Monday, August 13, 2018

Pork Rissoles with Fresh Salad

These ground pork patties are super juicy and full of flavor from ginger, lemongrass, and jalapeno.  Their richness needs crunchy veggies as a fresh pairing, but you can use anything you have on hand -- no need to stick to the ones I had in my fridge!  Pile everything on top of steamed rice.  Perfection!

Pork Rissoles with Fresh Salad (adapted from Hello Fresh Australia)

For the pork rissoles:

2 T minced cilantro
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1-1/2 tsp minced fresh lemongrass
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/2 jalapeno, minced (more if you like spicier food)
Generous pinch of salt
1 pound ground pork

To serve:
Steamed rice
Crunchy vegetables tossed with olive oil, rice vinegar, and salt (I used lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper, and fresh corn)

1. Stir together the cilantro, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, onion, jalapeno, and salt.  Add the ground pork and gently combine with your hands.  Separate into 10-12 small balls, and flatten each into a small patty.
2. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the pork patties and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
3. Serve the rissoles over rice, with salad for crunch!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Cornbread Panzanella with Summer Produce

This is a delicious and flexible way to use summer produce from your garden or the farmer's market.  Stone fruit like nectarines or peaches pairs really well with toasted cornbread croutons, and we added tomatoes, basil, and cucumbers from the garden.  Of course, there's no need to be strict with this ingredient list!  A friend's family makes artisan cured pork, and we happened to have some of their coppa on hand, which topped the salad perfectly -- though this would also be wonderful as a vegetarian dish if you prefer.

Cornbread Panzanella with Summer Produce (adapted from Food Network's The Kitchen)

Red Wine Vinaigrette: Whisk together 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, and 1 T Dijon mustard.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and set aside.

Cornbread Croutons: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.  Spray generously with oil.  Cut cornbread into cubes.  Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper.  Spray with more oil.  Bake until nicely browned, 10-15 minutes.  Let cool.

To assemble the salad: Pile lots of summer produce in a bowl -- we used cucumber, nectarines, basil, raspberries, and pear tomatoes. Add the cooled croutons, and toss with the red wine vinaigrette.  Top with coppa or prosciutto.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce

We have a major overabundance of cucumbers in our garden right now! We shared some with a friend, and she in turn shared this excellent recipe with us.  "Smacked cucumber" sounds a little strange, but it is really delicious with wonderful flavor.  Perhaps our cucumber was on the small side, since I had about twice as much sauce as I needed; I simply saved it and will make the recipe again this week.  Makes for a fantastic side dish alongside stir fry.

Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce (adapted from Every Grain of Rice)
Serves 2-3

1 cucumber
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 T vegetable oil
1 T minced garlic
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Chinkiang vinegar (or sub balsamic vinegar)
1/2 tsp chile garlic sauce

1. Lay the cucumber on a chopping board and smack a few times with the flat blade of a sharp knife or a rolling pin.
2. Cut lengthwise into four pieces, and scrape out seeds if there are lots of seeds.  Cut the cucumber into diagonal slices.
3. Place the cucumber in a bowl with the salt, toss to combine, and set aside for 10 minutes.
4. Stir together all the other ingredients in a small bowl.
5. Drain the cucumbers.  Add about half the sauce, and stir to combine.  Taste and add more if you like, or save to make the recipe again later -- will depend on the size of your cucumber.
6. Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Fresh Raspberry Scones

These scones are a wonderful use for fresh raspberries -- the berries become soft and jammy in the oven, sandwiched between tender scone dough.  These scones aren't very sweet, so the sanding sugar on top is key.  Like all scones, these are best eaten as soon as possible and don't keep well.

Fresh Raspberry Scones (adapted from The Sugar Hit)
Makes 8 scones

2 cups flour
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
6 T butter, cold
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh raspberries, rinsed and patted dry
Sanding sugar + egg or milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Spray with oil.
2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.  Cut in the butter.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Add gradually to the dry mixture, stirring gently with a fork, until incorporated.  Chill 5-10 minutes.
4. Divide the mixture into two and pat into two circles about 9-inches around.  Cover one disk with the berries, and top with the other disk of dough.  Pat down gently.  
5. Cut into 8 wedges and transfer to the baking sheet.  Brush the scones with milk or beaten egg (or a combination), and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
6. Bake about 20 minutes, until nicely brown on the bottom.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Blueberry Crisp

I found a huge container of blueberries at Costco, so I knew I wanted to bake something tasty with them.  I found this recipe for blueberry crisp and it was perfect -- super easy to prepare and bursting with juicy blueberries.  The topping is sort of like crumbled oatmeal cookies sprinkled all over the blueberries - yum! I made this for our 4th of July barbecue, and it would be great for any gathering. Leftovers make an excellent breakfast.

Blueberry Crisp (adapted from Martha Stewart)

For the Filling:
6 cups (3 pints) blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 T plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt

For the Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats 
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 T unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the filling: Mix blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish.

2. Make the topping: Stir together flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until pale and fluffy. Stir dry ingredients into butter. Using your hands, squeeze topping pieces together into clumps.

3. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling. Bake until bubbling in center and brown on top, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Grilled Chili-Garlic Flank Steak with Avocado Butter

One of the best parts of owning a home is that we now have a grill in our backyard!  This steak is super flavorful and delicious, and is easy to prepare.  The recipe makes more avocado butter than you'll need, but it keeps well in the fridge and makes for a killer toast-topper! Make some grilled bread on the side for a great accompaniment. 

Grilled Chili-Garlic Flank Steak with Avocado Butter (adapted from Fine Cooking)

4 ounces softened, unsalted butter
1/2 large ripe avocado, finely diced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
1 tsp ground coriander
Kosher salt
2 T olive oil
2 tsp granulated garlic
2 packed tsp brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
Freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, avocado, lime juice, jalapeno, coriander, and a generous pinch of salt.  Mix well, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the olive oil, garlic, brown sugar, chili powder, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper.  Stir until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then rub all over the steak.  Let sit for 15-30 minutes.
3. Prepare a medium-high grill.  Grill the steak, flipping once, until medium rare (about 4 minutes per side, 8 minutes total).  Transfer to a cutting board, smear with a good amount of the butter, tent with foil, and let rest 5-10 minutes.
4. Slice the steak against the grain and serve with the remaining butter.  Grilled bread is fantastic on the side!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Mini Vegetable Tacos

Top mini steamed tortillas with an assortment of grilled veggies, crumbled queso fresco, and tomatillo salsa.  Many types of vegetables would be delicious here, but here's what we used:

Cherry tomatoes: toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and blister in a cast iron skillet
Zucchini: quarter lengthwise, toss with oil and Florida pepper, and roast or grill until tender
Scallions: roast or grill until charred, then trim and chop
Corn on the cob: soak in water and grill in the husks for about 15 minutes

Tomatillo salsa: Husk and rinse about a pound of tomatillos.  Place in a pot with half a jalapeno (more for spicier salsa).  Cover with water and simmer until tender.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a blender.  Add about 1 tsp minced garlic, 3/4 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt.  Blend until smooth, taste, and adjust seasoning.