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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Corn Salad with Cucumber, Radishes, Scallions and Tomatoes

I love summer.  Fresh vegetables right from the farm.  Lots of corn and many ways to use it.
Last night, I used two ears of corn for a wonderfully cool, refreshing salad.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Summer Corn Salad with Cucumber, Radishes, Scallions and Tomatoes
Makes 8 servings
A wonderful, raw salad perfect for hot summer nights.  
Kernels from 2 large ears of corn
2 kirby cucumbers, cubed
16 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup cubed red bell pepper
1/2 cup cubed orange bell pepper
1 bunch radishes, cubed
4 scallions, sliced 1/4”
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon smokey paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.  Mix gently to blend well.
Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour to allow flavors to meld.
As a variation, we added some cubed, leftover steak to the salad for a wonderful, no cooking salad.  Perfect for a hot summer night.
Sharyn J Rosler  copyright July, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Orecchiette with Escarole, Beans and Italian Veal Sausage

I love escarole and beans.  I also love pasta.
My kosher butcher carries veal, beef and turkey sausage in all styles.  For this recipe I used a sweet, Italian veal sausage.  It's a simple recipe, perfect for a simple dinner with a simply dressed green salad.
If you don't keep kosher, by all means, use a traditional Italian sweet or hot sausage.

Orecchiette with Escarole, Beans and Italian Veal Sausage

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 pound orecchiette pasta, cooked al dente
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 pound sweet, Italian veal sausage, sliced (If you prefer, use a hot, Italian sausage.)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup chicken stock
1 head of escarole, cut into pieces, about 8 cups
1- 12 ounce can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed well
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for about one minute.  Add the salt and pepper to taste.  Add the sausage and saute until cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and beans to the pan, then add the escarole and cook until wilted.
Finally, add the red pepper flakes and the orecchiette.  Gently toss until well combined.
Serve with a crusty Italian bread.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Watermelon and tomato salad

The weather has been so hot lately, that I keep trying to find new, cool foods.
What's cooler to eat than watermelon!  I paired it with tomatoes and a few other ingredients.  Went great with grilled chicken and corn.

Watermelon and Tomato Salad

6 cups cubed watermelon
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
1 tablespoon grape seed or olive oil

Place the watermelon, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice, kosher salt, pepper, honey.  Slowly whisk in the oil.  Pour over the watermelon and tomato mixture.  Toss to mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour and as much as 24 hours (the longer the better, since the flavors get a chance to meld.)
Serve cold and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Kosher Salt: Strawberries, Strawberries

My Kosher Salt: Strawberries, Strawberries

Strawberries, Strawberries

It's strawberry season.  Local strawberries abound at farm stands, farmers markets, groceries, and pick your own farms.  What to do with the seasons bounty?
I have always made preserves.  Not jellies with pectin added, just plain preserves.  Then I discovered drying strawberries in the oven to preserve them.  What fun!  Here's how I do both.

Strawberry Preserves

4 cups strawberries
2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped

In a 4 quart saucepan, place the strawberries and the sugar.  Mash the strawberries slightly, leaving most whole.  Add the vanilla bean seeds and the vanilla bean.
Over medium heat, cook until the sugar has melted and there is liquid.  Raise the heat to medium high and boil for 15 minutes.  Remove the vanilla pod.
Pour the preserves into sterilized canning jars and seal with sterilized lids.  Let cool and seal.  Place in the refrigerator.  The preserves will keep refrigerated for 6 months.

To sterilize jars:  Wash jars with warm soapy water and rinse well.  Place on a baking sheet in a 250 degree oven and let heat for 30 minutes.  Take the lids and place in a saucepan and boil for 15 minutes.

Dried Strawberries

1 quart strawberries.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

Thinly slice the strawberries and place in a single layer on the baking pan.  Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 hours.  Allow to cool.  Make sure they are crisp and place in an air tight container.  They will keep for up to 3 months.  If they are not crisp, they will go bad.  If they are not crisp when you take them out of the oven, let them stand for 24 hours until dry.