Zucchini Tots

October 11, 2016

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Wait….wait! I’ve got another delicious zucchini recipe to share before zucchini season is over. Zucchini Tots! Crispy on the outside and oh so tender on the inside, whether you serve them as a side, appetizer or the main event, these little nuggets are unbelievably addictive. The husband says he likes them better than regular Tater Tots. Now me…I don’t think I can go that far. Nothing against these zucchini tots, which are spectacular, but I love me some potatoes. Don’t really care how you make ’em…mashed, baked, scalloped – but fried can’t be beat. I think I’d categorize these little zucchini gems as a totally different thing. I probably should have called them zucchini bites. That being said, I certainly feel more virtuous having eaten Zucchini Tots rather than Tater Tots, so there is that.

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Another great thing about these tots is that they are really easy and pretty quick to make. Just be sure you squeeze as much water out of the zucchini as you can before mixing it in with the other ingredients so that you can achieve ultimate crispiness. You see I love the crispy bit, that’s why I rolled these tots in a bit more panko before baking them. But you can skip the panko roll step if you aren’t that into crispy or simply can’t be bothered. No matter what, these Zucchini Tots will still knock your socks off – guaranteed!

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Zucchini Tots

  • Servings: 20 tots
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe slightly adapted from: The Wimpy Vegetarian

Ingredients:

  • 2 -3 small zucchini, shredded (you should have about 2 cups worth)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup small-diced yellow onion
  • ⅓ cup grated Asiago Cheese (feel free to use Parmesan, mozzarella, or even cheddar)
  • ¼ cup Panko (bread crumbs) plus 1 cup additional for coating tots
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Don’t use foil – the tots will stick to it like super-glue. Trust me. Place 1 cup of panko in shallow bowl and set aside.

Combine all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl using a large metal spoon.

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the zucchini mixture into mounds. Drop zucchini mixture into the middle of the panko bowl. Gently roll to cover will Panko and gently shape into a tater tot shape. Arrange on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes, gently flip over, and bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Serve warm.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Tots brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Zucchini Tots:

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop

 


Irish Potato Bites

March 16, 2016

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Goodness Gracious! Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day! How time does fly! Here is a great little St. Patrick’s Day appetizer, Irish Potato Bites! These are little, one bite sized, twice baked potatoes stuffed with Corned Beef and Irish Cheddar and then topped with a little dollop of sour cream. They are completely addictive. And another fantastic thing about this dish is that you can make these little gems ahead of time and freeze them. Just pop them into the oven straight from the freezer to bake. Once they’re done, all that is left to do is garnish with the sour cream, chives and flaky salt just before you are ready to pass around the appetizer tray.

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Truth be told, while it was great that these appetizers were small enough to just pop into your mouth, it did make them a bit difficult to work with. The smallest melon baller I owned was too big to scoop out the inside potato bit, so I had to resort to a teeny tiny dessert spoon. It was totally do able, but I also bet you could go with a slightly bigger potato and serve these as a side dish rather than an appetizer if you were a bit short on time…or patience…or both.

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But if you don’t mind a little prep work, these appetizers are ahh…mazing! When I served them up, folks were delighted. Potatoes, Corned Beef & Irish Cheddar…you just can’t go wrong!

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Irish Potato Bites

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy - but a bit fiddly
  • Print

recipe from: White Lights on Wednesday

Ingredients:

  • 20 Baby Red Potatoes, small (golf ball size)
  • 1/2 Cup leftover Corned Beef, chopped finely
  • 1/4 Cup Irish Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter, melted
  • Salt & Maldon flaky sea salt for serving
  • Sour cream & chives for toppings

Directions:

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.

Add potatoes and boil until they are fork tender.

Preheat oven to 400°F

Once potatoes are cooked and have cooled cut each one in half and cut a small slice off of the rounded end so the potato will not roll over. Place the potato halves on a parchment lined baking tray.

Carefully scoop out the flesh of each potato half into a medium sized bowl.

Mash the potatoes with butter until it is smooth Add the shredded cheese and corned beef to the potato and mix well.

Salt and pepper mixture to taste.

Sprinkle some salt over the reserved potato skin halves.

Scoop potato/corned beef/cheese mixture into potato halves and then place them on a baking sheet.

Pop baking sheet in oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven. Pipe a small dollop of sour cream onto each potato bite and garnish with fresh chives and few flakes of Maldon Sea Salt.

Enjoy!

