Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Grilled Cabbage

This was one of the side dishes on Labor Day.  I made some Asian Coleslaw and had some left over cabbage.  I had saved this recipe to try some other time and thought it would be a great time to try it out.  I normally am not a big fan of head cabbage.  This was a wonderful way to eat it.  Grilling the cabbage brought out the natural sweetness in it.  The seasoning was delicious (especially the addition of butter and Parmesan cheese).  Yummo!!  

Try making this the next time you heat up the grill.  You maybe surprised cause I think your kids may even like it!

Grilled Cabbage 
Servings: 4
1 head cabbage
4 pats of butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

1) Cut cabbage into 4 wedges (be sure to leave the core attached).  Mix salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl.  Set aside.

2) Place each wedge on a piece of doubled heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Top each wedge of cabbage with a tap of butter and sprinkle with the seasoning mixture.
3) Fold foil around the cabbage and seal each wedge tightly.

4) Grill cabbage, covered, over medium heat for 40 minutes or until the cabbage is tender, turn twice.

Best Ever Barbecued Ribs

I'm about a bazillion weeks behind on posts.  Fall is here and I'm still blogging about summer.  *sigh*  Bear with me cause some of these recipes I tried over the summer are real keepers!  These ribs were made for Labor Day.  This was when my dad, aunt and uncle were still visiting.  I bought a pack of St. Louis style ribs from Costco that had 3 racks in them.  I used a recipe from Bon Appetit that called for baking the ribs in the oven then grilling them on the grill.  The ribs were so moist and juicy.  *drool*  I used a store bought BBQ sauce for the recipe but making your own would be so delicious!

Best Ever Barbecued Ribs
Serves 6-8
Adapted from: Bon Appetit, July 2012
2 and 1/2 Tbsp. Hawaiian sea salt
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. smoked chipotle pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
8 lb. baby back pork ribs (8 racks) or St. Louis-style spareribs (4 racks)
low-salt chicken broth
1 and 1/2 c. barbecue sauce (plus extra for dipping at the table)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl.  

2) Place each rack of ribs on a double layer of foil and sprinkle rub all over the ribs.  Wrap racks individually and divide between 2 baking sheets.

3) Bake ribs until they are very tender but not falling apart, about 2 hours for baby backs and 3 hours for spareribs.  

4) Carefully unwrap ribs.  Pour any juices from the foil into a 4 cup heatproof measuring cup and reserve juices.  Cover and chill juices  Let ribs cool completely.  

5)  Rewrap ribs in foil and chill.  
**Do ahead: Ribs can be baked up to 3 days ahead (the flavor will be more developed and the cold ribs will hold together better on the grill as they heat through).**

6) Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to high.  Add chicken broth to the chilled rib juices to measure 1 and 1/2 cups.  Whisk in barbecue sauce to blend.

7) Grill ribs, basting with barbecue sauce mixture and turning frequently, until lacquered and charred in places and heated through, 7-10 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board; cut between ribs to separate.  Transfer to a platter and serve with extra barbecue sauce.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Simple Cherry Tomato Pasta

I stumbled on this recipe while in a time suck called Pinterest.  Seriously, like I need anything else on the internet to suck my time.  Anywho, this caught my eye because it makes use of cherry tomatoes.  I've been keeping an eye out for recipes and ways to creatively use the gobs of cherry tomatoes that keep flowing out of my garden.  There's only so much you can pawn off on neighbors and friends.  Right? 

I loved this recipe the instant that I saw it not only because of the cherry tomato factor, but because of the simplicity of it.  Oh and it uses ingredients most of us have lying around the kitchen to boot!!  While the fresh basil would have put this recipe over the top, it was dark outside by the time I realized I hadn't cut any fresh basil.  I was too lazy to go out with a flashlight to harvest basil so I used dried herbs.  Feel free to substitute as needed!  I also doubled the sauce (I love love love sauce).  

