Sweet-tart taste of grapes adds unusual tang to seafood

Many people like to add a citrus tang to seafood. A squeeze of lemon or lime or a garnish of orange slice can add a refreshing contrast of tastes, as well as a dash of color.

A similar flavor balance can be achieved with a new twist - plump, juicy grapes. The sweet-tart taste does wonderful things to many kinds of seafood.

The texture helps, too. Crisp to the bite, cool and moist, grapes contrast well with the softer texture of fish.

While fish of one kind or another is always available today, there was a time when grapes were only available during the summer season.

During the winter months you can find combinations of grapes and seafood all year long, thanks to the current shipments of imported winter grapes from South America.

Since the seasons south of the equator are opposite to ours, South American growers are harvesting their summer crop right now. The grapes are exported to all parts of North America.

With soil and climatic conditions similiar to those in the top growing regions of the United States, the grapes are of excellent quality and of the same varieties found here in the summer.

Choosing imported grapes for your winter table is no different from selecting summer ones. All grapes are perishable and do not ripen or improve in color or sugar once harvested.

Look for attractive bunches that are well-formed with firm, plump berries. Color is a good indication of ripeness. Green grapes should have a slightly amber tinge, and red and purple varieties should be free of any green tinge and have a full rich color.

Grapes should be stored in the refrigerator in plastic bags to preserve moisture and to retain freshness. Rinse only before using.

Keep a supply of grapes in the refrigerator as a snack when the family wants something sweet.

They can also be used to add color and sparkle to your economical everyday recipes.

They are a pleasant garnish on an otherwise unexciting dinner plate, and a tangy addition to salad. Chilean Seafood Saute 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons oil 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced 1 red or green bell pepper, cut into squares 6 green onions, chopped 3/4 to 1 pound halibut or white fish, cubed 1/2 pound raw shrimp, cleaned, shelled 1 cup halved red or green grapes seeded 1/4 cup lime or lemon juice 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantre, or 1 teaspoon ground coriander Lemon or lime slices for garnish

Heat butter and oil in large skillet; add garlic, pepper, onions, and seafood.

Saute, stirring constantly, until fish becomes opaque and turns pink, about 4 minutes.

Add grapes, and stir in with lime juice and cilantre or coriander. Heat gently and serve with rice. Makes 4 servings. Lemon Glazed Vegetables 1/2 cup chopped onion 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup julienne-cut carrots 1 cup julienne-cut zucchini 2 tablespoons water 1 cup halved green seedless or red grapes 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/8 teaspoon grated lemon peel 2 teaspoons chopped parsley

Saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in carrots and zucchini; drizzle with water. Cover and cook over low heat until tender, about 10 minutes or less.

Cut grapes in halves, removing any seeds. Add to skillet when vegetables are tender.

Mix cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon juice and peel together. Stir into vegetable mixture and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Stir in parsley and serve at once. Serves 4. Fruited Pilaf 1 cup chopped onion 1/3 cup butter 1 cup long grain rice 1 teaspoon salt 1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed chicken broth 1/4 cup water 1 cup winter grapes, seedless green or red 1/4 teaspoon marjoram, crumbled 1/8 teaspoon thyme, crumbled

1 medium tomato, diced about 1 cup

Saute onion in 1/4 cup butter until soft. Stir in rice and brown lightly over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add salt, broth, and water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 20 minutes, until rice is tender.

Halve grapes, removing any seeds. Melt remaining butter with herbs in small skillet, and toss with grapes and tomatoes. Stir lightly into rice. Serve at once. Makes 4 servings (1 quart).

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