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July menus.


Potlucks and the Fourth of July have a proven track record as good partners. Make-ahead foods and shared contributions produce this easily paced meal that frees up the day for other important activities, such as games and competitions and visiting with family and friends.

As the thermometer marches higher on July's bona fide summer days, tame the heat's impact with cool meals. Try France's nicoise salad for a light supper, and toast, Italian-style, for brunch.


Grilled Hot Dogs and Sausages

Potluck Condiment Bar

Firecracker Rice Salad with Avocados and Tomatoes

Star-Spangled Banner Cake

Lemonade Beer Mineral Water

Get the party under way the day before, if you like. The salad keeps well for two days. For neat, easy cutting and serving, the berry- and cream-filled cake needs to stand at least 4 hours beforehand, or it can be chilled up to a day.

To please all appetites, invite guests to bring their own sausages and a condiment they like; expect variety to range from salsa to chutneys, cheeses to mustards. Provide a grill with hot coals when it's time to warm or cook the sausages. Provide plenty of buns; extras can be frozen.

Firecracker Rice Salad with Avocados and Tomatoes

9 cups regular-strength chicken broth

5 cups long-grain white rice

1 cup lime juice

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro (coriander)

2 small (about 1 oz. total) jalapeno chilies, stemmed, seeded, and minced

3/4 pound jack cheese, shredded

2 large (about 1 3/4 lb. total) firm-ripe avocados

6 medium-size (about 3 lb. total) firm-ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced

In a 3- to 4-quart pan over high heat, bring 8 cups broth to a boil. Add rice, cover, and simmer until rice is just tender to bite, about 15 minutes. Drain rice, reserving any liquid. Pour rice into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Mix rice with reserved broth, remaining 1 cup broth, 3/4 cup lime juice, cilantro, and chilies. If making ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days.

Spoon salad onto a large platter; sprinkle cheese over and around salad.

Pit, peel, and slice avocados lengthwise; moisten slices with remaining lime juice. Arrange avocado and tomato slices on platter with rice. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Per serving: 387 cal. (33 percent from fat); 12 g protein; 14 g fat (1.3 g sat.); 55 g carbo.; 160 mg sodium; 19 mg chol.

Star-Spangled Banner Cake

If you want to decorate dessert plates, rinse, drain, and puree separately 1 to 1 1/2 cups each blueberries and hulled strawberries. Sweeten purees to taste and dribble onto plates from a spoon shortly before serving cake.

1 angel food cake (9-inch size, about 14 oz.)

3 cups strawberries, rinsed and drained

3 cups whipping cream

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup blueberries (or frozen unsweetened blueberries), rinsed and drained

With a long, serrated knife, cut a 1-inch-thick horizontal slice from the top of the cake. With knife and your fingers, hollow out a trench in cake, leaving 1/2-inch-thick walls and bottom. Reserve cake pieces and top.

Hull 1 1/2 cups of the strawberries; reserve remaining berries. Puree hulled berries in a blender or food processor; pour into a bowl.

In a large, deep bowl, whip cream until it holds soft peaks; mix in sugar and vanilla. Spoon 2 cups of the whipped cream into the strawberry puree. Tear reserved cake pieces into about 1/2-inch chunks and drop into the strawberry mixture. Gently fold mixture together and spoon into the hollowed trench in cake; use all the filling, pressing down gently to fill corners.

Set cake top in place; frost top and sides of cake with remaining cream. Cover cake without touching (under a large inverted bowl) and chill at least 4 hours or up to 1 day. Decorate cake with remaining strawberries and blueberries. Serves 12 to 16.

Per serving: 225 cal. (56 percent from fat); 2.7 g protein; 14 g fat (8.7 g sat.); 23 g carbo.; 202 mg sodium; 50 mg chol.


'90s Nicoise Salad

Caper Dressing


Apricots with Orange Muscat Wine and Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Dry Chenin Blanc

Iced Tea with Mint

If there's time, have the salad makings ready and waiting in the refrigerator a day ahead. Cut a few slices of bread from a crusty baguette to use with the salad.

For dessert, slice sweet, ripe apricots into small bowls, pour orange muscat wine over the fruit, then top with scoops of frozen yogurt.

'90s Nicoise Salad

Add caper dressing to taste.

1 1/4 pounds (about 2 1/2-in.-wide) thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed

1/2 pound small, tender green beans

4 hard-cooked eggs

1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained

1 can (12 to 13 oz.) water-packed albacore tuna

1/2 pound rinsed and crisped mesclun or bite-size pieces mixed salad greens

3/4 cup nicoise olives

Aioli crusts (recipe follows)

Salt and pepper

In a 4- to 5-quart pan, combine potatoes and 3 quarts of water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove potatoes from water with a slotted spoon; set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, trim ends from green beans. Bring water in pan back to a boil on high heat and add beans. Cook, uncovered, until beans are just barely tender when pierced, about 2 minutes. Drain beans and immediately immerse in ice water. When cold, drain.

