Friday, July 19, 2013

Beat the Heat Day 5 Recipe - Egyptian-Style Key-Limeade

It's Friday, which means we've made it through this week's heat wave!

Here's a drink we recommend for Day 5 of "Beat the Heat." You'll find this recipe in Nile Style: Egyptian Cuisine and Culture by Amy Riolo, now in an updated paperback edition. How could this frothy, tangy-sweet drink not be refreshing? Sounds like the perfect way to keep cool after a long week of hazy, humid heat.

Egyptian-Style Key-Limeade

4 key limes, halved, or 2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
2 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 cup milk


Place key limes or lemon juice in a blender. Add sugar, water, and milk.

Blend on high for 3 minutes, or if using key limes, until they have completely disintegrated.

Strain the juice and pour into 4 tall glasses and let sit for a few minutes to allow the froth to rise to the top.

Now expanded with new recipes in a paperback edition, this unique cookbook is devoted to the multi-ethnic and multi-religious history of the Egyptian table. Twenty-five menus celebrate occasions such as the Ancient Nile Festival, Ramadan Breakfast, and Passover. Each menu includes a historical and anecdotal introduction along with the recipes.  This cookbook offers something for every palate!

  • More than 150 easy-to-follow recipes
  • Egyptian food history timelines
  • Glossary of Egyptian ingredients and “Where to Buy” Guide 

Award-winning author, popular lecturer, cooking show host, restaurant consultant, and educator, Amy Riolo, is known for fusing the worlds of culture, cuisine, and history.

Amy is the author of Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Capitol Books, 3007) and The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook (American Diabetes Association). She also wrote Nile Style: Egyptian Cuisine and Culture, which won the Gourmand Award for "Best Arab Cuisine Book" in the United States in 2009.

Recipes from earlier this week:
Day 4: Potato and Chickpea Salad
Day 3: Potato and Pomegranate Salad
Day 2: Peach Coconut Paletas
Day 1: Shrimp Salad on Mixed Green 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Beat the Heat Recipe Day 4 - Potato and Chickpea Salad

The week is almost over, and with it, the hot, sticky weather. In this kind of heat, 80 degree temperature forecasts for next week are a welcome sight! 

We've got another recipe for this week's "Beat the Heat" collection. Today, we recommend Potato and Chickpea Salad from The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles by Rinku Bhattacharya. Don't let prep time disenchant you. We promise, the two-hour wait will be forgotten the second fork meets mouth. This recipe, like others from this week, have simple ingredients that can be found just about anywhere--even in your garden! You can find tamarind paste at Indian markets and specialty stores.

Image courtesy of Rinku Bhattacharya
This simple recipe is symbolic of childhood and carefree times to a lot of Bengalis.

Prep Time: 2 hours (mostly to chill the salad)
Yield: 6 servings

4 russet potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 tablespoon tamarind paste

Juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon black salt
3⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 red onion, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 or 2 green chilies, finely chopped


Slice the potatoes and place in a mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl mix the tamarind paste, lime juice, black salt, and cayenne pepper powder. Gently add the spice mixture to the potatoes. Add the chickpeas, red onions, cilantro, and green chilies and mix in lightly but evenly.

Chill for 1 1⁄2 hours. Serve as a light meal or as a salad with any other dish.

Bengal, located in eastern India, is famous for its cuisine, including a unique five-spice blend called panchphoron. Bengali cooking balances fresh, local ingredients and delicate spices to produce an array of mostly vegetarian, fish, and shellfish dishes.  

  • A thorough introduction to Bengali culture and cooking
  • 180 easy-to-follow traditional and contemporary recipes
  • Sections on spice pastes, spice blends, and essential tool
  • Sidebars with family anecdotes and historical and cultural information
Rinku Bhattacharya was born in Kolkata, India and currently resides in Westchester, New York. She teaches cooking classes, maintains a popular food blog, Cooking in Westchester, and writes a weekly column, “Spices and Seasons,” for the Journal News website.

Recipes from earlier this week:
Day 3: Potato and Pomegranate Salad
Day 2: Peach Coconut Paletas
Day 1: Shrimp Salad on Mixed Green

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beat the Heat Recipe Day 3 - Potato and Pomegranate Salad

Day 3 of this blistering heat, and it's almost too hot to eat...


Today's "Beat the Heat" recipe comes from Indian Inspired Gluten-Free Cooking by Alamelu Vairavan and Margaret Pfeiffer. We love this salad because it offers a cool, dynamic taste without the kitchen prep sweat.  It's also very easy on the eyes! Look for fruit and veggies at your local farmer's market to maximize freshness.

 Potato and Pomegranate Salad
A new twist on the classic potato salad--this one is enhanced with cucumbers, pomegranate seeds, and spices. Serve on a bed of wartercress or baby spinach for added color and crunch. 

