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Creamy mousse, coconut rum soaked lady fingers, rainier cherries and passion fruit, perfect for a hot summer afternoon.

I am always inspired by the flavors and colors of summer. It’s easy to imagine what to eat when there are so many wonderful things available this time of year.

Peaches, plums, cherries and other splendid things. I wouldn’t know what I would do without summer.

Snacking on baskets of summer fruits is nostalgic. Growing up foraging for days in the hidden fruit patches was what we did. The experience was special. Wild fruits bursting with flavor had something extra than being delicious, something so natural as if touched by magic.

Besides loving the season of fruitfulness this mousse dessert soaked with coconut rum is refreshing. However I am still thinking of my friend d’s mixed berry pie we all shared the other week during dinner.  With wild berries now available, I might just make a berry pie for a picnic with friends.

For now, timing is perfect for cooking easy, vibrantly flavored recipes so simple that makes summer extra special.

Lots of fresh recipes I can’t wait to share.

Do you have any fond memories of summer?

Coconut Mousse Recipe [Serves 6]

6 Tablespoons coconut puree*

3 Tablespoons cold water

¾ teaspoon granular gelatin

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

1-2 teaspoons cane sugar

24 gluten-free lady fingers

1 cup coconut syrup

24 rainier cherries

2 passion fruits

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and allow to bloom for a few minutes.

2. Gently warm coconut puree in a small bowl over barely simmering water. Set aside.

3. Place gelatin over simmering water to melt. Turn off heat and continue.

4. Whip cream and sugar in a bowl just before stiff peaks form.

5. Whisk warmed coconut puree into the gelatin until incorporated.

6. Gently fold coconut/gelatin mixture into whipped cream.

assembling individual desserts:

1. Dip lady fingers one at a time in coconut syrup for a brief moment and place one in the bottom of six serving cups.

2. Spoon a little coconut mousse over the lady fingers.

3. Repeat with another layer of lady fingers and more mousse. Continue until you have four layers of lady fingers. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour to set mousse.

4. Garnish mousse with rainier cherries and a small amount of passion fruit flesh.

5. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve chilled or bring almost to room temp.

assembling one whole desert:

Follow the layering instructions as stated above, but cover the base of a dish with soaked lady fingers and a layer of coconut mouse. Repeat to use up remaining lady fingers and mouse. Garnish with cherries and passion fruit; dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Gluten-free Lady’s Fingers [makes 24]

6 Tablespoons sorghum flour

1/3 cup tapioca starch

3 large eggs, separated

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup cane sugar

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Sift together sorghum flour and tapioca starch together. Set aside.

2. Beat egg whites with sea salt until soft peaks form.

3. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form.

4. Beat in egg yolks.

5. Gently fold in flour mixture.

6. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch round tip and pipe strips of batter two inches long.

7. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, and then repeat when the first dusting is absorbed.

8. Bake for 12 minutes.

9 Remove from the pan once there are finished baking to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

Coconut Soaking Syrup [makes 1 cup]

1/3 cup coconut rum

1/3 cup canned coconut milk

1/3 cup cane sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Cool.

*note: The coconut puree used for this recipe is a concentrate made from coconut with added sugar and should not be substituted with coconut milk. I used Boiron brand puree.

I really enjoy weekends when there is nothing big going on, no house projects that need tending too. A weekend like that is a good time to catch up on movies that have spent too much time on the coffee table and to read a few pages of interest from books that always seem to pile themselves in any space there is room.

The kitchen was well in use this weekend, testing out new ideas and cooking up favorites it was hard to decide which one to write about. As indecisive as I can be more often than not I decided to post a few of them here. Cooking food for capturing “that shot,” can mean eating food that has sat to long or in most cases cold, my thought through this process was to be quick and precise, allowing time to enjoy food as it should be, “right out of the kitchen.”

 

Seafood Chowder Recipe

¼ cup shallots, diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

 

2 cups fish stock

13 little neck clams

13 mussels

1 1/3 pounds white fish [swordfish was used here]

 

1 large russet potato, approximately one pound, peeled and chopped

½ cup cream

1 Tablespoon Sunny Paris Seasoning [Penzy’s]

¼ cup fresh chopped dill

Sea salt & freshly grated black pepper [to taste]

 

1. Sauté shallots and garlic on low heat for a few minutes until light golden.

2. Add the fish stock bring to a simmer.

3. Add clams and mussels and cook covered until they open approximately 3-5 minutes.

4. Remove clams and mussels, discarding any unopened ones, set these aside.

5. Add chopped potatoes and simmer until just tender. At this point add the swordfish and the seasoning mix. Cook just until fish flakes.

6. Stir in the cream and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

7. Add clams and mussels back into the pan and heat through.

8. Serve with crusty French bread and garnish dish with fresh chopped dill.

Serves 2-4.

 

Quinoa Salad w/ Toasted Chickpeas & Summer Vegetables

 

½ cup quinoa

¾ cup water

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

1 medium zucchini

2 Tablespoons safflower oil

1 cup small heirloom variety tomatoes, halved

 

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1 Tablespoon safflower oil

1 teaspoon Sunny Paris Seasoning [Penzy’s]

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

 

cooking the quinoa:

1. Place quinoa, water and sea salt in a small pot and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered until all of the water is absorbed.

3. Turn off heat and rest for 5-10 minutes. Spread out on a sheet tray to cool.

 

preparing the chickpeas & zucchini:

1. Toss chickpeas with the oil, seasoning, salt and pepper and roast in a 350ºF oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and toasted. Cool.

2. Blanch the zucchini whole in salted water. Shock in an ice bath until cool enough to handle.

3. Quarter zucchini lengthwise and then into one inch pieces.

4. Place zucchini between paper towels to dry.

5. Sauté zucchini in oil and season with salt and pepper.

6. Combine all of the ingredients and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve room temp.

Serves 2-4.

 

Cherry Clafoutis

 

2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

5 Tablespoons granular sugar

½ cup cream

½ cup whole milk

4 whole eggs

 

1 cup red cherries, pitted

 

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

preparing the custard:

1. Whisk together flour and sugar.

2. Add a little bit of the milk to the flour/sugar mix to form a smooth paste.

3. Add remaining milk, cream and eggs, whisk until smooth.

filling & baking the clafoutis:

1. Butter an eight inch baking dish and dust with sugar.

2. Arrange pitted cherries in the bottom and gently pour in the custard as to not disturbe the cherries too much.

3. Bake clafoutis for 20-25 minutes or until custard has puffed and browned.

Serve at room temperature with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar if you desire.

Serves 2-4.

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