Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fresh Peach Margarita on the Deck

A good margarita is a favorite of mine and I hesitate to mess with the lime version as is.  Peaches are also a favorite and I have a ton of them.  And I have a nice little bottle of silver Patron tequila.  The stars are aligned and the deck is waiting, so who am I to argue.

Margaritas have always been my mixed drink of choice, on the rocks with salt and I want to be able to taste the tequila.  That is the nature of a margarita.  For such a simple drink, there are many variations just in choosing the tequila and orange liquor that can take a basic drink to something off the chart delicious.  How much you want to spend also comes into play, but keep in mind you don't have to spend that much to have a really good margarita.  Then there is changing up the fruit flavorings.  Essentially a margarita is tequila, orange flavored liquor and fresh lime juice.  It is summer, peaches are in season and it sounds like great combination.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tomato Gazpacho

 This recipe is adapted from Patricia Wells, cookbook Vegetable HarvestI am a recipe meddler from way back and have a hard time following any recipe to the letter.  I think this recipe is perfect just the way it is. The only adjustment I would recommend is the amount of tomatoes you would use.  For example,  if you love raw tomatoes then use full amount but if you want a little less tomato flavor then cut back a bit and enjoy more of the cucumber, red pepper and other flavors.

For me, Gazpacho has always been a dish that I am on the fence about.  Never quite right.  It could be that raw green peppers are not my favorite which are in many versions and there are many versions of gazpacho.   One year after a trip to the farmers market and more garden tomatoes than I knew what to do with, I tried the Tomato Gazpacho recipe from Vegetable Harvest.  It was so delicate and fresh.  It tasted like summertime.  It was simply amazing.  It is easy and it's flavor relies on fresh ingredients.  This time of the year I can get almost every ingredient at the farmers market and what is not there, is already in my cupboard.  Nice.

I am always amazed at how fresh and pure this soup tastes. The flavoring are limited to salt, pepper, sherry vinegar and red pepper flakes or hot sauce.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bruschetta with Golden Tomatoes

If you are a farm stand junkie like me,  you need a few quick recipes to utilize all the produce that you end up with.  Not to mention the tomatoes, herbs and peppers in my own garden.

This year I planted my one and only gold tomato plant with great anticipation and then it surprisingly produced some sort of red tomato.  I was so disappointed.  I even went out and checked the tag.  Mistakes happen.  I love these gold tomatoes. I picked up a couple that looked really good at the market.  My favorite way to have garden fresh tomatoes is with bruschetta. This is one dish my no-fresh-tomatoes-for-me kids definitely eat and can't seem to get enough of.  They aren't little kids either.

Bruschetta is grilled bread that has been brushed with olive oil and rubbed with a garlic clove.  The name comes from the Italian word bruscare that literally means "to roast over coals".  There are many ways to serve bruschetta but a typical way is with fresh tomatoes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Roasted Corn-Black Bean-Tomato Salsa

On a visit home to Alabama several years ago, my brother had made this bowl of salsa (I don't remember what he called it) that consisted mainly of canned green chiles, white shoepeg corn, onions, beans, tomatoes and some other flavorings.  We ate it on salad with grilled chicken thighs and with chips.  It was really good.

Of course, I thought that it would really make it special if it was made with fresh local ingredients.   Being the farm stand addict that I am, I couldn't help myself.  The next summer, I rounded up fresh ingredients to make a go of this recipe.  The can of white shoepeg corn was replaced with fresh roasted corn off the cob, the green chilies were replaced with jalapenos or serrano chilies, the beans became black beans, sweet summer candy onions replaced yellow onions and so on.  This has become one of my favorite salsas because it is so chunky and flavorful.  I love that spicy sweet combination of the roasted corn, cherry tomatoes and the spicy peppers.  It is nutrient dense, low in calories and tasty.  That is a good combination!
 So let's get to it . . .

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Farm Stand Sandwich for a Festival

That's right.  A sandwich made from farm stand produce for an evening picnic at a local music festival.  Minimal refrigeration needed and local brews are available at the festival.  Sounds like a good plan to me.

I love going to music Festivals.  Most take place in the summer expecially up here on the east coast.  Who wants to go to a music festival in the snow?  Well, I am sure there are a few amazing fans that would show up, but it probably wouldn't be me.  This year to start the summer off, we went to Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Delaware and saw Chick Corea, then midsummer we went to the Xponential Music Festival and saw Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and this weekend we went to the Riverfront Blues Festival and enjoyed some really awesome blues including the Bernard Allison Band starting off their set with a stellar version of Voodoo Child.
 Here are a few shots from the festival.  The weather was perfect and it was a nice evening for an outdoor event. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Green Tomato Pie

Got tomatoes?  I do.

When I was a kid my mom could not have gotten a fresh tomato past my lips without a fight.  Tomato sauce on a pizza was just about it for my tomato adventures at that time.  I am still not a tomato-off-the-vine girl unless it is a little sun gold.  Now that I am an adult, I love a caprese salad or fresh chopped tomatoes on pasta with a cream base sauce or a raw tomato sauce for pasta and don't get me started on bruscetta. Seriously good eats.
Along with many Brandywines and Sun Gold tomatoes, I have a bunch of green tomatoes called Green Zebra.  Many assume they are a heirloom tomato, but a little research tells me that they were developed by a tomato breeder in 1985.  They are quite tangy and acidic.  I have tried to make fried green tomatoes with them but their texture is a little too soft and get a bit mushy during cooking.  I have heard others have used them for fried green tomatoes and thought they were great.  They might have picked them earlier than I did, when they were firmer and crisper.
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