Archive for Summer’s Bounty

They Call it the Blues

Here at #5 the kitchen is bursting with blueberries! The Gelderman family has come through yet again with another outstanding crop of berries and there are more to come next weekend. They grow two types of blueberries, one harvested in July and the other in August. Both are great but we find the August berries pull ahead in the taste department by a nose!

Just a few blueberry recipes for you to check out and try out…now I’m back to the kitchen for more berry action! Good thing baking is my thing, cause this week it’s been blueberry scones, oatmeal blueberry squares and of course muffins!

Without a doubt you couldn’t put together a list without pie and this is our house favourite!

And then to prove there’s more to life than pie…

Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Lemon Loaf
Blueberry Almond Cake
Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
Blueberry BBQ Sauce (which is awesome)

Happy blueberry eating to you!

 

New Potato Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette

Here’s a really lovely “new” potato salad.  My personal favourite potatoes to use in this salad are Sieglinde.  I think the lemon dressing adds a nice brightness.

Makes 4 – 6 Servings

2 lbs. small new potatoes, unpeeled, Siegelinde (available at Helmer’s)**
1 tsp. lemon rind, finely grated
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. stoneground Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. EVO
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped or an equal amount of young green onions

Scrub potatoes and leave whole. Cook in a pot of boiling water salted water,  12 to 15 minutes, lid on.** Cook potatoes until just tender when pierced with a thin metal skewer. Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl. When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, so they can absorb the dressing.  I think they look really nice this way.

Dressing:

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon rind, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt & pepper until smooth. Slowly whisk in the EVO. Add the chives & drizzle over the still warm potatoes; toss. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve at room temperature of even slightly warm.

To buy Helmer’s potatoes, click My Source List.  To see my method for cooking the potatoes, click How To Boil Potatoes.

 

Zucchini “Lasagne” With Tomato Sauce

Even though the ideal, or at least my ideal, is to barbecue all summer, I suppose it’s OK to have other options!  There’s no pasta in this “lasagne.” It’s really good!  Of course this is best made with in season zucchini, especially if you can find the Italian ridged ones! The lasagne could be served with pesto risotto alongside, or in the Italian manner, make the first course risotto followed by the “Lasagne”. Or why not even a small first course of tagliatelle with pesto just in case you’re missing the noodles!  Or to make it really simple, just a loaf of good country bread would do the trick!

Makes 6 Servings

DSC_1371.jpg nx21 Tbsp. EVOO
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried basil, crumbled or 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1 tsp. fennel seeds
½ lb. lean ground beef
½ cup dry white wine
1 28 oz. tin Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

6 large zucchini, each sliced lengthwise into 5 slices
8 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

I have, on occasion, mixed in ½ an Italian sausage when sautéing the beef, a nice addition, but not necessary.

For the Sauce: I have found that it works really well to double the sauce, as you will most likely need a bit more than the recipe makes. Good news is, leftover sauce for another meal, perhaps pasta or…

Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion & sauté until tender, adding a bit of water if the onion sticks, about 3 – 5 minutes. Add the garlic, basil, oregano and fennel and sauté 1 minute. If using fresh herbs, add them to the sauce 5 minutes before the sauce is finished cooking. Add ground beef & Italian sausage if using, cook until brown, crumbling with a fork until no longer pink. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes and their juices and the tomato paste. Simmer until sauce is reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 1 ½ hours. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 Tbsp. salt. Add the zucchini & cook just until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove zucchini to a colander & drain. Rinse under cold water. Transfer zucchini to paper towels & drain well.

To Assemble the Lasagne:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a  9×13” glass baking pan that has been oiled or sprayed with cooking spray. Place half the zucchini slices in the bottom of the pan, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. cheese; season with salt & pepper. Repeat layering, using 1 cup of sauce, remaining zucchini slices and 2 Tbsp. cheese. Top with the remaining 1 cup of sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and place in the oven. Bake until top bubbles & is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

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The End of July

And that means putting on those thinking caps figuring what to cook for that special Leo celebrating a birthday.  In this case, me!!!  It’s no longer July…but it’s still summer and just think of all those people you can impress by inviting  them over to share an alfresco dinner!

