The recipes on this blog are a combination of things I've learned over the years and meals inherited through generations of adoration for good food. They are a cherished property, so please be good to them.

You may not copy or otherwise reproduce any of this content without prior written permission.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Baltimore Sun- Zucchini

I had the pleasure of being featured in today's Baltimore Sun about my ever growing and changing vegatable garden. It's a small little tidbit about me, my garden and my family.

Click here to read all about the wonderful gardens growing in Baltimore.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dining Deals in Baltimore

Restaurant week is approaching and I so look forward to it. It's a great opportunity to get out of the house and eat somewhere you might save for a special occasion, on a regular evening or weekend...

Brasserie Tatin is offering a really unique and special experience for only $750... which is really just a flash in the pan for most of us, right? Seriously though, it's the Chef's table and for this price you and 5 others get: outstanding traditional French cuisine six course dinner with paired wine, chef and sommelier visits, and kitchen tour.... now if I could only find that missing 750 dollars lying around....

Other locations have less intense or expensive opportunities like cooking classes or wine pairings.
For more information on which restaurants are participating and to see the menu's, go here.

Also, did you know that there is a website out "there" that gives daily deals to various restaurants around Baltimore? My fellow blogger and food friend, Dara was blogging about it last week and so I'm passing this information on to you! Check out what deals you can find here.

Lastly, Howard County is having their very own restaurant week. I work in Columbia, but rarely think to eat anywhere as I'm a bit of a Baltimore snob (seems like Baltimore and snob don't seem a likely pairing, no?) when it comes to places to eat. That being said, Aidia Bistro (known as my favorite place to eat in Howard County) is on the list... they're located within walking distance from my office in a little strip, so unassuming, yet so incredibly tasty!

The Rumor Mill Restaurant in Ellicott City is also on board, and I can say that they are at least worth visiting as they support local non-profits like the Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County and therefore, are commited to the community. (Always a bonus for me...)

Now that I've inundated you with way too many hyperlinks... go check it out!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cherry Blueberry Crisp

I'm really into food... really really into it.

I'm walking around the farmer's market (where else?) two Saturdays ago and it doesn't take long for me to realize its CHERRY SEASON!!!! I capitalize this because upon seeing the heaping mounds of cherries on the stands I literally squealed and clapped (I was alone so I could have appeared that I was losing my mind) as I trotted (yes, I trotted) over to the first stand. I love cherry season for many reasons but mostly because of sour cherries! When making a pie, pastry, tart or crisp, you always want to use the sour I've personally learned in my culinary adventures.

That being said, I've made a cherry pie and you can find that here, but I didn't use sour cherries for that pie, and while it was delicious, I would still suggest using the sour.

For the fruit:
3 c pitted sour cherries
1/2 c blueberries
1 c white sugar
4 tbsp all-purpose flour

For the crisp:
1 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 c multi grain oats (I used multi grain because I liked the idea of adding more nutritional benefit, but you can use old-fashioned oats too)
3/4 c brown sugar
1/3 c butter

Grease a 9X13 baking dish and preheat your oven to 375*F. In a bowl, combine cherries, sugar and flour and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar. Cut in butter to mixture until it's crumb-like. Sprinkle over cherries to cover.

Bake in oven about 50 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Let cool for about 30 minutes before serving.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer Harvest Pasta with Panko Herbed Chicken

Pasta dishes are a staple in my home, but when Baltimore turns hot and steamy, I don't do much pasta. Last week we had a night of super storms and so I couldn't cook on my grill, and the indoors seemed so inviting. I'd been craving pasta, but every hot night I thought to do it, I just couldn't bare to do it. Being inside the cool air conditioning with the dark storm clouds rolling in, seemed like the opportune time for making it!

I had just picked an abundance of beautiful squash and zucchini straight from my garden, and couldn't NOT call this harvest pasta! There is something so satisfying about growing your own vegetables and herbs, and when you sit down to a meal you really feel a part of the process. I've decided to include a few pictures of what I picked last week and the biggest zucchini I've ever grown (to date).

This was a simple dish to create, and it came together with very few ingredients in about 45 minutes.

