Warm Avocado and Corn Salad

July 13th, 2014

Avocado and Corn Dish 6 H

 

I have been missing in action for a while I know.  The family is here for a two week visit and we have been spending our time on the water, at the park and activities in Asheville.  We have been doing a lot of cooking but I have been too distracted to take pictures.  Last night my DIL Kristen made a Southwestern feast with chicken and bean tacos, guacamole, Mexican rice and this warm avocado and corn salad.

Avocado and Corn Salad 4CV

 

Friends of our kids are here with their three children for a few days.  Christobal is a well known wedding photographer and took the above picture for me.  We were working with incandescent lighting but his impressive camera compensated well.

Avocado and Corn Dish 3C

 

Kristen used fresh sweet corn, ripe avocados, green onions and cilantro in this refreshing warm salad.  It was delicious with the tacos.  I am entering this salad in the Food 52 avocado recipe contest that is going on right now.  You may want to go to their site for some very interesting avocado recipes.

Avocado and Corn Dish 5C

 

Enjoy!

WARM AVOCADO AND CORN SALAD

5 ears of corn, kernels removed from cob
3 to 4 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
2 large avocados, cubed
Optional additions; 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, smoked paprika, or pickled red onions

Heat butter and olive oil in skillet.  Add corn kernels and white parts of the green onions and cook for about 7 minutes.  Add cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.  Add the juice of the lime and remove from heat.  Add the cubed avocados.  Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the green parts of the green onion and serve.  This is especially good with the addition of crumbled crisp bacon.

Printable recipe

 

Black Bean and Corn Salad

June 20th, 2014

Black Bean Salad 1

 

With the 4th of July approaching, I am experimenting with various salads to be served with grilled meat.  I love this recipe for it’s simplicity and fresh summer flavors.  We usually host the family for the Labor Day Weekend, but this year everyone is coming for the Independence Day Weekend.

Boathouse Pic

 

There is nothing we enjoy more than watching the lakeside activities of the family.  A few of the younger children have yet to summon enough courage to jump from the top of the boathouse.  Perhaps this will be the year.  It is a rite of passage.

Black Bean Salad 3V

 

I love this black bean and corn salad because it easy to pull together.  It uses canned black beans and frozen corn kernels, although fresh corn would be perfect with it.  It has a lime and cilantro vinaigrette.  It can be made ahead of time, but I would suggest that you add the avocado at the last minute.  It will be perfect with grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.

BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALAD ( Food Network Magazine )

1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 teaspoons honey
3 limes, juiced
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed
1 cup corn kernels
1 diced red or orange bell pepper
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

1 diced avocado

Whisk together the oil, honey and lime juice.  Toss with the remaining ingredients except avocado.  When ready to serve, peel and dice the avocado and add to the salad.  Toss to combine.

Printable Recipe

Asparagus Tart For Spring

April 3rd, 2014

Asparagus Tart 1

 

It is so good to be back in the North Carolina Mountains.  There is nothing more beautiful.  Our timing for the trip back was perfect.  The temperatures have been even warmer than in Florida.  The only downside to being back is the amount of work that we are facing.  Because of the brutal winter, we had to deal with cracked water pipes; no water for the first couple of days.  There are leaves to be raked, downed limbs to be hauled, porches to be cleaned and fresh paint needed in several places.  But one of the first areas I tackled was the upper porch.  It is warm enough for meals out there overlooking the lake.  I made this asparagus tart for lunch yesterday to celebrate our good weather.

Asparagus Tart 2V

This is very simple to pull together if you have sheets of puff pastry in your freezer.  I found the recipe on Pinterest.  It came from Nicole at Heat Oven to 350.   You may want to visit her blog to see instructions on how to shape the pastry.  The filling in the tart is a mixture of ricotta cheese, egg and cream.  The asparagus is not blanched ahead of time, but if you have large stalks, you may want to consider doing it.

Lake Upper Porch

Relaxing on the porch for lunch was a good respite from the tasks at hand.  The asparagus tart was light and delicious.  I served it with leftover corn and black beans with picante sauce.

Asparagus Tart 3

This was a wonderfully flaky tart with a mild and creamy filling that supported the vibrant green asparagus.  The recipe makes two tarts.  One tart can be cut into 4 pieces to serve four or if that is all you are serving, perhaps two hungry people.  I halved the recipe to make this one tart.

ASPARAGUS TART

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed according to package directions (There are two sheets in one package. You can find puff pastry in the freezer section, usually near the pies.)
  • 1 large egg, beaten, for crust
  • 1 large egg, for filling
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

Directions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower position and hear oven to 375 degrees. Unfold each pastry sheet one at a time and, using a rolling pin, roll each pastry slightly to smooth out the seams and increase the size.
  2. Lay each pastry sheet onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each pastry with the beaten egg. Fold the edges on opposite sites of the tart over by about 1/2 inch and brush with beaten egg. Repeat with remaining two edges and brush with egg. Fold the first two sides over once more and brush with beaten egg. Use a paring knife to cut through the folded edges and corners. (See photos below) Prick the inside of the tart shell repeatedly with a fork. Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack. (If the middle of the pastry has puffed up at all during cooking, push it back down. It’s easier to do this before it cools.)
  3. Turn oven down to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat together egg, ricotta, cream, milk, salt and pepper. Pour half of the mixture into each baked tart. Lay half the asparagus on top of the ricotta mixture in each tart. Bake another 15-20 minutes or until golden and set. Serve hot or cold.

Printable recipe

Appetizer Cheese and Jalapeno Bites

March 25th, 2014

Appetizer cheese and jalapeno bites 3

 

Bike week in Daytona Beach is an annual motorcycle invasion.  Bikers gather from all over the country to show-off their rides and participate in such activities as coleslaw wrestling and wet tee-shirt contests.  Our biking buddies always come to visit us during bike week.  But our antics are a little tamer.  The most outrageous thing that we did was to attend a David Allan Coe concert at The Iron Horse Saloon.

Motorcycle Gang

 

Pictured above are Ron (biker name, Pittstop), Jackie, Jim (biker name Diamond Jim), Barbara and Me.  David (biker name Snake) and I love having them visit.  We have a long history together with bike trips, visits to each others’ homes, lots of laughs and the enjoyment of good food.  Both Jackie and Barbara are good cooks.  While we were in the grocery store one day, Barbara picked up bags of shredded cheese and other ingredients and made this simple appetizer for one of our evening cocktail hours.  You can always count on her to turn simple ingredients into marvelous tasty treats.

Appetizer cheese and jalapeno bites 4

 

This is such an easy appetizer to pull together.  The only complication is that it should be done ahead of time.  Letting it rest for two hours after baking is recommended.  I like it even better refrigerated for a while after baking and then cut into precise squares before reheating.

Appetizer cheese and jalapeno squares 1

 

Simply dump half of the shredded cheese into casserole, top with jalapeno slices, top with remainder of the cheese and pour the flour, milk and egg mixture over it.  Bake until nicely browned.

Appetizer cheese and jalapeno bites 2

The hardest part is waiting to dig in.  This makes a lot of appetizer bites, so it is great for a crowd.  I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday at the The Comforts of Home.  Enjoy.

APPETIZER CHEESE AND JALAPENO BITES

2 (8 oz.) packages shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 (8 oz.) packages shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 oz.) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (12 oz.) jar Jalapeno peppers, drained
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 cup self-rising flour

Mix 1 package of mild cheddar, 1 package of Monterey Jack and 1/2 of a package of sharp cheddar and spread evenly in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Spread jalapeno peppers over cheese.

Top with a mixture of the remaining cheeses.

In a mixing bowl slowly add the flour to the evaporated milk, blending well.  Add the two eggs and mix all together.  Pour mixture over the casserole.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for about an hour until lightly browned on top.  Let cool for two hours and cut into squares.

Printable recipe

Chicken and Barley Soup

February 26th, 2014

Chicken Barley Soup 1

 

While we were in Washington DC a few weeks ago, we spent a Sunday morning visiting The Phillips Collection of art in one of the row houses in Dupont Circle.  We had decided that we wanted to stay in the neighborhood where our apartment was located.  As much as I admire the Metro System in DC, we found that the Red Line was undergoing an upgrade this Winter and parts of the track were closed.  On Saturday we had experienced delays, overcrowded cars and none of the ease that we had experienced in our previous visits.  Besides that, the morning was very cold, so being close to our warm apartment made sense.

Luncheon of the Boating Party

The most well known painting in The Phillips Collection is Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party.  Duncan Phillips, an avid collector of modern art, acquired the painting in 1923.  He had opened his row house in Dupont Circle as an art museum in 1921.  Luncheon of the Boating Party “captures an idyllic atmosphere as Renoir’s friends share food, wine and conversation on a balcony overlooking the Seine at the Maison Fournaise Restaurant in Chatou.  Parisians flocked to the Maison Fournaise to rent rowing skiffs and . . . eat good meals.”   We also ate a good meal in the museum cafe, Tryst.  Chicken and barley soup was on the menu.  Due to the fact that I was still chilled to the bone, that was exactly what I wanted.  Lots of Hmmms later, David said “I know what you are thinking. You want to make this soup when you get home.”  He had it right.

Chicken Barley Soup V

 

The only decision was finding the right recipe that would be as close as possible to the soup that I had eaten.  Martha Stewart’s recipe won out.  It is full of vegetables and aromatic chicken and broth.  The barley is a quick cooking variety and I had this on the table in no time.  Each spoonful was as good as I remembered.  Even though we are all looking forward to Spring meals, this last hurrah to winter soups is worth your attention.

CHICKEN AND BARLEY SOUP  (Martha Stewart)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 carrots, diced small
  • 4 celery stalks, diced small
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (5 cups)
    1. STEP 1

      In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until chicken is opaque at edges, about 2 minutes.

    2. STEP 2

      Add broth and thyme and bring to a boil. Stir in barley. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until barley is tender and chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

    3. STEP 3

      Add spinach and cook until wilted, 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

    Printable recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.

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