Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Smoked Salmon, Zucchini and Bread Salad

So, last week I posted about how we smoked our own salmon. It is quite tasty on it's own as a snack, but now it's time to start incorporating it into some meals.
Smoked Salmon, Zucchini and Bread Salad
Matt had an idea for a salad that would also use some of the zucchini we had in the fridge. The salad seemed a little out there, but oh man was it ever good! It's colorful and full of different textures. The flavor was just amazing from the smoky soy flavor of the salmon to the zing of the creamy balsamic dressing. We used juustoleipa in this salad because we had some in the fridge, but both of us decided the salad really didn't need it and we'd leave it out in the future.
Smoked Salmon, Zucchini and Bread Salad

Smoked Salmon, Zucchini and Bread Salad

2 c bread cubes, from a hearty white bread
1 T olive oil
1 zucchini
handful of cherry tomatoes
1 cup shredded smoked salmon
4 oz juustoleipa, Finnish bread cheese, cubed

Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread cubes. Sauté until the cubes are browned on all sides.

Cut the zucchini in half length-wise, then using your peeler make wide, noodle-like strip from each half. (We didn't peel our zucchini, but you can if you like)

Add the juustoleipa to the same skillet you used to brown the bread. Cook until the cubes are brown on most sides and softened.

Mix all the ingredients together and serve with the creamy balsamic dressing.

2 main dish servings.

Creamy Balsamic Dressing
The quantities below are approximate as Matt tends to make our dressing by tasting and adding more of things as he goes. I suggest you do the same thing when making this, adjusting amounts to your tastes.

1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t dried parsley
1 T white wine vinegar
1 t balsamic vinegar
1/4 c mayonnaise
1/4 c olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

Mix the onion powder, parsley and vinegars together. Microwave for about 10 seconds. Let cool. Whisk in the mayonnaise. Whisk in the olive oil. Season with pepper to taste.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MN State Fair 2011

It's that time of the year again where we stuff ourselves with fried food on a stick, it's fair time! There weren't that many exciting new foods to try this year, so we mixed a few in with some of our favorites.
Kidway
We got to the fair just in time for breakfast, so our first stop was a classic, Tom Thumbs's mini donuts.
Mini Donuts
Which was quickly followed by a new offering Axel's Breakfast Lollypop. The breakfast lollypop is a sausage patty, covered in a corn batter, fried and dipped in maple syrup. I actually really liked the flavor combination here, though it is a bit greasy for breakfast.
Breakfast Lollypop Breakfast Lollypop
Speaking of grease, Matt couldn't resist the deep fried slider while we were at Axel's.
Deep Fried Slider Deep Fried Slider
That is exactly what is sounds like, a slider, bun and all, batted and fried. Matt liked the flavor, but thought it was very greasy, especially the bun.

Next we wanted to try the Carnitas Asian Taco from San Felipe Tacos that we'd heard so much about.
DSC_0036
Asian Carnitas Taco Asian Carnitas Taco
This was probably the healthiest and perhaps tastiest thing we had all day. It's actually something we might eat outside of the fair. Basically, it a carnitas taco with an Asian sauce, great idea.

As it was before noon on a Sunday, it was still too early to try some Minnesota wine, but not too early for Minnesota wine ice cream made by Izzy's.
Wine Ice Cream
We tried two flavors, Bootlegger's Cherry made with Bootlegger's Cherry Port Wine from Cannon River and Ruby River raspberry ice cream infused with Ruby Minnesota wine from Northern Vineyards. Both were really good, but Matt thought the cherry had a better flavor with the huge cherries in it and a better texture. The raspberry tasted much more of wine to me. We thought this was a good deal at $7 for two huge scoops.

Then it was time for a quick beef stick snack while watching the lumberjack show followed by some Spring Grove Sodas.
Beef Stick Spring Grove Soda Pop
We'd heard a lot of great things about this soda. Matt had the black cherry and I had the strawberry. The strawberry tasted just like the strawberry soda I used to get as a kid at the local Pop Shop. I thought the black cherry tasted like cough syrup, but Matt loved it.

