Category: Gluten-Free

Composed Greek Salad

humus with composed greek salad

Here’s a perfect make-ahead recipe for easy entertaining, Greek Composed Salad. A composed salad is a salad in which the ingredients are arranged in a colorful eye-appealing manner and drizzled with a vinaigrette. There is a nice balance of color, texture and flavors. The salad is a meal with a protein, vegetables, and sometimes a starch, such as potatoes or beans. The salad is not tossed, each of the ingredients lies on the plate in a row, allowing guests to select their favorites.

This recipe for a  Composed Greek Salad has chopped Romaine lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes, assorted bell peppers, red onion, cucumbers, Kalamata olives and Feta cheese. I grilled chicken breasts and cut them on the bias to add to the platter. Toss the lettuce,  lay on the platter and the arrange the other ingredients in rows around the chicken and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.

humus with composed greek salad vegetables

Not only is this a colorful and palate pleasing dish, it’s has minimal cleanup and quantities are easily doubled or tripled for a big bash!

To accompany the salad, make this delicious Humus recipe and serve with warm pita triangles.

humus with composed greek salad and pita

 

Chicken Marinade:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 large lemon)
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 boneless, skinless whole chicken breasts, split and pounded to an even thickness

METHOD

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Add the chicken, toss to coat and let marinate for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat the grill or griddle and cook the chicken.

Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing on the bias.

humus with composed greek salad

Greek Vinaigrette:
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dried Turkish oregano, crushed by rubbing the herbs in the palms of your hand
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

METHOD
Place the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, oregano, salt and pepper in a covered container and shake well.

Salad:

4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
1 each red, green and yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 English cucumber, peeled or not, and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

METHOD

Toss the Romaine lettuce with one-half of the vinaigrette and spread over a large platter.

Place the chicken in the center of the platter and arrange the individual salad ingredients in rows around the chicken.

Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the vegetables.

NOTE: Shake vinaigrette well before using.

humus with composed greek salad tomatoes and feta

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Composed Greek Salad

humus with composed greek salad

A colorful and delicious one-dish meal that’s easy to prepare and has minimal cleanup. Lots of fresh vegetables!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree Salad (chicken)
Scale

Ingredients

Chicken Marinade

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Add the chicken, toss to coat and let marinate for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat the grill or griddle and cook the chicken.

Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing on the bias.

Greek Vinaigrette
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dried Turkish oregano, crushed by rubbing the herbs in the palms of your hand
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Salad
4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
1 each red, green and yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 English cucumber, peeled or not, and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

Instructions

Chicken Marinade
Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Add the chicken, toss to coat and let marinate for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat the grill or griddle and cook the chicken.

Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing on the bias.

Greek Vinaigrette
Place the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, oregano, salt and pepper in a covered container and shake well.

Salad
Toss the Romaine lettuce with one-half of the vinaigrette and spread over a large platter.

Place the chicken in the center of the platter and arrange the individual salad ingredients in rows around the chicken.

Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the vegetables.

Note: Shake vinaigrette well before using.

Notes

Vinaigrette can be made a day or two in advance.

Keywords: composed salad, greek salad, greek vinaigrette, salad, entree salad, chicken salad

 

Pom Pom Sangria

Pom Pom Sangria in a pitcher

Sangria is an iconic drink in Spain. The primary ingredients are red wine (Rioja), orange juice, and simple syrup with chopped fruit, such as pineapple, peaches, berries, apples, and pears. Later white wine became a popular variation, and as I’m a big fan of Rosés and pomegranate juice, I thought that combining theses two ingredients would make another delicious modification to this popular drink.

Use a dry, not too fruity rosé, such as Pinot Gris, an unsweetened pomegranate juice, such as POM, a pomegranate liqueur, such as PAMA, and a small dose of simple syrup.

Pom Pom Sangria ingredients

Toss in quartered strawberries, blueberries, sliced peaches and limes. This recipe makes a delicious and stunning presentation!

Pom Pom Sangria fruit

If you use a sweetened pomegranate juice, leave out the simple syrup or add only after tasting. The drink is not meant to be overly sweet, but cool, and refreshing.

Pom Pom Sangria in glasses

Pom Pom Sangria

Serve little cocktail forks on the side so people can enjoy the macerated fruit later!

Pom Pom Sangria with cocktail fork

Pom Pom Sangria

To make a Pom Pom Sangria Spritzer, use 2/3 sangria and 1/3 seltzer or sparkling water.

Be sure to chill the sangria well before serving.

 

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Pom Pom Sangria

Pom Pom Sangria in a pitcher

A delicious fruit punch made of pomegranate juice and liqueur with chopped fruit and rosé wine.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
Scale

Ingredients

½ cup blueberries
½ cup thinly sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
½ cup quartered strawberries
8 thin slices of fresh lime
1 bottle dry rosé
2 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice, such as POM
½ cup pomegranate liqueur, such as PAMA
2 ounces simple syrup

Garnish
Mint leaves, optional

Instructions

Place the fruit in the bottom of a 2-quart pitcher and add the rosé, juice, liqueur, and simple syrup.

