Get on BOARD With This Charcuterie: Tuna Steak Nachos

Get on BOARD With This Charcuterie: Tuna Steak Nachos

Mix and match your guests’ favorite meats, treats, and cheeses and never be bored with your charcuterie board! Start with these Tuna Nachos, perfect for tailgating at home. Click to skip to the recipe

 

There are lots of reasons to entertain family and friends these days, as long as your family and friends have maintained their social distance while trying to live their lives amid craziness!

We’re all living in our reduced social circles these days, but that still leaves us room to gather safely. And gather, we do!

One of my favorite ways to entertain is to set out individual bites onto a lovely charcuterie board.

Now, by its very definition, a charcuterie board is made up of prepared, cured meats (usually pork) and varieties of cheeses.

The very word charcuterie comes from the French words chair (flesh) and cuit (cooked).

But meat and cheese can be boring, so I veer towards combining charcuterie with an antipasti platter. Olives and pickled veggies are so yum.

But then I have a couple of crudité tray ideas and well, before you no it, I create a board full of appetizers that is unlike any other.

Just like I like it!

My recent board was created for my fellow book club pals. It was packed full of individual appys that by themselves would be perfect for a first-course nibble, but when combined could serve a crowd for a cocktail party or game day (stay-at-home) tailgate party.

The appys assembled on my board included roasted shrimp on a stick, chunks of Parmesan cheese, whole roasted garlic, salami and cream cheese “flowers”, margarita sausage on baguettes with lime mustard, gouda and sun-dried tomato “pimento” cheese with candied bacon, hummus and Parmesan stuffed tomatoes and the fan-favorite, seared tuna nachos with roasted garlic cream.

Whew! Sounds like a lot and it was…..but it was also FUN to prepare and wonderful to watch as they were devoured in no time.

Whether you prepare your own fan-favorite appys or arrange store-bought (and there are tons of them) items on your board, the secret is to be surprising. Mix and match your favorites and be creative with your choices. After all, you never want to be bored with your board!!

Seared Tuna Nachos with Roasted Garlic Cream

These nachos are a big hit. You can easily make them in advance, and they look divine on your appy board.

Ingredients

For tuna:

1 (8-ounce) tuna steak:

½ cup rice wine vinegar

4 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

4 green onions, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)

1 (1-inch piece) ginger, grated

1 tablespoon olive oil

For roasted garlic cream:

Cloves from 2 whole heads roasted garlic, about ¼ cup, mashed

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup heavy cream

Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

For nachos:

Large, sturdy tortilla chips

2 cups tender green leave, washed, dried and thinly julienned (I used frisee, baby kale and butter lettuce leaves)

Serves:   A Crowd

Time:   60-Minute Cuisine

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Place the tuna steaks into a shallow dish. Whisk together the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, onion, and ginger.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade.  Pour the rest over the tuna steak.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours in the fridge.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Remove the tuna from the marinade.  Shake off the excess.  Sear the tuna in the skillet turning once, about 2 to 3 minutes per side for very rare.  Remove the tuna to the freezer and chill for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the roasted garlic cloves, sour cream, heavy cream, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine into a smooth thick cream. Season with salt and pepper. The cream should be thin enough to drizzle.  Pour into a squeeze bottle and set aside.

Place the tortilla chips on a platter. Toss the greens with the reserved marinade.  Place several shreds of lettuce over the tortilla chips.

Remove the tuna from the freezer.  Use a very sharp knife to cut very thin slices (across the grain) of seared tuna.  Place 1 to 2 slices (depending on how thin you can cut) onto each chip.  Drizzle with garlic cream. 

 

What I’m Reading and What We’re Eating: Super Supper Book Club Menu

What I’m Reading and What We’re Eating: Super Supper Book Club Menu

I chose a veggie-forward menu for this Super Supper Book Club, Social-Distance Edition. Safely supp over a good read and prepare for what will be a roller coaster discussion and meal!  Click to skip to the recipe

 

In the months before COVID, we started posting a once a month book club guide for you to follow with your group. 

