Monday, July 9, 2012

Beat the Summer Heat with Refreshing Mojitos!

The summer heat is on. And has been for almost 2 weeks, with temperatures in the high 90s! This is the hottest fourth of July week I’ve ever experienced, and this summer is probably one of the hottest summer! How do we stay cool? Swimming in the river is one option. The other is hiding inside the boat with the AC on full blast.

Unfortunately for Steve and Ken, whose garden, er, mini-farm has been profusely producing crops like green beans, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, okra, tomatoes, and lately corn, someone has to pick, cook or can them.
Checking out the okra
string beans (left), pole beans (right), cucumbers (at the end)
Men having fun picking zucchini and other vegetables from the garden
Tools for canning green beans
Yours truly have happily helped pick some, and Glenda, Steve’s other half, had had the fun job of pickling and canning all these crops. Just this past weekend, poor Glenda and Steve stayed up until 2 am to can some 150 ears of corn they had picked the evening prior. The good news is they won’t have to pay the high prices of canned vegetables come winter. With the drought besetting many parts of the country, there is no question food prices will be higher in the not-too-distant future.
Canning green beans
The couple of nights that were cool enough for us to sit outside to have our weekly potlucks, we enjoyed grilled meats, fresh vegetables, refreshing mojitos and avocado and roasted corn guacamole. The latter can’t be any fresher with your own home grown corn, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers!
potluck with marina friends

Freshly picked tomatoes and corn from the garden
Mojito and avocado and roasted corn guacamole
Both mojitos and avocado corn guacamole were big hits, and as promised, here are their recipes.

An authentic mojito is made with white rum. I used Captain Morgan’s spiced rum.
makes 1 drink

 1 ½ oz rum
 1 ½ oz fresh lime juice
 1 sprig of fresh mint
 ½ tsp sugar Sprite

 In a rock or highball glass, add sugar and mint leaves. Crush mint leaves with the back of a spoon. Add lime juice. Fill up glass with crushed ice. Add rum. Top off with sprite.

Avocado and Roasted Corn Guacamole [Print Recipe]
courtesy of Food & Wine magazine, April 1991 
8 Servings

 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 Tbsp corn oil
2 large avocados, preferably Haas, cut into ¼” dice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large tomato, cut into ¼” dice
2 Tbsp minced red onion
1 tsp minced fresh or pickled jalapeno pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 ½ tsp coarse (Kosher) salt
¼ tsp cumin

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. On a baking sheet, toss the corn with 1 Tbsp oil. Roast, tossing often, for 7-8 minutes, until golden. Let cool, then transfer to a medium bowl.

2. Fold in the avocado, tomato, cilantro, onion, jalapeno and garlic. Stir in the lime juice, salt, vinegar, cumin and 2 Tbsp oil. Cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.

3. Serve with tortilla chips

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