When was the last time you ate a slushie? Whether or not this happened on a recent occasion, we think you’ll love our classy homemade version of this icy, satisfying dessert that’s almost like sorbet but much easier and more forgiving to make. In other words, you don’t need any special tools at all. Namely, an ice cream maker.
All you do need to start are four ingredients: hot coffee, sugar, Kahlua, and vanilla extract. If you like, pick up some cream to whip for garnish, too.
Combine all the ingredients and stir together in a shallow pan that can go in the freezer.
The sugar will dissolve easily as you whisk, since the coffee is hot. Once dissolved, put the whole pan in the freezer.
Freeze for an hour, then pull out the pan. The coffee will have begun to turn to ice, but it shouldn’t be completely solid. Use a fork to scrape up the ice, turning the block into ice crystals.
Repeat this process at 30-minute intervals, raking the fork through each time. When the pan is completely frozen and granular, your granita is ready to eat. (You can leave it in the freezer at this point, too.) The texture might remind you of a sno-cone.
Spoon the granita into ramekins or wine glasses, then top with whipped cream and some chocolate shavings or chopped-up coffee beans.
Blue Apron is now on video! Every Thursday, we’re posting a new video on our YouTube channeland over here on the blog. Subscribe for educational how to’s, entertaining cooking adventures, and behind-the-scenes looks at how we create and source our meals.
We’ve already helped you cut down your prep time in the kitchen by finessing your knife skills and making short work of onions, garlic, and carrots.
Today, we’re going behind the scenes with Chef Matthew Wadiak to share how we get inspired to create incredible original meals every week. For Chef Wadiak, the process often starts at the farmers’ market, where he notices some heirloom tomatoes right at their prime and bunches of basil perfuming the air with their fragrance.
What’ll happen to the tomatoes and herbs once he gets back to the kitchen? Watch to find out.
Ah, August. The month of weeklong vacations, beach barbecues, the stillest heat there ever was, and the last few weeks of summer freedom. Luckily, the winding down of summer doesn’t have to mean the winding down of vegetable season, and plenty of our July favorites–corn, cukes, and tomatoes–are still widely available.
Here, we add to our list of seasonal summer vegetables to bring you some of the later bloomers—these vegetables are all available in the second half of summer, even continuing into fall. We’ve also shared some of our favorite ways to cook them, as well as yummy recipes that highlight these delicious summer vegetables.
The tendrils and leaves of the traditional garden pea plant, pea shoots are harvested just a few weeks after sprouting, when they’re still tender and bursting with the flavor of fresh peas. Pea shoots make a great base for salads, and are delicious in sandwiches, pastas, and even as a substitute for basil in pesto. For an Asian twist, try them sautéed in garlic, as is often done in Chinese restaurants. Try: Baked Quinoa “Falafel” with Radish & Pea Shoot Salad
Though many of us are only familiar with deep purple eggplants, they actually get their name from a white, egg-shaped variety. You can also find green and purple- white striped eggplants, which are sometimes referred to as “graffiti” eggplants. Be sure to check out the Japanese and Chinese varieties, which are in season now, too—skinnier than globe eggplants, these are a little firmer and the best type for grilling.
Try: Grilled Shrimp Cocktail with Eggplant, Eggplant Rollatini with Lemony Ricotta & Garlic Bread
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.
All summer long, we gorge on tomatoes. We eat them raw, with olive oil and salt, in thick slices on burgers, baked in a crostata, chopped and seasoned in a panzanella, and on top of any salad. We feast our eyes and our stomachs on yellow cherry tomatoes, giant multi-colored Mr. Stripeys, and heirloom Jersey tomatoes. Many farms now grow many heirloom varieties of tomatoes, which come from older seeds and over have more flavor than the newer brands. Those are the kind we look for to send to you.
While it’s hard to go wrong with summer tomatoes, here’s your summer guide to help ensure that your tomato consumption is very, very right.
What’s your favorite way to eat summer tomatoes? Tell us in the comments!
Tomatoes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The most traditional look is round, red, and medium-sized. But don’t shy away from trying tomatoes that are less apparently perfect. Some heirloom strains look positively ugly–brown-ish, cracked, and uneven. Yet those are often the tastiest types, and you don’t want to miss out. Whether yellow, red, orange, or purple, a tomato’s skin should always lie firm on the surface, with no mushy parts. Beyond that, stay open-minded when assessing the aesthetics of a tomato and make it a point to sample any fine- or ugly-looking specimen you see.
While the look of tomatoes has a huge range, all excellent tomatoes have one characteristic in common: they smell great. The scent of a perfectly ripe tomato will make you think of summer: a combination of grass, dirt, sunshine, and fruit. If you don’t get a summery whiff from your tomato, especially right around the stem, the flavor may be lacking too. Head to the next farmstand.
