Friday, May 10, 2013

Jicama and Apple Slaw with Mint Dressing/Gen. Schwartzkopf's Sour Cream Peach Pie

My dad and stepmom recently drove out to the Canteen from Vero Beach for a visit to see their grandkids (and also possibly to ensure that we hadn't destroyed our pool equipment yet, novice cement pond owners that we are). For dinner, I opted to cook out on the grill, sizzling up some fat Italian sausages to go with roasted peppers, potatoes, and onions. I tried out a couple of new recipes for the other sides - first up was a cole slaw that included kohlrabi and apples in a bright mint dressing, at least that's the version of the recipe I received from our old farmbox lady back in Chicago. When I sauntered over to Publix to get ingredients, however, there was no kohlrabi to be found; luckily, I recalled that there are a number of chefs that use jicama (a root vegetable from Latin American that's similar to a water chestnut) in their slaws, so I ad libbed and bought a jicama bulb instead. As it turns out, this wasn't a bad substitution - the jicama/apple slaw was light and fresh, a really perfect counterweight to the sausages and rich roasted veggies. I see myself making this slaw again as the Florida heat starts cranking up soon for summer.

Kohlrabi (or Jicama) and Apple Slaw with Mint Dressing

1 lb. kohlrabi or jicama, peeled and grated (or shredded)
2 red apples, peeled and grated
1/4 c. fresh mint, chopped
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. freshly-grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place kohlrabi (or jicama), apple, and mint in a large mixing bowl. Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl with whisk until well-combined. Pour dressing over kohlrabi/apple/mint and mix well.

As simple as the slaw recipe was, I found a dessert to make that was even easier. Back in 1996, the late General Norman Schwartzkopf (a Tampa resident until his death last year) contributed a recipe for a sour cream peach pie to Time-Life Books so it could be included in a Miss Piggy cookbook that was being compiled (yes, apparently, such a thing exists). Sadly, I don't possess this cookbook, but I did see the recipe in a recent issue of Tampa Bay Magazine (the General's widow had allowed it to be republished in the article) and thought it'd be a good summer dessert to try for guests. All I needed to do was get a pie crust (instead of homemade, I went the lazy route and bought a prefab Graham cracker crust), put sliced canned peaches in it, mix up a few ingredients with sour cream, pour it into the shell, and bake the whole melange for about 35 minutes. Although I wouldn't push to get it on the menu at the Harry Waugh Dessert Room anytime soon, the pie was surprisingly good given the effort level involved - even my dad and stepmom (who are notoriously discerning when it comes to recipes) partook and didn't find fault, at least not until after they headed back to Vero as far as I know. So, to sum it up, if you happen to find yourself visiting the Canteen sometime this summer, odds are pretty good you'll find us out by the cement pond enjoying jicama slaw and sour cream peach pie. We'll leave a seat on the lanai for you...

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