Monday, July 25, 2011

Jax Approved! New recipes from the farm.

Last week during the incredible, awful, ridiculous heat - I escaped the safe haven of my completely air conditioned apartment to drive through New York City traffic to go sit outside. Sounds crazy - perhaps a little bit - but fortunately I was sitting pool side in the shade at my friend's apartment. Aside from the pool being 90 degrees it was delightful.

Since my mother told me never to show up empty handed I decided to make go ahead a few recipes to bring with me. They are jax - approved and a good addition to anyone trying to find something to do with summer veggies. I would advise grilling unfortunately we (Billy and I) have failed once again to be timely in getting a grill - if you know us we've had ceiling fans since last summer, a fireplace for the wall since last october and we've been talking about this grill since last summer - even sadder my parents gave us $500 to purchase a grill. We enjoy stowing stuff in our closet. Oh yeah, we also have 2 TVs we've yet to hang going on 2 years. Procrastination station stops in hoboken.

Big Veggie - Little Flavor
Unfortunately, while impressive huge summer zucchinis grown in gardens often lose some of their flavor so steamed or sauteed they might not make a big impression. I decided to make a lasagna replacing noodles with the big circles of zucchini from a zucchini my aunt gave me from her garden. I made a quick sauce with some canned tomatoes - however this is also a great place for a good store bought sauce. I took a roasting pan and placed sauce on the bottom then layered big slices of zuccini, sauce and mozzerella cheese and on the top both mozz and parmesan cheeses and some basil. I added a few pats of butter to brown the top and drizzled with olive oil and baked at 350 degrees for about 35-40 min until the cheese was bubbling.

Life's a Peach
But not when they go bad then it's the pits..get it? Bad joke. Last week when Billy was up at fiddle camp we met in Highland, NY on Sunday (start of the heat wave) and biked 20 miles in the awful heat around the bridge over the Hudson River and to FDR's homestead. On the way home to Jersey we stopped at a farm stand and got loads of veggies and fruit which Billy was eating before we left. But we still had some peaches so I peeled them and cubed them up and put them in a baking dish with 1/2 cup blueberries. I mixed together a 1/2 cup Bisquick, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 cup of oats, and a few dashes of cinnamon (my mom's recipe). I combined the fruit with 1/2 the crumble topping and mixed it and then put the remaining topping over the top with a few pats of butter. That went in the oven with the lasagna for 30 minutes until brown and bubbly. Billy and I ate it post movie with vanilla ice cream we barely got home from the ice cream truck - it melts fast - non of the crumble made it to Jackie's - but it is Billy approved.

Roasted Corn
I tend to roast a lot of veggies - I love the flavor so when my 3 ears of corn were sitting in the fridge with no grill in buying sight - I decided to roast them in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper for 35-40 minutes. I let them cool and then cut the corn from the cob. I used one ear in a roasted corn salad. On a base of baby spinach, arugula, and mixed greens I layered tomatoes, corn, 1/2 can black beans (be sure to rinse), cubed avocado, cucumbers and topped with a salad dressing of one lime's zest, 2 lime's juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Jax approved and healthy and cheaper than Panera. If you're on the broke side and want to get together with friends - make it at home and have a food party. Have food - will travel.
For dinner that night I took the 2 remaining ears and combined with half a can of black beans (other half was in the salad), tomatoes and 1 red pepper with a lil of the lime dressing. served it with

Corona Lime Chicken
Nothing says summer like Corona, right? I've heard of chicken cooked on the beer can and once had amazing corona mussels at 10th and willow - I will recreate those one day - but I've never cooked with beer and chicken breast, which I always use since they are healthy and good for you and let's face it - easy. But, chicken is always bland and with no grill I was at a loss so we'll go with beer. I rinsed and dried the chicken and put on a lil salt and pepper, lime zest and cilantro flakes (I would use fresh but mine had died outside that day). I put the chicken in a glass baking dish, popped a corona and poured it on top. I baked it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 and then browned it a grill pan until the outside was brown and the inside was cooked through. Having not cooked through chicken a few times I tend to cook chicken too much and always cut it open to make sure - if you are more confident - more power to you. The chicken remained moist and delicious and tasted delightfully like corona and summer. Went great with the corn salad and together with whipped sweet potatoes was a delish, healthy summer feast despite no grill. I really want a grill.

Jax Desserts - Watermelon Granita
Totally a Giada special. And a perfect dessert for a sweaty summer day or for those watching their weight - made a simple syrup. 1 cup water, 1 cup white sugar. Let that cool and combine with watermelon (I used 1 package pre-cut from the A&P) and maybe 2 tbsp mint. In the blender or Magic Bullet - blend until smooth - put in a baking dish or freezer safe plastic dish and let sit in the freezer - let sit for 3 hours then every hour use your fork to fluff it up. It looks like shaved ice. It's delicious. Jackie loved it - perfect pre-birthday dessert on a hot day.

Hope you get to tri these recipes and you enjoy them! Happy cooking!

1 comment:

  1. Jacqueline NaughtonJuly 25, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    AWESOME! I make the watermelon granita and have done a similar one with lemons (would have worked with your peaches or mango too). LOVE roasted corn, especially in salads and with black beans (and sadly we also have no grill). We also love the lasagna with whatever vegetables we have. Cutting the zucchini (or squash or eggplant) lengthwise minimizes the work a little. We went to Phyllis's boyfriend's for dinner last week and he made an awesome pesto lasagna (with noodles, I prefer whole grain if I use noodles) but it's a great way to use some of your fresh herbs. I will definitely try that crumble recipe. Miss you! Happy tri'n!