Friday, July 15, 2011

vegetables as far as the eye can see!

It's that time of the year when parts of the kitchen garden are yielding produce by the piles and you could eat salads for three meals a day and it still wouldn't make a dent. But that's what you waited for all winter, right? So let's do some interesting things with all that beautiful summer bounty!

One of my favorite summertime vegetable preparations is from the terrific cookbook "Herbs Love Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions & Zucchini" by Ruth Bass, published by Storey Books. On every page there is a mouth-watering recipe using simple ingredients to make wonderful everyday meals. When you're up to your eyes with garden vegetables, the recipe "Marinated Vegetables with Tarragon" is one that you will turn to again and again.

Simply prepare 4 cups of vegetables, your choice: tomatoes, snow peas, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots... whatever you like and have on hand that day.

Mix up the marinade:

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup tarragon vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

4 tablespoons chopped green onions, white and part of green

1 teaspoon dried tarragon (double the amount if you have fresh tarragon available)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons sugar

Arrange veggies in a shallow dish, pour the marinade over them, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to one day, stirring once.

Serves 4 to 6 veggie lovers.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's good to play with your food!

"It's good to play with your food." That is the mantra of David and Patricia at Dell Cove Spice Company, home of fabulous spice blends and more to make your home cooking and entertaining even better!

The Lonesome Road experience began with a collection of Valentine-themed spice blends - The Pin-Up Girl Spice Kit, containing two each of five mixes: Indian Spice, Southwest Chipotle, Italian, Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub, and Gourmet Pizza Topping. The Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub is what is seen in today's Bite This! post, and it is terrific!

The rub was used on a one pound pork tenderloin. Even though time was limited to one hour of seasoning in a resealable plastic bag in the Lonesome Road refrigerator before grilling, the pork was flavorful and so savory, with a nice crust and juicy interior. The Sweet and Savory BBQ Rub is also perfect with chicken, with its unique hand-crafted blend of quality ingredients including sea salt, select dried veggies, real sugar, dry smoke spices and... coffee.
And how adorable is this packaging?!
So go on, get cooking, and explore Dell Cove Spice Company for spice kits, unique cocktail sugars, popcorn and popcorn toppings, edible party favors and more. Their online shop boasts of new exciting autumn and Christmas cocktail sugars, and they are happy to customize your order "from personalized labels to specialized culinary themes and bulk orders." Check them out today!

Friday, July 1, 2011

declare independence from boring potato salads this July 4th!

Brewhouse Potato Salad with Bacon

Only the first day of July and already I'm bored with the usual cook-out side dishes... until now. I wanted to create a really good potato salad with a tasty beer-based dressing and so I did a bit of research. After some tweaking I came up with my very own Brewhouse Potato Salad: slightly sweet with a touch of bacon-y goodness; the perfect accompaniment to sausages and grilled pork or chicken... and a cold one, of course!

To begin, scrub 2 pounds of red-skinned new potatoes and cut into quarters. Cook in boiling water until just tender, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the potato pieces.

While potatoes are cooking, cook 6 slices of bacon in a skillet until done. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Set aside the bacon on paper towels to drain. When cool, crumble the bacon into bits.

In the 1 tablespoon of reserved bacon fat, saute 1 medium onion, minced

then add:

1 cup beer

3 tablespoons malt vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

Boil mixture for 5 minutes until slightly reduced, then remove from heat and whisk in:

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

(honey mustard also works well; I used Sierra Nevada's Spicy Brown Porter Mustard)

4 tablespoons mild olive oil

When potatoes are cooked and drained, add:

1/4 cup minced parsley

2 green onions, white parts and part of light green, sliced thinly

Toss potato mixture with the dressing, 1/2 to 3/4 more teaspoons sugar (to taste), salt and black pepper to taste, and the crumbled cooked bacon.

Let salad sit for a while for the flavors to blend; Brewhouse Potato Salad with Bacon is best served lightly chilled or at room temperature.


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