What that meant, here at #5 was putting our heads together and figuring out our next challenge on the Kamado Joe! This birthday girl had the idea of a brisket roaming around in her brain for a few weeks.  So…when that was suggested it was a “GO” from everyone.

And all that remains to be said is WOW the K J rocked it big time!  Our hipster butcher texted that it looked awesome!

Our menu:

Brisket with Ancho chili dipping sauce, corn on the barbecue and onion/cheese/poppyseed rolls made by the birthday girl.  We used the recipe for the rub and sauce but changed up the way we cooked our brisket as this recipe uses a Weber.  We made notes if you would like them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s no longer July…but it’s still summer and just think of all those people you can impress by inviting  them over to share an alfresco dinner!

 

 

 

 

White Bean Salad

An excellent salad. I have put in varying amounts of veggies and herbs, so feel free to play around with the quantities to suit your tastebuds! If you choose to add the optional ingredients, it would become more of a main course than a side dish, or maybe not! Oh, there’s a note on my recipe that my husband gave it two thumbs up!

DSC_1190 nx2Makes Approximately 8 Servings

2 cups uncooked white navy beans
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup combined EVO + canola oil (use 1/2 cup EVO & top off with canola oil)
1 large red pepper, finely chopped
2/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
¼ cup finely chopped  flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
3 – 4Tbsp. fresh basil, finely julienned
2 – 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
Sea salt to taste
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

(opt.) shredded arugula & prosciutto

Soak the beans overnight in water to cover. (Or use my quick soak method)**

Drain the beans & rinse well. Place in a large pot with water to cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer until the beans are just tender but not mushy. Drain & let cool to room temperature.

Whisk the vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper together to emulsify. Pour over the beans & stir to combine. You can make this the night before or in the morning & place in the fridge to meld the flavours. Before serving, remove from the fridge, let come to room temperature & add the remaining ingredients. Season with salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste.

For link, click quick soaking method.

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Joe’s Pork Ribs

My husband makes these sensational ribs and we can hardly wait to have them each summer! The barbecue sauce can be made up to a week ahead; the addition of coffee lends a rich level of flavor. I usually make the rub ahead and store in a jar with a tight lid. It makes a great Christmas stocking stuffer too! As they say, finger licking good! You can easily make half the amount of ribs and freeze the leftover barbecue sauce for another rib fest! Corn on the cob anyone?  Get out extra napkins too!

Makes 8 Servings

Ribs

6 lbs. spareribs or baby back ribs
½ cup cider vinegar
2 – 4 tsp. liquid smoke flavoring (the brand I use is Colgin,
it has all natural ingredients)

Rub

6 Tbsp. chili powder, (regular chili powder)
3 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. golden brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Barbecue Sauce

4 tsp. EVO
1 cup minced onion
1 ½ cups water
1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
2/3 cup cider vinegar
¼ cup molasses, unsulfured
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. instant coffee powder
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. chili powder (regular chili powder)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Tip: A rib rack is a very handy piece of equipment for the barbecue.

Two hours ahead, cut each rib section into 2 or 3 pieces. Place in a large pan. Combine vinegar & liquid smoke in a small bowl; brush over both sides of ribs. Place in fridge for 2 hours.

Prepare the charcoal in the barbecue to medium heat (325-350 F). You may want to use a thermometer for this or just guess! Place a drip pan containing water under where the ribs will cook. Combine rub ingredients & rub on both sides of ribs; season with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Place ribs on barbecue; close lid and cook for 70 minutes, turning once. Brush ribs with barbecue sauce; close lid; cook 15 minutes. Brush ribs with remaining barbecue sauce; cover and cook for 10 minutes longer until ribs are looking very tender. Remove to a large cutting board; divide into sections and serve on a warm platter.

Tomato Bruschetta

There is simply nothing like your own or purchased local tomatoes in the summer. I am a confessed tomato junkie and I adore these bruschetta. Tomatoes and basil…a combination sent from the gods!

