Monthly Archives: July 2013

Cool as a Cucumber – Summer Agua Fresca

Got lots of cukes in your garden? Here’s a super-refreshing summer drink to make good on your garden’s goodness.
Agua Fresca (Spanish for “fresh water”) is a combo of fruits, cereals, flowers, or seeds blended with sugar and water to make  a light non-alcoholic beverage.
This recipe is refreshing, yet has a little zip from a hot pepper.
I added an alcoholic version too. See Chef’s Note for that.
Enjoy!

Cucumber Agua Fresca

Cool as a Cucumber – Summer Agua Fresca
by Chef Steffani Adaska
Serves 12

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups sugar
10 cups cold water
2.5 pounds cucumbers, peeled, coarsely chopped (more for garnish)
1 cup fresh lime juice plus
1 jalapeno pepper or serrano chile, seeded, minced (more for garnish)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Ice cubes
12 thin cucumber slices (for garnish)
12 fresh mint sprigs (for garnish)
12 lime slices (for garnish)
12 slices of jalapeno pepper or serrano chile (for garnish)

Make Simple Syrup: Stir sugar and 2 cups water in large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat Pour into bowl, bring to room temp, then chill. This can be up to 1 week ahead and kept in fridge.
In a blender, working in batches, puree cucumbers, lime juice, jalapeno or chile, salt, with 2 cups of your simple syrup until smooth. Strain puree into large pitcher or bowl. Mix in 8 cups cold water.*
Cover and chill 2+ hours or overnight.
Fill glasses with ice cubes. Add a cucumber slice, lime slice, mint sprig and jalapeno slice to the rim of each glass. Pour your chilled cucumber goodness into each glass and serve.

*Chef’s Note: If you are daring and want to  impress your friends with a fun summer drink, try an alcoholic version. Swap out 4 cups of the water and with 4 cups of vodka.  (I love Tito’s Vodka with this drink.)

Yummy!!!! Be careful, they go down quickly.

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Summer Wheat Berry Salad

Here is a great vegetarian recipe for summer! If you are interested in more vegetarian meals and recipes, don’t miss our Vegetarian Cooking Class with Chef Steffani Adaska on October 26th.

Summer Wheat Berry Salad

Summer Wheat Berry Salad
By Chef Steffani Adaska

Serves: 6
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 2 large, fresh tomatoes, cored, small dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 English Cucumber, small dice
  • 3 stalks celery, small dice
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 3 Tbsp Aged Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ Cup crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1/3 cup, Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, stemmed, rough chopped
  • ¼ cup, mint leaves, rough chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Directions:

  1. Cook the wheat berries according to the directions on the package. Drain them in a colander and allow to cool just a bit.
  2. Mix together all of the chopped vegetables in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, zest and vinegar to make a dressing.
  4. Add the wheat berries to the vegetables, and stir in the dressing.
  5. Add Feta, parsley and mint. Season with salt & pepper.
  6. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.
  7. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
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Get Your Grill On With Chef Bryant Alden

Last night Chef Bryant Alden taught a Grilling cooking class at A Taste of the Mountains cooking school. We had so much fun and ate lots of delicious food!

Here’s what was on the menu:

Grilled Scallop with Pear and, Proscuitto in a Champagne Sauce
Grilled Asparagus and Brie Soup

Grilled Asparagus and Brie Soup
Grilled Avocado and Field Green Salad with a Honey Lime Vinaigrette

Grilled Avocado and Field Green Salad With A Honey Lime Vinaigrette
Grilled Pork Tenderloin Tier with a Cider Currant Glaze

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Tier with a Cider Currant Glaze

Future Celebrity Chef Ethan chopped some asparagus:

Get Your Grill On Class With Chef Bryant Alden

Food and Fun was had by all:

Get Your Grill On Class With Chef Bryant Alden

Get Your Grill On Class With Chef Bryant Alden

Get Your Grill On Class With Chef Bryant Alden

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