Vietnamese Peach Relish
Sweet, salty, spicy... delicious served with fish or shrimp.
1 clove GARLIC, minced
1 SERRANO or JALAPENO PEPPER, seeded and minced
2 Tbsp. LIGHT BROWN SUGAR
3 Tbsp. ASIAN FISH SAUCE (I used Three Crabs brand)
2 Tbsp. LIME JUICE
2 Tbsp. WATER
5 or 6 ripe PEACHES, peeled and finely diced
1/4 c. CILANTRO, chopped
2 Tbsp. MINT, chopped
In a small food processor, buzz garlic, chile and the brown sugar until a paste forms.
Add the fish sauce, lime juice, and 2 Tbsp. water.
Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the peaches, cilantro and mint.
Ice Cream with Sauteed Pineapple and Bourbon
This is a simple but delicious ice cream topping that takes little time to prepare.
It is from the book "Bon Appetit Fast, Easy, Fresh" by Barbara Fairchild.
If desired, add nuts to the sauce prior to serving.
2 Tbsp. BUTTER
3 Tbsp. (packed) DARK BROWN SUGAR
1/8 tsp. ground CLOVES
1 1/2 c. 1/2-inch cubes of fresh PINEAPPLE
1/4 C. BOURBON
VANILLA ICE CREAM
Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add brown sugar and cloves; bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Add pineapple and cook until heated through and liquid is syrupy, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Add bourbon and cook over medium heat until syrupy, about 2 minutes.
Add your choice of nuts, if desired.
Scoop ice cream into bowls and spoon pineapple and syrup over.
Fingerling Potato, Smoked Salmon and Dill Salad
I recently purchased the book "Sensational Salads" by Barbara-Scott Goodman.
This book has a wide variety of salads and this salad sounded particularly good.
I was hoping the grocery store would have the little fingerling potatoes and they did... in white, red and purple, so I got some of each.
This is easy to make and I like the variety of potato colors and the texture provided by the whole-grain mustard.
2 1/2 lb. FINGERLING POTATOES
1/2 c. chopped fresh DILL
1 Tbsp. DIJON MUSTARD
1 Tbsp. WHOLE-GRAIN MUSTARD
1 Tbsp. WHITE VINEGAR
1 tsp. SUGAR
1/3 c. EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1/3 lb. SMOKED SALMON, cut into small pieces
Freshly ground BLACK PEPPER
Scrub the potatoes and cook in boiling salted water until fork tender... about 15-20 minutes.
Drain and cool.
When cool, cut in half and place in a large bowl.
Add half the dill and toss well.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustards, vinegar, and sugar.
Slowly add the olive oil and whisk until the vinaigrette thickens.
Pour about half the vinaigrette on the potatoes and toss gently to coat.
Add the remaining vinaigrette and the smoked salmon and season to taste with pepper.
Garnish with remaining dill and serve at room temperature.
Chocolate Pasta with Whipped Cream and Strawberries
Each week I look at the wide variety of dried pastas sold at the Rockwall Farmer's Market, and perhaps the one that intrigued me the most was the chocolate pasta.
Last week I purchased some to try in this unusual dessert.
If you are looking for a unique dessert... give it a try.
These pastas are sold by "Pappardelle's... the Fine Art of Pasta" on-line and at farmer's markets throughout the country.
You can find this recipe and more on their website.
1/2 lb. Pappardelle's DARK CHOCOLATE PASTA
3 c. STRAWBERRIES (or raspberries), sliced and extra berries for garnish
SUGAR, to taste
Freshly made SWEETENED WHIPPED CREAM
Optional: VANILLA ICE CREAM
Cook pasta in 5 quarts of rapidly boiling water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes).
Drain well and chill in refrigerator.
In a small saucepan, add berries of your choice.
Cook on low heat, smashing the berries with the back of your spoon or a potato masher to produce a good mash.
Add sugar, to taste. I had to add quite a bit.
Although my berries were very red, they were not as sweet as I would have liked and since the pasta has no sweetness, I think it needs a sweet sauce.
Refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve.
Arrange a small serving of pasta on a dessert plate and top with berry sauce and whipped cream.
Garnish with additional berries and some mint if desired.
Or... add a dollop of slightly thawed vanilla ice cream to the top of the chocolate pasta topped with berry sauce or even your favorite chocolate sauce recipe.
Yellow Cauliflower, Tomatoes with Cream Sauce and Parmesan Cheese
Sometimes my favorite recipes come from the purchase of a new variety of produce.
The yellow cauliflower looked particularly enticing the day I visited the market.
I spent nearly as much on that as I would a small package of meat.
I already had a few yellow cherry tomatoes and Parmesan cheese and decided to combine all of these with a basic white sauce as a side dish.
