A favorite takeout dish, shown here, and a summer dessert from childhood fueled the author’s cravings. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

One of my favorite Asian restaurants has a special fried rice on the menu that includes sweet red sausage. I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I spied this Chinese rib sausage at Brackett’s Market in Bath the other day. I decided on the spot that I was going to try my hand at making this delicious fried rice at home. To make the meal even more enticing, I picked up the ingredients for an easy summery icebox dessert.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected] Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

I never bought this sausage before and found it easier to chop when slightly frozen. Also, it’s best to keep the heat low while cooking because the sausage tends to scorch easily.

To go with this savory dish, I made a simple diced cucumber and tomato salad. This should be served at room temperature.

As for the icebox dessert, I can remember my mom making this on sultry summer days. She froze it in a metal ice cube tray then cut this refreshing sweet into squares. A pie pan or small square baking pan works just as well.

If you can’t find eggs marked “pasteurized” at the store and don’t want to take a chance on using raw eggs, here is a simple way to help ensure consuming them safely: Place large eggs in a saucepan filled with water and have a digital thermometer handy. Turn on the heat and bring the water temperature up to 140 degrees and keep it there for 3 minutes without allowing the temperature to go above 142 degrees. Then cool the eggs and proceed with the recipe. For those of you of a certain age, you’ll be transported straight back to the ’60s!

Enjoy this eclectic summer meal and share it with someone you love.

Fried Rice with Sausage & Pineapple

1/4 cup tamari sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed and patted dry
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1 1/4 pounds Chinese rib sausage links, diced
3 cups cooked white rice
2 eggs, beaten
1 fresh pineapple, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add peas and carrots, onion and red pepper and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook 1 more minute, then transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add 1 more tablespoon oil and sauté the sausage until slightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add to the vegetables in the bowl. Add a bit more oil if needed and egg to the skillet. Stir with a fork until scrambled and set. Add to the bowl with the other ingredients.

Add rice to the skillet and flatten to make an even layer. Allow the bottom of the rice to brown slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Stir sausage, vegetables, and egg into the rice. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes more then stir in sauce and 1 cup pineapple, garnishing the serving plates with more pineapple. Yield: 4 servings

Cucumber & Tomato Salad

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds cucumbers, peeled and diced
2 pounds tomatoes, diced
4 tablespoons red onion, diced
4 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil, chopped

Whisk vinegar, lemon zest and juice and salt in a large bowl. Slowly pour in oil and whisk to combine. Add cucumber, tomatoes and red onion and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving. Just before serving, stir in herbs. Yield: 4 servings

The ’60s Lemon Icebox Dessert

3/4 cup corn flake crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 pasteurized eggs, separated (see instructions above)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Fresh berries for garnish, optional

Combine corn flake crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar and melted butter in an 8-inch pie pan; mix well. Reserve 1 tablespoon of mixture for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into pan evenly to form crust. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and combine with condensed milk. Add lemon juice and zest and stir until thickened.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar to egg whites. Fold gently into lemon mixture and pour over crust in pan. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs and freeze until firm.

Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh berries. Yield: 6 servings

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