Irish Potato Bites brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Helpful Links to Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Irish Potato Bites:

Oxo Good Grips Melon Baller

 

 


Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

September 30, 2015

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Wow! Last Wednesday was the first day of Fall and apparently for once the weather in the good old State of Virginia agrees with the calendar. Temperatures around here have been just glorious. The humidity has chilled out and the days are warm but the nights are just starting to get a bit of chill to them. I for one could not be happier, though it did seem a bit sudden. Usually summer lingers on around here for quite some time. I won’t say anything more about it though because I don’t want to speak too soon and “word” it. (Yup…I sure did word it. I wrote the last sentence about the great Fall weather over the weekend. On Monday the temperature crept back up to 80°, and was accompanied by remarkable Virginia swamp-like humidity. I knew it was too good to be true!)  I’ll just say, here’s one more great summer recipe which should carry over nicely into Fall…Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad.

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This salad can be served room temperature or even chilled if the mercury starts to creep up again. And it has a bit of a spicy kick to warm you up a bit if the chillier temperatures persist. If you have any leftover Spicy Grilled Corn from those Zucchini, Spicy Grilled Corn & Cheese Pancakes that I told you about a couple of weeks ago, this is a great way to put it to good use! The husband and I usually enjoy this dish on Meatless Mondays, and I serve it over a bed of lettuce. It gives it a taco salad-y kind of vibe. Another option, if you were feeling a bit more carnivorous, would be to add in some spicy chicken or grilled steak. And although we love it as a main dish, it would also be great as a side next to a big old burrito, taco or enchilada. So there you have it… all the healthful benefits of quinoa and all the fresh spicy tastes of summer. What a winner!

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Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe adapted from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup pre-washed quinoa (if not washed, follow package instructions for rinsing)
  • 1-2/3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 cup chopped tomatoes, from 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1-1/4 cups Spicy Grilled Corn – recipe to follow (can use canned corn if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, from 1 large lime
  • 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • shredded iceberg lettuce (to serve Quinoa Salad over – if you desire)

Directions:

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minutes or so. Add the spices to the onion/garlic mixture and stir to combine

Add the quinoa to the onion/spice mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Cover the pan tightly with a lid, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 17-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator.

When the quinoa is cool, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, tomatoes, Spicy Grilled Corn, black beans, scallions, jalapeno, cilantro, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Right before serving, scatter the avocado chunks and Cotija Cheese over top.

Spicy Grilled Corn

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 ears of fresh corn in husk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

Directions:

Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, brown sugar and chili powder in small bowl and whisk together.
Preheat grill.
Peel back the corn husks, discarding all but a couple inner layers. Remove corn silk, then baste with dressing, and recover corn with remaining husk.
Grill on med-high for 20-25 minutes, turning 3-4 times during cooking time.
Remove the corn from grill and allow to cool a few minutes. Once it has cooled enough to handle, cut off stem end, place the flat cut end on bottom of large bowl, and use a corn zipper to strip the kernels from the cob. Or if you don’t have a zipper, run a small sharp knife down the length of the cob, slicing off kernels.

Enjoy!

Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


Zucchini, Spicy Grilled Corn & Cheese Pancakes

September 16, 2015

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Keep the zucchini recipes coming? No problem! I’ve got a great one for you here – Zucchini, Spicy Grilled Corn & Cheese Pancakes! The husband says this may well be his favourite recipe of 2015. I must admit, I can see why. Moist, light and bursting with fresh summer garden goodness these savory pancakes are not only delicious warm from the frying pan, but are also great at room temperature or even cold right out of the fridge.

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One of the things I love about these pancakes besides the fresh zucchini is the bit of spice factor. You know us and our penchant for hot and spicy by now. So I’ve added a bit of Spicy Grilled Corn to the mix. The zesty lime/chili combo of spices and the grilled flavour adds so much to this dish. And of course when I added the cheese in, I went with a Habanero Jack Cheese. The great thing here is that if you don’t want to turn up the heat like we do, just use fresh corn and maybe go with the parmesan or cheddar cheese option. It’s all up to you and your taste buds. We’ve eaten these pancakes as a main course with a fresh salad on the side, as a side dish paired with some grilled chicken, re-heated them for a quick savory breakfast and snacked on them between meals. They would be amazing as a summer appetizer as well. Just make them silver dollar sized and top them with a little dollop of sour cream and fresh chives. That versatility, along with ease of preparation makes them a winner in my book! So if your garden runneth over with zucchini, griddle up some of these mouthwatering pancakes. Folks will swoon!

