Simply Perfect Add-in to any Cookout

Asparagus Pasta with Pan Fried Garlic & Lemon Cold Tomato Zucchini Pasta Salad with Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette

I created this pasta salad for my brother Steve’s Independence Day barbecue. I needed to bring a side dish that could sit out safely in the hot sun for several hours, and also fit in well with an American style cookout. An additional benefit is it gave guests a vegan option, and me an excuse to eat lots of cold pasta salad.

The vinegar base in this recipe would pair well with homemade buttermilk fried chicken, or even a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/4 cup Sherry Vinegar 1 Shallot, chopped 1/ 2 clove Garlic, chopped 1/2 teaspoon Salt Lots of fresh ground black pepper to taste

Puree the ingredients together in a small processor or blender. Set aside.

Tomato Zucchini Pasta 1 pound riccioli shaped pasta, or any favorite shape 2 medium sized zucchini, or 1 large thinly sliced into half moons 1 cup chopped scallions 3-4 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped 1 tablespoon dried parsley 1 recipe Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil the pasta according to the package directions in heavily salted water. Drain and rinse in cold water.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette.

3. Toss the pasta together in a large bowl with the dressing and the rest of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until chilled.

Notes: Next time I might throw in some dried or fresh parmesan, and a handful of sliced olives to add another element of flavor. Shredded asiago cheese might also work well.

Posted from my Android ~ Ami

{BORROWED POST} Peach Lemonade

With all those gorgeous peaches that are out there in summer, you just gotta have to make something with them. Tarts, pies, cobblers, grilled peaches, icecream, lemonade and what not! I wish I could have made every single one of them on that list, but so far its been only the lemonade. There is still some time left and hopefully I will get to make some more. We get some really juicy peaches in our CSA box from Full Circle Farm every other week. They are so very fresh and juicy that you have to use them up within the next couple of days itself. But most of the time I never get around to making anything those few days and we end up eating the peaches as is. They are really good as it is too, so I am not complaining about that.

Last weekend we took a two day trip to Portland with my parents. It was really awesome. For the first day, we packed some food with us and picknicked at a state park on the way. It was a really hot day and we knew it was going to be a hot day, so instead of taking store bought juice with us, I decided to make some lemonade with the peaches and took them with us instead. It was soo refreshing to drink these, especially when it was a nice and hot day outside and we were travelling. It is so very simple to make that I plan to make some every now and then and store in the refrigerator. Also, this particular batch of lemonade that I made tasted a little like musambi juice, which I love and miss a lot here. Musambi is also called sweet lime which is a part of the citrus family and I have never seen that fruit here in the US. Anyone know

where you can get them here? or do you even get them here? Let me know and I will be forever indebted to you

Peach Lemonade – The Recipe

Ingredients:

Peaches ( or nectarines) – 2 or 3, depending on how big/small they are Lemon – 5 ( use more or less depending on the level of sourness you need) Sugar – about 4-5 tbsp or as per your need for sweetness Water Crushed ice

Method:

Squeeze the lemons and keep the juice aside. Peel the peaches, remove the stone and chop the peaches roughly. Puree well in a food processor with the sugar.

Mix the lemon juice with this mixture. Add water and ice as per your need. Add more sugar too if the peaches are not sweet enough or if you need your lemonade to be sweeter.

Serve to your friends at a barbeque party and enjoy the compliments you get

This is my entry to Monthly Mingle – Stone Fruit edition hosted by Sukaina of Sips and Spoonfuls. Monthly Mingle is a monthly themed food evented started by Meeta of What’s for Lunch Honey . If you haven’t yet been to either of their blogs, you should do that soon. The pictures are to kill for!

Posted from my Android ~ Ami

BITE by Michelle {Post #4}

I just have to post another divine treat! I’d re-blog her whole bl♥g If I could! 🙂 {Re-Blogged with l♥ve – Via Volpe Life}

paper-thin cortland apple tart with dulce de leche and whipped cream – on a roll – by

cortland apple puff pastry tart

I’m on a bit of a roll with the kitchen bloopers.

cortland apple puff pastry tart

Ralph and I spent the weekend up at the farm. He wanted me to try driving my snowmobile again. I haven’t been on it since Christmas when I fell off it seven times in one day! I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I ‘leaned into the turn’ exactly as I had been told… Apparently, not as I had been told. What is ‘into the turn’ to the rest of the world is away from the turn to me. The reason my Skidoo kept rolling over on me was that I was leaning in the same direction that it was tipping toward, so over I went – seven times! When we tried again on Friday, I ignored my natural inclination and leaned in the opposite direction. Miracle of miracles, I made it through the turns without rolling in the snow with a three hundred pound machine on top of me. It was awesome!

