Summer Squash Casserole

August 23rd, 2016

Summer Squash Casserole 1

I remember when we had a garden and had to deal with the prolific profusion of yellow squash and zucchini.  Our lake house is too shady to support a garden these days, so I have to rely on friends, the Farmers’ Markets and the Supermarket for my squash.  You can never have too many summer squash recipes.  This one, that I adapted from The New York Times, is a winner.

Summer Squash Casserole 2v

The cooked and pureed yellow squash is combined with cheese and minced peppers, onions and flavoring and cooked in a custard of eggs and cream topped with buttered bread crumbs.  It makes a casserole that everyone will love.  It was easy to photograph too.  Photography has become important to me, although I’ve always had an interest.  I just found this early picture of myself and my Mom.  I was very proud of my new Brownie camera.

Christmas 1956

The intrepid girl photographer.  What memories this brings back.

Enjoy this summer squash casserole.  Your harvest will thank you for not wasting all of that bounty.

SUMMER SQUASH CASSEROLE ( The New York Times)

  • 2 pounds yellow summer squash
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 4 slices plain white bread, toasted
  • 24 Ritz crackers, crumbed in food processor
  • ½ pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 1/2-quart baking dish. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cook in boiling, salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Purée in a food processor.
  2. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and peppers and cook until just tender. Meanwhile, crumb the toast in a food processor, melt remaining butter and toss together.
  3. Mix the squash purée, onions, peppers, garlic, cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir in the eggs, cream, sugar and seasonings. Blend well. Pour into the baking dish. Top with bread crumbs and bake until browned, about 40 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Fig and Goat’s Cheese Tart

August 8th, 2016

Fig Tart 3

When figs are in season it is worth the time to make use of them in familiar and/or unusual preparations.  They are wonderful as a component in an appetizer or used in a salad or a dessert.  But they are also excellent in pizzas and tarts.  Pared with goat cheese or Gorgonzola they shine.Fig Tart 1I adapted a recipe from a British magazine for a fig and goat’s cheese tart.  It is a very easy recipe to assemble.  It uses frozen puff pastry, so lining the tart pan is a piece of cake. But I must say that I would have preferred a homemade pastry crust.  Puff pastry tends to be very flaky but somehow airy.  I tend to like the more substantial weight of a pie crust.  But, because of the ease of preparation, I was very happy with the results.

Fig Tart 2 Close

A drizzle of balsamic glaze takes it over the top.  It makes a delicious light supper with a salad of peppery arugula leaves.

FIG AND GOAT’S CHEESE TART

Plain flour, for dusting
1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
2/3 cups heavy whipping cream or half and half
6 figs, halved
1/2 cup soft goat’s cheese
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Several sprigs of thyme to scatter over top
Balsamic glaze to drizzle over top

Dust the work surface with flour and roll the pastry out into a rectangle 1 inch larger than your pan.  Lift it into the pan and press into the corners, lining the base and sides.  Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork.  Pop into the freezer for 30 minutes while you heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place a baking sheet on the middle shelf.

Beat the eggs and egg yolk with the cream until combined.  Season well.

Trim the stalk from each fig and cut the fruit in half.  Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case.  Crumble the cheese on top and arrange the figs evenly between, cut side up.  Scatter with the walnuts and thyme sprigs.

Slide the tart onto the tray and bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350 and cook for 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Remove it from the oven and leave to cool slightly.  Serve drizzled with the balsamic glaze.

Printable Recipe

Caribbean Pork with Black Beans and Mango Salsa

July 15th, 2016

Pork Caribbean Dinner 1

I would be curious if any of you have tasted Panamanian cuisine.  I have just been introduced to this  flavor profile. Panamanian cuisine is similar to other Caribbean locales and has been influenced by the Native Americans, Spanish and African immigrants who populate this land bridge between two continents. It includes tropical fruits, coconut, herbs like cilantro, rice and beans and seafood, pork and poultry.

I recently met Smith Anderson, founder of 980 Panama Gourmet Sauces. With his partner Alexis Gallardo, he conceived the idea of manufacturing sauces with ingredients straight from the fields of Panama.  All of their sauces are natural and gluten free. Alexis Gallardo, a native of Panama, had studied chemical engineering and was a part of his family’s manufacturing and distribution company that is the top exporter of natural vinegars in Central America.  Smith and Alexis formed their own company to produce flavorful sauces with an emphasis on freshness and quality ingredients.

980 sauces

Imagine adding Pineapple Coconut sauce to your caribbean rice dish or as a marinade for your favorite chicken.  The Wild Cilantro sauce adds just the right heat and flavor to tacos.  The Smoky Chipotle sauce would be great on ribs.  One of the newer sauces, not pictured above , is Caribbean Lime.  I used it in addition to the Wild Cilantro in the recipes I developed here. It has a bit of heat and a piquant flavor.

Pork Carribean Dinner 3 close

I marinated the pork cutlets in a mixture of the Wild Cilantro Sauce and the the Caribbean Lime Sauce with olive oil and vinegar before breading and frying.  The black beans were coated with a vinaigrette of olive oil, lime juice and the Wild Cilantro and Caribbean Lime Sauce. The Mango Salsa or Chatini comes from Dory Greenspan and is part of the cuisine of the island of Mauritius.  This is a meal worthy of sharing with friends and family with unique flavors and bright taste.

Smith Anderson has graciously offered to donate a four pack of sauces to one of my followers.  All you have to do is leave a comment below and like 980 sauces on Facebook. I will pick a winner by random drawing.

