Things I've learned so far this Summer: sipping on a glass of crisp and fruity Riesling makes hot days without air conditioning worlds more bearable. Fish sauce is an excellent and surprisingly subtle addition to everything from sweet-leaning salads to simple weeknight pastas. (It's my go-to "secret" ingredient of choice these days.) And you can make a granita out of (nearly) anything liquid. My go-to version of this icy, flaky treat takes inspiration from another Summer favorite, the Arnold Palmer.
On a recent trip to the grocery store, I caught sight of something new to the produce aisle: red currants. I'd never seen fresh red currants, and I was enamored by the dainty clusters of berries, each reminded me of a brilliant garnet cabochon. Needless to say, I brought a carton home — despite having no idea what to do with them.
After some preliminary tasting and research, it became clear that although it's possible to eat red currants out of hand, reducing them in sugar helps round out their piquancy. Ultimately, I blended their slightly tannic flavor with raspberries in a granita creating the perfect ending to an Indian Summer day. Learn one great application for red currants when you read more
A grainy sweetened ice that's flavored with fruit puree, coffee, or wine. A granita is a traditional Italian dessert and can vary widely in texture based on its freezing method. Those produced in a gelato machine have fine ice crystals, while another technique that combines freezing and scraping will give you a coarser, crystalline texture. Still others have a slushy consistency and are served as drinks. For a simple, elegant finish, try topping a fresh fruit granita with orange or lemon zest.
To round out my celebration of National Chocolate Day (really, who does make these things up?), I've decided to share with you a great, light chocolate treat. I found this in a book I picked up at a garage sale called 365 Delicious Low-Fat Recipes. Now, I'm usually not one to count my calories (I've decided if it tastes good I'll eat it, now if I could only learn moderation...), but this recipe is so simple and tasty, that you won't even realize it's low-fat. To learn how to make yummy Chocolate Ice, read more