Tag Archives: tomato

Grilled Foil Pack Pacific Cod with Summer Veggies

5 Aug
Grilled Foil Pack Pacific Cod and Veggies

Grilled Foil Pack Pacific Cod and Veggies

I do think I’ve run out of things to say about not posting new recipes recently, so why don’t I just cut to the chase. My new taco cart adventure is successful, YAY!

Here is a post from FB from one of my new (and very excited) customers, lol. I figure it’s OK to post it to the world since this Facebook page is a public page.

Austin Street Tacos Happy Customer

Austin Street Tacos Happy Customer

And yes, I cook for the fam quite frequently, but simply forget to snap a photo or even think to write a post about it. This recipe, however, I remembered. This took less than a half hour max to prep and cook on the grill. The ONLY downfall with it is I FORGOT THE RED ONIONS! I had full intentions of slicing some red onion real thin to add to this, but then my seester from Texas called all excited about a new job she just landed, and I was basing my recipe off one I had just brought up on my phone, and well, you know…

Either way, this was such a fantastic summer meal to enjoy on our deck. I hope you enjoy it too.

This recipe adapts handily to any number of mouths you are feeding, adjust accordingly. The one below is for two and just base the amount of vegetables on how hungry you are (or how big your foil sheets are). If you can, use the bounty from your vegetable garden or head to the farmer’s market for the veggies!

Grilled Foil Pack Pacific Cod and Veggies
Adapted from Serious Eats

2 6-ounce Pacific cod filets, or other mild white fish
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Zucchini, cut into thin rounds
Yellow summer squash, cut into thin rounds
Thin-sliced red onion
Sliced tomato
Crushed red pepper flakes
Olive oil, for drizzling
Dry white wine, for splashing
Thin lemon slices
Sprigs of fresh lemon thyme (or regular)

Preheat the grill (or oven) to 450 degrees. Lay out sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil for each person. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place a piece of fish on each one. Arrange the vegetables around the fish, top with lemon slices, then sprinkle with red chile flakes and perhaps a bit more pepper if you like. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over all, and splash a bit of wine over it too. Top each packet with a fresh lemon thyme sprig.

Wrap the foil around everything, leaving some head space for steaming, and seal completely. Set packets on the preheated grill (or in oven) and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness of fish.

Remove and CAREFULLY open (it will be steamy hot) to check fish. If done, serve immediately or re-cover and cook a tad more. I chose to also serve some mashed potatoes, but pasta or rice would be great too.

Download and Print PDF

Download and Print PDF

 

 

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Homemade Tomato Soup (with Grilled Cheese, of Course!)

11 Feb
Homemade Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Homemade Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

I have been wanting to try my hand at homemade tomato soup for years, especially since we grow and can our own tomatoes. When my friend Suzanne over at Pug in the Kitchen posted this recipe, I knew it was time. Besides, I had a can of San Marzano tomatoes that had been in my pantry over a year, and what about those 20 pints of canned jars of tomatoes I forgot about in the garage? How did I forget about canning those from the fall? I grabbed a few for my pantry lest I forget again.

This soup comes together quite easily after some initial prep. And if you are wondering how long it takes for tomatoes to caramelize in a hot oven, it takes 18 minutes according to the smoke alarm that went off during my 20-minute timer. I suggest using a vent fan during this process. ūüėČ

My husband was amazed at the taste of this soup. According to him, it did not taste like tomato soup from a can. Errrmmm… We’ll leave it at that. Oh, and don’t forget to cook up some ooey-gooey grilled cheese sammies for dunking! We used sourdough bread and a combination of Monterrey jack, sharp yellow cheddar, and pepper jack that was leftover from Super Bowl. This makes about 3 to 4 dinner-size servings.

Homemade Tomato Soup
Adapted from Tomato Soup at A Pug in the Kitchen

1 28-ounce can San Marzano or good quality tomatoes, liquid reserved
1 pint homemade canned tomatoes (about 1 large cup fresh), liquid reserved
Ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
Olive oil, for tomatoes and vegetables
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 bay leaf
Small piece of Parmesan rind
3 large leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
Additional basil, chiffoned for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place all the drained tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season to taste with ground black pepper and sea salt. Roast until caramelized or until your smoke alarm goes off (18 to 20 minutes).