Chill well.

Pour into a glass, making sure to include some of the fruit in each one and garnish with a pinched mint leaf, which releases the mint oils.

Notes

To make a Pom Pom Sangria Spritzer, use 2/3 sangria and 1/3 seltzer or sparkling.

Keywords: fruit punch, rose wine, cocktail, alcoholic beverage, pomegranate juice

Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette

Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette

I stopped at a Cosi for lunch one day on a drive back from the city. Haven’t been to one in years. I ordered an Adobo Lime Chicken Salad. I enjoyed it and reproduced it, I think with a little more zip. Here’s my version, Chicken Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette.

Adobo LimeVinaigrette

adobo lime vinaigrette

Make the vinaigrette first so it has a chance to meld. Make at least 30 minutes in advance and leftover vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Combine olive oil, lime juice, adobo sauce, grated garlic, agave, salt, and chopped cilantro in a covered jar and shake well.

Grilled Chicken

Grill up boneless and skinless chicken breasts to serve with the Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette.

Heat the grill to high. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Drizzle a little olive oil over both sides to prevent sticking. Grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice on the bias. See our video, Grilled Boneless Chicken Breasts.

Chopped Salad

Use fresh corn raw, grilled or steamed, let cool slightly and then remove the kernels by sliding a knife down the corn from top to bottom, turning a little each time until the whole cob is bare. and place in a large bowl.

removing corn kernels from the cob

Add black beans, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and salt to the corn and toss to mix well.

Use a crisp lettuce like Romaine and chop it to bite-size pieces and place in a large salad bowl.

These ingredients can be prepared up to a day in advance. Cover tightly and hold in the refrigerator.

To assemble, dress the lettuce with enough of the adobo lime vinaigrette to coat well, but not pool in the bottom of the bowl.

Pour more of the vinaigrette over the vegetables, toss well, and spread over the top of the greens.

Note: The chopped vegetables are heavy and fall to the bottom of the bowl when tossed. Dressing the lettuce separately and spreading the dressed vegetables over the top makes a more attractive presentation.

Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette individual bowl

Slice the onion and avocado, season with a sprinkle of salt, a drizzle of there vinaigrette, and lay decoratively over the salad.

Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette with chicken and avocado

Garnish with the shredded cheese as desired.

Serve the sliced chicken on a separate platter, or prepare individual salad bowls as directed above, and place the chicken on the very top. Don’t forget to pour a little of the vinaigrette over the chicken, too.

 

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Adobo Lime Vinaigrette

adobo lime vinaigrette

Try this with grilled skirt steak or omit the meat or chicken and serve with extra black beans for a vegan salad.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups 1x
  • Category: Salad Dressings/Viniagrettes
Scale

Ingredients

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons adobo sauce, strained from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 medium clove of garlic, grated
1 teaspoon agave
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

Place the oil, lime juice, adobo sauce, garlic, agave, salt, and cilantro in a covered jar and shake well.

Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Notes

Can be made in advance; shake well just before using. Lasts 3-4 days in the refrigerator

Keywords: salad dressing, vinaigrette, lime vinaigrette, adobo sauce, lime, cilantro

 

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Grilled Chicken and Chopped Salad

Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad with Adobo Lime Vinaigrette

This recipe is great for entertaining. Almost everything can be prepared in advance and assembled at the last minute. Dress with our delicious Adobo Lime Vinaigrette.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Salads
Scale

Ingredients

4 ears fresh corn, or 3 cups frozen or drained canned corn
8 baby bell peppers thinly sliced or 1 red bell pepper, diced
20 cherry tomatoes halved
½ English cucumber quartered and sliced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 cups chopped lettuce, such as Romaine
1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained well
1 avocado, sliced
red onion slices

Garnish
Shredded cheese, such cojita, Monterrey jack or sharp cheddar; optional

Instructions

Use fresh corn raw, grilled or steamed, let cool slightly and then remove the kernels by sliding a knife down the corn from top to bottom, turning a little each time until the whole cob is bare. and place in a large bowl.

Add black beans, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and salt to the corn and toss to mix well.

Use a crisp lettuce like Romaine and chop it to bite-size pieces and place in a large salad bowl.

These ingredients can be prepared up to a day in advance. Cover tightly and hold in the refrigerator.

To assemble, dress the lettuce with enough of the adobo lime vinaigrette to coat well, but not pool in the bottom of the bowl.

Pour more of the vinaigrette over the vegetables, toss well, and spread over the top of the greens.

Slice the onion and avocado, season with a sprinkle of salt, a drizzle of there vinaigrette, and lay decoratively over the salad.

Garnish with the shredded cheese as desired.

