Saturday, June 26, 2010

Zucchini Fritters

(Beignets de Courgette)
It happens every summer. Like invaders from an alien planet, zucchini start appearing everywhere. At first they seem harmless vegetables, but soon as the summer draws on they grow until they become the size of an infant. Everyone seems to be trying to get rid of them. What to do? Eat. Adopt these green babies and fry them up.

Zucchini Fritters

2 small Zucchini shredded (about 1 pound)
2 large Eggs beaten
1/2 cup Flour 
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 pinch Cayenne
4 cloves Garlic minced

Shred zucchini in a bowl. Add other ingredients and mix well. The mixture should be mostly zucchini in small amount of loose batter. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a cast iron skillet. Drop batter by tablespoons into the oil and fry for a few minutes until the edges become brown. Flip fritter over with a spatula or slotted spoon and fry the other side until both sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve as they are or with marinara sauce.

Zucchini Fritters on Foodista

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dill Weed Dip

This addictive recipe came to me from Audrey, who is blessed with a very large garden full of fresh vegetables during the summer months. No matter what the season, when dining at Audrey's, you will find mostly fresh vegetables served in salads and home baked bread. She claims to not like cooking, but is always a taste of the earth's abundance when I go there. This is adapted from one of her staples. 

Dill Weed Dip
8 ounces mayonnaise
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Accent (monosodium glutamate)
3 tablespoons dill weed
1 tablespoon garlic salt

Combine all ingredients and allow to sit for a few hours to blend the seasonings. You can also add less dill weed and an equal amount of other herbs, such as chives, onion flakes, parsley or whatever you wish. Most people I know are shocked that I would use MSG, but they seem to be unaware of what it actually is. Studies have shown that most people only have reactions when they think it is in the food. It's pretty neat stuff actually. It is derived from seaweed and makes the flavors bolder. But like all sodium products, one should use it sparingly - only enough to enhance the flavor and no more. Feel free to omit the ingredient if you wish.

Dill Dip on Foodista

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pineapple Teriyaki Steak Salad

Nothing beats a juicy steak. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. I am truly a carnivore and the beef beastie is my favorite along with the pork beastie. I grill steaks outside all year long, but in the summer I love it best with a cool crisp salad and some fresh fruit. This dish has all three together for the perfect hot weather meal.

Pineapple Teriyaki Steak Salad

1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 cloves garlic finely chopped 

1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar (cider or white vinegar work too)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

Marinate two pounds of steak (flank or skirt steak) in the marinade overnight. Grill until perfect (for me perfect is medium rare) and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Slice thinly and serve on a bed of fresh romaine with fresh pineapple and a splash of dressing. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pickled Purple Eggs

To the uninitiated, they look like alien spores out of a cult 70s sci-fi film. Touch them and a creature conjured from the imagination of H.R. Giger will burst forth and implant in your viscera. Run! No, wait, they are only Pickled Purple Eggs! Harmless little eggs which are a fixture of Pennsylvania salad bars and farm markets, or anywhere there is a population of Amish or Mennonite cooks. Pickled eggs were first made as a way to preserve eggs using leftover pickle juices. The Pennsylvania Dutch brought this technique, and it continues today with the area's Amish, who still live as their ancestors did without electricity.  This recipe is in homage to my own Pennsylvania Dutch ancestor - Elizabeth Barth who was born in May, 1770 and lived in Lancaster PA.

Pickled Purple Eggs
1 dozen eggs
1 14.5-ounce can of sliced or small beets
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 stick cinnamon
4 whole cloves
4 whole allspice berries

Hard boil eggs and cool immediately in ice water.  Using eggs which are a few weeks old makes them easier to peel. Set aside and allow to cool.

Combine beets, vinegar, water, sugar and spices and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool.  Peel eggs and add to cooled liquid. You can keep the beets with the eggs to pickle, or use separately. Refrigerate for two days to a week before eating. The eggs can keep in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Purple Pickled Eggs on Foodista