I really wanted to try the pretzel dog since I love sausage in a pretzel roll.
Pretzel Dog
This was just ok. I wanted more pretzel flavor than the amount of dough wrapped around the hot dog gave.

Of course, it's not a day at the MN State Fair without some fried cheese curds.
Cheese Curds Matt eating cheese curds
As we were leaving, Matt decided he need lunch at that point and capped off the day with a Pronto Pup. Somehow I managed to miss getting a picture of that one last treat.

It was really a great day at the fair, though we both were craving a big green salad by the end of it! I took a ton of non-food pictures too which you'll find here in my State Fair set.





If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekly Menu 8/29 - 9/2/11

No farmers market finds this week. We have such a full fridge from past visits and from our cousin's garden right now that we just didn't need it. Instead we went to the fair yesterday! Tomorrow, I'll share what we ate this year with you.
The Fair
To me the fair really signals the end of summer, where did it go this year?!

On to Menu Planning Monday...

Smoked Salmon Pasta

Chicken with a Zucchini Salad

Sausage with Peppers and Onions

Zucchini and Tomato Pie

Since we are heading out of town for a few days Friday night will be finishing anything left in the fridge.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Smoked Salmon

We are lucky enough to have Wild Run Salmon at our farmers market to provides us with fresh frozen, wild Alaskan salmon. They offer a deal when you buy in bulk, so we filled our freezer with 20 pounds of salmon! Now, we love using the salmon the way it is, but also wanted some smoked for salads, pasta, chowder and dips. Matt decided to trying smoking it himself.
Smoked Salmon
I was a little worried it wouldn't work very well in our hot smoker (as opposed to a cold smoker) and we'd end up with salmon jerky. Matt though was ever confident.
Preparing Salmon to Smoke
After being boned and cut into 2" strips, the salmon sits for two to three days in a marinade in the fridge. Matt's marinade smelled wonderful with the soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic. He used a bowl on top to keep the salmon under the marinade.
Preparing Salmon to Smoke
Then it gets rinsed off and let to sit for an hour at room temperature before hitting the smoker.
Smoking Salmon
He placed the salmon skin side down on sheets of tin foil in the smoker. Matt chose cherry wood for his smoke. Then, he was careful to keep the heat at what our smoker called the ideal temperature (between 200 - 250 F), not to hot and not too cold. We had read that it should smoke for 2 - 3 hours, but Matt took ours off after 1 1/2. It was cooked through and we didn't want it to dry out.

Matt's Salmon Brine
(this brine is great even if you're just throwing your salmon on the grill)

3/4 c soy sauce
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
2 c water
1/4 c non-iodized salt (iodized salt can add an odd flavor, use kosher or pickling salt)
2 bay leaves
1 t garlic powder
1 t ground black pepper

Mix everything together and microwave a few seconds to help the sugar and salt dissolve. Let cool before adding the salmon.

Enough brine for 3 - 4 pounds of salmon.

Next week a smoked salmon, zucchini and bread cheese salad.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekly Menu and Farmers Market Finds 8/21 - 8/27/11

Boy, did we have a lovely weekend. The weather was perfect and we capped Sunday night off with another Tour de Farm event. This time it was in conjunction with the Celebrity Chef Tour, a series of dinners around the country to benefit the James Beard Foundation. Last night's dinner was at the Star Prairie Trout Farm in Star Prairie, WI. We ate amazing food cooked by Scott Pampuch, Barton Seaver, Tim McKee, Mike Philips and even Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel. Plus we got an informative tour of the farm with lots of information on raising trout. According to the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, farmed trout is a good choice because of its sustainability and little effect on the environment. As usual, I took lots of pictures, so enjoy the show. Click on any picture to stop the show and read about it.

Created with flickr slideshow.

We also hit the farmers market this Sunday. The squash blossoms were in!
Farmers Market Finds 8/21
Broccoli
Cilantro
Squash Blossoms
Sweet Onions
Eggs
Fajita Beef
Zucchini
Tomatoes
Beans
Sun Street Pasties - Had these for lunch today & they were amazing!

