Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Tomatoes of Summer

This is the season for tomatoes in Plymouth County. Tomatoes season begins in the D0g Days and last until the first good frost. This is when I eat fresh tomatoes, when they’re local and juicy and unrefrigerated . Unless they’ve been dried or put into a can, the lovely tomato just does not travel well.

Fresh fresh fresh

Fresh fresh fresh

Going to the AWARD WINNING Plymouth Farmer’s Market to get me some ‘matersmusic

There are  plenty of ways to eat fresh, JUICY tomatoes that aren’t really recipes

Out of hand, out of doors with a hose nearby ….

Sink sandwich – sliced, on bread with some mayo, a little salt and pepper – over the sink….even better if you call it a sammiches (but just don’t go to ‘sammy‘ please)

Cut into slices and put with anything else on your plate

Cut into wedges with a little oil and vinegar

or add a little fresh basil to those wedges

or add a little cheese – almost any sort – to those wedges

Sing tomato songs….

Tomato Songs from Red Beet Records in Nashville

Tomato Songs from Red Beet Records in Nashville

tomato-songs

 

But since the season also bring bulk tomatoes, cooking with the fresh fruit (and it is a fruit) is also an option.

Red Gravy d’Estate (for summer)

2 # fresh plum tomatoes

¼ pound butter

1 med yellow onion – not a Vidalia, just a regular ole onion, peeled and cut in half

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon sugar

  1. Wash the tomatoes in cold water. Dry.
  2. Cut them in half lengthwise. Put them in a covered pan, bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Run them through a food mill or strain them through a fine mesh colander. Put the puree back in the pan.
  4. Add the butter, the halfed onion salt and sugar.
  5. Cook at a low simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
  6. Taste and correct for salt; discard onion.( I save it for frittata)
  7. Serve over spaghetti.

Marcella Hazan. The Classic Italian Cookbook. Ballantine Books, (1973) 1984. p. 91.

Classic Italian cb

Marcella and Victor Hazan

Marcella and Victor Hazan

Since I started writing this post, edibleSouth Shore and South Coast have set up a workshop for, you guessed it, Tomato Sauce. I’ll let you know how goes….

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Salad Noodles

The salad days of summer continue……
Some people have signature dishes, something that they always bring, that they always serve.
I am not one of those people.
In part because, I have a very, very low threshold for boredom.
In part because there is very little I don’t truly believe that I could do better next time – and that means  little changes, and those little changes add up over time.
In part, because once I ‘file’ a recipe – out of sight, out of mind.
Going through my books and folders for this blog has been a real trip down memory lane.
In the ‘why did I stop making that’ category:

RAINBOW PEANUT NOODLES

It’s tasty, it’s easy, it travels well…..but once I put my copy of  the cookbook Asian Noodles  away…….when I picked it up, it fell open to the peanut dressing recipe.

Rainbow Peanut Noodles

 

Chinese Peanut Dressing

One 1/3 inch thick slice fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half

8 cloves garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon hot chile paste (or more…)

½ cup smooth peanut butter (or more…)

¼ cup soy sauce

3 ½ tablespoons sugar

3 1.2 tablespoons Chines black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons chicken broth or water (or more)

  1. In a blender or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, finely chop the ginger and the garlic.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed. The dressing should be the consistency of thick cream. If it’s too thick, add more liquid; if it’s too think add more peanut butter.
  3. Refrigerate in a cover container (this is a good time to use a Mason jar). The dressing will keep for 2 to 3 weeks, she says – mine has never lasted past the 10 day mark.

Page 122.

Rainbow Noodle Salad

1 # thin noodles, cooked until just tender, rinsed under cold water, drained and tossed with 2 teas toasted sesame oil

8-10 carrots (2#) peeled and grated

4 good sized cukes, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, shredded and squeezed dry

4 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained

2 ripe bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into thin strings (about 2 cups)

4 cups sliced cooked chicken, cut into thin strips (or the meat from a Friday night special supermarket  rotisserie chicken. Save the bones for broth)

2-3 tablespoons minced scallion greens (or garlic scapes)

  1. Arrange noodles in a large serving bowl or platter.
  2. Arrange vegetables in concentric circles over the noodles and pile the chicken in the center – or if there are vegetarians or food allergy issues, arrange the meat and veggies in smaller bowls/plates around the noodle bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the scallions or scapes all around on top.
  4. Serve at room temperature or chilled with the Chinese Peanut Sauce.

