WOW! Don't you LOVE summer? Gardens are exploding with an abundance of fresh vegetables. Farmers markets and grocery stores are brimming with zucchini, squash, corn, tomatoes, peppers, melons, peaches and nectarines. Abundanza! I want to make it all and I want to eat it all. Since my last post, I will tell you what I've been cooking (we actually enjoyed some meals without taking pictures!! ~ the nerve ~ LOL). In the last few weeks, I've been in tomato heaven, thanks to Joey's amazing harvest. Yellow tomatoes, golden tomatoes, plums, cherries, little "light bulbs", early girls, best boys, etc. I have some tomato plants also, but they can't compare to Joey's perfect, healthy, fat, shiny, unblemished, bright, colorful, succulent, organically grown tomatoes. What? Ya think I have adjectivitis? LOL. OK. Sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on toasted ciabatta bread with butter, mayo, fresh basil and a little kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper. Those little "sammies" were a lunch special at the dealership last week. Fresh and simple. What else you ask? I made a really filling and delicious Chicken Parmesan, inspired by the article in this month's Bon Appetit' magazine about Mario Batali's kitchen staff dinners. I flattened some chicken breasts and gave them the flour~egg bath~panko treatment, fried them in olive oil and butter, layered them up with homemade marinara sauce, asiago, parmesan and fresh mozzarella and baked them in the oven. Excellent and definitely not for dieters. I also made two different kinds of onion soup. Onion Soup Gratinee' right from the pages of Jacques Pepin's "The Apprentice: My Life In The Kitchen" book. AMAZING recipe. Easy and incredibly satisfying. Plus, a creamy and decadent onion soup, inspired by Emeril and his "7 Onion Soup" ~ I didn't use 7 different onions, but I did follow his methods by starting out with bacon (I know), caramelizing the onions, simmering in stock with fresh herbs, adding cream (I know) and blending with an immersion blender. The result was this creamy, intensely flavored soup, garnished with crumbled bacon (I know), finely shredded swiss, fresh snipped chives and cracked black pepper. OMG. It rocked. I also made some very tart lime bars. Oven roasted summer vegetables. Ground sirloin burgers with finely chopped portabella mushrooms and vidalia onions. Huges pans of "grill-fried" garden variety peppers. Pappardelle pasta with fresh summer vegetables. Lots of salads spiked with everything from Gorgonzola to pine nuts. And we're still savoring each and every tomato in every way possible. I even had a tomato sandwich before I went to bed last night! I plan to power-walk 10 miles this afternoon to compensate for all of this eating. Cream and bacon fat = better get your a _ _ in gear.
Today is Sunday, August 31, 2008. While "Lucky B" was checking out the Lake Michigan coastline from about 2500 hundred feet on an early morning flight in his friend, Pete's high wing Citabria sport plane, I was in Katie's Passion Kitchen, baking up a summery flashback nectarine pie. Hope he remembered to take the Bonine. No shi_, I started baking this pie in 1991. LOL. E-mail me if you'd like the recipe. (Click on my pic) and I'll send it to you. It's really really quick, easy and it SCREAMS summer! Can you hear it? Love and Summer Cheers to All! Katie
Oh, yeah, check out these little video demonstrations of the author and her pastry tool. Very educational. LOL.
I will try to be brief. (It's not easy for me, what can I say?) . . . Lime was the star of the show tonight. The menu: Grilled marinated flank steak, roasted marinated red bell peppers and how about a deconstructed Italian guacamole salad? LOL .... The steak was marinated in freshly squeezed lime juice (and the limes too!), fresh garlic, olive oil, s & p. The peppers were charred, steamed, peeled, and then marinated in olive oil, garlic, freshly picked herbs, kosher salt, red wine vinegar and freshly squeezed lime juice. The salad is one of my favorite (and maybe surprising to some) combination of flavors . . . chunks of ripe but firm avocado, small wedges of homegrown red and yellow tomatoes, fresh basil, thinly sliced vidalia onion, crumbly gorgonzola cheese, olive oil, freshly squeezed lime juice, kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper. I can eat endless quantities of that salad with an entire bag of hard and crunchy salted tortilla chips. El Ranchero or the other ones in the brown paper bag. I also threw a bunch of lime slices in tonight's Sangria which featured both cherry and apricot liquers. Oh yeah, one more thing . . . I made a warm fruit compote with red and purple plums, lemon slices, red and green grapes and turbinado sugar. A tart and sweet treat on top of Ben & Jerry's dense and rich vanilla ice cream. OK... I'm actually getting sleepy now. By the way, I did get my miles in . . . Not 10 though....more like 5.
Love to all, Katie