Serve the sliced chicken on a separate platter, or prepare individual salad bowls as directed above, and place the chicken on the very top. Don’t forget to pour a little of the vinaigrette over the chicken, too.

Notes

Note: The chopped vegetables are heavy and fall to the bottom of the bowl when tossed. Dressing the lettuce separately and spreading the dressed vegetables over the top makes a more attractive presentation.

See our grilled chicken recipe and video here: Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast

Keywords: chopped salad, dinner salad, black beans, corn, bell peppers, avocado, red onion

 

Cherry Chocolate-Chunk Ice Cream

It occurred to me as I was working with fresh cherries this season that a cherry ice cream would be fun to make. Then I thought about chocolate-covered cherries and decided that some delicious dark chocolate chunks needed to go into the mix as well. The result is Cherry Chocolate-Chunk Ice Cream!

A few years ago I wrote an ice cream book, Endless Summer: 54 Quick and Creative Ice Cream and Dessert Recipes. The odd thing is I’m not a big ice cream lover. But when opportunity knocks, one doesn’t say no! I now have a reputation for making ice cream and don’t serve store-bought anymore. I also have three ice cream makers and plenty of freezer space!

Method

Puree the cherries, sugar, cherry and vanilla extracts, and salt in a blender or food processor.

Add the cream and milk, pulse to combine.

Chill the ice cream mixture for 30 minutes.

To Freeze: follow the directions of your ice cream maker for churning and freezing.

Tips and Tricks

Lower the freezer temperature from 0ºF to 4ºF. This is just enough to make the ice cream scoopable right from the freezer, no need to let it sit on the counter, which only melts the outer edges.

To properly store ice cream, place plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream to prevent air from reaching the ice cream and place in the freezer immediately to prevent ice crystallization.

 

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Cherry Chocolate-Chunk Ice Cream

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x
  • Category: Ice Cream
Scale

Ingredients

1 ½ cups cherries, pitted
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cherry extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
¾ cup (4 ounce bar) dark chocolate, chopped OR chocolate chips (I used 70% cocoa)

Instructions

Puree the cherries, sugar, cherry and vanilla extracts, and salt in a blender or food processor.

Add the cream and milk, pulse to combine.

Chill the ice cream mixture for 30 minutes.

To Freeze: follow the directions of your ice cream maker for churning and freezing.

Notes

Lower the freezer temperature from 0ºF to 4ºF. This is just enough to make the ice cream scoopable right from the freezer, no need to let it sit on the counter, which only melts the outer edges.

To properly store ice cream, place plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream to prevent air from reaching the ice cream and place in the freezer immediately to prevent ice crystallization.

Keywords: frozen dessert, dessert,

Fried Chicken (gluten-free recipe, too)

gluten-free fried chicken in a basket

It’s summer and what’s better for lunch or dinner than Fried Chicken!

Brine the chicken in pickle juice to add flavor and keep the chicken moist. I used a cup of my Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickle juice; make sure to serve those pickles on the side!

Use either pre-cut skinless, boneless chicken for easy cleanup, and cut the chicken breasts into smaller portions, such as thirds,  for the little ones, or use a whole chicken and cut it into 10 pieces – 2 wings, 2 legs 2 thighs and 4 breast pieces.

Smoke Point

It’s important to use a high-smoke point oil or fat, such as peanut oil, vegetable oil, or lard. These oils withstand the high heat better than low smoke oils, such as olive oil. Use an iron frypan and a frying thermometer or an electric frypan or deep fryer to keep the temperature at a minimum of 350 degrees F and no higher than 365 degrees F for best results. At lower temps the crust absorbs too much oil, stays soggy and the meat doesn’t cook through. At higher temps the crust cooks too fast and is burned by the time the chicken is done.

Gluten-Free

I wasn’t sure how the gluten-free flour would hold up during the frying so I doubled up on it by dipping the dried chicken pieces into the flour first, then the buttermilk and back into the flour. This gave the same thickness as the all-purpose flour, which I only dipped into the flour once. The results for both were beautifully golden brown and crispy crust with juicy meat.

Serve the chicken with one of our summer salad recipes, such as Vinegar Coleslaw or Macaroni Salad!

Setup

Line two baking sheet pans with paper towel and set a cooling rack inside to drain chicken.

Method

Place the chicken in a large sealable bag or a non-reactive bowl and pour the pickle juice over all. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight, occasionally turning the chicken to marinate evenly.

Drain the chicken, pat dry with paper towel, and place on one of the baking sheets in a single layer; let sit for 30 minutes to warm up.

Set up 2 small plates or pie pans. Mix the flour, paprika, salt and ancho chili powder thoroughly in one pan. Whisk the buttermilk and eggs in the other.

gluten-free fried chicken setup

Fill a large frypan with enough fat/oil to come up just past the halfway point of the larger pieces of chicken (shallow-fry method) or fill the deep fryer with fat/oil (deep-fry method).