Now on to Menu Planning Monday...

Squash Blossom and Black Bean Tacos

Gazpacho - going to try using lemon cucumbers in it this time

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry - using the fajita beef

Chicken with a Zucchini & Bread Cheese Salad


If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Friday, August 19, 2011

We can't wait for the Food Love


Oh man, do we love our food on the stick!

Here's our fair eating adventures from the last couple of years, 2008, 2009, 2010.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Garden Flatbread

Last week the weather finally turned to more comfortable temperatures and the humidity broke. Matt and I took advantage of it to enjoy a late dinner of small plates on Cafe Maude's patio. Everything was suburb, but we both fell in love with the hummus flatbread topped with fresh vegetables, halloumi cheese and a yogurt sauce. We decided it would make for a great easy dinner at home this week.
Summer Gardeb Flatbread
We stuck pretty to the original with a few changes. We used pitas as our flatbread. Originally we planned on doing this as a sandwich, but have had a hard time finding pitas that stand up to being split open into pockets (I know, I know, I should make my own). So, plan B was to just use then as a base for an open face sandwich. We topped the hummus with some original flavor hummus from Holy Land in here in Minneapolis. Then added sliced cucumbers from my cousins garden and tomatoes from ours. The Cafe Maude flatbread was topped with a garlic-mint yogurt sauce. We didn't have any fresh mint, so we flavored ours with fresh dill and a little lemon juice.

Instead of an imported halloumi, we used juustoleipa, Finnish bread cheese, from Wisconsin. It is similar to halloumi as it doesn't melt when heated. We cut it into cubes and then put it ina skillet until it is warm, turning from time to time. It softens a bit, but still has a nice squeaky texture. I'm addicted to this cheese and love it on a salad or as a snack.

If you got an abundance of cucumbers or tomatoes in your garden this year, I highly recommend this open-faced sandwich as a great light dinner or fresh lunch.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BL(GF)T

We're cooking easy, comfort meals that don't take a lot of time in the kitchen this week. Last night's dinner was a perfect example, plus it featured one of my favorite treats as a kid, green fried tomatoes.
BL(GF)T
Yes, that is a BLT, only the T is green, breaded and fried. Who knows if our tomatoes will ever ripen this year, so I might as well eat them while they are green. They get so wonderfully sweet when fried. That sweetness is the perfect foil to some good salty bacon.

The tomatoes get sliced very thin then patted dry with a paper towel. Some people dip their tomatoes in egg before dredging in a flour mixture, but I find that makes for too heavy a coating. Instead I dipped mine in some buttermilk (well, I didn't have buttermilk on hand so actually I used half and half with a little lemon in it). I went very simple on the breading for the tomatoes as I wasn't eating them alone, just a mixture of 1/2 cup flour, 1 tablespoon cornmeal and some salt and pepper. Then, to make it even better I fried them in the bacon grease, oh yeah, the bacon grease. This is not a sandwich for the faint of heart.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cheesy Grits with Green Tomato Jam and Pork

A couple weeks ago we went to the Tour de Farm breakfast at Riverbend Farm. All the food was wonderful, but we both swooned over Molly Hermann's Cheesy Polenta with Tomato Jam and Pulled Pork.
Tour de Farm Chicknic
Matt said we had to try making our own version at home. Since we had pork left over from the Sweet Corn Waffles with Pulled Pork it was the perfect time.
Cheesy Grits with Tomato Jam & Pulled Pork
Instead of polenta, we used the stone-ground grits we had picked up on our last trip to Memphis. For the tomato jam, we opened up a jar of our First Frost Green Tomato Jam. It didn't have the beautiful red color of Molly's jam, but ended up being perfect in this dish. We were actually a little afraid about using the jam as it's flavored with allspice, cinnamon and ginger, as well as being sweet, but it complimented all the other flavors so well.

Here's the recipe for the cheesy grits. Once they're made just top them with a few spoonfuls of jam and the pulled pork. Comfort food at its best.

