Posts made in August, 2015

The World is Your Oyster

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Salad | 1 comment

So hey, MP and I zigzagged through the Saturday morning farmers’ market assaulted by crazy heat, mishandled carts, and wonky shoppers lollygagging in troupes.  Vendors rapidly replenished mounds of fine stone fruits, figs, squashes, green beans, peppers and brilliant heirloom tomatoes; peak August bounty.

 

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Reining myself in from Dragon Fruit—hoping to stick to a loose plan guided by our path led me to a box of dark burgundy wrinkled fruit (I assumed), the general size and shape of a lime. Picking several up, one at a time, and rolling each around offered me no additional clues; except some seemed heavier and others, rather hollow.

Simply because he looked cheffy, I turned up to a focused young man sorting through gnarly turmeric roots and said, “What are these?”

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Jumping in with full knowledge and eagerness to share, the curly haired blue-eyed cook demonstrated how to choose passion fruit, slice and scoop flesh for proper sauces.   The pesky wrinkles don’t matter much (music to my aging ears) but, heavier fruit is fuller and ripe with lush flesh. Not knowing what the heck I would say to appear creative, I mentioned that maybe it would emulsify a vinaigrette.  I chose two dark hued slightly withered beauties and a bag of zesty shishito peppers for a pizza.

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Later that day, I rinsed a passion fruit and sawed it in half with a serrated knife as instructed.  With my audible surprise, which I never imagined, the pod opened and released a full on exotic fragrance dripping of sweet floral, honey-ness; filling the too hot kitchen with a heady note I knew –but from not where.  Certainly this ripe, dense flesh would replace Dijon.

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With a pinch of salt, a turn of pepper and a spoon of red wine vinegar and olive oil, Passion Fruit Vinaigrette was nobly birthed. Or so it seemed.

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Our salad platter included peppery wild arugula tossed with my conception and shards of Parmesan cheese.  Hmmm… the flavor and subtle fragrance were enchanting, but little did I expect the little dark seeds would crunch like gravel in our mouths!  Denied by one pod; I intend to stay in my lane, use a pulverizing mini prep and begin again.  Or, suck it out like an oyster!

ba-dum-bum-CHING…

 

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Pretty Please with a Moon on Top

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Desserts | 0 comments

 

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It’s the last sweltering Friday of August. Tonight, another glowing supermoon will tower high; after dusk.

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Why not concoct a batch of thick dark hot fudge sauce to drip over cold sweet vanilla ice cream; then whipped cream, topped with tiny crunchy nuts; and of course, the ubiquitous weird cherry.

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This delicious, decadent Hot Fudge Sauce created by the Brown Eyed Baker

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simmers up quickly by bringing heavy cream, syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and half of the chocolate to a boil.  I used Trader Joes, 72% bittersweet chocolate (about 13 squares total).

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Reduce the chocolate to a low simmer and stir it occasionally for 5 minutes.

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Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate, butter, and vanilla; stir until smooth.

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Dive in...

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Alfresco Days are Here to Stay

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Chicken and Turkey | 0 comments

Here they come.  Food magazines line up revealing summer’s demise and hyping the amazing flavors of fall. Ah, I sigh, not here in Cali.  Garden and green plush lawns are gone; water restrictions sadly display a seemingly endless drought.  So for us grilling season runs through Christmas counting on El Niño to patch us up.

Tandoori Chicken is a great way to plump alfresco-style picnics and potlucks since it is served hot off the grill or portable at room temperature. And, why not indulge in a drum and a thigh setting aside weary boneless, skinless breasts for the harsh winter ahead.

 

Indeed, another plus is the make-ahead dynamic, meaning you could have prepped this yesterday.

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Few ingredients make this simple enough to prepare a double or triple batch. (Drumsticks are beloved by children).

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First, sizzle up the spice blend in a bit of oil, which handily removes rawness and busts out fragrant exotic spice notes in less than a minute.

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Pour red wine vinegar over the spices and stir.  Place the yogurt in a medium bowl; slide the spice mixture into the yogurt to combine.

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Now, drape each piece of chicken in the yogurt mixture to coat.  Cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours.  Set up a direct and indirect grilling pattern.  Over moderate heat set the skin side pieces on a well-oiled grill over direct heat.  Let each piece grill without disturbing until it releases easily –don’t rip off the skin—is what I’m saying.  Turn the pieces over and grill until lightly browned and move to indirect heat to finish.  Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.

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Serve hot or at room temperature with your best, best sides.

Green Bean Potato Salad

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Bulgur and Blueberry Salad with Mint Dressing

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 Caprese

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Grilled Tandoori-style Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds bone-in skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons each, curry powder and kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, like Fage
  • Vegetable oil for grill

Instructions

  1. Mix the spices together in a bowl. Heat the oil in a small non-stick skillet over low heat. Stir in the spices and heat until they become fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Stir in vinegar. Add the yogurt to a medium bowl. Add the spice mixture to the bowl to combine; add chicken thighs and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours. When ready to cook, heat a grill to medium -high and coat with vegetable oil. Place each thigh on the grill skin side down resisting the urge to move, grill the thighs until the skin side has dark grill marks and releases easily to turn (about 5-6 minutes). Turn and grill the other side 4-5 minutes longer. Move the thighs to indirect heat cover and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Or move the thighs to an oven-proof baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until done. Set thighs on a platter and let rest before serving.
  2. The recipe easily doubles.
  3. --adapted from Fine Living
http://cococooks.net/alfresco-days-are-here-to-stay/

 

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These are the Nights

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in New | 0 comments

Guest blogger today!

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As summer dwindles down,

we decided to make one last memory…

The sun set slowly behind the clouds as we

delighted ourselves in a feast.

Night swimming and blanket cuddles,

Good laughs and good people,

Brisk breeze and stunning sunsets,

These are the nights we will remember.

“You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.  Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” --Ecclesiastes 11:9

Xoxo, Madelynne

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Pathways

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Salad | 0 comments

Beefsteak Short Stack with Avocado, Buffalo Mozzarella, Arugula, and Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

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Engaging our creativity, whether by coloring, cooking, making business deals, or sculpting a work of art, enables us to be more ourselves than at any other time in our daily routines. In losing ourselves in a creative act, we find our true self as well as a pathway to experience the presence of God. In the creative act, whatever the medium, we mirror God's creativity.

-- Karla Kincannon in Alive Now Magazine, published by

The Upper Room, Nashville, TN.   Used with permission.

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