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Zucchini, Spicy Grilled Corn & Cheese Pancakes

  • Servings: 20 pancakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or coarse black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup chopped chives or scallions; about 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 4 cups coarsely grated zucchini; about one 10″ zucchini
  • 1 cup spicy grilled corn (recipe to follow, you can use regular corn if you can’t be bothered to grill corn – but I think the grilled corn option is the way to go!)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, Cheddar, Monterey Jack or Spicy Habanero Jack cheese.
  • sour cream & fresh chives for serving

Directions:

Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat; if you have an electric griddle, set the heat to 400°F.

Beat the eggs with the oil, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined.

Add the herbs, spices, scallions, zucchini, corn and cheese, stirring to combine.

Stir in the flour.

Grease the hot griddle lightly. Drop the batter in 1/4 cupfuls onto the griddle; a muffin scoop works well here. If necessary, spread the cakes to about 3 1/2″ to 4″ diameter.

Cook the cakes for 3 minutes, or until they’re brown on the bottom, and bubbles have appeared on their tops. The top surface will appear somewhat dry and set.

Flip the cakes, and cook them for about3 to 4 minutes on the second side, or until they’re as moist/cooked as you like when you break one open.

Repeat until you’ve used all of the batter.

Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold; with butter and grated cheese, or without. Store any leftovers, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator. Reheat in a toaster or toaster oven, if desired.

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Spicy Grilled Corn

This recipe will likely yield more than the 1 cup you need for the zucchini pancakes. But having extra Spicy Grilled Corn around is not a problem! You can eat it cold, straight from the fridge, sprinkle it over salads or warm it up for a side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 ears of fresh corn in husk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

Directions:

Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, brown sugar and chili powder in small bowl and whisk together.
Preheat grill.
Peel back the corn husks, discarding all but a couple inner layers. Remove corn silk, then baste with dressing, and recover corn with remaining husk.
Grill on med-high for 20-25 minutes, turning 3-4 times during cooking time.
Remove the corn from grill and allow to cool a few minutes. Once it has cooled enough to handle, cut off stem end, place the flat cut end on bottom of large bowl, and use a corn zipper to strip the kernels from the cob. Or if you don’t have a zipper, run a small sharp knife down the length of the cob, slicing off kernels.

Enjoy!

Zucchini, Spicy Grilled Corn & Cheese Pancakes brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


Pan Haggerty

March 6, 2015

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Winter just won’t let go. We’ve had freezing rain, sleet, an ice storm and 8″of snow this week, not to mention that I have heard that the temperature is going to plunge down to 11° F (-12°C) tonight. I don’t know about you, but I think that seems a tad chilly for March. I guess there’s nothing to be done. Winter won’t leave until it is good and ready. So in the meantime I guess I’ll have to keep those ‘warm you up” recipes coming. I’ve got a great one for you today. Pan Haggerty. This dish, cooked and served in the same pan, is made up of potatoes, sauteed onions, bacon and cheese. Sounds great huh?

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Now there does seem to be some controversy whether it is an Irish dish or a British dish which hails from Northumberland. Seems everyone has a claim to it. I even read that sure it is associated with Northumberland, but that it was brought there by the Irish when they came to work in the mines. I don’t think it’ll ever be proven one way or another. But what I can tell you for certain is this rich, buttery, cheesy dish is definitely a winner! Served as a main dish or as a side, it is comfort food at its finest. And I think we could all use a bit of that right about now!

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Pan Haggerty

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Seasons and Suppers

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 4 sliced bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced or diced
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 5-6 potatoes, thinly sliced into rounds (White potatoes or Yukon Gold – not Russets)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups grated Dubliner cheese (or substitute in your favourite)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375° F.

In an oven-proof skillet, I prefer cast iron, over medium heat, heat a small amount  butter. Add the onions and a pinch of white sugar. Cook, stirring often, until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Remove onions from pan and place in a small bowl. In the same pan, fry the bacon until browned and slightly crisp. Remove from the pan and combine in the bowl with the reserved onion and fresh thyme leaves.

In the same pan used to cook the bacon, arrange a layer of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the onion/bacon mixture. Add another layer of potatoes and another 1/3 of the bacon/onion mixture. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add another layer of potatoes and the final 1/3 of the onion/bacon mixture. Top with a final layer of potatoes.

Cover the pan with a lid or a piece of tin foil and reduce the heat to a low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the bottom layer of potatoes are golden.

Uncover the pan and place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and top with grated cheese.

