Tag Archives: summer recipes

Entertaining: What’s Cooking? It’s Yellow!

Here is what’s cooking this weekend by the bay and I’m keeping it yellow, hopefully as yellow as the sun brightly shining in the sky.

To kick off my weekend of sunshine eating, I’m making my Cornmeal and Sweet Corn Pancakes. A delicious start to any weekend, using some farm fresh yellow corn or use your leftover corn from the night before mixed with some corn meal .

Dinner is a nice bowl of Fresh Corn with Shrimp Grits, it doesn’t get better than a bowl creamy grits made with a corn broth, cooked along with shrimp and bacon and splashed with lemon juice to brighten the flavor. Served on the side a nice plate of yellow tomatoes, simply drizzled with a good olive oil and sprinkled with coarse sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Perfection.

Dessert is a lovely light and lemony pudding using my recipe for Lemon Posset

Sunday Lunch, I’ll be keeping it light and serving Ricotta stuffed PattyPan Squash , I like to find lovely smaller squash to fill and serve on a bed of arugula. Along side this another great yellow dish is Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad.

A weekend of great food!

From by the bay, wishing you sunny yellow food memories!

Maryann

 

Cornmeal and Sweet Corn Pancakes

Ricotta Stuffed PattyPan Squash

Fresh Corn with Shrimp and Grits

Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad

Lemon Posset

Entertaining: What’s Cooking this Weekend!

Enjoying another summer weekend,  I think I’ll wake up early and make a batch of my favorite Homemade Granola, perfect with some greek yogurt and all the seasonal berries.

After breakfast and a quick class at the gym it’s off to the farmstand, where I’m bound to find some of my favorite ingredients – sweet corn, kirby cucumbers and some juicy peaches.

I don’t plan to spend much time in the kitchen this weekend, but I will make some quick pickles using my recipe for Pickled Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon.

I’m keeping it simple this weekend, something quick on the grill – one of my favorite chicken recipes is Barbecue Chicken Breasts with Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Sauce

Corn of course is the perfect side dish – anyway you want to serve as long as you eat it the day it’s picked on the farm the freshness is the star of the show – so grill, boil, it’s so fresh you can eat it raw, but if you want to try a new corn side dish, you will want to try my recipe for Corn in a Cup!

Now for dessert, it’s an easy  Stone Fruit Crostata, using the rest of my peaches!  a recipe that is so forgiving and beyond delicious with it’s crispy and buttery crust.

From by the bay, make great friends and family food memories this weekend!

Maryann

Homemade Granola

Pickled Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon

Barbecue Chicken Breasts with Fresh Peach and Jalapeno Sauce

Corn in a Cup

Stone Fruit Crostata

Chilled Zucchini Soup with Mint

Zucchini – one of the favorite staples of the summer harvest is showing up in farmer’s markets and grocery stores. If you are lucky like me it shows up at your door courtesy of a generous neighbor with a fabulous vegetable garden. No matter how you get that zucchini into your kitchen you must try this recipe for chilled zucchini soup. Super simple to make this is a refreshing treat to enjoy for lunch or dinner. Try drinking this cup of summer freshness!

From by the bay, wishing you chill food memories!

Maryann

 

Chilled Zucchini Soup with Mint

Serves 6

  • 4-5 medium zucchini sliced in rounds approximately 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup fresh mint chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • additional coarse sea salt to finishing

Directions

In a large pot heat olive oil and sauté the white onion until softened about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, salt and pepper stirring occasionally until the zucchini is softened, about 5 more minutes. Add the broth to the pot, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until the zucchini is tender, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Using a food processor puree the zucchini mixture along with the parmesan cheese, pine nuts, mint and lemon juice. Pour into a bowl adding the buttermilk and blend. Cover and place in the refrigerator to cool for at least 3 hours. Adjust seasoning with coarse sea salt. Serve chilled and garnish with toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.

Entertaining: What to Cook for the 4th of July Weekend!