12 servings, depending on your crowd and what else is on the table.

Nina Simonds. Asian Noodles. Hearst Books. 1997. p.82.

Nina Simonds

Nina Simonds

Nina Simonds has a blog that has a tahini version of this sauce at ninasimonds.

Asian Noodles Nina SimmondsThe leftovers, should there be any, are great with eggs as a fritatta , just  leave off any cheese.

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Summertime Kitchen Sink Salads

Foodways Pilgrim

One notably hot summer – as if we have other then notably hot summers – our suppers consisted of Salads, Sandwiches and Smoothies. It was a “there’s already enough heat in the kitchen, who has any appetite to anything big in this heat anyhow?” summer.

But I never made a salad in a jar. Nor am I about to now. Salad dressing in jar, yes. Salad outside the jar.

Now, IF (when) I’m in the checkout line for far toooooo long, the magazines that line the counter seem more and more interesting. This can lead to some buyer’s remorse. And so the other day I ended up with….a magazine I looked at the next day and said, “I spent CASH MONEY on this hooey?”.

Being summer there was a story on salads, but not any salads:

MEALS IN MASON JARS

This is a Strawberry Pecan Salad This is a Strawberry Pecan Salad. In…

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Summertime Kitchen Sink Salads

One notably hot summer – as if we have other then notably hot summers – our suppers consisted of Salads, Sandwiches and Smoothies. It was a “there’s already enough heat in the kitchen, who has any appetite to anything big in this heat anyhow?” summer.

But I never made a salad in a jar. Nor am I about to now. Salad dressing in jar, yes. Salad outside the jar.

Now, IF (when) I’m in the checkout line for far toooooo long, the magazines that line the counter seem more and more interesting. This can lead to some buyer’s remorse. And so the other day I ended up with….a magazine I looked at the next day and said, “I spent CASH MONEY on this hooey?”.

Being summer there was a story on salads, but not any salads:

MEALS IN MASON JARS

This is a Strawberry Pecan Salad

This is a Strawberry Pecan Salad. In a Mason Jar. and although I haven’t mentioned the name of the periodical, they’ve included a photo credit, bless their heart.

You may remember where I stand on the Mason Jar as food service ware. Shark jumped.

fonzie jumps the shark ill

So, what exactly IS a Mason Jar?

The Mason jar was invented and patented in 1858 by Philadelphia tinsmith John Landis Mason[1][2] (1832-1902). Among other common names for them are Ball jars,[3] after Ball Corporation, an early and prolific manufacturer of the jars; fruit jars for a common content; and simply glass canning jars reflecting their material. Wiki

And now for a salad to eat out of a bowl or a plate…..the Summertime Salad.

Take greens, wash them well, add fruit, veggies, nuts, herbs, maybe some cooked beans or hard boiled eggs or even some cheese, leftover cooked macaroni, stale bread bits…. literally everything BUT the kitchen sink  – top with a dressing.

You can get these things from your garden or the Farmer’s Market or even the regular ole grocery store. This can be your lunch, your dinner or your supper. It can expand to serve from one person feeling peckish in the heat to a good sized hungry crowd. This isn’t as much as a recipe as permission to eat the things you like in whatever combination you think would be tasty. The dressing brings it all together.

 

  Goddess Dressing, Neo-Green:

½ total cup rough chopped fresh dill, basil and/ or parsley (or whatever combo you’d like or happen to have on hand – add up to another 1/4 cup if you like it greener)

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 Tablespoon grainy mustard

½ cup plain yoghurt

½ cup olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (1/2 a large lemon)

Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

  1. In a blender (or food processor) combine the herbs, garlic, mustard, and yoghurt and process until well blended.
  2. With the machine still running, add the olive oil in a steady stream.
  3. Add lemon juice and pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper .
  4. Put on the salad…you already figured that part out, right?

Adapted from Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby. Lettuce in Your Kitchen. William Morrow and Co, NY. 1996. pp. 138-9.