Bring the oil temperature to 350 degrees F.

Gluten-Free Flour Version

Dip the dried chicken pieces into the seasoned gluten-free flour, then the buttermilk, and back in the seasoned flour; coat thoroughly. Return the coated chicken back to the baking sheet.

Wheat Flour Version

Dip the dried chicken pieces into the buttermilk and then in the seasoned flour; coat thoroughly.

Frying Methods

Shallow Fry Method: Gently drop a few chicken pieces  into the fryer, cook in batches to prevent crowding, and cook for 8-15 minutes depending on size and whether the chicken has bones or not. Cook boneless pieces for about  5 minutes per side and bone-in pieces, 8-15 minutes per side. Bring the temperature back to 350 degrees F before adding more pieces. The optimum internal temperature is 165 degrees F.

Deep Fry Method: Gently drop a few chicken pieces  into the fryer, cook in batches to prevent crowding, and cook for 8-15 minutes depending on size and whether the chicken has bones or not. Cook boneless pieces for about  5 minutes per side and bone-in pieces, 8-15 minutes per side. Bring the temperature back to 350 degrees F before adding more pieces.  The optimum internal temperature is 165 degrees F.

Wheat flour on the left and gluten-free flour on the right

Serve hot or room temperature.

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Fried Chicken (gluten-free recipe, too)

gluten-free fried chicken in a basket

Brine the chicken in pickle juice, such asmy Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickle juice 5o add flavor and keep the chicken moist. Serve the pickles on the side!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Frying
Scale

Ingredients

1 whole chicken cut into 10 pieces or 1012 skinless boneless chicken pieces
1 cup pickle juice
2 cups all-purpose flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
High smoke point oil or fat, such as peanut oil, canola oil or lard

Instructions

Setup

Line two baking sheet pans with paper towel and set a cooling rack inside to drain chicken.

Method

Place the chicken in a large sealable bag or a non-reactive bowl and pour the pickle juice over all. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight, occasionally turning the chicken to marinate evenly.

Drain the chicken, pat dry with paper towel, and place on one of the baking sheets in a single layer; let sit for 30 minutes to warm up.

Set up 2 small plates or pie pans. Mix the flour, paprika, salt and ancho chili powder thoroughly in one pan. Whisk the buttermilk and eggs in the other.

Fill a large frypan with enough fat/oil to come up just past the halfway point of the larger pieces of chicken (shallow-fry method) or fill the deep fryer with fat/oil (deep-fry method).

Bring the oil temperature to 350 degrees F.

Gluten-Free Flour Version

Dip the dried chicken pieces into the seasoned gluten-free flour, then the buttermilk, and back in the seasoned flour; coat thoroughly. Return the coated chicken back to the baking sheet.

Wheat Flour Version

Dip the dried chicken pieces into the buttermilk and then in the seasoned flour; coat thoroughly.

Frying Methods

Shallow Fry Method: Gently drop a few chicken pieces  into the fryer, cook in batches to prevent crowding, and cook for 8-15 minutes depending on size and whether the chicken has bones or not. Cook boneless pieces for about  5 minutes per side and bone-in pieces, 8-15 minutes per side. Bring the temperature back to 350 degrees F before adding more pieces. The optimum internal temperature is 165 degrees F.

Deep Fry Method: Gently drop a few chicken pieces  into the fryer, cook in batches to prevent crowding, and cook for 8-15 minutes depending on size and whether the chicken has bones or not. Cook boneless pieces for about  5 minutes per side and bone-in pieces, 8-15 minutes per side. Bring the temperature back to 350 degrees F before adding more pieces.  The optimum internal temperature is 165 degrees F.

Serve hot or room temperature.

Keywords: deep-fried chicken, picnic chicken

 

Daiquiri

Daquiri with lime peel

Summer is the season for delicious, refreshing rum cocktails that evoke days by the poolside soaking up the sun, reading a good book, or schmoozing with friends. The Daquiri is a simple mixed drink, yet over the years it has taken on many forms, particularly a frozen, slush-like cocktail, made from a variety of fruits or packaged blends.

Daquiri ingredients

I remember my parents and some or our neighbors would have a frozen daquiri on a hot summer evening. My mom would get out the blender, toss in some ice, a can of frozen limeade, and rum and they sipped the drinks on the front stoop or while they played croquet in the yard.

The original Daquiri, however, is fresh and sweet-tart, made only with rum, fresh lime juice and simple syrup. The drink is shaken and served neat in a glass with a twist of lime peel. That peel is optional, and I personally don’t think the drink needs it.

Daquiri cutting a lime peel

Try the original version for a less sweet, refreshing summer cocktail!

Make up a batch of daiquiris and serve with our Curried Devil Eggs!

Interesting Rum Facts

Rum is distilled from a fermented sugar cane product such as molasses.