It’s a big holiday weekend – family picnics, barbecues with friends, sun, water, fireworks ….. food is an important part of our celebrations! Here are a few of the recipes, I’ll be cooking over the long weekend. Mornings will start slowly, after that first cup of coffee I’ll be taking out my muffin pan to make Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

I like to keep lunches light , it’s better for jumping into the pool or to enjoy a game of kanjam so a salad is nice, I’ll probably make a nice Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fresh Ricotta

Keeping it easy for dinner so starting with a great burger topped with my Whiskey Special Sauce

Side dishes are the key, make them in the morning before the day gets going and you can enjoy the day your self, I’m going old school with my Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Another classic side dish with a twist is my Jalapeno Kale Coleslaw, it is a delicious and healthy second side.

If I can find some corn in the farm stand, you can be sure that I’ll be making and although it’s perfect just grilled or even boiled, I’ll like make Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad

Now for dessert…. I’ll still be taking advantage of all those fresh berries that are around and make my Red and Blue Firework Crisp and if I have time I’m make some star shaped  cookies using My Favorite Sugar Cookies !

From by the bay , wishing you and your family a very Happy 4th of July!

Maryann

Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fresh Ricotta

Whiskey Special Sauce

Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Jalapeno Kale Coleslaw

Fresh Corn and Zucchini Salad

Red and Blue Firework Crisp

My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

Whiskey Special Sauce for Hamburgers

There is nothing like a summer hamburger cooked to perfection on an outdoor grill.  You may want to stop there but I strongly suggest that if you want to really amp up the flavor of your grilled burger, try making your own version of special sauce. Usually, special sauce is a combination of your favorite condiments – mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup. The base of my special sauce is the same but I like to chop up bread and butter pickles for a little sweetness  along with pickled jalapenos for some spice and heat to mix into my sauce so that every bite of my burger has a combination of many tastes. I could have stopped here but decided to take my sauce up one more level of flavor.  I added to my sauce one of the best ingredients I could think of – whiskey! Whiskey really makes that special sauce a “special, special sauce”.  The whiskey enhances the salty and sweet flavors.  As for topping the burger feel free to have a slice of melted american cheese. You can also try my new favorite, freshly grated parmesan cheese generously grated over the burger like a big cloud of freshly fallen snow! It’s burger time with your own special sauce!

From by the bay, wishing you whiskey special sauce food memories!

Maryann

 

Whiskey Special Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup good quality prepared mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon whiskey
  • 3 tablespoons chopped bread and butter pickles
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeno

Directions

In a small bowl mix all the ingredients until well combined. Place in a covered glass container and refrigerate for at least one hour below using. The sauce keep refrigerated for up to one week.

Note: You can make the special sauce without the whiskey

Favorite Summer Spare Rib Recipes

Memorial Day Weekend is the kickoff for summer grilling season, but one of my favorite dishes for summer entertaining is spare ribs. I’m sharing some of my favorite rib recipes, which are mostly prepared in the oven. These recipes are easy to make , taking more cooking time than preparation time with mouthwatering results. Try of one or all of these variations for your next summer gathering!

From by the bay, wishing you mouthwatering rib food memories!

Maryann

Spare Ribs with Bourbon Apple Barbecue Sauce
Serves 4 as main course or 8 as appetizer

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs. racks baby back ribs
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small sauce pan add all ingredients except for ribs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then turn off heat and cool. Puree in a food processor and set aside covered. In a large roasting pan lined with aluminum foil place the ribs in a single layer. Place in oven to brown for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes remove ribs from pan and pour off any juice and fat. Place the ribs back into the pan. Use half the barbecue sauce and pour over and spread over the ribs. Lower the oven to 400 degrees F and place the ribs back in the oven, turning the ribs over and covering them with the remaining sauce. Bake for another 30 minutes and remove from the oven. The ribs can be served immediately or at room temperature.