I stopped posting because we couldn’t gather.

But, in today’s environment, with some of the restrictions eased and our ability to safely gather in a socially distance approved way, I thought I would bring it back! My book club has gathered over the summer and we will convene again this week.

For those of you who are still staying home, you might consider starting a virtual book club.

A few of my besties did this over the summer as well, and we found that we gathered (virtually) more often than our in-person club.

I have included the full supper club menu here, but if you wish, just a sampling of one or two dishes works just as well.

Either way, if you are looking for a good read to share with friends (or just on your own), this one’s for you!

 

“The Family Upstairs” by Lisa Jewel

As I read, I had the same feelings that I had when I read The Goldfinch. The abuse of children is never an easy subject.

However, I loved this read because of the development of the characters from childhood to adulthood, the paths their lives eventually take, and The Baby that brings them together.

There are several twists and turns, many of which I didn’t see coming (which to me is the measure of a good suspense novel).

This is my next pick for our Super Supper Book Club.

Gather your readers, give them the title, and dole out the recipes for what will be a roller coaster discussion and meal.

There are three stories woven into the narrative. On Libby’s 25th birthday, she finds out she’s inherited a Chelsea mansion that’s been held in trust.

She soon discovers the house has a dark history based on scant decades-old news coverage. Lucy is living hand-to-mouth in France when her phone reminds her that The Baby is 25.

Without the means or identity, she must resort to some pretty desperate acts in order to get back to England after 24 years. Henry knows everything that happened in the house in the last several years when his family lived there.

He knew why there were so many extra people living there, what happened to the once-opulent residence and its contents, and how and why people were found dead in black robes on the kitchen floor.

I already cooked up some questions for your Super Supper Book Club gathering…

  • Do you think Henry’s lies and violent acts were born out of his need to survive an unimaginable situation, or do you think there is, as Clemency states, “a streak of pure evil” in him?
  • In your opinion, who is the most tragic figure in this novel? 
  • What do you imagine happens to the characters after the book ends?

I chose a veggie-forward menu for this Super Supper Book Club. In contrast to the spartan food the children were given while they lived at 16 Cheyne Walk, this menu celebrates the abundance of the garden with dishes woven into a delicious menu that all your members will enjoy.

Super Supper Book Club Menu

“The Family Upstairs”

 


Fresh Corn, Green Bean and Arugula Salad with Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette •
Canvas and Cuisine,  page 150

Cauliflower Risotto with Cinnamon-Roasted Butternut Squash • Canvas and Cuisine, page 36

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Pancetta and Toasted Breadcrumbs (Recipe below) Canvas and Cuisine, page 96

Fresh Fish of the Day in Puttanesca Sauce • Canvas and Cuisine, page 262

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Thyme • Canvas and Cuisine, page 341

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Pancetta & Toasted Breadcrumbs

Best Stuffed Portabello Recipe

Spending quality time in the Farmer’s market naturally leads to veggie-forward main meals. This is one of these. There’s nothing better than meaty mushrooms, with a tangy, crunchy filling! You can serve these mushrooms as a first course, or as a late-night snack. Or you can stuff smaller mushrooms and serve these to your book club! The flavors are fantastic – everyone is a mushroom lover after tasting this dish!

Ingredients

1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus 2 more for sauce

1 (3.5-ounce) julienned sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained but save 2 tablespoons of the oil 

4 ounces pancetta, finely diced

4 large garlic cloves, minced, about 2 tablespoons

¼ cup Marsala wine

Juice of ½ medium lemon, about 2 tablespoons

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

8 Portobello mushrooms, stem and gills removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

Yields: Serves 4 for a Veggie Main or 8 as an Appy

Time:   30 Minutes

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter in a small bowl. Spread the crumbs onto a baking sheet. Toast the buttered crumbs until they begin to crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes into a skillet over medium-high heat. And the pancetta and cook until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta to a platter lined with paper towels. 

Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and simmer until most of the wine has disappeared, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the lemon juice. Season with some of the salt and crushed red pepper. Turn off the heat and swirl in 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the parsley.

Heat a grill pan on high heat. Brush the mushrooms with olive oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms, turning once, until they are just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the mushrooms to a platter. Spoon the sun-dried tomatoes into the mushroom caps. Top with pancetta and toasted breadcrumbs.

Corny Corn Corn: My Best Corn Cake & Corn Salad Recipes

Corny Corn Corn: My Best Corn Cake & Corn Salad Recipes

Corny Corn Corn!  It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. Try corn two ways with my corn salad and best corncake recipe.

Click to skip to the recipes

 

 

This is the time of year that you want simple, fresh suppers that are leisurely served on the veranda or back deck.

Picture a pitcher of frosty strawberry lemonade, a vase filled with flowers plucked from your garden, and a basket of cornbread swimming in honey butter.

The scene is set!

…and so is the supper.

This one features corn on the cob.

First, I grill it and blend it with sweet baby tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions. Then it’s tossed with a lemon balsamic vinaigrette. Shaved Parmesan cheese tops off this simple summer salad.

The second dish begins with salmon (I had some leftover) that turns into delicious salmon cakes. Corn kernels in the cakes, cornbread crumbs both for binding and for dredging and corn-spike tartar sauce take these cakes way, way over the top!

This easy summer supper is so good that even if your veranda is invaded by mosquitos or the flowers in your garden have wilted, or you feel the need to spike your lemonade, summertime will shine through!

Enjoy!

Grilled Corn Salad With Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Breakfast Skillet with Glazed Eggs

Ingredients

This simple salad comes together in minutes and is a perfect outdoor supper side dish.

For salad:

6 fresh ears of corn

1 English cucumbers, cut into ½-inch chunks

1 bunch green onions, diced, about ½ cup

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

For vinaigrette:

1 bunch basil leaves, about 1 cup

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

Juice of 1 lemon, about ¼ cup

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

½ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved, about ½ cup

Serves:   A crowd

Time:  20 minutes

Remove the husks from the corn and grill over medium heat, turning often, until the kernels are golden brown. Cool to room temperature. Cut the kernels from the cobs into a bowl. Add the cucumber, green onions, and cherry tomatoes.

Place the basil leaves into a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Add the mustard, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle some of the dressing over the corn salad. Toss to just coat the veggies. You want just a bit of dressing; you don’t want it to be soggy. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Salmon and Corn Cakes With Fresh Corn Tartar Sauce

Ingredients

Adding fresh corn to the cakes and dredging in fresh cornbread crumbs adds a true Southern twist to this everyday staple. And then….. we put corn in the sauce. Now that’s FUN!

For salmon cakes

2 cups cooked salmon, flaked

2 garlic scapes, chopped, about 2 tablespoons (you can substitute with 2 garlic cloves, minced)

¼ medium red onion, peeled and finely diced, about 2 tablespoons

½ yellow bell pepper, finely diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

½ cup cooked corn kernels (you can use grilled corn)

2 cups fresh cornbread crumbs, divided 

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 large egg, beaten

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Olive oil for sautéing

For creamed corn tartar sauce:

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons, cooked corn kernels, chopped

2 tablespoons finely diced red onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Yield:   18 bite size cakes and about 6 large cakes

Time:  45 minute cuisine

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Place the salmon into a bowl. Add the garlic, 2 tablespoons diced red onion, yellow pepper, 2 tablespoons each of dill and parsley. Add the corn kernels and ½ cup of the cornbread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together ¼ cup mayonnaise, egg, and mustard. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl and toss everything together. 

Place the remaining corn breadcrumbs into a shallow plate. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out balls of the salmon mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. For bite-size cakes, use a 1-inch scoop. For main course cakes, use a 3-inch scoop. Flatten the balls into patties. Dredge each on in the corn breadcrumbs and return to the baking sheet. Place the cakes into the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.

