Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sweet Summer Corn and Crab Fritters

By now if you are a regular to your farmer”s market you will notice that corn has invaded.  Most corn sold for consumption here is a sweet variety. Just to eat it as a side dish, I love to throw it on the grill with the husk on, so that it steams inside. So yummy.

However if you want to make a meal of it, I suggest a this crab and corn fritter. Now this is not your mother”s corn fritter which is heavy on the batter with a kernel or two floating in it. This baby is full of corn. Instead of deep fried it is pan fried so marginally better. You can also throw in tasting peppers, onions, zucchini and whatever else you fancy.

 

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For this recipe I used 5 ears of corn. I cut the corn off the husk. I used the bottom of a cup to squish some juice out of the corn, else it will become too オンライン カジノ soggy.

The corn is then put in a bowl with chopped onions, chopped red bell peppers, 1/2 to2/4 cup of imitation crab meat( feel free to spring for the real stuff if you got it) and 1 teaspoon of each dill, oregano, garlic and parsley ( of course this is to taste so feel free to adjust). I added two eggs and some Cotija cheese. You can use any cheese you like, but I like the salty flavor of this Mexican cheese. You can usually find it in the Hispanic section of the grocer”s refrigerated section. I then add 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 cup of flour in separate bowl.  Mix the flour and baking soda together and then add a few tablespoons at a time, so that the flour lightly binds the corn mixture together not overwhelm it.

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I then add only enough oil to cover 1/4 to 1/3 of a pan. I like to use olive oil because I enjoy the taste.

grab a handful of the corn mixture (yes your hands need to get messy) and create a ball, then flatten it out and lightly place it in the pan. Flit it over when that side is golden brown. When both sides are brown, transfer it to a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. You will notice that the fritters do not feel or taste oily.  I then create a dipping sauce that is 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon, and some dashes of garlic and salt. The sour flavor in this sauce balances the sweetness of the corn and the crab.

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This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy corn as a meal I hope you think so too!

Making Summer Last…Canning peaches

If you love summer like me then you want to make it last. Yummy peach cobbler or peach pie in December is one of the best ways to remember those warm sunny days. And of course you can use canned peaches, but they won’t have that natural flavor profile and I find the canned peaches to be really sweet, making the cobbler, pie all about the sugar and the not true peach taste. So I can peaches in the summer. It drives my husband CRAZY when I cart home 20 pounds of peaches from the farmers market, but he doesn’t complain when I make peach cobbler for his work holiday party :) .

 I know you are thinking…UGH canning peaches…its SO much work! It can be a lot of work, but I found a method that makes it so much easier and less time consuming.

I can my peaches in quart jars (those are the big ones). One quart jar will make a cobbler and two will make a good peach pie. About 4 medium size peaches will fit in one quart. 12 peaches is about 5-6 pounds. So that can give you an idea of how many peaches you will need, depending on how much you want to can.

Now there is a method where you boil peaches for a minute then put them in a ice water bath to peel the skins off. The peaches look prettier in the jar this way, but I find that doing it this way adds way more time and work then just peeling with a knife. So I peel the skin off. I’m not sure why you have to take the skins out, but I hear that canning process makes the skins tougher.

Once I have peeled and sliced my peaches I stuff as many as will fit into a quart jar pit side down. I add 1/3 cup of sugar tapping gently on a towel on the table to make sure that the sugar goes to the bottom. I then add 1 tsp of lemon juice and fill the jar with water. Tap, again, lightly on a towel on the counter to release any air bubbles. I also take a small plastic spatula around the side to release any air. I wipe the inside lip of the jar and place the lids on.

 I then put the jars in boiling water for around 40 minutes, then take them out of the water and let them cool. The tops of the jars should pop. If they don’t place them back in boiling water again. Et Viola…a little bit of summer for you to enjoy in those cold months of winter.
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Kale Chips

This has been a crazy busy week…but good news I have tons of stuff coming up for you! Look for some posting canning peaches and tomato sauce, as well as, corn fritters and lahtkes this week. Unfortunately, I cook faster than I write.

I did make a delicious treat this Sunday. Kale chips. This is an easy treat that is actually good for you. My husband and I gobble them up, my preschooler still needs some convincing.

My farmers market has had some great varieties of kale so I am excited to try these on all of them. For the recipe in the pictures, I used the crinkly leaf kale, but the woman who sold them to me said that flat leaf kale is better. I will try it out next week.

I rip the leaves off the stalk. Don’t worry about the pieces being too big, they shrink down quite a bit. I use some light extra virgin olive oil and coat the leaves. I then sprinkle salt and garlic powder. I lay the leaves on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Make sure that they are not too close together, or else they come out soggy not crispy.

Bake for 15-20 mins at 300 degrees. They should be crispy to the touch. They will shrink down a lot, so make an abundance if you like them. Allow to cool and then enjoy. Super simple and YUMMY!!!

 

NEW RECIPE: Peach Glazed Porkchops

So I am almost done with my peach obsession (although I think i will be moving to corn soon :) ). I wanted to make a new recipe of using some preserves that I made last week.

