Summer Salvation 

                                           
Ennui (noun) – a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction. Miriam-Webster.comKitchen ennui (noun) a a feeling whereby the cook lacks inspiration. An infectious state of culinary boredom, weariness and dissatisfaction. Betsy Karetnick

 It’s not for lack of actual cooking that I’ve been absent these past few months. I’ve actually committed quite a few dishes in two kitchen in as many states. I think maybe I caught a case of kitchen ennui, possibly sparked by packing one kitchen into another, at times a little like ill fitting Tupperware. There were even a couple of seminal dishes I will recount at a later date – I’m talking about you spiced nut, citrus salad! Or perhaps it was the 6 inches of April?

Regardless, summer produce has romanced the cooking stones right out of the cabinet. The attached recipe is a reminder that a simple and delicious dinner is a google search away…even if the tomatoes aren’t from Jersey. 😉

 I followed the recipe but feel free to abandon or reduce the basil. Cooking with fresh thyme and/or oregano would be great too. Don’t bother to strip or chop a few sprigs, just layer them in and remove before serving. Also don’t cheat the olive oil, or garlic. Have some guts.

                                               

 

Eat Your Veg

It's the “It” vegetable of the day, but don't let that deter you from making this dish at home. I will also say – unless you're meat free, ordering cauliflower as a main while dining out is a big fat…well, you know. It's a pretty big markup for little investment. Do it if the chef is your bestie.

For all others consider, click here for the 1-2-3 recipe.

 

Eat – B

 

For Goodness Sake, It’s 13 Degrees Blueberry Crumb Cake

I'm trying to save the last piece of blueberry crumb for my air warrior, but it's tough. This time, I got it perfect and I'm a harsh baking critic. The recipe calls for 45-50 minutes baking. If it feels a little soft @ 45, leave it in for 5 more. Mine took 50 exactly.

Also, here is the secret for GREAT crumbs. MELT the butter, then combine with the rest of the ingredients (brown sugar etc). Let it set in fridge 15-20 minutes, then crumble across the cake, varying the size of crumbs. You'll see. Click here for the recipe.

 

Eat cake – B

 

 

Any Night Stuffing!

Why wait for Thanksgiving? Give this savory confection a chance. It took less time than I thought (mostly in the oven) and gave me the benefit of feeling virtuous for not chucking some stale ciabatta. I highly recommend a gravy sidecar.

4 cups stale bread, 3/4 inch cube. 10-15 minutes in a 300 degree oven can help stale fresh bread.

4-5 ounces baby Bellas, mixed mushrooms or whatever you can find. Cleaned & chopped

Veggie or olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 egg, whipped

1 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted & cooled. Plus room temp butter for pan

Teaspoon of dried sage or thyme (optional cuz I forgot this time)

Salt & pepper

Prepare baking dish – mine was a 2 quart CorningWare but any should work – by rubbing every surface with butter. Preheat oven 375.

Slick a medium pan on medium heat with about a tablespoon of oil. Add onions and a few pinches of salt and some grates of pepper. Cook for 5, add garlic. Give a few stirs, add mushrooms and cook, moving occasionally until most liquid evaporates. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool.

Combine bread and vegetables, optional spices. Stir in melted butter and egg. Then slowly add enough broth so whole thing looks moistened but bread isn't falling apart.

Cook in prepared pan for 30 minutes covered, then at least 10 without cover to crisp the top.

Eat – B

*note: sausage is always optional. Remove from casing, and brown before the veggies. Set aside and add later to bread. 1/2 pound should do you for this recipe.

*second note: doubling down is encouraged.

 

 

The Perfect App For Gluten Avoiders…and the People That Love Them

 

Imitation = flattery. I stole this idea from a restaurant in Ohio, but riffed a bit. Start with a few basics and make it your own. Serve as an app, side salad or top chicken paillard.

Combine Ingredients:

1/2 colored pepper, finely diced

Large tomato or handful of cherries, diced

Pickling cucumber, peeled (or not) & diced

Feta to taste, crumbled

2-3 scallions, finely sliced

Fresh dill, finely chopped

A couple of dribbles of olive oil

Squeeze half a lemon

Salt pepper

Adjust all ingredient to taste & fill outer leaves from 2 heads of endive

Eat – B 🙂

*note: try replacing scallions and dill with your fave black olives and dried oregano

 

 

Inspiration For The Salad Bowl

I'm thinking you can slavishly follow this recipe, or pick and choose among your fave ingredients. If you're living grill-less, skip the charring of the vegetables and use them raw.

Whatever you do, toast the almonds and overload on the ricotta salata. Just a thought…I've got your back 🙂

Click here for the recipe.

Eat – B

 

 

Savory Tomato Jam

 

The secret ingredient for gooey tomato delicousness is butter. I'd heard that before but now I know for sure. You can use farmers market fresh tomatoes for this project, but my were sort of fit for a makeover. I also threw in 1/2 of an heirloom chunked up and left over from lunch rather than see it suffer in the fridge.

2 or more pints of tomatoes, larger ones cut in half

Olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Smattering of basil leaves (or fresh thyme, or oregano)

A glug of white wine

Sugar

Salt

Butter

Start with large pan over medium heat, coat with olive oil. Add tomatoes, seasoning with salt and a healthy 2 pinches of sugar. Roast until tomatoes start popping and softening. Stir in garlic till it smells good. Add enough wine to slosh around the pan. Reduce wine at least by half. Swirl in butter. Adjust salt and add basil. Done.

Scrape with with a spoon, throw in chopped black olives like kalamata, toss with pasta, think about cheese, dredge the pan with bread.

Double down on the recipe – No regrets!

Eat- B