Thursday, May 31, 2012
COOL BY THE POOL
In my travels, I have learned this simple fact the hotter the climate, the spicier the food. It took me a while to understand why people who are hiding from the heat and trying to stay cool and refreshed would want to recreate the sun's surface in their mouths. As I tried more and more spicy foods, I realized I sweat more, I drank more and I was more refreshed from the endorphin rush in the sweltering energy sucking heat. This is the exact thing I should have been doing to cool down and keep myself hydrated during the summer inferno. Humans find amazing counter intuitive ways to survive. We as a species are amazing!
Here in Arizona where I call home, it is set to be a blistering *112F by days end, and every year at this time I question if this place should be condemned as uninhabitable for human existence. Nevertheless, I call it home and can and will find ways to keep cool. One way is to through some cool foods that keep you from slaving over the flames by preparing cold foods that not only stimulate your taste buds but can help lower that core temp. It is amazing that mother nature knows what we need during this time by providing some awesome seasonal fruits during this sweltering season in the form of juicy fruits and crisp veggies.
Foods in the calescent areas of the world are spicy but usually not hot in temperature. Most of these foods blend the sweet and cool, with the spicy heat. The perfect balance of the two can play a gastronomic jig on your tongue that will have you begging for more. Here in the states the mix of salty, spicy and savory and sweet fruits have not ingrained themselves in the culinary repertoire of most Americans, but we are coming around to these delights. Here are some great ideas you should try poolside or in your home;
Melon and Prosciutto- try cantaloupe cut into thin wedges and wrap with a thin slice of prosciutto, it is mind blowing!
when I lived in Mexico and Central America, during the summer heat there was always an abundance of tropical fruits mixed with lime or lemon juice and sprinkled with salt or mouth melting chili powder or a mix of the two. Try Cold watermelon cubes and jicama cubes tossed with lime juice and chili powder and sea salt. also works with mango and papaya.
Strawberries with vanilla ice cream topped with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze, cinnamon, and a dash of salt.
Spinach salad topped with cubed peaches Gruyere cheese dollops and a lime juice, cilantro, olive oil vinaigrette; Place juice of 6 limes with 1/4 bunch of chopped fresh cilantro in your blender and blend until thin paste slowly add oil to your blender with a dash of salt and pepper until emulsified consistency of dressing, serve immediately.
Pears, strawberries and bacon fruit salad
cube pears and strawberries into large chunks and mix in dollops of marscapone cheese and bacon crumbles-mmmm
Now get out there and make yourself a cool drink and one of my favorites listed above, and as always if you need help preparing any of these or need more ideas or recipes feel free to ask in the comment section below, and as always…
KEEP IT REAL, KEEP IT FRESH, AND KEEP IT SUSTAINABLE.