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Adding her imaginative twist to dishes from cuisines around the world, Nicole Routhier uses apples, peaches, bananas, blueberries, carambolas, grapes, mangos, papayas-all kinds of fruit, sweet or tart-to bring an unexpected depth of flavor, a lighter, fresher, taste, and a sensuous appeal to over 400 recipes. Includes: Cream of Fennel and Pear Soup. Wild Mushroom Risotto with Apples. Fruity Bruschetta. Lemon-Lime Spaghetti. Figgy Quail. ...
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Adding her imaginative twist to dishes from cuisines around the world, Nicole Routhier uses apples, peaches, bananas, blueberries, carambolas, grapes, mangos, papayas-all kinds of fruit, sweet or tart-to bring an unexpected depth of flavor, a lighter, fresher, taste, and a sensuous appeal to over 400 recipes. Includes: Cream of Fennel and Pear Soup. Wild Mushroom Risotto with Apples. Fruity Bruschetta. Lemon-Lime Spaghetti. Figgy Quail. Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Pears. Braised Cranberry Pork Chops. Tuscan Grape Bread. Heavenly Raspberry Brownies. Chilled Cherimoya Custar.
"A brilliant book on cooking with the most interesting, intense, and healthful flavors available from nature: fruit."
--Mark Miller, chef/author of Coyote Caf, and The Great Salsa Cookbook
"A wealth of luscious recipes that reveal the wonderful role fruit can play in cooking of every kind."
--John Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger, co-authors of The Thrill of the Grill and Big Flavors of the Hot Sun
YIELD: 4 TO 6 SERVINGS
You may think of vichyssoise as the ultimate French soup, but it was actually created in America. Louis Diat, the chef at the original New York Ritz Hotel, thought it would perk up flagging appetites during the hot summer months of 1912. Chef Diat's vichyssoise was basically a pureed potato and leek soup served cold. Over time, chefs around the world have come up with many variations on this soup. This one originated on the island of Grenada, where breadfruit is more common than potatoes; the pears are my contribution. Refrigerate the leftover breadfruit and use it up within a week for other dishes, such as Breadfruit in Vinaigrette (see Index). If breadfruit is unavailable, simply substitute potatoes.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped, well washed, and dried leek (white part only)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups peeled, cored, and sliced (1/4 inch thick) breadfruit, kept in salted water
3 cups (or more) chicken broth, preferably homemade (page 30)
2 ripe pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy (or whipping) cream
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leek and onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Drain the breadfruit and add it to the pot. Stir to coat with butter.
3. Add the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the breadfruit is very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the pears and remove from the heat.
4. Puree the soup in small batches until smooth in a blender or food processor. Transfer the pureed soup to a large bowl and stir in the cream. If it is too thick, add a bit of chicken broth. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
5. Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and garnish with snipped fresh chives. Serve immediately.
PORK KABOBS WITH GRILLED PEACHES
YIELD: 4 ENTREE SERVINGS
The sweetness in this dish comes from the American South in the form of peaches and brown sugar, and the peach-flavored vinegar in which the pork is marinated adds a jolt of tartness. To round out the meal, serve a simple watercress and tomato salad dressed with just a light splash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
1/3 cup peach vinegar, preferably homemade (page 287), or 1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably Kikkoman
3 tablespoons (firmly packed) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons mild olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 large peaches, peeled, halved, and pitted
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4 thin slices pancetta (about 1/4 pound)
1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges, layers separated
1. Stir together the vinegar, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the ginger in a medium bowl. Add the pork and toss to combine. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Place 8 bamboo skewers in a shallow pan and cover with hot water. Soak for at least 30 minutes.
3. Place the peaches in a pie pan and sprinkle with the lime juice and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Wrap a slice of pancetta around each peach half and set aside.
4. Drain the pork cubes and thread them, alternating with onion pieces, onto the skewers. Lightly brush the kabobs with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
5. Prepare coals for grilling or preheat the broiler.
6. Grill or broil the kabobs 4 inches from the heat until the pork is no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Grill or broil the peaches until the pancetta is crisp and the peaches are just warmed through, about 2 minutes. Serve a once.
POMEGRANATE LAMB KABOBS: Replace the vinegar and brown sugar in the marinade with 2 tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses (page 138) diluted in 1/4 cup water. Substitute the lamb for pork, and proceed as for the above recipe. Dilute an additional 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses with 1 tablespoon water, and brush the mixture over the grilled kabobs before serving.
SKILLET APPLE FRITTATA
YIELD: 4 SERVINGS
A frittata is an Italian omelet, traditionally made with ham and cheese and baked. My version of the frittata is flavored with apple, and it doesn't require any baking. Practically everything is combined in the skillet and cooked over the stove. And the leftovers (if you are lucky enough to have any) make great sandwiches!
8 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced peeled apple (1/4-inch cubes), preferably Granny Smith
1/2 cup diced onion (1/4-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper (1/4-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced cooked ham (1/4-inch cubes)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup diced mozzarella cheese (1/2-inch cubes)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Beat the eggs with 2 tablespoons water and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Quickly add the butter and swirl it around to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Add the apple, onion, bell pepper, ham, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Pour the beaten eggs over the vegetables. Scatter the mozzarella over the eggs, and sprinkle with the Parmesan.
