Here’s the thing about granitas: you might recognize them as slushies or slurpees or shave ice. The nuances are small, but the most important thing to know about the granitas we make is not that they’re slushy or bright but that they make use of the freshest ingredients–in this case, delightfully ripe summer peaches.
The process for making granita is more or less the same, whether you’re starting with coffee or fruit. Here, we take peaches, Champagne, amaretto, and simple syrup made from sugar and combine them.
We dissolve the sugar into simple syrup, dissolving the grains so the final texture is smooth, not gritty.
That’s blended into a fruity, frothy mix:
We pour the mixture into a flat, wide pan and stick that in the freezer. Because there’s booze, which has a very low freezing point, in there, you don’t need to scrape the pan every half hour as you do with coffee granita.
By the time the granita emerges several hours later, it’ll be easy to scrape the ice into individual ice crystals. Scrape as much as you want (it’s kind of fun!). That’s the whole entire process–yes, you need a little time, but you don’t have to do much, turn the oven on, or get a lot of dishes dirty.
If you’d like, you can turn this into a frosty cocktail by topping off the “slush” with peach schnapps or more champagne. You can also add mint or basil to the puree or as a garnish for an herbal note that complements the peachy flavor.
In the summer, desserts are both easier and harder to make. Easier, because there’s so much incredible ripe fruit available, from beautiful berries to stone fruits like peaches, and harder, because it’s hard to turn on the oven when the temperature is rising outside.
That’s where these strawberry parfaits come in. The only cooking is melting butter, and that can be done in the microwave. Besides that, grab graham crackers, powdered sugar, heavy cream, lots of strawberries, and let’s go! You won’t need the oven at all. You’ll need to crumble the graham crackers to make one of the layers of the parfaits. This is most easily done by breaking the crackers up into a sealable sandwich bag. Seal the bag, then use a rolling pin (or a wine bottle!) to turn the pieces into crumbs. Those get mixed with butter and set aside.
Then, simply whip the cream (here’s how), and fold in some macerated berries.
Into each of six cocktail glasses, pile the strawberries, cream, and graham cracker crumbs. As you scoop up bites, you’ll find the perfect mash-up of crunchy, creamy, bright, and sweet. It’s a dessert that’s just perfect for the Fourth of July!
We love adding oranges to all kinds of dishes, both sweet and savory. The blood orange supremes truly make this Roasted Kale Salad, and our Pan-Seared Tilapia just wouldn’t be the same without oranges in its side salad. But how to get the delicious citrusy flesh without the bitter white pith? Our chef, Matthew Wadiak, shows how to cut an orange to make the most of the good parts–and eliminate the bad. The resulting wedges are called orange supremes.
There are so many ways to interpret Valentine’s Day: as 24 hours of pure romance, as a chance to curl up on the couch with your partner, or as a time to act like a kid and play the day like a theme party. The latter approach involves wearing pink clothing, handing out homemade valentines to friends, and refusing to eat anything that isn’t red or pink.
For this goal, we’ve put together six delicious main dishes that keep you 100 percent on theme. Hope you like beets!
In January, the desserts on our mind are not the gooey decadent onesof December or the chocoholic sweetswe’ll be feeding to our loved ones come Valentine’s Day. No, this time of year, we’re thinking fruit for dessert. Winter’s apples, oranges, and pears satisfy our sweet tooth after a good meal without threatening our commitment to healthful eating. We didn’t make our New Year’s resolutions that long ago!
That’s why, when we think about how to step dessert up a notch for celebrations or cozy family dinners, we’re still focused on fruit. Bosc pears represent one of the few fruits that are really juicy and ripe this time of year, and so we make the most out of their perfection by topping them with an oatmeal-based crumble topping, which gets crispy and browned in the oven. While the crisp is, well, crisping up, the pears beneath the topping grow sweeter and meltingly soft.
