Sunday, June 21, 2009

Using Them Up--So Good

Over the past several days, I've done a good job of cleaning out some of the fruits and vegetables I found lurking in the fridge. It was fun to watch the shelves clear out. Some breathing room for all that remained. And we had some great meals with very little additional shopping.

Jicama Slaw

1 medium-sized jicama, peeled
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped in ¼-inch pieces
1 minced jalapeno or Serrano chile, seeds and membranes removed
½ sweet red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup chopped red onion
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Juice from ½ lemon
1 tablespoon sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise or less if you use more sour cream
1 garlic clove, pressed
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Grate the jicama using a food processor or a box grater. Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice. If you have time, refrigerate the vegetables for 20 minutes to let the flavors mingle.
2. Mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise and the pressed garlic. Stir into the vegetables along with salt and pepper. Taste for seasonings and adjust.
3. Some liquid will gather at the bottom of the bowl so serve with a slotted spoon to avoid a big puddle on the salad plates. I served for lunch with corn chips and a slice of leftover pesto arugula pizza from the night before.

4 servings
Adapted from Barbara Passino’s Chocolate for Breakfast

Grilled Patty Pan Squash with Smoked Bacon and Olive-Caper Vinaigrette

1 pound patty pan squash (5 or 6), cut in half horizontally
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Smoked Bacon and Olive-Caper Vinaigrette:
¼ pound smoked bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 tablespoon capers
¼ cup chopped olives (green or black)
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons caper vinegar (from the jar)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 Roma tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
You can also use cherry tomatoes, cut in half

To prepare the squash (and peel the tomato):
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the tomato for 10-15 seconds. Remove and peel. Drop in the squash and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes or until barely tender. Remove and place immediately in an ice bath or run under cold water. When cool, lay them out on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
2. Coat the squash lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

To prepare the vinaigrette:
1. In a skillet, cook the bacon until it is nicely browned.
2. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic, shallots, capers and olives. Sauté until the garlic is slightly golden brown.
3. Remove from the heat and add the vinegars and olive oil. Set aside.

To finish the dish:
1. Place the squash on the hot grill or a hot grill pan on top of the stove. Turn them until they are warmed through and have nice grill marks. Reheat the vinaigrette.
2. Place the flat bottoms of the squash on a serving platter. Spoon some of the warm vinaigrette over them. Top with the round part of the squash and pour the remaining vinaigrette over all. Garnish with the diced tomatoes.
3. Serve warm or at room temperature.

4-6 servings depending on the number of squashes and your hunger.
Originated with the Grilled Asparagus recipe in Bradley Ogden’s Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Fruit Salad
We had this for dinner with the Frittata which follows.

You can use most any fruit that you happen to have in your fridge. I used blueberries, one mango, one pink grapefruit, and one orange. I could have added an apple and a giant papaya but thought they didn't quite fit the mood. I served the salad on a couple of small romaine leaves with French Fruit Salad Dressing (see recipe below) on the side.

3 servings or as many as you have fruit
my own devising

French Fruit Salad Dressing

¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoon lemon juice or juices from the bottom of the fruit bowl
¼ teaspoon dried mustard
1 teaspoon sugar

1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or a small glass jar. Stir them with a small whisk or a fork until they are smooth. Or shake them in the jar with the top on. Taste for seasonings. Add more salt if necessary.
2. Shake or stir before using. I put it in a bowl on the table so that we could serve ourselves.

Makes ½ cup
Adapted from Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker’s 1953 Joy of Cooking

Spicy Corn Frittata with Tomatoes and Scallions

This was a perfectly nice frittata from Fresh Food Fast but not worthy of being a “keeper.” What was truly worthy was the new pan I used for cooking it. Bram, a new store on the Sonoma plaza, specializes in pottery made in Egypt that can be used both on top of the stove with a heat diffuser and in the oven. I had seasoned it earlier in the day so it was set to go.

I sautéed the tomatoes, corn, peppers, green onions, and garlic on the top of the stove on lowish heat. I then mixed the vegetables with 8 eggs and returned it to the burner to cook gently until the eggs started to set on the bottom. And finally I popped it in the oven for 20 minutes to firm up. I used bacon fat to cook the vegetables and to coat the pan before returning the eggs. Not a bit of the frittata stuck to the dish. Just amazing. And it looked really pretty. Prettier than cast iron which is what I would have used in the past. Let me know if you want to see the whole recipe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kat Kunst - you are something else, girl!! I absolutely love your website! Not just the recipes, but the pictures and your writing. Keep 'em coming! Can't wait to see, cook, and compost with you soon.....