Cheesy Grits

2 c chicken stock (or water, but stock will add more flavor)
1/2 T butter
1/2 c grits
1/2 c milk
1 oz grated parmesan
pinch or two of cayenne
salt

Put the stock and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the grits and return to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 10 minutes. You'll want to stir often to keep it from sticking to the pan. Stir in the milk and simmer until almost absorbed as well. Add the parmesan and cayenne. Stir until melted. The grits should be creamy, but not soupy. Taste and season with salt as needed. Serve hot.

Makes 2 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wild Mushroom Pasta

The last couple of weeks I've been admiring the beautiful golden mushrooms at the Tiny Planet Produce stand at the Kingfield Market. This week I decided to splurge and buy some. Originally, I was only going to buy some chanterelle, but then I saw they also had chicken of the woods. I had to have both. That really made it a splurge as this half pound of mushrooms cost $16.
Chanterelle and Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms
I've only had chicken of the woods once before in a dish at Corner Table. It won me over right away, but I'd never seen it anywhere to buy before. They are like no other mushroom I've every had, very firm with a decidedly lemon chicken flavor.
WIld Mushroom Pasta
I knew I were going to make a pasta with these two mushrooms, but I didn't want to make anything too heavy. I also wanted to make sure there wasn't anything else in the pasta that would overpower the mushrooms. So, I kept it pretty basic a light cream sauce flavored with garlic, leeks and a little parsley. It was exactly like I wanted a summer mushroom pasta to be. The only thing I would change if we splurged and made it again would be to cut the chicken of the woods mushrooms a little smaller. The bigger pieces stayed a little chewier than we liked while the small ones were nice and soft.

Wild Mushroom Pasta

4 - 5 oz linguine
1/2 T butter
1/2 T olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts sliced and well washed
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb wild mushrooms, chopped or sliced depending on the mushroom
1 t white wine vinegar
1/4 c chicken stock
1/2 c half and half
1/2 oz grated parmesan
1 T chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper

Cook the linguine according to the directions. When done drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leek and garlic and sauté for a minute or two until just starting to get tender. Add the mushrooms. Sauté until the mushroom and leeks are very tender. Stir in the vinegar and chicken stock. Add the half and half. Let cook until just slightly reduced. Add the parmesan and stir until melted. Stir in the  parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Stir the drained pasta into the sauce. Serve with extra cheese if desired.

Makes 2 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sweet Corn Waffles with Pulled Pork

Look another sweet corn recipe! This time I've added it to waffles along with some grits to make the perfect vehicle for crock pot pork. Top it all with spicy maple syrup and this one is a winner.
Corn Waffles Topped with Pulled Pork
I made the crock pot pork just like I've made crock pot beef in the past. A couple of pork steaks went in the crock pot with a sliced onion, a can of beer, 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon of malt vinegar and a tablespoon of horseradish mustard. Let it cook on high until the pork is fall apart tender, mine took about 4 hours. Remove the pork from the pot and shred.

Matt came up with the idea for the spicy maple syrup and it couldn't be easier. Just mix maple syrup with Sriracha to taste. I was skeptical, but man it was the perfect sweet and spicy topper for this dish.

Sweet Corn Waffles

2 ears of corn (or about 1 cup of frozen corn kernels, thawed)
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c grits
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 T unsalted butter, melts & slightly cooled
1 c milk

Husk the corn and cook in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Let cool. Cut the kernels from the cobs.

Mix the flour, grits, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.

In another bowl mix the eggs, butter, milk and corn kernels. Pour into the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Let sit 5 minutes.

Cook according to your waffle maker instructions.

Makes 3 Belgium waffles

Top waffles with pork and drizzle with spicy maple syrup. Dig in!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekly Menu and Farmers Market Finds 8/07 - 8/13/11

What a great week at the farmers market. The weather was perfect, there is so much in season and it felt like the whole neighborhood was out enjoying it. We were a little sad to hear Bogart Loves won't be at the Kingfield Market anymore this year. Guess we'll have to run by Fulton for our donut fix on Saturdays instead. If you are in the Twin Cities here's a little heads up, I asked Peter from Peter's Pumpkins if they were going to be selling blossoms soon and he told me this was the time they'd be picking them, so look for them next week or so for at the Kingfield Market.
Farmers Market FInds 8/7
Here's what we picked up...

