Ugh. It's the first heat wave of the season, with Bay Area temperatures soaring into the 90s and low 100s. Think chill -- as in strawberry gazpacho, cool sauvignon blanc and beer brewed to help you withstand withering days. Here's a roundup of ways to cool off from the Eat Drink Play gang:
Your basic beer was already the ultimate thirst-quencher, but the craft-brew and cider revolutions have amped up the offerings. Here are suggestions from our brew guy Jay Brooks, of Brooks on Beer:
Ripe melon, stone fruit, red peppers and burrata? That's a warm-weather salad with eye appeal -- and a little zing from curry powder and pepper, writes Eat Drink Play editor Jackie Burrell. Perfect timing too: The first apricots and nectarines of the season are now at farmers markets and in grocery stores. Chris Borges of Taste Catering shared the recipe for Melon, Stone Fruit and Burrata Salad (http://bit.ly/1g3NDOo) with us.
It's too early for vine-ripe tomatoes, but spring strawberries are everywhere -- so try this recipe for Strawberry Gazpacho (http://bit.ly/1lj0QPK) from chef-owner David Kinch of Los Gatos' Manresa. You need only strawberries, onions, red bell peppers, cucumbers, plus the herbs and dressing. (Hint: Stick with his basic recipe and forget the frou-frou extras. This is not a time to be cooking fig leaf curd!)
And San Francisco's Epic Roasthouse chef Parke Ulrich chimes in with an easy take on grilled steak topped with a summery chimichurri (http://bit.ly/1jE29N0).
Check out these three white wines that offer unbeatable value, our wine critic Jessica Yadegaran ("Corkheads" column) says. They're available at most Cost Plus World Market locations.
Hint: Need to chill that wine quickly? Contrary to logic, Yadegaran says, it's not the freezer you need. Instead, grab a bucket and fill it halfway with ice. Add cold water until it covers the ice, about 3/4 full. Then, toss 1/4 cup of salt in the bucket. (Salt helps lower the freezing point of water to below 32 degrees.) Now, submerge your bottle and swirl it around for a few minutes. Presto -- instantly chilled.