Spare Ribs with Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

Serves 4 as main course or 8 as appetizer

2 1/2 lbs. racks baby back ribs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup ketchup

3/4 cup root beer, preferably made with cane sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small sauce pan heat olive oil and saute garlic for one minute, then add the remaining ingredients except for ribs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then turn off heat and cool. In a large roasting pan lined with aluminum foil place the ribs in a single layer. Place in oven to brown for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes remove ribs from pan and pour off any juice and fat. Place the ribs back into the pan. Use half the barbecue sauce and pour over and spread over the ribs. Lower the oven to 400 degrees F and place the ribs back in the oven, turning the ribs over and covering them with the remaining sauce. Bake for another 30 minutes and remove from the oven. The ribs can be served immediately or at room temperature.

Mango and Honey Glazed Spareribs

Serves 4 as main course or 8 as appetizer

2 ½ lbs. racks baby back ribs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger , grated

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

¼ cup honey

¼ cup vermouth

½ cup soy sauce

6 ounces mango chutney

Directions

Combine all ingredients into a plastic sealed bag. Place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or better overnight. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking dish with aluminum foil and empty the entire contents of the plastic bag into the dish. Arrange ribs in pan in one layer. Place in oven and turn every 15 minutes as the ribs brown. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Tranfer ribs to cutting board and let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Sometimes I use country style ribs for this dish, in which case the cooking time is a little longer 1 hour. The meat literally falls off the bones – it delivers great favor and is more economic.

Tip: keep handy in the refrigerator tubes of garlic and ginger paste. They are available in Japanese specialty food stores. They are perfect for making quick marinades – without compromising the taste.

Asian Style Barbecue Beef Short Ribs
Serves 4-6
Ingredients

For the ribs
21/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
2 star anise
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 cinnamon stick
1 inch piece ginger, peeled
chopped scallions to garnish
For barbecue sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup cooking water from ribs
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
Directions
Place short ribs in a large cooking pot with star anise, cinnamon, garlic and ginger. Add water to just cover the ribs. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and cover with a lid for 45 minutes. Remove the ribs and place on a platter, covering with some foil. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water for the barbecue sauce. To make the sauce, add to a medium sauce pan the hoisin sauce, ketchup, cooking water, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and toasted sesame seed oil. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes. Preheat the grill . Brush the short ribs with the barbecue sauce and grill for 8 to 10 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.

Great Balls of Fire- Memphis Style  Dry-Rub

2 tablespoons smoky paprika

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 ½  teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

( at the time of use 1 tablespoon white vinegar)

 

To make the rub combine all dry ingredients well and store in a covered jar. When ready to use add a little white vinegar, if using all the rub add 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

To make ribs: 

Use 4 pounds of slab baby back ribs. To prepare the ribs, remove the thin papery skin from the back of each rack of ribs. Wash and pat dry. In a bowl mix all the rub ingredients together .  Rub ½ of the mixture all over the ribs on both sides and place in a shallow roasting pan. Keep the remaining rub for later. 

Place ribs in a 450 oven for 30 minutes. Continue baking in a 350 oven for about 2 more hours. Half way through take the drippings and mix with remaining rub and baste the ribs with the mixture.  When done transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut into pieces. Serve with your favorite  barbecue sauce. 

 
Rockin Blue Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Makes 2 cups
 

1 1/2 cups Jack Daniel’s Black Label or Bourbon

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons dark molasses

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce


 Pour 1 cup of whiskey into a saucepan. Bring the saucepan to a boil and reduce the liquid to about 2 tablespoons. Don’t let the alcohol flame. 

 Add 1/2 cup of the whiskey and the other ingredients. Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes and reduce it by about 1/3. Use it immediately or bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator for a month or more.

Stone Fruit Crostata

blog peach crostata

Some of my favorite food memories are from my grandparents farm and enjoying all the seasonal joys of the produce. Peach and plum season is on exception. Celebrate the winding down of the summer and the height of the stone fruit and peach season with this delicious crostata recipe. The crust is light, buttery and crisp. The coarse sugar adds a sweet crunch to the crust. The fruit sweet and bursting with flavor. It’s definitely one of the favorite desserts by the bay. You’ll love it!

