I hope you’re eating enough fresh corn right now. If not, you’re going to regret it. It’s so delicious raw, cut off the cob and sautéed or grilled and slathered with compote butters. I highly suggest getting creative. Or just using this simple recipe for a warm salad of corn, onion, feta and lime juice.
Hop on it. Pronto.
Sweet Summer Corn Salad
- 5 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut off
- 3 tablespoons (or more), olive oil
- 1/2 red onion
- salt & pepper
- parsley, chopped
- feta cheese crumbles
- 1 lime
Sauté onion in olive oil. Once tender, add corn and cook until bright yellow and sweet. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, feta and a good squeeze of lime juice.
My friend Margaret knows a thing or two about potlucks, lentils and leafy greens. I’ll let you make your own conclusions – but it’s why we all love her so. For Jessica’s party, she made the most massive mountain of coleslaw. She had to make it at her mother’s house because of the need for a more serious food processor and kitchen! While this recipe is called “Not Your Mama’s Coleslaw,” her mother did remind her that coleslaw was always left over at potlucks. She was, indeed, correct. But the slaw was just as good the next day for a hangover brunch!
The addition of blue cheese is so delicious. Make sure to try this!
Not Your Mama’s Cole Slaw, Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Ina Garten
1/2 small head green cabbage
1/2 small head red cabbage
4 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled and shredded
1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 cups (16 ounces) mayonnaise, low-fat is fine, as is swapping half with yogurt
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) blue cheese (optional)
Prepare the vegetables: Halve the cabbage halves and cut out the cores. Slice the cabbage as thinly as you can with a sharp knife. Alternately, you can use a mandoline to cut the thinnest slivers or use your food processor’s slicing blade (lay the cabbage horizontally in the feed tube) to do the job in just seconds. Transfer chopped cabbage into a large bowl, discarding any very large pieces. Stir in the shredded carrot and parsley, reserving a few tablespoons of parsley for garnish.
Make the dressing: Mix the mayonnaise, mustards, vinegar, celery seed, salt and pepper in a smaller bowl. Stir in blue cheese, if using. Toss the cabbage mixture with dressing to taste –- you will probably not need all of it, but it keeps in the fridge for weeks (even longer, but I’m embarrassed to admit how we’ve tested this theory) –- and adjust seasonings as needed.
Do ahead: Vegetables can be prepped and dressing can be made days in advance. Mix them an hour or so before you’ll serve them to allow the flavors to meld
I saw this recipe in this month’s Bon Appetit magazine and knew I had to make it. I love spicy foods and my friends can sometime get angry with me for going overboard with a jalapeno! This recipe has a kick but it perfect for a casual night with hamburgers or hotdogs!
Jalapeno Roasted Potatoes, Bon Appetit July 2014
- 3 pounds fingerling potatoes, halved crosswise if large
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds removed if desired
- ¼ cup (lightly packed) torn flat-leaf parsley leaves
Preheat oven to 450°. Toss potatoes with ¼ cup oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once, until golden brown and tender, 30–35 minutes. Let cool slightly, then lightly flatten.
Meanwhile, whisk vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining ¼ cup oil until emulsified; season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes, jalapeño, and parsley and toss; season with salt and pepper.
Nothing says spring like bright green sweet peas. I’m sneaking these little guys into lots of meals. Pasta with salmon or bacon, on crostini (coming soon) and even into these most dense and decadent twice baked potatoes. They were the perfect side for a grill party. Make them in advance and just warm during cocktail hour. I can see these on your Father’s Day menu this summer!
Spring Pea and Parmesan Twice Baked Potatoes
- Baking potatoes
- Frozen peas
- sour cream
- salt and pepper
Prick the the potatoes with a fork and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 under tender. Allow to cool and carefully scoop out the potato (leaving the skin in place). Combine potato with sour cream, Parmesan cheese, scallions, frozen peas and salt and pepper. This is all up to your taste.
Refrigerate until about thirty minutes before you’re ready to serve. Return to the 350 oven until hot.
This weekend, my friend April and I hosted a small gathering of friends to celebrate the re-definement (retirement) of our friend Judy. It was the hottest day of 2014 and perfect for champagne cocktails, fried chicken and waffles, fruit salad and asparagus deviled eggs. As Judy likes to say, “yum, yum, yum!”
I love things that can be made in advance for brunch celebrations. These were perfect because they were portable and delicious. I always forget how much labor is involved in deviled eggs -but these are so worth it and perfect for the season!
Asparagus Deviled Eggs
- 12 large eggs
- 1 bundle, asparagus spears
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup smooth Dijon – or more to taste
- white pepper, to taste
- old bay seasoning, to taste
Hard-boil eggs using whichever method you prefer.
Roast asparagus spears until bright green and tender. Cut 1/2-inch off the tips of each spears. Puree remaining asparagus in food processor. Smear on a paper towel to remove some moisture.
Peel your eggs. Cut each in half lengthwise . Remove the yolks and add to a stand up mixer. Whip together remaining ingredients and asparagus puree. Season.
