A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

Month: August 2016

Grilled Chicken with Tamarind-Orange Glaze – from Allrecipes

Grilled Chicken with Tamarind-Orange Glaze – from Allrecipes

I enjoy the monthly cooking challenge I do with a group of friends.  This month’s challenge is to use tamarind paste in a new-to-me recipe.  I already used it once in a recipe I’ll make again, and I got lucky again with this great recipe […]

Making Frida Kahlo’s Zucchini Salad

Making Frida Kahlo’s Zucchini Salad

Some time ago I had come across and saved Frida Kahlo’s zucchini salad, but never made it.  When a Saveur Magazine Facebook post popped up at the same time I got some small zucchini and summer squash in my CSA share, it seemed like it […]

Not exactly Herbes de Provence

Not exactly Herbes de Provence

I was making a recipe today that called for Herbes de Provence.  I had just ordered a jar last night, but three different looks through my cupboards didn’t reveal any today.

So I figured I would just put together my own mix.  Googling brought me to this Emeril Lagasse recipe for it:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/herbs-de-provence-recipe.html
Then I had another problem, which was that I don’t have any savory or fennel (mainly because I don’t like fennel).  More googling to figure out substitutions.
So I substituted tarragon and ground coriander seeds.  Was it exactly what I needed?
No, but it ended up tasting great.
I also did not need an entire cup of the stuff, so I only used 1 tablespoon of each herb.  Then stored it in a glass jar.
Merri’s Fake Herbes de Provence
 
(All herbs are dried herbs)
 
1 Tablespoon each of:
Basil
Oregano
Tarragon
Marjoram
Thyme
Coriander seeds
Rosemary leaves
I used this in a marinade with olive oil for chicken.  The chicken tasted great!
PS I see it both as herbs de Provence and Herbes de Provence.  Off to see what is correct.
Summer in a Bowl

Summer in a Bowl

Because calling this a sweet pepper salad does not do it justice. This week we got some beautiful red and orange horn peppers in our CSA share.  I decided I wanted to make some kind of salad with them, and started down all the search […]

More fun with Basil – David Lebovitz’s Basil Vinaigrette

More fun with Basil – David Lebovitz’s Basil Vinaigrette

I saw this in David Lebovitz’s newsletter and thought about making it since I had a ton of basil, and was looking for new ways to use it. Then a friend of mine made it, and highly recommended it, so I made it tonight. I […]

Preserving Flavor for the Winter – Two Tomato Sauces Plus FrozenTomatoes

Preserving Flavor for the Winter – Two Tomato Sauces Plus FrozenTomatoes

I’ve already canned a bunch of straight up tomato sauce, but I wanted to make a few complete sauces as well.

My CSA sells bulk produce to its members along with the shares, so last week I got 10 pounds of tomato seconds.  I had garlic, basil, oregano, and thyme already.  I also had a bag of cherry tomatoes that I couldn’t eat quite fast enough so I wanted to preserve them.
Roasted Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
 
First up was roasting tomatoes.  I filled up a large Pyrex baking dish with halved tomatoes, sliced garlic cloves, and thyme, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
When I originally did this, I had listed 375 Fahrenheit for two hours.  Since I was busy working with the other tomatoes, I neglected to start checking the tomatoes.  I burnt the heck out of the bottom of this dish.  I would suggest starting to check it at 1 hour in the future.
Once the tomatoes are roasted I removed the thyme, and blended with roasted red peppers I had made previously.
Here’s the original blog post on how to make this sauce:
http://merriskitchen.blogspot.com/2015/08/now-for-tomatoes-before-they-go-bad.html?q=Tomato
Marinara Sauce with Poached Basil and Oregano
Once the tomatoes started roasting, I got busy with the next sauce.  The first time I made this sauce I just used 2 lbs of tomatoes.  I wanted a few more portions for the winter freezer, so I used six pounds this time.  It uses a method of ‘poaching’ fresh basil and oregano in the sauce.  It takes a bit of time to slowly simmer and reduce, but it is worth it for the full-of-flavor sauce in the end.
I added a few more red pepper flakes than I should have at the end, so it ended up pretty spicy.
Here’s the original blog post with all the details:
http://merriskitchen.blogspot.com/2015/08/marinara-sauce-this-is-for-you-donna.html?q=Roast
Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
 
