Sunday, August 28, 2016

Nashville Farmer's Market Succotash

This past week my cookbook group had their gathering for August. Our hostess chose a book by Matt Moore, "A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen". Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the gathering but had bought the book. I was unfamiliar with the book or the author but it's a book filled with many delicious recipes and I have seen the book in several specialty shops since. I have been told that our group luncheon had another fun filled luncheon and ate some scrumptious food, good ole Southern style cooking.
I had intended to take this recipe, Nashville Farmer's Market Succotash. The author is a resident of Nashville, thus the name of this dish. I had stopped at our own farmer's market to get all of the ingredients, all so very fresh and more importantly local.

It took far longer getting everything prepped than it did to prepare this dish. This particular recipe had a couple of slightly different twists and it was delicious.

"Nashville Farmer's Market Succotash" serves 6

4 ears fresh corn, husks removed
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 Vidalia or sweet onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fresh lima beans*
3 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 lb. fresh okra, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup dry white wine**

*Frozen lima beans, thawed, may be substituted
**Reduced-sodium chicken broth may be substituted

Hold each cob upright on a cutting board, and carefully cut downward, cutting corn kernels from cobs into a large bowl to equal 2 1/4 cups. Discard cobs.

Place a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat 1 minute or until hot; melt butter with olive oil in hot skillet. Add onion and next 3 ingredients, and sauté 8 minutes or until onion is tender and translucent. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute or until fragrant.

Stir in corn kernels, lima beans, and next 2 ingredients. Add wine, and cook, stirring to loosen any browned bits from bottom of skillet, 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, 25 minutes or until lima beans and okra are tender. Serve immediately.
Sautéing the first few veggies made the house so fragrant. I love the smell of Vidalia onions and red bell peppers together. Then when you add in the garlic, well my goodness, it doesn't get any better for flavor.
This dish went together so easily and was an outstanding side dish. Can you just imagine all the fresh veggie, nutritious goodness. And I was able to get fresh lima beans.
The wine made the difference in this dish, a definite flavor boost. If you should try this recipe you won't be disappointed. I will definitely prepare this again as long as I can get all the ingredients fresh, it's a keeper but it also serves more than just six servings. It would make a great side dish for a dinner party.

Thank you for stopping by and I love to see your comments.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer Paella Salad, a recipe from Ina Garten

In July my cookbook book club met again and I failed to post about it. If you have never read about this group on my blog, once a month a group of women get together at one of our homes, the hostess chooses the book from which we cook and then we choose a recipe from that book. We then take our dish that we have prepared to our luncheon. It's always so much fun and a great way to try different recipes from the designated book. Next week we will have our August gathering and our food is always amazing.

In July our hostess chose to cook from Ina Garten's "Make It Ahead". Ina is one of my favorite cookbook authors so it was difficult to make a decision as to what I would bring to the table.
I chose to take Ina's "Summer Paella Salad". This is a cold salad version of Paella and an excellent luncheon dish. Easy, easy, easy to prepare and I put it together the day before and that made it such a wonderful dish to just grab out of the fridge just before leaving for the luncheon.

"Summer Paella Salad"

4 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade, (page 62)
1 teaspoon dried fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion (1 large)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, such as Carolina
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1-inch-diced
1 pound (16-to 20 -count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup (1/2-inch-diced) celery
1 cup sliced scallions, white and green parts (5 scallions)
1 cup frozen peas, such as Birds Eye Garden Peas
1 Holland red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and 3/4-inch-diced
1 Holland yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and 3/4-inch-diced
8 ounces kielbasa, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed, and debearded

Combine the chicken stock, fennel seeds, curry powder, saffron, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a large saucepan, bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium (10-inch) Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, add the onion, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock mixture, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes, until the shrimp are barely cooked and the rice is almost tender. Turn off the heat, cover, and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a very large bowl, combine the celery, scallions, peas, red peppers, yellow peppers, kielbasa, and olives. Stir in the warm rice mixture and the lemon juice and set aside to cool. Boil 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan, add the mussels, cover, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, until the mussels open. Add the mussels to the salad, Cover the salad and allow it to sit at room temperature for about an hour to allow the flavors to blend. Taste for seasonings and serve at room temperature.

