Tomato-Basil & Spinach Risotto

Here’s a great recipe for the changing of seasons, borrowed from Iowa Girl Eats.

 

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 3/4 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded & chopped (or equivalent amount of Roma or Compari tomatoes)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • handful torn basil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and keep hot. 
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat then add shallot, season with salt & pepper, and then saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 30 more seconds.
  3. Add rice then stir to coat in butter. Add wine then stir until nearly absorbed by rice. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth then stir continuously until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until nearly absorbed before adding more.
  4. When there’s 1/4 of the broth remaining, add tomatoes then continue stirring. Add baby spinach and basil with the last broth addition then continue stirring. Stir in parmesan cheese then add more salt & pepper to taste.

Corn on the Cob: 7 Flavorful Ways

Perfectly cooked grilled corn by Bobby Flay

  1. Heat the grill to medium.
  2. Pull the outer husks down the ear to the base. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn by hand. Fold husks back into place, and place the ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Remove the husks and eat on the cob or remove the kernels.

 

Chili Lime Honey Butter
Mix 6 tablespoons softened butter, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons of honey, 1 teaspoon chili powder and a dash of cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Slather on hot corn on the cob, then sprinkle on some salt and give it an extra spritz of lime.

Blue Cheese Chive Butter
Mash together 4 tablespoons softened butter with 4 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese. Stir in 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Spread on hot corn on the cob.

Herb Vinaigrette
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, a hefty pinch of salt and black pepper, 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme. Drizzle over the corn.

Cheesy Cilantro Chili Pepper
Slather cooked corn with 1 tablespoon of butter, then sprinkle each cob with chili powder, cotija cheese, fresh chopped cilantro and finish with a spritz of lime juice

Smoked Feta and Pepper
Finely crumble 1/2 cup smoked feta cheese. Mix in 2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled jalapeno peppers. Coat each hot ear of corn with butter, then roll in the cheese and pepper mixture.

Honey Ginger BBQ Sauce
Combine 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup mild honey, 1/2 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce, 4 large garlic cloves (minced), 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, 25 to 30 minutes. (Stir frequently toward end of cooking to prevent sticking.) This is an excellent BBQ sauce, but keep going with the corn on the cob recipe by brushing the mixture onto the cobs just 1 or 2 minutes before they’re done on the grill. Oil the grill beforehand and it shouldn’t stick.

Jerk Grilled
Whisk together 1 tablespoon water and 2 tablespoons molasses. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat 4 ears of corn with the molasses mixture. Sprinkle all over with purchased or homemade jerk seasoning. Grill over indirect heat on well-oiled grates until tender.

Tomato Cream and Bacon Pie

This recipe is inspired by a Better Home and Garden recipe, with extra extra flaky crust(s) and we think it works with heirloom toms or cherry toms!  Try it and tell us what you think!

What you will need:

  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1 15 ounce package rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust (2 crust) (or see recipe below for making your own crust)
  • 2/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes or roasted heirloom tomatos
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced leaf lettuce
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Directions for making the crust (if not buying it right out)

1 cup unsalted butter, cold
2 cups all- purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 to 5 tablespoons, ice water

 

Directions for making the crust:

1. Cut the butter into 1/2-in/12-mm cubes, and freeze them while you measure and mix the dry ingredients.

2. To make the dough in a food processor: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the processor and pulse three or four times to mix. Retrieve the butter cubes from the freezer, scatter them over the flour mixture, and pulse until the mixture forms pea-size clumps. Add the ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, and pulse to mix, adding just enough water for the dough to come together.

To make the dough by hand: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Retrieve the butter cubes from the freezer and distribute them evenly in the flour mixture, coating them with the flour mixture. Sink your fingers into the mixture and begin pinching the butter and flour together, making thin, floury disks of the butter. Continue working the mixture until the butter is broken down first into floury pea-sized beads and then into a loose mixture that resembles wet sand. Drizzle in 3 tbsp of the ice water and use your hand like a comb to mix in the liquid just until the dough holds together. If necessary, add additional water, 1 tbsp at a time, until the dough comes together in a crumbly mass.

3. Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured work surface or sheet of parchment paper. Gather the dough together in a mound, then knead it a few times to smooth it out. Divide it in half, and gently pat and press each half into a rough circle, about 1 in/2.5 cm thick. Lay wax or parchment paper in two pie pans and lay the dough in each. Wrap in plastic wrap or in the wax/parchment paper and put in freezer for 30 minutes.

 

Directions for making the Pie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the pie crusts from the freezer, and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. In a large skillet cook bacon until just done but not crisp. Transfer to paper towel. Reserve 1 Tbsp. bacon drippings in skillet; set aside. Make sure to save that leftover (if any) intoxicating fat for another time!

On a lightly floured surface, stack the two piecrusts. Roll from center to edges to form a 12-inch circle. Wrap pastry around a rolling pin; unroll pastry into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (Sides should be 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep). Ease pastry into pie plate, allowing edges to form a loose ruffled or scalloped effect. Gently press pastry into the bottom of pie plate. Sides will not lay flat against pie plate.

Prick bottom of pastry. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil; bake 10 minutes.

Remove foil; bake 5 minutes more. Remove, and reduce heat to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese over the piecrust.

Place half the bacon slices around the edge of the crust. Set aside.

Cook onion in reserved bacon dripping over medium heat until tender. Drain drippings. Set aside.

Halve 2 cups of the cherry tomatoes, leaving the remaining 2 cups whole. Place the halved and whole tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Alternatively roast heirloom tomatoes (see directions in step 2 of this recipe) and slice to 1/2 inch segments and put in a large mixing bowl.

Add olive oil, 2 Tbsp. of the basil, salt, and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper. Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl beat together cream cheese, mayonnaise, egg yolk, cooked onion, lemon peel, and remaining Parmesan, basil, and pepper. Spoon cream cheese mixture into piecrust.

Top with tomato mixture.

Nestle the remaining bacon slices among the tomatoes, weaving bacon between tomatoes. Gently press tomatoes and bacon into the cream cheese mixture. Bake pie until cherry tomatoes just begin to brown or the crust browns and becomes flakey when you touch it, about 35 minutes. (Loosely cover pie with foil if edges brown too quickly, say 15 minutes.) Let stand 60 minutes. Top with leaf lettuce and serve with lemon wedges for a little bit of zest.

Olallieberry Pie

This recipe sounds absolutely divine!  Deb from East of Eden Cooking shared this mouth watering treat for Summer. Check out her full blog and other recipes here.

Julie Holler from Vallecito and her family have been growing olallieberries for many years — they are in now for just a short time!

Crust

  • 2  1/2 cups all purpose flour, more for rolling out the dough
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar (optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup ice cold water

Filling

  • 8 cups ollallieberries or blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • milk or half & half, and sprinkle of sugar for the top of the crust

Instructions:

  1. Prepare pie crust dough: I use my food processor. Whirl dry ingredients, flour and salt in food processor with blade attachment just until mixed. Cut cold butter and shortening into cubes, add to food processor. Pulse until shortening is the size of small coins; pennies, nickels and dimes. Do not over mix. Add the vinegar and just enough cold water through feed tube until the dough starts to come together. Do not over mix. Pour dough out on floured work surface. With as little handling as possible bring dough together into a ball. Cut ball in half and wrap halves in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour, prior to rolling out.
  2. Prepare berry filling: While the pie crust dough chills, gently rinse and clean the berries. In a large bowl gently combine berries, flour, sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Frozen berries can be used. Thaw and drain before combining with the filling ingredients.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°.
  4. Prepare bottom pie crust: With a floured rolling pin, on a floured work surface roll out half of the pie crust dough. As needed, add small amount of flour to the surface when rolling out the dough. Roll dough, in a circle, until it is 1 1/2 inches larger than the 9 inch pie pan circumference. Place dough in bottom of pie pan, forming to contours of the pan. Do not stretch dough. With knife, trim the dough to the edge of the pie pan.
  5. Prepare top crust for pie: Sprinkle flour on work surface. With floured rolling pin, roll out the second half of dough. As needed, add a small amount of flour to the surface when rolling out the dough. Roll out dough, in a circle, until it is 1 inch larger than the 9 inch pie pan circumference.
  6. Finish pie preparation: Gently fill dough lined pie pan with berry filling. Only add accumulated berry juice to within 1/3-1/2 inch of top of pie pan, discard the rest. Place top crust over the berry filled pie pan. Trim any overhanging dough to 1 inch wider than the pie pan. Fold overhanging dough under the bottom crust, making a double layered edge. Crimp or flute the edge of the pie crust. Brush milk or half & half over the top crust and crimped edge. Lightly, sprinkle sugar on top of the crust. Cut 3-5 steam vents in the crust.
  7. Bake: To catch any berry juice that may overflow during baking place the pie on a large sheet pan that has a rim, and comfortably accommodates the pie. Immediately bake the pie at 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 375° and continue baking for 30-45 minutes until crust has browned and berry juices are bubbling. Check the pie during baking and cover the edge of the crust with foil if it is browning too quickly.
  8. To plate: Cool pie for a least one hour. If you can wait, the pie will be easier to serve and hold it’s shape if you let it cool 3 hours. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is a wonderful addition to a slice of Olallie pie.