Rum is aged, usually one or two years, in old bourbon oak barrels; any longer and the clean taste is altered.

Light rum is filtered through coal to remove any color from the barrels.

Rums are often blended, mixing various years or adding light, medium, and/or dark rums for complex flavors and colors.

Rum is used in cooking, such as rum balls, rum cake, and is great to use to macerate fruit. Let’s not forget Bananas Foster or rum raisin ice cream. Also try a little rum in your rice pudding!

Daquiri double

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Daiquiri

Daquiri in a glass

A classic daiquiri is made of rum, freshly squeezed lime juice and simple syrup. It’s a refreshing, sweet-tart drink.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 three-ounce cocktail 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
Scale

Ingredients

1 ½ ounces rum
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ ounce simple syrup

Garnish (optional)
twist of lime peel*

Instructions

Pour the rum, lime juice, and simple syrup in a shaker filled with 4 or five ice cubes.

Shake, strain into a martini glass.

Add a twist of lime peel, if desired.

Notes

*It’s easier to peel the lime before juicing. Only take the very thin outer peel and not the pith.

Keywords: cocktail, mixed drink, rum cocktail

Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce in a bowl

We spend as much time outdoors as we can in the summer and that includes eating meals outside. We have a screened-in porch, which makes that possible even when it rains or when the mosquitos are swarming everywhere. That means cooking outside and keeping the indoor cooking to a minimum. Grilling steaks and topping it with this quick and easy Chimichurri Sauce fits the bill!

Chimichurri sauce is a South American recipe. It’s a green sauce made up of parsley, garlic, oregano, white vinegar and olive oil. I’ve taken some liberties here and use red wine vinegar in lieu of white vinegar and added scallions and a pinch of red pepper flakes. It’s a slightly spicy sauce!. Make it  a couple of hours in advance to let the flavors mesh and store in the refrigerator. The sauce can be made a day or two in advance, but do serve it at room temperature. Just leave it out for 30 minutes before dinner.

Chimichurri Sauce in a food processor

Make our Potato Packets as a side; potatoes, onions, olive oil, and seasonings wrapped in foil and cooked on the grill. A totally pot- and pan-free meal!

Watch our video on Grilled Ribeye Steaks (boneless).

Chimichurri Sauce with steak

Method

Place the parsley, scallions, oregano, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper flakes in a food processor.

Pulse until coarsely chopped, but don’t overdo it and turn it into a purée!

Chimichurri Sauce chopped

The sauce can be made a day or two in advance, but do serve it at room temperature.

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Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce with steak

Use this sauce on grilled steak, chicken, fish, or vegetables. Perfect recipe for easy outdoor living!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauce
Scale

Ingredients

1 cup packed parsley
4 scallions, green tops included
2 tablespoons packed oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon cloves garlic (about 2)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

1 cup packed parsley
4 scallions, green tops included
2 tablespoons packed oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon cloves garlic (about 2)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Place the parsley, scallions, oregano, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper flakes in a food processor.

Pulse until coarsely chopped, but don’t overdo it and turn it into a purée!

The sauce can be made a day or two in advance, but do serve it at room temperature.

Keywords: sauce, spicy sauce, sauce for grilled meat, sauce for grilled chicken, sauce for grilled fish, sauce for grilled vegetables

 

Asparagus and Leek Soup with Tarragon

asparagus and leek soup with tarragon in a bowl

Asparagus season is upon us and this Asparagus and Leek Soup with Tarragon is a two-for one recipe. It’s delicious either hot or cold!

After a long, cold spring, the farmers’ markets are now open and I’m scooping up these slender, green asparagus stalks weekly. Asparagus is an easy vegetable to work with, but be careful not to overcook it. Those crispy, green spears quickly turn an unappealing gray-green and become stringy. Time the cooking carefully, 30 seconds for the very skinny spears up to 2-3 minutes for the thicker spears, and you’ll end up with a bright green vegetable that’s slightly firm to the bite and garden fresh.

Check out our posts on How to Prepare Asparagus and How to Prepare Leeks if you are unfamiliar with working with these vegetables.

asparagus and leek soup with tarragon / chopped leeks

The recipe uses butter, primarily because I like the flavor of butter with both leeks and asparagus, but you can easily substitute vegetable oil to make this a vegan recipe.

Method

Melt the butter or heat the oil  in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Stir in the leeks, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring twice. This process expels liquid and softens the vegetables. If the vegetables begin to brown, lower the heat a little.

asparagus and leek soup with tarragon

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the asparagus spears and cook 5 minutes more.

asparagus and leek soup with tarragon

Take the pot off heat and let sit for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Purée Options

There are three options for pureeing the soup, but to get the smoothest purée, use a blender. Also check out our post on How to Safely Blend Hot Ingredients.

1. Blender – purée in batches until very smooth.
2. Food Processor – use the blade attachment and purée in batches until very smooth.
3. Immersion blender – puree in the pan until very smooth, this method takes the most time; however, you won’t have as many tools to clean after.

