2 1/2 cups water
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (requiring about 7 or 8 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon grenadine syrup (optional), available at supermarket
2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered if large
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water and let soften for 5 minutes. Combine remaining 2 cups of water, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, whisking to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and whisk in gelatin mixture. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.
Combine berries and remaining tablespoon sugar in a medium bowl and let stand, stirring occasionally, to dissolve sugar. Spoon a couple of berries into dessert goblets, top with some gelatin, spoon a few more berries in, and continue to layer berries and gelatin until goblets are full. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
4 Ripe but firm peaches, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup Mascarpone
1/4 cup best-quality honey
Preheat gas grill to medium-high. Brush cut sides of peaches with butter.
Grill uncovered, until just softened and warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to dessert plates, spoon some Mascarpone alongside peaches, drizzle with honey, and serve immediately.
Note: Mascarpone, or Italian-style cream cheese, is available at specialty food stores and most supermarkets. You may substitute fresh riccota cheese or creme fraiche.
Makes 4 servings.
Variation: You may substitute honey for raspberry sauce.
What you need:
12 ounces fresh raspberries (frozen also works)
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
For the fresh raspberry sauce:
Puree the raspberries, water, and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Then, strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Press the solids against the strainer to get as much of the sauce as possible. This can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 small ripe but firm plums, about 10 ounces, pitted and thinly sliced.
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons apricot jam, well-stirred
Preheat oven to 440ºF.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold thawed puff pastry sheet on top of paper. Prick all over with a fork so you won’t get large air bubbles in the crust as tart bakes. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle chilled puff pastry with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. Arrange plums, overlapping them slightly, on top of the pastry, leaving 1 1/2″ border of pastry all around. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. Brush edges of pastry with egg.
Bake until crust is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Brush plums with apricot jam as soon as tart comes out of oven. Let cool completely on baking sheet, slice, and serve.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 13.66-ounce can light coconut milk
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
2 small mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4″ dice
Whisk together tapioca, sugar, salt, eggs, coconut milk, and milk in a medium-size heavy sauce pan. Let stand 10 minutes without stirring.
Bring tapioca mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut extracts. Transfer to a bowl, cover surface with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Layer chilled tapioca and diced mango in parfait glasses and serve immediately.
Other tropical fruits – diced pineapple, kiwi -may be combined with or substitute for the mangoes here.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 pound shrimp (21-25 count) peeled, deveined, and butterflied
Lime slices and saltine crackers
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 cup (12 ounces) orange soda
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons hot sauce
1 English cucumber (peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice, about 2 cups)
2 avocados (peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2″ dice)
1 cup 1/2″ diced red onion
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Mix all the ingredients except the shrimp and Cocktail Mixture in a 1-gallon zip-top plastic bag. Add the shrimp and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and drain well. Discard the marinade. Grill the shrimp until opaque, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate immediately.
Combine all the ingredients for the Cocktail Mixture in a bowl. Cut each shrimp into 4 pieces (in half, then each half in half). Stir the shrimp into the Cocktail Mixture.
Serve in martini glasses with slices of lime and saltine crackers.
3/4 lb. butter (3 sticks) softened, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
A cookie press or pastry bag with a large star tip
Preheat oven to 375ºF
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter, then slowly beat in sugar. Add lightly beaten eggs. In a separate bowl, mix flour and salt; gradually add to sugar mixture. Blend well. Add vanilla.
- Fill cookie press or pastry bag with one quarter of dough at a time. Pipe cookies onto a greased cookie sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool 10 minutes while on cookie sheet. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Over a waxed paper, lightly dust with powdered sugar. Store cookies in an airtight container.
Makes approximately 48 cookies.