Monday, June 29, 2009

Mediterranean Pepper Salad

Another goodie from the Smitten Kitchen put here for safe keeping. Enjoy!

Copy and pasted from SK:

Mediterranean Pepper Salad
Insprired by one you can buy at Zabar’s, but now no longer need to

I put my own spin on this, of course. I omitted the green peppers because, well, they’re not my favorite and I quick-pickled the red onion to sweeten and soften its blow. But really, my favorite part of salads like this is is that they can be kept in the fridge already dressed, and only grow more deliciously marinated in a day or two. Should they last that long.

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 a red onion, cut into a 1/2-inch dice (use less if your onion is huge)
3 bell peppers, your choice of colors (I used one red, orange and yellow)
1 kirby cucumber,
1/4-pound firm feta cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup pitted kalmata olives
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Swish together the red wine vinegar, water, kosher salt and sugar in a small bowl until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the red onion and set it aside.

Meanwhile, time to practice your knife skills. Core and seed your bell peppers and chop them into 1/2-inch pieces. Chop the cucumber and feta into similarly-sized chunks. Put your peppers, cucumber, feta and olives in a large bowl.

By now, your onions will have lightly pickled, both sweetening and softening their blow. Drain them and add them to the other vegetables in the large bowl, but reserve the vinegar mixture. Pour a quarter cup of the vinegar mixture over the salad, then drizzle with olive oil. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste. Toss evenly and serve at once, or let the flavors muddle together in the fridge for a few hours.

Forgetful, who me? People, I just realized I forgot to add the cup of grape tomatoes that are usually in this salad, and that I’d purchased specifically to add to it. Like grape tomatoes? Add them! Don’t like them? Turns out you might not know they were missing.

Black Bean Confetti Salad

I need a place to put this recipe so I remember it, so I'm putting it here. Originally found here at the Smitten Kitchen. I plan to make this over the weekend. Enjoy!

Black Bean Confetti Salad

This works equally well as a small salad–even tossed with salad greens for more bulk–or alongside salsa fresca for scooping up with a tortilla chip.

2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and well-rinsed
4 bell peppers, a mix of colors, chopped into a small dice
1/2 super-large or 1 medium white onion, chopped into a small dice
Juice of one lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Optional: If you’re the kind of person who loves cilantro, it’s a great match for this salad.

Mix beans, bell peppers and white onion in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk remaining ingredients into a vinaigrette. Ideally, you’ll have a 1/2 cup of dressing. Pour it over the bean mixture, toss it well and adjust seasonings to taste.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pork Chops

I'll be the first to admit that with my hubby out of town, I'm not into cooking much...hence the lack of posting here...but I have made some pork chops the other night that were really good...Rugby had 3 of them! So I thought I'd share...even though it's not really a recipe..

At Aldi's, they sell an herb mixture called "Country Herbs" that is a mixture of mint, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, sea salt, and some others I can't remember right now. I use this in a lot of my salads, soups and now as a rub for the meat! Generously sprinkle the meat with it. Sprinkle with garlic powder and ground ginger and grill until they are cooked to your liking. While they are still hot, fresh off the grill dab them with butter. The real thing, substitutions allowed! The kids liked dipping in Sweet Baby Ray's, but they were good without it, too.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

A couple summers ago (I think), my SIL Christine made this awesome salsa for the Fourth of July gathering at my husband's parents house. All of his siblings (there are 7 total) come home with their spouses, boyfriends and kids and it makes for quite the party. Tim's dad's business usually puts a float in the parade and the kids throw popsicles off the back of the truck. Good times. But, anyway, for the cookout one night, Christine brought this salsa and I have to share (And put it here so I don't lose it!) it's so good and so easy!

Corn and Black Bean Salsa ala Christine

1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1 can mexican corn - drained
1 small red onion - finely chopped (I didn't put this in) (She doesn't...I do!)
3 roma tomatoes - chopped
3 green onions - chopped
2 avocados - chopped
1 sm clove garlic - minced

MIX together

1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 envelope good seasons Italian dressing.

I added chopped fresh cilantro. (Me, too!!)

Serve with chips. (I'm thinking Fritos scoops would be good with this!!)


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life got in the way

Life got in the way of my blogging (again). My DH is out of town and now that school's out, I have all four at home with me and up to TWO extras, depending on the day. Sooooooo, I hope to be back posting recipes for you soon!! My husband's cousin's wife made an awesome salsa that I need to get the recipe for to share, and hopefully I can find Christine's corn salsa recipe to share, too. I LOVE SUMMER FOOD!!

Be back soon!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sloppy Joes

Last night, I hadn't planned our dinner. I babysat until 4:15 and played with the boys until Tim called and said he was on his way....oops! I had 1 hour to get dinner on the table. Searching the freezer, I found 1-1 1/2 pound block of hamburger and a pound of ground venison. COOL! Tacos....but I was out of taco seasoning, so I went to to get the recipe for the taco seasoning I liked. Their front page, featured recipe was a neat sloppy joe....neat because it's not so liquidy and run down your arm messy! WOOHOO! Mom's everywhere: REJOICE! I read the reviews and tweaked it some. It was good, but missing something to Tim's and my taste, but Rugby ate FOUR of them and Riley loaded up on Granny's potatoes she sent home with us this weekend (They came in really handy last night....10 minutes in the microwave and we were set!!) So, here's the recipe, let me know what you think!! Enjoy!

Sloppy Joes

2 pounds ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken, venison)
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4-1 cup chopped celery
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup grated carrot (Optional, but I added because I wasn't going to be serving a veggie on the side)
1 can tomato soup
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1/8 cup brown sugar (originally called for 1/4 cup, so use your judgement)
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2+ tbsp BBQ sauce (we use Sweet Baby Ray's)
1/8 tsp-ish Hickory liquid smoke

Cook meat and veggies until meat is browned. Add rest of ingredients and cook until heated through. Serve on buns.

(Serves 8)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fry Bread

My mom and I were talking about "Indian Tacos" this weekend while I was back home. My husband was raised in an area very near to an Indian Reservation and they attend church on the reservation. His mom has this recipe for fry bread from some of the ladies at church and it's SO GOOD!! You can top it with taco stuff, or butter and cinnamon/sugar or powdered sugar (frosting, too) or drizzle with honey or some butter and jam. Really, use it just like a bread....we've also had it for a bun of a hot dog which was good, too. Enjoy!

Indian Fry Bread

Flour-enough to make a soft dough
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp oil
2 c water or milk

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. (Start with a couple cups of flour and add more as needed). Knead until smooth. Let stand at least 15 minutes. Melt 1 inch of oil in a heavy skillet until hot (like for donuts) (I use my deep fryer set at 375). Roll dough out on a floured board and cut into desired shapes. Fry 2 or 3 at a time until browned on one side, then flip and brown the other side.