Roasted and Caramelized Tomatoes

Roasted and Caramelized Tomatoes

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion and cook until they start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook about a minute more until fragrant. Add the roasted tomatoes and the reserved tomato juice (About 2 cups, add water if you don’t have that much. My canned tomatoes had a lot of of liquid.) Also add the bay leaf and cheese rind. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes until vegetables are very tender. Remove the bay leaf, then add the chopped basil. Taste for seasoning.

Simmering Soup

Simmering Soup

Pour into a large blender and puree until smooth (or use an immersion blender if you have one. I need one!) Return soup to the pot, then add the butter and cream and stir until incorporated. Keep warm while you griddle up some grilled cheese. Ladle into bowls, top with additional basil, and serve immediately with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Quick Cucumber, Tomato, Onion, and Radish Salad

2 Sep
Quick Cucumber, Tomato, Onion, and Radish Salad

Quick Cucumber, Tomato, Onion, and Radish Salad

It’s that time of year! No, not all the fresh summer produce salad recipes, but my quickie recipes for when we are headed to the coast again to go fishing and/or crabbing. Once again, we’ll be on another extended weekend trip so am posting this one early instead of Saturday.

We didn’t catch any halibut last trip, it was super-windy with 6-to-8-foot horrible wind waves and our bait wouldn’t stay on the bottom with all the rocking and rolling. Then I got seasick as hell, WAHHH! Hubby will attempt again this weekend, while I’ll stay behind and fish the calm river for salmon.

I was wanting to make a Panzanella salad out of what produce I had on hand, but last minute hubby couldn’t help with the prep of this and ran out of time to make the bread cubes since I didn’t have any stale bread on hand. So this is what I came up with. Lively, fresh, and delicious!

The cucumber came from a friend’s garden, the tomatoes from our own, and the radishes from the farmer’s market. The rest came from the store (organic as possible).

And this would also make a great side dish for a Labor Day BBQ or picnic! This no-mayo recipe makes it a snap to store and serve.

Quick Cucumber, Tomato, Onion, and Radish Salad

1 English cucumber, sliced and quartered (about 2 cups, can be more or less)
1 cup fresh diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
1/2 cup diced radishes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon rice vinegar, or plain white
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Prep all the ingredients, toss in a bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate one hour or more. Serve with a slotted spoon. See? Quick and easy. Yumm!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

27 Aug
Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

My good WP and FB friend Kat shared a video a couple of weeks ago of how to make a fresh box grater tomato sauce, and with a garden full of ripening tomatoes I knew I would be making a fresh-grated tomato sauce in the immediate future.

Hanging Tomato Plants

Hanging Tomato Plants

And of course I had to add shrimp, as my hubby and I are really enjoying our lack of daughter’s presence for dinners this summer so that we can eat this scrumptious shellfish, which is the ONLY seafood she doesn’t like.

The tomatoes in our garden are really small this year, so I didn’t even bother to slice them in half before grating. I just trimmed a tiny slice off the top, then grated away! I am sold on this method of preparing tomatoes for a sauce. Since I was planning on adding shrimp to this, I gussied everything up and cooked it for a short spell so that the shrimp would have a delicious sauce to simmer in.

Fresh Picked Heirloom Tomatoes

Fresh Picked Heirloom Tomatoes

My husband said I should put a tomato meter rating on my recipes, like the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes does, lol. With that, we give this recipe 5 ripe tomatoes! (Note: This recipe feeds two. Feel free to double as necessary.)

So what am I waiting for?! Here is the recipe:

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

4 ounces dry Linguine or other pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
Large splash of good white wine
Enough tomatoes for 1 cup grated sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt or Mrs. Dash and ground black pepper, to taste
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Shrimp and Pasta Dish Ingredients

Shrimp and Pasta Dish Ingredients

Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, reserve about a half cup of liquid, then drain and return to pot, cover and keep warm on lowest setting. Add small splashes of reserved pasta water and stir occasionally to keep it from sticking while preparing the rest of the dish.

While pasta is cooking, slice a small piece off the top of each tomato and grate flat-handed on a box grater down to the skin. Grate enough tomatoes for 1 cup of sauce.

