Friday, June 25, 2010

Soup for Summer: Part 1 - Squash

Despite the record heat, this is one of my favorite times of year, because week-to-week, there's always something new at the farmers market. The other day, I hit my local market and bought a sea of green -- from bok choy to dill, wild arugula to squash, napa cabbage to garlic scapes. So what to do but make a green soup? I recently subscribed to Eating Well, and also receive their free email newsletter. This recipe was inspired by one of the soups featured. Although it will be a few weeks until the local corn is ready, this is a nice way to use up some of the zucchini that will be flooding the market for weeks to come. And since it's pretty low cal, it's a great soup for bathing suit season too!
Dilled Zucchini and Corn Soup
Ingredients 1 t. Olive oil
1 Shallot, diced 2 Medium zucchinis, chopped 2 C. Chicken broth
1/4 t. Salt Kernels from 1 ear of corn 1 t. Lemon juice 1/4 C. Feta, crumbled
2 t. Fresh dill, chopped
Additional dill, plain yogurt for garnish (optional)
Method Saute shallot in olive oil over medium heat; add zucchini and cook until the squash starts to soften.
Add the broth and salt, bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes over low heat.
Puree the soup in a blender until smooth.
Return to put and add corn, cook for 5 additional minutes over low heat.
Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice, dill and feta.
Garnish with additional dill and/or a dollop of plain yogurt.

Friday, June 18, 2010

If Is June, It Must Be Strawberry Season

Yay! June in New York State means strawberry season and this year's crop is especially good. Since the season for local berries is so short, there's only one way to enjoy them: as nature made them. But after a long workweek, you may prefer to drink them. And the recipe couldn't be easier.
Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris
Makes three drinks, or one super grande drink for those that are extra thirsty.
1 Pint Strawberries 1/3 C. Rum
1/4 C. Fresh lime or Lemon Juice
3 t. Simple syrup or agave OR 3 packets of Splenda
Splash of orange Juice
4-6 C. Ice cubes
Add all ingredients to blender; blitz until well Incorporated.
Garnish with whipped cream if you're feeling extra decadent.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spring Finds at the Farmers Markets

After several weekends on the road, I am starting to return to old routines, including visits to the farmers market and some home cooking (as opposed to home defrosting). A few weekends ago, my travels took me to Ithaca, NY, and of course I stopped at the farmers market. Although Macro Mama’s was sadly missing, I did find a few other prizes, including a large bunch of rhubarb and basil plants. A few days later, I actually was able to get out of work in time to make it to the Union Square Greenmarket before they closed for the day. For a Friday market before a holiday weekend, the place was buzzing, but I managed to pick up some choice items, including spearmint mint plants (“mojitos?” the vendor asked as I handed over a 5 dollar bill), wild arugula and $11 worth of sugar snap peas (my bad for not looking at the sign saying they were $6 a pound).
So with my haul from Ithaca and my haul from Union Square, I spent Memorial Day weekend chopping and boiling and baking and braising. I prepared the Cheater’s Pulled Pork (which, with my off-brand slow cooker being on the fritz, took 22 hours to cook) and tried the potato salad with yogurt, arugula and dill posted on The Kitchn last week.
I made a riff on Simply Recipes rhubarb crumble, and enjoyed some pickled ramps on a Hoffman's Hot Dog. And I did end up mixing some mojitos with the fresh mint, lime juice, rum, agave syrup and a hit of Fresca. Not a bad way to toast the start of the summer season.
10 Ingredient Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble The tartness of the rhubarb really shines through in this recipe (aka, if you want it sweet, add more granulated sugar). Serve with whipped cream or ice cream to help mellow the flavors and make this humble dessert more special. Ingredients Cooking spray 1 lb. Rhubarb, cut into one inch pieces 1 lb. Strawberries, hulled and sliced into quarters 2 T. Corn starch 2 T. Orange juice ½ C. Granulated sugar ½ C. Butter, cubed ½ C. White whole wheat flour ½ C. Brown sugar 1 C. Ginger cookies, crushed Method Preheat oven to 375. Cover a 9x13 dish with cooking spray; add rhubarb, strawberry, granulated sugar, corn starch and orange juice and toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar and cookie crumbles; add butter cubes and mash together until combined; sprinkle on top of fruit mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes until fruit has cooked and topping has crisped. Serve warm or cold, but make sure you serve with vanilla ice cream!