Monday, August 31, 2009

A Few Odds and Ends

In the past few days/weeks since I've posted, I've made some dishes that haven't appeared here yet.

First, the tomato tart from Martha Stewart's Living:

It is a great way to use up some of the summer tomato bounty, except that this year there is no bounty, and is just a yummy way to eat tomatoes. It's made with roasted garlic and fontina cheese baked in a pie crust, and then sprinkled with a little fresh basil when it comes out of the oven. Only problem with this one is that it takes almost an hour to cook, so it requires some advance planning.

Next is chicken paprikash from the Frugal Gourmet's Immigrant Ancestors:

This is a good cool, rainy day meal. There was enough for two dinners; the first night I served it with noodles and corn, and the next night I served it with spatzle and corn.

A few weeks ago DS and I spotted these at the farmers' market:

Purple potatoes. I roasted them with a little salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Veggies of Summer

It's August, and the farmer's market is overflowing with produce. We've been feasting on corn, summer squash, tomatoes, new potatoes, peaches, apples (Ginger Golds, one of the first varieties available in the season), and melons. My garden is doing okay, but we've had better years. It's been cool and wet this year, and the threat of late blight is hanging over the tomatoes.

At the moment, however, they are fine, and we've been harvesting a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes (I think cherry tomatoes only come in bumper crops). A few days ago I made cherry tomatoes in a balsamic vinegar sauce (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone).

The tomatoes are sauted in butter, then simmered in balsalmic vinegar with a bit of chopped onion or shallot tossed in. They were very good.

Another veggie dish I made last week was the Smoked Cheese and Vegetable Casserole from Thanksgiving 101 by Rick Rodgers. Again, pretty simple. Summer squash, zuchini, onion, garlic, rosemary, corn and green pepper with a topping of bread and smoked cheese. Excellent. I made this the last two Thanksgivings and it was a hit.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

For Garlic Lovers Only

Skordalia, sometimes called garlic mayonaise (a complete misnomer, as there is no mayo in real skordalia) is Greek dip/sauce made of some combination of white bread (or potatoes or both), ground almonds, olive oil, lemon juice and a good amount of fresh garlic. This all gets blended together until smooth sauce forms, which is served with meat, fish, veggies, or eaten as a bread dip.

It took years for me to figure out how to make this right, but I finally found a recipe in the Complete Middle East Cookbook (see the entry on Green Beans in Oil). The batch in the picture was a little stiff and should have been thinned out with a little olive oil or lemon juice. It was, and I had to admit this, just a tad too garlicky; one clove less would probably sufficed. Still it was good, especially with the cherry tomatoes I've been harvesting from the garden.