GREAT GRAPEFRUITS

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Right about now is when I really start bemoaning the fact that the summer fruits are long gone, the fall apples and pears are becoming more and more expensive and the berries, well, unless I want to take out a second mortgage they aint gonna find themselves in my grocery basket. As I forlornly push my cart through the aisles of sad looking rock hard mangos and grapes that are minuscule in size and flavor I spy (with my little eye as my kids used to say) grapefruits. EUREKA!! I have achieved fruit.

Those sweet and sort of tangy almost sour yellow/red juicy citrus fruit are actually very affordable right now, You’ll find them in your supermarkets right next to the bags of Clementines (expensive but delicious), oranges, limes and lemons. The grapefruit is equally at home served for as is for breakfast, in a salad, juiced in a drink or even in a dessert it can be used interchangeably (depending on your taste) for just about any other citrus fruit. Fresh grapefruit juice is nectar from the garden and if you’re trying to lose weight you might want to substitute the grapefruit juice for the orange you usually reach for, it actually has 20 less calories per 8 oz glass than orange juice.

You can find grapefruits in a variety of color and sweetness levels. They run the color gamut from white to pink to red and most of the varieties are grown right here in the U S of A with Texas being the biggest supplier with Florida, California and Arizona not too far behind. As always, I love giving food facts along with the recipes so if you ever wondered why this particular fruit is called “grape-fruit” it’s because the fruit grow in a cluster, on a tree and it kinda sorta looks like a bunch of grapes when you see them in their natural state.

The following recipes are simple and deliciously addictive. Just be warned, if you’re utilizing the juice or the fruit of the grapefruit with meat or fish as a marinade, don’t let it sit too long. The acid in the fruit will turn the meat or fish mushy if left soaking for more than an hour or so.

BROILED GRAPEFRUIT (dairy or pareve)

2 large grapefruits, well chilled

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sliced strawberries for garnish

Prepare the grapefruit by cutting it in half and slicing a thin slice off the bottom of each half (this will help keep it stable when cooking). Using a small, sharp knife, section the grapefruit halves to loosen but not remove the segments. Basically, cut each segment around the membrane making sure to not cut through the rind. Place the sectioned halves in a glass baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Divide the mixture into 4 and spoon (our use your hands) to press the mixture evenly over the 4 grapefruit halves. Broiler until the topping is bubbly about 2 to 3 minutes. Watch this carefully, it will burn quickly. Serve immediately with the slice strawberries. Serves 4. Can be doubled or tripled

grapfruit 3

 

GRAPEFRUIT, HEARTS OF PALM AND MOCK CRAB SALAD (fish)

4 red or pink grapefruit, peeled segmented and cut into bite sized pieces

12 ounces mock crab, cut into bite sized pieces

1 14 oz. can hearts of palm, drained and sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup sliced green or black olives

A pinch or two of salt, to taste (may not need as the olives can be very salty)

Combine all the ingredients except the salt in a large glass bowl. Mix to combine and season with salt if desired. Serves 6

Modified From EatingWell: January/February 2013

SALMON WITH GRAPEFRUIT SALSA (fish)

1 orange, peeled, sectioned and cut into bite sized pieces

2 grapefruit, peeled, sectioned and cut into bite sized pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped parsley

2 green onions, sliced thin

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons orange zest

1 teaspoon grapefruit zest

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt and black pepper

4 salmon fillets, skin removed

2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Chopped parsley for garnish

For the salsa: In a bowl combine the orange and grapefruit pieces with the olive oil, parsley, green onions, capers, orange zest, grapefruit zest, and red pepper flakes. Mix to combine, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the salmon: Preheat the broiler. Brush the salmon on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Broil 5 to 6 minutes and remove from oven. Brush tops with the honey or maple syrup. Return the salmon to the oven and broil for 1 minute. Remove the salmon and place it on a serving platter or individual plates and then top with salsa and chopped parsley and serves. Serves 4. Recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Submitted by Randi Augastinick Indianapolis IN

GRAPEFRUIT AND WILD RICE SALAD (pareve)

1 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 grapefruit, peeled and the segments cut into bite sized pieces

1 avocado, peeled and diced into small pieces

2 green onions, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan with a lid combine a 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 3/4 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the rice to the boiling water and bring back to a full boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Let the rice cool to room temperature. While the rice is cooling, in a small bowl, combine the garlic, orange juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and rice wine vinegar. Whisk to combine.