Sweet Corn - This batch will mostly get frozen to use this winter
Sweet Onions
Italian Sausage - For sausage and peppers
Brisket - It's hard to find a good piece of brisket with a nice fat layer on it for smoking, so Matt grabbed this one when he saw it.
Zucchini
Cucumber - You'd think I'd be tired of cukes eating them everyday for lunch, but no.
Leeks
Eggs
Chicken of the Woods and Chanterelle Mushrooms - I paid a lot for these mushrooms, but it such a treat to get these varieties. Plus I couldn't resist that orange color.

On to Menu Planning Monday...

Wild Mushroom Pasta

Cheesy Grits with Green Tomato Jam and Pulled Pork

Summer Vegetable Frittata

Sausage and Peppers

Haven't decided whether to grill a whole chicken or some hamburgers for another night.

We'll also be smoking our own salmon this week.

Here's a little preview of the recipe we'll be sharing tomorrow.

Corn Waffles Topped with Pulled Pork

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Friday, August 5, 2011

Scenes from a Summit Anniversary Dinner

Local brewery, Summit, is celebrating 25 years in business this year with a lot of different events around town.
Summit Anniversary Dinner
We decided to go to the dinner at The Local, because they aways do such a good job with the food pairings and they are a steal. This meal, including beer with each course, was only $35 a person!
Summit Anniversary Dinner Summit Anniversary Dinner
These may have been the best two courses in my opinion. The avocado soup tasted like the best guacamole you've ever had. The salad had amazing fresh peas and big chunks of bacon.
Summit Anniversary Dinner Summit Anniversary Dinner
The Green Ox Meats charcuterie platter was wonderful as usual. This take on fish and chips was so good. I loved the onions in the batter.
Summit Anniversary Dinner Summit Anniversary Dinner
We drank a few beers, yeah, just a few. Everyone was amazed by how well watermelon went with steak. Pressing the watermelon had given it an intense flavor.
Summit Anniversary Dinner
I always love a good porter with dessert!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Tacos

We continue to eat our way through the best sweet corn of the season this week with these soft shell tacos.
Black Bean and Sweet Corn Tacos
We love sweet corn in black bean chili, so it only makes sense we'd like them together in tacos too. These were messy, messy tacos because of the amount of filling, but I loved the way they all worked together with different textures and flavors. Crisp corn meets soft beans and cream sour cream. Spicy peppers and onions play against sweet corn and cherry tomatoes. A big plus was the bulk of the items in these tacos are currently in season and were purchased at the farmers market. Fresh summer eating at its best.

There is really no recipe here, but I'll tell you how much we used of everything and how we prepared them.

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Tacos

3 ears of sweet corn, boiled for 5 minutes and them kernels removed from the cob

3/4 c dry black beans, simmered for 2 - 3 hours until soft. Season with salt and pepper

1 poblano pepper, seeded and sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
1 onion, sliced
Sauté the peppers and onion with about 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until tender

(Note: You could also grill the corn, peppers and onions if you want a little smokier flavor)

Garnishes:
handful of chopped cilantro
sour cream
chopped cherry tomatoes or favorite salsa

8 soft taco shells, heated in the microwave or on a grill.

Makes 8 tacos

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sweet Corn Gazpacho

I love a good cold bowl of gazpacho especially on hot, steamy days like we've been having, but it has to be a good bowl of gazpacho. It is so disappointing to order something called gazpacho and just get a bowl of cold tomato soup. To me, gazpacho is much more than just tomato, it's the perfect blend of all the vegetables that are in season.
Sweet Corn Gazpacho
The typical combination of vegetables is tomato, cucumber and peppers, but when I saw the beautiful sweet corn that was finally here I knew I had to add it too. Now, I'm not sure I'll like gazpacho as much without it! I love the sweetness it adds to the soup plus the crunch it adds as a garnish.