I have gone way off topic… back to my kitchen troubles. Not really cooking trouble this time, more blogging gear trouble. I went to the farm without a back up battery for my camera. I couldn’t believe it. My tart post was taking shape. The photos looked good. I just needed the finale. The shot of the final product that would hopefully inspire you to want to try my recipe or at least leave my blog craving something sweet! I staged the shot, brought the image into focus when suddenly I heard a chirping that’s the sound my camera makes as it’s shutting down and my camera was dead. The crispy hot apple tart drizzled with dulce de leche and topped with a soft dollop of whipped cream imagine the contrasts in color and texture – argh!

And so we are entering a new dimension of our relationship. You’re going to have to trust me blindly – pardon the pun – on this one. It was delicious!

cortland apple puff pastry tart

Paper-thin Cortland Apple Tart

Serves 6

Preheat oven 400*F

1 sheet of commercial puff pastry, 9×11

2 Cortland apples, paper-thin inch slices

1/3 cup sugar

Place the puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet, I use the parchment that the pastry comes wrapped in

Using the tines of a fork, prick the surface of the pastry at 1 inch intervals leaving 1/2 inch frame around the entire rectangle to act as a frame

Place the apple slices on the puff pastry, slightly overlapping.

Sprinkle with sugar

Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is well browned.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

THE LOVE: The tart is best served warm. I used a commercial dulce de leche drizzled on top and a big spoonful of whipped cream. We were licking our plates!

printable copy

cortland apple puff pastry tart

Thanks for reading.

BITE bY Michelle {Post #3}

  A good while ago, back when I first started this blog; I had asked for some guideance, on what to post next. I recieved a comment, asking to post some recipies on “Dreamy Pies”. Here is a “Dreamy Pie” Recipe, just for the follower who left that comment. {Better late, than never; Right?”

coconut cream pie – Ralph’s favorite

coconut cream pie

Coconut cream pie for Easter is Ralph’s favorite.

The only positive thing about not having the twins here for Easter dinner is being able to serve pie for dessert. To this day Meg still calls pie crust ‘bread’. When they were little, no matter what concoction of pie I served, their little faces were always disappointed. Meggie would try to explain, on behave of both of them, “it’s the bread Mom – it’s gross!” Somehow they saw pie as a sort of sandwich with the pie crust as the bread?? I’d like to think that it wasn’t a commentary on my pie making ability. YIKES! I never thought of that until now…

I promise my pie crust has improved vastly since Ralph’s mom shared her magic!

pie crust

This pie is something to serve when you are looking for spectacular! Spectacular is perfect for Easter.

coconut cream pie

COCONUT CREAM PIE

9 inch deep dish pie crust 2 ½ cups heavy cream 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut ½ cup sugar ¼ cup cornstarch 2 eggs, separated 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 3 tbsp flaked sweetened coconut, toasted

Prepare pie crust. Let cool.

Preheat oven 350*F for meringue topping

In saucepan, heat cream and coconut over medium heat until steaming.

In large bowl, whisk sugar with cornstarch; whisk in egg yolks until blended.

Whisk a large ladle of hot cream mixture into egg mixture. In a thin, steady stream, return eggs to saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 10 min or until thickened to pudding consistency. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Pour into cooled pie shell.

Beat egg whites with ¼ cup of white sugar until stiff peaks form. Dollop on top of pie filling then sprinkle top with toasted coconut.

Place in oven for 10 minutes or until top is lightly golden.

Allow pie to cool completely on a cooling rack then refrigerate for 1 hour or until set or for up to 1 day.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

THE LOVE: Make sure that your eggs are at room temperature to ensure you get lots of volume when you beat the whites for the topping.

printable copy

coconut cream pie

Have a Happy Easter and thanks for reading.

