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Lynn Andriani (187 posts)
Borscht for Blistering Hot Days
You won't find a more eye-catching bowl of soup than this deep red puree, which includes baby beets, orange juice, marjoram and fennel. A spin on cold borscht, it also contains buttermilk and a blend of toasted coriander, caraway and fennel seeds.
Get the recipe: Beet Soup with Buttermilk and Marjoram
A New Use for an Old Southern Favorite
Pickled watermelon rind is a classic Southern condiment that's delicious on its own or added to chicken, shrimp or tuna salad. Making your own isn't difficult, but it takes a few days; otherwise, you can buy it on Amazon. In this recipe, the rind makes a tangy salsa that adds texture and flavor to a smooth watermelon-cucumber-chili soup.
Get the recipe: Cucumber-Watermelon Soup
And when life gives you a surplus of inexpensive lobsters with the promise that some may even be cerulean, we can't think of anything better to do than make the easier-than-it-sounds Lobster Thermidor. You could also fold the sweet meat into mac 'n' cheese (rich and buttery, with a decadence we didn't know was possible). Or, take the outdoor route and grill your lobsters and serve them with chili sauce. One more idea: simply mix together a lobster salad and scoop it up with toasted slices of baguette.
Finally, open up a bottle of equally cheap summer wine (perhaps raising a glass with a lobster-tinted manicure?).
Love crab cakes? 4 ways to make them
What to eat after a day at the beach
Read this before you pack a cooler for your road trip
Not that you need much more of a "recipe" than the one described above, but you can top your affogato with crushed espresso beans, shaved dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts, or dulce de leche. However you serve this treat, it's best to eat it while envisioning yourself at a cafe in Rome, while your Vespa waits just across the piazza.
The best summer desserts to bring to a party
No-bake sweets for the hottest days
More delightfully icy treats
You're in luck if you have a rice cooker--and not because a nice big bowl of aromatic basmati is the answer to all your steamed-up prayers. These handy little appliances (which also happen to be cheap--you can get a decent one for less than $20) aren't just for rice. You can use them to make pasta, eggs, stir-fries and much more. Like slow cookers, they don't generate a lot of heat, but they're powerful enough to sear slices of chicken sausage, soften risotto into creamy spoonfuls and yes, give you perfectly-cooked grains of rice. Making dinner in the rice cooker is fast and easy, usually involving tossing all the ingredients into the pot, covering it with the lid and turning it on. Your one-dish meal will be ready in about 20 minutes. One last reason to dig out your rice cooker: clean-up is minimal--which means you'll be back in front of the fan, with an ice pop for dessert, in a flash.
As this Chow.com video demonstrates, making a spiral-cut hot dog is easier than it sounds. First, you thread a skewer straight through the dog (if you mess up, just try again; the tutorial promises hot dogs are forgiving). Then, make a long cut with a knife that winds around and around the stick. Remove the skewer, and you're left with a curlicued tendril of beef, chicken or tofu, ready to cook. The increased surface area results in more caramelization and crunch from the grill. The spiral-cut dog also gives you a row of little crevices where you can tuck extra bits of relish, mustard or ketchup (or not ketchup, depending on where you stand in this debate). And last we checked, no one's ever asked "How'd you do that?" when it came to a grilled burger.
Try these cheese- and jalapeño-stuffed hot dogs
What did they do before hot dog buns?
A no-fail recipe for pigs in a blanket
Italian: Swap in 1 tsp. of dried oregano for the Old Bay, and use basil as the fresh herb.
Asian: Substitute hot Chinese mustard for Old Bay, and instead of the herbs use fresh ginger (1/2 Tbsp. peeled and minced). Wasabi mayonnaise, available at many grocery stores and Asian markets, is an ideal accompaniment.
Greek: Skip the Old Bay and amp up the herbs: stir in a Tbsp. each of fresh mint and dill. Tzatziki is the perfect dipping sauce.
Latin-Indian: In place of Old Bay, use Sambar or curry powder. For the herbs, use cilantro, and serve the cakes with lime wedges and mango chutney.
This summer's coolest food combinations
More foods to eat this month
Why does beach food taste so delicious?
Liquor and wine prices in restaurants are up 79% over the past 30 years, NPR reported recently. You can thank the rising cost of liquor licenses and the fact that bartenders haven't gotten any more productive since 1982, i.e., they can't pour drinks any faster--among other factors, which Eater.com explains in this article (the piece also explains why prices probably won't come down anytime soon).
So where does that leave us cost-conscious sauvignon blanc seekers? Either at whatever outdoor bistro has the best happy hour deal, or following the guidelines in Oprah.com's Cheap Summer Wine Guide. Every bottle costs less than $12, from crisp Moscato to an Italian aperetif made with semisparkling wine, fresh citrus and herbs. And there are even tricks to the speediest way to chill your beverage. You're welcome.
Raspberry-Thyme Spritzers recipe
14 cocktails that are good for you (really!)
The retro drink everyone loves
Homemade Magic Shell
The DIY version of this classic ice cream topping is surprisingly easy to make (all you need are coconut oil and semi-sweet chocolate chips), and tastes just like a dipped cone from the truck on the corner, minus the alkali and soy lecithin.
If you're growing zucchini, you're probably familiar with their abundant but delicate flowers (which are also available at farmer's markets now). It's best to pick or buy the yellow-and-orange blossoms and eat them the same day, since they wilt quickly. While the most common--and arguably tastiest--way to serve them is to stuff the long, narrow blooms with cheese and fry them, they're also excellent baked, or incorporated into pasta dishes, quesadillas or soup.
Why we're thinking of these two things: Salt's BFF goes into everything we cook, and lately we've been combining strawberries with balsamic vinegar.
Putting them together: Instead of giving the berries a sharp bite, pepper lends a subtle warmth.
Add one more element: A drizzle of orange juice over pepper-dusted strawberries creates a luscious sauce for ice cream.
Why we're thinking of these two things: It's common to match the salty Greek cheese with olives, tomatoes or cucumbers, and eat the melon on its own or in a salad with other fruit.
Putting them together: The sweet, juicy watermelon takes on an almost savory edge with sharp feta.
Add one more element: Mint brightens both foods' flavors.
1. Eat what makes you happy.
Barbara Lynch may run the kitchen at the Boston fine dining restaurant Menton, but when she's in a wet bathing suit, she wants a tuna fish sandwich on white bread with tons of mayo, a jar of Vlasic pickle spears, a Diet Coke and Utz potato chips.
2. You get extra points for drawn butter.
Dipping steamed or grilled shellfish--whether steamed clams (which are Annisa chef Anita Lo's choice) or lobster (Marc Murphy of Ditch Plains' pick)--into melted butter is messy, fun...and probably not something you do at home on a typical February evening.