Lettuce in your kitchen

I may have initially gotten this book just for the great title. It’s a really great salad primer, as it turns out.

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More Pudding ( a wicked way back one….)

and a Pudding Contest.
Here are the rules for the 2014 Pudding Hollow Pudding Contest:

This is the pudding mold/crown for the winner of the contest – knowing Tinky, there will be other wonderful prizes as well

1. Contestants must be able to come to Hawley, Massachusetts, on September 28 by 11 am. If you are unable to attend the actual contest, you may send your pudding with a representative. You will be eligible for some prizes but not for the first-place award. Contestants must bring enough pudding to serve at least eight people and must march in the PUDDING PARADE. (If finalists are coming from far away, they may arrange to reheat their puddings in local kitchens.)

2. All recipes must be from original sources. That is, the formula for your own squash pudding or your Aunt Myrtle’s rice pudding is eligible. A recipe from a book is not.

3. Ingredients must be listed in the order used in the recipe. All ingredients listed must be used in the recipe instructions.

4. No pudding that has reached the finals in a previous year may be reentered.

5. Recipes will not be returned. The Sons & Daughters of Hawley and the Merry Lion Press reserve the right to reprint all recipes. No pudding will be accepted in the contest without a recipe.

 

and now for a pudding from the past, in verse no less….

Receipt for a Pudding

 If the vicar you treat,
You must give him to eat,
A pudding to hit his affection;
And to make his repast,
By the canon of taste,
Be the present receipt your direction.

First take two pounds of Bread,
Be the crumb only weigh’d,
For the crust the good house-wife refuses;
The proportion you’ll guess,
May be made more or less,
To the size that each family chuses.

Then its sweetness to make
Some currants you take
And Sugar of each half a pound
Be not butter forgot
And the quantity sought
Must the same with your currants be found

Cloves & mace you will want,
With rose water I grant,
And more savory things if well chosen;
Then to bind each ingredient,
You’ll find it expedient,
Of Eggs to put in half a dozen.

Some milk don’t refuse it,
But boiled ere you use it,
A proper hint this for its maker;
And the whole when compleat,
In a pan clean and neat,
With care recommend to the baker.

In praise of this pudding,
I vouch it a good one,
Or should you suspect a fond word;
To every Guest,
Perhaps it is best,
Two puddings should smoke on the board.

Two puddings!– yet – no,
For if one will do,
The other comes in out of season;
And these lines but obey,
Nor can anyone say,
That this pudding’s with-out rhyme or reason

Contributed by Mrs. Cassandra Austen(Jane’s mother) to Martha Lloyd’s collection of recipes, 1808The Poetry of Jane Austen and the Austen Family  by David Selwyn (Editor)

Jane Austin

Jane Austin

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National Tapioca Pudding Day!

A bowl of tapioca pudding - sometimes called 'frog spawn' or 'fish eyes' to scare off the timid

A bowl of tapioca pudding – sometimes called ‘frog spawn’ or ‘fish eyes’ to scare off the timid

Who knew there was a Tapioca Pudding Consortium to rally for a National day of recognition?  Who are these tapioca aficionados? The mysteries of food and politics…..

Chocolate Tapioca pudding - egg free, gluten free, easy and tasty!

Chocolate Tapioca pudding – egg free, gluten free, easy and tasty!

Long ago , and not so far away, there was a little restaurant, really a large diner, and when we weren’t eating green macaroni and cheese for Friday night supper, we might, especially if it were summer it seems, go there for Friday night Fish and Chips. They also had tapioca pudding for dessert.  Brother number 3 had a special fondness for tapioca, and calling it fish eggs or fish eyes or anything else disgusting would not cause him to turn away. It’s also really easy to make, and adding chocolate makes this my favorite chocolate pudding. Ironically, Brother number 3 has a birthday on – you guessed it – National Tapioca Pudding Day. Many happy returns of the day, little brother! XoX

Chocolate Tapioca Pudding

1  egg

3 cups  milk

1/3 cup  sugar

3 Tbsp.  tapioca

3 oz.   semi-sweet chocolate ( chips or squares, or dark if you like it strong)

1 tsp.  vanilla (I’ve also used Kahlua or rum or anisette…..whatever liqueur you prefer or have on hand)

  1. Beat egg, milk, sugar and tapioca with wire whisk in medium saucepan until well blended; let stand 5 min. Add chocolate. So far the heat isn’t on
  2. Bring the heat up to medium until it’s  at a rolling boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Cool 20 minutes – this stuff thickens as it cools.
  4. Stir. Serve warm or chilled.
  5. Stir again before serving.