BITE by Michelle {Post #2}

  Here is another lovely & yummy looking {& super tasty I’m sure!!} from BITE by Michelle. My mother has some of these Eggplants in her Organic Garden, & I do believe we will have to try them like this!  

eggplant with yogurt dressing and za’atar – somebody’s comfort food

eggplant with yogurt dressing and za'atar

As I was preparing this baked eggplant with yogurt dressing from the newest edition to my happily growing cookbook collection, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, I was chuckling thinking about a conversation that I had a couple of days ago with co-workers.

eggplant with yogurt dressing and za'atar

We were reminiscing about comfort food from our childhoods. At first we were a little tentative to expose some of the wild combinations that to this day we continue to secretly crave. However, once we discovered that we’d all grown up on macaroni, hamburger and tomato casserole, the proverbial food gates opened! Kraft pizza was at the top of everyone’s list. Every household had their own combination of toppings. Mine was hot dogs and processed cheese slices. We were trying to create the illusion of a pepperoni and extra mozzarella!

eggplant with yogurt dressing and za'atar

Potato pancakes were served with apple sauce in some homes and molasses in others, fried bologna pronounced bah-loney sandwiches slathered with cheese whiz, macaroni and Campbell’s tomato soup…random quickly made cheap food that when push comes to shove ends up on our ‘top favorite food to eat’ lists.

eggplant with yogurt dressing and za'atar

I was eleven years old before I had ever seen a tossed salad. Lettuce was something that I picked off my sandwiches. One night, Mom placed a bowl of chopped up iceberg lettuce with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes in front of me and then passed me a bottle of Catalina salad dressing. I was fascinated with it’s beautiful shade of red and the tangy sweet aroma. It was love at first bite! I had yet to learn the art of tossing the vegetables to coat them in the dressing.  I was all about drowning my salad. I needed a spoon to eat it!

eggplant with yogurt dressing and za'atar

My fascination with food began in a very simple kitchen with very simple ingredients. Yet, as I was preparing the dish for this post, I realized that although my ingredients appear more sophisticated today, this is a very simple Middle Eastern dish. The only thing that’s changed with respect to my kitchen is the availability of foods. The produce aisle is over flowing with treasures from around the globe.

My kitchen is still creating comfort food but now it’s from all over the world.

eggplant with yogurt dressing and za'atar

EGGPLANT WITH YOGURT DRESSING AND ZA’ATAR       adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

2 Japanese long eggplants ¼ cup olive oil 2 tsp lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs to garnish sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 pomegranate, seeded 1 tsp za’atar

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplants in half length-ways, cutting straight through the green stalk. Make a criss-cross design in each eggplant half , without cutting through to the skin. Place the eggplant halves, cut-side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them equally with olive oil until all of the oil has been absorbed by the flesh. Sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes or until the flesh is soft and the topped is nicely browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until slightly warm.

DRESSING

2 tablespoons buttermilk 1/3 cup Greek yogurt 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish 1 small garlic clove, crushed Pinch of salt

Mix well.

ZA’ATAR

4 teaspoons dried lemon thyme leaves 2 teaspoons ground sumac 2 teaspoons sesame seeds toasted ½ teaspoon sea salt

Place ingredients in a mortar and pestle and grind to a powder

To serve, spoon yogurt dressing over the eggplant halves. Sprinkle with za’atar, pomegranate seeds and garnish with lemon thyme. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

THE LOVE: It’s not easy to find dried lemon thyme. I grow it in the summer time then dry it for winter use. If you can’t find it, you can easily substitute regular thyme.

printable copy

Thanks for reading.

BITE by Michelle {Post #1}

  I am absolutely IN L.O.V.E. with this blog that I found this past week, via a comment on my post. I am so much in L.O.V.E., that I want to show off a few of her posts; so the next few posts that I put up today, will be from her site. {Your blog, “Bite”, tickles me pink! Im always droooooling and wishing our oven worked so I could re-create some of your divine recipies! You put my “Volpe Recipes” page to shame. =] @BiteByMichelle!}

 

raspberry amaretto sorbet – a tongue wash

raspberry sorbet

Raspberry and amaretto is without a doubt one of the yummiest combinations for sorbet that I’ve made to date. The amaretto is the perfect blend of nutty and sweet to tackle the sour in the raspberries. Typically I would serve sorbet, if I wanted a light dessert – however… I told you a while ago that Chef Brewer and I had been auctioned off, at the Fundy Food Festival, to help raise money for the Saint John Boys and Girls Club. We offered to prepare a seven course Italian feast for eight dinner guests. Italian by Night owner Liz Rowe bought the groceries, server Fran Menton acted as sommelier and server and Andrew and I cooked. My raspberry amaretto sorbet didn’t win the dessert position on this menu. We used it as a palette cleanser!