Once the rice is cooled place it in a glass salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Add the grapefruit, avocado and green onion and toss just to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4, this can be doubled or tripled

My files source unknown

GRAPEFRUIT AND POMEGRANNET SALAD (pareve)

2 pomegranates, seeded

2 oranges, peeled, sectioned and cut into pieces

3 grapefruits, peeled, sectioned and cut into pieces

2 apples (Granny Smith or Honey crisp) sectioned and chopped into bite sized pieces

2 pears, chopped into bite sized pieces

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice or orange liqueur

Combine all the ingredients in a glass salad bowl and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving for all the flavors to meld. Serves 8 to 10 as a side dish.

My files, source unknown

© Eileen Goltz grapefruit 13a

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I’m Nuts for Coconuts

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The thing about coconut is that you either love it or hate it, and there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground. Used to be coconut was that “exotic” ingredient that made its appearance only in a cake or candy bar or cookie. Sure making macaroons (not the French kind) always required that you buy a bag or two but ethnic dishes aside, until a few years ago the idea of coconut water was laughable, now, it’s the hottest item in the specialty water market place.

Early New World Spanish explorers discovering the coconut in their exploration called the strange round object that fell from trees coco, which translated means “monkey face”. I suppose those three indentations on that hairy nut does sort of resembles a monkey head but really when the coconut was brought back to Europe it became a source for many and varied products. Just to be accurate, a coconut is actually the fruit of the coconut palm and is a drupe, not a nut at all. A drupe is a seed consisting of an outer hard shell

The coconut is a multi talented food source and it provides a form of meat, juice, milk, and oil to countries around the world. It’s also a rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Recent studies have shown that the coconut is one of the best foods around.

Today, coconut is considered a wonder food. There are lots and lots of coconut products available on grocery shelves these days. Shredded coconut, coconut milk, coconut flour, coconut oil, really coconut everything and knowing what you’re getting and how to use it is key to making the most of your coconut experience. The dried coconut is obviously used in all kind of dishes. The coconut oil and coconut milk (which come from flesh of the coconut) are used in cooking baking, cooking and frying and coconut oil is also used in the manufacturing of soap and cosmetics. Coconut water is the hot new product in the flavored water aisle these days and not to be ignored the husks and leaves are used for making furniture and other house hold items.

So, it’s obvious that the past bad rep surrounding the coconut has been debunked. Now that you know exactly how versatile every little part of the coconut is, go get some and use these fun and delicious recipes to become acquainted. Who knows, maybe it will become you new favorite ingredient.

 coconut 3 soup

COCONUT VODKA PASTA SAUCE

 

1/2 cup oil

1 large onions, minced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 to 3 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup vodka

2, 28 oz cans diced tomatoes

1 14-Ounce can coconut milk

Salt and Pepper, to Taste

Cork screw or bow tie pasta cooked al dente, kept warm

 

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic and celery in the oil until softened and just beginning to take on a brown color. De-glaze with the vodka, stir well, and let cook for 10 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes (with the juice) and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cook 20 more minutes. Using an immersion blender or food process. Puree slightly, leaving some chunks. Season with salt and pepper. You can serve immediately with the cooked pasta or cool and refrigerate or freeze. Makes About 2 Quarts

 

My file, source unknown

 

THAI CHICKEN SOUP

 

1 lb pkg. fettuccini noodles

4 heaping tablespoons shredded coconut, unsweetened, toasted

6 cups chicken broth

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red or green chili, seeded, finely sliced

2 tablespoons fish or soy sauce (more to taste)

2/3 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, finely chopped (use a food processor)

1/2 can coconut milk

2 tablespoons lime juice

Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley, optional

3 green onions, sliced

 

Place the dry noodles in a large bowl. Pour room temperature water over the noodles and let them soak for 10 to 15 minute. (They will be al dente in about 15 minutes). Drain and rinse and then divide them between 8 bowls)

 

Bring the broth to a boil in a large stock pot. Reduce to medium heat and add the turmeric, chili powder, garlic, and chili. Mix to combine, cook 2 minutes and then add the chicken. Continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes or until the chicken pieces are all cooked. Reduce heat to a simmer and add fish sauce, ground peanuts, and coconut milk. Cook for 1 minute more and remove from heat. Add the lime juice, mix to combine and then spoon the soup over the noodles in the 8 bowls. To serves, top each bowl with the chopped cilantro, green onion, and toasted coconut. Serves 8

 

Modified from yummly.com

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COCONUT SHRIMP CURRY

 

2 teaspoon olive oil

1 chopped onion

1 cup red bell peppers, sliced thinly

1 1/2 cup sugar snap peas

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 1/2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 tablespoon white sugar

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 pounds raw shrimp

2 cups light coconut milk from a can

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

1/4 cup chopped peanuts

salt to taste

cooked rice for 6 to 8

 

In a large skillet heat the oil and saute the onion, red pepper, and sugar snap peas for 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Add the cumin, coriander, and curry powder. Cook for 1minute. Add the coconut milk, sugar, and red pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil then quickly reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 2 minutes.

