Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Cherries & a New Kitchen Toy

Cherries are one of my all time favorite fruits. Besides tasting so amazing, they always remind me of my childhood. My mother would hand pick all the darkest, firmest cherries in the bin, rejecting any that were just red (as opposed to almost black, they were so dark) or the slightest bit soft. My sister, brother and I would eat them until our lips, tongues and teeth were a very interesting shade of purple. It probably took my mom longer to pick them than it did for us to eat them. One game we used to play was to see who could leave the pit attached to the stem with the least amount of pulp attached...lame, I know, but I remember it all these years later.

Well, it's local cherry season here and, in my new Eating Well Magazine, June/July 2006 issue, I just saw a fabulous looking recipe for Grilled Chicken with Cherry-Chipotle Sauce. I admit, I rarely cook or bake with cherries, preferring to just gobble them up, but the recipe looked too good to pass up.

I had the cherries, and I always have the chipotle and chicken in the freezer, so all that was missing was a new toy - a cherry/olive pitter. Truthfully, I don't know how often I will get to use this little gadget, especially for cherries - in part because I just love them "au naturel" and also because great spurts of purple juice dotted my kitchen, my apron (I rarely wear one, but thought it might be prudent) to say nothing of my fingers, which are still unnatural looking. It really didn't take very long to pit the cherries - I thought it would take a lot more to make one cup of chopped cherries, but you can see from the pits in the top photo - not very many at all, leaving lots for munching. I did get a little carried away with the amount of chipotle I added, but the sauce/marinade was delicious. Definitely one to make again. Guess I will get to use the pitter after all.

But back to the rest of the dinner menu...

Now in keeping with trying to be good diet wise (okay, I said good - not great), I thought simple grilled vegetables would go well with the spicy chicken. Because the chicken was so spicy, I thought this would balance the heat. Our favorites were the mushrooms that really soaked up the marinade (see the recipe link below).

And for dessert, which my cousin whipped up - this is where we are only good, rather than great.....chocolate ricotta icebox cake. She found this awesome recipe on Martha Stewart Everday Food.

And because she knows we're trying to behave...she made a few alterations to the recipe. She used dark chocolate and only 12 ounces rather than 14, light ricotta, and low fat chocolate wafers. But what was the girl to do about the whipping cream? Use it, of course!!!

Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake (Martha Stewart Everyday Food)

Related links:


Nerissa said...

*drooling all over the screen*

You make me think that I need to get a cherry pitter. I'd LOVE to steal my mothers which is the best in the world but I'll have to resort to buying my own. Where did you get your pitter?

Ruth said...

Nerissa, I bought mine at Placewares in St Lawrence Market for $10 Canadian, but I'm sure you can find one at any kitchen supply store.

Thanks for dropping by and drooling!

Ruth said...
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gattina said...

I don't usually use fruit in cooking, but after looking at your grilled chicken dish, I know this is a good one for me to start with!
Oh I just ate a pound of cherries yesterday... so delicious!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

All those dishes look gorgeous! I like your new toy...

Ruth said...

Gattina, I know what you mean...all those cherries on the left ...I ate them all myself!!!

Rosa - they were yummy and tonight I'm going to use the rest of the cherry chipotle sauce to grill some salmon - can't wait!!!

Thanks all for dropping by.