4. Cover the pan and cook over very low heat until the eggs are set and the cheese has melted, about 12 minutes. (If desired, pop the frittata under a preheated broiler until the top is golden brown, about 2 minutes.) Cut the frittata into wedges and serve at once.
FRUITFUL BEGINNINGS: DIPS, APPETIZERS, AND HORS D'OUVRES
Easy to prepare, light, lovely ways to start a meal or kick of a party with flair. Choose from a Strawberry Salsa, Rosy Baba Ganoush, Roasted Pepper and Apple Dip with Steamed Shrimp, and a host of other possibilities.
Heavenly bowlfuls-steaming hot or cool and refreshing, depending on the season and the mood. Selections include Mexican Lime Soup, Watercress Soup with Asian Pear, Caribbean Vichyssoise, and Pina Colada Soup.
SALADS WITH FRUIT ACCENTS
Glorious salad concoctions starring fresh and dried fruits with an innovative twist. Tender Greens with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette, Bistro Salad with Pears and Cheese, Black Bean and Tree Melon Salad, and Chicken Salad with Apricot Chutney-just to name a few.
PASTA & GRAINS
The mild flavors of pasta and grains make a perfect base for the seductive flavors of fruit. An international repertoire sweet and savory dishes include Bangkok Noodles, Fruited Noodle Pudding, Wild Mushroom Risotto with Apples, and Cous-Cous with Dried Fruit.
Marrying fruits of the sea with fruits of the land results in dishes that delight and surprise. Selections range from luscious Fillet of Sole with Gooseberries to Hearty Trough with Potato and Plantain Salad to sweet Catfish Venice Style to spicy Scallop Curry with Thai Flavors.
THE BIRD RANGE
Roasted Chicken Breasts with Glazed Kumquats, Fried Chicken with Orange Cream Gravy, Duck Breasts Montmorency, and Quail in Currant Sauce highlight a wealth of wonderful poultry recipes.
Roasted, braised, stewed, or pan sauteed, meat dishes emerge brighter, lighter, and more enticing with the addition of fruit. Serve up Pepper Steak with Plum Ketchup, Orange Beef with Peanuts, Pork Kabobs with Grilled Peaches, and Glazed Lamb Chops.
SWEET & SAVORY SIDES
Accent favorite entrees with something different-fruits perk up overworked vegetables with glorious results. Included are Three Fruit Haroset, Sauteed Spinach Catalan, Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Pears, and Okra with Asian Flavors.
FROM THE PANTRY: CHUTNEYS, PICKLES, FRUIT BUTTERS, JAMS, RELISHES, SAUCES, AND VINEGARS
Capture the fresh vivid flavor of fruit at the peak of seasonal perfection. Fill your shelves with these exciting pantry favorites: Peach Butter, Ruby Red Raspberry Jam, Sassy Banana Chutney, Pickled Grapes, Spirited Plum Sauce, and Blueberry Vinegar.
BREADS, QUICK AND SLOW
Freshly baked and fragrant with fruits-breads, biscuits, and muffins, still warm from the oven are one of the home cook's greatest rewards. Enjoy Fig, Prosciutto, and Pepper Bread, Tuscan Grape Bread, Hot Strawberry Biscuits, and a Persimmon-Almond Loaf.
As Delicious as the classic breakfast fruit dishes are, when the day calls for a special start, serve up Granola Baked Apples, Cranberry-Pumpkin Waffles, Sausage and Orange Marmalade Omelets, or a Skillet Apple Frittata.
SMOOTHIES & SPIRITS
Quick pick-me-ups, thirst-quenchers, frosty floats, and sophisticated cocktails-fruits figure in a wide range of imaginative concoctions. Try a Papaya Smoothie, Litchee-Pineapple Bing, Watermelon Spritzer, Peach Margaritas, and Hot Spiced Wine Punch.
SORBET & ICE CREAM
An array of fruity frozen favorites to cool off the hottest summer days and nights include Tangerine Sorbet, Kiwi Snow, Watermelon Ice, Apple Granita, and an unusual Mango Tea and Litchee Honey Ice Cream.
SOOTHING FRUIT DESSERTS
A delicious collection of fast, easy, fruit dessets that range from fresh fruit salads to comforting puddings, crumbles, and crisps. Favorite finales included Marinated Pomegranates, Poached Summer Fruits, English Summer Pudding, Chilled Cherimoya Custard, Apricot Fool, and Bumbleberry Crunch.
TARTS, PIES, CAKES, & COOKIES
When only a rich indulgence will do-the perfect ending to a perfect meal might include a Napoleon of Nectarines with Caramel Sauce, or a Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie, Spiced Apple Cake, Cosmic Chocolate Cake, or Triple Strawberry Shortcakes. Then, too, you won't go wrong with a plateful of Heavenly Raspberry Brownies or Banana-Chocolate Chip Cookies.
SEASONAL FRUIT CHART