Grated Tomatoes and Such

Grated Tomatoes and Such

Add half the oil to a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion until translucent. Add the garlic for a minute more then add in a splash of wine. Add the rest of the oil, the grated tomato sauce, oregano, basil, and seasonings. Bring to a low simmer.

Simmering Fresh Tomato Sauce

Simmering Fresh Tomato Sauce

Nestle the shrimp into the sauce and cook for a few minutes, then flip over with tongs and cook for a few more until almost done. Last, add the chopped spinach, and simmer until wilted and shrimp are just cooked through.

Shrimp and Spinach Added to Sauce

Shrimp and Spinach Added to Sauce

Stir in the cooked pasta and additional reserved water until desired consistency. Serve on plates with a side salad and/or rustic bread.

Cooked Pasta Added to Sauce

Cooked Pasta Added to Sauce

Note how I did NOT add any cheese to this, as apparently the European world eschews cheese on seafood so I followed suit. I did not miss the cheese at all! I must say, this is the brightest, freshest tomato sauce I have ever tasted.

Oh! And if you want to see the referenced video, here it is: How to Make Fresh Tomato Sauce | Food and Wine

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Grilled Nachos with Chicken and Chunky Guacamole plus Grilled Mexican Tortilla Pizza

15 Jul
Chunky Guacamole Grilled Nachos with Chicken

Chunky Guacamole Grilled Nachos with Chicken

It’s about time I had a new recipe, yes? Since I’m off camping (once again) this weekend, I’m posting mid-week so as not to leave you empty-handed. This time we are going to Clear Lake for an annual reunion to celebrate my uncle’s (dad’s side) birthday. This will be his 88th! Happy Birthday Uncle Joe!

Although we’ve cooled down the past few days, last week it was sweltering hot after we got back from our river camping trip. And when it’s that hot, I always fire up the grill for dinner. I thought some loaded chicken nachos sounded pretty darn good. I was going to grill the chicken, but decided instead to throw it in the crockpot with the seasonings then plug in the appliance outdoors on the deck. And then I shredded the chicken when it was done, mixed up some chunky guacamole made with a serrano pepper from my garden, assembled the nachos then slapped them on the grill! (OK I slid them, not slapped.) ūüėÄ

Serrano Pepper Plant

My Serrano Pepper Plant is Producing Awesomely!

This was a plenty filling dinner out on our deck on the patio table. I had leftover shredded chicken, black beans, and sliced olives so decided to make a Grilled Mexican Tortilla Pizza the next night. Hey you get several recipes this time! Olé!

Crockpot Taco Chicken

Crockpot Taco Chicken

Chunky Guacamole Grilled Nachos with Chicken

For the chicken:

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix (recipe here, or store-bought)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 lime, squeezed

Guacamole Ingredients

Guacamole Ingredients

For the chunky guacamole:

2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 medium Roma tomato, deseeded and chopped
1 serrano pepper, stem cut and deseeded and finely minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon cilantro
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the nachos:

Tortilla chips
Grated block cheddar cheese (it melts better than pre-shredded)
Shredded chicken
More grated cheese
Canned black beans, rinsed and drained
Sliced black olives, drained
Chunky guacamole (recipe below)
Sour cream
Fire-roasted salsa (recipe here, or store-bought)
Chopped green onion

Shredded Chicken

Shredded Chicken

Add the chicken ingredients to a crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred, then set aside.

Guacamole Ready to Smash

Guacamole Ready to Smash

Meanwhile, prepare the chunky guacamole. Add all the prepped ingredients to a bowl, then smash up and mix with a fork until desired consistency. Cover with plastic wrap then refrigerate.

Chunky Guacamole

Chunky Guacamole

Preheat the grill to high heat on one side. Line a large baking sheet with foil, then layer tortilla chips in one layer on the foil. Spread with grated cheese, then chicken, then more cheese, black beans, and black olives.

Preparing the Nachos

Preparing the Nachos

Slide the foil sheet onto the heated side of the grill then cover, grilling for about 10 minutes until the bottoms of the chips are crispy. Move the nachos to the unheated side of the grill then cover again, grilling until the cheese has melted.

Grilling the Nachos

Grilling the Nachos

Slide nachos back onto the baking sheet, top with chunky guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and chopped green onion to taste. Enjoy!

