Cove Cooking: Keep cool on those hot summer days

Cove Cooking: Keep cool on those hot summer days

A peanut noodle and cucumber salad accompanied by frozen lemon wedges won’t warm up your kitchen. Karen Schneider / About the Fortune Teller

I admit that this is the time of year when I want to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen. This week’s recipes reflect that, and all include ways to incorporate tart lemons and limes into a refreshing, easy dish. This includes an iced drink for adults, an Asian noodle salad and a cool creamy dessert.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in Candice Harbor Village. You can find her at [email protected]

I recently tried these slurries at a friend’s house and was sold on the first sip, especially when I saw how easy the drinks were to make. No need to squeeze juice and thoroughly coat the glass rims with salt. All the ingredients are whipped together in a blender, and the limes can even be peeled beforehand and stored in the freezer.

For our main course, crunchy peanuts and curly cucumber spirals combine with delicious Udon noodles slathered in a silky sauce. Play with the level of spiciness and saltiness to make it to your satisfaction. If you don’t have a spiralizer, just thinly slice the cucumber. This dish is great on its own and also accompanies grilled salmon or chicken quite well with just enough peanut ginger dressing for dipping.

You might want to make a batch of these frozen yogurt desserts for emergencies. A grapefruit spoon with a serrated edge is good for scooping out the lemon, which you can freeze for other recipes.

Experiment with different yogurt flavors and add berries to the filling or just use them as a side dish. Other garnish options include mint leaves, rainbow sprinkles, shredded coconut, or a drizzle of fruit syrup.

I hope these ideas work well to keep you cool!

Strawberry-lime porridge

4 limes, 3 peeled and 1 thinly sliced

1/4 cup honey or agave syrup

3-4 cups of strawberries or raspberries

1 glass of tequila

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups ice cubes

Peel three of the limes, cutting off the tops and bottoms deep enough to expose the fruit below the core. Cut the remaining peel and core of the lime into wide strips. Cut the last lime into thin slices for garnish.

Place the peeled limes in a blender; add all other ingredients except ice and stir until combined. Add the ice in portions and continue to blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with lime wedges. Yield: 4 servings

Salad with peanut noodles and cucumbers

1 pound frozen or 8 ounces dried Udon noodles

1-2 (14 oz) large cucumbers

2-4 (1 cup) onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

1/3 cup peanut ginger dressing (see below), plus more to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles according to package directions, then drain, rinse under cold water, and allow to dry. Spiralize or thinly slice the cucumbers and remove excess moisture with paper towels.

Toss noodles gently with 1/3 cup dressing to coat completely. Add cucumbers, onions, cilantro and peanuts. Throw again. Taste and add more dressing if needed. Chill until flavors meld. Serve with additional dressing, cilantro and peanuts piled on top. Yield: 4 servings

Peanut-ginger dressing

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced

1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce, such as Sambal Oelek, optional

water

Flaky sea salt

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients, adding a tablespoon of water as needed. Taste and adjust with more lime juice and salt, if desired. As the dressing sits, it can thicken, so thin it with a tablespoon or two of water until it reaches the desired consistency. This will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Frozen lemon cups

5 large lemons

3 cups lemon Greek yogurt

1/3 cup honey

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons of lemon zest

Seasonal berries (optional)

Garnishes like mint leaves and sprinkles

Wash the lemons and juice and peel one of them. Cut off the bottom tops of the remaining four so they stand upright on the serving plates. Cut off the tops, then cut around the inside of the lemon peel with a serrated knife and scoop out the lemon pulp.

Whisk the yogurt with the honey, lemon juice and zest. Gently stir in berries, if using. Fill the lemon shells with the mixture, then freeze for at least 6 hours. Garnish and serve. Yield: 4 servings

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