Monday, August 11, 2008

Quick Homemade Pickles

From Michael Shlafstein...

4 Kirby cucumbers
2 to 3 sprigs of tarragon
1 3/4 cups distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tspn red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tspn coarse salt
1 quart Jar

Wash and dry cucumbers. Cut into spears. Place spears and tarragon
into Jar. Combine: vinegar, sugar, pepper, and salt in a pan over a
medium heat until sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour hot liquid into
jar. Let cool completely, uncovered. Cover and refrigerate overnight,
they will last for up to six weeks.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Zucchini Salsa Recipe

I've been freezing zucchini fries and enjoying lots of fresh zucchini dishes, too, but if you're looking to enjoy that zucchini goodness all winter long, the following recipe from Recipezaar has served me well in the past. The salsa is particularly good over rice or, if you're carnivorous, baked in a foil wrap together with refried beans and chicken breasts (I stuff them with cheese and garlic). It's a bit of work to preserve them, but it pays off in the form of delicious, easy meals later on.



  1. Day one:In a large bowl combine; Zucchini, onions, green pepper, red pepper and the salt Mix together cover and let stand over night.
  2. Day two: Next day rinse, drain well and put into a large pot then add mustard, garlic, cumin, vinegar, brown sugar, pepper flakes, salt,cornstarch, nutmeg, pepper, tomatoes and tomato paste.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.
  5. Water bath jars if they have not sealed properly.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Arugula Salad with Fresh Pears, from Wendy Pfrenger

From Bistro Cooking at Home (by Gordon Hammsersley who has a bistro in Boston):

Arugula Salad with Fresh Pears, Gorgonzola, and Bacon
(6 servings)

3 slices of bacon, cut in half crosswise
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 shallot, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 fresh pears (or 12 fresh figs if you can find them)
6 oz. Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
1 large bunch arugula, stems removed (about 6 c.)
1 m. red onion, very thinly sliced

Cook bacon in a skillet until crispy. Drain.

In a small bowl combine vinegar, mustard, and shallot, and season with salt and
pepper to taste. Whisk in olive oil in a steady stream until it's all incorporated
and an emulsion forms.

Heat broiler.

Cut pears in half lengthwise. Core them. Melt unsalted butter in a skillet and
brown the cut side of hte pears. Turn the pears cut side up, sprinkle with salt and
pepper, and bake in a 350 degree oven until tender when pierced with a knife (time
will vary depending on ripeness and type of pear). When tender, place blue cheese
in the holes left from coring and broil until the cheese begins to melt.

Toss arugula and onion together in a bowl. Add just enough dressing to coat
lightly, reserving at least a tablespoon of the dressing. Divide the greens among
six plates. Place pears on the greens and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Top
each salad with a piece of bacon and serve immediately.