Grilling sides

We don’t do burgers on the grill very often but thought it would fit the bill tonight.  We’ll be at the pool most of the afternoon so didn’t want to do anything too fussy.  Here are some favorite sides if you’re grilling:

Deviled eggs
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1.4 tsp dry mustard (more if you want them spicier)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
Place eggs in a pot just big enough to hold them and add water to cover.  Bring to a rapid boil, turn off heat and cover for 17 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cold water and ice cubes to stop cooking.  Chill eggs in refrigerator.  Peel eggs and cut in half.  Put yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork.  Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika and mayonnaise.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  Fill egg whites with filling and top with additional paprika.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Potato Salad
There are lots of recipes for potato salad and I like most of them but once I discovered this one, it is my default.
  • Red potatoes, 3 pounds
  • scallions, 1 bunch thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • fresh dill, chopped
  • freshly ground pepper
Boil potatoes until tender.  Let cool until you can handle and then chop potatoes.  Combine mayonnaise and lemon juice (adjust to your taste) and toss over potatoes.  Add sliced scallions and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Skillet corn

  • 4 – 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley and chives from the garden)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add butter and corn and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and minced herbs.  Serve hot.

Sliced tomatoes with Green Goddess dressing

Green Goddess Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 2 TB scallion greens
  • 1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste (use this even if you think you don’t like anchovies)  🙂
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Serve on sliced tomatoes

Healthy eating

Today was our annual expedition to Dutch Wonderland.  If you aren’t familiar with this part of the country, Dutch Wonderland is a delightful amusement park oriented towards younger children.  It is clean and since the rides are smaller in scale, there are no teenagers.  (Nothing against teenagers but for the littler kids it makes it friendlier.  Sadly, this is probably the last year as it is probably getting a little tame for Samantha.  She took one of her classmates and they had a wonderful time:

At Dutch Wonderland

At Dutch Wonderland

It was a great day but I don’t think anybody goes to Dutch Wonderland for the culinary experience.  As we were eating lunch, Keith asked “What are we having for dinner?  Please tell me it is something healthy.”  Fortunately, I had dinner planned – Chicken Caprese and Skillet Corn.  Perfect dishes for enjoying summer’s freshest ingredients.  We try to eat seasonally and to avoid processed foods – they are so high in salt and chemicals.  This was delicious and a good way to recover from an amusement park lunch!

Grilled chicken Caprese

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, split and pounded between wax paper
  • 4 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB Balsamic vinegar
  • 4 thin slices fresh Mozzarella (I had some leftover from last week’s sandwiches)
  • 2 tomatoes sliced
  • fresh basil leaves

Whisk olive oil and vinegar together and marinate chicken for 1 hour.  Grill over high heat 3 – 4 minutes a side until done.  (You need to move the chicken around on the grill so it doesn’t burn.  The pounding made it easier to cook quickly and evenly.)  Serve topped with Mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.

Skillet corn

  • 4 – 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley and chives from the garden)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add butter and corn and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and minced herbs.  Serve hot.

The wonderful foods of summer!

The wonderful foods of summer!

Lazy days of summer

After a very wet and cold spring, our summer has started off beautifully.  The weather the last three weekends has been gorgeous.  It makes us want to be outside and it makes it very difficult to leave the pool.  The late afternoon by the pool is probably my favorite time.  It isn’t as crowded and we find it hard to tear ourselves away.  When we do get home we want something quick to fix so we can have dinner promptly.  When I asked Keith what he wanted for dinner he said “How about hamburgers?”  I was shocked as he is not usually much of a hamburger eater.  Our local Graul’s market hosted a Friday Night Lights neighborhood party last weekend and they were grilling Roseda beef burgers and they were so good.  We’re having them on whole wheat hamburger buns to make them a little bit healthier.  On the side he asked for skillet corn again.  We had it last weekend but it’s delicious and Samantha even liked it.

Skillet corn

  • 4 – 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley and chives from the garden)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add butter and corn and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and minced herbs.  Serve hot.

Sunday night summer dinner

This weekend has been absolutely beautiful.  The weather is reminiscent of beach weather – sunny, clear skies, low humidity.  It is perfect weather for enjoying the pool and tennis court.  I wanted to be able to come home to a quick and delicious dinner.  This chipotle marinade is one of our favorites – leftover keeps well in the fridge and it is delicious on steak, pork or shrimp in addition to chicken.  I’m fixing extra chicken for an easy dinner on Tuesday and having skillet corn with corn from the produce stand.

