Friday, June 30, 2017

BLACK BEAN, GRILLED CORN, & PEPPER SALSA

This salsa goes well with so many foods, especially quesadillas, grilled chicken, steak, or even salmon. It also makes a healthy lunch served over a bed of lettuce. 



2 ears of yellow corn
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
½ poblano pepper, seeded and diced
Juice of 1 lime
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ small red onion, diced
3 scallions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ t fresh or freeze-dried oregano
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Place corn on a grill and lightly brown on all sides. 
You can also place the corn on a baking sheet and broil until lightly brown on all sides.


In a medium size bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients together and set aside.

When the corn is cool, cut off the kernels and add to the salsa in the bowl.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Set aside for 30 minutes before serving for the flavors to develop.

Serves 6



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON & APPLES

This may be a recipe to get you to love Brussels sprouts. How could you not like something with bacon, apples, lemon juice, and Parmigiano cheese?



4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 apple, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place bacon in a large cast-iron skillet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer bacon to a plate and set aside.
Add Brussels sprouts to skillet and toss to coat with bacon drippings.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place skillet back in oven and bake 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and add diced apple and bacon.
Toss to combine and bake another 15 minutes until sprouts are tender and browned.

Remove from oven and add lemon zest, juice, and cheese.
Toss to combine and spoon into a warm serving bowl or platter.


Serves 6

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SWEET POTATO TOASTS

I had 3 of these for lunch today. It is a healthy alternative to a sandwich and especially good for people who are gluten intolerant. You get 6 slices out of one large sweet potato. I had 3 for lunch and my husband opted to have something completely different. That's okay, I put the other 3 wrapped up in the refrigerator for me tomorrow.



1 large sweet potato
2 T almond butter or peanut butter
14 blueberries
2 T pomegranate seeds
4 oz goat cheese, room temperature
2 T pesto
2 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
6 slices cucumber
1 t snipped chives
Sprinkling of dill

Scrub potato thoroughly and with a very sharp and heavy knife, slice off each side and then slice the potato into 6 slices.

Place in a toaster and toast until softened and lightly browned.

Place all 6 slices on a work surface.

Spread two slices with almond butter or peanut butter.
Top with blueberries and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Spread the next 4 slices with the softened goat cheese.

Drizzle a little pesto on 2 slices and top with tomato slices.

Top the last 2 slices with cucumber slices, sprinkle with the snipped chives and a little sprinkling of dill.


Serves 2

Sunday, June 25, 2017

SMOKED SALMON SPREAD

Serve this spread with crackers or crostini for a delicious appetizer.


8 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ cup half-and-half
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 t lemon juice
A few dashes of hot sauce
¼ t Worcestershire sauce
4 oz alder or other smoked salmon, gently shredded

Mix the cream cheese and half-and-half in a bowl. 
Stir in the scallions, lemon juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire. 
Mix in the smoked salmon and transfer to a serving bowl.

Makes about 1 ½ cups


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

KENTUCKY BREAD PUDDING WITH PECAN CRUNCH TOPPING & BOURBON SAUCE

My grandmother, Annie Louise Middleton, was born and raised in Kentucky. This is the most delicious recipe for bread pudding. You can leave out the Bourbon, if you prefer.




1 loaf of challah or brioche bread, cut into cubes (or a good quality country white bread)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.


Spread bread cubes on two rimmed baking sheets.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
At the same time, spread pecans on a small baking sheet and bake along with bread cubes, for 10 minutes only.

Remove bread cubes and pecans. Let cool completely.


(1) Pudding
2 cups whole milk                               
½ cup heavy cream     
½ cup granulated sugar
2 t pure vanilla extract            
¼ t sea salt                  
3 large egg yolks                                         

(2) Pecan Crunch Topping
½ cup brown sugar 
½ cup toasted and chopped pecans                                    
2 t cinnamon   
1 t ground cardamom
3 T softened butter                                            

(3) Bourbon Crème Anglaise
1 cup whole milk                                           
1 cup heavy cream                                         
4 large egg yolks      
½ cup granulated sugar
1 t pure vanilla extract            
¼ cup Kentucky bourbon (optional, of course)                                
(1) In a large glass measuring pitcher or bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, and egg yolks until mixture is smooth.
Spread bread cubes out into a baking dish or individual custard cups, as shown.
Pour custard over bread, leaving tops of bread exposed. 
Let sit on the counter for 20 minutes while you make the Crunch Topping.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the center of the oven.

(2) In a small bowl, combine the Pecan Crunch Topping mixture.
Sprinkle mixture evenly over the bread pudding.

Place the baking dish into a large roasting pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
Bake pudding for about 45 to 50 minutes until top is lightly browned.

(3) In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the milk and cream. 
Heat until just below boiling. 
In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar. 
Add ½ cup of the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture and whisk to temper the eggs. 
Pour the tempered egg mixture into the pan with the rest of the cream mixture. 
Over low heat, stir with a wooden spoon and let mixture thicken to coat the back of the spoon. Do not boil. 
Stir in the vanilla and bourbon and keep warm.

When ready to serve the bread pudding, pour the Crème Anglaise through a fine mesh strainer into a gravy boat and pour over the servings of puddings.


Serves 4 to 6




Monday, June 12, 2017

LEMON-RICOTTA-BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Lemon juice and zest give the pancakes a citrus zing. Ricotta cheese gives the pancakes a fluffy texture. Blueberries give the pancakes a traditional fruity flavor...for a perfect Sunday morning breakfast.



1 cup all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
Pinch of fine sea salt

½ cup whole milk

½ cup ricotta cheese
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 T honey

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.


In another bowl, whisk together the milk, ricotta, melted butter, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey.


Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture.
Gently whisk together being careful not to over mix.
The batter should be slightly lumpy. Set batter aside for 15 minutes.

Heat griddle and brush lightly with some oil.


Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.


Using a ¼ cup measure or an ice cream scoop, pour batter in pools, 2 inches apart.


Keep pancakes warm in the oven while cooking the rest.


Makes 14 to 16 pancakes


Saturday, June 10, 2017

OLD-FASHIONED BUTTER BRICKLE ICE CREAM

When I was a child growing up in Washington, DC, I loved to go to High's Ice Cream Store and buy a cone of Butter Brickle Ice Cream for 5 cents. It was my absolute favorite flavor. My second favorite was Chocolate Ripple.
I think this recipe is even better than what I remember. The toffee bits are easy to make but if you don't want to make it, look for a bag of either Heath's Toffee Bits or Bits O Brickle in your super market. 



Homemade Toffee
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup light brown sugar
6 T unsalted butter

Butter Brickle Ice Cream
2 T unsalted butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups half-and-half
1 t pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Pinch of sea salt

To Make the Homemade Toffee:
In a small saucepan, add the brown sugar and butter.
Bring to a boil, lower heat slightly and let gently boil until a candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees F.
Pour mixture onto a baking sheet and allow to cool completely.
Once it is cooled, break up the toffee into pieces and place in a resealable plastic bag.
Using a rolling pin, break up the toffee into small pieces.

To Make the Ice Cream:
In a large saucepan over low heat, warm the butter, brown sugar, and half-and-half until the butter and sugar have melted.
Turn off heat and add the vanilla extract.
Let cool to room temperature and then add the heavy cream.
Pour into a covered container and refrigerate until completely chilled.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze, according to manufacture’s instructions.

Scoop ice cream out of ice cream maker, into a large covered container and stir in the toffee bits.
Freeze until ready to serve.

Makes 1 quart