Ricotta Stuffed Pattypan Squash

blog pattypan

 

I love how cute pattypan squash looks. I can’t resist food this pretty and cute. So I found myself faced with a bag of pattypan squash along with the question, how should I prepare this sweet little vegetable.  My answer was no further than preparing my favorite filling for zucchini flowers and adding an egg and some cheese to make it firmer. A quick bake in the oven and you have the perfect little appetizer. If you find tiny ones the stuffing will fill more than 12 , think of this as a summer version of a stuffed mushroom. Or you can serve slightly larger pattypans on a bed of lightly dressed greens as a first course, or a light summer lunch or dinner. Enjoy!

From by the bay , wishing you cute pattypan food memories!

Maryann

blog pattypan veg

Ricotta Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Serves Six

Ingredients

12 small patty squash

2 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for filling

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon mint, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon thai red chili, minced

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 egg

Optional: Dress with additional olive oil and flake sea salt such as Maldon

blog pattypan scoop

Directions

To prepare squash rinse and cut off the tops with stem leaving approximately 3/4 of the squash remaining on the bottom. Use a teaspoon and gently scoop the flesh and seeds making a small circular hole. Make sure not to break the remaining outside of the squash. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. In a small bowl mix the ingredients for filling until blended.  Brush each squash with olive oil. Place on the foil lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use a teaspoon to fill each squash with cheese filling. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for approximately 5 minutes longer to brown the tops of the filled squash. Remove from oven. Serve warm or room temperature on a bed of you favorite lightly dressed greens, such as arugula.  Once the pattypans are assembled on the lettuce drizzle lightly with additional olive oil and sprinkle with flake sea salt.

 

Watermelon Gazpacho

One Monday after a weekend of entertaining I eyed in my fridge some leftover Greek salad I had made using some watermelon along with the traditional tomato and feta cheese. I decided to just blitz the leftovers in the blender resulting in a wonderful combination of flavors. It was a perfect marriage of flavors. I decided to continue to play with the ingredients adding the cucumber and jalapeno as I would in any gazpacho I would make. The cucumbers also help balance the soup from tasting too sweet. You’ll love this recipe. If you are in a rush you can save alot of time by buying your watermelon already cut and ready to go. This is a refreshing dinner for a hot summer evening!

From by the bay, wishing you cool watermelon food memories!

Maryann

blog watermelon gazpacho

Watermelon Gazpacho

Ingredients

1 large tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped

3 cups watermelon, cubed and seeded

1 english or hot house cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed

1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons red onion chopped

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

To serve:

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

fresh dill

olive oil to drizzle

flake sea salt such as Maldon

optional: additional cucumber and tomato cut into 1/4 inch cubes for garnish

Directions

In a food processor or blender puree tomato, watermelon and jalapeno. Add remaining ingredients ( onion, vinegar, salt and pepper) and blend until smooth. Chill and serve by drizzling the top with olive oil. Add crumbled feta cheese and optional additional chopped cucumber and tomato. Sprinkle lightly with dill and sea salt. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Pickled Strawberries

blog pick straw 1

Loving strawberries the way I do , I was looking for ways to extend my enjoyment of our brief strawberry season. Pickled strawberries are a perfect solution. It may sound strange at first but pickled strawberries are the perfect balance of sweet and sour! For my pickled recipe I included some lemon rind for taste and red peppercorns for mild heat and a slight pepper taste. Now you must be wondering where I might use some pickled strawberries here is a list of some of my favorite uses:

  • chopped into salads
  • cocktails, such as sangria or champagne cocktail to name a few
  • a favorite salsa recipe
  • on top of vanilla ice cream
  • mixed with stone fruit as a fruit salad or pie filling
  • flavor a wine vinegar

Great creative and enjoy!

From by the bay , enjoy your pickled food memories!

Maryann

blog pick straw 2

Pickled Strawberries

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ripe but firm strawberries, hulled, halved if large
  • 4 strips lemon peel
  • cups white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

Directions

Remove stems from strawberries. Place strawberries and lemon peel in a 1-qt. heatproof jar. Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns,  and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour over strawberries. Let cool; cover and chill. The strawberries will keep 5 days in the refrigerator.

Festive Red Beet Hummus

Looking for festive foods to add to your 4th of July holiday menu?   Try this recipe for red beet hummus. This is unique hummus is a feast for both the eyes and your taste buds. A slow braise of the beets in the oven makes this easy to prepare along with your food processor. I love the pink red vibrant color!

From by the bay, wishing you festive 4th of July food memories!