Now here is a recipe for what to make with any leftover ingredients you have from the nachos, depending on the size of your family or if your teenage daughter decides she’s going to a friend’s house for dinner instead of eating your excellent nachos. Just a couple of photos with this one and paper plates, it was that kind of night!

Grilled Mexican Tortilla Pizza

10-inch flour tortillas
Oil spray
Canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons olive oil
Fire-roasted salsa (recipe here, or store-bought)
Cooked shredded chicken (use deli rotisserie chicken or leftovers)
Sliced black olives, drained
Thinly sliced onion
Jarred sliced jalape√Īos
Grated Colby Jack cheese

First add the black beans to a blender or food processor, then drizzle in olive oil and process until creamy, scraping down the sides and adding oil as needed. Set aside.

Prepping the Mexican Pizza

Prepping the Mexican Pizza

Preheat the grill to medium to medium-low, and spray the tortilla(s) on one side and grill for about 3 minutes, until crisp and starting to puff up on the top side. Remove to plate, then spray the non-grilled side with oil. Flip over, then spread the creamy beans evenly over the tortilla. Top evenly with salsa, shredded chicken, black olives, onion, jalape√Īos and cheese.

Grilling the Mexican Tortilla Pizza

Grilling the Mexican Tortilla Pizza

Place back on grill, cover, and cook for about 5 more minutes until cheese is melted. You might need to move it to the unheated side if it’s getting too crispy on the bottom and the cheese isn’t melted yet. Add a green salad on the side, and dinner is served!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

7 Jun
Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

I planned on making this for my Saturday lunch, but all sorts of errands got in the way. After a two and a half hour shopping binge trip at three stores, it was time to pick up my 16-year-old daughter from her 4-hour SkidCar course at noon (which I begrudgingly got up at 7:30 am on a weekend to take her to it). I had bought all the ingredients for this recipe, in addition to restocking our refrigerator with staples. Our freezer in the fridge went KAPUT a couple of weeks ago, and then the refrigerator side slowly went downhill until it barely kept milk cold enough to drink. We’d been “cooler camping” at our house for the last few days until our new fridge arrived and had to toss out a bunch of stuff. Thank goodness we have a chest freezer in the garage, as I would have been heartbroken to lose the rest of our quarter cow we bought last fall. Nonetheless, after all that shopping I didn’t have time to make this, let alone get the groceries out of the car before I had to pick her up! So we stopped at a local fresh Mexican food joint on the way home and I had a taco and she had a burrito.

For dinner last night, I made my staple summer-time grilled tortilla pizza! I marinated then grilled the chicken, tossed the tortilla on the grill, added pesto, artichoke hearts, the chicken, mozzarella and fresh basil from my herb garden.

Fresh Basil in Herb Garden

Fresh Basil in Herb Garden

I made this and other tortillas pizzas all last summer. If you want the recipes, click here —> Grilled Tortilla Pizzas.

Fresh Grilled Chicken, Artichoke and Pesto, Tortilla Pizza

Fresh Grilled Chicken, Artichoke and Pesto Tortilla Pizza

p.s. You are asking yourself, what is a SkidCar course? It’s an amazing driving course using a special car and hydraulics to teach someone how to drive on ice and snow (or how to get out of a skid on any surface), even if there is no snow on the ground! My daughter will get a 30% discount on insurance now, we checked with our company. Win-win, and I’ll feel more secure now when the snow flies again in the winter with her driving skills. I arrived about 5 minutes early and got to see my daughter go into several “skids” and safely recover from them! For information on that course (not available in all areas) click here —> SkidCar course).

And yes, I made this great lunch today, finally. It was every bit as delicious as I expected it to be, and my husband said he really like it a lot! Now on to the recipe!

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche
Credit for this goes to Gina for Canned Tuna Ceviche at Skinnytaste.com

2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 to 1 1/2 limes, juiced (about 1/8 cup)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can chunk white albacore tuna packed in water, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
1/2 to 1 jalape√Īo, deseeded and minced
1 medium seeded plum tomato, finely diced
Dash of Sriracha sauce (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Romaine lettuce leaves, for serving
Sliced avocado, for garnish
Tortilla chips, for garnish

Fresh Ceviche Ingredients

Fresh Ceviche Ingredients

In a medium bowl, combine the red onion, lime juice, and olive oil. To that, add the tuna, cilantro, jalape√Īo, tomato, and Sriracha, if using. Taste and add salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if needed.