Eating your way through seven courses may sound like a luxurious way to spend a Sunday evening but, if great care isn’t given to course selection and size, you could end up leaving the dinner table with gastro issues – not pretty! Having fed Ralph for the last twenty five years, I struggle constantly with portion control. I have a hard time remembering that not everyone has a six foot four frame to nourish! I’m digressing… Anyway, I wanted to make sure that our guests were able to enjoy the tour we had prepared without having to have an Alka Seltzer nightcap!

Instead of opening the evening with a selection of hors d’oeuvres, I stayed with Italian tradition. At a formal Italian dinner a simple offering of warmed almonds or olives would be passed with an aperitivi. We served olives marinated with citrus, garlic and a combination of herbs and spices with icy cold Prosecco. After our guests had a tour of the stunning harbour front penthouse, compliments of our hosts John and Gail Rocca, dinner was served.

I chose a decadent fruit and cheese combo to start. There were greens on the plate but really just so that I could call it a salad. It was all about the caramelized pears oozing over the slice of Gorgonzola Dolce. This is one of those dishes that inspire you to do a face plant on your plate. I knew from the ooh’s and aahh’s that I had a group of willing foodies. It was really exciting!

Andrew

The primi piatto or first plate following the antipasta was duck lasagna. Whole ducks are slow roasted until the leg meat is falling off the bone – while carefully watching the breast meat. The meat is then used to create a sort of duck bolognese. I layered fresh pasta with fresh mozzarella and the duck sauce for the lasagna. We served small portions with a garnish of oven roasted Portobello mushrooms and fresh thyme.

Now for the star attraction. After the intensity of the blue cheese and the richness of the duck, I needed to settle everyone’s tastebuds down with a cool, tart tongue bath. In little tiny bowls with little tiny spoons, we served the sorbet. Everyone got a kick out of the Alice in Wonderland sized utensils which not only caused some lively laughter and conversation but provided an unanticipated but greatly appreciated dining pause. Andrew and I took our time plating the secondi piatto or the second plate and had some fun taking photographs.

The Cornish hens had been deboned and marinated in olive oil and lemon juice then roasted with a sprinkling of sea salt flakes, freshly ground black pepper and a crushing of dried red pepper chilies. To combat the heat of the ‘diavolo’, we served half an endive wrapped in a thin slice of prosciutto baked in a Parmesan cream. I easily could have reduced the hen to half but as I said, “it’s a struggle!”

The pavlova is one of Italian by Night’s signature desserts and although it looks mamouth – cause it is – not a lick was left over.

We were not the only gig in town offering our service for a great cause. The foodies of Saint John united, stepped up to the stove and rocked it for the Saint |John Boys and Girls Club. A great event for a much greater organization. Thanks to all…

the table

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB DINNER

ANTIPASTA

Spring greens tossed in white wine butter reduction and topped with caramelized pear and Gorgonzola slice

PRIMI PIATTO

Roast duck lasagne topped with oven roasted Portobello mushrooms and fresh thyme

PIATTO DI MEZZO

Raspberry Amaretto Sorbet

SECONDO PIATTO

Cornish Hen Diavolo

Endive Wrapped in Prosciutto finished with cream

DOLCE

Pavlova

Espresso and Dried Cranberry and Pistachio Contucci

plating

pear salad

service

garnishing

pavlova

Raspberry Amaretto Sorbet

5 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed if frozen 1 cup water 1 cup sugar ¼ cup amaretto

Place water and sugar in a medium pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the syrup into a medium bowl and add raspberries, stir in amaretto.

Allow to chill for 2 hours in refrigerator

Pass mixture through a food mill using the smallest disc

Pour raspberry puree into a 2-quart ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions until almost set but still a little slushy, about 25 minutes.

Decant into a freezer proof container and freeze.

THE LOVE: This sorbet is intense. Best to serve tiny amounts with little spoons!

printable copy

hen

Thanks for reading.