Chipotle marinade 

  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 TB tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium soy sauce)
  • 2 TB sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender.

I bought 4 bone in chicken breasts.  They’ll sit in some marinade while I sit in the sun at the pool and then we’ll grill them.  One each for tonight and one each to save.  NOTE: The marinade has a lot of flavor so you don’t need to soak the chicken in it.

Skillet corn

  • 4 – 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley and chives from the garden)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add butter and corn and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and minced herbs.  Serve hot.

We’ll eat outside!

Clinging to summer

The weather is definitely turning.  I hate letting go to summer from an activity standpoint (tennis, golf and swimming) and also from a food standpoint (fresh vegetables and fruit, crabmeat, light salads, etc.)  We thought we would enjoy one more round of the skillet corn and crab cakes.  Now we’ll have to start thinking about chili, braised chicken, polenta, oysters, etc.  I guess cold weather isn’t that bad!  🙂

Crab cakes

  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • wondra flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Whisk together egg, mustard, mayo, spices and panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle Wondra flour on a plate and form crab cakes with your hands – place on flour.  Sprinkle tops with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Melt butter and olive oil and add crab cakes.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.
Keith likes a sauce with crab cakes and usually likes cocktail sauce.  We were watching a Barefoot Contessa episode that I recorded on DVR the other night and she made a deconstructed lobster salad.  The dressing had mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers and dill.  Keith requested a similar sauce so I put a few tablespoons of mayo, the zest of about 1/3 of a lemon, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, the capers that were left in the fridge (about 1 tsp) and some dill in a bowl and whisked it all together.  This is one of those things where measuring isn’t so important.  He loved it.  I tried a little bit – it is good but unfortunately doesn’t make the dinner lower in calories!
Skillet corn
  • 4 – 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley and chives from the garden)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add butter and corn and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and minced herbs.  Serve hot.

Here they are on the stove:

Clinging to summer!

Clinging to summer!

Family friendly party

Tonight we had a family from my daughter’s school over for dinner.  Their daughter is going into Kindergarten so we’re hoping Samantha will take Megan under her wing.  Apparently Megan’s favorite food is cheeseburgers.  I thought it would be fun to do sliders and for variety I made burger sliders and crab cake sliders.  To keep it casual, we had deviled eggs, the skillet corn (one of our new favorite things) and a new salad – Bloody Mary tomato salad.   The burger sliders are pretty straight forward – just small hamburgers.  I had American cheese for the kids, Gruyere and arugula for the grownups and I caramelized onions.  The crab cakes I made using my usual recipe – I just made 11 little ones from 1 pound of crabmeat.  I followed up with brownies and the lemon iced gingersnap cookie sandwiches.

Deviled eggs
Everyone loves these so plan on each person eating at least two.
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
Place eggs in a pot just big enough to hold them and add water to cover.  Bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat to just simmering and cover for 17 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cold water and ice cubes to stop cooking.  Chill eggs in refrigerator.  Peel eggs and cut in half.  Put yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork.  Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika and mayonnaise.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  Fill egg whites with filling and top with additional paprika.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Skillet Corn
  • 4 – 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley and chives from the garden)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add butter and corn and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and minced herbs.  Serve hot.

Bloody Mary tomato salad

  • good tomatoes (I bought a few heirlooms and some pretty ones from the produce stand)
  • 1 TB horseradish
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 olive oil

Chop tomatoes.  Combine horseradish, lemon juice, celery seed, Worcestershire and pepper.  Gradually whisk in olive oil.  Toss with tomatoes.  I served this in a trifle bowl and it looked pretty in addition to being tasty.  A definite do-over!

It all looked so pretty but I got busy and forgot to take a picture!

Cravings

This recipe is one that I really crave in summer and we haven’t made it yet this season.  It’s also a great one for a Sunday night because you have to make the marinade ahead and let everything soak.  So I can soak in the sun at the pool while my beef cubes and veggies are soaking in their marinade!  My husband has been craving corn and we’re repeating the skillet corn that we enjoyed so much.   I’m making extra so we have leftovers for later in the week.

Shish Kabob

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar.  Marinate sirloin cubes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onions (quartered).  Skewer and grill.  Serve over rice.
Skillet Corn
  • 4 – 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley and chives from the garden)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add butter and corn and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and minced herbs.  Serve hot.