Posts Tagged 'kosher salt'

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

 

Have a surplus of summer squash?

Zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant have thrived in my veggie garden this summer. I keep looking for new ways to enjoy my garden’s bounty! This salad is one of my favorite.

This is a quick and  easy vegetarian salad you can make with grilled summer squashes.

The base of the salad is quinoa. It you are not familiar with it, quinoa is a high-protein, gluten-free grain that cooks much like rice and has a texture similar to couscous. It makes a delicious and healthy base for a salad.

Enjoy!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Vegetable oil, for the grill basket or screen
1 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups quinoa, cooked per package directions
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup finely shopped fresh cilantro

Preheat a clean grill with a grill basket or screen to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Light brush the grill basket or screen with oil.

In a large bowl toss together the red onion, eggplant, red bell pepper, zucchini, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the vegetables to the grill basket. Close the lid and cook, turning once or twice, until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Place the prepared quinoa in a large bowl.  Add the grilled vegetables and toss to combine.

In a small bowl whisk together the remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro. Serve warm or chilled.

Serves 4.

Do-Ahead: The quinoa can be made a day ahead. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Grill Pan Friendly: The veggies can be grilled indoors on a grill pan.

Source: Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Sweet Potato Casserole

People either love the idea … or hate it.  But in my opinion, sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving must be topped with marshmallows!

This is the recipe that I have been enjoying at our family’s table since I was a little girl.  Without a doubt it will be on our Thanksgiving table this year.

My good friend Allison Lemm makes a delicious Bourbon Pecan version of this recipe worth trying. Stir 2 tablespoons of bourbon into the sweet potato mixture and add a 1/4 cup of toasted chopped pecans to the marshmallow topping.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
8 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with butter and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and bake until fork tender, about 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and, using a spoon, scoop the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Discard the skins. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potato flesh until smooth. Add the butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon and level the mixture into the prepared dish. Evenly top with a single layer of marshmallows. Bake until the marshmallows are puffed and golden and the potatoes are heated through, about 30 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

Do-Ahead: This can be made a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before baking.

Time-Saving Tip: I prefer the flavor of freshly baked sweet potatoes. But if you are short on time, you can boil peeled and cubed sweet potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes, and drain well. Precooked sweet potatoes, which can be found in the grocery freezer section, are another short cut.

Wild Mushroom, Rosemary, and Hazelnut Dressing

I am a huge fan of dressing … any time of year.  To me, a good dressing is one of the ultimate comfort foods.

This dressing gets a modern … and flavorful … spin with the use of a crusty artisan rosemary bread as the base. It is delicious with turkey but also pairs nicely with red meat.

If serving this at the holidays or for a dinner party, take advantage of the many steps that can be done in advance. You can toast the bread a day or two ahead and store the cooled croutons in a resealable plastic bag. The hazelnuts can be toasted several days ahead as well. The mushrooms and onions can be cleaned and cut the day ahead and stored separately in the fridge. Then the day you plan to serve the dish, all you have to do is assemble the ingredients and pop your casserole dish into the oven.

Enjoy!

Wild Mushroom, Rosemary, and Hazelnut Dressing

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
1 1-pound loaf rosemary bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
8 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
3/4 pound fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed, and coarsely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

Place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven until the bread is toasted dry and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the button mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the white wine and over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the bread and hazelnuts, and toss to combine.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the stock and eggs. Add to the bread mixture and toss to evenly coat.

Transfer the dressing to the prepared baking dish. Bake, loosely covered with foil, until set and warmed through, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is browned, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 6 to 8.

From: Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

 

Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad

I have always loved a light and refreshing Tomato and Cucumber Salad.  It is so easy to make and truly lets the flavors of summer produce shine through.

Two years ago we planted our first garden.  No one told me that 8 cucumber plants is way too much for a family of four!  So needless to say I was whipping up this salad every week with tomatoes I bought at the farmers market.

Last year we added tomatoes to our garden but they didn’t fare so well with the extreme heat we had in Tennessee last summer. (I have to admit it may have also had something to do with the fact that we didn’t add any compost or lime to the dirt!)

This summer is our third year of gardening and it looks like we are finally getting the hang of it! We are already on to a bumper crop of tomatoes of all varieties … and I only planted 3 cucumber plants (which will still be more than enough to feed our family!).