For the tartar sauce, stir together ½ cup mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, chopped corn kernels, 2 tablespoons red onion and 1 tablespoon dill. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a skillet. You want enough oil in the skillet to just coat the bottom of the pan. Remove the cakes from the freezer and carefully place into the hot oil. Cook until the bottom of the cake is golden brown. Use a spatula to turn the cakes and cook until golden on the other side. The amount of time will differ depending on the size of the cake. It will only be a few minutes for bite-size cakes and about 5 to 7 minutes total for larger cakes. 

Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of the sauce. Garnish with fresh dill.

Make-Ahead Tip:

You can make these ahead and freeze them until you are ready. Bring them to room temperature before you cook them.

Overboard Tip:

This recipe calls for leftover salmon. However, you can bake salmon in just a few minutes in the oven and then cool to room temperature. I sprinkle the salmon with lemon juice and olive oils and then coat in a rub of 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon each of chili powder, onion powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper and bake at 400°for 20 minutes for every 1-inch of thickness.

4th of July Party, Safely: A Socially-Distanced BBQ Get-Together Plan

4th of July Party, Safely: A Socially-Distanced BBQ Get-Together Plan

Host a social distancing get-together this July 4th with tips to stay safe and recipes to make it delicious!

Click to skip to the recipes

With so many large-scale activities canceled for the 4th of July holiday, small gatherings with appropriate social distancing are the sign of the times.

This year, my family barbecue is trimmed down to immediate family with only a few (very close) family friends. I will miss the annual get-together of friends and neighbors. Mostly, I will miss seeing the kids that grow from children to tweens to teens to young adults each year.

But, with my “glass is always half-full” vision, I appreciate the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones and less time preparing for a big bash. After all, those glow-in-the-dark bracelets will last ‘til next year!

We are who we are, and we Americans will celebrate! Trying to plan for my slimmed-down annual party, I started by putting my caterer’s hat on.


Back in the day, when my pals and I were planning a Memorable Occasion’s (the name of my old catering company) party we would lay out the menu and then come up with some clever way to serve it. We were always short of staff, so serve-yourself food was a great solution when feeding a crowd.

This strategy works perfectly when you are planning an appropriate socially distanced backyard Fourth of July barbecue. Allowing your guests to choose their own items from individual containers is smarter in today’s climate.


Here are some pointers for a safe and social distancing get-together:

 

  1. Fresh air is best for this year’s celebration. If it’s possible sit outside. Sit on your back porch, in your back yard, even in your driveway.  If you are rained out, or don’t have enough space, open the windows to let the fresh air in. 
  2. It’s still okay to ask your guests to bring a dish. No one says you, the host, must do it all. But we’re going to ask either that the dish is brought in individual portions, or that you dish it up in the kitchen before serving. This is not the time for a buffet supper. 
  3. Serve right from the grill. For example, let guests bring their bun to you when grilling dogs and burgers! Condiment packs are key here for mustard and ketchup, but you can also be safe by providing several bowls of condiments and allowing each guest to use his or her own spoon for scooping diced onions and peppers.
  4. As much as you can, serve everything individually. Use whatever you have around the house as containers. My plan this year is to serve scoops of potato salad in metal cups, shrimp on skewers, and stuffed mushrooms on porcelain tasting spoons. A homemade milkshake served in a mason jar, dripping with chocolate and nuts, or doused in sprinkles is the best of the best when you’re talking personal desserts. Get creative with what you have, but also take a look at all the clever paper goods that are available to hold sides and desserts. 
  5. Don’t forget to get the kids involved. Kids can pass around trays of individual appys and help prepare those decorative shakes. The more people involved, in the safest way… the better!

There are lots of ways to celebrate what is a most important American holiday, but there’s only one way to make it perfect. And that is by sharing it with your friends and family who you love and who love you back! 

Happy Fourth, everyone.