DSC_3559 nx2Makes 4 Servings

4 – 6 tomatoes, seeded & diced
1 Tbsp. each fresh basil & flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup EVO – the best you can find
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 loaf Italian bread or a baguette** (I am addicted to Rise’s Artisan’s Market Loaves)
½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Combine tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic, salt & pepper in a bowl. Cut bread diagonally into ½” to ¾” slices, place on a baking sheet; brush with EVO; grill or broil 1 – 2 minutes until lightly toasted. Turn bread over. Spoon tomato mixture onto the toasts; sprinkle with the Parmigiano; place in oven & bake 8 – 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

If you would like to check out Chris Brown’s breads, they can be found at Finest at Sea on Arbutus St., Batard on Fraser St.  He makes both full size and mini Market Loaves that are wonderful for bruschetta or crostini.

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Farro Risotto With Tomatoes

Since our first trip to Italy I have been a big fan of farro. Farro is made from Emmer Wheat, not spelt. The first time I had it was in a ribollita at La Bottega, a little restaurant in Volpaia, a small town in Chianti. I had read that the mother of the family who own the restaurant, make the best ribollita (a thick soup), so of course we had to go there! It was great! A short time later, at Ristorante da Dalfina, a short drive from Florence, we ordered a tomato risotto made with farro. It was delicious. I simply had to buy farro to bring home! I found it!  Another discovery made from having leftover risotto is to make a soup with some borlotti beans, carrots, onions & celery and some herbs.  Tummy warming on a cool day.

Makes 3 – 4 First Course/Side Dish Servings

1 cup farro perlato (semi-pearled)**
1 Tbsp. each EVO & unsalted butter
1 ½ cups chicken stock** or tinned low/no salt chicken broth, or more, especially if using regular farro**
½ tsp. salt
2 cups tinned Italian plum tomatoes, drained & pureed in a food mill (or you can simply mash up with your hands). Don’t use a food processor,  pureed seeds makes the tomatoes bitter.
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
2 oz. pancetta, cut into fine dice
¼ cup dry white wine
2 – 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For Finishing the Risotto:

2 – 3 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Heat the stock in a pot until hot. Cover with a lid & keep warm on low heat. Heat the EVO & butter in a medium sized pot & add the pancetta; sauté until golden; add the onion & sauté until translucent, then add the garlic & sauté for a minute or so. Add the farro & stir until coated & lightly toasted; approximately 2 minutes. Add the wine & cook until it evaporates. Ladle in ½ cup stock at a time, stirring & adding more stock as it is absorbed into the farro. Repeat until all stock is used up. Add the pureed tomatoes & continue to cook until the farro is al dente 12 – 15 minutes, adding more stock if necessary until it is ready; add the basil & season to taste with more salt if required & freshly ground black pepper. Add the cheese & butter, stirring until incorporated. Serve immediately.

**A note about Farro Perlato. I have, so far, been unable to find pearled farro in Vancouver, so I buy it in Italy & in London at an Italian Deli. You can easily find the regular farro, but for making risotto using regular farro there are two schools of thought on the preparation method.  One is to pre-soak & one is not.  Both methods follow & you can decide which one would work for you.

Soak the farro in cold water to cover for 8 – 12 hours, drain & continue with the recipe.

OR: another method if you  is to sauté the onion & garlic as above, add the unsoaked farro, stirring for a minute to coat with oil & butter, add the wine, cook until reduced, stirring constantly, then add 1 ½ cup hot broth & ½ tsp salt, stir to combine; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover & simmer about 10 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed into the farro. Add the pureed tomatoes & ¼ cup hot broth, boil over medium heat, uncovered, until tender adding more broth ¼ cup at a time, stirring occasionally, until farro is al dente, approximately 25 minutes, the farro should not be dry. Season farro to taste with salt & pepper to taste, stir in the cheese & butter until creamy.

 To make your own stock, click Making Stock.

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Phyllis’ Mouth-watering Buttermilk Waffles

The batter for these waffles can be made the night before, an especially good thing for brunch entertaining!  I have included two fruit sauces that are delicious on waffles and we often add a few dollops of yogurt.  We also like using fresh fruit and some maple syrup.

DSC_7722 nx2Make the Waffles:

2 cups sifted unbleached flour**
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ cups buttermilk, well shaken
½ cup butter, melted**

You can use 1/2  cup whole wheat flour & 1 1/2  cups unbleached flour.