Maryann

blog beet hummus

Beet Hummus

Makes 4 cups

As seen in Food and Wine Contributed By Eli Sussman and Max Sussman  Published June 2016
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds red beets, scrubbed
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • Kosher salt
  • Warm pita bread, for serving

blog beet hummus 2

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, cover the beets with water and bring to a boil. Cover and braise in the oven for about 2 hours, until very tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beets to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slip 
off the skins. Cut the beets into 1-inch pieces, spread them on a baking sheet and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. In a food processor, combine the braised beets with the garlic, coriander and lemon juice and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine on, slowly drizzle 
in the olive oil until incorporated and the beet puree is smooth. Scrape into a bowl and whisk in the tahini. Season with salt and serve with pita bread.

Rib Eye Steak with Pineapple Marinade

Give you marinade a tropical twist using pineapple juice for sweetness balanced with little soy for a salty taste. Red Thai chiles  add a little heat countered with the coolness of fresh chopped ginger. It’s so simple to prepare and adds some much flavor to your steak. You could use this marinade with chicken or pork chops just as easily. Enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you tropical food memories!

Maryann

blog pineapple steak

Rib Eye Steak with Pineapple Marinade

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 rib eye steaks

2 cups pineapple juice

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves chopped

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1 fresh thai red chili, chopped ( approx. 1 tablespoon) or 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes

Directions

Combine soy sauce, pineapple juice, sesame oil and brown sugar stirring until sugar dissolves in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag, set in a baking dish.  Add ginger, garlic, chili and scallions. Add steaks. Seal bag, and  massage steaks carefully in the marinade. Chill at least 4 hours or up to overnight, turning occasionally. Remove steak from marinade, discarding marinade. Grill steak, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 5 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Optional: Serve with grilled skewers of pineapple and red onion

Cold Sesame Noodles

Love cold sesame noodles? No need to call your favorite chinese restaurant to deliver, you can make your own delicious homemade noodles just as quickly using a few simple ingredients! Cold sesame noodles are also a great side dish while grilling your favorite meat , fish or vegetable. Love another great side dish to entertain with that can be made in advance and set aside until you are ready to serve. This recipe is from Tyler Florence and my favorite recipe for cold sesame noodles!

From by the bay , wishing you cold sesame food memories!

Maryann

blog sesame noodles

Cold Sesame Noodles

Recipe by Tyler Florence

12 ounces angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 -inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili paste, such as sambal
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Fresh chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

Cook the noodles in large pot of boiling unsalted water over medium heat until barely tender and still firm. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water until cold. Drain the noodles really well and transfer to a wide bowl; toss with the sesame oil so they don’t stick together. Chill.
In a blender combine the peanut oil, ginger, garlic, chili paste, lime juice, brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and hot water. Blend. Toss the noodles with the peanut sauce until well coated. Serve at room temperature or chilled; garnish with the sesame seeds, green onions, and cilantro.
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/cold-sesame-noodles-recipe2.html?oc=linkback

 

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Maybe there is no finer vegetable than the simple cucumber. Not only does it taste delicious and refreshing  it has a multitude of health benefits to name a few :

Keeps you hydrated. …
Fights heat, both inside and out. …
Flushes out toxins. …
Lavishes you with vitamins. …
Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon. …
Aids in weight loss. …
Revives the eyes. …

Now add to the list the fact that there are many simple preparations for making delicious and healthy salads all summer long. This recipe is based on a traditional Japanese cucumber salad. It uses very little oil but has lots of flavor, it’s a perfect summer side dish.

From by the bay wishing you very cool summer food memories!

Maryann

blog japanese cuke salad

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 Japanese or English cucumbers

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon agave nectar

1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

optional: garnish with chopped scallions

Directions

If Japanese cucumbers are not available, English cucumbers can be substituted. The English cucumbers should be peeled and  cut lengthwise. Scrape the seeds out using a spoon.  Slice into thin half moons. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers and salt and mix well. Let sit 20 minutes , squeeze cucumbers to remove water and strain. place back into bowl and add agave, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil and mix well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and mix. Let marinate for 20 minutes before serving. Adjust salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Charred Spicy Sugar Snap Peas

Here is a wonderful side dish that celebrates some  of my favorite flavors – fresh sugar snap peas, sauteed until they start to brown , adding heat from using rounds of thai red chiles cooled by the use of some fresh chopped mint! It’s a perfect dish and simple to prepare. Enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you sugar snap food memories!

Maryann

blog charred sugar snaps

Charred Spicy Sugar Snap Peas

Ingredients

1 pound sugar snap peas

1 red thai chile, sliced in small rounds or finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon mint, chopped

fine sea salt

fresh ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium saute pan heat the olive oil, when it’s hot carefully add the sugar snap peas to the pan. Cook , stirring the sugar snap peas . When the peas start to soften add the thai chile and continue to saute until the sugar snap peas start to char and brown in places. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Place in serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh mint.

