June 27, 2008

Summertime Anytime

The most recent addition to my cookbook collection is Dana Slatkin's cheery filled Summertime Anytime Cookbook. Slatkin is the co-owner of Shutters on the Beach located in Santa Monica. I've never been, but from the photos it looks like the perfect taste of the seashore.

She groups her recipes into charming categories, Sunny Days, Cloudy Days, Balmy Nights, Stormy Nights and Misty Mornings. I've tested out her Cucumber Gazpacho from Sunny Days and the brilliant Shutters Vegetarian Burger from Cloudy Days. (Mom I think even you will like your veggies this way!)

I still have yet to try her Pomegranate Mojito and Chilled Avocado-Corn Soup with Cilantro Oil, oh and Iced Nougat with Honey & Figs. She beautifully captures the ingredients of Summer in her stunning beach cookbook.

Shutters Vegetarian BurgerAdapted from The Summertime Anytime Cookbook by Dana Slatkin
makes 6 burgers

1/4 C bbq sauce
2 T soy sauce
1 T hoisin sauce
1 T molasses
1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained
2 C cooked brown rice
1 T oat bran or wheat germ
2 T finely chopped onion, I grated on the large holes of my box grater1 T minced garlic
2 T finely chopped cooked beets (fresh or canned), I roasted my own & again grated on the large holes of my box grater. My suggestion would be to roast your own, it's always so much tastier than a can of beets. Plus you get the benefits of turning you and your kitchen bright pink!1 T minced jalapeno pepper, seeded
2 t extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for cooking
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t chile powder
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 large egg white, beaten
6 slices of Monterey jack or sharp Cheddar cheese
6 whole-grain or sprouted-wheat buns
Shredded lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, dill or sweet pickles

1. In a small container, stir together the bbq sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce & molasses.

2. In a large bowl, mash the beans with a fork. Stir in 3 T of the bbq sauce mixture along with the rice, oat bran, onion, garlic, beets, pepper, oil, cumin and chile powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper before adding the egg white. Form into 6 patties, each about 1 inch thick. Brush the burgers with the remaining bbq sauce mixture.

3. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add a thin film of oil. Cook the patties until they are well charred on each side, about 4 minutes per side, being careful when flipping them as they fall apart easily. Top them with the cheese and cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the burgers to serving plates.

4. Brown the buns briefly in the skillet. Place them on the serving plates with the burgers and arrange the desired garnishes on the side.

Dana servers hers with Sweet Potato Fries, which is also what I served mine with, however I baked mine. Simply cut 3 sweet potatoes into 12 wedges each, toss with cumin, salt and olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. I also served my Chunky Almond Slaw, Baby spinach salad with Artichoke Hearts & Cherry Tomatoes and to finish Cherries & Peaches with honey kissed ricotta. For the sides, red leaf lettuce, avocado slices, heirloom tomato slices, sliced red onion, dill pickles, mustard, ketchup, mayo and special sauce.

Cucumber GazpachoAdapted from The Summertime Anytime Cookbook by Dana Slatkin

serves 6-8
3 C plain yogurt, preferably Greek-style or whole milk
5 medium English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
1/2 bunch celery (about 4 long stalks), roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
3 scallions, white & green parts, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
1/2 bunch fresh dill, leaves only, plus a few sprigs for garnish
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium pink radishes, grated for garnish

1. In a blender, puree the yogurt, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, scallions, cilantro, and dill in batches until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

2. Serve the soup in chilled bowls or salted glasses with dill sprigs and grated radish for garnish.

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