Ceviche Ready to Chill

Ceviche Ready to Chill

Gosh I’m a messy cook! Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes. Serve on a bed of romaine lettuce leaves garnished with slices of avocado and tortilla chips. A wonderful light summer lunch salad!

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Fresh Ling Cod from Depoe Bay and Dungeness Crab ~ Life is Good

2 Sep
Depoe Bay ~ World's Smallest Harbor

Depoe Bay ~ World’s Smallest Harbor

Oh my, where do I start with this? I left over a week ago after a couple of grueling weeks at work which included a night up until 3:30 am. This was my “release.” No internet, no cell service, and I had the BEST time ever. Really. Good relaxation, good food, great scenery, great fishing, lots of book-reading, Yahtzee-playing, (my husband beats me almost every game) but really, I needed all that

The trip started out not-so-good. We were all packed, heading out of town, and got a mile from the house. “OH! I didn’t pack my favorite shoes!” exclaims the husband. I rolled my eyes but let him turn around anyways. He did a nice¬† safe turnaround in a parking lot, then we headed back home. Suddenly, he exclaimed, “WAIT, I DID PACK THEM!” Then yanked the steering wheel to the left very abruptly to change lanes to turn around again and WHAM! We are being dragged up the road by a big mongo pickup truck by the front bumper, spewing car parts all over the place. I then said words I cannot repeat here. My most recent issue of Southern Living has a full-page ad on the back that states the new 2013 RAV4s have a “blind spot monitor system” on it. Apparently they are aware of this defect. Sigh….

Lemony Ling Cod with Mushrooms

Lemony Ling Cod with Mushrooms

But we eventually got on our way, and had a fabulous week of fishing, crabbing, and good food. Since we don’t have cell service on our property, it took pretty much all week of phone tag with the insurance company of getting it all lined up, but it looks like I’ll be back in my car in about another week.

Our first boat trip on the Siletz river not only produced no fish, but we got heavily rained on. Well that’s coastal river life, We wore rain gear, of course. But we did catch one crab of regulation size, and had it as an appetizer prior to our dinner of grilled chicken and pasta.

Dungeness Crab Freshly Cooked

Dungeness Crab Freshly Cooked

Then our nice neighbor friend up there, Stan, invited us to go bottom-fishing with him the next day out of Depoe Bay. Depoe Bay is the “World’s Smallest Harbor.”¬† I have been out of it before on chartered fishing trips in seas up to 15 to 20 feet, and it’s extremely scary. I get sea sick on “high seas.” I am glad to say that the ocean was really calm as we left, and I had¬† my first bottom-fishing trip without heaving over the side of the boat!

Out to Sea from Depoe Bay

Out to Sea from Depoe Bay

I caught two sea  bass, my hubby caught one, and the star of the show was our friend and  captain, Stan. He caught not only one but TWO Ling Cods, which is my all-time favorite fish. He also  caught about six or seven sea bass. We could not figure out why he was so lucky with his catches except he had his pole between our two.  Either way, he split all the fish 50-50 and for that we are grateful. Thank you STAN!

Stan and his Ling Cod

Stan and his Ling Cod

I made my Lemony Ling Cod at the Coast recipe (<— click for recipe) from his generous donation, except this time I added a bunch of fresh mushrooms to the pan. We froze the rest of the fish and brought it home for future delicious meals. My husband plans on making fish chowder, yumm!

Me and My Two Sea Bass

Me and My Two Sea Bass!

We also checked out a new fishing/crabbing spot on the Salmon River. This is a shallow river that leads directly to the ocean from Three Rocks park, that leads to, well, Three Rocks in the ocean. Absolutely beautiful! We caught three regulation size Dungeness on that trip, but unfortunately two of them were females, which can’t be kept. So once again, only one to take home. That one we cooked and cleaned and also bagged up for the freezer to make it into the fish chowder.

Salmon River

Salmon River

The elusive Chinook salmon evaded us once again this trip, but we plan on heading out there at least three or four more times this fall to try and hook that “big one” for the dinner table. I hope you are having a safe and enjoyable Labor Day!