To start, simply gather your five six ingredients: ripe pears, old-fashioned oats, flour, salted butter, chopped walnuts, and brown sugar. The pears and a little bit of the sugar go into the bottom of your baking pan, while the butter, oats, walnuts, sugar, and flour combine to become the crisp topping. Using your fingers to combine the ingredients will result in a bowl full of delicious sweet crumble. (We won’t tell if you try a bite!)
Sprinkle the crumble on top of the pears, and that’s all your prep. Then, while you’re eating dinner, stick the whole pan in the oven and wait for the fragrant scents of pears, brown sugar, and toasting oats to take over your kitchen.
We like to serve with a little whipped cream–but you could try a scoop of your favorite ice cream, too.
We’d like to introduce you to our first-ever Blue Apron dessert. Meet the Five-Ingredient Apple Turnover.
(Before any subscribers get too excited to find sugar in your Blue Apron box, let us clarify. We’re giving you recipes for dessert, but we’re sticking with savory in terms of the actual ingredients we send out!)
Look, we love dinner. Cooking nourishing, satisfying food is our bread and butter.
We’d be nuts if we said no to a good homemade dessert though, and so we’re bringing you a new series of ultra-simple, completely delicious desserts made with only five ingredients. We plan to keep that ingredient list not just short but also simple, so expect to find everything you need at any supermarket. You might even have some ingredients, like apples and sugar, at home already. Let’s satisfy that Blue Apron sweet tooth.
Today’s turnovers are smaller, more portable cousins of pies. In the final product, golden, flaky crust envelops lightly cooked apples flavored with sugar and cinnamon–the flavors apples have an affinity for. Because each turnover is a single portion, the assembly is easy t00, since you never have to work with big awkward sheets of pastry. After a few minutes of work, a few minutes of stovetop cooking, and ten minutes in the oven, your apartment will smell like fall and you’ll be sitting down to a lovely warm fruit dessert you won’t believe you made so quickly and with so few ingredients.
Here’s all you’ll need: apples, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and puff pastry.
Let’s talk about why sweet and savory are so good together.
In this dish, sweet peach, spicy arugula, and fragrant tarragon conspire to turn crispy trout into an extraordinary dinner. And while spicy arugula and fragrant tarragon (and fingerling potatoes! and almonds!) are good on their own, it’s the peaches here that set the dish apart.
To make a dish more tasty than usual, it helps to have its flavors hit several different notes. Two of those are sweet and savory.
We tend to think that sweet tastes below in dessert, after we’ve eaten our due savory courses. But if you think about some of the most delicious delicacies, you’ll find the two combined. Chocolate covered pretzels boast are better because they offer both sweet and savory notes. Many chefs pair melon or figs with salty prosciutto. Many Southeast Asian dishes, like these noodles, contain more sugar than you’d imagine, to balance out the sour, salty, and bitter notes that are instrumental to every dish.
So, back to the peach.
In summer, ripe peaches give off the scent of honey. Their juices are incredibly sweet, meant to drip off your chin when you take a bite. All those sugary notes provide just the complement to the other savory flavors in this dish: those rich almonds, that spicy arugula, that tangy dressing. By the time you’ve piled the salad high on top of the crispy trout, you’ll have made a meal that’s balanced, both in terms of health and flavor. Enjoy!
We’re happy to be participating in Food Network’s Summer Fest, a weekly blog tour of all the incredible produce we’ll be enjoying this summer. This week, the topic is peaches! You can see the other bloggers’ delicious creations by following the links below.
Though it may seem like Sylvester the Cat from Looney Tunes invented the word succotash with his catch phrase “sufferin’ succotash,” the vegetable dish actually comes from a pre-TV place.
Way pre-TV, in fact. The Narragansett Native American word “msíckquatash,” meaning boiled corn kernels, is the origin of the dish that today describes not just corn kernels (no longer boiled), which still form the base of succotash, but these days are only the start. As the dish has grown up, from colonial American tables to our frying pans, it has come to feature seasonal vegetables that grow alongside corn in the summer, like beans, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, shallots, and herbs.