To make my version of this “fresh from the garden” salad, I love using all types of tomatoes … heirlooms of all shades and sizes. I also throw in sweet Vidalia onions in lieu of the white onions the classic recipe calls for.  Fresh basil from the garden also adds a delicious touch to this dish.

Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad

4 small Kirby cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
4 heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
1/4 cup thinly sliced Vidalia onions
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions in a large bowl. Add the vinegar, olive oil, and basil and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cooking Tip: If you can’t find heirloom tomatoes near you, this salad would also be delicious with any ripe tomato from garden or market.

Herb Roasted Potatoes

Herb Roasted Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the potatoes, oil, rosemary, and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread out the potatoes in a single layer.

Roast, stirring once halfway through cooking, until potatoes are golden brown and crisp outside and tender inside, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cooking Tip: Fresh thyme is a delicious addition to the mix or substitute for the rosemary.

 

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits with Honey-Baked Ham

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits with Honey-Baked Ham

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 pound honey-baked ham, sliced

To make the biscuits:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until coarse crumbs form, about 30 to 45 seconds.

Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. Add the cheese to the dough and mix only until roughly combined.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead gently until well combined, about 5 or 6 times. Pat out dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Using 3-inch-diameter cookie cutter, cut out biscuits. Gather scraps, pat out to 3/4-inch thickness and cut additional biscuits.

Place biscuits on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the beaten egg. Bake until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through, about 18 to 22 minutes.

To assemble the sandwiches:

Cut the ham slices into pieces slightly larger than the biscuits. Using a sharp bread knife, split the biscuits. Fill each biscuit with 1 or 2 pieces of the ham to make a sandwich. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 biscuits.

Cooking Tip: Don’t feel like cutting out the biscuits? No worries. This recipe also works for drop biscuits. Just scoop about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the dough, roll into a ball, lightly press to flatten, and bake as directed above.

 

 

Fig Ripple Ice Cream

 

My grandmother used to have a fig tree outside her kitchen door.  I have vivid memories of my Dad heading straight out the door to pick a few the moment we would arrive for a visit.  As a kid, I have to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of figs.  The only way I ever ate them was overly processed in a Fig Newton!  But thank goodness my taste buds matured! Now, just like my Dad, I can’t get enough of this luscious fruit.

Recently, a friend dropped off a huge container of figs she picked at her in-laws farm.  There were definitely more of these ripe little treasures than I could reasonably snack on before they would turn bad.  So I decided to try to imitate a version of a divine ice cream Chef Stephen Hassinger at the Inn at Hunt Phelan (Memphis, TN) dishes up each summer.

First, I made a quick and easy jam with the ripe figs.  Some recipes may call for peeling the figs but I think leaving the fig skins on makes for an even more intense flavor. (Plus it’s easier!) Instead of plain vanilla for the ice cream base, I added a bit of sour cream.  The tartness of the sour cream offered a nice contrast to the sweetness of the figs.  Praline pecans were an added crunchy indulgence.

Hope you enjoy this creamy treat as much as we did!

Fig Ripple Ice cream

For the Fig Jam:
1 ½ pounds ripe figs, stems removed, unpeeled
1/3 cup sugar

For the Vanilla-Sour Cream Ice Cream Base:
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream 

1/2 cup chopped Praline Pecans (optional)

For the Fig Jam:
Puree the figs in a food processor or blender. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the fig puree and the sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the figs have thickened into a jam, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Ice Cream:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, whipping cream and vanilla extract. Cook over medium heat until just simmering.  Do not boil.

Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking as you pour.

Return the cream mixture to the saucepan.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 6 minutes. Strain the custard into a clean bowl. Whisk in the sour cream. Cool the custard over an ice bath until room temperature.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.    

Freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions.

After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done), add the fig jam, 1 spoonful at a time, and the pecans. Then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Serves 8.  

Cooking Tips:
This fig jam recipe is so tasty.  Feel free to save a little for your morning toast.  It will keep in your refrigerator, covered, for one week.

If figs aren’t in season, you can still enjoy this ice cream.  Substitute your favorite jarred Fig Jam/Preserves.

Tomato Tart

This quick and easy Tomato Tart is one of my favorite summer-time treats.  It is so easy to make and so tasty.

I like to mix it up and use both red and yellow tomatoes as well as cherry tomatoes.

Enjoy!

