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July menus.

QUICK, SEASONAL, BUDGET-WISE. . . FOR FAMIIY AND FRIENDS

Step into the garden this month to savor the warmth of the season and what it brings to the table. Gather ripe produce and flowers--perhaps from your own garden or a local farm--to brighten meals and decor.

For an alfresco lunch or dinner, try a cool, make-ahead salad. Greenery and blossoms twine through foods and tableware, enhancing the freshness of the open-air setting.

At breakfast, a big bowl of peaches and blueberries is a colorful, but fleeting, centerpiece to accompany hearty pancakes with more of the berries.

SUMMER SALAD ON THE PORCH

Cool Asian Chicken Salad Fruit Compote Chili-Mint Lemonade

Relax! Because the foods are served cool, they can all be prepared ahead.

Combine ripe fig and apricot halves with raspberries to make a simple fresh fruit compote. You might like to moisten the fruit with raspberry or apricot syrup, or a liqueur flavored by berries, citrus, or nuts.

Cool Asian Chicken Salad

2 stalks fresh lemon

grass, ends and coarse

leaves trimmed; or 2

strips lemon peel

(yellow part only, each

about 3 in. long)

6 quarter-size slices

peeled fresh ginger

pound Chinese pea

pods, ends and strings

removed

4 boned, skinned chicken

breast halves (about 1 1/4

lb. total)

Asian dressing (recipe

follows)

Romaine lettuce leaves,

rinsed and crisped

Rice triangles (recipe

follows) 1/2 cup roasted peanuts,

coarsely chopped

In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring about 1 1/2 inches water, lemon grass, and ginger to a boil. Add Chinese peas; cook just until brighter green, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Quickly skim peas from water with a slotted spoon and at once immerse them in ice water.

Add chicken to boiling water, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand until breasts are white in center. Cut to test at 20 minutes; if pink, return to water until white, about 5 minutes longer. Immerse chicken in ice water with peas. Pour cooking liquid through a strainer; save seasonings for dressing.

When chicken is cold, in about 30 minutes, drain off ice water. Cut chicken into 1-inch diagonal slices. Line a platter with lettuce; top with chicken, peas, and rice. If making ahead, chill airtight up to 3 hours. Add dressing and peanuts. Serves 4. Per serving. 566 cal.; 44 g protein; 18 g fat (2.7 g sat.); 56 g carbo.; 618 mg sodium; 82 mg chol.

Asian dressing. Mince reserved lemon grass (see salad, preceding) and ginger. Mix with 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons each soy sauce and salad oil, and 2 teaspoons sugar.

Rice triangles. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 cup medium- or short-grain white (pearl) rice and 13/4 cups water to a boil. Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Firmly pack hot rice in an even layer in an 8-inch-square pan; cool. (If making ahead, cover and let stand up to 4 hours.) Run a knife between rice and pan rim. Invert pan, easing rice from pan bottom onto a counter. Cut into 2-inch triangles; rinse knife often with water.

Chili-Mint Lemonade

For spiciest flavor, use all the chilies.

3/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped

fresh mint

4 to 8 small dried hot red

chilies

1 cup lemon juice

Fresh mint sprigs

Ice cubes

In a 3- to 4-quart pan over high heat, boil 2 cups water, sugar, chopped mint, and chilies, uncovered, until reduced to 1 cup, 12 to 14 minutes; stir occasionally. Let cool; pour mint- and chili-flavored mixture through a strainer into a pitcher, pressing to extract liquid. Discard mint; rinse chilies and add to pitcher along with lemon juice and 1 quart water.

Cover and chill the lemonade until cold, at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. Serve in pitcher or a tall decorative bottle, adding mint sprigs. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish each portion with more mint sprigs. Makes 6 cups; serves 4 to 6. Per cup: 111 cal.; 0. 5 g protein; 0.4 g fat (0 g sat.); 29 g carbo.; 9.1 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

BLUEBERRY PANCAKE FEAST

Whole-grain Blueberry Pancakes Maple Syrup Milk

Serve pancakes as they're cooked, or place in a single layer on racks in a warm oven until all are made.

Whole-grain Blueberry Pancakes

3 cups blueberries

2 large (1 1/4 lb. total) firm-ripe

peaches

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3/4 up all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup regular rolled oats

1/3 cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking

powder

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

3 large eggs, separated 1 3/4 cups milk

About 3 tablespoons

salad oil

Rinse and drain blueberries. Peel peaches, if desired, then slice; mix the slices with lemon juice.

Mix all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, oats, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a deep bowl, beat whites until stiff, moist peaks form. In a larger bowl, whisk yolks, milk, 3 tablespoons oil, and flour mixture until batter is smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups blueberries. Gently fold in egg whites.

Place 2 regular or nonstick griddles or 10- to 12-inch frying pans over medium heat. When hot, lightly oil if needed. For each cake, scoop 1/2 cup batter from bottom of bowl onto griddle; spread slightly. Cook until tops are bubbly and almost dry; turn and cook until brown on bottoms. Serve with berries and peaches. Makes 18; serves 6. Per pancake: 128 cal.; 3.9 g protein; 4.3 g fat (1.1 g sat.); 19 g carbo.; 95 mg sodium; 3.9 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Johnson, Elaine
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jul 1, 1992
Words:944
Previous Article:Landscaping with natural stone.
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