If cooking potatoes and beans ahead, wrap airtight and chill up to 1 day.

Shell eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Cut peppers into thin strips. Drain tuna and break into chunks.

To assemble salads, divide mesclun evenly among 4 dinner plates. Arrange eggs, potatoes, beans, peppers, tuna, and olives equally on plates. Accompany each salad with 2 crusts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Per serving: 379 cal. (26 percent from fat); 34 g protein; 11 g fat (2.6 g sat.); 37 g carbo.; 637 mg sodium; 247 mg chol.

Aioli crusts. Cut 8 crosswise slices about 1/2 inch thick from 1 (8-oz.) baguette. Reserve remainder of loaf to serve with meal.

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise, 2 cloves minced or pressed garlic, and 3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese. Spread mixture evenly onto 1 side of bread slices; place coated side up in a 10- by 15-inch pan. Sprinkle slices with 1 more tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese.

Broil crusts 4 to 6 inches from heat until tops brown lightly, about 4 minutes. Makes 8.

Per piece: 91 cal. (50 percent from fat); 2.3 g protein; 5.1 g fat (1.4 g sat.); 9.1 g carbo.; 207 mg sodium; 6.4 mg chol.

Caper Dressing

3/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or salad oil

2 tablespoons drained canned capers

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons minced fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon sugar

In a small bowl, mix vinegar, oil, capers, mustard, thyme, and sugar. Makes about 1 cup.

Per tablespoon: 18 cal. (90 percent from fat); 0 g protein; 1.8 g fat (0.3 g sat.); 1 g carbo.; 56 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.


Bruschetta with Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Mascarpone

Honeydew and Crenshaw Melon Wedges

Orange-Raspberry Sparkler


True mascarpone is like rich, super-thick, and delicately tart sour cream. Nonfat yogurt, drained at least 12 hours, makes a lavish-tasting imposter.

For a refreshing beverage, mix equal parts frozen orange juice concentrate and frozen raspberry concentrate; dilute with chilled sparkling water.

Bruschetta with Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Mascarpone

4 slices (about 1/2 in. thick) crusty bread

1 1/4 pounds ripe Roma-type tomatoes, cored and finely chopped

1 cup (about 1/2 oz.) loosely packed whole fresh basil leaves, rinsed

Herbed nonfat mascarpone (recipe follows)

Basil sprigs (optional)


Lay bread slices slightly apart in a 10- by 15-inch pan. Broil about 6 inches from heat until toasted; turn once. Use toast warm or let cool on a rack.

Top each slice with equal portions of tomato and basil leaves, and 3 tablespoons mascarpone. Garnish with basil sprigs, accompany with remaining mascarpone and add salt to taste. Eat with knife and fork. Serves 4.

Per serving: 176 cal. (8.4 percent from fat); 9.3 g protein; 1.6 g fat (0.3 g sat.); 31 g carbo.; 266 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Herbed nonfat mascarpone. Line a fine strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth. Set strainer over a deep bowl (bottom of strainer should sit at least 2 in. above bottom of bowl).

Mix together 1 quart unflavored nonfat yogurt and 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves. Scrape mixture into cloth. Cover airtight; chill and let drain until yogurt is the consistency of whipped cream cheese, at least 12 hours or up to 2 days; drain off accumulating liquid occasionally. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Per tablespoon: 14 cal. (0 percent from fat); 1.5 g protein; 0 g fat; 1.5 g carbo.; 13 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

To use our nutrition information

Sunset recipes contain nutrition information based on the most current data available from the USDA for calorie count; grams of protein, total fat (including saturated fat), and carbohydrate; and milligrams of sodium and cholesterol.

This analysis is usually given for a single serving, based on the largest number of servings listed for the recipe. Or it's for a specific amount, such as per tablespoon (for sauces), or by a unit, as per cookie.

The nutrition analysis does not include optional ingredients or those for which no specific amount is stated (salt added to taste, for example). If an ingredient is listed with an alternative, the figures are calculated using the first choice or a comparable food. Likewise, if a range is given for the amount of an ingredient (such as 1/2 to 1 cup butter), values are figured on the first, lower amount.

Recipes using regular-strength chicken broth are based on the sodium content of salt-free homemade or canned broth. If you use canned salted chicken broth, the sodium content will be higher.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Author:Hale, Christine Weber
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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