From by the bay wishing you sweet and crispy crust food memories!

Maryann

Stone Fruit Crostata

Serves 4

Ingredients for Dough

  • 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter ( one stick)
  • 1cup , plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Ingredients for filling

  • 1 1/2 cups stone fruit such as peaches or plums , pitted and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

To assemble

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Coarse sugar

Directions

To make dough cube the butter.  In a small bowl combine sea salt and water. Place both the butter and salt water in the freezer for 10 minutes. In a food processor add the flour and lemon zest. Pulse twice. Add the cold butter and pulse 3 to 4 times to incorporate pieces of butter into the flour. Slowly add some water until the dough is a crumb like texture. You may not need all of the water. Place dough onto plastic wrap and fold wrap over to close and push dough together to combine. Flatten into a disk covered with the plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Meanwhile, make the filling by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Preheat over to 375 degrees F.  Take a piece of parchment paper and place the dough in the center cover with the plastic sheet and use a rolling pin to roll out and fold turn parchment sheet  90 degrees and repeat another 3 times. Roll out the dough on the parchment on the bottom again with plastic wrap over the top of the dough into a round approximately 1/8 inch thick. Spoon the filling in the center of the round leaving a 1 inch border all around. Fold the edges over the filling partially covering around the border. Place parchment with pie carefully onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and cream to make the wash. Remove from the refrigerator and brush the egg wash on the edges of the pie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and place into oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is brown and the fruit is bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Slide carefully onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tomatoes and Peaches with Ricotta and Fried Almonds

Heirloom tomatoes are not only delicious to eat, they are a true feast for the eyes. I love the wide variety of colors and shapes. I decided to deviate from my favorite salad of tomato, mozzarella and basil to this combination or tomato, peach, ricotta and tarragon. You will love this variation, especially if you find a good quality store bought ricotta cheese. If you are ambitious try making your own ricotta cheese it’s really simple.  My recipe is included below. I made my own ricotta for this salad because I had a large container of whole milk about to hit the expiration date. I didn’t want the milk to go to waste and I can’t think of a better use than making fresh ricotta cheese. The peaches add some sweetness to the salad and frying a few almonds in olive oil adds some needed crunch. This is a new favorite for my summer dining!

From by the bay, wishing you sunny tomato and peach food memories!

Maryann

blog peach salad 2

Tomatoes and Peaches with Ricotta and Fried Almonds

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, some sliced and some halved
  • 2 large ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup whole unsalted roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta ( homemade or store bought) recipe below
  • 2 teaspoons tarragon leaves
  • fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions

On large platter arrange the tomatoes and peaches. Dot the ricotta on top of the tomatoes and peaches. In a small skillet heat the olive oil and add the almonds. Stirred until almonds are heated and start to sizzle. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before adding the sherry vinegar. Mix  together. Drizzle dressing over the tomatoes and peaches. Dot the ricotta cheese on top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with tarragon leaves.  Serve immediately.

blog ricotta 2

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions

Line a sieve with a dampened cheesecloth and place over a bowl to strain the cheese. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a full boil, stirring occasionally. The mixture will start to separate in curds ( the thick part that is the cheese) and whey ( the thin liquid you drain off). Once that happens, pour into the sieve, catching the ricotta into the cheesecloth lined sieve. Let stand for 20 to 25 minutes letting the liquid drain off. Let drain depending how thick and moist you want. the longer it drains the thicker and drier the ricotta. Once drained, take the cheese out of the cheesecloth and store in a container in the refrigerator until ready to use. This will stay 3 to 4 days.

Variations – all good and I’ve made and enjoyed each one depending on the ingredients on hand. 

  • Use only whole milk for a slightly less creamy version, this is great if you don’t have any heavy cream.
  • Replace the heavy cream with buttermilk, don’t use any vinegar for a drier textured ricotta, good for cooking

blog peach salad 1

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.

 

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.