Add in the shrimp, bump up the heat to medium and cook until the shrimp is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. In a bowl, combine the cornstarch with the water. Stir the mixture into shrimp mixture, and cook until sauce has thickened, about 1 minute. Add salt to taste. Remove from heat, serve either on individual plates or on a platter. To serve sprinkle the chopped cilantro and peanuts on top. Serves 8.

 

Modified from about.com

 coconut 4 cake

COCONUT CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE CHUNKS AND COCONUT DRIZZLE

I love this recipe, I found it in Bon Appetite and have been making it ever since

 

Cake:

1 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate bars broken into small pieces, divided

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

 

Drizzle:

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons (or more) canned unsweetened coconut milk**

1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; dust pan with flour, shaking out excess. Sift 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Stir in the unsweetened shredded coconut and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, butter, and orange peel and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with coconut milk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Fold in half of bittersweet chocolate pieces. Spread batter evenly in prepared cake pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate pieces over batter, then sprinkle with sweetened flaked coconut.

 

Bake cake until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, (tent with sheet of foil if cake is browning too quickly) 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer cake to rack and cool in pan 45 minutes.

 

In a bowl combine the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk, and vanilla and mix to combine, adding more coconut milk by 1/2 teaspoonfuls until mixture is thin enough to drizzle over cake.

Place the cake on a serving platter and then drizzle the glaze over the top. Cool cake completely on platter. This is great with vanilla ice cream. Serves 10 to 12.

Modified from Bon Appétit January 2010

COCONUT HONEY SALMON

 

1 1/2 cups butter

3/4 cup honey

1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup flaked coconut

4 (4 ounce) fillets salmon

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In a saucepan combine the honey, brown, sugar, and coconut. Bring the mixture to a boil and then immediately remove from the heat. Cool the mixture slightly and pour it into a 9X13 glass pan. Place the salmon in the pan and then flip it once or twice to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Flip the filets and refrigerate for 30 more minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Arrange the salmon in the dish, and spoon some of the marinade over the top, making sure to get some of the coconut on the top. Season with just a little salt and pepper. Bake 25 minutes in the oven, basting occasionally with the sauce, until the salmon is flaked easily with a fork. Serves 4

Submitted by Eleanor Razon Toronto Canada

 

© Eileen Goltz coconut 13

 

I’m Back Get ready to Rock and Roll with CuisinebyEileen

Having taken some time off from blogging for a variety of reasons (most importantly, not enough hours in the day!!) I’ve decided that 2014 is the year I’m going to really get going on my blogging and hope eveyone who reads my posts passing them along to everyone they know or have ever met!!

My first foray back is my hommage to entertaining  and the do’s and don’ts that go along with it. Stay tuned for bigger, better, and more delicious post

No matter what your religious preference and practice (and even if you just see football as your religion) it’s pretty much a given that you’ve heard of the 10 commandments.  5 great do’s and 5 pretty awesome do not’s of  all encompassing guidelines on how to live a life that, while not guaranteed to avoid problems, at least will give you a road map on how to navigate some of the trickier issues of existence.

While I would, of course, never in 2013 or 5774 years (depending on which calendar you’re using) claim to have the same insight as the author it struck me as important that, at this time of year, a make you smile, nod your head a and say, oh yeah, I can do that 10 Commandments of Entertaining Priorities might just be appropriate.

