Sunday, October 04, 2015

Albacore Steaks with Pico de Greek-o

Thursday 17 September
We threw a couple of albacore tuna steaks on the grill pan, seasoned only with salt.  That deserved some strong flavors as an accompaniment.

So we put together something we called pico de Greek-o: a chopped melange of various garden and heirloom tomatoes, diced red onion, lemon, dill oil, and the last fronds of dill from the garden.

Pork Stew

Wednesday 16 September
We still have a shirtload, or something that sounds like that, of pulled pork.  So we made some of the tender meat into the base of a simple stew.
Sliced off the fattiest bits of pork, sizzled them in a pan, and added sliced onions.  Once they were browned, added the pulled pork and some of its jellied juices to reheat.

In a separate saucepan, boiled sliced carrots and batons of turnip until tender, and when they were, threw them into the pan with the pork.  
It's hard to find a recipe for a quick stew, but this is one.

Salmon Hash

Tuesday 15 September
We brought home a nice piece of Mike's grilled salmon from Saturday night, perfect for a batch of that salmon hash that Holt and Barbara love.

We used only red bell pepper, and since we forgot to bring home yogurt from the office, had to substitute a little extra cream.  But the results were tasty nonetheless. 

Pulled Pork and Creamed Kale

Monday 14 September
We were preparing to welcome Steve and Caroline on their college-exploring trip across Ohio.  And there's nothing like a long-stewed pulled pork (first cooked just over a week ago) to keep hot and ready until the guests arrive. 
For a vegetable, we picked an armful of slightly tough and moth-eaten kale from the garden, and inspired by this recipe, made a batch of creamed kale - with real cream, not bechamel.

For dessert, we finished off Susan's delicious lemon squares - which we wouldn't offer to just anybody, but these are family.

Mediterranean Eggplant Casserole

Sunday 13 September
A quick thing to do with the last of the summer vedge. 

Chopped a few Asian eggplants and the last of the Zephyr squash from the garden (we're being opportunistic here).  Sautéed the first in olive oil in two batches, added the squash when the second batch of eggplant was half done, and at the end scattered in a little sliced garlic to cook until just tender.
Re-added the first batch of eggplant, and threw in eight or nine chopped garden tomatoes (the so-called early girls) to cook, break up, and make a sauce.  A handful of big basil leaves, chopped, got mixed in at the end.  
Spread all that in a wide casserole, topped with ca. 5 oz. of crumbled mild goat cheese, and baked at 350º for 20 minutes.
Easy, cheesy, not so sleazy.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rainy-Day Grillout at Susan and Mike's

Saturday 12 September    
Tonight our friends Susan and Mike had planned an end-of-summer backyard barbeque, inviting us and their friend Debby to welcome our dear retired head librarian, Jean, back from Florida.  But fate was less than co-operative.  The skies grew grey; it drizzled, then poured.  The temperature plummeted.  To top it off, Jean got sick and couldn't come.  But when we drove up that evening, they had the grill set up, fire blazing, and just moved dinner indoors.
Our part for the potluck was our Garden of Eden pole beans (plus a few purple Carminats), done the old fashioned way: melted a batch of bacon grease in a deep pot, sizzled a whole chopped onion and 2-3 garlic cloves in it, then piled in a couple of pounds of these heavy green beans, sliced into short sections.  Added water to almost cover and salt to taste, and simmered them for two hours until they were meltingly tender.  At last, added pepper and salt, and let them cool down for transport (also, you want to eat them warm, not hot).

While Mike went out and grilled a couple of salmon fillets seasoned with rosemary, Debby produced a variety of vegetables from Fresh Table at Findlay Market: beet and goat cheese, mushrooms and celery in mayonnaise, and some delicious crispy chickpeas with grape tomatoes and olives.  So when the fish was done, we filled our plates to capacity, and then ourselves.
For dessert, Susan had made a batch of her famous lemon bars (she knows how Barbara feels about lemon) and little cups of cheesecake on red velvet crusts.  By that time, the rain had passed, so we could sit outside, watch Mike feed wood to the blaze in the fire-pit, and pet the dogs and chat and sip scotch, as so inclined.
Thanks, Mike and Susan; you took an unpromising day and turned it into a perfect backyard barbeque in the end.