Saturday, July 22, 2017

Grilled Salmon with Wilted Spinach, Orzo and Feta

Grilled Salmon with Wilted Spinach, Orzo and Feta
Like many of our summertime meals, this Grilled Salmon with Wilted Spinach, Orzo and Feta cheese was quick to pull together. After buying wild salmon off the docks in Newport we quickly headed home.  The plan was to leave out enough salmon for a few days and then freeze the rest. While the frozen salmon will be delicious, the fresh salmon will literally melt in your mouth. Salmon is a great conduit when adding flavor but sometimes it is wonderful on it’s own with a little salt, pepper and olive oil.

Because we eat so many salads I always have some type of grain, bean or pasta on hand which is helpful in creating layers of flavor. In this dish the spinach was lightly wilted and orzo pasta was added from leftovers the previous day. Life is simple and good here. We are very fortunate.

Salmon on the grill

Grilled Salmon with Wilted Spinach, Orzo and Feta

INGREDIENTS:


  • 1/4 cup orzo, precooked
  • 5 to 6 cups fresh organic spinach
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 1 6-ounce salmon fillet
  • Olive oil, for coating the fish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. Prepare outdoor grill for medium- high cooking over direct heat (click here for instructions minus the mesquite chips).
  2. In a large skillet on medium-high heat add olive oil, when the oil is shimmering add spinach. Remove the leaves from the pan as soon as they wilt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the warm orzo, spinach, tomatoes and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Mound the salad in the center of a large serving platter or two dinner plates. Top with the salmon and feta cheese. Sprinkle with chives and basil.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summertime Zucchini and Corn Chowder

Summertime Zucchini and Corn Chowder
Happy Tuesday everyone, I’m still recovering from the epic blueberry fest that I went on last week. The berries are all gone except for the few cups that I stowed away in the freezer for future use. Most were processed and canned for a low sugar blueberry basil jam. Since I’ve been spending so much time in the kitchen, the garden has been a second thought. Went down to water yesterday only to find two of my parsley plants had been pulled part way into the ground and their roots were missing…..those dang moles! I thought that the herb plants were too bitter for the animals, guess I was wrong. (sighing here)

Anyway this Summertime Zucchini and Corn Chowder will definitely chase away the garden blues. I enjoyed this soup best the first day as the veggies were still a little crisp. Still fantastic the next day, and the flavors were better developed. Once all the veggies are cut up, the soup comes together quickly. The chowder starts with a basic mirepoix of onion, carrot and celery. Then the rest of the ingredients are layered in according to how fast they cook. The key to creating a thick creamy chowder is to add extra veggies and puree’ or blend part of the soup until smooth. This way you can avoid the flour and keep the soup light and healthy. Hope you have a chance to enjoy a bowl of this cream and light chowder yourself, it really is delicious.

Summertime Zucchini and Corn Chowder garnished with Bacon


Yield: 5 to 6

Summertime Zucchini and Corn Chowder

INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 strips of bacon
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced thin
  • 2 medium stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large Russet potato, small dice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 large ears of corn, husked and kernels cut
  • 1 medium zucchini, small dice
  • 1 medium yellow squash, small dice
  • 1 cup regular milk or half and half
  • 1 handful chives, chopped
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. In a large heavy soup pot add olive oil and then bacon, cook until bacon browns, remove from pan, cut into pieces and set aside. Dab out some of the bacon grease in the pan, you just want about a tablespoon.
  2. Add onion, celery and carrots and cook until veggies begin to soften, add garlic, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of dry Sherry and stir bottom of pot with wooden spoon incorporating all the crispy bits at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Turn heat up to medium-high, add water, potatoes and bay leaves, bring to a boil and then turn down heat and cook potatoes until they are half done. Add zucchini and corn, cook about 5 to 6 minutes, until veggies are crisp-tender.
  4. Remove from heat, remove and discard the bay leaves. At this point you can use a hand held blender and blend a small portion, or remove a couple of cups and blend in food processor or blender, add liquid back in.
  5. Add milk, season with salt and pepper. Add chives and parsley.
  6. To serve, spoon chowder into bowls, garnish with herbs and bacon bits if desired.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Corn and Blueberry Salad