CARIBBEAN PORK

4 Tenderized boneless pork cutlets
1 Tablespoon Wild Cilantro 980 Sauce
1 Tablespoon Caribbean Lime 980 Sauce
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

3/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg beaten with a little water
1 cup Panko crumbs

2 Tablespoons oil for frying

Combine the 980 sauces with the olive oil and white wine vinegar.  Place pork cutlets in shallow rectangular bowl.  Spoon sauce over them, turn and cover both sides of pork evenly with marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Place flour in bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Place egg and water in another bowl.  Put Panko crumbs in a third bowl.  Dip pork chops in flour, then egg and then in Panko crumbs being sure that the chops are well covered.  Place chops and on large plate and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour to set crumbs.

Heat oil in large skillet and brown chops on both sides.  Place in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes to be sure that they are cooked through.

BLACK BEAN SALAD

1 15 Oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
1 large celery stalk, diced
1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 scallions chopped

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lime juice
zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon Wild Cilantro 980 Sauce
1 teaspoon Caribbean Lime 980 Sauce

Combine black beans with celery, celery leaves, tomatoes and scallions.

Combine the vinaigrette ingredients and pour over black bean mixture.  Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour to combine flavors.  Serve as is or over a bed of watercress.

MANGO CHATINI ( Dory Greenspan )

Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or to taste
1 large ripe but firm mango, peeled, pitted, and finely diced
1 spring onion, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne

Stir the lime juice and ginger together in a small serving bowl.  Add the mango, onion, and cilantro and season with slat, pepper and if you’d like, a pinch of cayenne.

Serve over Caribbean pork cutlet.

Printable Recipe

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes and a Celebration

July 5th, 2016

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes 1

Before we left for Michigan and our 50th Anniversary celebration, I made these tasty roasted potatoes.  They will be made often.  You can use either freshly grated Parmesan cheese or the stuff in the jar.  They are flavored with garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika and chili powder.  It is even suggested that you drizzle them with a sour cream dip.

We had meant to take our wedding album to our celebration, but when it came time to get it, it was no where to be found.  Luckily we had two pictures saved to our computer.  This is a picture of David and his Groomsmen.

Groomsmen 2

Since three of the guys were able to attend the party, David decided to recreate the picture with our friend Moses standing in for Jack (second from the left).

Groomsmen 1

 

We had the best time with everyone and David is still friends with all of these guys.

Wedding Party

My cousin Susie was the only one of my bridesmaids able to attend.

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes 3V

These potatoes were crispy on the outside and tender within.  We loved them.

PARMESAN ROASTED POTATOES ( From 12 Tomatoes )

55 Minutes to Prepare, Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes, halved
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon chili powder

Dip:
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
Fresh chives, finely chopped

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and grease baking dish with olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders, oregano, paprika and chili powder until combined.

Gradually sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over the oiled baking dish until it’s completely covered.

Place potatoes cut side down in a single layer on top of cheese mixture, pressing gently to make sure the cheese adheres to them.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender and cheese is golden and crispy.

While potatoes cook, whisk together sour cream and lemon juice in a small bowl, adding lemon juice until desired tartness is reached.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove baking pan from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes.

Serve hot drizzled with sour cream mixture.

Printable Recipe

Tandoori-Style Chicken for a Picnic

June 21st, 2016

Tandoori-Style Chicken 1 better

If you are looking for a flavorful picnic chicken, this is the one for you.  Because of the long marination in spices, garlic and ginger, it is delicious even at room temperature. I would happily put this chicken in a container and carry it to a picnic spot overlooking a mountain view or a babbling stream.  In my perfect picnic spot I would serve it with the following.

Couscous-with-arugla-2

Israeli Couscous and Arugula Salad.  It is bright.  It is piquant and it is light.  You can find the recipe here.

Zoodle Mixed Salad 1

One of my new favorite salads is this Zoodle vegie salad.  It is perfect for a picnic.   Here is the recipe.

Savory-Cheese-and-Chive-Bread-3V

All picnics require bread.  This wonderful cheese and chive bread from Dorie Greenspan is perfect.  It is one of my favorites.

Chocolate-Shortbread-Bars-2-V

 

My Chocolate Pecan Shortbread Bars are fast and easy.  You can make them even better with good quality chocolate.  I even make and freeze these to have on hand for impromptu get togethers.  Recipe here.

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Add some fruit, cheese and wine for a perfect picnic.

Tandoori-Style Chicken close

The fiery jalapeno and ginger spiked marinade assures that this chicken will have lots of flavor when it is served cold or at room temperature.  Although the recipe calls for roasting in the oven, it would also be great on the grill.  Try it for your next picnic or cookout.

TANDOORI-STYLE CHICKEN

  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, and seeded if desired
  • 1 inch-long piece gingerroot, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 pounds skinless chicken drumsticks and thighs, rinsed and patted dry
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  1. For marinade, combine all ingredients except for chicken, oil and lime wedges in a food processor and purée until smooth.
  2. With a sharp knife, make several incisions on each chicken piece to help marinade penetrate meat. Transfer chicken to a large glass or ceramic baking dish and pour in marinade, turning chicken pieces to coat. Cover dish with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove chicken pieces from marinade. Transfer chicken to a roasting pan and drizzle with vegetable oil. Roast, basting occasionally, until juices run clear and meat is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely, then wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with lime wedges.

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