Market Fresh: Cherries

Cherries are perhaps one of my very favorite fruits. I like them sweet or tart and I am hard-pressed to pass up a piece of cherry pie or a jar of preserves. The flavor and texture of this wonderful fruit amaze me every summer. I’m content enough to just sit with a bowl of cherries and eat them by themselves but I wanted to share some different uses for them. And yes, there is a cherry salsa – I thought it only fitting after the yummy blueberry salsa Heather posted a couple of weeks ago! My two-year-old gobbled it down though we all liked it!

I found and adapted these recipes from a couple of cherry grower websites. They were all delicious and showcase cherries in some different ways. It was fun using them in a couple of more savory dishes and the honeydew and cherry salad was very refreshing! Hope you enjoy!

CHERRY ROMAINE SALAD w/SMOKED TURKEY
Print This Recipe

1 head Romaine lettuce, medium-chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup diced green onion or chives
1 can (11-ounce) mandarin oranges
1 cup smoked turkey, diced
2/3 cup sweet cherries, washed, pitted and halved (I used Ranier)
balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)
Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to tasteToss all salad ingredients together except cherries in a large bowl.Whisk all Balsamic Vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over salad, reserving 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette, and toss salad. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette over cherries and toss to coat. Arrange salad on individual plates and sprinkle with cherries.Serves 4

MINTY CHERRY & HONEYDEW SALAD
Print This Recipe

1/4 honeydew melon, seeds and skin removed, and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/4 cup minced fresh mint plus mint sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons light honey
1 1/2 cups pitted fresh cherries
lemon juice
juice of 2 limes

Put the cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and minced fresh mint in a bowl and turn several times. Put the honey in a bowl with the lemon juice and stir until the honey dissolves, a minute or two. Pour this over the melons and turn several times. Add the cherries, turning them in as well. Pour the lime juice over all, garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

Serves 6

FRESH CHERRY SALSA
Print This Recipe

1 cup pitted fresh sweet cherries (I used a combination of bing & ranier cherries)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped green peppers
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash bottled hot pepper sauce

Chop cherries in food processor or manually. Combine all ingredients; mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Makes 2 servings.

Advertisements

International Cuisine: Chinese Main Dishes

We love to order take-out every once in awhile. These recipes made me realize that I should make Chinese at home more often!

SZECHWAN SHRIMP
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
Print This Recipe

4 Tb. water
2 Tb. ketchup
1 Tb. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tb. peanut or vegetable oil
1/4 c. sliced green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces peeled, deviened shrimp with tails

In a bowl, stir together water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, crushed red pepper, and ground ginger. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in green onions and garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in shrimp, and toss to coat with oil. Stir in sauce. Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and thickened and shrimp is fully cooked – about 5-7 minutes.

ASIAN BEEF with PEA PODS
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
Print This Recipe

3 Tb. soy sauce
2 Tb. rice wine vinegar
1 Tb. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tb. peanut oil
2 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. beef round steak, cut into thin strips
8 oz. pea pods

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium high heat. Stir-fry ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the steak and stir-fry for 2 min. or until evenly browned. Add the snow peas and stir-fry for an additional 3 min. Add the soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat and simmer until the sauce is thick. Serve immediately.

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
Print This Recipe

1 (16 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained (juice reserved)
2 green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 3/4 c. water
3/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. distilled white vinegar
2 drops orange food color
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 inch cubes
2 1/4 c. self-rising flour
2 Tb. vegetable oil
2 Tb. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 egg
2 c. water
1 quart vegetable or canola oil for frying

In a saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups water, sugar, vinegar, reserved pineapple juice, and orange food coloring. Heat to boiling. Turn off heat. Combine 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; slowly stir into saucepan. Continue stirring until mixture thickens.

Combine flour, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, salt, white pepper, and egg. Add 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 cups water gradually to make a thick batter. Stir to blend thoroughly. Add chicken pieces, and stir until chicken is well coated.

Heat oil in skillet, fryer or wok to 360 degrees F. Fry chicken pieces in hot oil until golden. Remove chicken, and drain on paper towels.

When ready to serve, layer green peppers, pineapple chunks, and cooked chicken pieces on a platter. Pour hot sweet and sour sauce over top. Serve with steamed rice if desired.