Keep your tomatoes on the counter in a cool, shaded spot. Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator. We’re serious! Never. When tomatoes go in the fridge, their flesh chills and becomes unappealingly mealy. At the same time, their flavor vanishes. This is not good. You’ll need a whole lot of salt to spruce up a refrigerated tomato. Don’t make the sacrifice. The optimal temperature for tomato storage is 60 to 65°F. Since that range can be hard to find in the summer time, we recommend you look for the coolest spot in your kitchen apart from the fridge and store the tomatoes there. Then, plan to eat them within two days, while they’re fresh.
Recipes for tomatoes abound! We’ve already shared tomato jam, panzanella, tabbouleh salad, crostata, and salmon burgers, We’ll be sending out many more wonderful tomato recipes all summer long. If your tomato craving can’t wait for your next Blue Apron box, here’s what we recommend: take a great tomato, slice it, sprinkle on salt, pepper, and olive oil and eat with a slice of fresh mozzarella. There is hardly anything better.
In the summer heat, we think we crave cold swims, iced coffee, and cool gazpacho all the time. While those things are wonderful, they’re not the whole story. We still love hot showers, fresh-brewed coffee, and steaming soup in the summer. We’re here to make a case for including summer soup in your meal plan.
First, the proof: in some of the hottest climates in the world, the local food is both hot (temperature) and hot (highly spicy). In Thailand, a traditional diet features spicy curries, in India there’s daily hot tea, and in Fiji the locals love spicy coconut stews. It’s time to trust the local wisdom. These steamy stews and teas can actually cool the eater down.
Why? Though it’s counter-intuitive, when you eat hot food, your body notices. Receptors relay the hotness to the brain, and your brain starts to cool you down. The same response occurs for spicy hot as for temperature hot, one reason we added birdseye chiles to our cool cucumber salad. The body’s “cooling system” may make you sweat as you eat, but by the time you’re finished, you’ll be cool as a cucumber.
The eating-hot-food-in-summer phenomenon happens in the U.S. too. New England is home to infamously muggy summers. It’s also where the epitome of summer soups was born–Corn Chowder.
Good sweet corn makes this soup shine, and corn is best in July and August. That makes summer the perfect time to cook up this hot, vegetable-laden bowl. Potatoes and a dash of cream add richness and thickness to the delicious broth. Radishes and micro celery bring even more summer spirit.
So open the windows, turn on the stove, and get ready to heat up–and then cool down–with our deliciously seasonal, and unabashedly hot Summer Corn & Vegetable Chowder.
Who doesn’t love #summer? Days at the beach, nights at the bonfire, fireflies, fireworks, barbecues, and sunshine. And, of course, the wonderfully fresh produce.
Grown locally instead of imported, the fruits and vegetables of summer taste even better having been harvested practically in your own backyard. And there’s no better place to find what’s in season than your local farmers’ market or farm stand, where not only can you see what’s being grown, but you can meet the people who plant and gather the vegetables you’re about to eat up.
Here, we bring the farm stand to you, rounding up the best of what’s in season, and sharing some delicious dishes you can cook up with these July favorites. All that’s left is to fire up the grill—summer is finally here!
Gorgeous Seasonal Produce for July
The saying “cool as a cucumber” is especially true in summer, when the cucumber’s high water content (96 percent!) can provide important hydration. Cukes are best eaten raw, especially in light salads—be sure to store them in the refrigerator to keep them crisp and cool. You can also easily turn them into delicious homemade pickles. Look for short, slightly prickly cucumbers known as kirby cucumbers–they’re sweet and crunchy and our favorites.
Zucchini and Summer Squash
A quintessential summer vegetable, zucchini just screams to be grilled—the flesh becomes smoky and tender, the skin burnishes, and the natural sugars caramelize. Give zucchini the center stage in grilled zucchini tacos, or dress in a vinaigrette for a simple summer side dish. Zucchini fall within the summer squash family–one of our favorite families, ever. And summer squash come in shapes and colors beyond green zucchini: you’ll see long yellow squash, squash light green squash–known as gray squash–and pretty little bright yellow sunburst squash.
Corn is another great grilling vegetable, though we often don’t think of it as being so. You can place the cobs directly on the grill to char the kernels (like we did here), or wrap them in either foil or their own husks—either way, you’ll have a sweet, smoky, delicious treat to enjoy all summer long. Corn is also an essential ingredient in succotash–a summery vegetable sauté. Fields of corn grow higher and higher through July and August, the yellow or white kernels getting ever sweeter. Then you’ve got tons of options: cut the kernels off or leave them on; grill the corn in the husk or outside of it. Top with butter or with mayo and Mexican cheese. Yum.
A member of the onion family, shallots actually grow in bulbs like garlic, and it’s easy to find them fresh from the field this time of year. Their subtle flavor is great for dressings and sauces, like in our shallot tarragon butter, or try them in the place of an onion, for all the sweetness without any of the kick!
