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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tomato Salad and Grilled Vegtables

Getting ready for an annual memorial golf outing and family gathering this weekend back in my hometown. This is the 31st year. Much has happened since my dad passed but his strength of family has endured. None of his kids inherited his "scratch" golf game, but three of four love the game.

Daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters will arrive later today (which is an extra delight for me). And I was told yesterday some relatives from out of state are in town for a funeral mass will stop by the gathering. It should be quite a festive time re-meeting and being introduced to my dad's cousins, second cousins etc....

So in a last quiet moment (and because my mom told me I have not posted since early June) I will share a dinner we had recently.

The veggies were not quite Farmers Market quality yet, but I was hungry for the taste of summer.

The Grilled Vegtables

The vegetables, red bell pepper, zucchini, onion, asparagus, shitake mushrooms and shallots, were marinated in evoo, minced garlic, freshly ground black pepper, fresh thyme, oregano and twigs of oregano. The onion, pepper, and zucchini were put on the grill first and then followed with shallots, then the mushrooms and lastly the asparagus. I kept them warm in the oven while I prepared the tomatoes.

The Tomatoes

The sliced heirloom tomatoes were placed on toasted olive bread and topped with evoo,basil and slivers of parmesan.

The wine: HK Pinot Noir Nice.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Crushed Beet Salad and Veggie Burgers

This meal was inspired/adapted from two recipes in two different cooking magazines - the may issue of Food and Wine and the April/May issue of vegetarian times.

The day after a conversation about how I prepared beets, I saw the recipe for "Crushed Beet Salad" in Food and Wine. Perfect! And, the recipe for "Now or Later Vegan Burgers" in a recently purchased issue of vegetarian times looked interesting. I had made veggie burgers a few times but they always turned out bland - this new recipe had many ingredients so I thought it was worth a try.

Crushed Beet Salad

As typical, I made a few adaptations to the Food and Wine recipe. But basically I roasted the head of garlic in foil for about 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven while the beets simmered on the stove top. After peeling the beets I sliced them, and cooked them in a skillet in evoo until slightly crusty. I added shallots, thyme, rosemary and the roasted head of garlic. These were cooked until the shallots were soft. The beets, shallots and herbs were then placed on top of a plate of arugula. The roasted garlic cloves, squeezed from the skins were scattered on top as was the juices from the skillet. I added crumbled goat cheese to my version.

The Veggie Burgers

Using the vegetarian times recipe as a guide I included black beans, onion, carrot, rolled oats, garlic,parsley, added red bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, cayenne and processed in a food processor until combined. The mixture was shaped into patties and refrigerated for about an hour. The burgers were cooked in a skillet for about 5 minutes on each side. Swiss cheese was placed on each burger before removing from skillet. The buns were spread with Maille Old Style whole grain Dijon Mustard. And of course no burger is complete without lettuce, tomato and onion.

Very diverse tastes and I probably will not serve the beet salad and the burger in the same meal again, but would most certainly make both of them in the future.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Molasses Coated Salmon

It was the last day of May and finally, our first meal of the season on the deck! I was trying to think of yet another (new) way to prepare Salmon. As I was staring into the pantry the jar of molasses said "pick me." I thought why not - there is "Pittsburgh Steak" why not Pittsburgh Salmon. I have heard several versions of how a piece of beef "pittsburgh style" was created. The one story, nothing to do with molasses nor can I verify it.... my husband tells me that it was the steel workers who took their chunk of beef to work and cooked it on the hot steel furnaces to sear the outside. He is not from Pittsburgh so.....

Now the molasses. I had a favorite restaurant in the area where I grew up and where my mom still lives. The family goes there quite often. Back when I ate beef, "Jess's Petite Filet" was the best! I was told that it was prepared Pittsburgh Style - it was coated with molasses and seared on the hot grill. I can't verify this version either but it was crisp on the outside and cooked to perfection (medium rare) on the inside.

The Salmon

I coated both sides of the salmon filets with molasses and fresh ground black pepper. The filets were grilled at about 450 degrees for six minutes on one side, flipped and cooked for another three. Pittsburgh Style or just molasses style it turned out quite nice.

Salad and Side
The salad was my left over lunch of the largest caprese salad I have seen to date. The side of asparagus was the one I posted recently - the roasted (this time on the grill) asparagus with pine nuts and parmesan.

"Dessert". We finished the meal with sliced pear and blue cheese.

Wine: 2010 TRECINI Pinot Noir. A gift from friends - it was very very good.