What was interesting about this combination... as the yellow of the cauliflower peaked through the white sauce, it mentally gave the image of a dish redolent with gooey cheese, when in fact there was only a small amount of Parmesan used as a topping.
This definitely tricked the eye but made it no less tasty!
It's funny how working in the kitchen can bring back so many fond memories.
As I reached for my favorite baking dish, I remembered the day that our friends Mary and Dan gave this to me at my surprise birthday party many years ago.
It has been used many times since then and each time I remember them and their children, who are now grown and with children of their own.
How fast the years go by...
1 head of YELLOW CAULIFLOWER
1 large handful of YELLOW CHERRY TOMATOES
1/2 c. PARMESAN CHEESE
4 Tbsp. BUTTER
4 Tbsp. FLOUR
1/2 tsp. SALT
1/4 tsp. PEPPER
2 c. MILK
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Break cauliflower apart and place in a shallow bowl with 1-2 Tbsp. water and microwave, covered, for about 4 minutes until almost cooked through.
Drain and place in a shallow oven-proof dish.
Make the sauce:
Melt butter in saucepan and then add flour until well blended.
Add salt and pepper and milk.
Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
Continue cooking for several minutes while stirring until sauce thickens.
Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Pour hot sauce over cauliflower, top with yellow tomatoes and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees until hot and bubbly and cheese begins to brown.
This makes a nice side with grilled meats or fish.
Add cooked peas with the cauliflower mixture prior to baking.
Add chopped onions or scallions to your butter as you make the white sauce.
Hope you like this simple side dish!
Kabobs are an easy summertime treat.
My daughter invited us for a barbecue and she was making kabobs, but hers would be with meat.
Since I am trying to eat more vegetarian, I decided to make these.
Choose whatever veggies you wish. I used yellow squash, zucchini, peppers (green, yellow and red), and tiny potatoes.
You could also use carrots, eggplant, onion, mushrooms, corn on the cob... you be the judge.
Now what makes these so yummy is what I call... the dabbing sauce.
And the next time I make these, I will double the sauce so there is plenty to dab on the finished kabob at the table.
This sauce is also good on meat as well.
3 Tbsp. CANOLA OIL
1 tsp. CHILI PEPPER
1/2 tsp. SMOKED PAPRIKA
1/4 tsp. CUMIN
1/8 tsp. GROUND CAYENNE PEPPER
3 Tbsp. LIME JUICE
2 Tbsp. chopped CILANTRO
2 Tbsp. canned TOMATO PASTE
1 1/2 tsp. HONEY
2 cloves minced GARLIC
SALT, to taste
Stir all ingredients together.
Choose your vegetables and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
If using potatoes or carrots, par-boil them ahead of time until nearly done as these would take much longer to cook on the grill.
Thread veggies on skewers.
(If using wooden skewers, soak in water for a couple hours prior to grilling to prevent them from burning.)
Years ago I bought these arc-shaped skewers and have enjoyed using them.
Brush the veggies with the dabbing sauce.
Grill for about 5 minutes per side or until browned and lightly charred and tender.
Serve extra sauce for dipping.
Jerk Shrimp with Armenian Cucumber and Kiwi Salsa
Okay... here is another recipe from that favorite cookbook: Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh
and I used some of that Armenian cucumber in it!
1 lb. LARGE SHRIMP, shelled with tail left on
3 Tbsp. OLIVE OIL
2 tsp. LIME JUICE
2 tsp. JERK SEASONING
Toss shrimp with the oil, lime juice and jerk seasoning and allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
Heat a cast-iron grill pan until very hot and then grill shrimp for a few minutes on each side until just opaque in the center... a total of about 5 minutes.
Armenian Cucumber-Kiwi Salsa
4 1/2 tsp. LIME JUICE
1 1/2 tsp. chopped and seeded JALAPENO
1 tsp. peeled, minced fresh GINGER
1/2 tsp grated LIME PEEL
1 c. peeled and chopped KIWI
1 c. seeded and chopped CUCUMBER (regular or Armenian)
1/4 c. thinly sliced GREEN ONIONS
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh MINT
SALT and PEPPER, to taste
Combine all ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.
This can be made several hours ahead. Refrigerate.
Serve with Jerk Shrimp.
To read more about the Armenian Cucumber, please see:
Grilled Portobello Mushroom and Goat Cheese Salad
Once again I go to "Sensational Salads" by Barbara Scott-Goodman.
Though these mushrooms were to be cooked on a grill,
I chose to use my favorite cast-iron grill pan in the coolness of my kitchen,
as our weather today is 107 degrees in the shade!
Welcome to Texas, y'all!