Tomato Tart

1 9-inch tart pan lined with pie crust (store-bought is a great shortcut)
3 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch thick slices
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bake until the crust is light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

While the crust is baking, sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and drain in a colander for 10 to 15 minutes.

Spread the mustard over the bottom of the pie crust and sprinkle the cheese over it. Arrange the tomatoes over the cheese in 1 overlapping layer. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the tomatoes are very soft, 35 to 40 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the basil, garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the pie with this mixture while hot and spread out gently with the back of a spoon. Serve the pie hot or at room temperature.

Serves 6 to 8.

Cooking Tip: Sharp white cheddar is an acceptable substitute for the Gruyere cheese.

BBQ Chicken Salad

When I was on Martha Stewart Living’s Everyday Food Radio Program today talking to host Betsy Karetnick talking about Summertime Salad Suppers, this tasty salad came to mind. 

With the grilled chicken, black bean & corn salsa, and sliced avocados, this salad satisfies as a main course without being too heavy.  It is the perfect summer time meal!

I like to make the black bean & corn salsa and the buttermilk dressing in advance, so when dinner time comes around…I can just sit on my back porch and enjoy the summer evening while my chicken is grilling.

Enjoy!

BBQ Chicken Salad with Black Bean and Corn Salsa
From Simply Salads by Jennifer Chandler

Cowboys look out! This salad combines the best of the Southwest all in one dish.

For the Black Bean and Corn Salsa:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, cooked as per package directions, drained, and cooled
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup your favorite BBQ Sauce
1 bag (12 ounces) American or Romaine salad blend
2 ripe avocados, halved, pit removed, peeled, and thinly sliced
2 cups tortilla chips

For the Black Bean and Corn Salsa:
Combine the black beans, corn, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, oil, vinegar, and cayenne in a medium-size mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 day in advance.

For the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:
In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, cider vinegar, garlic, mustard, thyme, and chives.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the salad:
Place the chicken breasts in a large bowl and coat with BBQ sauce.  Cover and marinate in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat a clean grill to medium-high.  Season the marinated chicken with salt and pepper.  Grill until no longer pink in the middle, 6 to 8 minutes per side.  Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.

Divide the salad blend equally among the individual plates.  Drizzle with the dressing to taste.  Arrange on top a generous spoonful of the black bean and corn salsa, the sliced avocados, tortilla chips, and a chicken breast.  Serve immediately.

Makes 4 dinner salads.

Cooking Tip:  The black bean and corn slaw is such a versatile…and tasty… condiment.  Serve as a dip with chips, serve it with fajitas, or bring it to a barbecue as a side dish.

Asparagus with Browned Butter

Fresh asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. Not only are asparagus delicious, their appearance signals that the seasons are finally changing. They herald the beginning of Spring. Warmer weather is on the way. 

Whereas imported asparagus is available year-round, the stalks of a tender, freshly-picked asparagus offer a flavor far more sublime than the out-of-season variety. 

When buying asparagus, look for firm, bright green stalks with tightly closed tips.  The ends of asparagus spears tend to be tough and woody. To trim, simply bend each stalk and it will naturally break off in just the right spot.

I think aparagus are best when they are simply prepared. I cook them in salted water just until they are vibrant green yet still crisp tender. I then drizzle them with butter that has been slightly browned to give it a nutty flavor.

Enjoy!

Asparagus with Browned Butter

Brown butter is one of my signature cooking “tricks.” I use it to season vegetables, as a sauce for roasted fish, and have even drizzled it into cake batter. The classic French term for this cooking technique is beurre noisette, which literally translates to “hazelnut butter.” By slightly browning the butter, you give it a delicious nutty flavor.  Be careful though, this sauce is ready the moment it starts to brown. If you overcook it, it will taste burnt.

Kosher salt
1 bunch (about 1 pound) asparagus, tough woody ends snapped off and discarded
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper

Over high heat, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until vibrant green and crisp tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain the asparagus. Set aside.

Wipe the pot dry. Add the butter and over medium-high heat, cook, swirling the pot occasionally, until the butter stops foaming and begins to brown. Remove from the heat. Add the asparagus and toss until well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Do-Ahead: The process of par-cooking a vegetable in boiling salted water is called blanching. Blanching prevents the vegetable from being over-cooked when reheated, or in this case, tossed with the brown butter. You can use this same technique to cook vegetables in advance. When you drain the blanched vegetable, immediately immerse it in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain again and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Jennifer Chandler

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