Stir in the tarragon and reheat. Garnish with more tarragon and a dollop of creme fraiche!

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Asparagus and Leek Soup with Tarragon

asparagus and leek soup with tarragon in a bowl

Make this delicious spring soup and serve either hot or cold!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
Scale

Ingredients

2 ½ pounds asparagus, washed and trimmed (any thickness)
2 leeks
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup minced onion
1 minced clove garlic
2 teaspoons coarse salt
½ teaspoon pepper
6 cups vegetable stock
¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish

Instructions

Melt the butter or heat the oil  in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Stir in the leeks, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring twice. This process expels liquid and softens the vegetables. If the vegetables begin to brown, lower the heat a little.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the asparagus spears and cook 5 minutes more.

Take the pot off heat and let sit for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Purée Options

There are three options for pureeing the soup, but to get the smoothest purée, use a blender. Also check out our post on How to Safely Blend Hot Ingredients.

1. Blender – purée in batches until very smooth.
2. Food Processor – use the blade attachment and purée in batches until very smooth.
3. Immersion blender – puree in the pan until very smooth, this method takes the most time; however, you won’t have as many tools to clean after.

Stir in the tarragon and reheat. Garnish with more tarragon and a dollop of creme fraiche!

Notes

Soup freezes well.

Keywords: soup, apsaragus soup, leek soup, asparagus, leeks, tarragon, pureed soup, hot soup, cold soup

Lemon Vinaigrette

lemon vinaigrette in a bottle

A simple Lemon Vinaigrette goes well with a variety of lettuces, from delicate butter leaf to pungent greens like arugula or watercress. Toss in a few halved cherry tomatoes that have been dusted with kosher salt and a twist or two of a pepper mill and you have a delicious salad. Add some protein, such as chunks of lobster meat, or sliced chicken and you have a light lunch or dinner.

I enjoy chilled asparagus dressed with a tablespoon or two of lemon vinaigrette. Try this with a our Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon, (LINK/ PHOTO) simply place the asparagus in the center of the plate and drape the salmon across.

This recipe calls for both the zest and juice of a lemon. Be sure to remove the zest, first and then juice the lemon! Pour 3 tablespoons good olive oil in a jar, all of the zest and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in a jar and shake. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients in a bowl.

lemon vinaigrette with asparagus

The mustard creates an emulsion, which keeps the oil and lemon juice together and softens the tang of the lemon juice just enough that our lips won’t pucker up!

Never overdress. This recipe makes a generous ¼ cup and is enough for 4-6 cups of lettuce and fillings. Lettuce greens or vegetables, such as Chilled Asparagus, only need a light coating and the vinaigrette should never pool in the bottom of the bowl. And, a good dose of freshly ground pepper is always welcome.

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Lemon Vinaigrette

lemon vinaigrette in a bottle

A simple lemon vinaigrette that’s great on delicate lettuce or pungent greens like arugula or watercress. Also good over chilled vegetables, like asparagus!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1/3 cup 1x
  • Category: Salad Dressings & Viniagrettes
Scale

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

Combine the oil, lemon zest and juice, mustard, and salt in a jar and shake.

Keywords: salad sauce, dressings, lemon and olive oil vinaigrette

How to Trim and Parboil Asparagus

Asparagus dressed with lemon vinaigrette

Asparagus comes a variety of sizes, from pencil thin to very thick. The pencil-thin spears require very little trimming, while thick, chunky spears with woody bottoms need some attention.

How to Trim Thin Asparagus

Take one thin spear and hold the very bottom end in one hand and the center in the other. Bend slowly until the spear snaps at the natural breaking point. 

How to Trim and Parboil Asparagus

Lay the trimmed spear next to the others with the tops aligned. Slice the remaining bottoms following the cutline of the trimmed asparagus.

How to Trim and Parboil Asparagus

How to Trim Thick Asparagus

Use a vegetable peeler to trim from the halfway point to the bottom. Trimming reveals more of tender inner portion that is covered by newer tough peel. If you skip this step, the natural breaking point will be higher and you waste good asparagus. Follow the directions above.

Thoroughly rinse the spears and set aside.

How to Parboil Asparagus

Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and place a strainer in the sink.

Bring a large saucepan of cold water and the salt to a boil.

Add the trimmed asparagus and cook for 20-30 seconds for thin spears and up to to 3 minutes for thicker spears.

How to Trim and Parboil Asparagus

Drain and immediately plunge into the ice-water bath to cool and stop the cooking.

How to Trim and Parboil Asparagus

Drain again, wrap in a large flour sack or dish towel and refrigerate for at least an hour. Use within 48 hours.

Dress the chilled asparagus with our Lemon Vinaigrette and serve over our delicious Herb-Crusted Roasted Salmon.