Chef Beverly’s Pot Pie

Straight from our kitchen!

To make the filling:
Make a mirepoix: saute celery, carrots and onion with olive oil. Add in dusting of flour to soak up the fat, then add stock, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Add pre-cooked turkey and let it get thick.

To make the topping: 
2 cups flour
1.5 TSP baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 lb butter
mix and let it chill in the fridge
add heavy cream 2 cups until it gets to sticky and dough-like then crumble it on top of the mix and bake to golden brown at 350 for 25 minutes

Grilled Peaches

To me, there’s nothing sweeter and more satisfying than a grilled peach. I have a sweet tooth, for sure (did you try the strawberry balsamic jam yet?).  Of course, any fruit will turn to gold if you cook it, but there’s something special about when gooey peaches meet smoke.  This recipe we found via the Food Network. Check it out:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • coconut oil
  • Mint leaves, for garnish

In a small bowl add the butter and stir until smooth. Add the cinnamon sugar, granulated sugar and salt and mix until combined.

Heat grill to high. Brush peaches with oil and grill until golden brown and just cooked through. Top each with a few teaspoons of the butter and garnish with mint leaves.

Chard and Potato Terrine

This recipe doesn’t sound like much but it is the most asked about recipe in my entire collection!

  • 6 medium sized potatoes
  • 18 baby chard leaves, or 9 large chard leaves, thick midribs removed
  • 1 clove garlic, bruised
  • 6 1/2 TSPS butter
  • 1 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 ounces cheese, Fiscalini Lionza or a Brie, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible. Set them aside. Coarsely chop the chard leaves. Rub a standard loaf pan with the garlic and 1/2 TSP of butter. Arrange one-third of the potatoes in a layer in the pan. Sprinkle with one-third each of the salt and pepper, dot with 1 1/2 TSP of butter, and top with one-third of the chard leaves. (The bulk of it will wilt during cooking). Sprinkle one-third of the cheese over the chard. Repeat the layers twice in the same way, ending with the cheese.

Fennel

It’s merits and uses:
Most folks have an odd aversion to this wonderful vegetable. I’ve discovered that it takes on a completely new personality when cooked at a slow temperature for a long time. Just as you might caramelize onions over a low flame for 20 minutes; the same can be done with fennel. I figured Martha Stewart might be a good one for fennel recipes and I was right – here’s a couple that I found that sound delicious. Eaten raw they are equally delicious with their anise like flavor. Try decorating a green salad with them along with raw slices of Fuyu persimmons, segments of satsuma mandarins with a sprinkling of green onions.

Baked Fennel with Parmesan and Thyme

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Boil 3 fennel bulbs, trimmed and split lengthwise, until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain fennel, cut side down, on paper towels, 5 minutes. Place fennel, cut side up, in a buttered 8-inch square baking dish and brush with 1 tablespoon softened butter. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and top with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan and 4 sprigs thyme. Bake until cheese is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Pan Seared Fennel in Citrus White Sauce

  • 2 bulbs fennel, trimmed (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

With a large knife, cut each fennel bulb lengthwise into four slices. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter and oil until sizzling. Lay fennel slices in skillet; cook, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes per side.
Pour orange juice over fennel; season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until fennel is tender, about 15 minutes. Add wine, and continue cooking until fennel is very tender and sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, as desired, and serve warm.