From other shores, ways to use summer fruits more

August 18, 1993|By Mary Brown Malouf | Mary Brown Malouf,Contributing Writer Universal Press Syndicate

It's summertime, so you have melon for breakfast and strawberry shortcake after dinner.

But there are more ways to enjoy summer's fruitful bounty from morning to night. Other cuisines provide ideas on how to use fruit. Dishes from the Pacific Rim often combine fish or pork with tropical fruit -- for instance, sauteed bananas over sole, and papaya or mangoes over grilled swordfish.

Pineapple paired with ham or pork has been a favorite since the Hawaiian craze of the '50s. The Italians like to grill fruit; peach or pear halves, lightly oiled and grilled, make a delicious ending to a summer barbecue menu.

Chicken salads are often made with green grapes as well as the usual celery; try mixing in cubed honeydew or cantaloupe instead.

Or you can revive the food of the '80s and serve sauteed chicken breasts topped with raspberries or blueberries in matching vinaigrette.

Thai melon salad

Makes 6 servings

3 cloves garlic, pureed

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup Thai fish sauce or nam pla

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

3 fresh serrano chilies, seeded and minced

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts

6 cups assorted melon cubes, cut into 1/2 -inch dice

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Mix together everything but the peanuts, the melon and the cilantro. Chop the peanuts roughly and add to garlic mixture. May be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Toss gently with melon and garnish with cilantro.

Per serving: calories: 166; fat: 6 g; no cholesterol; sodium: 739 mg; percent calories from fat: 31 percent.

Peach muffins

Makes 9 muffins

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup milk

1 cup chopped peaches

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg; mix. Combine dry ingredients and stir into butter mixture alternatelywith milk, just till mixed. Stir in peaches. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with peach jam for a double peach treat.

Per serving: calories: 199; fat: 8 g; cholesterol: 45 mg; sodium: 271 mg; percent calories from fat: 37 percent.

Spaghetti with cantaloupe

Makes 4 to 6 servings

4 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 cups cantaloupe, rind and seeds removed, cut into 1/4 -inch cubes

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon tomato paste

salt

black pepper

3/4 pound spaghetti

Heat the butter and oil together in a 12-inch saute pan until hot but not smoking. Add the melon and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. It should soften, but not dissolve completely. Most pieces should still be separate.

Add the cream, lemon juice and tomato paste. Stir and cook on high heat until the cream is reduced to 1/4 its original volume. Season with salt and pepper and toss with spaghetti, cooked al dente.

Per serving: calories: 549; fat: 32 g; cholesterol: 94 mg; sodium: 343 mg; percent calories from fat: 52 percent.

Strawberry spinach salad Makes 4 servings

1 pound fresh spinach, washed and stemmed

1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and halved

1/2 cup pecan pieces

bottled poppy seed dressing

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

Toss spinach, berries and pecan pieces together with dressing. Divide among four plates and sprinkle cheese on top.

Per serving: calories: 390; fat: 35 g; cholesterol: 8 mg; sodium: 592 mg; percent calories from fat: 77 percent.

Curry over peaches

Makes 8 servings

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup minced onion

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 cup apple, chopped

3 tablespoons curry powder

6 tablespoons flour

4 cups milk, consomme, chicken broth and half-and-half (any combination)

2 pounds smoked turkey, cut in large dice

salt

cayenne pepper

4 peaches, peeled, pitted and halved

cooked rice

mint leaves for garnish

Melt 1/2 cup butter; add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add apple and curry powder; cook 2 minutes. Add flour and whisk in milk; whisk constantly until thickened. Add the turkey, heat and season with salt and cayenne pepper. (Be careful adding salt, because smoked meat is salty.)

In a separate saucepan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Dust peach halves lightly with flour and saute until lightly brown -- just a few minutes. Serve the curry over the peach halves and rice; garnish with mint leaves.

Per serving: calories: 430; fat: 24 g; cholesterol: 136 mg; sodium: 721 mg; percent calories from fat: 50 percent.

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