One day I realized that every summer I relied on the same old recipes. They were favorites to be sure, but still, I felt it was time to branch out and see if I could find some new favorites. We grill a lot during the summer, but I don’t mind turning on the oven once in a while, especially for a refreshing dessert, like the upside-down peach mango cake included here. Keep cool, enjoy your summer, and most of all, stay safe.
Grilled halibut with mango salsa
I like to cut back about half on the black pepper, but it's up to you.
2 cups plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups diced peeled fresh ripe mango
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 (6-oz. each) halibut fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Prepare grill. In a container, place the diced tomatoes, diced mango, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, lime juice, cider vinegar and sugar. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the garlic. Mix well.
2. Rub each halibut fillet with olive oil, then season with remaining salt and pepper. Place fish on grill rack and cook about 3 minutes on each side. The fish should flake easily when tested with a fork. Watch so it does not overcook and dry out.
3. Serve the fillets with the salsa. Makes 4 servings.
Chicken asparagus salad
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2 navel oranges (or 1 can (11-oz.) Mandarin oranges
About 1 1/2 cups canola oil
4 fresh wonton wrappers, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips (or buy crispy strips)
6 cups finely shredded cabbage
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 large avocado, cubed
4 green onions (tops included), sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
* Dressing (recipe follows)
1. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 quart water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, then place asparagus into ice water to prevent them from continuing to cook. Drain and set aside.
2. Cut off and discard ends from oranges. Cut off peel and outer membrane. Slice oranges crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, then cut these rounds into quarters. Set aside.
3. In a 3-to-4-quart pan, place canola oil to about 1/2 inch deep. When oil reaches 350 degrees, add wonton strips and fry, stirring, until golden brown on both sides, about 30 seconds total. (Unless you were able to find pre-crisped wonton strips. )Lift out with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain.
4. In a large serving bowl, toss cabbage, chicken and asparagus with the dressing. Top with avocado, orange slices, and wonton strips, then garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
* Soy-ginger dressing
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian red chile sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
Salt, to taste
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, red chile sauce and ginger.
2. Slowly whisk in the oil, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt.
Peach mango upside-down cake
This is a recipe I am including in a cookbook.
For peach and mango topping:
4 or 5 small peaches (if thin-skinned and smooth, do not peel), sliced
1 medium Manila-type mango, peeled and sliced into about 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
For butter sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
For the cake batter:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix the peaches, mango, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment.
2. Melt the butter and brown sugar together in a small saucepan, until they are blended. Pour the mixture into the bottom of your cake pan.
3. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth. In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest in with the sugar, and then add it to the butter. Beat until it is light and fluffy. Next add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time. Finally add the sour cream and lemon juice.
4. In another bowl, mix the flour together with the baking powder and salt. Then slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, mix the flour into the wet batter.
5. Stir the peach and mango mixture, draining off any more than 2 or 3 tablespoons of juice. Arrange the fruit mixture into the cake pan over the brown sugar and butter. Spread it out into an even layer.
6. Spoon the cake batter over the top of the fruit mixture, spreading evenly.
7. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 to 45 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes.
8. Run a knife around the outside edges of the cake to loosen, and then place a large serving plate on top of the cake. Holding the plate and the cake pan firm and steady, flip the whole thing upside-down so that the plate is on the bottom. Carefully remove the cake pan and parchment, slice, and serve.