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      RECIPE TITLE "Apricot Soup with Lychee Nuts, Lychee Nut Ice Cream, and Caged Fruit Salad"
    recipe from Charlie Trotter's Desserts Copyright 1998 by Charlie Trotter

    ... more great recipes by Charlie Trotter on our GREAT CHEFS page!

    yieldsServes 8time-- difficultydifficult

    The combination of slightly astringent apricots and rich, luscious lychee nuts is terrifically Satisfying. In this preparation the lychee appears in two forms—raw and as an ice cream. As the ice cream melts, it gradually tones the rather direct flavor of the apricot soup. So, if you eat this dessert slowly, you will enjoy a range of gustatory experiences as the flavor combinations literally develop between spoonfuls. The caged fruit salad adds a stunning visual effect as well as more complexity of flavor, but it can easily be omitted and the fruits can simply be strewn around the bowl.


    ¾ cup sugar
    ¼ cup water
    6 apricots, pitted and coarsely chopped
    ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice,
    1 Friar plum, pitted and thinly sliced
    1 apricot, pitted and thinly sliced
    ½ cup Black Corinth grapes
    1 small carambola, thinly sliced
    1 teaspoon finely julienned lemon verbena
    24 lychee nuts, pitted and halved
    Lychee Nut Ice Cream (recipe follows)
    Sugar Cages (recipe follows)

    Charlie Trotter's Desserts
    Charlie Trotter's Desserts Expect the unexpected in this gorgeous collection of over 205 show-stopping desserts, based on ingredients ranging from delightfully familiar (berries, custards and spices) to the unusual (vegetable and grain based). Once again, Charlie shows us why he's the master. Not for beginners!!


    METHOD To make the soup: Cook the sugar and water in a small, heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until lightly golden. Add the chopped apricots and stir until coated. Add the orange juice, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve any hardened sugar, then remove from the heat. Let the mixture cool slightly and then purée in a blender for 3 minutes, or until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and refrigerate until ready to use. Thin with a little water if necessary.

    To make the fruit salad: Toss together the plum, sliced apricot, grapes, carambola, and lemon verbena.

    ASSEMBLY Arrange 6 lychee nut halves to form a circle in the center of each bowl and top with a Lychee Nut Ice Cream disc. Place the Sugar Cages on the ice cream discs and gently spoon some of the fruit salad inside the cages. Ladle the soup into the bowls and serve immediately.

    Lychee Nut Ice Cream

    Yield: approximately 3 cups

    2 cups heavy cream
    ½ cup sugar
    4 egg yolks
    ½ cup pitted lychee nuts

    METHOD Prepare an ice water bath. Bring the cream to a boil. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks and slowly pour in some of the hot cream to temper the eggs. Pour the egg mixture into the cream and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and steam rises from the top. Cool the mixture over the ice water bath, stirring occasionally, until chilled. Purée the lychee nuts and the ice cream base for 2 minutes, or until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and freeze in an ice cream machine. Spread the ice cream in an 8 by 8-inch pan lined with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until frozen solid. Turn the ice cream out of the pan, remove the plastic wrap, and cut into 1½-inch discs.

    Sugar Cages

    Yield: 8 cages

    1 cup sugar
    ¼ cup water
    2 tablespoons corn syrup

    METHOD Combine all of the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until amber in color. Remove from the heat. Place a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the outside of a 1-ounce ladle and lightly oil the foil. Using a spoon, drizzle the sugar syrup over the upside-down ladle, starting at 12 o'clock and ending at 6 o'clock, and repeat the movement, creating a web of sugar spokes that forms a cage. Run some sugar syrup crosswise around the spokes to give the cage stability. Let the sugar syrup cool completely and then gently remove the foil from the ladle, releasing the cage. Repeat the process to make the remaining – cages. (You may have to reheat the sugar slightly between uses.)

    HOT! We recommend:

    Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home Charlie Trotter delivers another top-notch book for the home chef's library in Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home. The over 150 recipes are a distillation of the show-stopping fare that has earned the Chicago restaurateur international acclaim. While bearing the master chef's signature style, the dishes are streamlined with an eye to basic ingredients and straightforward techniques. Trotter begins by discussing classic methods of preparing food, from braising to grilling to sauteing and then moves on the three main sections of the book-Starters, Entrees and Desserts. A model of clarity and approachability, this book will equip you with the recipes and know-how to prepare world-class cuisine in your own kitchen.
    Charlie Trotter's Vegetables Charlie Trotter's Vegetables
    The dynamic follow-up to the bestselling Charlie Trotter, this sensational celebration of vegetables presents some 100 seasonal vegetable recipes. Each dish is pictured in the same lavish style that so distinguished Trotter's first book. Organized by month, each chapter offers four or five savory dishes and one sweet course.
    Charlie Trotter's Meat & Game Charlie Trotter's Meat & Game
    After nearly two decades of practicing his art, Charlie Trotter has established himself as one of the true visionaries of modern American cuisine. In the past two years alone, Trotter has received the Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurant awards from the James Beard Foundation, and his Chicago restaurant was named best in the world by the Wine Spectator. His first cookbook, published in 1994, broke new ground with its stunning food photography, exquisitely wrought recipes, and deluxe format. With nine books and an award-winning PBS cooking show to his credit, Trotter hasn?t looked back. Charlie Trotter's Meat and Game finds the chef in top form and, like the wines from his restaurant's renowned cellar, perfectly paired with the feast at hand. Exotic meats like pheasant, duck, wild boar, and venison take their place alongside ever-versatile lamb, pork, and chicken; and such robust fare proves to be the ultimate platform for Trotter's synthesis of French technique, Asian minimalism, and improvisational verve. Start off with a classic refigured French Onion Soup with Shredded Pork, Goat Cheese Brie, and Sourdough Croutons and then segue to a study in color, texture, and aroma with the Smoked Squab with Israeli Couscous,Stuffed Tinker Bell Peppers and Chocolate Vinaigrette. Introduce pleasant hits of spice with a Cumin-Corriander-Scented Lamb Tenderloin, tempered by the cool, tangy finish of a Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce; and for those for whom one way, even two, is never enough, the Foie Gras Five Ways awaits. Whether you put this book to work in the kitchen or admire it with your feet up, just don't take your eyes off Trotter--you may miss where American cuisine will be tomorrow.

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