 

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How to Trim and Parboil Asparagus

Asparagus dress with lemon vinaigrette

Easy step-by-step instructions for trimming and parboiling asparagus. Use chilled asparagus in salads or serve alone with a simple vinaigrette.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 14 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish/Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Instructions

Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and place a strainer in the sink.

Bring a large saucepan of cold water and the salt to a boil.

Add the trimmed asparagus and cook for 20-30 seconds for thin spears and up to to 3 minutes for thicker spears.

Drain the asparagus and immediately plunge into the ice-water bath to cool and stop the cooking.

Drain again, wrap in a large flour sack or dish towel and refrigerate for at least an hour. Use within 48 hours.

Keywords: blanching, parboiling, precooking, shocking

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How to Trim and Parboil Asparagus

Easy step-by-step instructions for trimming and parboiling asparagus. Use chilled asparagus in salads.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: How To
  • Method: Parboiling
Scale

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Instructions

Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and place a strainer in the sink.

Bring a large saucepan of cold water and the salt to a boil.

Add the trimmed asparagus and cook for 20-30 seconds for thin spears and up to to 3 minutes for thicker spears.

Drain the asparagus and immediately plunge into the ice-water bath to cool and stop the cooking.

Drain again, wrap in a large flour sack or dish towel and refrigerate for at least an hour. Use within 48 hours.

Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and place a strainer in the sink.

Keywords: asparagus, chilled asparagus, parboiled asparagus,ice water bath, shocking vegetables, how to trim asparagus

Gin and Tonic

Gin and Tonic sounds pretty simple. Select a gin, fill a glass with ice, add tonic water and a wedge of lime. Not all gins are produced in a similar fashion, however, and high-end distillers use a wide variety of ingredients in different quantities and use different infusion methods, which result in a broad range of flavors. Below are descriptions of three different gins that make an excellent Gin and Tonic, a great summer refresher, and a superior tonic water.

gin and tonic garnishes

Tonic Water

I chose Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water, which  is made from naturally sourced ingredients, with no artificial flavors or added sweeteners. Quinine is the primary ingredient and is responsible for the bitterness found in tonic water. Fever-Tree sources quinine from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and “fever tree” is the local name of the Chichona Ledgeriana trees, which produce some of the highest quality quinine in the world.

Fever-Tree makes over a dozen tonic water varieties and mixers each meant to accompany the varying flavor essences of different gins. Flavors include clementine, elderflower, cola, and Sicilian lemonade. Take a look at Fever-Tree’s pairing wheel for great suggestions in matching their tonic water and mixers with different gin flavors.

gin and tonic - Fever Tree Indian Tonic Water

For this cocktail, I chose the Light Indian Tonic Water, which has 46% fewer calories than the regular tonic water.

Gin

My daughter Margot suggested I start with Bombay Sapphire for this post, but she had other recommendations as well, which I discuss below. Bombay Sapphire uses hand-selected botanicals from around the world: juniper berries, lemon peel, coriander, grains of paradise, cubeb berries, cassia bark, almonds, licorice, orris (iris root). The alcohol is evaporated three times in a Carter-Head still and then the alcohol vapors are infused into these botanicals, which results in a lighter and more floral gin.

gin and tonic- Bombay Sapphire

Since this gin is made with only lemon, I like to use lemon juice and a twisted lemon peel. To jazz it up further, add a few coriander seeds or juniper berries.

gin and tonic setup

Another favorite of Margot’s is St. George Botanivore Gin. We did a tasting of this gin at Stew Leonards (Link: https://www.stewswines.com) a few years ago and were impressed with the complexity of the flavor.

St. George Botanivore Gin is made with 19 different botanicals: angelical root, bay laurel, bergamot peel, black peppercorn, caraway, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, citra hops, coriander, dill seed, fennel seed, ginger, juniper berries, lemon peel, lime peel, orris root, Seville orange peel, and star anise. It seems counter-intuitive that all these flavors would mesh well, but they do. The citrus component lends itself well to lemon, lime, and/or orange juice and wedges in the gin and tonic. As a salute to the herbal components, add a sprig of dill or cilantro and toss in a few juniper berries for a sophisticated looking drink!

gin and tonic - St. George Botanivore Gin

 

My daughter also enjoys Hendrick’s, which has a cucumber infusion she really appreciates. Hendrick’s uses a dual still method to make the gin, a traditional copper pot still and a Carter-Head-style still, which uses a copper basket to hold the botanicals and then vapor infuses them to extract flavor. The last step is to combine the two alcohols together and add the essence of cucumber and rose petal for a distinctive flavor.

gin and tonic - hendrick's gin

Hendrick’s recommends using cucumber instead of citrus in a gin and tonic or soda water and elderflower for a unique cocktail, and Fever tree has an elderflower mixer, as well.