 

 recipe from Kraft Minute Tapioca , with notes from the Kraft website

Tapioca pearls are also found in Bubble Tea - great choice for a summer's day

Tapioca pearls are also found in Bubble Tea – great choice for a hot summer’s day

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Just another Meatless Monday

BASIC BEANS ANOTHER WAY

1 pound dried beans, picked over and rinsed
1 large onion, quartered and/or
2 garlic cloves, crushed and/or
2 bay leaves

1. Pick, rinse and soak the beans in enough water to cover plus an inch or two (a bowl with a wider top will need less surface water then on that is narrow but deep). Soak for 8 hours or overnight. If it’s warm and you don’t have AC, soak them in the fridge or you’ll get some fermentation going….. Theoretically they’re still edible, but there are texture and flavor issues…
2. Drain the beans place them in a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Add (or not) the onion/garlic bay leaves. Add enough water to cover – 6 – 8 cps.
3. Cover and cook on high 8 – 12 hours, depending on the type and age of bean.
Robin Robertson. Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Harvard Common Press: 2004. p. 95.

Fresh from Veg Kitchen

Butternut Squash Chili

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion (or equal amount of onion-ness), chopped

3 cloves of garlic, smooshed

1 ½ pound butternut (or other winter) squash, peeled and cubed – it comes ready to use in frozen form…frozen butternut squash

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

4 cups cooked pinto beans (2 cans drained and rinsed)

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 cups broth or water

1 teaspoon salt

  1. In large pot, sauté onion until soft over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds more.
  2. Add the squash and celery, continue sautéing until celery is soft and some of the squash is a little brown.
  3. Add the chili powder and cumin and toss and heat another minute – it should smell divine.
  4. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth and salt. Give it a good stir.
  5. Raise the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat to keep it at a good simmer. You might (probably) have to do the partially covered thing with the lid. Simmer for 30 – 4o minutes.

Adapted from a recipe submitted by Anne Marie Rossi in edibleBoston, No. 31, Winter 2014. p. 31.

edibleBostonW14-Cover_Mary-500x654

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May on July

A bill of Fare for July.

Muskmelons.Muskmelon
1 Pottage of Capon.
2 Boil’d Pigeons.
3 A hash of Caponets.
4 A Grand Sallet.

German School, 17th 17th Century  German School A bowl of spinach and eggs with a pewter dish

German School, 17th 17th Century German School A bowl of spinach and eggs and roasted quail with a pewter dish. The spinach with eggs is a more ordinary boiled salad – a grans salad is…grander.

 

5 A Fawn.
6 A Custard.

A Second Course.

1 Pease, of French Beans.

French beans are also known now as green bean..I think the pease of the beans are the little seeds within. This would make this dish extremely delicate and dainty!

French beans are also known now as green bean..I think the pease of the beans are the little seeds within. This would make this dish extremely delicate and dainty!

2 Gulls four, two larded.

black legged kittiwake

black legged kittiwake – gulls are also called mews or mouettes

3 Pewits eight, four larded.

Pewits are now more commonly called Northern lapwings

Pewits are now more commonly called Northern lapwings

4 A quodling Tart green.
5 Portugal eggs, two sorts.
6 Buttered Brawn.
Selsey Cockles broil’d.

Ben Johson. Volpone. Act 1. Scene 2.

SIR POLITIQUE WOULD BEE:

“In oranges, musk-melons, and such like: sometimes in Colchester-oysters, and your Selsey-cockles.’

Selsey is in West Sussex  – Colchester is in Essex – so this is shell fish coming from both sides of England.

He's holdonmg a gridiron, perhaps waiting to broil some cockles - can anyone translate the caption?

He’s holding a gridiron, perhaps waiting to broil some cockles – can anyone translate the caption?

Robert May. The Accomplist Cook.

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