I started with 3/4 cups of preserves, 1 tablespoon of steak sauce, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (regular vinegar would work too), 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder ( you can add more if you like a little hot). I mix all together.

Next I chopped 3-4 garlic cloves and put into a pan on high with some olive oil. While the pan heats up and the garlic roasts, I took 5 bone-in pork chops and sprinkled cinnamon, ginger, salt and pepper. I put the chops into the pan and sear them on both sides. Depending on the thickness of the chops it will be 1-2 minutes. I then take them out of the pan. Add about 1/2 cup of white wine to the pan and let it cook for a minute or so. I then turn down the heat to medium add the preserve mixture and the pork chops. I cook about

5-8 minutes each side until the preserve mixture has created a nice glaze on the pork.

I love the taste of these pork chops, there was a good balance of sweet and tart. The glaze made the chops a beautiful brown color. Plus the entire start to finish time for this dish was 20 minutes! Gotta love that!

NEW RECIPE: Summer veggie frittata

So there is this woman that I work with who makes Frittatas for every potluck and they are so good, everyone always eyes the last piece. I thought that they would be great with some summer veggies from the garden. Turns out this recipe is perfect for those lazy Sunday mornings when you have some leftovers still to use before the week starts again. I had some left over scalloped potato cups and salmon from Friday so I worked them into this recipe.

Turn the oven on to broil. I then started by sauteing the potatoes with a little olive oil. Use a good nonstick pan, it will make things easier later. If you don’t have potatoes, you can skip them or simply substitute some frozen hash browns. I then added some chopped zucchini, tomatoes, and carrots. I shredded the carrots to hide them from my toddler. The carrots I used in this dish were leftover from a failed attempt to convince my three year old that they were orange french fries. You can also add onions too. I am not a big fan of onions, so I don’t use them that often. Saute until the zucchini becomes soft. I also added some chopped salmon. Ham is also good here. While this is happening I beat 7 eggs, added 1 tablespoon of half and half, some garlic, salt and pepper and pour it over the veggie mix.I let this cook omelette style until it sets up. When the eggs are cooked mostly through I then transfer it to a small pyrex (this is where that nonstick pan comes in handy) and sprinkle some cheese on top. Mozzarella, italian, monterey jack or gruyere would do.  If you have an oven ready pan then no need to transfer simply put in the cheese on and add to the oven. I also added some jalapenos to one side for my husband.

Put in the oven for 5-7 minutes until the cheese is cooked and brown.

This was so crispy and delightful. I like how the cheese, potatoes and eggs were the focal point and the veggies were hiding. My child ate this up without complaints.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

Do you ever want an easy, beautiful dish for brunches or potlucks? In the summer I like to take this easy peasy salad to potlucks, playdates, barbques and brunches. It tastes wonderful using the fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden or the farmer”s market. Its another dish that impresses people without a lot of work.

I have to admit I ripped this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa”s Back to Basics cookbook. I love her recipes and this is so good there is not need to change a thing.

I start with vine ripened roma tomatoes sliced long ways. I placed casino online them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I sprinkle salt, pepper, light olive oil and balsamic vinegar and place in a 275 degree oven for 1 hour (the recipe calls for two hours, but I felt like one hour was more than enough).

Then I take some fresh basil (another thing that is growing great in my garden) and chop it up. In some traditional recipes the whole basil leaf is simple placed between the tomato and the cheese, I think that is a little overwhelming and I think it looks prettier this way. The I simple layer a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese, and tomato. Then I sprinkle with more salt, pepper, light olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Viola. A salad that will impress the most snobby palates :)

 

 

Scalloped Potato Cups

Ok I am having a love affair with potatoes right now. I think that has to do with the fact that I was successful in growing my own in my garden. I had a similar enlightening experience with zucchini last year. The vegetables I have been successful at growing in my garden have a richer flavor profile than the ones in the supermarket. I think that is what makes locally grown food so good for me. It doesn’t have to be picked early to avoid it spoiling and the flavors are allowed to fully develop. Ultimately, I have to use less butter, salt and other spices to bring out the natural flavors, which is always a good thing.

I want to share one of my favorite easy potato recipes. Scalloped potato cups. These are easy a delicious. My mother in law calls these her favorite!  If you can find some good Yukon gold or red potatoes, they are the best for this dish.

Preheat an oven to350 degrees. I start by slicing the washed potatoes about 1/8th of an inch thick, just like you would with scalloped potatoes. No need to peel, they will be just as good. You will need one medium potato per person. In this case I used 6 medium-sized potatoes.

I then put them in a bowl with 1/3 of a cup of butter, 1/4 cup of half and half (milk is a good substitute), 1/2 to 3/4 cup of shredded cheese, 1/3 cup of Italian dressing, 1/2 teaspoon each powdered garlic, salt, pepper. I mix it together. You can used any shredded cheese you like. I prefer a sharp cheddar, but Italian or mozzarella will work, if you want to be really fancy you can use gruyere. Once that is all mixed together, I add about 1-2 tablespoons of flour to thicken it up a little.

I then stuff the mixture into the cups of a muffin tin. I will then top with a little more cheese (this is optional).

Bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. It should be brown and bubbly. Lift each potato cup out with a fork. There are two reasons I love this dish. First, when you serve it on a plate it is easy to determine servings, and they look nice. Second, when you lift the potatoes out of the muffin tin a lot of the butter is left behind. Now that does not in any way make these low fat, but at least a little less than the original scalloped potato recipe. I also like that each cup has really cooked the ingredients together and gives it richer taste. Yummers!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW RECIPE: Garden Potato Salad

So in my garden this year I have had some fantastic yields with carrots and potatoes. I have almost 15 pounds of potatoes. This was my first year growing potatoes and I can”t wait to grow them in buckets next year! Carrots are also growing great. I usually make a potato salad on the weekends, but I was looking for ways to make it healthier and came across a recipe that I tweaked for my personal taste.

 

 

 

I take about 1.5 to 2 pounds of potatoes boil them in a pot with water, 3 cloves of chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons of thyme, 1 tablespoon of parsley, and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil (also from the garden). Once the pot is boiling  for ten minutes I add the carrots for another 5-7 minutes. I take about 1/4 of a cup of water and then drain the carrots and potatoes.

 

 

 

In a bowl I mix a little more chopped basil, some scallions, 3/4 casino online cup of nonfat plain Greek Yogurt, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.  If the mixture is too thick add some of the water you saved from the potatoes.

 

Then mix the dressing with the potatoes and carrots. OMG…this is so good. The creaminess of the Greek Yogurt is amazing and brings out some of the tartness in the carrots. The garlic, thyme and basil give this salad a more sophisticated taste than your average potato salad. I was so surprised at how good this was! And not too fattening to boot.

 

Easy Peach Cobbler

Following my ode to peaches I also made peach cobbler this week. So yummy. This is also delicious using canned peaches in the winter ( I am going to can peaches next week so stay tuned). You will find that I love desserts and dishes that make it seem like you slaved all day but in reality took almost no time at all. This dish disappears quick in my house and is gobbled up by my coworkers at a potluck.

 

I start with a 4-5 tablespoons of butter in  glass 9×13 dish. I set the oven to 375 degrees and put them dish in the oven to melt the butter.  For all my recipes I use real butter not margarine. I like using products that have the fewest ingredients in them. Margarine has too many chemicals for me. Butter is just cream and salt. I also find that I use less butter than I would margarine. However, if you try this recipe with margarine let me know how it turns out.

 

 

In a sauce pan I mix about 1/2 cup sugar with 3-4 cups of sliced peaches (if you are using canned peaches you don’t add the sugar you can simply warm up the peaches). Heat the peaches and the sugar until the sugar is melted and the peaches are hot.

 

In a mixing bowl add 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt, a cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of vanilla, and cinnamon. I love vanilla and add it regularly to my dishes. You will see it in almost all my desserts. Anyway, mix the ingredients together using a spoon so that everything is moist, not a mixer. By this time you butter should be melted.

 

Pour the peaches on the butter and the batter over the peaches. This is what it looks like going in the oven.

 

 

 

Bake for 35-40 minutes until it is brown and bubbly. It will look like this:

 

 

Serve warm with or without ice cream.

 

Do you have variations on this classic dish? Let me know I would love to try them out.

 

Peaches!!!!

PEACHES!!!

 

Peaches are one of my favorite fruits. When I used to visit my grandmother during the summer I remember her making fresh peach desserts for us. I loved the smell of peaches in the house and I think that smell is what really endeared me to eating fresh, locally sourced food. To me the sweet and tart flavor of truly fresh peaches is what the color yellow tastes like.  Have you ever walked into your local supermarket in July or August and can smell peaches before you see them? Good chance your supermarket gets them from a local grower. Out of season peaches will not have that beautiful color or smell that tree-ripened peaches will have.

 

Since I am starting this blog in August, I thought it would be fitting to start with peaches. My local farmers market is a small one, but one particular grower has the most beautiful large peaches. I think I am in love!

 

 

I bought about 8 online slots pounds, but will likely buy more next week for canning. They are absolutely delicious. The first thing I did was to take about 7-8 peaches and make Peach Preserves.

I will use these in some upcoming new recipes on ribs and pork chops. I also love to make preserves and can them for Christmas gifts.

 

I make preserves in an old fashion way. I begin by slicing the peaches. I put the slices into a large pot and cover with about 3 cups of sugar. Keep in mind that since these peaches are sweet I go lighter on the sugar. Most preserve recipes will call for 4 cups or more of sugar with 8 cups of peaches. That is a lot for me. So I put less. Once the sugar is covering the peaches I leave it sit for about three to four hours. The sugar will be mostly gone and the bottom of the pan will have a thick syrup of sugar and peach juice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I leave the skins on, because when they cook down it makes the preserves thicker. However it is totally personal preference. Once the sugar is mostly melted, I then bring the peaches to a boil. The method I use is a little old school, but pretty effective. I bring the peaches to boil for about 10 minutes stirring regularly to ensure that the sugar does not burn. Then I turn the burner off and let the pot cool completely (usually 4 to 5 hours).  I then repeat the process two more times. The third time I boil it should be a beautiful brown color. I immediately put them into sterilized jars. Ready for your toast or other recipes.