1 cup sliced potatoes (gold, red, and/or purple varieties)
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 medium English cucumber, cut into 2-inch lengthwise pieces
1/2 fresh green chili pepper, finely minced (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 black sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)

Yields: 2 cups
Serving size: 1/2 cup


1. Place potato slices in a glass bowl with a few tablespoons of water. Microwave for 5 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. (Alternatively, boil on stovetop.) Drain and cool.

2. Place pomegranate seeds, cucumber, chili pepper, cumin, sesame seeds (if using), lemon juice, and salt in a bowl and stir. Add potatoes and gently toss to combine.

3. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

 More about Indian Inspired Gluten-Free Cooking

Celiac disease affects about 1% of all Americans (about 3 million people) and many are finding relief by following a gluten-free diet. Most gluten-free diets are bland and restrictive, but Indian cuisine is a perfect alternative as it relies heavily on flavorful spices, rice, vegetables, dals and legumes. With inspired, nutritious recipes like “Mushroom and Green Pea Quinoa with Pistachios,” “Chickpeas with Ginger and Mango,” and “Chicken in Almond-Coconut Sauce,” this cookbook brings the rich flavors of Indian cooking to your gluten-free table.


  • More than 100 easy-to-follow step-by-step recipes
  • Helpful FAQ on gluten-free foods
  • Guide to Indian spices, rice, grains and legumes used in the recipes
  • Nutritional analysis and diabetic exchanges for each recipe
  • Beautiful color photo for each recipe
Alamelu Vairavan is host of the popular cooking show “Healthful Flavors with Alamelu,” produced by Milwaukee Public Television and syndicated across the country on PBS. She is a culinary instructor and author of two successful cookbooks, including Healthy South Indian Cooking (Hippocrene Books, 2008). Alamelu holds a degree in Health Information Management from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee and has worked for many years in healthcare. She resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Visit her at

Margaret Pfeiffer, M.S., R.D., C.L.S. is a practicing cardiac nutritionist, a clinical lipid specialist and registered dietitian. She earned a B.S. in Food and Nutrition at University of Wisconsin—Stout and an M.S. from Boston University. She has taught many classes on healthy cooking and authored a book on heart-healthy eating, Smart 4 Your Heart (King, 2009).  She resides in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Recipes from earlier this week:
Day 2: Peach Coconut Paletas
Day 1: Shrimp Salad on Mixed Greens

Monday, July 15, 2013

Beat the Heat Recipe Day 1 - Shrimp Salad on Mixed Greens

To survive the horrible heat wave hitting the nation this week, we're providing you with recipes to keep you cool and refreshed! Every day this week we'll share oven-free recipes and chilly treats to help you beat the heat.

Day 1's recipe comes from Spoonfuls of Germany: German Regional Cuisine by Nadia Hassani. "Shrimp Salad on Mixed Greens" is a great hassle-free summer recipe. You'll have a delicious and light dinner without turning on the stove. Steaming the shrimp only takes a few minutes, and you can always chill them afterward if so desired. Feel like skipping the steaming step? Most markets will steam the shrimp for you so you can grab the bag and go!

Image courtesy of Nadia Hassani

 Shrimp Salad on Mixed Greens

1 lb. very small to miniature unshelled raw shrimp, or 1/2 lb. cooked, shelled, and deveined shrimp
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 teaspoons brandy
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
6 medium white mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced
4 to 6 red-skin radishes, cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and sliced
4 cups (4 ounces) washed and dried mixed greens (mesclun mix), in bite-size pieces

Yields: 4 to 6 servings

1. If using raw shrimp, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the shrimp into the water, reduce the heat, and simmer for 2 to 2 minutes, or until pink. Drain, shell, devein the shrimp, and set aside.

2. Mix the mayonnaise with the ketchup and brandy. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the dill.

3. Combine the shrimp, mushrooms, radishes, and egg in a mixing bowl. Add the dressing and toss. Arrange the greens on a large serving platter and place the shrimp salad on top. Serve immediately with toasted bread or baguette slices.

Spoonfuls of Germany, now available in paperback, goes beyond the sauerkraut and knackwurst stereotype to unveil the often-overlooked diversity of German regional cuisine. Here you’ll find not only classic dishes such as spaetzle and sauerbraten, but also forgotten delicacies like Westphalian pumpernickel pudding and Windmill cake from Frisia. Fascinating sidebars profile foods and the history and people behind them with anecdotes and lore that will surprise and enchant readers. With 200 easy-to-follow recipes and 16 pages of beautiful color photos, the heart of German cooking comes to life.

 Nadia Hassani immigrated to the United States from her native Germany in 1998. She found herself missing the foods of her childhood, which inspired her to write this cookbook. Hassani works as a writer, editor, and translator, and in her free time is an avid gardener. She lives near Allentown, Pennsylvania.