The last thing I did was to slow roast some cherry tomatoes.  It’s amazing any of these even make it into the bags for the freezer.  They are so sweet and good, you can eat them like candy.
These are a lot like the roasted tomatoes above, except you roast them at a lower temp and are looking to bring them close to a dehydrated stage.
Just slice them, place them on a baking sheet with a bunch of garlic cloves, scatter some sprigs of thyme about, and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Put them in a 300 Fahrenheit oven and start checking at 30 minutes.  I often have a bunch of different sizes so will take them out to cool at different stages as they finish cooking.  After the first 30 minutes, check every 15, removing tomatoes as you go.
In the past I have used these in sauces, but also on pizzas or flatbreads, and in salads.
The final products
 
I got 3 portions of the marinara, 2 portions of the roasted sauce, and 2 portions of the cherry tomatoes.  I squeezed out as much air as possible from the bags by putting a straw on one end and smoothing out the air as I zipped the bags closed.  They are in the freezer now, ready to give me a little summertime this winter.
Ottolenghi’s Stuffed Eggplant With Pine Nuts and Tamarind Paste

Ottolenghi’s Stuffed Eggplant With Pine Nuts and Tamarind Paste

Actually, I don’t think that is the actual name of the recipe but it was all I could remember when I was typing it. Here’s the deal.  The August food challenge with my friends is to use tamarind paste in a new-to-us recipe.  I got […]

What should I do with my CSA share THIS week?

What should I do with my CSA share THIS week?

There is just so much good stuff I don’t know what to make first.  Plus I bought 10 lbs of tomato seconds so I need to process those too. Trying to decide if I want to make baba ganoush, eggplant Parmesan, or ratatouille with the […]

Calabacitas – OR – What do do with all that summer squash

Calabacitas – OR – What do do with all that summer squash

A friend posted a link to a long list of New Mexico recipes.  I want to try a lot of them, but the one I made last week was for calabacitas.  You’ll have to scroll down a ways on the link below, but it is worth it.

http://www.newmexico.org/true-recipes#article89332
I had summer squash and golden zucchini.  And onions and some peppers too.  So I bought some corn, and got to work.
First I needed to roast some peppers.  I used Anaheim peppers in the dish, although really they should be Hatch green Chilis.
I took advantage of the grill being on to roast a bunch of other peppers I had on hand.
Meanwhile, I started chopping up squash and zucchini.
Time to turn the peppers!  Boy, did they smell good.
Then it was time to cut fresh kernels off the cob.  I used the tip I had read about where I balanced the corn cob on the tube of a bundt pan, and sliced the kernels right into the pan.  It wasn’t messy at all (like cutting off corn kernels usually can be).
Time to take those peppers out, put them in a bowl, and tightly cover with plastic wrap to let them steam, making them easy to peel.
The next veggie to be chopped was the onion.  I got the Monterey Jack cheese ready, some cream, and after peeling and seeding the peppers, I chopped those too.
The onions and squash get sautéed together first.  And the kitchen smelled delicious.
That’s followed by adding the corn and peppers.  Oh my Lord.
And add the cream.
What a tasty bunch of vegetables.  This cooks down a bit so it is not soupy, more just a coating of cream.
Because the recipe said to, I sprinkled Monterey Jack cheese on top.  I really don’t think it needs it and it doesn’t add much.
This recipe is definitely a keeper.  I think it needs the full amount of corn (I was a little short).  I’ll skip the cheese next time.  And the recipe as is makes a huge batch.  So unless I have company, I will probably cut it in half next time.
Canning Tomato Sauce

Canning Tomato Sauce

Home canned tomato sauce is so good, and it is a LOT of work.  Still, I was out (I thought) and wanted to can some more this year. My normal source wasn’t sure they could come through, so I ended up buying 50 lbs of […]