Make It Ahead: Prepare the salad completely, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

An excellent dish to prepare for any summer gathering whether it is for a  luncheon or a dinner party. Pared with a fresh crunchy salad topped with a homemade vinaigrette and ending with a fabulous dessert, this would be  excellent dinner party fare. It was delicious and I will make it again and again.

Here are some of the other dishes shared at our Chef's Table Luncheon.
This was an outstanding dish and I am planning to prepare it soon. It's a traditional Jewish dish with the addition of spinach, ricotta, fresh dill, and a nice crunchy panko crust. It can be assembled, covered, and refrigerated for up to a day and then baked before serving. How easy is that? I think it would be an excellent side to any beef or pork dish. Soooooooo yummy.

This was an interesting combination of flavors with shallots, fresh thyme and Taleggio cheese. These too were amazingly delicious.

And for dessert, a Lemon Poppy Seed Cake. An old fashioned bundt cake with the volume turned up, lots of freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest plus a lemon syrup that soaks into the cake. It was fabulous!!!!!

I did fail to get a good pic of one of my favorite recipes brought, Summer Vegetable Couscous. A dish with lots of Middle Eastern flavors: couscous with cinnamon and ginger plus raisins, dates, chickpeas, and toasted almonds. A summer dish that would complement any chicken or fish. This was such a delightful dish.

Our hostess is a very creative person. She took the book cover of Ina's book and made laminated placemats. We were in awe with all of her creativeness.

The theme surrounding the book we were cooking from and our centerpiece was this glass head with a chef's hat on with the name of our group embroidered on it, Chef's Table. The "head" with the name of the cookbook in mind, "Make It Ahead". How cute is that????

Over to the side of where we were sitting was a mannequin dressed in an apron with again the name of our group on it, Chef's Table. I think each of us needs one of those aprons.

A good time was had by all and our dear hostess made us all feel so welcome, relaxed and comfortable. Of course, the main event, our luncheon was beyond description. We never leave hungry.

I am linking this post to Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm hosted by Michael Lee West. Click HERE to see other wonderful recipes shared.

Enjoy your weekend everyone and thanks for visiting my blog.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Excellent Peach Daiquari

A few weeks ago my husband was traveling through Mississippi and Alabama. Before he left I told him that if he came across any vegetable stands to please stop and ask if they had any Chilton County peaches. Now I have access to Georgia peaches, North Carolina peaches but my most favorite peaches are those from Chilton County in Alabama. I think it must be a difference in the soil in that area and probably a different variety that are grown there but they are the absolute BEST!!!!!
My husband didn't forget and brought home a lovely bowl full. Now, what is the first thing I want to do with these peaches? Why a daiquiri of course.

This wonderfully delightful summer cocktail. A refreshing drink in the middle of the summer. Envision this cocktail while enjoying a good read on a rocking chair front porch. So typically Southern.
When I was a little girl I can remember my daddy making these with most any kind of fresh fruit. Mine of course, was served alcohol free. This is my version of what I remembered him making.

Peach Daiquiri

1-6 oz. can of frozen limeade
6 oz. of your favorite light rum
3-4 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
Superfine sugar to taste

In a blender mix the limeade, rum, sliced peaches and blend together. Add enough ice to make it the consistency that you would like. Like a slushy. Add a dash or two of superfine sugar to your taste. Pour into a pretty glass and Enjoy. So simple but oh so good.

I haven't been able to find the frozen Minute Maid limeade in a six ounce container but they do have a twelve ounce. I use that, the unused portion placed in a freezer zip lock bag and placed back in the freezer for use at another time.
These Chilton County peaches in Alabama are more intense in flavor and also they are a deeper color. Amazingly delicious. If you should be traveling in the area don't pass them up, you won't be disappointed. You can also google Chilton County peaches and some growers will ship them, however, their season is almost over. I am hoping to be in the area soon and I do hope I can get some more. They make an amazing cobbler as well.

Have a great day and CHEERS!!!!!