And here are a couple of my favorite recipes for you to try.

Spicy Potato Salad

Ingredients

Potato salad is a picnic and cold supper staple. When spiced up with a little hot sauce, it becomes a devilish addition to most everyday meals. Feel free to make this day a day in advance to allow the spicy flavors to marry with the potatoes.

5 pounds small red creamer potatoes, cut into ¼-inch pieces

1 bunch (6 to 8) green onions, chopped (about ½ cup)

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon paprika

4 to 6 drops hot pepper sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Servings:   6 – 8

Time:  30 minutes, plus chilling

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain and place into a bowl.

Add the onions to the bowl. Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard paprika and hot sauce.  Pour this mixture over the potatoes. Toss the potatoes with the dressing.

Season with salt and pepper and if you like with additional hot pepper sauce.

Chill the salad for 1 hour or overnight.  Sprinkle the salad with fresh cilantro.

Beer Basted Baby Back Ribs with Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients

This is a foolproof way to prepare moist, tender, and never over-cooked ribs. By steaming the ribs in a slow oven, the meat cooks in advance of grilling; therefore, the time spent grilling is significantly reduced.

For ribs:

6 pounds baby back ribs

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Garlic powder

1 (12-ounce) can beer

For sauce:

1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 cup cider vinegar

½ cup dark molasses

¼ cup canola oil

¼ cup Jack Daniels whiskey

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 or more drops hot pepper sauce

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Servings:   4 – 6 

Time:  Several hours in the oven and about 20 minutes on the grill

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season the ribs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Place them onto a rack in the bottom of a large roasting pan.  Pour the beer into the pan.  Cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Place the pan into the oven.  Cook until the ribs are quite tender, but not falling off the bone, about 2 to 3 hours.

For the sauce, bring the tomatoes, vinegar, molasses, canola oil, whiskey, mustard, chili powder, cinnamon, and as much hot pepper sauce as you like, to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the ribs to an outdoor grill over medium-high heat.  Cook, turning often until well browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Baste the ribs with sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Transfer the ribs to a board and slice into individual servings.

Invite guests to bring their plates to you and serve with a drizzle of extra sauce on the side.

Shoots and Sprouts and Other Market Finds

Shoots and Sprouts and Other Market Finds

There’s nothin’ that says “South In Your Mouth” like tomato pie and this one says it all! Also, learn how to make a melting, fragrant, nutty pesto that is delicious as a condiment on summer sweet corn, pasta, and atop your avocado toast!  Click to skip to the recipe

 

In the age of “New Normal”, strolling the early Saturday morning Farmer’s Market takes on new character.

Gone is the plucking of a purplish tomato, brought to the nose for a quick sniff. The mask gets in the way!

The lines at the veggie stands are a little longer, now that we queue up six feet apart.

Displays of fresh baked goods are abandoned and replaced by take home bake-it-yourself wrapped containers.

It can all be a tad disheartening.

Except that if you spend a slower amount of time strolling, you may just see something you’ve missed during your past visits.

And that, my friends, happened to me this past weekend. I discovered Sunshine Cove Farm.

Sunshine Cove Farm is a small-scale farm with a big mission. They are working to build local resilience in the mountain community by finding ways to grow A LOT of nutritious food with a limited footprint.

They specialize in produce that packs BIG nutritional value into a little space. Their harvest includes microgreens, shoots, edible flowers, and specialty vegetables.

I was drawn to the stand because of their unique marketing. Gourmet packets held mixes with names like Pico de Gallo and Immunity Mix.

Well, I just couldn’t resist.

I bought a couple of packages and slipped them into my basket with my other goodies and headed home.

Since my Pico de Gallo Mix included cilantro, onion, and lime basil, I decided to incorporate these shoots and sprouts into my garlic scape pesto.

It was YUM!

Pesto is great on veggies or pasta, but I slathered some on a rack of lamb the other evening and it was beyond delish.

