned

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves

10 to 12 dried apricots

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon minced or pressed garlic

Freshly ground pepper

Rinse turkey and pat dry. Cut lengthwise down middle, but not quite through the thickest part of breast. Push cut open and press meat to make it lie as flat as possible.

Spread breast with mustard, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, and distribute apricots evenly over meat. From a long side, roll meat to enclose filling. Tie roll snugly with cotton string at 2- to 3-inch intervals. Rub roll with oil, then garlic; pat remaining rosemary onto meat and sprinkle generously with pepper.

Place roast on a rack in a 9- by 13-inch pan. Bake in a 375|degrees~ oven until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 160|degrees~ to 165|degrees~ and meat is white in center (cut to test), 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand about 10 minutes. Remove string and cut roll crosswise into thick slices. Serves 6 to 8.

Per serving: 208 cal. (13 percent from fat); 39 g protein; 3.1 g fat (0.6 g sat.); 3.7 g carbo.; 246 mg sodium; 97 mg chol.
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Title Annotation:Chefs of the West; recipes
Author:Griffiths, Joan; Dunmire, Richard
Article Type:Column
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Previous Article:Watermelon sorbet, red or yellow.
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