Return pan to the broiler and heat until cheese is melted and and edges of potatoes are crisped, about 5 minutes more. To serve, cut wedges from the pan.

Enjoy!

Recipe brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


Smoky Bacon Cream Biscuit Dressing

December 5, 2014

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Smoky Bacon Cream Biscuit Dressing. That’s right, what I’m talking about is a dressing in which Cream Biscuits are used in place of the run of the mill bread crumbs (croutons). You know, those decadent little gems I just mentioned in my last post? Although they are absolutely delicious on their own, truth be told I baked that batch up solely to use in this dressing.

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Now I might have had to have taken up a shotgun to stand guard over them for the two days leading up to Thanksgiving, but it was worth my vigilance to be able to make this essential Holiday dressing! ( By the way – Does anyone else have an issue with the term “dressing”. I really want to call this “stuffing”, but as I understand it, unless you actually stuff it into the bird, it is not stuffing. If it is cooked in a separate dish, it is dressing. Doesn’t sound right to me and I guess no one mentioned it to those folks over at Stove Top. 🙂 )

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Now the Cream Biscuits aren’t the only fantastic thing about this dressing.  As you might have guessed from the title, there is also a bunch (1 lbs. worth) of crispy smoky bacon thrown into the mix. Along with some lovely mushrooms and fresh herbs. So savory, so moist… It is, without a doubt, the best dressing I have ever tasted.

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At this point, I don’t know what the husband would do were we to have a Thanksgiving without it. Then I got to thinking, dressing isn’t only served at Thanksgiving and this dressing would certainly be welcome at any holiday meal (or any meal full stop for that matter). There are a lot of folks out there that serve turkey or goose for their Christmas Feast, so I thought I should go ahead and share this tasty recipe. Not to mention, Thanksgiving will surely turn up again next year and  you will be ready to go. I assure you, no matter when you happen to make this Smoky Bacon Cream Biscuit stuffing dressing, it will steal the show!

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Smoky Bacon Cream Biscuit Dressing

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Williams Sonoma

Ingredients:

  • Twelve 4-inch cream biscuits, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 lb. smoky bacon
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 5 celery stalks, diced
  • 8 oz. white button mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups chicken stock

Directions:

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F.

Spread the biscuits out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.

Cook the bacon until crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Chop or crumble into 1″ pieces.

Pour off all but 3 Tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Set the pan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, mushrooms, parsley, sage and thyme and cook until the celery is soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl. Add the bacon to the bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the biscuits and 4 cups of the stock and stir gently to combine. (try not to break up the biscuit chunks) Let rest for 5 – 10 minutes or so and then add more stock if you think it looks too dry.

Transfer the dressing to a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until the dressing is lightly browned, about 20 minutes more.

Enjoy!

Smoky Bacon Cream Biscuit Dressing brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Creamed Zucchini with Garlic & Basil

August 5, 2014

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It’s getting to be that time of year where the folks with gardens are looking around and trying to figure out what in the world they are going to do with all the zucchini they have on hand. That’s right, we’re getting well into zucchini overload time. And if you’re one of those folks searching for fabulous zucchini recipes, some tasty options include zucchini bread, stuffed zucchini, zucchini fritters, Zucchini Parmesan and Cheesy Bacon Zucchini Casserole (the last two being particular favourites of mine). But I’ve got to tell you, I’ve got the one zucchini recipe you simply must make tonight!  The husband and I have found a new obsession with this Creamed Zucchini with Garlic & Basil.

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Oh my stars! I mean I like zucchini. I am a fan. But it is a vegetable. And although veggies can be quite tasty, especially fresh right out of the garden like they are now, they are still vegetables. They aren’t say…cookies or cupcakes. I don’t really get obsessed with vegetables. That was until I took one bite of this spectacular summer side dish. Stopped me right in my tracks. It is just so savoury, so rich and creamy. The zucchini practically melts in your mouth – but don’t take that to mean it is mushy. I hate mushy vegetables. The grated zucchini here is almost like a puree. I am addicted!

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I’ve made this dish using all zucchini and I have made it using 1/2 zucchini and 1/2 yellow squash – because that just happened to be what I had on hand. Unbelievably tasty every time (and there have been quite a few). I’ve served it with all sorts of grilled meats at this point and without fail it stole the show. It is very easy to prepare. You can even whip it up ahead of time and just reheat when supper time rolls around. So, if you find yourself with a few zucchini on hand…no wait….what I mean to say is – go get yourself a bunch of zucchini. Now! The backyard gardener around the corner from you will be relieved to find a good home for their excess. Treat yourself to this Creamed Zucchini with Garlic & Basil tonight!