Fresh-tasting, filling succotash honestly stands up pretty well as a vegetarian main course, especially if you add protein-packed beans like edamame or fava. In this recipe though, we pair the succotash with quickly sautéed cod filets, whose rich flaky texture is wonderful with every bite of succotash. To make sure the cod gets crispy and golden, we dip it in rice flour, a light coating that ensures that the cod is completely dry when it hits the pan–that creates the crisp exterior.
The last extraordinary part of this recipe? Pickled grape slices, sweet, cool, and surprising on top of the fish filet.
We’re happy to be participating in Food Network’s Summer Fest, a weekly blog tour of all the incredible produce we’ll be enjoying this summer. This week, the topic is summer corn. You can see the other bloggers’ delicious corny creations by following the links below. (Second only to this succotash, our favorite corn dish is Mexican-style corn, or elote.)
HERE’S HOW is a series where we share the best useful tips from our cooking adventures. We’ll answer questions before you have them and illuminate food mysteries with a blend of science and legend. Today, we’re talking avocados–how to know when they’re perfectly ripe.
In this week’s vegetarian box, we adorn Grilled Zucchini Tacos with delicious homemade guacamole. If you’ve ever dipped a corn chip into a bowl of fresh guacamole, you know why the dip is so good: it contains avocados, the most satisfying vegetable we know. (It is, however, really a fruit.)
When we send out avocados for Avocado Tartines or Cucumber-Avocado Maki, we make a point to order them “sushi ripe” from our purveyors. That means the avocados arrive ready to eat, soft but not too soft, and exquisitely creamy. Ripe avocados should be stored on the counter and used within two days.
Here’s how to investigate any avocado and tell when it is perfectly ripe. Our goal? That you’ll never try to cut into a hard, under-ripe avocado again.
You can get your first gauge on the ripeness of an avocado just by looking at it. Here’s how: ripe avocados tend to be darker in color than their lesser-ripe cousins. Hass avocados, the most common avocado at markets in most parts of the United States, have a bumpy dark green skin when under-ripe. As soon as they ripen, that green darkens and becomes almost purple. If you’re looking at a big bin of avocados, start picking up the darkest ones first, to check if they feel ripe. Read on to see how to evaluate on texture.
Ripe avocados will feel basically firm to the touch. Pick one up and press lightly on the surface to see if the avocado flesh yields. You should be able to press down and sense a little bit of give. But not too much! If the avocado feels soft to the point of mushy, it’s over-ripe. Throw it back. If there’s no yield, as in the avocado feels like a rock, skip that one too, or place it on the counter to ripen, and keep reading.
You can use ripe avocados in several different ways: sliced on a sandwich, cubed in a salad, or mashed into guacamole. To prep, use a chef’s knife to cut through the stem of the avocado and all around it lengthwise. You won’t be able to cut all the way through because of the pit. Unscrew the avocado to separate the halves. Use a big spoon to scoop out the flesh. Then carefully slice it for Beet-Avocado Salad or Fish Tacos, cube it for topping chili, or simply mash the avocado in a bowl with a fork or potato masher. A ripe avocado will smush into a guacamole-like texture easily, so if you want intact slices, be gentle.
If you accidentally purchase an avocado from your market that isn’t ripe, there are a few tricks to get the vegetable soft and creamy. The first is simply to wait. Push your avocado dinner to later in the week. That may sound low-tech, but this can help with planning, especially if you do all your shopping on Sundays. If you want the avocado ripe sooner, legend has it that storing in a paper bag with a banana will quicken the process!
On the opposite end, if you’re worried about the avocado becoming too ripe, store it in the refrigerator once it’s ripe to freeze the ripening process and preserve it at the perfect ripeness.
An in-season cooking project for a sweet pot of jam. If Blue Apron dinners have you craving more time in the kitchen, we think you’ll like the payoff of this gift-worthy jar from the beautiful Umami Girl blog.
Who’s Making Dinner Tonight? – How About We
Eight couples reveal how they eat, who does the shopping, what food they make on special occasions, and which partner ends up on clean-up duty. We know you’ve always wanted to peek into other people’s kitchens…