UPDATE! How did I forget to mention this? While we were heading back into Depoe Bay, we saw two gray whales, a mother and her calf. It was so awesome. I had already packed away my camera but we couldn’t have gotten close enough for a good shot anyways since there were about five whale-watching boats surrounding them. What a great experience that was! Here is a link to one of the charter companies you can pay to go whale-watching with, but we did it all on our own! http://www.tradewindscharters.com/whale.html

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian

31 Jul
Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian Assembled

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian Assembled

Wow! This was so darned good that I plan on putting this in my rotation as much as possible. I have to thank my foodie blog friend Richard over at REMCooks for this idea. He got it from another friend and mixed it up a bit by adding some of his homemade hot sauce. I decided to leave that out but threw on some fresh chopped herbs from my herb garden instead. One of my local stores just started selling organic produce and I made a special trip just to buy the fresh, organic veggies for this. If you cruise on over to Richard’s blog he has a great history of Tian in his post, so I won’t bother repeating that here. But wowee! This was soooo delicious! It’s a light, fresh, mouthful of summer in every bite.

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, diced small
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Butter to grease the casserole dish
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
2 medium red potatoes
2 medium tomatoes
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon
Olive oil to drizzle
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian 2

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian

First chop and slice up all those veggies. I don’t have any fancy slicing apparatus so this took me about 15 minutes. Maybe I’m just slow. I tried to get nice even slices but even then that wasn’t very successful, but close enough! Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the oil to a skillet heated to medium and saute the onions and garlic until softened, about five minutes.¬† Grease a two-quart casserole dish (any shape) with butter. I used my Tarragon Chive Lemon Butter compound for that task, but just regular ole’ butter will do. Once the onions and garlic are soft, spread them in the bottom of the casserole dish.

Now layer the slices on edge, alternating the vegetables around the contour of the dish, then fill up the middle after that. I ended up with different amounts of slices so my alternating became messy at the end. Then I began running out of room and began stuffing the rest of everything in there willy nilly. If you are a perfectionist you may just want to compost the rest or save it for another dish. I still think it came out purdy, what do you think? Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, sprinkle the chopped basil and tarragon over it, then drizzle some olive oil over the rows.

Now pop that purdy thang in the oven, covered, for about 30 to 40 minutes. Because of high altitude I did the 40 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and spread the two cheeses over top. Return to oven, uncovered for 15 minutes. In the last few minutes I bumped the oven to broil to crispy up some of the cheese. Remove from oven, and let sit a few minutes before serving. This makes enough for four to six servings. We ate this with some leftover rotisserie chicken. What a truly delightful, summer-tasting dinner!

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian

p.s. Once again we are headed to our RV property on the coastal river. We are going with my parents and will be meeting up with a childhood friend (and her three boys) that I’ve not seen in 25 years! I’m very excited for this trip, but once again, no weekend post. So I’ll see you next week!

Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwiches with Tzatziki and Cole Slaw

24 Jul
Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwiches with Tzatziki and Cole Slaw

Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwiches with Tzatziki and Cole Slaw

Oh my goodness, it’s been a week since my last post but this time you get a FOUR-FER! Yep, four recipes in this post. And, I think I may have found my new favorite sandwich! We had lunch two weekends ago at our annual downtown Summer Fest, where you get to peruse local artist’s crafts and maybe stop for a bite to at at local vendor’s food trucks. It was a really hot day so decided on a Mediterranean Chicken Wrap. It was quite delicious and figured I could make them myself.

And I did! Except I didn’t use regular flatbread, I used flatbread pocket bread, which is like a Pita Pocket except now it’s been renamed to the fancier Flatbread Pocket Bread and made with whole grain wheat, but really, who cares, right? Because it all holds the fillings the same and it’s all good! So light, so refreshing. And the fam gave it two thumbs up. In fact, we liked it so much I made it again last night. Now that’s telling you how good this is. My hubby made a fabulous cole slaw to go with it last night too with the other half of the English cucumber, which rounded this meal out perfectly. The list of ingredients below looks long with four recipes and such, but it’s not, since you use most of the same ingredients in them.

