TEA FOR YOU…. BETTER BREW
From what I read 25 percent of you buy bottled tea, also called ready-to-drink (RTD) tea. Some of it is made from a tea extract rather than tea leaves. In addition, many contain a lot of sugar or high fructose corn syrup and lower levels of flavonoids, the antioxidants found in black, green and white tea. Although sun tea is also popular during the summer months, research shows that sun tea does not give you the same benefits as brewing tea at a high temperature. Boiling water affects the acidity, important in releasing polyphenols that protect the body against disease. Of added concern is bacteria developing because the water wasn’t boiled.
Hot off the press from The Harvard Common Press is Not Your Mother’s Microwave Cookbook by Beth Hershperger. One of the recipes is for a citrus flavored brewed tea that makes 2 quarts in about 8 minutes.
THE BEST SUMMERTIME ICED TEA
6-ounces frozen pink lemonade, thawed
8 cups water
8 orange pekoe tea bags
½ small bunch of fresh mint
1 cup squeezed orange juice
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Place water in 2-quart Pyrex glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 5 to 6 minutes, to bring to a boil. Place the tea bags and mint in a deep heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water and let steep for 30 minutes. Add the juices, stir, and then pour through a strainer into a large serving pitcher. Discard the tea bags and mint. Cover the pitcher and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve iced tea over ice cubes in a tall glass, with a small pitcher of Sugar Syrup on the side to sweeten if desired.
To make syrup, in a one quart measuring cup combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and a few strips of orange zest and lime zest. Microwave on high for 2-1/2 minutes, until water is hot and sugar is dissolved. Stir to completely dissolve sugar. Discard the zest and transfer to a jar, cover and refrigerate.
Source: Not Your Mother’s Microwave Cookbook by Beth
Hershperger; The Harvard Common Press, June 2010;
$14.95/softback. Order from Amazon.com or buy at your favorite bookstore.
CHILL OUT! GRILL OUT!
Hot, humid weather is the perfect time for grilling outdoors. In addition to the variety of foods that “take to grilling,” outdoor cooking is the “green thing” to do. It puts less strain on your AC inside.
During the summer months I do a lot of vegetables in an inexpensive grill pan that I bought at Chief several years ago. Vegetables that I grill include different colored bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, red onion slices, asparagus and/or green beans and sometimes partially cooked small whole red potatoes. Add just enough olive oil to coat pieces and grill until crisp-cooked, stirring often. Memo readers know that for years I’ve cooked meats and fish by indirect heat and veggies over direct heat. To keep things from sticking, spray the grill with Pam that’s made for grilling but do it before you turn on the grill.
This summer I’ve added stone fruits like peaches, nectarines and plum halves to my grilling repertoire. Beforehand brush with melted butter. Grill cut side down until grill marks form. Turn over and add a spoonful of honey or brown sugar to the cavity and continue grilling. Slightly under ripe fruit works better than overripe ones.
Something else that I grill is hearts of romaine halves. Brush the cut side with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill until romaine starts to brown at the edges. Before serving drizzle with a small amount of balsamic vinegar or serve plain. Another Thaman grill favorite is a mixture of unpeeled thinly sliced russet potatoes (1 per person), thinly sliced sweet onion to taste, small dabs of butter, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Spray a large sheet of heavy duty foil with Pam. Arrange potato mixture in the center of the sheet. Wrap securely so juices can’t leak out. It will take about 45 minutes over medium heat, turning the package a couple times so what’s inside doesn’t burn. The bigger the package, the longer it will take. To serve, cut off one end of foil package and hold over serving bowl. Potato mixture will slide out.
PIECE DE RESISTANCE
I love summer when fresh fruit is its flavorful best! Fresh Fruit Salad Dressing will enhance the flavor of whatever fruits you put together. Bryan shoppers gave it rave reviews and I do, too!
FRESH FRUIT SALAD DRESSING
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