This is the perfect hot weather meal as the only cooking involved is the corn (well, ok I blanched my tomatoes for peeling). Other than that everything else just gets thrown in the blender. I serve the soup with some hearty white bread, usually what's left of the loaf I used in the soup itself.

Sweet Corn Gazpacho
(If you like your gazpacho to have a little kick add a hot pepper along with the sweet ones.)

2 ears sweet corn
1 clove garlic, peeled
kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs tomatoes, peeled & seeded
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into pieces + a little extra chopped for a garnish
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1/2 c chopped, seeded sweet pepper
1 T sherry vinegar
2 T olive oil
1/2 c pieces of heavy white bread (preferably a day old though I used fresh a& it worked fine) with crusts removed
Pepper
pinch or two of cayenne pepper

Husk the sweet corn. Cook in boiling water until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Remove and let cool. Cut the kernels from the cobs.

Put the garlic clove and two pinches of salt into a mortar and pestle. Crush until it forms a paste.

Put the corn kernels in a blender, reserving a few tablespoons to garnish the soup later. Add the garlic paste, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, sweet pepper. Purée until everything is chopped very finely. Add the vinegar and olive oil.

Put the bread pieces in a bowl and add 1/2 cup cold water. Let sit until the bread absorbs most of the water. Squeeze the water from the bread, reserving the water. Add the bread to the blender. Purée until smooth and creamy. If you want it thinner add the bread water a little at a time.

Chill for at least an hour. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne before serving. Serve garnished with the reserved corn and a little chopped cucumber.

Makes 2 - 3 main dish servings.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tour de Farm Chicknic

Due to our travel schedule this year we aren't able to go to as many Tour de Farms as we'd like to, but we glad to be here for this past weekend's Chicknic. This was the first time ever that Tour de Farm did a breakfast and all of the chefs were women. The chefs were Michelle Gayer from Salty Tart, Solveig Tofte of Sun Street Breads, Sheela Namakkal from Aster Cafe (and co-founder of Cake Eater Bakery), and Molly Hermann from Kitchen in the Market


The picnic was at the lovely Riverbend Farm, a sustainable and organic farm in Delano, MN. We picnicked on a lovely shaded lawn as the poor chefs had to suffer over an open fire on a day the heat index was reached 100F. Luckily, there were lots of interesting cool drinks to see us through; peach, raspberry and cardamon bellinis, bloody marys with horseradish vodka, watermelon granita topped with rosé wine and cold beer from Fulton and Furthermore. The food was wonderful and I wish I had had the appetite to visit each chef's table to try all their specialties. If we had to pick a favorite, we'd probably say it was Molly's cheesy polenta with tomato jam and pork confit (that is one we are going to try and recreate at home).  Though Solveig's blintz with blueberries was a close second for me.


I took a lot of pictures of the day, so I put them in a slideshow for easier viewing. Enjoy!



In three week's we are headed to the James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour that is being put on in conjunction with Tour de Farm at Star Prairie Trout Farm. We are really looking forward to it and hoping for a little cooler weather!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, August 1, 2011

Weekly Menu and Farmers Market Finds 7/31- 8/06/11

It continues to be steamy hot in the Twin Cities, not so great for us, but good for all the summer crops. Things are really starting to pick up at the farmers market.
Farmers Market Finds 7/31
We didn't pick up a ton this week week, but what we did looks amazing.

Cilantro
Sweet Corn
Green Beans - Steamed crisp tender these are the best summer side
Tomatoes - The first we've seen this season
Cucumbers


According to our corn farmer, Peter's Pumpkins and Carmen's Corn, this is the best sweet corn of the season. Peter told us it was good enough to go home and eat for breakfast raw.
Bags of Sweet Corn
He was certainly ready for a rush on it. Look at all those bags of corn behind his booth!

On to Menu Planning Monday...

Sweet Corn Gazpacho

Summit Beer 25th Anniversary Dinner at the Local

Sweet Corn, Black Bean and Pepper Tacos

Quick dinner out before a photography class

Molasses Brined Pork Chops with Corn Salsa

Black Bean Burgers

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski
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