Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Thai Chicken Pizza

This is a fun take on pizza that is very quick to put together if you have rotisserie chicken and prepared pizza dough on hand.  My daughter has been loving rotisserie chicken lately (but doesn't eat much), so we often have extra to use in other recipes.  Here, it tops a savory pizza with sweet-and-salty peanut sauce, creamy Monterey jack cheese, and sharp scallions.  Shredded carrot adds a bit of color.  This would also be excellent with sliced bell pepper if you'd like more veggies.  Leftovers keep well for lunch the next day.

Thai Chicken Pizza

Top pizza dough with a layer of peanut sauce (recipe below) -- a pastry brush works well for this. Top with shredded rotisserie chicken and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.  Bake until browned and crispy, then top with shredded carrot and minced scallions.  Drizzle with remaining peanut sauce and serve!

Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup well-shaken coconut milk
3 T peanut butter
1 T fresh lime juice
2 tsp lower-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp chile garlic sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger

Whisk all sauce ingredients together.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Summer Barley Bowls with Buttermilk-Scallion Dressing

This is a great summer grain bowl to make with vegetables from the garden.  We had tomatoes and cucumbers that my husband grew this summer, and added avocado and bacon as our other toppings.  But, this would also be great with sweet corn, shredded chicken, bell pepper, or whatever else you think of!  The buttermilk dressing is super delicious -- tangy like ranch, but more fresh-tasting. You can substitute chives or another fresh herb for the scallions if you like, although I am currently totally obsessed with scallions.

This recipe is excellent for a light dinner, but also makes good lunches, either as leftovers or prepped in advance.  If making for cold lunches, you may want to swap out the bacon (which will lose crispiness) for something else such as shredded chicken, hard-boiled egg, or steak.

Buttermilk-Scallion Dressing: Whisk together:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 T plain Greek yogurt
2 scallions, minced
Salt and pepper

Summer Barley Bowls: Top cooked barley with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, and crispy bacon.  Drizzle with buttermilk-scallion dressing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Sesame-Scallion Green Beans

We have green beans from our garden!  I can't claim any credit (my husband does all the gardening), but they sure are delicious.  Although I usually roast green beans, it was fun to try something different with this recipe.  They're a little spicy, a little nutty, and all around tasty.  My 7-month-old daughter also enjoyed some (before we added the spicy sauce).  We served the beans with roasted salmon and this biscuit recipe, made with lemon zest and scallions in the dough and za'atar sprinkled on top before baking.

Sesame-Scallion Green Beans (adapted from Cooking Light)
Serves 3-4

1 T soy sauce
2 tsp chili garlic sauce
2 T sesame oil
8 ounces trimmed green beans
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 T sesame seeds

1. Stir together the soy sauce and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet.  Add the green beans and cook for 6-10 minutes (depending on size), stirring occasionally.  Add the scallions when the beans are a few minutes away from being done.
3. Remove from heat, and toss with the sauce mixture and the sesame seeds.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Easy Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce

This sauce is tangy, creamy, and awesome on nachos.  And, it couldn't be any easier -- no cooking, just whizz everything together in a mini chopper or similar.  Because it has avocado, it's best served right away -- but the acid from the tomatillos and lime juice will keep it fairly fresh overnight too.  Here, it's on nachos with chorizo, black beans, cheddar, and tomatoes from our garden.

Easy Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce (adapted from Cooking Light)

6 oz. fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 avocado
2 T lime juice
Generous pinch of salt

Combine all the ingredients in a mini chopper, food processor, or blender and blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust for seasoning. 

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.