In the Kitchen: Your frozen, fried and campfired summer

Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

Greetings, sun worshipers,

Now that summer has officially arrived in Southern California — weather-wise, if not strictly according to the calendar — I’ve been thinking a lot about hot-weather foods. And that, of course, means ice cream. And, because our diets are nothing if not well-rounded, fried chicken. I’m hungry already.

And be on the lookout for Saturday's Counter Intelligence newsletter, with stories about the dining scene and Jonathan Gold's restaurant reviews. 

— Russ Parsons

Cold enough for you?

Churning homemade ice cream is a time-honored summer ritual, and there's little better. But sometimes you’re not up for the whole production. In that case, may I suggest a pure fruit gelato that you can make in only minutes of work with no special equipment? 

Or you could go the fruit granita route. Do you have a baking pan and a fork? Then you’re ready. Just add sweetened fruit juice and freeze. Every once in a while, give it a stir and a rake with the fork to get those icy shards the size you want them.

Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

Still too much for you? Then get yourself to a McConnell’s. This Santa Barbara-based family-owned company has been making terrific ice creams for more than 65 years, and always with the same fresh ingredients. Now they’re in downtown Los Angeles at the Grand Central Market and they’re opening soon in Studio City.

Tom Stanley

Fried and true

Frying is an art, and a beautiful piece of fried chicken is a masterpiece. But as with any art, there are some secrets that can help you progress from novice to master. Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter spells them out for you.

And because what could be better for frying in the summertime, we’ve got eight fried chicken recipes from our archives, each of them perfect in their way.

Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

The great outdoors

Maybe for you summertime cooking means working over a campfire. We’ve got that covered too. Noelle Carter is a connoisseur of cast iron and particularly of cast-iron Dutch camp ovens. They’re like regular Dutch ovens, except they have three legs to hold them just above the coals. Peach and blackberry dumplings, anyone?

Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

More great stone fruit

Had it with run-of-the-mill mealy apricots? Don’t give up hope. There are some great ones out there if you know what to look for, including some innovative crosses between apricots and plums. Here’s a guide to the best, along with a dozen recipes for using them. 

Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times


We’d love hear from you. Email us at

Are you a food geek? Follow me on Twitter @russ_parsons1