6 PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS, stemmed
3/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
2 cloves GARLIC, thinly sliced
KOSHER SALT and freshly ground BLACK PEPPER
1/2 RED ONION, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 Tbsp. BALSAMIC VINEGAR
2 Tbsp. chopped FLAT LEAF PARSLEY
4 c. MIXED SALAD GREENS
1/2 c. crumbled GOAT CHEESE
Arrange the mushrooms in one layer and pour 3/4 c. of the olive oil over them.
Sprinkle with the garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
Cover loosely and let marinate for about 2 hours.
"Grill" in cast-iron grill pan, covered, over moderately high heat until golden and lightly charred... about 4 minutes per side.
Cut the mushrooms into thick slices and transfer to a large bowl.
Add the onion, vinegar, parsley, the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste and toss well to combine.
Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Arrange salad greens on a platter or individual plates.
Spoon the mushroom salad over them and sprinkle with the goat cheese.
Drizzle with additional olive oil and pepper if desired and serve at once.
Cinco Bean Bake
My daughter visited Colorado a number of years ago and brought me the "Colorado Collage" cookbook from the Junior League of Denver.
I have used this cookbook so many times and it holds many favorite recipes.
The recipes are easy to follow, with commonly found ingredients and the photographs are delectable.
5-6 strips of BACON
2 medium ONIONS, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. minced GARLIC
1 15-ounce can WHITE NAVY BEANS, drained
1 15-ounce can BLACK BEANS, drained
1 15-ounce can PORK AND BEANS
1 15-ounce can RED KIDNEY BEANS
1 15-ounce can GARBANZO BEANS
3/4 c. CATSUP
1/2 c. MOLASSES
1/4 c. packed DARK BROWN SUGAR
1 Tbsp. WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1 Tbsp. prepared MUSTARD
1/4 tsp. freshly ground BLACK PEPPER
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.
Remove, reserving drippings, and place on paper towel.
To same skillet, add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, 3-5 minutes.
Remove with slotted spoon to paper towel.
In a large bowl, combine bacon, onion mixture, and all beans.
Stir in catsup, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire, mustard, and pepper.
Spoon into bean pot or large baking dish.
Cover and bake for about 1 hour.
Lemon Pepper Pasta
I bought this Lemon Pepper pasta at the Rockwall Farmer's Market.
It is made by Pappardelle's... The Fine Art of Pasta, located in Denver, Colorado and they have provided this recipe on their website.
To read more about this company and to see the wide variety of pastas available, please go to:
This pasta recipe is easy to prepare and has a "no cook" sauce.
1 lb. PAPPARDELLE'S LEMON PEPPER PASTA
8 oz. ASPARAGUS TIPS
4 oz. BUTTER
1 c. freshly grated PARMESAN CHEESE
Freshly ground BLACK PEPPER
Cook the pasta in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until aldente (about 8-10 minutes).
Drain and rinse with warm water.
Place pasta back in warm pasta pot.
At the same time pasta is cooking, cook the asparagus tips in boiling, salted water for about 3 minutes or until tender.
Add butter to the pasta, stir well to coat thoroughly.
Add Parmesan, salt and pepper.
Gently toss in cooked asparagus tips.
Serve immediately. Pass lemon wedges to squeeze on top, if so desired.
Sweet Potato Orzo Streusel
This is an unusual pasta dish from Pappardelle's... The Fine Art of Pasta.
It would make a great addition to an autumn meal or with your Thanksgiving feast.
1 lb. Pappardelle's SWEET POTATO ORZO
1/2 stick unsalted BUTTER, at room temperature
1/4 c. all-purpose FLOUR
1/2 tsp. ground CINNAMON
1/4 tsp. SALT
1 c. toasted PECANS (I used walnuts as I had them on hand)
1 c. MINIATURE MARSHMALLOWS
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Cook orzo in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until aldente (about 8-10 minutes).
Drain well and rinse with warm water.
For the streusel topping:
In a large bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar and flour together until it resembles fine crumbs.
Add the cinnamon, salt, nuts and marshmallows and stir to combine.
In a 9x13 pan or baking dish which had been lightly oiled, line the bottom with the cooked orzo and top with the streusel topping.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
This recipe was created by Pappardelle vendor: Culinary Cuisine by Janeen
Arugula, Tomato and Lemon Cucumber Salad
Sometimes in the heat of the summer... easy is best, and you can't get much easier than this!
LEMON CUCUMBER (thanks Lefty!), sliced
RED ONION, diced
SEASONED RICE VINEGAR
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Freshly ground PEPPER
KALAMATA OLIVE BREAD
1 clove GARLIC
Arrange the arugula, sliced tomatoes and lemon cucumber on individual plates.
Sprinkle diced red onion on top as well as some parsley.
Drizzle with seasoned rice vinegar and then with olive oil.
Season with coarse salt and pepper.
Toast slices of the olive bread.
Peel a clove of garlic and rub on the slice of bread and then drizzle with olive oil.
Add a sprinkling of salt.