This pasta dish is amazingly simple yet delicious!!  The sauce coats the pasta butter.  Seriously!  Try it!

I'm planning on making more of this sauce to freeze.  I'm sure it'll make me smile when I'm chowing down in the winter!  

Simple Cherry Tomato Pasta
Adapted from:
Serves 4
1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti (Barilla is my favorite)
2 pints (1 quart) ripe cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1/2 c. dry white wine (I used a chardonnay)
1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped (I ended up using dried Italian seasoning, dried basil and dried thyme)
salt and pepper

1) Add olive oil to a saucepan over medium-high heat and add onions.  Cook for a few minutes then add the garlic.  Cook until the onions are translucent.  Stir often to prevent burning.  Add all of your tomatoes (whole with skins on).   

2) Stir sauce occasionally.  The tomatoes will eventually wilt and turn into a nice sauce.

3) Using a potato masher or fork, mash up the cherry tomatoes and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

4) Reduce your heat to medium and add your spices (if using dried) and some salt and pepper.  Let the sauce cook down for an additional 25 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Your sauce will start to concentrate and thicken.  Start to boil a pot of water to cook your pasta in.  

5) Once your sauce has thickened, add the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the crusty bits.  This is where you should add your fresh basil and other herbs if you are using fresh ones.  Stir your sauce and reduce the heat to a low simmer.  Cook your pasta till it is to your liking (don't overcook!).  Also, be sure to save at least 1/4 c. of the pasta water to add back to your sauce.     

6) Add 1/4 c. pasta water to your sauce and stir well.  When your pasta is done, using tongs, capture your noodles and add them directly to your sauce.  Toss your pasta to coat them well with yummy sauce.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Harvest Monday 9/10/12 and 9/17/12

Since I didn't post last week, this is two week's worth of harvest photos and totals.  The warm weather veggies keep on coming.  It seems I can hardly keep up.

Harvest Monday 9/10/12
Last week I harvested some Millionaire eggplant, Shishito peppers, Tomatillos, Cherry Bomb Peppers and one lonely Sunburst Scallop squash.
Early in the week, I harvested a good amount of tomatoes.  The orange ones on the left are Amana Orange.  The three large tomatoes in the middle are from a mystery volunteer plant that I think is Ananas Noire.  It's produced the largest tomatoes in my garden this season thus far.  On the top right are some Rosso Sicilian and below those are the orange Kellogg's Breakfast.

As I mentioned before, the Ananas Noire produced the largest tomatoes thus far.  This is the largest of them all and clocked in at 1.58 pounds!  I wasn't very impressed with the taste of these tomatoes last year but this year I was pleasantly surprised.

More Sungold Cherry and Sweet 100 Cherry tomatoes plus Chocolate Cherry tomatoes were rolling in.

During the later part of the week, I harvested still more tomatoes.  This time it was more Kellogg's Breakfast, Heinz, Amish Paste and Cherokee Purple.  I also harvested a few more tomatillos, a Cherry Bomb pepper and some Shishito peppers.
I love how pretty all the tomatoes look!!

These were more Amana Orange, Green Zebra and Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes.

Lastly, I harvested what maybe the last of the Asian Cucumbers.  Powdery mildew may have claimed my cucumber plants.  Of course, more cherry tomatoes!!!

Harvest Monday 9/17/12
This week was mostly tomatoes.  I think it's time to make salsa!!  Here was a harvest of cherry tomatoes (mostly Sun Gold but some Sweet 100's) and Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes.  My aunt loves the Chocolate Cherry tomatoes.  Where is she when there is a large harvest like this??

The four large tomatoes on the top were the volunteer that I think is Ananas Noire.  Again, they are large tomatoes.  The red tomatoes on the left are a Heinz variety.  I like these because they are large and  good paste tomatoes.  To the right of those are Green Zebra.  This year this variety matured slower than previous years but have produced larger tomatoes.  To the far right are the Amana Orange variety.