When company came a-calling for a little Sunday night potluck, I topped my utterly Southern Tomato Pie with some of the shoots and sprouts from the Market Mix and the edible flowers were the perfect garnish.

If you can’t make it to the market, you can order from Sunshine Cover Farms online. It’s worth the effort! (So, is the pie!!)

Enjoy!!

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie

Ingredients

There’s nothin’ that says “South In Your Mouth” like tomato pie and this one says it all!

1 pre-baked pie shell (see note)

4 large tomatoes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces Mozzarella cheese, grated, about 1 cup

4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated, about 1 cup

1 cup mayonnaise

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 to 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Assorted microgreens for garnish

Servings:

Time:

6 to 8

40-Minute Cuisine

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°. Slice the tomatoes and place them into a colander. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and let them sit for 10 minutes.

Mix together the cheeses and mayonnaise in a bowl. Fold in the green onions. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the bacon over the bottom of the pie crust. Layer the tomatoes on top of the bacon. Sprinkle the tomatoes with basil and green onions. Spoon the cheese topping over everything.

Bake the pie until the topping begins to turn golden and is melty and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and cool. Spread the microgreens over the top of the pie. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make-Ahead Tip:

Get a head start on this delicious dish by using a refrigerated pie crust. To prebake the crust, preheat your oven to 400°. 

Place the pie dough into a pie pan and crinkle the edges. Pierce the bottom of the dough with the tines of a fork. Lay a piece of parchment paper over the pie shell. Fill with pie weights or dried beans.

Bake until the edges begin to turn golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pie shell from the oven. Remove the parchment paper and the weights.

Bake until the bottom of the shell is just golden, about 5 to 8 minutes more. Remove the shell from the oven and reduce the heat to 350° to continue the recipe.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients

In the early summer market, you can find long, green, circles of thin stalks that are garlic scapes. These are the flower bud of garlic plants. They are cut off the plant so that the bulb grows fatter and fatter. These strands of garlicky goodness can be used in the same way as garlic cloves with no peeling of course! I use them to make pesto and then I spread that pesto on everything. Melting, fragrant, nutty pesto is delicious as a condiment on summer sweet corn, pasta, and atop your avocado toast!

Yield:

Time:

About 2 Cups

20-Minute Cuisine

2 bunches garlic scapes (about 20 shoots)

1 bunch fresh basil leaves, about 4 cups

Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons

4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, about 1 cup

1 cup toasted pine nuts

1 package Pico de Gallo shoots and microgreens  (substitute with 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro)

1 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Place the garlic scapes into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to finely chop.

Add the basil, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. Pulse to combine. Add the microgreens and pulse one more time. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. The result will be a smooth paste. Stop the machine and season with salt and pepper. Pulse one more time.

Transfer to a mason jar with lie, or resealable container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week or store in ice cube trays in the freezer for up to 6 months.

One Potato, Two Potatoes, Three Potatoes…More!

One Potato, Two Potatoes, Three Potatoes…More!

The other day, I was rummaging around in my fridge and discovered a treasure trove of leftover potatoes! Multitask those spuds with two different recipes sure to hit the spot. Click to skip to the recipe

I love potatoes. 

I think this devotion stems from early breakfasts shared with my Dad. 

To quell my then rebellious teenage persona, Dad would spend quality time with me on the weekends.

He traveled for his business during the week but was always home on the weekends. Saturday morning was our time.

We woke early (thus my lifelong habit) and drove to his office where he would catch up on paperwork and I would help him run job cost numbers.

First things first, we stopped for breakfast on the way. Many times, it was just to gather a box of donuts to share with the others in the office. 

But SOMETIMES we would splurge and stop at the local Denny’s restaurant. 

We would sit, sip really good coffee and Dad would order either a Denny’s Grand Slam or Denny’s Skillet breakfast. The grand slam loaded pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, and fried potatoes onto one large plate. The skillet was just that, a cast-iron skillet loaded with potato and meat hash and topped with a couple of eggs – your way. 

