Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pick of the Week: Grapefruit

There is something about grapefruit when the weather turns cold. I can ignore it the rest of the year, but come winter, a grapefruit a day accompanies my apple. It's tangy flavor wakes me up, and I find it the perfect antidote mid-morning, which for some reason is the time I most long for warmer weather.

Selecting: You want a juicy grapefruit, which means each fruit should be heavy for its size. Pick it up. The skin should be thin. Check it's shape: It should be round with slightly flattened ends. And there should be no signs of bruising or mold. Once picked, grapefruit no longer ripens,

Storing: Place grapefruit in the refrigerator's crisper drawer, and it will be fine for two or three weeks. It keeps at room temperature for about five days, but you never know how long it's been sitting at the market.

My mom would top grapefruit halves with either honey and a pat of butter or a sprinkling of brown sugar and a bit or brandy, and and pop them under the broiler to brown and caramelize. She called that dessert, and it really is very special. But sugar is eliminated from my diet, which means I'll have to wait for this treat. I"ll take mine plain, incorporated into a salad with grilled shrimp or scallops, or transformed into one of my mother's favorite appetizers, a chunky consomme. By the way, this consomme is a wonderful way to banish hunger pains, One tip: When you section and cut the grapefruit, capture the juice, since you need 2 cups for the recipe.

One grapefruit, sectioned, and each section cut in quarters
2 cups fresh grapefruit juice
1 1/2 cups beef broth or stock
2 tsp. dry Sherry
4 thin slices lemon, unpeeled
4 sprigs Italian parsley
  • Prepare the grapefruit sections, capturing the juice.
  • Place the grapefruit, juice and broth in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add Sherry and simmer a few minutes.
  • Divide the consomme among four bowls, and float a lemon slice and a sprig of parsley in each bowl. Makes 4 servings.

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