Category Archives: Recipes

Smoke House Magic

Peppers aren’t the only game in town, however. Jim agreed to smoke some ripe tomatoes for me, as well as eggplants, green beans and kale. Why not? Smoked eggplant makes fabulous baba ganouj, while smoked tomatoes make the simplest pasta sauce marvelous, with exceptional depth of flavor. Green beans…well, hmm. I thought they might make great snacks but not so much. They’re good in soups and chile, though. Smoked kale is similarly disappointing; oven roasted kale chips are far tastier with way better texture. Smoked corn on the cob is delicious, needing only a little sprinkle of garlic salt to make it magical. Smoked carrots and mushrooms are best in stews, soups, or casseroles, where a small piece can add a lively bass note; potato leek soup with smoked mushrooms becomes mysteriously rich and chicken casserole with smoked carrots gains depth and finish. Continue reading

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Best Ever Breakfast Treats

In summer, another favorite breakfast treat is a fruit crumble with a relatively nutritious and totally delicious topping. For the fruity filling, I often combine blueberries or raspberries with coarsely chopped nectarines or peaches. Here’s my current favorite version, which can be varied according to what’s ripe and luscious. You can also use a cupful of any combination of nuts and seeds or just one kind, whatever you have on hand. Continue reading

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Preserving Fruits And Vegetables

Of course, there’s always some fruit that isn’t quite ripe or is perhaps a bit sub par in flavor. Among the tastiest things to do with such sad stuff is roast it. Roasting awakens the latent sugars hidden in sour fruit and dull vegetables as well. When big fat cherries taste bland, roast them for 20 minutes and prepare to be amazed. Same with peaches and nectarines, or plums and pears. You can then use the gilded, caramelized results in all sorts of dishes, savory or sweet. For starters, try mashing bits of caramelized fruit into soft goat cheese for a marvelous garnish for roast chicken or grilled fish. You can also freeze these roasted gems and use them all fall and winter. Continue reading

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Summery Essentials & Indulgences

When the berries arrive in gardens and markets, my kitchen overflows with delicious treats. Most get eaten out of hand; between me and the grandkids, fresh fruit has a very short shelf life. Much of what we don’t enjoy fresh gets frozen or turned into jam (raspberry and blueberry are favorites), but some end up in pies and crumbles and grunts. Grunts? Yup; it’s an old fashioned New England thing that’s very tasty and doesn’t require firing up the oven on a hot day. Serve it warm dessert with homemade peach or raspberry ice cream or billows of whipped cream. Continue reading

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