Spoon our pipe the mixture into each egg half, or use a piping bag with a star tip for a fancier presentation. Decorate each stuffed egg with a reserved asparagus tip (you’ll be a little short of what you need), and the remaining with the extra shallot, scallion or chives. Wrap tray in plastic and keep in fridge until ready to serve.
You know you have friends that know where almost everything in your kitchen is? And will eat all the potatoes with their hands straight from the pan before dinner? These are them. They are the best kinds of friends. Unless your a friend waiting at the table for the potatoes they have already eaten.
Lemon Smashed Potatoes
- small new potatoes
- olive oil
- lemons, zested
- garlic, minced (optional)
- salt and pepper
Assembly: Wash potatoes. To speed the process up, microwave the potatoes in a covered dish for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add them to a large cookie sheet. Smash them with the your hand or the bottom of a glass. Add the lemon zest, a splash of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Taste! Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast the potatoes until crispy.
Looking for an easy new side dish? This recipe is shockingly delicious. Just a couple ingredients and it pairs well with just about any protein or other roasted veggies. I served this with steaks for Sunday supper (see below) this weekend as a substitute for potatoes. It was a huge hit.
Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
Preheat oven to 425°. Cut 1 head cauliflower into florets; toss on a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 sliced medium onion, 4 thyme sprigs, 4 unpeeled garlic cloves, and 3 tablespoons olive oil; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until almost tender, 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, toss to combine, and roast until cauliflower is tender, 10-12 minutes longer.
My friend Margaret makes a mean collard green. She actually converted me to the winter green a couple years ago. Somehow, without any pork product, she can make the green salty and with a great kick.
So, in the spirit of cooking healthy this January I asked Margaret to share her notorious recipe. It turns out it’s a Cooks Illustrated recipe that can be used for anything from kale to collards.
I made this Sunday night after yoga and it left me more balanced since before Thanksgiving. You’ve got to try this recipe – the lemon juice and red pepper flakes make it to-die-for. Cheers to a healthy and delicious 2014!
Margaret’s (Cook’s Illustrated (February ‘09) BRAISED HEARTY GREENS
I slice the stems and include them along w/ the leaves.
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 med onion, minced (about 1 C)
- 5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 5 t)
- 1/8 t red pepper flakes
- 2 lb collard greens or kale (about 24 loosely packed cups)
- 1 C chick broth (obviously substitute veg broth)
- 1 C water
- 2-3 t juice from l lemon
- black pepper
Heat 2 T oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Cook onion, stirring, until softened & beginning to brown, 4-5 min. Add garlic & pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add 1/2 the greens (this is when I add the stems) & stir until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Add remaining greens, broth, water & 1/4 t salt; quickly cover & reduce heat until low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 25 to 35 min for kale & 35-45 for collards. Remove lid & increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated (bottom of pot will be almost dry and greens begin to sizzle), 8-12 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in 2 t lemon juice & remaining oil. Season salt/pepper & lemon juice to taste.
My New Year’s Eve celebration was spent with good friends in the North Carolina mountains. It was much more relaxed of an NYE than I can ever remember. We didn’t leave the house all day, had a great brunch, went on a four mile hike, napped, lounged and then spent the night playing cards, eating great food and laughing. Right before midnight we were able to do some great stargazing outside on a chilly walk with Winston.
I must admit, we made way too much food. Yet it was all adventure in the kitchen with tasty results. in the midsts of a heated card game, I served hot fried risotto balls. This recipe was a total test but turned out great. The key is buying frozen risotto from the store. The Fresh Market has two great varieties that are perfect for this use. Skipping the making of the risotto is the only way to do it.
While I know everyone is scaling back for the New Year, perhaps put this one on file for Super Bowl!
New Year’s Eve Fried Risotto Balls
- 1 box frozen The Fresh Market risotto (pumpkin or mushroom)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 small ball fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups Italian seasoned pinko bread crumbs
- canola oil
- parsley, minced
Prepare the frozen risotto as stated on the box. Add Parmesan cheese. Cook until thick and allow to cool in the refrigerator for about an hour (or in our case, outside on the frozen deck).
Once congealed, roll the risotto in small golf ball sized balls. Stuff a small cube of fresh mozzarella in the middle. Roll in pinko bread crumbs. Chill again.
Heat about one inch of oil in a high-sided pan on high heat. Fry the risotto balls until brown and crispy. Place on a paper towel covered plate and season with salt and chopped parsley. Enjoy while hot!
Last night I hosted some special food and wine loving friends over for a casual Sunday supper. And these folks were worth pulling out some stops for. I put together a menu of small dishes (that in reality were not that small) of Italian savory bites. Roasted tomato crostini, pan roasted lemon shrimp, fried cauliflower zeppoli, dry pickled cucumber salad and these most delicious grilled pancetta wrapped asparagus. Oh, and the most perfect almond cake.
I think this dish was my favorite out of all. Don’t be shocked by it’s simplicity. Get grilling.
Grilled Pancetta Wrapped Asparagus with Orange Vinaigrette from Food & Wine Magazine
- 2 pounds medium asparagus
- 1/2 pound very thinly sliced pancetta
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
Tightly wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of pancetta and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, stir the orange zest and juice with the mustard and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus over moderate heat, turning often, until they are just tender and the pancetta is crisp, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with the thyme and serve.