License to Chill II
by Mark R. Vogel

            In the movie “For Your Eyes Only,” James Bond, never missing an opportunity, engages a beautiful countess and convinces her to escort her home.  Apparently the time it takes to reach her dwelling is all that is needed for his charm to take hold.  Upon arriving she invites him in with the added temptation that she has “champagne and oysters in the fridge.”  Needless to say they spend the night together.  James Bond is a man who definitely knows how to chill out.

            Welcome to the second edition of “License to Chill,” a compilation of cool concoctions designed to ease the heat of the summer season.  So take a tip from 007:  forget work, relax, and break out something cold.  Who knows, you might end up with something hot.

 

BANANA SMOOTHIE

 

2 cups ice

1 large, very ripe banana

12 oz. milk

1/3 cup sugar

 

            Pulse all the ingredients in a blender until the ice is pulverized to the point that a slushy consistency is produced.  For additional creaminess, substitute some of the milk with light or heavy cream.  You can also substitute other fruits for the banana if you like but ensure they are fully ripe.

 

FRUIT & YOGURT SALAD

 

2 oranges

1 (16-oz.) container strawberries

1 cup grapes

2 ½ cups cubed pineapple

1 pint fresh blueberries

1 pint vanilla yogurt

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Zest of one lemon

 

            Cut the oranges into segments and then cut the segments in half.  Trim the end of the strawberries and then cut them into quarters.  Cut the grapes in half.  Mix the oranges, strawberries and grapes with the pineapple and blueberries in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl mix the yogurt, sugar lemon juice and lemon zest until the sugar is fully incorporated.  Combine the yogurt mixture and the fruit.  Refrigerate to fully chill.  Serve in martini glasses or small bowls.  Garnish with mint or additional fruit.

 

CITRUS COOLER

 

1 large grapefruit

3 large oranges

1 lemon

¼ cup grenadine

1 quart cold spring water

Sugar to taste

 

            Juice the grapefruit, oranges and lemon.  Then press the juice through a fine mesh sieve to remove all of the pulp.  Mix the fruit juices, grenadine and water in a pitcher.  Add some sugar and stir until it dissolves.  Taste and add more sugar if necessary.  Serve over ice with a sprig of mint and lemon wedge for garnish.

 

CHILLED CUCUMBER SOUP

 

2 large cucumbers                              

Salt and pepper to taste                                                         

¼ cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice                             

½ teaspoon lime zest                                                  

1 tablespoon finely sliced fresh basil

1 tablespoons finely sliced fresh mint

 

            Peel, seed, and roughly chop the cucumbers.  Place them in a blender and puree thoroughly until completely smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pushing as much of the liquid through with a wooden spoon or spatula as possible.  Combine cucumbers with remaining ingredients.  Whisk until smooth.  Chill the soup and serve.  Garnish with additional herbs, lime wedges, or dollops of sour cream. 

 

FRESH TOMATO JUICE COCKTAIL

 

            This is a very straightforward and tasty concoction that needs no recipe.  Take a batch of roughly chopped tomatoes and place them in a food processor.  Add a generous amount of kosher salt.  Whiz thoroughly until pureed.  Press the tomatoes through a fine mesh sieve.  Discard the solids.  Add some lemon juice and Tabasco sauce to the tomato juice and stir.  Pour into a tall glass garnished with a lemon wedge.  And if you really want to chill out, I’m sure you know what else you can add to the tomato juice comrade. 

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