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Creamed Zucchini with Garlic & Basil

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

  •  1-3/4 pounds zucchini (preferably smaller zucchini, as they are less watery)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

Directions:

Grate the zucchini by hand with a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the shredding disk ( the food processor choice is certainly my lazy self’s preference). Wrap the shredded zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much excess water as possible. Repeat a few times, replacing the towel if necessary.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shredded zucchini and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is tender, about 6 minutes. Turn the heat down to low; add the heavy cream, salt, pepper and basil and simmer until the cream is absorbed. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

Creamed Zucchini with Garlic & Basil brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 


Zesty Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad

July 22, 2014

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I’ve got a great Summer Salad recipe for you today. Zesty Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad is just the perfect dish to enjoy on those hot and steamy days. Served cold it is wonderfully refreshing, and just bursting with fresh summer flavours. Not to mention, this baby has got a bit of a kick to it! With all of those jalapenos, cayenne peppers and red pepper flakes, your taste buds will sit up a take notice! Now I prefer to grill up some corn to use in this recipe. I know it is a bit of extra work, but it is so worth it. Corn is in season right now and there is an abundance of it at all of the local markets. Lovely fresh corn, spiced up with a marinade and fired over a grill just puts that frozen or canned corn to shame!

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This dish is very versatile and works great as a side salad, is very tasty over some greens as a Meatless Monday entrée or makes a delicious salsa served with tortilla chips. I most recently served it along with some Carne Asada Tacos (recipe soon to follow – stand by) and folks went wild! Definitely add this little gem to your summer recipe book of tricks!

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Zesty Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad

recipe slightly adapted from: Bowl of Delicious

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of fresh grilled corn (scroll down for recipe)
  • 1 -2 jalapenos, diced fine
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced fine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 avocados, diced

Directions:

Prepare Spicy Grilled Corn as per the recipe below.

Whisk together olive oil, honey, lime juice, salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes  and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.

Add black beans, grilled corn, jalapenos, red pepper cilantro and avocados to bowl. Toss gently to coat with dressing.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

For the Spicy Grilled Corn:

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 ears of fresh corn in husk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

Directions:

Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, brown sugar and chili powder in small bowl and whisk together.
Preheat grill.
Peel back the corn husks, discarding all but a couple inner layers. Remove corn silk, then baste with dressing, and recover corn with remaining husk.
Grill on med-high for 20-25 minutes, turning 3-4 times during cooking time.
Remove the corn from grill and allow to cool a few minutes. Once it has cooled enough to handle, cut off stem end, place the flat cut end on bottom of large bowl, and use a corn zipper to strip the kernels from the cob. Or if you don’t have a zipper, run a small sharp knife down the length of the cob, slicing off kernels.

Enjoy!

Zesty Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 

 

 


Spicy Hush Puppies!

June 27, 2014

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Did someone say Hush Puppies?!! Be still my heart! How I do love those Hush Puppies! And if you’re contemplating making up a big batch of that delicious Carolina Pulled Pork I just told you about for your Independence Day celebrations, these Hush Puppies would be fantastic served right alongside those tasty little sliders. Your party will be the talk of the town! For you folks out there who might not know what a Hush Puppy is, (and I’m not sure where in the world you’ve been hanging out…) a Hush Puppy is basically a ball of cornmeal batter which has been deep-fried. They are often served along side fried seafood dishes or with barbecued foods. Now there are numerous legends about how they got their name. They seem to all involve some group of folks, be they Southern hunters, fisherman, civil war soldiers or cooks, taking a cornmeal mixture which they had been using as battering for whatever food they were cooking, deep-frying it and giving to their barking dogs to get them to quiet down while uttering “Hush Puppy!” as they tossed the tasty little morsels over to them. It actually works too. You will see the truth of it when you serve up a big basket of them at your house. Folks will be so busy chowing down, you won’t hear a peep out of them!

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Hush Puppies are very easy to make. I will mention a couple of pointers that I think will be handy. Make sure you add enough oil to your Dutch Oven. You need to have enough to entirely cover the Hush Puppies as they fry. And take care to get that oil up to 375°F before you start frying and that it returns to that temperature between batches. If the oil is not hot enough when you fry, your puppies will be greasy. I don’t add any sugar into my batter, preferring a savoury, spicy puppy. But if you’re one of those folks that love sweet cornbread, you probably want to add some sugar into this mix. I also like to use the TexMex Grilled Corn (recipe found below) in my Hush Puppies. I think it adds a bit more kick to them.

