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6 Zesty Recipes for the Perfect Summer

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6 Zesty Recipes for the Perfect Summer

Summertime is forever in Singapore so why not make the best out of the tropical weather with great outdoor picnics, BBQs and pool parties? Stay tuned in to this month’s Collections, where we give you some mouth-watering summer weapons to help you beat the heat!

This summer, we're going to explore some tasty dishes and refreshing drinks that are delicious and easy to make. Whether you feel totally at ease in the kitchen or are a not-so-experienced home chef, you should find these tasty recipes really fun and stress-free to make. You might also impress your guests so much that they'll keep on coming back for more – which is always the perfect complement for any cook – don't you think?

So read on and whet your appetite with these seven summer delights!



Treat #1: Fresh Spring Rolls with Prawns 

Ideal for the sweltering summer heat, and a refreshing change from their deep-fried cousins, these tasty favourites make brilliant appetisers and is perfect for dipping in mouth-watering sauces.

Recipe
2 ounces rice vermicelli
8 rice wrappers (8.5-inch diameter)
8 large cooked shrimp - peeled, divided and cut in half

1/3 tablespoons chopped fresh Thai basil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 leaves lettuce, chopped
4 teaspoons fish sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon finely chopped peanuts

Directions
  • Grab a medium saucepan, fill it with water and bring it to boil. Add rice vermicelli and boil it for 3 to 5 minutes or until al dente, then drain.
  • Take a large bowl and fill it with warm water. Dip your rice wrappers (one at a time) in water for about 1 second to soften.
  • Lay the softened wrappers nice and flat on a dry plate or chopping board. Place two shrimp halves, a handful of vermicelli, basil, mint, cilantro, and lettuce in a row across the center – leaving around 2 inches uncovered on opposite sides. Carefully fold the sides inwards and firmly roll – starting with the lettuce – so they’re nice and neat. Repeat with remaining ingredients
  • For the sauce - mix fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar, and chilli sauce in a small bowl.
  • In another small bowl, you can mix the peanuts and hoisin sauce.
  • When your guests arrive, you can serve up the yummy spring rolls with your delicious sauces!
Prep Time

50 minutes

Tip

Use all-fresh ingredients, just like they do at the award winning Wrap & Roll. And to give your sauce an extra oomph, roast the peanuts until they are light-brown before chopping so you get a little smokey texture in the dip!

Try this recipe or grab a roll or two from the pros: Fresh Spring Rolls with Prawns & Pork available for $5.90 (2pc) / $11.90 (4pc) at Wrap & Roll, Changi City Point #B1-26/27.



Treat #2: Mango Fruit Tart

With fresh, clean flavours of lime, mango and kiwifruit, this fabulous fruit tart makes for a tropical delight your guests won’t be able to resist.

Recipe
Crust
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tablespoon salt
8 tablespoon cold butter (no substitutions)
3 tablespoon ice water

Lime Pastry Cream 1 cup whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoon corn-starch
2 tablespoon butter (no substitutions)
1 teaspoon grated fresh lime peel

Fruit Topping
2 mangoes
1 peeled and sliced kiwifruit (optional)

Directions

The Crust

  • Set up your food processor with a knife blade. Combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt, then pulse until blended. Add the butter and pulse again until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add a tablespoon of ice water at a time, and pulse until moist clumps form. Take the moist dough from the blender, flatten it into a disc then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for around 1 hour or until it's firm enough to roll. (If chilled overnight, let the dough stand 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling.)
  • Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit / 200 degrees Celsius. While the oven is getting hot, roll your dough on a floured surface, using a floured rolling pin until the dough disc is about 11-inches round. Place the dough into a 9” by 1” round tart pan with a removable bottom and press it into the bottom and sides, so it fits nicely. Finally, trim the edges, so they’re nice and neat then pop it into the freezer or refrigerate for about 10 to 15 minutes, making it firm before you bake it.
  • Before you put the crust into the oven, make sure you line the tart shell with foil and fill it with dry beans to keep it flat. Bake for 20 minutes then remove the foil and beans and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden. Take the crust out from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
The Filling
 
