July menus: brunch on the barbecue, soup and berry “pancake” anytime, stir-fry chicken and fruit salad

July menus: brunch on the barbecue, soup and berry “pancake” anytime, stir-fry chicken and fruit salad – recipes


With summer’s fine weather comes an abundance of flavorful foods. These menus emphasize the joys of seasonal delights, favoring fresh, good-value fruit. Cook brunch or breakfast in the garden, serve the soup and pancake meal at any hour, and use a stir-fry technique to make the refreshing saled entree.

Brunch from the grill

On the grill, cook and serve rib lamb chops and a fresh peach chutney. Offer the cool seasoned yogurt as a sauce for chops, chutney, and cucumbers.

Grilled Lamb Rib Chops with Fresh Peach Chutney

Seasoned Yogurt Cucumber Spears

Baguettes Butter

Iced Mocha Java Coffee

If you don’t find small rib lamb chops in your market, buy a rack of lamb and have the backbone sawed through at each rib so you (or the meatman) can cut the rack apart into chops.

Start the charcoal, then gather ingredients. Chops and chutney take about the same amount of time and cook together.

Grilled Lamb Rib Chops with Fresh Peach Chutney

8 to 10 single rib lamb chops (1 1/2 to 2 lb.), excess fat trimmed off

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup each sugar and cider vinegar

1 small onion, minced

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground ginger

3 medium-size (about 1 lb.) ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced 1/4 inch thick

Cover the fire grate of a large hibachi with a slightly overlapping layer of charcoal briquets, then stack in a mound; or mound 60 charcoal briquets on the fire grate of a barbecue. Ignite; when coals are covered with gray ash (about 30 minutes), spread them out into a single solid layer. Set grill 3 to 4 inches above coals.

The fat must be trimmed off chops or the drips will cause flare-ups. Place lamb on grill over hot coals. Cook until well browned but still pink inside (cut to test), 3 to 4 minutes per side; turn once or twice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

While chops cook, set a 10- to 12-inch frying pan on gril and combine in it the sugar, vinegar, onion, raisins, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir frequently until onions are limp and raisins are plump, about 5 minutes. Add peaches and gently stir until they are hot, about 3 minutes. If either chutney or lamb is done first, move to a cooler part of grill to keep warm until both foods are ready to serve. Makes 4 servings.

Seasoned Yogurt

In a bowl, mix 2 cups unflavored yogurt with 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon mustard seed. Serve, or cover and chill up to 1 week; stir before serving. Makes about 2 cups, 4 servings.

A free-spirited meal

This flexible menu fits any time of day– brunch to a late supper. Serve the puffed, berry-topped oven pancake as a starter for brunch or as a dessert for supper.

French Pea and Lettuce Soup

Sliced Cooked Ham Cherry Tomatoes

Whole-grain Bread Butter

Very Berry Puff Maple Syrup

Mineral Water Coffee

Buy thinly sliced baked or boiled ham (1/8 to 1/4 lb. for each serving). At the table, make meat and butter sandwiches to go with the soup.

If you would like the berry puff to be hot for dessert, pop the batter into the oven when the soup is ready.

French Pea and Lettuce Soup

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup chopped green onions

2 cups (about 2 lb. peas in pod) fresh shelled peas or frozen petite peas

1/4 cup chopped parsley

6 cups regular-strength chicken broth

4 to 5 cups lightly packed shredded iceberg lettuce

In a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium-high heat, melt butter and add nutmeg, onions, fresh peas (add frozen peas later, as directed), and parsley. Stir frequently until onions are limp but still bright green, about 3 minutes.

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add lettuce (and frozen peas); when soup boils, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until lettuce is just wilted, about 3 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

Very Berry Puff

1/4 cup (1/8 ib.) butter or margarine

3 large eggs

1 small package (3 oz.) cream cheese

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries

1/2 cup each blueberries and respberries

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1 cup sour cream (optional)

Maple syrup (optional)

Place butter in a shallow 2- to 3-quart baking pan or dish. Set baking pan in a 425| oven just until butter melts, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, put eggs, cream cheese, milk, and flour in a food processor or blender; whirl until smoothly blended.

Remove pan from oven and pour batter into pan. Return pan to oven and bake until batter puffs high and edges of the pancake are brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix strawberries with blue-berries and raspberries in a bowl. When pancake is done, remove from oven. To serve hot, fill with berries and dust with powdered sugar. To serve cool, set pancake aside up to 1 hour. To present, fill with fruit and dust with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges and offer sour cream and maple syrup to top each serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.–Janet Hill, Sacramento.

Stir-fried chicken salad

Cantaloupe pieces tumbled in a lime sauce with strips of warm stir-fried chicken breast go with golden pineapple and rice to make this quick whole-meal salad. It’s a handsome presentation and easy to carry onto the patio.

Hot Chicken and Fruit Salad Platter

Lime Sherbet Chocolate Cookies

Iced Tea Gewurztraminer

Cut up melon, chicken, and pineapple. Then, as rice cooks, mix the lime cooking sauce and arrange the salad tray. After you stir-fry the chicken, heat the sauce to dress the chicken and melon.

Hot Chicken and Fruit Salad Platter

1 small (about 1 1/2 lb.) cantaloupe

2 whole (about 1 lb. each) chicken breasts, boned and skinned

1 small (about 3 lb.) pineapple

8 to 10 large romaine lettuce leaves, washed and crisped

1 tablespoon salad oil

Sweet lime sauce (recipe follows)

1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh mint leaves

4 cups hot cooked white rice

Fresh mint sprigs, optional

Seed and peel cantaloupe. Cut fruit into bite-size chunks; set aside.

Cut chicken breasts across grain into 1/4-inch-thick strips; set aside.

Peel pineapple. Cut fruit into 8 equal rounds; trim out core, if desired. On a large platter (at least 12 in. diameter), lay lettuce leaves with tips overlapping the rim. Arrange pineapple on leaves around edge of platter. If done ahead, cover and chill up to 4 hours.

Place a 10- to 12-inch frying pan or wok over high heat. When hot, add oil and chicken; stir-fry until meat turns white, about 3 minutes. Lift out chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add sweet lime sauce to hot pan; stir until sauce boils. Remove pan from heat. Add chicken, melon pieces, and chopped mint; gently turn pieces in sauce to coat. Mound hot rice on platter. Spoon chicken mixture over rice. Garnish with mint sprigs. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

Sweet lime sauce. Mix 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon grated lime peel, 3 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne.

Photo: For a summer brunch, brown small rib lamb chops and cook fresh peach chutney side by side over hot coals. Cool yogurt goes with meat, chutney, and cucumbers

Photo: Berry-filled oven pancake can be served before or after French pea and lettuce soup, depending on the time of day . . . and your inclination

COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group