Greek Chicken

3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon of crushed dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken breast, sliced in half length-wise or pounded thin

Tzatziki, Flatbread, and Condiments.

Tzatziki, Flatbread, and Condiments.

Tzatziki with Dill

1 cup Greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh dill
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
Small amount of ground sea salt
Ground black pepper, to taste

Homemade Cole Slaw (Sort of)

1/2 small cabbage, sliced thin and chopped in half
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cup small chopped or shredded carrots
1/4 cup store-bought cole slaw dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 good squeeze of a half of lemon
Lots of black pepper, to taste

Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwich

Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwich

Greek Chicken Pocket Sandwiches with Tzatziki

1 pound grilled Greek Chicken, diced
Diced tomato
Diced red onion
Flatbread pocket bread
Tzatziki
Chopped romaine lettuce

Mix together the marinade, then marinate the chicken in it for at least an hour or more. Meanwhile prepare the Tzatziki by mixing all those ingredients in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator. Now make the cole slaw by combining all those ingredients in a big bowl and also refrigerate. When ready to cook, grill the chicken over medium-high heat until done through, about 5 to 8  minutes per side.  Chop up the chicken into bite size pieces, and lay out the sandwich condiments in bowls. Assemble the pocket sandwiches with the chicken and yummies, serve with the cole slaw and enjoy!

Roasted Tomato Salsa with Ancho Chiles

1 Jun
Roasted Tomato Salsa with Chicken and Rice

Roasted Tomato Salsa with Chicken and Rice

After taking a short break this week from cooking, I decided to plunge head on last night and marinated, roasted, grilled, and boiled to end up with some amazing chicken tacos on our plates. So many flavors danced in my mouth! Smoky, tangy, spicy, a hint of sweet. It took a bit of choreography to get this all ready at approximately the same time, but any of the components could always be made ahead of time separately and reheated (if needed) for serving.

Tomatoes Chiles and Onions Ready to Roast

Tomatoes Chiles and Onions Ready to Roast

We had our first sunny, pleasant day in about two weeks and knew I wanted to grill some chicken and settled on Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken. I had also (don’t laugh) taken my Ninja food processor to our RV camp last weekend and made some delicious roasted tomato salsa. I tell you that was a challenge to roast in our dinky RV toaster oven! Last night I decided to kick it up a notch and add some dried Ancho chiles. Wow! It turned an awesome salsa into an amazing awesome salsa. So I figured I would make the salsa and we could assemble some chicken tacos since I also had a ripe avocado. Last, my husband asked if I could also make some Cilantro Lime Rice, and I obliged.

Roasted Tomatoes, Chiles and Onions

Roasted Tomatoes, Chiles and Onions

If there’s only one thing you could make today, try your hand at this roasted salsa. You don’t need to have tacos to enjoy it, just grab a bag of tortilla chips and dig in!

Roasted Tomato Salsa with Ancho Chiles

2 dried Ancho chiles
4 Roma tomatoes
1/2 large jalape√Īo pepper
1/2 serrano pepper
1-inch thick slice of a large, sweet onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Olive oil
Squeeze of 1 or 2 lime wedges
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup cilantro

Place Ancho chiles in a glass bowl, and pour boiling water over them. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes, jalape√Īo and serrano peppers in half (deseed the peppers) and place them face down on a foil-lined baking sheet.¬† Add the onions and garlic, then drizzle some olive oil over the top of everything. Set your oven rack about four inches from the broiler,¬† and place the pan in the oven on broil. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until the tomatoes and peppers are charred. The onions didn’t seem to want to char much but they did soften up.

Add the contents of the pan to a food processor and pulse to break up. My Ninja is so small I didn’t have room to add the Ancho chiles until I did that. If you have a larger food processor you could add them at the same time.¬† Anyways, take the Ancho chiles out of the water and remove the stem and seeds, and add them and the rest of the ingredients. Puree until the consistency of your choice. Serve warm, or chill until ready to eat.

Grilled Chicken Taco with Rice, Salsa and Avocado

Grilled Chicken Taco with Rice, Salsa and Avocado

p.s. Here is a picture of the Ancho chiles. Ancho chiles are actually dried Pasilla peppers, and can be found under either name, or both.

Ancho Pasilla Peppers

Ancho Pasilla Peppers

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