Equipment:  A Belgian waffle maker

Preheat waffle maker.

Sift & measure the flour; sift again with baking powder, baking soda, salt & sugar. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light & lemon coloured. Slowly mix in the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients and blend well. Mix in the melted butter. Place ¼ of the batter on the waffle maker, close & bake until lightly browned & crisp. Remove and place on a large baking pan and put in a preheated 180 F oven to keep warm while finishing the rest of the waffles. Continue baking the rest of the batter in the same way.

NB:  the waffles freeze very well.  Just thaw, pop in the toaster on medium heat until they crisp up.

Here are two of my favourite fruit sauces that I try & make when the fruit is in season to serve with the waffles but you can use really good frozen berries.  Or…you can just throw some fresh, in season berries on top. I like to top off the berries with some plain Greek style yogurt. However, if I were making these for my Mom….nothing else will do but heaps of whipped cream with the berries.

Both sauces will keep, in the fridge for about 1 week.  Otherwise, freeze for using later.

Strawberry Sauce – can be made up to 4 days ahead & you can reduce the recipe by half.  Make sure to use in-season, local strawberries.  They simply cannot be beat for both taste & colour!

Makes 6 Cups

8 cups halved fresh or frozen strawberries
¼ cup water
1 tsp. orange peel, finely grated
1 cup sugar*
½ cup corn syrup*
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
* If you think this would be too sweet for your taste, reduce the sugar accordingly.

In a large saucepan, bring strawberries, water & orange rind to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to medium low & simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Stir in sugar, corn syrup & orange juice, return to the boil, turn heat down a bit and continue to boil, uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove from heat; place in a bowl & chill until ready to use.

Blueberry Sauce – can be made 4 days ahead & you can reduce the recipe by half.

Makes 8 Cups

8 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 ½ cups apple juice
1 Tbsp. lemon rind, finely grated
1 ¼ cups sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
¼ cup lemon juice

In a large saucepan, combine blueberries, apple juice & lemon rind; cook over medium heat stirring & mashing berries a bit, leaving some whole, for about 15 minutes or until mixtures comes to a boil. Gradually stir in sugar and corn syrup and lemon juice. Return to a boil and turn heat down a bit and boil stirring often, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; place in a bowl and chill until ready to use.

** If the sauce is a little too thin for your liking, combine 1 Tbsp. cornstarch with 2 Tbsp. cold water, then slowly stir into the boiling sauce for a minute before removing from the heat.

**If you think this would be two sweet for your taste, you can reduce the sugar accordingly.

To see how to melt butter in the microwave, click Melting Butter in the Microwave.

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Brunch Baked Eggs

Here’s another do ahead brunch dish for a stress free host, you can be enjoying your  Blood Orange Mimosa while brunch is baking!  I don’t know about you, but around the holidays when entertaining can get crazy, we need all the do-aheads we can get our hands on. This can be made vegetarian by leaving out the ham.  You can either bake in a 13×9″ pan or make 8 individual servings using ramekins.

DSC_2334 nx2Makes 12 Servings

6 cups shredded cheese, divided in half (a mixture of Monterey Jack, Old Cheddar, Gruyere)
¾ lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
½ medium onion, chopped
¼ cup (approx.) red bell pepper, thinly sliced
¼ cup butter
8 oz. cooked ham, cut into julienne strips
8 beaten eggs
1 ¾ cups homogenized milk (do not use low fat)
1/8 tsp. Tabasco
½ cup unbleached flour
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives, basil, tarragon or thyme or a mixture of two herbs
1 Tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley

Sprinkle 3 cups cheese in the bottom of a well greased or sprayed 13 x 9 x 2” baking dish. In a large frying pan, cook the mushrooms, onion and red pepper in the butter until the vegetables are tender but not brown; drain well. Cool a bit, then place vegetables on top of cheese.

Arrange ham strips on top of vegetables. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 cups of cheese. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

An hour before baking, remove from the fridge. Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, herbs & parsley. Pour the mixture over the ingredients in the baking dish. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Variations:  substitute 3 cups of aged Cheddar for 3 cups of Monterey Jack Cheese.

Blood Orange Mimosa:  freshly squeezed blood orange juice and bubbly wine!  So good!

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