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Posts Tagged ‘summer’


We’ve been having corn all summer, but this was the first time I decided to put some into a pasta dish. We took some leftover grilled corn and cut it off the cob, combined it with sweet end-of-summer cherry tomatoes and anchovies, and it was a perfect weekend lunch. The sweet corn and tomatoes combined with the salty bite of anchovies made the perfect complement to a light salad.

Grilled Corn Linguine

1/2 box linguine fine or your favorite long pasta

2 ears of corn, grilled in their husks, cut off the cob

2 cups cherry tomatoes

6 anchovies

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water a minute less than the package instructions. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil with the anchovies for 2 minutes. The anchovies will start to break up and the onion will soften. Add the corn and tomatoes and stir to combine. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add a little pasta cooking water. Add the linguine and cook for the final minute together.  Add the parmesan and the olive oil and toss to combine.

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Strawberries are probably my favorite fruit. Or maybe blueberries. Either way, I overdose on all things strawberry when I see huge spreads of them at the farmers market.

At some point, I decided I wanted to try them in some cake and I found a recipe on Smitten Kitchen that I edited a bit. This one combined juicy strawberries with a light yellow cake, and my favorite parts were the slightly browned and crispy edges.

I imagine you could substitute all kinds of fruit for the strawberries, and I might just try it again with some peaches or nectarines.

Strawberry Cake

1 stick butter

1 1/2 cups (188 grams) flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 egg

zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1 carton strawberries, hulled and halved (or quartered depending on the size of your strawberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line bottom of 10″ round pan with a circle of parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar (reserving a tablespoon or two) until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg, milk, and vanilla and combine. Add the dry ingredients slowly, until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Arrange the strawberries cut side down around the pan, pushing into the batter slightly. Sprinkle with reserved sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the edges have started to brown. Let it cool completely before trying to flip and remove from pan.

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In the summer, we all switch over to cold soups, which I don’t really enjoy all that much. I’m not a big fan of raw onion or raw garlic, so gazpacho has never been a favorite…until now. A little bit of heat with the juicy tomatoes and the refreshing watermelon makes a delicious summer soup that I like with a skewer of marinated shrimp. All it needs is a squeeze of lime, and it’s perfect for these hot days.

Watermelon Gazpacho

2 cups cubed watermelon

1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 scallions

Juice of 1-2 limes

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (to taste)

salt and pepper (to taste)

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until it reaches a think consistency but still has some texture. Chill until ready to serve.

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

1/2 pound large shrimp cleaned with shells removed (I like to remove tails so they can just be eaten)

1 teaspoon aleppo pepper

1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

salt and pepper

Juice of 1 lime

3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl to marinate for 30-45 minutes. Much longer, and the lime will start to cook the shrimp. Skewer them onto soaked skewers and grill for 2-3 minutes on the first side, until they start to turn pink. Flip and continue to cook for 1 minute more on the other side. Remove and serve with a lime wedge.

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Sangria is one of my favorite things to make in the summer. You can make up a big pitcher and it’s just a party in a glass. For some reason, it transports me to the beach or a picnic or a cookout– maybe it’s the fun colors. You can make infinite varieties and I love using rose and sparkling wine as well.

White Wine Sangria

1 bottle of your favorite white wine (you don’t need to spend a lot on the bottle, but make sure you would drink it on it’s own)

1/2 cup brandy (or your favorite fruity alcohol such as framboise or peach brandy)

1/4 cup sugar

6 strawberries, sliced

1/2 mango, diced

1 lime, sliced and cut in half

6 mint leaves

Combine the brandy, sugar, and half the fruit in the bottom of a pitcher and lightly muddle it together until the sugar is dissolved. Add the wine and the rest of the fruit. Stir to combine and adjust the flavors depending on how dry or fruity your wine is. You can store it like this in the fridge for a day or two, if you wish. To serve, add the mint leaves and pour over ice.

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Pasta salad is a summer staple, great for lunches and picnics. I usually use this as a way to clean out some leftovers in the fridge, and in this case, I had some goat cheese and arugula sitting around. I love to add arugula to pasta when it’s warm so that the arugula wilts a bit.

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

1/2 package penne or other short pasta

3 ounces herbed goat cheese

1 cup arugula

1 cup basil leaves

1 tablespoon garlic

1 cup white wine

1 cup cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

Cook the penne according to package instructions in boiling, salted water but stop the cooking 1 minute early.

Meanwhile, saute the garlic in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the cherry tomatoes and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce. Add the pasta and a little pasta water and toss. Cook for the remaining minute and then off the heat, add the goat cheese, arugula, and basil leaves. Drizzle the remaining olive oil and remove to a bowl. You can sprinkle some parmesan over if you like. It can be eaten warm or at room temperature.

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It’s that time of year again when we finally start getting good tomatoes at the farmers market. This week, I chose a variety of heirloom cherry tomatoes and made this simple pasta. The key to a good sauce is the emulsion from the combination of pasta water and olive oil. If done properly, they combine and coat each strand of pasta rather than just creating a broth.

Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes

1/2 package spaghetti

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup basil, torn into pieces

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling, salted water according to package instructions but stop 1 minute short of the cooking time.

Meanwhile, saute the garlic in half the olive oil for 1 minute but don’t let it brown. Add the cherry tomatoes and season with some salt.

Saute for a couple minutes until the tomatoes start to crack open. Add a little pasta water and the wine and reduce down. Add in the spaghetti for the last minute to cook together. Off the heat, add the basil and parmesan and the remaining olive oil and toss. I like to let it sit together off the heat for a minute before plating, it seems to let everything meld together.

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I don’t make spicy food that often, but I was craving some spicy grilled shrimp the other night. I had also picked up some fresh corn from the farmers market, but I didn’t want to do boring old corn on the cob. I usually do an Italian spin on corn salad or even a cheesy version, but I thought with the spicy shrimp, this Spanish/Mexican version would work well. It was really DELICIOUS.

Chili Rubbed Shrimp

1 pound cleaned shrimp

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon spanish pimenton (can be left out)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne chili powder

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix all the spices together and dredge the shrimp in them to coat. Add the olive oil and stir. Marinate for an hour. Put on a hot grill or grill pan and flip after 3 minutes or until they start to curl up. 1 minute on the other side and they are done.

The corn can be made ahead of time and mixed together at room temperature.

Grilled Corn with Manchego and Lime

3 ears of corn in the husk

1 cup manchego, grated

2 limes, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

Grill the corn for 15-20 minutes, or you can roast them at 425 degrees. Let the corn cool and then remove from the cobs. You can throw the cobs out or reserve them for another use.

Saute the corn in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and red pepper flakes. Add the butter and remove from the heat once it’s melted.

Add remaining olive oil, lime zest and juice, honey, and chives. Let cool and add manchego.

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