It’s been almost 20 years since my Dad went to heaven and my fondest memories still include the joy on his face as he tore into that meal.

The other day, when I was rummaging around in my fridge, I was delighted to find a treasure trove of leftover potatoes! I had leftover twice-baked from last Sunday’s potluck supper and a baked potato because hubby and I decided to split one instead of consuming a whole.

And, I even had a mound of left-over smashed parmesan potatoes from Monday night’s meatloaf dinner. Eureka!

It’s one of the good cook’s miracles that leftover potatoes will last a long time in the fridge, giving you an opportunity for a second dish with just a little effort. 

So, with a nod to my Dad, and a love of leftovers, I have two dishes for you this week.

The first is a breakfast skillet made from the baked potato and enhanced with beef, bacon, peppers and onions and topped with a glazed egg.

This is a hearty breakfast that is super served after an early morning hike or when combining breakfast and lunch into one leisurely brunch meal.

The second dish was FUN. I used the inside of the twice-baked potato with the mound of mashed and made a potato croquette that was perfectly (and simply) fried crisp on the outside with a soft, almost gooey center.

Yumm oh yumm!

 

Breakfast Skillet With Glazed Eggs

Breakfast Skillet with Glazed Eggs

Ingredients

A perfect use for leftover potatoes, feel free to add absolutely anything into your hash.

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 sliced bacon, diced

4 ounces beef (I used tenderloin, but you can substitute with ham, corned beef, or chicken, it’s your choice), about 1 cup

1 large baked potato, cooked and cut into ½-inch cubes, about 1 cup

1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes, about 1 cup

1 white onion, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes, about 1 cup

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated, about ½ cup

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

For eggs:

1 tablespoon butter

4 large eggs

Servings:

Time:

2

30-Minute Cuisine

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Drizzle the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and beef. Cook until the bacon begins to crisp. Remove the bacon and beef from the skillet. Add the potato, pepper, and onions to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook until the onions and peppers are soft, and the potato begins to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the bacon and beef back onto the skillet and toss. Scatter the cheese on top of the hash. Cover the skillet and cook to melt the cheese. Toss the fresh dill over the top.

Place the butter into a separate skillet (with lid) over medium heat. When the butter is melted, crack the eggs into the pan. Fill an empty eggshell half with water and pour this into the pan. The water will bubble up. Cover the pan with a lid. Lower the heat to medium-low. Coo the eggs until the yolks are just set, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Scoop out the hash onto a plate. Top the hash with eggs. Garnish with dill sprigs.

Mashed Potato Croquettes

Ingredients

Starting out with seasoned left-over mashed potatoes makes this an easy recipe to prepare. However, if you like to start from scratch, just bake a couple of potatoes and scoop out the flesh. You can season with salt and pepper and even add some sour cream or cheddar cheese. It’s all good!

4 cups left over mashed potatoes

1 large egg yolk, plus 1 whole egg

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons milk

2 to 3 green onions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs

Canola (or vegetable) oil for frying

Yield:

Time:

1 Dozen 3-inch croquettes

30-Minute Cuisine

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Place the mashed potatoes into a bowl. Stir in the egg yolk (reserve the white part), and green onions. Place the bowl into the fridge for a couple of minutes while you assemble the breading station.

Place the whole egg and the egg white into a shallow bowl. Beat with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water until combined. Place the seasoned breadcrumbs into another shallow bowl. 

Remove the potatoes from the fridge. Use an ice cream scoop to form round potato balls that you dip into the egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Transfer each ball to a parchment lined sheet pan or platter. When all the croquettes are formed, place them back into the fridge for 15 minutes. 

Heat oil in a fryer or deep pot to 375°. Fry the croquettes in the oil a couple at a time until deeply golden. Transfer to a paper-towel lined platter. When all of the croquettes are fried garnish with a touch of sea salt and fresh herbs.

Make Ahead Tip:

You can make these ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring them to room temperature before you fry.