Fresh Figs in Nightgowns
Source: Desserts 1-2-3 by Rozanne Gold
12 large ripe purple figs
1 cup Nutella
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
Wash figs and pat dry. Set aside.
Put Nutella in a warm place so it is easy to spoon. Or place the jar in a bowl of very hot water. Spoon Nutella into a clean, dry bowl. Whisk in 1 cup yogurt until completely smooth.
One by one, dip each fig into the mixture, holding it by its stem. Cover each fig completely or almost completely with a thin coating. Place on a large plate lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until very cold.
Serve a few tablespoons of plain yogurt alongside. This looks great presented on fresh fig, grape, or lemon leaves. Serve immediately with a fork and a knife.
NOTE: If you don’t feel like dipping the figs, you can serve them whole with a ramekin of the sauce on the side, or cut the figs in half lengthwise and generously drizzle with the sauce.
Liqueur of choice
Wash peaches and drop in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove from water and slip the skin off. Cut peach in half and remove the pit. Fill the pit area with ice cream. Press the two halves back together and cover with graham crumbs. Place carefully in deep fryer (at 300 degrees F) for 30 seconds or until brown. Place in a bowl and pour 1/3 ounce of liqueur (Grand Marnier is good) then light. After flame is out, put either more ice cream or fresh cream on top.
Fresh Coconut Cream
Coconut Cream can substitute for whipped cream in many recipes. Although it’s a fat, it’s a raw one from a raw fruit, so it’s actually good for you.
1 hammer (to break open the coconut)
1 awl (to poke a hole in the coconut in
order to drain the coconut water)
Make a small hole at the top of the coconut with the hammer and the awl. Drain the coconut water out of the coconut by placing the coconut upside down on top of a glass. The coconut water will drain out slowly, and it will look somewhat cloudy. The coconut water should taste sweet. If it doesn’t, it’s bad, and it means the rest of the coconut has gone bad too. In that case, you will need a new coconut.
If the coconut is fresh, this water is delicious and nutritious, and should be drunk immediately, or it loses freshness and nutrients.
Next, place the coconut in a bag. Using the hammer, break the coconut into small pieces. Make sure to separate the white coconut meat from the hard brown coconut shell.
Run the white coconut meat pieces through a juicer, using the "juice" plate with the tiny holes. The juicer will separate the coconut into shredded coconut and coconut cream.
Use the fresh cream immediately in recipes. Freeze remainder in an ice cube tray to use later. Also, freeze the shredded coconut in a container for use later.
These go well with roast chicken or any spicy meats.
6 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 Granny Smith apples
Combine water and lemon juice in a container that can hold all the apple wedges.
Core and peel the apples. Cut each apple into about 8 thick wedges. Submerge wedges in the lemon-water bath until ready to use. Since the lemon juice prevents browning, you can prepare them a day ahead of time.
Get the grill hot. Using tongs, place the apples on the grill. Cook until dark lines sear the apples. Turn and cook until the apples are warmed through but still firm, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Yield: 6 servings
Honey-Curry Glazed Pineapple
1 pineapple, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Combine pineapple chunks, honey, curry powder and vanilla extract in a bowl; toss well. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with brown sugar and drizzle with Grand Marnier. Ignite pineapple with a long match and let flames die down.
Make as many fruit stacks as desired, beginning with a pineapple slice, topping that with a peach half, an apricot half and a seeded whole prune. Stir together 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar and 2 tablespoons dark rum. Spoon over fruit stacks and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Baste with extra sauce and serve as an accompaniment to poultry or game. Sauce is sufficient for at least 8 fruit stacks.
1 ripe cantaloupe
2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
Combine water and sugar; boil until thoroughly mixed. Set aside to cool.
Cut cantaloupe into bite-size pieces. Place in freezer containers. When syrup is completely cooled, pour over cantaloupe and freeze.
Watermelon Ribbon Basket
Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board’s (NWPB) Melon Monitor
This basket is great for any occasion during the year. It is the perfect container for punches, salads or desserts.
Sharp pointed utensil
Select a symmetrical watermelon. If necessary, cut a thin slice from the bottom of the watermelon so it sits level.
Draw a straight line (just above the middle) lengthwise around the watermelon for the basket’s edge.
Draw a handle diagonally across the top.
Draw a bow, so that one edge of the bow is connected to the basket’s edge.
Cut and remove the top sections leaving the handle and bow intact.
Scoop out the flesh from inside the watermelon, leaving just a trace of red.
Drain the watermelon before filling.
Melon en Surprise (Surprise Melon)
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Around the World Cook Book – 1958
1 cantaloupe or other small melon
2 cups (500 ml) fresh fruit
1/4 cup (60 ml) Marsala wine, sweet sherry or 1 tablespoon Kirsch
6 ounces (150 g) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons (30 ml) milk
Start this dish at least a couple of hours before you intend to serve it.
Peel the whole cantaloupe, muskmelon, honeydew melon or other small melon. Cut a piece off one end to make a 4- to 5-inch round opening. Scoop out the seeds then remove most of the melon flesh in bite-size pieces leaving a wall thick enough to contain the filling. Toss the melon pieces with about 2 cups of fresh raspberries or strawberries, fresh, frozen or canned pineapple chunks or peach slices, grapes etc. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and 1/4 cup of Marsala wine, sweet sherry or 1 tablespoon of Kirsch. Fill the center of the melon with the tossed fruit mixture; replace the top.
Blend the softened cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of milk and use this mixture to frost the outside of the melon. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the cheese. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
To serve, stand the melon on a plate and surround it with leftover fruit.
One melon makes 3 or 4 servings.
Pineapple Banana Fritters
Source: Gourmet, May 1991
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup chopped fresh pineapple, drained
3/4 cup banana, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten lightly
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting fritters
In a small bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the granulated sugar, the ginger, and a pinch of salt.
In a bowl combine well the pineapple, the banana, the milk, and the egg; add the flour mixture, and stir the batter until it is combined.
In a kettle heat 1 1/2 inches of the oil until it registers 375 degrees F on a deep-fat thermometer, drop the batter by tablespoonfuls into the oil in batches, and fry the fritters, turning them, for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until they are golden.
Transfer the fritters with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and sift the confectioners’ sugar over them.