This try hold peppers galore!  From top to bottom we have Jalapenos, Cherry Bomb and Gypsy Sweet peppers.  To the right of those are a line of Greek Pepperoncinis and on top of those are a single Hot Hungarian Wax and a Sweet Banana pepper.  The tomatoes on the far right are all Kellogg's Breakfast.

This tray is filled with Tomatillos, San Marzano tomatoes below and some Millionaire eggplant.  The orange tomatoes are an unknown variety that were volunteers (maybe Kellogg's Breakfast).  The rest are Amish Paste from my grafted tomato plant.  The grafted tomato plant produces crazy yields!!  There are also 3 Rosso Sicilian tomatoes on the bottom.

Happy Harvest!!

Harvest Totals for 9/10/12
- Sunburst Scallop Squash = 0.66 lb
- Millionaire Eggplant= 0.83 lb
- Peppers
   - Shishito = 0.34 lb
   - Cherry Bomb=0.46 lb
   - Greek Pepperoncini=0.15 lb
- Tomatillos=1.29 lb
- Asian Cucumber=1.89 lb
- Tomatoes
   - Cherry =5.94 lb
   - Kellogg's Breakfast=1.59 lb
   - Rosso Sicilian=0.73 lb
   - Amish Paste = 1.41 lb
   - Ananas Noire=4.98 lb
   - Amana Orange=7.27 lb
   - Heinz=1.08 lb
   - Chocolate Cherry=-2.55 lb
   - Cherokee Purple=1.26 lb
   - San Marzano = 0.77 lb
   - Green Zebra = 0.81lb

Harvest Totals for 9/17/12
- Tomatoes:
   - Cherry=2.76 lb
   - Chocolate Cherry=2.09 lb   
   - Kellogg's Breakfast=4.08 lb
   - Amana Orange=2.47 lb
   - Green Zebra=2.37 lb
   - Heinz=1.34 lb
   - Ananas Noire=4.28 lb
   - San Marzano=0.78 lb
   - Rosso Sicilian=0.62 lb
   - Orange Volunteer (Kellogg's Breakfast?)=1.7 lb
   - Amish Paste=3.36 lb
- Millionaire Eggplant=0.58 lb
- Tomatillos=1.84 lb
- Peppers:
   - Hot Hungarian=0.03 lb
   - Sweet Banana=0.05 lb
   - Gypsy Sweet=0.3 lb
   - Cherry Bomb=0.64 lb
   - Greek Pepperoncini=0.61 lb
   - Jalapeno=0.9 lb

Monday, September 3, 2012

Harvest Monday 9/3/12

This week's harvest was a harvest of tomatoes and peppers!  Here's a shot of things harvested early in the week.  Some large tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and some Shishito peppers.

I finally pulled out some the rest of my spring beets.  These did not grow well this year in the spot I had them in.  It may have been too shaded or they were just stubborn.  There was one larger Chiogga beet and a lot of baby beets.  I had to make room for my fall starts so out the pathetic beets went and in went some peas.
Later in the week I harvested lots of peppers.  In the upper left hand corner are Jalapenos and below them are a couple of Shishito peppers and a single Gypsy pepper.  A single Asian cucumber was harvested as well as a lot of Greek pepperoncini peppers.

Last, but not least....more tomatoes!!  Yummy!!

Happy Harvest!!  
This week's harvest totals:
- Peppers:
   - Shishito: 0.39 lb
   - Gypsy: 0.1 lb
   - Jalapeno: 0.25 lb
   - Greek Pepperoncini: 0.56 lb
- Chiggoa Beets: 0.52 lb
- Asian Cucumbers: 0.49 lb
- Tomatoes:
   - Cherry: 2.34 lb
   - Cherokee Purple: 0.4 lb
   - Rosso Sicilian: 1.94 lb
   - Amish Paste: 2.1 lb
   - Paul Robeson: 0.27 lb
   - Amana Orange: 1.26 lb
   - Chocolate Cherry: 0.55 lb
   - Heinz: 0.35 lb