  1. DO serve food with meaning and purpose.  HELLO, YOU DO NOT NEED 7 DIFFERENT DESSERTS. Put one less pie or cookie or even cake on the table. Nobody needs the calories. Instead, take the same amount money you would use to make it and donated to smaller, LOCAL organizations that produces immediate, tangible results. A food pantry, a homeless or battered women’s shelter. How about you give  $20 to a student you know who is struggling with debt or deliver a fruit basket or the fixings for a great meal to a family of an active duty service man or woman who  serve and protect and who we can never thank enough.
  2. DO Power down the electronics for at least an hour a day, every day. Actually have conversations and interact with your family, face to face, at a table, with a meal. Use your ears not your fingers to communicate. Say please and thank you and show your kids how manners work. Sure there’s probably an app for that or a very funny YouTube video on how to really talk to your parent/child/significant other but come on. The art of conversation starts with “so tell me about your day, your life, your work, and your hopes your dreams”, Get the picture? Ask about what’s going on and then LISTEN and HEAR and RESPOND.
  3. DO Write down the family recipes and pass them along this year. Teach your kids and grandkids exactly how to measure a pinch and a dollop and a smidge. Nothing says I love you like handing over the bowl and beaters with half the batter still clinging to the sides. Invite everyone to watch and help and take pictures. PASS OUT THE RECIPE TO EVERYONE WHO EVER ASKED YOU FOR IT. A recipe isn’t special; it’s just a memory, if nobody can make it after you’re gone.
  4. DO have fun non alcoholic options available. While liquor seems to be an essential in many celebrations some people struggle, especially at holiday time, with over indulgence. So much stupid stuff (verbal and physical) and accidents can be attributed to “being over the legal limit” so try opting out or limiting what’s available to the not so hard stuff. Try serving sparkling grape juice, apple juice, hot cider, punch or even fancy ice cream or coffee drinks; make them the stars of the beverage table. I’m not saying no way, no how, never to alcoholic but rather not during the day, not when anyone is going to be driving and especially if there are kids around.
  5. Do remember those people who make a difference to your kids and thank them. Teachers, especially deserve a big thank you. From my teacher friends I get the following advice. Any gift is fine but if you’re asking please don’t give a sweater, or a picture frame or even a book, even if you think they will like it. Yes the thought is nice but think about it. Do you really know their size? Color preference? Allergies? Average class size 26 to 35. What would you do with 26 picture frames or sweatshirts or pencil holders???? I suggest a gift certificate to a department store, grocery store, coffee shop, bakery, movie tickets or book store. The best present is one they can pick out themselves.
  6. DON’T JUDGE. Easier said than not done. So what if your 3rd cousin walks in the door with a new tattoo sleeve that has pictures of hello kitty on it or your father in law has decided that this is the year of the handle bar mustache.  Family party time is NOT the time to voice your concern, objection or even curiosity as to personal choices, no matter how much the significance escapes you. Save your questions, objections or even rampant curiosity for a quieter more private one on one meeting with whom so ever has given you pause.
  7. DON’T PLAY FAVORITES. Invite the forgotten neighbor, or friend whose family is out of town. Does it really matter if you can’t stand your sister in law’s parents or your son’s girlfriends step father? Ask yourself if they’re so unredeemable you need to cut them out of your life. If not, be the bigger person. Suck it up and put on your game face and say, let’s get together. Everyone needs to feel they are wanted even the obnoxious. I’m not saying invite someone you’re not overly fond of to dinner but rather, unless someone is so toxic they can’t be around small children or pets invite them share just a small part of the holiday. A cup of coffee in the afternoon or a quick “come on over for dessert” goes a long way to bridging a strained relationship or building a new one.
  8. DON’T FORGET TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Acknowledge and thank yourself for all that you do. Take a moment to appreciate the unique way you contribute to the betterment of your family, work, and the world in general.  Indulge in a nap, a massage or even a piece of chocolate just because you deserve a moment in time for the world to revolve around you.
  9. DON’T SWEAT THE CLEAN UP. Those dishes and laundry will be there in the morning. Nobody cares. I’m not saying let they house fall to rack and ruin and anticipate a call from the Hoarders TV show but just let some of your cleaning take a holiday too.  Spend the time with your friends and family and shove the stuff in the dishwasher, hamper under the bed or under the rug. At the end your life are you really going to say, “Gee, I wish I’d done more loads of laundry and I really regret not making my bed”? Don’t think so.

10. DON’T FORGET THE THREE MAGIC WORD. They are not, pass the salt, move your butt, pick it up, and even put that down or please and thank you (although those last two are kinda important). The words I LOVE YOU are some of the most powerful on the planet, no matter the language. Put in the effort to form the words and say, for no particular reason other than you can “l love you, I appreciate you and my favorite how did I get so lucky to have you in my life (I often ask my kids if they know how lucky they are to have me as a mom but that’s not quite what I’m getting at)?” Use the words to say what’s in your heart, I guarantee, they will be the best gift you give this year.