Thursday, May 29, 2008

BBQ Season Sale at the Gourmet Fusion Store

BBQ season is here once more, and to get things under way before the summer really starts, the Gourmet Fusion store has all of its barbecue tools and accessories on sale now through June 9th.

Check out our barbecue tools, seafood tools and linen items.

A great place to find a father's day gift for Dad, and there's still plenty of time left for shipping. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Avocado & Yogurt Dip with Jalapeno & Cilantro

The recipe for this delicious dip was demonstrated recently at the University of California San Diego's Medical Center Healing Food Kitchen by the Moore's Cancer Center.
My neighbor attended this event, and was kind enough to pass along this recipe. The concept behind all the recipes was eating healthily, and these were especially helpful for women, as all of the recipes were rich in . are plentiful here in California and Mexico, so this is a great summer dip to enjoy with the vegetables listed below, and it's really simple, too.

  • 1 16-ounce container plain non-fat yogurt (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 medium avocado, peeled, halved, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 small jalapeno
  • 1 small garlic clove
  1. Set a strainer over a medium bowl, line with a double layer of cheesecloth (or paper towel). Place the yogurt in the lined strainer and let set for at least 1 hour. If you leave it for more than 1 hour, place in the refrigerator covered. Draining the yogurt makes this low-fat guacamole extra-creamy.
  2. Discard the liquid drained from yogurt.
  3. Place garlic in a food processor and mince.
  4. Add jalapeno to the garlic and mince for another few seconds.
  5. Transfer yogurt to processor.
  6. Stir cumin in small dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cumin to processor, then add avocado.
  7. Process all ingredients until smooth.
  8. Add the cilantro to processor and combine by using short spurts of processor until combined.
  9. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a small dip bowl.
  10. Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Press plastic wrap onto surface of dip and chill. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cilantro.
This recipe makes about 2 cups, or 32 tablespoons. Each tablespoon provides 23 calories; 1g fat (0 g sat), 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 15 mg sodium, 40 mg calcium.

Serve with vegetable crudites, roasted beets, sugar snap peas, jicama, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shrimp and Eggplant Salad

I am not sure if anyone will be barbecuing this holiday weekend. Here is San Diego we have had heavy rain this morning, but I think the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend indicates better weather through Monday.

If you want to do something a little different to the usual hamburgers and hot dogs, this is a salad that combines many different flavors that go extremely well with the grilled
. It does require a fair amount of chopping beforehand, but once you've got the ingredients together, the cooking is relatively simple.

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 24 medium shrimp, peeled, cleaned, tails intact
  • 20 bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
  • 1/2 small, pineapple, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  1. Cut the eggplants diagonally into thin slices, toss in a bowl with the turmeric and 1 teaspoon sea salt, and set aside for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Drain the eggplants, transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil. Grill for 10 minutes, turning halfway, or until golden, then transfer to a bowl.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a saucepan over medium heat (this can be done indoors, or outdoors on your grill), add onion, garlic, spices, ginger and chili. Cook, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes.
  4. Add vinegar, sugar and tomatoes, and stir until tomatoes are just softened. Cool, then combine with eggplants.
  5. Thread the shrimp onto the soaked skewers and drizzle with remaining oil. Season with sea salt and pepper, then grill for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through.
  6. To serve, spoon eggplant salad into the middle of plates and place skewers to the side.
  7. Combine pineapple, cilantro and lime juice, and scatter over the plate.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Design Imports India at the Gourmet Fusion Store

The Gourmet Fusion store at Leaping Lotus and our online store have just added some great new products from Design Imports India for the Home (DII), and they come just in time for the start of the season.

Not only are the napkins and placemats ideal for outdoors in the yard, or at the beach, they also look wonderful teamed with our HuesnBrews tea and coffee striped teasets, and blue and red coffee presses, oversized mugs and espresso cups.

The DII napkins and placemats are 100% cotton and machine washable.

They are available in seaside stripes colors navy and white, red and white, and blue and white.

We have also added some themed dish towels also by DII, and these cooridinate perfectly with the seaside stripes.

Available as a set with two themes, one with ocean fish and one with a sailboat.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Poached White Peaches with Jasmine Tea Snow

It has been very hot this weekend, and with Memorial Day just around the corner, I started thinking about food and drink to serve in the back yard, as I am sure many people will be eating outdoors over the holiday.

When I went to the supermarket, the summer fruit had arrived with ripe California cherries and strawberries on sale, but the fragrant, sweet smell of was the thing that you noticed the most when walking around the produce section.

This recipe for peaches with tea uses white peaches, but regular peaches, or even nectarines would also work. It makes a great non-alcoholic drink-type dessert, great for a hot afternoon. It is really simple, but it is best made early in the day, so that you have time to freeze and re-freeze the jasmine tea snow, ready for serving later in the day.

Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 2 cups caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon jasmine tea leaves
  • 12 very small or 6 medium peaches or nectarines
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  1. Place sugar and 2 pints water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Stir in the tea leaves, remove from heat and leave to steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain syrup into a clean pan and bring to a simmer over low-medium heat.
  4. Add peaches, zest and juice.
  5. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until peaches are just tender.
  6. Remove pan from heat and cool peaches in syrup. Transfer cooled peaches to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed.
  7. Strain syrup into a shallow metal tray and freeze for 2 hours or until partially frozen. Using a fork break up the mixture and return to the freezer.
  8. Repeat twice more at hourly intervals or until mixture has frozen into crystals.
  9. To serve, peel peaches, then place 2 peaches (or 1 medium peach) in each glass and spoon in some jasmine tea.
This recipe is by Sophia Young from the Vogue Entertaining and Travel magazine.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Grilled Peaches with Prosciutto and Balsamic Vinegar

Last week I was out of town at the Gourmet Housewares show in Las Vegas, checking out some great new products for the Gourmet Fusion Store.

When I returned to San Diego, the beautiful weather we had before I left had become cold, and it was almost raining (!!) on Monday. The cold weather didn't last long, however, and we are now looking at weekend temperatures of 90 degrees and above. So, at least here in Southern California, people will be bringing out the barbecues and in the back yard.

This recipe is for a really simple side salad or appetizer which includes grilled , and is one of chef Andy Bunn's recipes from his New South Wales restaurant Sopra at Fratelli Fresh.

Grilled Peaches with Prosciutto, Rocket and Aged Balsamic
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 6 peaches, halved, stoned
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to brush and drizzle
  • 1 bunch rocket, trimmed
  • 1 head baby endive (frisee), trimmed, torn
  • 2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar, plus extra to drizzle
  • 12 slices prosciutto
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat a char grill pan or barbecue over medium heat.
  2. Press peaches, cut-side down, onto a piece of paper towel to dry, then brush cut-sides with olive oil.
  3. Oil the char grill pan or barbecue and grill the peaches in batches, skin-side down first, for 2 minutes or until charred and warmed through.
  4. Place rocket and endive in a bowl, drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar.
  5. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss gently to combine.
  6. To serve, layer salad, grilled peaches and prosciutto in a shallow bowl. Drizzle with a little extra oil and vinegar.