Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Got Tomatoes? Try This Recipe

Herb-Tomato Crostini Makes about 20 appetizer servings 1/4 cup olive oil 2 garlic cloves, pressed 1 (8.5-oz.) French bread baguette, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 teaspoon salt (large pinch or two small) 1/8 teaspoon pepper (or ‘small pinch’) 1 large tomato, finely chopped 3/4 cup finely chopped green onions 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese Tip: This is a great ‘make ahead’ recipe. If you make this mixture the night before and allow to sit in refrig in a bowl, the flavors will be greatly enhanced when you serve them the next day. Don’t top the bread until just before serving. (to prevent bread from becoming soggy). Another idea is to serve the topping in a bowl and serve cut bread in basket to side. That way guests can assemble themselves! Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together olive oil and garlic; brush on 1 side of each bread slice. Place bread slices, garlic sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly toasted. Whisk together lemon juice and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add tomato and next 3 ingredients; gently toss to coat. Top each bread slice with tomato mixture (about 2 rounded teaspoonfuls each). Sprinkle with cheese.

Great Warm Weather Recipe

Melon, Mozarella and Prosciutto Skewers 20 cantelope or honeydew cubes, 1 inch pieces, about 2-3 cups 20 thin slices of proscuitto, about ½ lb 20 fresh mozzarella cheese balls, about one 8 oz tub 200 wooden skewers, 4 inch or longer Fresh ground pepper Thread 1 melon cube wrapped in half a proscuitto slice, and then one mozzarella ball wrapped in half proscuitto slice in alternating order onto wooden skewers. Sprinkle each with fresh ground pepper

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Healthy and Colorful Green Beans Available Now at Your Local Farmer's Market

Great Summer Green Beans Recipe

Green Beans with Lemon-Butter Bread Crumbs and Toasted Almonds 5 tbs unsalted butter ¼ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) Zest of 1 lemon (a microplane works great for this step) 1 tbs kosher or sea salt, more may be needed after tasting 1 ½ lb fresh green beans, stem ends trimmed 1 ½ tbs fresh lemon juice ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted Salt, fresh ground pepper to taste In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbs of butter. Add the panko and toast crumbs, stirring constantly, until golden brown and crisp- about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Set aside. Fill a large saucepan two thirds full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tbs of salt. Add the beans and cook until bright green and still very crisp, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl two-thirds full of ice water. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the beans to the ice water. Let cool in water for about 2 minutes and then drain thoroughly. Blot dry with paper towels and set aside. In large skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 tbs butter and swirl to coat the pan. Add the green beans and sauté, stirring constantly until the beans are heated through, but still crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and almonds, sauté for 1 minute longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with panko topping and serve immediately. To make this dish ahead: Blanch green beans up to one day in advance. Spread the cooked beans on dry paper towel or a clean cotton towel, roll up in ‘jelly roll’ style and place in sealed plastic bag and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 2 hours before sautéing. The panko topping and toasted almonds can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Cover and store in separate airtight containers at room temperature.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Easy Grilled Chicken Recipe

Citrus Rosemary Balsamic Grilled Chicken INGREDIENTS 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup rosemary leaves, minced 3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic 2 tablespoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts Salt and freshly ground black pepper DIRECTIONS In a medium bowl combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine and pour into a 1-gallon resealable food storage plastic bag. Place chicken breasts in the bag and seal it. Turn to ensure that the chicken is evenly coated, then refrigerate, turning occasionally, for a minimum of two hours and a maximum of eight hours. Preheat a grill to medium low and brush the grates lightly with an oil-soaked cloth. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Season the chicken well on all sides with salt and pepper, then place on the grill, skin side down. Cook the chicken about eight to 10 minutes, turn and continue to cook an additional eight to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and serve.

Perfect Summer Marinade !

Citrus Marinade This marinade is fantastic for grilled chicken or fish. Marinade minimum of two hours and a maximum of eight hours. I usually marinate chicken or any tougher cuts of meats overnight. INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup orange juice (juice of 1 orange) 1/2 cup lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons) 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped 1 1/2 inch section fresh ginger, peeled, minced 1 tablespoon soy sauce 3 cloves garlic, minced DIRECTIONS Marinate chicken or fish by placing in a zipper-lock bag submerged in liquid. Marinate maximum of eight hours.

The Best of Summer ...

Summer Tomatoes 101 Once feared as poisonous and then considered a possible aphrodisiac, the "love apple" now adds its vivid color and delicious flesh to innumerable dishes. Like the potato, this fruit (which is generally treated as a vegetable) is a member of the nightshade family and is native to South America. After finally gaining acceptance as a food in Europe and the United States, tomatoes became an inextricable part of many cuisines, especially those of the Mediterranean. In Italy, they are used to make sauce for pasta, pizza and many other dishes. Sliced tomatoes are served with fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and balsamic vinegar to make a Caprese salad. Other recipes that depend on tomatoes for their character include minestrone, gazpacho, ratatouille, Greek salad and tomato soup. And, of course, tomatoes are a staple of New World cuisine from the American South's fried green tomatoes to Texas' chili con carne, from Latin America's salsa cruda to the "BLT," bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. Who doesn't love a great BLT in the summer made with garden fresh tomatoes? Today's health conscious cooks know that, far from being poisonous, the tomato is high in vitamin C and cancer-fighting antioxidants. The tomato comes in a wide range of sizes, from tiny currant tomatoes no bigger than blueberries to fat beefsteaks up to 5 inches in diameter. The colors are varied, too, from white to purple black to reddish black, with green-striped zebra tomatoes. Dedicated gardeners have traced and reintroduced a number of heirloom tomatoes. Look for heirloom tomatoes in a wide variety of colors, size and shapes. Storing tomatoes: Most tomatoes, if left whole, should not be stored in a refrigerator. Store ripe, uncut tomatoes at room temperature for several days and the will ripen further. Although whole fresh tomatoes should not be refrigerated, cut tomatoes should be wrapped in plastic wrap or wax paper and then refrigerated.

Saturday, August 3, 2013