For the sauce:
2 large zucchini, diced medium
1 yellow squash, diced medium
1 28 oz can of San Marzano Tomatoes ***, drained of most of the liquid, hand crushed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced fine
1/4 c good quality olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 c fresh sweet basil, chopped roughly

(*** Cooks note: When making a tomato sauce, especially with fresh ingredients from your backyard or farmers market, I encourage you to use only San Marzano tomatoes (which are more expensive, but can be found in your local grocery store) as they are considered by most chefs and Italian cooks to be the best sauce tomato in the world. Although they look similar to a Roma tomato, the flesh is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is much stronger, more sweet and less acidic. ***)

In a large sauce pan heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add squash, zucchini and onion and saute for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are beginning to get soft. (Add a pinch or two of salt to the mix as it cooks). Add garlic, and saute another 2 minutes. Continue adding salt and pepper to taste, in layers, as you cook. Add tomatoes and reserved liquid and stir to combine. Simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes (stir sauce every 10 minutes) or until sauce is thickened and flavors are combined.

For the chicken:
4 thin sliced chicken cutlets
1 c flour
1 c panko bread crumbs
1 tsp basil and oregano, chopped very fine
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter and allow butter to melt with olive oil. Place flour, egg and crumbs into separate bowls. Add herbs to breadcrumbs and stir to blend. Season both sides of cutlets with salt and pepper. In assembly line fashion, dredge chicken through flour, dip into egg and roll into breadcrumbs. Add chicken to heated frying pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until brown. Flip cutlet and cook additional 3 minutes. Keep cutlets warm in 250 *F warm oven until dish is ready.

Prepare pasta of your choice according to package directions, less one minute. Add drained pasta to sauce, with basil, and stir over medium heat, mixing well, for about 1 minute.

Heap pasta onto dish and top with panko chicken.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Miso Salmon with Grilled Bok Choy

Miso is a rich condiment made of mostly fermented rice and soybeans, that you can purchase in a paste form. Miso is high in protein and vitamins and very much a part of daily Japanese culinary culture. Miso is typically salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process.

My husband and I love miso soup and really wanted to make some of our own, so I decided to expand and incorporate the paste into another meal. I've seen a lot of recipes over the years for salmon prepared with miso, so I decided to make a variation of my own.

2 6-8 oz salmon fillet
2 tbsp white miso paste
2 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp Mirin
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger

Place salmon fillet into a glass dish or plastic bag. Whisk remaining ingredients together and pour over salmon. Place in refrigerator to marinate for about 1-2 hours.

For the bok choy:
2 baby bok choy bulbs, halved
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Drizzle the oil over the bok choy and rub garlic into the layers of the vegetable. Set aside.
Over med-high heat, using the direct grill method, grill the salmon fillets for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until the flesh flakes easily with a fork. Grill bok choy, cut side down over direct heat for the last 5 minutes, until wilted and soft. ( I like my bok choy to be soft, but still have a nice bite to it, but you could really leave it on and grill both sides.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Chipotle Cinnamon Pork with Fruit Salsa

This recipe just sort of happened to me one night last week making dinner. I had a beautiful pork tenderloin and tons of fresh fruit from the farmers market and the grocery store run over the weekend. I love to make rubs for meat, before grilling, because the crust that forms is just so delicious! This combination of smoke, heat and sweet from the rub really compliments the pork, but I would use this rub again for chicken or beef too!

For the rub:

1 tbsp each:
Chipotle powder

1tsp each:
brown sugar
fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and rub all over pork tenderloin. Allow pork to sit at least an hour, and up to 24 hours.

Grill 1.5 lb pork tenderloin over direct heat for about 20 minutes, turning to brown on all sides, every 5-7 minutes. Pork is done when a thermometer reads 160-170* F. I like to take the pork off at about 160*F and rest under a tent of foil for about 5 minutes before slicing.

For the salsa:
3 white peaches (any peach would do), pit removed and diced
1 mango, pit removed and diced
1 red bell pepper (any bell pepper would do), diced
1 lime, juice and zest
1 jalapeno pepper (first one harvested from my garden!), seeds removed and diced
1/2 c fresh pineapple, diced small
1 c fresh mint (I used some of my cinnamon mint), chopped

Mix all ingredients into a bowl and refrigerate for about an hour, or up to 24.
Top grilled pork with salsa and serve!