By: Cheryl Radkiewicz
Did you know that in addition to Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, and Heart Healthy Month, February also celebrates National Grapefruit Month and Kahlua Day?
As I’m sitting here while it’s below zero outside, I can’t imagine how February is also termed “National Grapefruit Month.” I’m sure Floridians and Californians voted on this designation.
Now I can understand why so many Northeastern Pennsylvanians are “snowbirds”, flying south to spend months in the sunny South or why my nephew just picked up and moved to Florida to be out of this bone-chilling winter weather.
Years ago, we were delighted when “snowbird” friends sent us fresh ruby red grapefruits from Florida. Now, happily, we can get them any time of year at our favorite grocery stores.
Okay, so you spend Valentine’s Day splurging either at home with boxes of chocolate or at a restaurant…what next? Heart-Healthy Month and National Grapefruit Month can kick in. Here are some ways to celebrate the month honoring these “foodie holidays”:
9 cups chilled fresh grapefruit juice ( squeeze about 13 grapefruits)
3 cups Champagne or Prosecco, chilled
1 grapefruit, cut into wedges
Stir grapefruit and Champagne or Prosecco together in pitcher. Serve in champagne flutes with a wedge of grapefruit on rim of glass. Makes 12 servings.
Luscious Broiled Grapefruit:
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 maraschino cherries
Slice grapefruits in half and remove any seeds and white membranes from their centers. Run a grapefruit spoon or knife between the fruit and peel of the grapefruit, loosening up fruit. Place the four halves on a sheet pan. In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle an equal amount of the sugar mixture over each grapefruit half and place a single maraschino cherry in the center.
Preheat oven broiler. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until sugar is bubbling and golden brown. Serve warm. Serves 4.
Grapefruit Shrimp Salad:
1 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit sections
2 cups cooked shrimp, cleaned
1 cup diced celery
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
Combine grapefruit, shrimp and celery. Mix together lemon juice, cream, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Add to shrimp mixture and toss. Serve on bed of salad greens. Serves 4.
Scallops with Grapefruit Sauce:
1 lb. sea scallops
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 tsp. grapefruit zest
3 Tbsp. butter
Toss scallops in flour and generously season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add scallops and saute’ for 3-5 minutes, or until scallops are browned and slightly springy to the touch. Remove scallops from pan and set aside. Add onions to skillet and saute’ for 1 minute, just until they begin to brown. Add white wine, grapefruit juice and zest to the pan and bring to simmer. Let simmer two minutes.
Remove pan from heat and stir in butter, salt, pepper and reserved scallops. Stir just until butter is melted into sauce. Serve immediately.
Grapefruit can help with heart health, while Kahlua, that decadent coffee liqueur can aid with emotional health (bliss):
Kahlua Dip for Fruit:
1- 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup Cool Whip
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Kahlua
1 cup sour cream ( If you like, I omit)
Beat all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Serve with favorite fruit.
Warm Bananas Kahlua:
1 oz. light brown sugar
1 oz. white sugar
6 large bananas
4 oz. Kahlua liqueur
2 oz. butter
Caramelize sugars in a hot, dry saute’ pan, being careful not to burn the sugar. Add sliced bananas, Kahlua and butter. Remove pan from burner. Butter and Kahlua should NOT cook. Serve over ice cream or pound cake.
Chocolate Fudge Kahlua Cake:
1 box (18.25 oz.) chocolate fudge with pudding in the mix, cake mix
1pt. sour cream (16 oz.)
1/4 cup cooking or canola oil
1-12 oz. pkg. real semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup Kahlua
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. Combine ingredients with electric mixer and beat 4 minutes. Pour into bundt pan; bake for 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan 10-15 minutes and turn onto cake plate.
Chocolate Kahlua Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 Tbsp. Kahlua
1 Tbsp. water
Combine glaze ingredients in small saucepan. Stir until smooth and creamy, Over low heat, warm glaze 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Drizzle over warm cake. Allow glaze to cool before serving. Makes 12 servings.