Monday, June 13, 2016

Salad ------Drink ----- Dessert ----- For a lite summer dinner

Shrimp, Snap Pea, and Chervil Salad
This salad is easy to vary depending on what you have on hand; crumbled fresh goat cheese, chicken, or smoked trout can all be subbed in for the shrimp. It's especially refreshing when the ingredients are cold.
Prep : 40 minutes         Makes  4 serving       (makes 6-1/2 cups)
(serving size: 1-1/2 cups)
8            ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed (snap each pea's stem and pull down sharply along the straight side), cut diagonally into 1-in. pieces
1/4        cup plus 1 1/2 tsp. anise-flavored liqueur, such as Pernod
1           tablespoon plus 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
2           bay leaves
1           lemon, halved, plus 3 tbsp. juice
1           pound medium (36 to 42 per lb.) raw peeled and deveined shrimp
3           tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2     tablespoons mayonnaise
3/4        teaspoon pepper
1/2        cup chopped chervil*, plus 1/2 cup small chervil sprigs 
(1-3/4 ounces total)
6          medium radishes, sliced
1          small fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
Leaves from 1 small head butter lettuce

1.    Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Boil snap peas until bright green (15 to 20 seconds), then drain. Rinse with cold water and add to ice water.

2.   Meanwhile, in another large saucepan, combine 1/4 cup liqueur, 1 tbsp. salt, the bay leaves, and 1 qt. water. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into pan and add halves as well. Bring to a boil, stir in shrimp, and remove from heat. Let stand until shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drain, rinse shrimp with cold water, and add to ice water with peas. Let stand until cold, then drain peas and shrimp well.

3.    Whisk remaining 1 1/2 tsp. liqueur, 3 tbsp. lemon juice, the oil, mayonnaise, remaining 3/4 tsp. salt, and the pepper in a large bowl. Add peas, shrimp, chervil, radishes, and fennel, tossing to coat.

4.      Serve with lettuce for people to use as a base for their salads if they like.
If you can't find chervil, use equal parts fresh tarragon and flat-leaf parsley.
Sour-Cherry Gin Slings 
This sweet-tart concoction is based on the classic Singapore sling, replacing the traditional cherry brandy with an intensely vibrant homemade sour-cherry syrup. With a squirt of sparkling water, the syrup also makes a great base for kid-friendly cherry soda.

1           pound sour cherries, stemmed
3/4       cup sugar
1          cup water
Strips of zest from 1/2 lemon
Strips of zest from 1/2 orange
2           cups gin
2/3        cup Cointreau
2/3        cup fresh lime juice
2-1/4     cups sour-cherry syrup
Angostura bitters
Sparkling water
Lime wheels and fresh cherries, for garnish

1 .     MAKE THE GIN SLINGS: In a large saucepan, combine the cherries with the sugar, water and citrus zests and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes. Pass the mixture through a fine strainer, pressing on the solids; you should have 2 1/2 cups. Let cool.
2 .      MAKE THE GIN SLINGS: In a pitcher, combine the gin with the Cointreau, lime juice, sour-cherry syrup and a few dashes of bitters and stir well. Pour into ice-filled glasses and top each drink with sparkling water. Garnish with the lime wheels and fresh cherries and serve.
The sour-cherry syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Passion Fruit Ice Cream Pie with a Ginger Crust
Prep: 30 minutes : Total 3 hours   Serves: 8 TO 10
This isn't the kind of ice cream pie you'd make for a kiddie birthday party. Instead of a plain cookie crust, you can  create a crispy, chewy one with crumbled gingersnaps, dried pineapple and candied ginger. And instead of the usual caramel or chocolate sauce on top, you can  prepare a delectable mix of dulce de leche and passion fruit nectar from the supermarket.

1           8-ounce box gingersnaps, lightly crushed
1          dried sweetened pineapple ring (1 1/2 ounces), coarsely chopped
2          tablespoons coarsely chopped candied ginger
4          tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4    cups dulce de leche (16-ounce jar)
1/2      cup passion fruit nectar (see Note)
3          pints vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1/4       cup salted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2          tablespoons shredded sweetened coconut

1 .    In a food processor, combine the crushed gingersnaps with the pineapple, candied ginger and butter and process until fine crumbs form. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.
2 .    In a blender, blend the dulce de leche and passion fruit nectar until smooth.
3 .    Spread 1 pint of ice cream in the chilled crust. Using a very small ice cream scoop (2 tablespoons), scoop the remaining 2 pints of ice cream into the crust, leaving some nooks and crannies.   Drizzle 3/4 cup of the dulce de leche sauce over the ice cream, allowing it to pool in spots. Sprinkle with the pistachios and coconut and freeze until firm, at least 2-1/2 hours.
Remove the ring and cut the pie into wedges. Serve the extra dulce de leche sauce at the table.
The pie can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Look for passion fruit nectar at supermarkets, preferably the Looza brand.

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