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Gin and Tonic

Gin and tonic is a great summer cocktail for those lazy, hot weekend afternoons lounging by the pool or sitting on the porch.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: Alcoholic Beverage
Scale

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces gin, such as Bombay Sapphire
4 ounces tonic water, such as Fever Tree Indian Tonic Water
1/4 ounce lemon juice

Garnish
lemon peel twist, coriander seeds and/or juniper berries

Instructions

Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.

Pour the gin, tonic water, and lemon juice over the ice and stir.

Garnish with the

Keywords: alcoholic spirits, cocktail, gin cocktail, tonic water, mixed drinks, gin and tonic

 

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

I had a request from a follower to create a Polish Red Cabbage dish. We PMed back and forth to determine whether she wanted a hot or cold dish, a savory, sweet, or sweet and sour slant, and finally whether or not to include some smoked pork. She decided on hot, savory, and definitely some smoked pork.

Classic polish seasonings include, caraway, bay leaf, juniper berries, dill, and fried onions, all of which are perfect for a hot and savory preparation. An apple complements cabbage nicely adding a sweet/tart flavor – I used a Honeycrisp. For the smoked pork, I chose diced bacon and highly recommend using a hardwood-smoked bacon like hickory or apple. Slab bacon is also a great alternative.

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Use a knife or mandolin to cut the cabbage into about 3/16-inch slices; not too thin or they get too soft and mushy while cooking. And finally, a heavy-bottomed pan like a 7-quart Dutch oven for slow, even cooking.

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

We’re delighted with the end result and hope Barbara is too!

METHOD

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Use a spice bag or cheesecloth to hold the juniper berries and bay leaves. This makes for easy removal at the end of cooking.

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Place the bacon in a heavy-bottomed pan, like a 7-quart Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered, and the bacon is crispy.

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Stir in the onions, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring 3 times. Uncover and continue cooking another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should be lightly fried, but not burned. Turn the heat down if the onions are cooking too fast.

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Pour a couple tablespoons of water over the fried onions and stir to loosen the fond on the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour over the onions, stir to combine.

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly to incorporate the flour.

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Add the cabbage, apple, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 90 minutes or until the cabbage is tender, but still holding it’s shape.

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Remove the spice bag or cheesecloth and stir the dill. Garnish with a few sprigs.

Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Serve with more smoked pork or sausages, such as Kielbasa.

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Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Here’s a Polish-Style Red Cabbage side dish made with fried onions, apple and bacon with typical Polish flavors of caraway, juniper berries, and dill. Serve with more smoked pork or sausages, such as Kielbasa.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
Scale

Ingredients

3 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
4 ounces good bacon, diced; slab bacon if you can find it
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup good chicken stock
1 medium red cabbage, cored and thinly shredded, about 8 cups
1 apple, such as Honeycrisp or Macoun, peeled, cored and diced
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

GARNISH

Few sprigs of fresh dill

Instructions

Use a spice bag or cheesecloth to hold the juniper berries and bay leaves. This makes for easy removal at the end of cooking.

Place the bacon in a heavy-bottomed pan, like a 7-quart Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered, and the bacon is crispy.

Stir in the onions, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring 3 times. Uncover and continue cooking another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should be lightly fried, but not burned. Turn the heat down if the onions are cooking too fast.

Pour a couple tablespoons of water over the fried onions and stir to loosen the fond on the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour over the onions, stir to combine.

Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly to incorporate the flour.

Add the cabbage, apple, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 90 minutes or until the cabbage is tender, but still holding it’s shape.

Remove the spice bag or cheesecloth and stir the dill. Garnish with a few sprigs.

 

Keywords: red cabbage, cabbage, polish cabbage, bacon, caraway seeds, juniper berries, bay leaf, apple

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Polish-Style Red Cabbage

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
Scale

Ingredients

3 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
4 ounces good bacon, diced; slab bacon if you can find it
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup good chicken stock
1 medium red cabbage, cored and thinly shredded, about 8 cups
1 apple, such as Honeycrisp or Macoun, peeled, cored and diced
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

GARNISH
Few sprigs of fresh dill

Instructions

METHOD

Use a spice bag or cheesecloth to hold the juniper berries and bay leaves. This makes for easy removal at the end of cooking.

Place the bacon in a heavy-bottomed pan, like a 7-quart Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered, and the bacon is crispy.

Stir in the onions, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring 3 times. Uncover and continue cooking another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should be lightly fried, but not burned. Turn the heat down if the onions are cooking too fast.

Pour a couple tablespoons of water over the fried onions and stir to loosen the fond on the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour over the onions, stir to combine.

Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly to incorporate the flour.

Add the cabbage, apple, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 90 minutes or until the cabbage is tender, but still holding it’s shape.

Remove the spice bag or cheesecloth and stir the dill. Garnish with a few sprigs.

Serve with more smoked pork or sausages, such as Kielbasa.

Keywords: red cabbage, cabbage, polish cabbage, bacon, caraway seeds, juniper berries, bay leaf, apple