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However, I have made them in the winter when I wasn’t keen to go out and grill up some corn and have found that canned corn works quite well in a pinch. Believe me, you will find that these little devils are addictive… soft and spicy on the inside with a satisfying crunchy exterior. Try some today and you’ll be hooked!

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Spicy Hush Puppies!

  • Servings: 28-34 puppies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal
  • 1  cup self-rising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional – if you prefer a sweeter puppy, add 1 -2 tablespoons to mix. I do not add any sugar to my mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons diced jalapeño pepper
  • 1 cup corn (best if you use TexMex Grilled Corn, scroll down for recipe, but regular yellow corn from a tin will work 🙂 )
  • Oil for frying (I prefer peanut oil, but vegetable oil if fine)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the self-rising cornmeal, self-rising flour, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and sugar if you are using it. In a large glass measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk, egg, grated onion and bacon dripping. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients to the dry. Stir together until the dry ingredients are just combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold the diced jalapeños and grilled corn into the hush puppy batter. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour until mixture has risen.

Place a 6 qt. Dutch oven on the stove. Pour enough oil into it so that it reaches 2″ up the sides. Heat oil until it reaches a temperature of 375°F. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop or two kitchen spoons, drop small rounds of batter into the oil. Do not crowd the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally and flipping halfway through, until golden on the outside and crisp, about 3 -4 minutes. Remove hush puppies from the oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with tartar sauce, honey, butter, remoulade, etc. or just use them to mop up any extra barbecue sauce that might be lurking about.  Your choice!

TexMex Grilled Corn

Ingredients:

  • 3 -4 ears of fresh corn in husk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

Directions:

Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, brown sugar and chili powder in small bowl and whisk together.
Preheat grill.
Peel back the corn husks, discarding all but a couple inner layers. Remove corn silk, then baste with dressing, and recover corn with remaining husk.
Grill on med-high for 20-25 minutes, turning 3-4 times during cooking time.
Remove the corn from grill and allow to cool a few minutes, then cut off stem end, place the flat cut end on bottom of large bowl, and use a corn zipper to strip the kernels from the cob. Or if you don’t have a zipper, run a small sharp knife down the length of the cob, slicing off kernels.

Enjoy!

Spicy Hush Puppies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 


Israeli Couscous & Orzo Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Corn & Cherry Tomatoes

October 15, 2013

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This lovely pasta salad, chock full of fresh vegetables and herbs, practically screams summer. And although I am ready for some Fall weather, it is still fairly warm around here, so this salad would still be very welcome at any picnic or potluck to which you may find yourself invited. The combination of the zesty grilled corn, tangy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and herbs is nothing short of addictive.

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Now I should mention, this recipe makes a whole bunch of this salad. If you’re only making it for a couple of folks, you might want to cut it in half. Either that or content yourself with the knowledge that you’ll be nibbling on it all week, which isn’t a bad thing at all! The original recipe recommends that you use raw corn, straight from the cob. No cooking necessary. However, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been a bit obsessed with grilled corn and think that is the best way to go. However if you find yourself pressed for time, you could go with the raw option or just use some canned or frozen corn and you will still find this salad to be quite a delightful, healthy and refreshing summer time treat!

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Israeli Couscous & Orzo Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Corn & Cherry Tomatoes

recipe from: The Cafe Sucre Farine

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces Israeli Couscous
  • 8 ounces Orzo
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over pasta
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pint red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch green (spring) onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 ears fresh corn, shucked, grilled (see Tex-Mex Grilled Corn instructions here) and kernels cut from cobs or use 2-3 cups canned corn
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, drained (if in brine) and cut in bite sized pieces
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • small fresh herb leaves, if desired, for garnish
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove top. Add a generous measure of salt (about a tablespoon) and return to a boil. Add couscous and orzo, allow water to return to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente. Stir frequently while pasta is cooking. Drain well and drizzle with olive oil, just a teaspoon or two to keep the pasta from sticking together.Stir to coat well to coat and allow to cool.

Combine the ⅓ cup olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl.

Add halved tomatoes, green onions, corn and pastas. Stir to combine. Taste and add more sea salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
Add fresh mozzarella cubes and stir gently. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Add fresh herb leaves for garnish, if desired. Drizzle with a bit more extra virgin olive oil and serve.
Enjoy!

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