Friday, June 27, 2014

new sides for summer 2014

how to use all your fresh farmer's market fare? Here are few summery sides for cook-outs or cook-ins. Enjoy!
red skin potato salad with dill & sour cream
3 pounds new red potatoes
1 cup light mayo
3/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh dill, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
S&P to taste
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool in an ice water bath until cold, about 5 minutes. Leaving skins on, cut into bite-size pieces, and place in a large mixing bowl.
Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, celery & onions in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour mayo mixture over potatoes and toss to coat evenly. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.
lemon & parmesan cauliflower steaks via Organic Authority
1 head cauliflower
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-low.
Remove outer green leaves from cauliflower. Slice into ¾-inch thick slice “steaks,” cutting from top of head to bottom of stalk. (Some cauliflower florets will fall off; save for dipping in hummus or guacamole on the side!) Arrange steaks on a baking sheet or large plate. Whisk together oil, lemon juice, basil and oregano in a small bowl until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Brush mixture liberally on both sides of cauliflower to coat, reserving extra marinade. Arrange cauliflower on preheated grill. Cover and cook until browned on one side; turn over and cook until other side is browned, about 10 minutes in total. When flipping cauliflower, brush with reserved marinade. Sprinkle tops of cauliflower liberally with half of the cheese; cover and cook until melted. Turn cauliflower over; repeat with remaining cheese. 
bulgur & chick pea salad
1 cup bulgur or light bulgur
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small English (or hothouse) cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 15-ounce can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from 1-2 lemons
1/4 cup EVOO
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
Follow package directions to prepare bulgur - set aside to cool. Whisk together EVOO, lemon juice, dill parsley, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Combine the cooked bulgur with the red onions, remaining teaspoon of salt and the other ingredients. Mix bulgur with vegetables and pour dressing over - coat well. Season to taste with more salt, pepper, sugar or lemon if desired. Serve cold.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Summer is here - officially. And it is hot. Hot. Hot. Needless to say, I don't want to turn on the oven and heat up the kitchen. I turned to grilling and then I realized that something has been holding me back. I have always had a (rather prehistoric) idea that the man should do the grilling in the household. My dad has always been the grill master - granted, my mom was inside the house making a slew of side dishes, salads, and desserts so there would not be time for her to run out and flip the chicken and then dash back inside to sauté the bell peppers. My parents have a good division of labor when it comes to summer meals. Vance and I have followed in this same fashion. But last week, I realized, I can't let myself believe that I don't hold the key to being a grill master. So I sized up our Webber, called my mom for moral support, called Vance to learn how to turn it on, hit the gas, lit a match and prayed. And it lit! And it was glorious.
marinated flank steak with chimichurri & vidalia-tomato relish crostini
for the steak
1 (2 to 3-pound) flank steak
1.5 cups red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
Season the steak well with S&P. Whisk together all other ingredients, pour over beef in a shallow dish. Marinate for 24 hours, turning about 3-4 times.
for the chimichurri sauce (this dish is inspired by Bobby Flay)
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 to 1 cup olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pulse the herbs and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add 3/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste, and pulse to make a soupy vinaigrette — it will look a bit creamy until it settles. Add more oil and/or vinegar if too thick. Set aside.
for the relish
3 Vidalia or other sweet onions, skin on, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 head of garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 green onions, sliced
1 serrano chile, minced with the seeds
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (split into 2 portions)
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, place the onions (skin on) and the garlic head - with the end cut off to expose the inner garlic heads. Drizzle onion and garlic with about 1-2 tablespoons EVOO. Roast for about 30 minutes until soft. Allow to cool slightly and then peel/chop the onion and squeeze the garlic out into a large mixing bowl. Mix onion, garlic, tomatoes, green onions, chile, vinegar, remaining EVOO and S&P.
Preheat the grill to high. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with a bit more salt and more pepper. Grill, covered, until nicely charred and medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing across the grain. To serve, plate a few pieces of toasted baguette. Top with thinly sliced beef, chimichurri sauce and top with relish.
I actually made a double-batch of the chimichurri sauce as it freezes well (similar to pesto - need to ensure no air gets to it). This is a fresh and delicious summer meal. Don't fear the grill - embrace and it will hold you right back.