15 Aug Cajun Fried Okra

Ingredients

  • 6 cups oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds fresh okra, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun spice
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions

1.  Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F. (You may not need to use this much oil; do not fill the pan more than halfway up the sides with oil.)

2.  In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, House Seasoning (see below), and Cajun spice.

3.  Dip okra in buttermilk and then dredge in cornmeal-flour mixture to coat well.

4.  Carefully add okra to the hot oil and cook until golden brown. (It may be necessary to fry the okra in batches.) Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and then serve immediately. 6-10 servings

 

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

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15 Aug Okra and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh okra, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped, 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chicken base
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, fresh ground black pepper

Directions

1.  Cook bacon slightly. Saute onion and garlic with bacon until tender.

2.  Add tomatoes, chicken base, sugar and pepper. Stir well and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed.

3.  Meanwhile wash okra and remove fuzz and cut into pieces. Add the okra and simmer until okra is done, about 20 more minutes. 4 servings

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03 Aug Marinated Vegetable Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbp Dijon mustard, 1 tbp minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup bottled cherry peppers, halved
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

Directions

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, sugar, and pepper. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, cherry pepper halves, zucchini, carrots, and onion.

2. Pour the dressing mixture over the vegetables, tossing gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally- 8 servings

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03 Aug Pasta with Garden Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella

Ingredients

  • 2/3 pound fresh mozzarella (1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup olive oil, 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic1 pound pasta
  • 4 cups chopped vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil

Directions
1. Toss mozzarella and salt together, and set aside. Fill a medium stockpot with water and bring to a boil.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very tender — about 10 minutes.

3. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Add the tomatoes to the cooked onions, and increase the heat to medium-high. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender — about 5 minutes.

4. Drain the pasta, and toss into the tomato-onion mixture to evenly coat. Remove from the heat and stir in the salted mozzarella and 1/4 cup Romano cheese.

5. Transfer to a large platter and garnish with fresh basil leaves and remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Serve immediately. 8 servings

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27 Jul Watermelon, Heirloom Tomato, and Feta Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup (1-inch) cubed red seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup (1-inch) cubed seeded yellow watermelon
  • 1/4 cup vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

1.  Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.

2.  Add tomato, watermelon, and onion; toss to coat.

3.  Sprinkle with cheese; toss gently. Makes 6 servings.

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27 Jul 3 Melon Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cubed cantaloupe
  • 3 cups cubed watermelon
  • 3 cups cubed honeydew
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8-ounce container mozzarella bocconcini, drained and cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1.  Place the melon cubes in a large bowl. Add the basil and combine well.

2.  Drizzle the honey over the melon. Add the mozzarella, jalapeno (if desired), and salt. Toss again and serve. Serves 4-6

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20 Jul Blueberry Spinach Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (soft blue cheeses like gorgonzola work well in chunks, too)

Directions

1.  Pick over the spinach leaves, removing any bruised or wilting leaves and large, fibrous stems. Clean and dry the spinach leaves. Place them in a large serving bowl or divide between 6 to 8 individual salad plates.

2.  Sprinkle spinach with blueberries and blue cheese. Drizzle on dressing of your choice and serve immediately. Vinaigrette or Blue Cheese dressing works well.

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20 Jul Tips for Buying and Storing Blueberries

Choosing Blueberries
Even perfectly ripe blueberries don’t have much of a scent, so use your eyes first.
First- Look for dark blue blueberries that have a slight white-silvery bloom on them. Avoid purplish or greenish berries and pint containers that include them since it’s a sign that the blueberries were picked indiscriminately and not at their peak.
Second- Use your hand. Blueberries should feel heavy for their amount.
Third- Give a few berries a taste. They should burst when you bite them and be tart but sweet.

Storing Blueberries
Pick through the blueberries when you get them home and remove any smashed, cut, or damaged blueberries (they will mold quickly and damage the other berries). Blueberries are best used as soon as possible. Store them on the counter in a colander over a bowl with an ice pack in it to help keep them cool if you’re going to eat them within a day or two. Otherwise, store them in an air-tight container in the fridge, but not in the drawer where it gets too humid. Just-picked blueberries will keep up to a week properly stored.
Note: Do not rinse or wash blueberries until you’re ready to use them – the moisture will shorten their storage span considerably!

Freezing Blueberries
Freezing your own ample blueberry harvest is easy. Rinse blueberries and pat them dry. Lay them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Put them in the freezer until frozen solid, usually overnight does it. Transfer to resealable plastic bags, squeezing out as much air as possible, and keep frozen until ready to use. For most baked goods, you can use the berries straight from the freezer – they’ll defrost as the pie or tart or cake bakes.

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13 Jul Fresh Peach Crisp

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1.  Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Preheat oven to 375°.

2.  Slice peeled, pitted peaches into the prepared baking dish.

3.  Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.

4.  Sprinkle crumbs evenly over peaches in baking dish.

5.  Bake at 375° for 45 to 50 minutes, until topping is golden brown and peaches are tender. Serve peach crisp warm with cream or whipped topping.

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06 Jul Roasted Cherry Tomato Chutney on Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 2-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 pints cherry and/or grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 8 -ounce container bite-size fresh mozzarella balls, cut up
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chicken broth

Directions

1.  Brush cut sides of squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash halves, cut sides down, in a large baking dish. Prick the skin all over with a fork. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degrees oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender.

2.  Place cherry tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, minced garlic and salt to taste; stir well to coat. Place tomato mixture in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in oven with the squash for the last 20 minutes.

3.  In a large skillet, bring the chicken broth to boiling; add onion. Cook about 3 minutes or just until tender. Remove skillet from heat. Add roasted tomatoes to the skillet with the onion. Using a fork gently press down on tomatoes to pop their skin and release their juice. Add mozzarella, basil and mint to the tomato mixture; toss well.

4.  Using a fork, remove the squash pulp from shell. Top squash with tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese.

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