The Summer Shack Cookbook
The Complete Guide to Shore Food
The New York Times Country Weekend Cookbook
Edited by Linda Amster
St. Martin's Press / 2007 / $32
If Jasper White's guide to summer eating is like a classic lobster roll from a roadside stand, this compilation from the august newspaper of record brings to mind a wine-and-cheese picnic for a New York Philharmonic concert on Central Park's Great Lawn.
Cleanly designed, filled with urbane but easy recipes, the book is a conglomeration of finds from Times' food writers and some of the nation's best chefs. My only quibble is with the decidedly unhelpful recipe planner in the appendix.
The asparagus-based risotto was herby and excellent. I'd recommend making the luxuriously rich Leek, Mushroom and Goat-Cheese Tart in a circle form, rather than the rectangles initially called for in the recipe. Instead of cutting off strips to make a rim, I just bent the pastry over at the edges. Leave plenty of time to chop the ingredients if you're expecting company. The result, my guests and I agreed, made a fantastic and indulgent first course.
Grilled Sea Scallops With Maple-Lemon Glaze
1 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B (which is less refined and has a richer flavor)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
salt and pepper to taste
32 large sea scallops
2 tablespoons olive oil
Soak 8 wooden skewers for at least an hour. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.
To make the glaze, combine the maple syrup and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (If the syrup boils rapidly, it will foam and cook over.) Simmer until the glaze has reduced to 3/4 cup, about 15 minutes.
Season the glaze with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to a covered container and store at room temperature; do not refrigerate.
Thread the scallops on the skewers, putting 4 on each. Drizzle with olive oil. Place on the hot grill and cook 2 minutes. Flip once and apply a thin coat of glaze to the scallops; cook another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill and lightly glaze the other side.
Adapted from "The Summer Shack Cookbook"
Per serving (4 scallops): 189 calories, 10 grams protein, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 20 milligrams cholesterol, 100 milligrams sodium