  • While your crust is cooling, you can begin preparing the Lime Pastry Cream.
  • Take a 2-quart / 1.89L saucepan and heat the milk so it’s simmering on medium heat. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl with granulated sugar until blended. Mix in the cornstarch until smooth. While constantly beating the egg-yolk mixture with a wire whisk, gradually add half of the simmering milk. 
  • Now it’s time for you to pour the yolk and milk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Heat the mixture while constantly whisking, to prevent lumps from forming. When the mixture boils and thickens, keep it boiling for 1 minute then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the butter and lime peel and pour it into a bowl to cool. Make sure you cover the surface directly, with plastic wrap touching the mixture to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until nice and cold.
  • Once the mixture has cooled, carefully spoon it into the baked tart shell and spread it nice and evenly. Now you can get creative, adding the mango slices to the top, with a slice of Kiwi in the centre. Detach the sides of the pan from the tart with the pan base still on (to keep it steady), and place on a serving plate. If you’re not ready to serve straight away, you can refrigerate for up to 2 hours until your guests are ready for a taste sensation. 
Prep Time

2 hours, 30 minutes

Tip

Make sure you choose sweet ripe mangoes but remember, colour is not the best way to tell if the fruit is ripe. Instead, look for fruit that’s slightly soft to the touch, and has a beautiful fruity mango aroma. If it feels good and smells great, chances are it’s ripe, just like the mangoes used by Fruit Paradise! They make tasty fruit tarts using only the freshest and most delicious fruits. 

Mango Fruit Tart is available for $7.80 before GST (per slice) / $50 before GST (19cm cake) / $80 before GST (23cm cake) at Fruit Paradise, Waterway Point West Wing, #01-65.



Treat #3: Milk Pudding

Everybody loves a luscious milk pudding, so it’s bound to be a hit at your sensational summer soirees. It’s versatile, sweet and best of all, easy to make, so be sure to put it on your to-do list for the next family gathering.

Recipe
4 cups (1 liter) milk, divided
1/2 cup (125 milliliter) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75 milliliter) cornstarch
2 tsp (10 milliliter) rosewater (optional)
1 to 3 tsp (5 to 15 milliliter) vanilla
1/4 cup (60 milliliter) raisins
1/2 tsp (2 milliliter) cinnamon

Directions
  • Grab one of your large saucepans (preferably one with a thicker base) and add 3 cups of milk with sugar. Stir over a medium to high heat to simmer.
  • Place the remaining milk in a medium bowl and whisk in the cornstarch until it’s dissolved.
  • Once the milk and sugar come to a steady simmer, add your cornstarch / milk mixture and bring it all to a rolling boil. Make sure you stir continuously for 1 to 2 minutes until the mixture thickens. Take it off the heat and stir in the rose water (if you decide to use it) along with 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence. If you’re not using the rose water, you can add an extra 2 tsps (10 ml) of vanilla for flavour.
  • Pour the mixture into one large / medium bowl, or individual serving dishes / ramekins and place plastic wrap over the top, so it’s touching the surface of the pudding mix. This step prevents a skin forming on the top.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until nicely set. Remove the plastic wrap and top with raisins, cinnamon or whatever takes your fancy.  
Prep Time

20 minutes, 4 hours to chill

Tip

If you’re not familiar with rose water, it adds a beautiful subtle flavour and is often used in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. You’ll find it in most large supermarkets and specialist stores. You can also garnish your tasty pudding with just about anything you like, including pomegranate seeds, pistachios and a mixture of dried fruit or nuts

The experts at Dessert Story suggest using fresh Australian milk for its full, fresh flavour.

Milk Pudding is available for $3.80 at Dessert Story, Northpoint #B1-21/22.



Treat #4: Sugarcane Juice with Vitamin C

Sugarcane juice is a real favourite throughout Asia and a popular street-side treat. You’ve probably seen the cane being put through a wringer to squeeze out the juice then poured into a bag or cup full of ice – really thirst-quenching! In this recipe, we’re going to take a peek at how you can make it at home.

