Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Corn Salad

You don't need exact amounts of anything for this salad. I added what felt and looked right for all the ingredients so the amounts below are estimates. Just have fun with it. Sometimes it feels good not to measure :)

8 ears of corn, husked
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or sliced depending on the size
1/2-1 small red onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green pepper, diced
12 oz canned black beans, drained and rinsed
cilantro (1/4-1/2 cup)
olive oil (approx. 1/4 cup)
juice of 1 lime
about 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil water in large pot and cook corn for 2-3 minutes. Remove from water and cool. Slice off the kernels.
2. Mix tomatoes, onion, celery, beans, and cilantro with corn in a large bowl. Stir in olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper.
Tastes best when chilled.

Makes approx. 8 servings

Another fun variation is to add sour cream instead of the oil and vinegar.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pork Kebabs with Plums, Nectarines and Honey-Mint Glaze

 This is a great summer meal. It is pretty simple, fast, and delicious. The sweet honey glaze caramelizes slightly during grilling and complements the pork and fruit. It is a good time to try this out since local plums and nectarines are in!

4-5 plums or nectarines each cut into 1 inch wedges (I used both)
2-12 oz (or equivalent) pork tenderloins, each cut crosswise into 8 pieces
1 tsp. plus 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. orange juice
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint

1. Heat grill. Thread plums/nectarines onto metal (or soaked wood) skewers. Thread pork on skewers and sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt.
2. Combine honey, orange juice, oil, crushed red pepper and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Reserve 2 Tbsp. of the mixture.
3. Oil grill grate. Grill skewers, covered over medium heat or coals 8-10 minutes or until pork is pale pink in the cener and fruit is tender, turning to brown on both sides and basting occasionally with honey mixture.
4. Drizzle skewers with reserved honey mixture and sprinkle with mint.

makes 4 servings.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chicken with Cherry-Tarragon Sauce

So, after a two week break, due to our vacation, I decided to post what we had for dinner last night. We really enjoyed it. I actually forgot to take pictures until the food was mostly consumed. After an "oh no!" moment, I gathered up the last bits for a photo shoot. Kind of sad. Sigh... :)
You can use delicious local Lapin cherries for this one. It is actually quite a simple recipe. The only time consuming part is pitting the cherries (unless you happen to have a handy cherry pitter, which I don't).

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. dry mustard
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups fresh pitted dark sweet cherries
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh tarragon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry red wine or cherry juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups hot cooked couscous* (or rice)

1. In a shallow dish combine flour, paprika, mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Coat chicken with this mixture.
2. In a skillet, cook chicken in hot oil over medium to medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning once. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.
2. Add cherries, tarragon, and garlic to skillet. Cover and stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in wine (or juice) and broth. Simmer uncovered, 3-5 minutes or until sauce is reduced to 2 cups. Stir in butter until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
3. To serve, spoon sauce over chicken and serve with couscous. You can sprinkle with additional tarragon.

makes 4 servings

*to make couscous, bring 2 3/4 cup water to a boil. Add 1 tsp. salt, stir, and add 1 1/2 cup couscous. Remove from heat and let sit covered for about 5 minutes (until all the water is absorbed). Fluff with a fork.