1/2 teaspoon honey
I made these Tomato Tulips for the birthday celebration of one of my closest friends, Stacey. I just think that this unusual appetizer is beautiful enough to double as a centerpiece. This is another idea that I snagged from Pat Duran at justapinch.com. The recipe is something of a finely blended potato-egg salad mixture. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any long grape tomatoes, the plums were too big, so I settled on some big, fat campari tomatoes instead. Be creative. I would love to try these again with a tuna salad filling or perhaps a white cheddar pimento cheese (?).
TOMATO TULIPS ~ POTATO EGG SALAD
It’s probably time that I admitted that I am a terribly picky eater. I probably eat only about 5% of the dishes that I prepare. That being said, it should be no surprise that I don’t like mushrooms . . . but I love, love, love to cook with them! This recipe (from allrecipes.com) is really lovely. The mushrooms are grilled first, and then sautéed with shallots and white wine until reduced. I think that roasting the mushrooms in the oven would be as effective if grilling is not convenient. These mushrooms would be wonderful as either a small plate or a side. The best part was the aroma that filled my house while it was cooking.
SAUTEED GRILLED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS
One of our local restaurants, Lucky 32, purchases locally grown produce daily. The chef has created a self-serve produce stand outside where you can pick up some of their extra fresh vegetables on the honor system. It’s a great way to grab some great items as well as support local growers. I stopped by last week and came away with a couple dozen baby carrots and four beautiful sweet potatoes. Since I’m still stuck on Chinese Five-Spice, I decided to try it out on some roasted carrots (from allrecipes) with great results.
ROASTED FIVE-SPICE CARROTS
7 large carrotspeeled and cut in half lengthwise 20-24 baby carrots, peeled and cut if needed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Cut halved carrots in half again crosswise on the diagonal. Place carrots into a 2-quart baking dish and drizzle with vegetable oil; sprinkle with five-spice powder and salt to taste. Toss lightly to coat carrots with oil and seasoning. Arrange carrots into an even layer.
3. Roast carrots in the preheated oven for 15 minutes; check for tenderness and stir if desired. Continue roasting until tender, 15 to 20 more minutes.
Omigosh!! What is not to love about this recipe? It is everything — healthy, tasty, beautiful, and portable. This recipe idea was posted on justapinch.com by the brilliant Pat Duran. I made this for a pool party a year or so ago. It was fun to create and it was very well received by one and all. Not only do you have a portable dip cup for your veggies, but you can eat the bread cup with the remaining dip inside. YUM!
VEGGIE DIP IN BAGUETTE ROUNDS
Lately, my favorite grocery store has been stocking some beautiful asparagus. This is a beautiful, elegant salad that I have been working on; however, it lacks something — it needs dimension. Next time, I think we will add more parmesan shavings, toasted walnuts, and maybe some dried cherries(?). I would like to try to perfect the recipe that I found on epicurious.com. This salad would be so lovely at a dinner party. Any suggestions?
SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD ~ LEMON PARMESAN VINAIGRETTE
12 large asparagus spears (about 1 pound), trimmed and peeled
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan plus a piece for shaving
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Eureka Lemon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Working with 1 asparagus spear at a time, use a vegetable peeler to shave spears into long, thin shavings. Transfer to a medium bowl (the tips will snap off as spears get thinner; add to bowl). I like to prop my spears on the handle of a large wooden spoon when working with them.
2. Combine grated Parmesan and lemon juice in a small bowl and slowly whisk in oil until well blended. Season vinaigrette generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over shaved asparagus and toss to coat.
3. Divide asparagus salad among plates. Shave more Parmesan over salad
I had a few leftover deviled eggs from the Beer Simmered Grilled Sausages, and I thought they would be the beginning of a great egg salad sandwich. But, first for the deviled eggs themselves. This is my mom’s basic recipe — again, nothing fancy. Hardboiled eggs, mustard, and Miracle Whip (I guess she was a big fan). I can’t apologize. I got hooked on these at an early age. The secret to a good deviled egg filling is in the blending. I use a pastry blender to work the yolks down to a fine meal and to work in the liquid ingredients. I also like to use the SuperShooter by Hamilton Beach. It is so easy to pipe filling into eggs, pasta, mushroom caps, etc. Of course, top with some Hungarian Paprika.
DEVILED EGG SALAD SANDWICH
8 deviled eggs
1/8 cup onion, finely chopped
2 T. pickle relish
1/4 t. dill weed
1. Separate the filling from the white of the eggs. If the filling is a bit stiff, thin with a touch of apple cider vinegar.
2. Chop the eggs whites and add the onions and pickle relish. Stir in the filling mixture. Season with dill weed to taste.
3. Serve on toasted bread (I recommend Arnold Sandwich Thins).