Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer Recipes

I’ve cooked a lot in the past couple of days and I have food wheeling through my mind.   Below are some quick summer recipes for you to make for yourself or for your near and dears.   

Asparagus Pesto – I prefer this to standard basil pesto and it has this incredible minty green color and is lighter and more abundant.  – Trim asparagus and break off into 2 inch pieces or so, blanche till tender (get water to a boil and then turn off heat and put whatever vegetable into water for about 1-3 mins), drain, run cold water over asparagus till cool, let sit to dry.  Grate parmesan cheese, crush garlic (2-5 bulbs as you like it), put asparagus, parmesan, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil (as much to have moist), salt, pepper into blender/processor and blend till smooth.  Add more olive oil if dry, you can also add water if you don’t want to have lots of oil.  Serve over fish, pasta or use as a spread. Can be saved in fridge for a few days but not too long as it browns quickly. 

Watermelon Salad – It’s yummy and can be a nice sweet/savory salad with a summer meal.  Cube watermelon to bite size, thinly sliced red onion slivers, scallions chopped, toss with balsamic and a touch of cayenne pepper.  You can add feta or another crumbly soft cheese if you like. 

Greyhound – Fresh grapefruit juice from 1 whole grapefruit, seltzer, vodka, ice.  Makes one serving.

Tomato Tower – Fresh ripe tomatoes in variety of color, similar in size.  Slice into thick sections horizontally.  Layer tomato slices with basil, mozzarella or olive tapenade (pitted olives, garlic, parsley, capers, olive oil, pepper, pureed).  Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic, course salt and pepper. 

Avocado, Coconut Smoothie – Tastes like a milkshake, it’s amazingly filling.  One ripe avocado, chop roughly.  One cold Thai young coconut.  Put avocado, coconut water and meat (white fleshy interior of coconut) into blender.  You can add ice cubes if you want it to be super slushy like. 

Fruit Crumble – All the fresh fruit you can get your hands on.  I prefer, peaches and a variety of berries.  Place in a tart pan or something shallow that can go into the oven.  For the crumble mix uncooked oatmeal, brown sugar, white sugar, soft (not melted) butter, cinnamon. Mix these ingredients by hand until lumpy, crumbly.  Sprinkle on top of fruit.  Cook in oven (preheated to 350 degrees) at 350 degrees for 20 mins or until crumble is brown.  Serve warm or cool.  Great with vanilla ice cream. 

Grilled Corn – If you don’t have a grill or you don’t want to go to the trouble of grilling, this is an easy substitute.  Husk corn, rinse and let dry.  Turn stovetop burner to low/medium heat.  Place corn directly on rack.  Turn often until corn begins to have charring.  I like grilled corn Mexican style(ish).  Spread mayonnaise all over corn, sprinkle with salt and cayenne, squeeze fresh lime juice on top. 

Plantains with Grapefruit Salsa – Fry green plantains; chop off ends, make three slits on skin, peel off hard green skin.  Cut plantain in thick, about inch chunks, diagonally.  Heat pan with grape seed (or another high heat, light oil) until flicking water in the oil makes it sizzle but not too high that it burns food too quickly.  Place plantains in pan and let brown, flip (just once) to brown other side.  Sprinkle with garlic powder as it cooks.  Remove as they are cooked through and place on paper towel to soak up excess oil.  Let cool a bit and smash with spoon to flatten, making round disks.  Salt generously.  For the grapefruit salsa you can make ahead of time and keep in fridge up to a week.  Halve grapefruit horizontally.  Scoop each section out.  Do this over a bowl as the excess juice is good to use.  Mix grapefruit chunks with thinly sliced hot peppers (jalapeno for mild, bon peppers for crazy but good spicy), cilantro, finely chopped scallions.  Serve the salsa cold and top the plantains with it.