Recipe
4 cups of sugarcane juice (sugarcane to be skinned / peeled and cut into small pieces)
1 lemon or 1 orange
2 cups of ice

Directions
  • Depending on how you buy it, take the cane lengths and break them into smaller pieces. Peel them with a knife or heavy-duty peeler and chop them into small chunks. 
  • Add the sugarcane pieces and a little bit of water in the blender. Give it a good whizz for a few minutes, so it’s nicely pureed. 
  • You can let it settle for a minute then pour it through a reasonably fine filter (you could use a loose weave cloth or fabric coffee filter) into a jug. 
  • You should have caught all the unwanted husk in the filter, and the sugarcane juice should be clear and ready to drink. Set it aside.
  • Zest the lemon with a zester or grater. Set the lemon zest aside. 
  • Slice the lemon into 4 parts. Use a lemon presser to get fresh lemon juice. 
  • Pour the lemon juice into the sugarcane juice and stir well. Add in the ice and sprinkle the lemon zest on top.
Prep Time

10-15 minutes

Tip

As the experts at CocoCane suggests, use only 100% pure fresh sugarcane juice for a richer taste. Lemon juice contains Vitamin C and has multiple health benefits. By adding lemon juice to sugarcane juice, it stabilises the juice and slows down the oxidation process. You can also replace lemon with orange if lemon is too acidic for you.

There are so many reasons why fresh sugarcane juice is so good for you. It’s an instant energy-booster, helps with the development of bones and teeth, aids liver function, and helps combat cancer, just to name a few – Oh, and it’s delicious and refreshing on a hot summer’s day!

100% Pure Sugarcane Juice is available for $2.00 (regular cup) / $2.50 (large cup) at Cococane, Waterway Point West Wing, #B2-K7.


Treat #5: Piña Colada

Originally created in 1954 in Puerto Rico by a man called Monchito, the Piña Colada is a classic and has even had well-known songs written about it. It's creamy, sweet and not to mention delicious which makes it easily the cocktail of choice for men and women alike. And if the kids are curious - you can use ice-blocks instead of crushed ice on their Virgin Piña Colada, and of course, leave out the rum!


Recipe
1/2 cup crushed ice
6 fluid ounces pineapple juice
2 fluid ounces rum
1 fluid ounce sweetened coconut cream
1 fluid ounce heavy cream
1 pineapple wedge
1 maraschino cherry

Directions
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a container - best if you have a shaker - and shake it like a Polaroid camera! Feel free to give this drink a good, passionate 15-20 second shake so you get a smooth, even mixture.  
  • If you don’t have a shaker, never fear, you can easily use a blender, and this could be a good idea if you have quite a thirsty crowd, screaming for more.
  • Set up your trusty blender, combine ice, pineapple juice, rum, coconut cream and heavy cream. Blend everything together until it's creamy smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into glasses then garnish each glass with a thin pineapple wedge and a cherry. And don't forget those little cocktail umbrellas! 
Prep Time

15 minutes

Tip

If you’re making alcoholic drinks for the grown-ups who aren’t driving, make sure you choose a good quality rum. You can start with white rum then move up to aged or other flavoured rums. If you’re making non-alcoholics drinks for the kids and grown-ups who prefer them soft, simply leave out the rum.

RessRoom recommends using a good quality pineapple juice (canned) or better yet, fresh pineapple juice. You should also always opt for Cream of Coconut (rather than Coconut Cream or Coconut Milk), because it’s thicker, richer, creamier, and has natural sugar added. 

Pina Colada is available for $14.00 at Ressroom, Changi City Point #01-72/73.



Treat #6: Strawberry Milkshake

Remarkably refreshing on a hot summer’s day, this healthy, creamy smoothie has so many possibilities – You can serve it as is, or if you want to give a bit of extra punch for the grown-ups, add a splash of rum! You can even add a dash of cinnamon for an intriguing twist.

Recipe
6 ice cubes, or as needed
2 cups strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup kefir (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon vanilla-flavoured syrup
1 splash orange juice

Directions
  • Break out the trusty blender and fill it with the ice-cubes, strawberries, mint leaves, vanilla syrup, and orange juice.
  • Blend until it’s nice and smooth.
Prep Time

15 mins

Tip

Don’t be afraid to experiment with this refreshing cocktail of flavours. You can easily combine strawberry and banana; strawberry, banana, and Nutella; strawberry and pineapple; or strawberry and pear.

Strawberry Smoothie is available for $5.50 at A-Gantea, Bedok Point #02-24


 
We hope these simple, fresh recipes and handy tips gives you plenty of ideas for your summertime gatherings with family and friends. Just remember to keep it healthy and refreshing – and it should make for a very fun and memorable summertime treat!
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