Memorial Day Weekend Cookout Recipes

 memorial table
Kick off your summer cookout weekend with some of these favorite recipes!
From by the bay , wishing you delicious cookout food memories and a Happy Memorial Day!
Maryann
blog onion jam burger
Short Rib Burger with Rosemary Onion Jam
Serves 6
Ingredients
2 pounds ground short rib
6 sesame seed buns
6 slices smoked cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons onion jam
12 slices pancetta cooked, crisp
4 ounces baby arugula leaves
Directions
Cook burgers , as preferred. Cut rolls through middle and toast. Add the cheddar cheese to top of burger and melt. To assemble place some arugula to the toasted bottom of the bun. Place burger with cheese on top of the arugula. Top with the onion jam and then the cooked pancetta. Finish with the toasted top of the bun and enjoy!

 

blog jalapeno slaw

Jalapeno Kale Coleslaw

Serves 6

Ingredients for salad

1 head of green cabbage , finely shredded

1 cup of kale, remove ribs and finely shredded

1/2 cup red onion finely sliced

Ingredients for dressing

1/2 cup olive oil

juice of 4 limes

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 small jalapeno seeded and chopped

Directions

To make dressing combine all the ingredients in a food processor and first pulse and then mix until emulsified. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Serve cold or at room temperature.

 

blog deli mac

Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Serves 6

1 pound cooked elbow macaroni

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup Mexican sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 tablespoons whole milk

3 celery ribs, chopped finely

1/2 onion ,chopped finely

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium saucepan add the vinegar and sugar and bring to a bowl, dissolving the sugar. In a large bowl add macaroni and pour the sugar/vinegar mixture over and stir. Place in the refrigerator to cool for an hour. Remove bowl from refrigerator and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.

blog mustard

Homemade Beer Mustard

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces yellow mustard seeds

1 1/2 ounces black mustard seeds

4 ounces beer or lager ( such as Shiner Bock)

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon dried yellow mustard

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup chopped white onion

Directions

Mix the mustard seeds and beer together in bowl, cover and set aside overnight. (The mustard seeds will soften and soak up most of the beer. Stir in the remaining ingredients, then blend in a food processor until nearly smooth (you may need to do this is batches). Spoon the mustard into clean jars; tap gently to remove all the air bubbles. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.

blog pickles

Pickled Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon

Makes 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound kirby cucumbers
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 springs dill
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Directions

Have ready a 1 quart size glass container such as a mason jar. Trim the ends off of the kirby cucumbers and slice in 1/4 inch rounds. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Take the glass jar and layer the cucumbers, then shallots , garlic and dill. Repeat until you have layered all your ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to simmer.  Remove from heat and pour over the cucumbers. Let cool to room temperature. Seal tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. The pickled cucumbers will last about 2 weeks stored in the refrigerator.

blog star cookies

Sugar Cookies

From the Food Network, Alton Brown

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat. Sprinkle with colored sanding sugar and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sugar-cookies-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Spicy Asian Minced Beef in Lettuce Cups

Perhaps my favorite Chinese restaurant in New York City is one that is close to my apartment on the East River midtown, the glorious Mr. Chow’s. One of my favorite dishes is minced chicken served in lettuce cups. So when I started to read Nigella Lawson’s cookbook years ago “Forever Summer” she had me with that title by the way.  No surprise here that one of my favorite dishes would be her Thai Crumbled Beef in Lettuce Wraps! I’ve made this dish many , many times, especially for a quick week night recipe when you are looking for something light to eat, quick to make and delicious to eat. Below is my twist on her recipe, clearly inspired by the many Asian versions of minced meat served in lettuce. You will definitely want to try this recipe!

From by the bay, wishing you lovely food memories cupped in  lettuce!

Maryann

blog minced meat let cup

Spicy Asian Minced Beef in Lettuce Cups

Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s  cookbook “Forever Summer”

Ingredients

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 red bird’s eye red chili, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 pound ground sirloin beef

1 tablespoon thai fish sauce ( nam pia)

4 scallions, white and light greens parts only, finely chopped

zest and juice of one lime

4 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 head of iceberg or romaine lettuce, leaves separated

Directions

Put the oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and when warm add the finely chopped chillies and garlic cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and saute another minute.  Add the beef, turn up the heat and, break up the ground beef with a wooden spoon or fork, cook for 3 or 4 minutes till no trace of pink remains. Add the fish sauce and, still stirring, cook till the liquid’s evaporated. Off the heat, stir in the spring onions, zest and juice of the lime and most of the cilantro. Arrange the lettuce leaves on to a platter and fill each lettuce cup with a few spoonfuls of the spicy ground meat mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.