From teeny cherry tomatoes to sprawling heirlooms, the variety of tomatoes available in the summer months is astounding. Tomatoes will generally be sweeter, firmer, and more fragrant than they are in other months, making them a great option to eat raw, like in our panzanella salad. When buying tomatoes, look for ones that gift off a strong tomato-y scent–they’ll have the most flavor. And, though it’s not intuitive, the uglier the tomato, the tastier it will be, so look for ones with crags, dark colors, and not-perfectly-round shapes.
Summertime calls for crisp, crunchy green beans, perfect when mixed with flawless summer basil into pasta with pesto. The best way to achieve this is through blanching, which will keep the beans perfectly fresh, crisp, and a beautiful bright green in color; blanching also retains the multitude of vitamins that green beans boast, including vitamins A, B6, and C.
Each week, we round up posts, videos, and even playlists to entertain you while you cook, and provide conversation fodder for tonight’s Blue Apron dinner. We hope you had a fun 4th–this list should help you continue the fun and relaxation through the weekend.
Frozen Strawberry Limeade – Table For Two Blog This cool, boozy drink is everything a summer cocktail should be: pink, icy, and sweet.
Really Weird Things to Throw on the Grill – Zagat From alligator to seitan to pig’s head, these grill-able edibles are many times more creative than ribs, sausages, and chicken, in case your grill needs a taste of adventure.
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.)
Each week, we round up posts, videos, and even playlists to entertain you while you cook, and provide conversation fodder for tonight’s Blue Apron dinner. Today we’re thinking about food and drink for the 4th in order to get ready for next week’s Red, White & Blue celebrations.
What You Need To Know Before You Grill – Food52 Grilling tips that will demystify the few remaining questions about the simple summer cooking method. Read these before opening up next week’s incredible July 4th box, with meals you have the option of grilling (you can also make them indoors).
Toast to Red, White & Blue – PopSugar Food Colorful ice cubes and straws make all the difference in this festive, old-fashioned cocktail perfect for outdoor toasts this Independence day.
Down with Tapas! – Washington Post An impassioned and not unconvincing plea to chefs to stop serving so many small plates at restaurants. Diners would rather be eating full, balanced meals, you know, the kind that come in the right portion size and contain a protein, some veggies, and some starch. Sounds familiar…
#BlueApronSummer – Blue Apron Tag your photos with #blueapronsummer to win fame, fortune, and a beautiful Staub grill pan. Follow us on instagram here.
Cooking traditional Southern corn fritters is one of the best ways to use two of the season’s sweetest vegetables: fresh peas and corn.
To gild the lily? We scored pea tendrils–the pretty green curlicues from the climbing vine of the pea plant. (Think of them like the branches of a tree, as opposed to the shoot, which is like a baby pea or a big sprout.) In this recipe, we toss the tendrils with a little bit of lemon and olive oil, and their sweetness complements the crunchy fritters.
Fritters are a perfect vessel for conveying the season’s vegetables to your mouth. The idea is to create a light batter to hold together all the season’s best vegetables. Lightly fried in a bit of oil, the fritters are an incredible, filling, and eminently presentable way to serve corn and peas in this recipe.
In this recipe, we use a batter of cornmeal, milk, flour, and chives to coat the fresh corn and fresh peas, allowing you to take advantage of these terrific ingredients in every bite. We couldn’t help but decide on a condiment, remoulade sauce, the famous creamy sauce of Louisiana Cajun and Creole cooking, as the perfect pairing for anything pan-fried, to top these sweet and savory pancake-like fritters.
You can get the full recipe over on our recipe card here.
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 fresh peas. You can see the other bloggers’ delicious sweet pea creations by following the links below.
The sun is shining. The office is closed. The barbecue is open. July 4th is coming.
The 4th provides a full day of luxurious free time and a celebration that revolves around food. We’ve fine-tuned the Blue Apron box that week to give you the option of turning your three meals into an all-day barbecue. All you need: a picnic blanket, a grill, and friends to share your cookout with.
(Note that you can also nix the party and the grill and make each meal as usual, indoors and one at a time!)
To meat-eaters, we’re sending out three incredible grillable dinners, each made up of food that can also be enjoyed as finger food, like kebobs and sliders.
Next on the list are these delicate, crunchy Sweet Corn Fritters with Remoulade Sauce and Pea Tendril Salad. These are so gourmet and tasty you won’t believe you made them yourself. (We almost didn’t believe it.) These are actually made inside, on the stove, but you can make them in advance, pack them up, and then head out to the barbecue.
There you have it! We hope you’ll join us in some patriotic cookout fun. Here are a few more pictures of us testing and developing these recipes for you, if you’d like to keep ogling the delicious BBQ fun and planning for your own outdoor cooking adventure…