Spring and summer have flown by, how did that happen? By the end of June, our summer was in full swing. My granddaughters were down every week this summer for swim lessons at a local fitness club. They arrived Thursday mornings and sometimes were here through the weekend. It didn’t leave me much time to do my blog let alone write my quarterly newsletter. However, it’s almost the end of September and today a tropical storm is hitting our area, which means a good day to catch up.
It's hard to pick a favorite recipe as I initially selected almost two dozen. I’ve pared it down to a select few. The first recipe is one I developed, Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Herbs de Provence Pâté. The pâté is from Alexian Pâtés and Specialty Meats. It’s an easy recipe that can be served on a weeknight or elegant enough for guests.
As you know, my husband and I adore our pasta. Traditionally, Thursdays are reserved for homemade tomato sauce, however, sometimes change is good as was the case with Rigatoni all Zozzana. The main ingredients in the pasta sauce are fresh cherry tomatoes, guanciale (or pancetta), Italian sausage and red wine. My, oh my, what a delicious pasta! The sauce was rich, but not heavy. You had the savoriness of the guanciale, the spiciness from black pepper and the creaminess of the sauce…heaven.
I used to work in a small restaurant where guests fawned over the chicken salad sandwiches. As easy as it is to make, people preferred to purchase extra chicken salad to take home. While it was tasty, the ingredients were basic. I have since discovered Deb Perelman’s (The Smitten Kitchen website) and her version of Cranberry-Walnut Chicken Salad. What makes her chicken salad the best is the addition of shallot, no onions, tarragon vinegar (you can use champagne or white wine vinegars) and fresh tarragon along with other basic ingredients. Wow, what a difference in flavors with just a few adjustments; it is so fresh tasting. This will be my new “go to” recipe for chicken salad.
Pork Tenderloin makes for easy weeknight meal preparation. This summer I made a recipe that I found in the May 2023 issue of “Southern Living Magazine” for Sweet-and-Smoky Grilled Pork Tenderloins. For the recipe you’ll need brown sugar, kosher salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, ground mustard, pork tenderloins and a neutral oil. The meat has a dry rub which needs to be applied 8 to 12 hours ahead of cooking.
What a flavorful meal. The brown sugar allowed the exterior to turn a beautiful cinnamon color, yet keeping the meat moist. The seasonings gave the meat a smoky and slightly spicy flavor. It was a wonderful preparation and one that’s easy to do ahead of time.
With local zucchini in season, I recently made another Deb Perelman recipe, Zucchini and Ricotta Galette, which was a big hit with my husband. The galette is a simple pastry made with the addition of sour cream and lemon juice which makes for a flakier crust. The cheese filling is made with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses and mozzarella. Thinly sliced zucchini is shingled in a concentric circle over the filling and then a garlic and olive oil dressing is drizzled on top.
My, my what an exquisite galette. The Parmesan added another layer of flavor and the garlic just enough punch to make this one delicious bite. My husband suggested using the cheese filling and zucchini as a topping for pizza. Doesn’t that sound yummy?
Although local strawberry season is over, early in June I had some strawberries in my CSA box. About the same time in The New York Times column, “A Good Appetite,” Melissa Clark had a recipe for Strawberry Almond Cakes. These one to two bite goodies are reminiscent of Financiers and easy to make. My, my these were sublime! Light, delicate, sweet, but not cloyingly and a subtle strawberry flavor.
There are many more recipes that I blogged about from May through September that I think you’ll enjoy such as Rosemary Chicken Ragu or Grilled Pork Chops with Plum BBQ Sauce. I also noticed on my Instagram feed that two local bakeries found that their almond croissants were a big seller for them this summer. So much so, that disappointed customers took to social media to complain and purchasing limits had to be instituted. People, no need to fear, back in April I posted two recipes for almond croissants. One is where Claire Saffitz takes store bought plain croissants and transforms them into almond croissants or Sohla El-Wayly’s version of using puff pastry. Both were excellent.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.