Summer Corn and Blueberry Salad
Living in a small town has helped me grow tremendously as a person. What I have learned about cooperation and communication is invaluable. What I received in return was caring and kindness. There is a responsibility to be bigger than yourself, a sense of community that I’ve never felt before. An opportunity to see and make a difference. Today for example was a celebration in town, a picnic and a group photo. The town was recognizing two anniversaries. Fifty years ago the City of Yachats was incorporated and 100 years ago the postmaster changed the community name from Oceanview to Yachats. In the group photo everyone lined up in a 50/100 configuration and a drone flew around and took our picture. Small towns are not for everyone, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Anderson Blueberry Farm, Corvallis, Or
Last week I went blueberry picking with a friend. Since it was early in the season we travelled further inland. The farm was beautiful, the blueberries amazing. Together we picked approx. 48 pounds, with me being the much slower picker, sorry P! Anyway this corn and blueberry salad was the first thing I made. Imagine fresh from the field summer corn, cucumbers, blueberries, red onion and basil, all summer staples with a simple lime and honey dressing. The brightness from the citrus and the sweetness of the honey is what made this salad so special.

Ingredients
*In this recipe the corn is not cooked, the juice from the limes will soften the kernels.



Summer Corn and Blueberry Salad

Don't let the summer go by without tasting this sweet and crunchy salad, you won't be disappointed.

INGREDIENTS:


  • 8 ears of fresh sweet corn, husked, (with a sharp knife, cut kernels from cobs and set aside)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, (seeds scooped out and tossed) sliced thinly
  • 1/8 to 1⁄4 cup finely chopped red onion (amount depends on personal preference)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1 pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. In a large bowl combine corn, blueberries, cucumber and red onion.
  2. For dressing, whisk together lime juice, oil, honey and salt. Add to salad and toss.
  3. Garnish with basil, Cover and keep refrigerated.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tomato and Plum Salad with Kamut

Tomato and Plum Salad with Kamut

I once read that vegetables and fruits that are grown in the same season are compatible in flavor. Mmmm! That got me thinking about the excess tomatoes and plums on my counter. After googling this unlikely combo I soon realized it was not an unusual combination at all as there are many recipes available on the internet.

This salad was easy to put together, after slicing the plums and equal amounts of heirloom tomatoes I added kamut; an amazing ancient grain and some crumbled feta cheese. To complete this dish I garnished with basil and drizzled a balsamic glaze over the top. Try this salad, it is delicious and a beautiful representation of summer.

I’ll make this recipe short and sweet as I’m on my way to Corvallis to go blueberry picking, can’t wait!
Yield: 2 to 3

Tomato and Plum Salad with Kamut

Celebrate summers bounty with this Tomato and Plum Salad with Kamut!

INGREDIENTS:


  • 3 plums, cut into slices
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, (I used a Black Russian), cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup cooked kamut, or grain of your choice
  • ¼ cup feta, crumbled
  • 1 handful basil leaves, sliced thinly
  • Balsamic glaze for drizzling

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. Arrange the tomato and plum slices on a serving plate. Add kamut and scatter the feta. Then garnish with basil and drizzle the balsamic glaze. Enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Mixed Berry Crumb Bars

Mixed Berry Crumb Bars
Last week I picked up a case of mixed berries; blueberry, raspberry and blackberry. We proceeded to eat them one by one in desserts, ice cream, salads, smoothies and with yogurt. That is until I made puff pastry shells with pastry cream, whip cream and berries. The pastry cream took me five tries to get right, yep that’s right five tries and two days. To top it all off I did not photograph one picture of anything, not even the finished result. In the end they were good but not Paris, France good. When finished with the above dessert I still had a little over two cups of fruit left and these delicious mixed berry crumb bars were the end result.

First of all I got the recipe for these bars right the first time, thank goodness! Plus they are incredibly easy to make. The berries came out tangy and sweet and the lemon zest and juice really brightened up the flavor. This recipe is from Deb of "Smitten Kitchen" who adapted the recipe from AllRecipes.com. I halved the recipe and used a combination of berries but otherwise kept her recipe as written, (her recipe uses blueberries only). These mixed berry bars are also delicious served warm on a plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Store in the refrigerator for best results.

