Cooks Corner

We all scream for Azucar’s guava ice cream

As of Saturday, it’s officially summer. So if you’re screaming for ice cream, a great place to start is Scoop Adventures: The Best Ice Cream of the 50 States ( $20, Page Street Publishing).

Lindsay Clendaniel shares the recipes she collected during travels across the country sampling ice cream from specialty shops and restaurants for her blog, Scoop Adventures. The recipe here for Abuela Maria Ice Cream is from Miami’s Azucar Ice Cream Co. in Little Havana.

It’s a great uptake on the cream-cheese-and-guava flavor combo we love, whether in pastelitos or smeared on a Maria wafer. A caveat: Some of Clendaniel’s ice cream recipes leave me wondering — blueberry kale comes to mind — but there are many that beckon.

Restaurant Recipe Request

Q: I was quite taken by the vivid zucchini soup with beet foam at the Trapiche Room on Brickell. Can you get the recipe?

A: Chef Daniel Goldich kindly supplied the recipe for this delicate Mediterranean-inspired soup, shown here with the beet foam, which makes a beautiful presentation. I did not make the foam (I am not a fan of molecular gastronomy), but should you be inclined you’ll need 2 grams of soy lecithin powder, 15 grams of organic beet powder and 2 cups of water. Mix in a bowl and process with a stick blender until foam forms.

Grilled Caesar

Something new to try when you’re barbecuing, from Earth Bound Farms:

Give rinsed and dried romaine hearts a brief stint over the coals to gently wilt the outside, while the inner leaves remain crisp, with a nice smoky flavor throughout.

Brushing the leaves with a vinaigrette or Caesar dressing not only adds flavor but protects the tender leaves from the heat. You could just grate Parmesan over the warm lettuce, but try the recipe’s quick method for making melted cheese disks — they’re a great crispy-chewy change you could adopt to all kinds of salads.

Tried and New

My grandfather’s recipe for a crisp, deep-fried Italian cookie has never tasted as good since I abandoned his old method of using lard and shortening.

I’ve heard similar complaints from readers whose pie crusts aren’t as flaky, or fries aren’t as tasty, or cookies aren’t as crisp. Making recipes healthier often means a trade-off in flavor or texture.

I’ve been quite pleased with the results from a new twist on baking fats from Nutiva. It’s a trans-fat-free organic shortening made with coconut and red palm oils. It is vegan, contains no dairy or soy, plus is Fair Trade and Non-GMO Project verified.

Coconut oil, of course, is the new health food darling and the red palm (sourced from family farms in Ecuador in partnership with Natural Habitats so it does not contribute to deforestation or habitat destruction) contributes to the crispness and flakiness. $6.79 for a 15-ounce tub, online at, or at Whole Foods.

Send questions and responses to or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.