Thursday, August 14, 2014

been too long!

The summer has been flying by with vacation, dinner parties, farmers market-shopping and more. I haven't posted in quite a while, so here are a few summer food highlights (you may sense a theme...zucchini!)
Julia Child's Zucchini au Gratin - this is rich and delicious. Check out the recipe PBS.
Our friends Emily and Will came over for dinner a few weeks ago and along with the zucchini au gratin, Vance grilled up some delicious yogurt-marinated chicken breasts. The marinade is from Food & Wine and works on a whole chicken or even skinless boneless breasts.
1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt 
1 cup lightly packed cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
One 3 1/2-pound chicken—halved, breast and rib bones removed, leg bones left intact
(I used 6 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin on)
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Cracked pepper & Kosher salt
In a large resealable plastic bag, mix the yogurt with the cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne, cumin, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Add the chicken halves and turn to coat. Seal the bag and transfer to a baking dish. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before grilling. Grill over medium-high heat for about 35-45 minutes, bone down. Check for doneness.
Lastly, my friend Lindsay gave me a gigantic zucchini - the challenge was on.
...and then that (above) turned into this (below).

grilled vegetable pasta salad with cilantro lime dressing
4 medium zucchini or summer squash
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 pound small pasta like ditali, small penne or orzo, cooked and slightly cooled
salt and pepper to taste
2 ears corn, unhusked
2 avocado
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of half a lime
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder or chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat gas or charcoal grill. Cut zucchini lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices and brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Soak corn in its husk in large container of water for 10 minutes. Remove from water and shake off excess. Place zucchini slices, corn and peppers directly on grill. For zucchini, grill a few minutes on each side, until slices are tender and have grill marks. Remove and let cool. For corn, grill 15-20 minutes, turning every few minutes to cook all sides, until husk is charred all over. Remove peppers when fully charred and let cool. Chop cooled zucchini into 1/2 inch pieces. Husk corn and use a sharp knife to remove kernels from cob. Remove skin and seeds from peppers and chop. Mix vegetables and pasta in a large bowl. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and well combined. Pour dressing over vegetables and pasta and toss to combine. Add cubed avocado and gently incorporate. Refrigerate salad until chilled.
These are some great summer options to bring to a potluck or enjoy at home!