Mixed Berry Bar 


Mixed Berry Crumb Bars

Enjoy the best that summer has to offer with these mixed berry bars.

INGREDIENTS:

Base and topping
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 large egg
For the berries
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups fresh berries ( I used blueberry, raspberry and blackberry)

INSTRUCTIONS:

For base and topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F°. Grease a 8 x 8” pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be a little crumbly. Divide dough in half. Pat one half into the bottom of the prepared pan.
For the berries
  1. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice until smooth and no lumps. Gently mix in the berries. Scoop the berry mixture over the dough. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
  2. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
  3. Store in refrigerator.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Pasta with Tuna and Marinated Artichokes

Pasta with Tuna and Marinated Artichokes
Hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday! We had a busy day here with the town parade, the woman’s club pie social and all the local activities. The town was decorated with flags and red, white and blue banners. The restaurants were bursting at the seams even with the firehouse BBQ and a food truck. By the time the fireworks started the fog was quite heavy. Even with limited visibility the show was quite impressive.

Yachats Town Parade
Living in a rural area can have it’s challenges, the biggest one for me being “meal planning”. Since I can only keep so many fresh ingredients at a time before they go bad, pantry items have filled the gap. Also incorporating fresh herbs will help bring a dish to life. This pasta with Tuna and Marinated Artichokes is such an example, it’s simple and easy, perfect for any night of the week. It’s light enough for the summer but filling with lots of flavor. I served this with a sprinkling of fresh chives, some grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. While I prepared this dish with canned albacore tuna, fresh tuna would be perfect. The sauce is made up of pasta water, tuna and the jarred artichokes and marinade. Twenty minutes tops and you have a delicious and fulfilling meal on the table, now try and top that.

Pasta with Tuna and Marinated Artichokes

INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 pound small penne pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 12-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 2 cans 6.5 ounces albacore tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 handful chives, chopped
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. In a large pot, bring the water to a brisk boil. Add salt and stir in the pasta shells. When the water returns to a boil, begin timing and cook al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta, do not rinse, set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, pour in the reserved pasta water, then add tuna, artichoke hearts and marinade. Now add in pasta and ½ of the Parmesan cheese, toss well. Taste, add in salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with chives and the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Shrimp, Fennel and Radish Salad

Shrimp, Fennel and Radish Salad
The fourth is just days away and if your anything like me your still wondering where in the world summer has gone. Weather-wise we are a little behind on the coast, it’s been a very wet year. Since we live in a small town that takes it’s independence day very serious, we are excited about the upcoming celebrations. I have talked about our impressive town parade here before. There are many group performances and the streets are lined with wall to wall people. And as for the event attractions; well they are a little wacky for sure, but it’s all in the name of good family low tech fun. (see below for a few pics of last year's parade). After the parade if there is any pie left we will hit the Woman’s club pie social which is where I had a slice of the best berry pie a few years back that I still think about. What do you have planned?

Yachat's Trail Crew

The Jellyfish
Anyway, this Shrimp, Fennel and Radish Salad recipe I’m sharing today is great for entertaining. Best served as an appetizer or as a main salad. Jumbo shrimp was roasted in the oven, (I followed Ina’s recipe here), then garden radishes and fresh fennel was sliced as thin as possible and served with a light vinaigrette of mayo, lemon, dill, mustard and olive oil and served on a wedge of romaine lettuce. Light and delicious!

Shrimp, Fennel and Radish Salad, the Ingredients
This recipe has been adapted from Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Magazine.

Yield: 10 to 12

Shrimp, Fennel and Radish Salad

INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 pound large shrimp, roasted (see Ina's recipe above) cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small bunch radish, cleaned and sliced thinly
  • 1 medium head fennel, cleaned and sliced thinly
  • 1 head bib, butter or romaine lettuce

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. Whisk together mayo, olive oil, dill, Dijon and lemon juice, taste add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Combine cut-up shrimp, radish and fennel slices, then desired amount of dressing into bowl.
  3. Arrange lettuce on serving platter. Scoop the salad unto the lettuce of your choice, I used romaine. Serve and enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator