Hatch Green Chile & Cheese Cornbread

The weather has FINALLY turned cool here in Texas and I’m loving it!  When I heard that “Favorite Son” was coming home to visit for the day and bringing a friend, I decided the nice cool weather called for some good old comfort food!  I love cooking on Sundays and having the whole family over.  We call it Sunday Supper.
I put on a big pot of beef stew and baked this Hatch Green Chile Cornbread.  Both were outstanding, and I’ll post the stew soon.  For now, here is the cornbread.  It was moist, cheesy and had just a bit of heat from the chilis.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Hatch chile cheese cornbread

Hatch Chile/Cheese Cornbread

Hatch Chile/Cheese Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½  tablespoons  sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil; more for the pan
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • about 1-½ cups frozen corn (or fresh if you have it)
  • ¼-½  cup chopped Hatch green chiles

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, oil and butter­milk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir, just to combine.  Do not overtax.  Quickly stir in the cheese, corn and chiles.
  • When the butter has melted and the pan is very hot, pour in batter…it should ­sizzle as it goes into the skillet. Immediately transfer it to the oven and bake until light brown around the edges, about 25 minutes. Cut in wedges and serve warm.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Grilled Corn and Salmon Panzanella Salad

Whether fresh from the garden or straight from the farmers market, one of the BEST things about summer is the abundance of really good tomatoes!  I just so happened to get my hands on some of the last tomatoes for this season and wanted to showcase them in a nice salad.  With the temperatures still soaring well into the 90s here in Texas, it makes it hard to want to turn on the oven, so this is a meal you can prepare outside on the grill!  Each ingredient in this salad stands out, so the key is to make sure you get REALLY GOOD “quality” ingredients…I, personally, like to use as much “organic” as possible.  Grilled sweet corn makes an appearance along with grilled ciabatta bread (panzanella actually refers to a Tuscan salad with bread).  Throw in some sliced English cucumber, thinly sliced shallots and fresh basil– then top it all off with some delicious New Zealand salmon (for you locals, Groomers Seafood is my favorite place to buy seafood, and they carry New Zealand salmon!)  A lovely light champagne vinaigrette takes it over the top!

Grilled Corn and Salmon Panzanella Salad

Grilled Corn and Salmon Panzanella Salad

 

2014 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir

I served a 2014 Paul Hobbs Russian River Vally Pinot Noir…Fabulous!

Grilled Corn and Salmon Panzanella Salad

serves 4

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 4 cups organic mixed greens (I used spinach, arugula, swiss chard)
  • 2 ears sweet corn, grilled and kernels removed (I like to leave some of the kernels intact when slicing them off the cob)
  • ½ English cucumber, sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups diced heirloom tomatoes, (leave whole if cherry tomatoes)
  • handful fresh basil, torn into small pieces
  • 1/3 loaf ciabatta bread, sliced lengthwise
  • grilled salmon, skin removed (see Liz’s Tidbits)

Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

Whisk vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper together.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined.  (See Liz’s Tidbits!)

Preparation:

Brush bread with olive oil, salt & pepper and grill, cut side down, until you get some nice grill marks. Cut into bite sized pieces and set aside. Grill salmon to desired doneness, remove skin and break up into nice chunks.  To assemble salad, put greens in a large bowl and add rest of ingredients.  Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • For vinaigrettes, I like to add all my ingredients to a small mason jar, put on the lid and shake until combined.  SOOO easy!!! You can leave any unused dressing in the jar in the fridge for several days.
  • Instead of grilling a whole side of salmon, sometimes I’ll order (10 ounce) filets with the skin OFF from Groomers.  I’ll brush with just a bit of olive oil, then pan sear them (in an oven proof, non-stick skillet) over medium high heat for about 2 minutes or until a nice crust appears.  Turn over, and transfer the skillet to a 450 degree oven for maybe 3 minutes for medium to medium rare salmon.  Leave a bit longer if you like a more well done result.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Cioppino and our trip to Cinque Terra, Italy

“Favorite Son” came home from college for the weekend, and requested one of his favorite dishes called “Cioppino”.  He and his dad have ALWAYS LOVED this dish, and since we were celebrating several things that evening with a very nice bottle of Champagne, I agreed.

Cioppino, (pronounced chə-ˈpē-nō) actually came to the U.S. by way of Italian immigrants who had settled in the San Francisco area.  If a fisherman came back at the end of the day empty handed, he would take his pot and walk around to other fisherman asking for any leftover fish they could “chip in”.  Whatever ended up in their pot would become their Cioppino! The dish later became a staple as Italian restaurants started popping up all over San Francisco.

Today, similar dishes are found in coastal regions throughout the Mediterranean. Generally, the seafood in the stew is cooked in broth and served in the shell. You can also serve what is called “lazy man’s cioppino”, referencing the fact that all shells have been removed prior to serving…not as much fun, but much less messy!!

My fondest memory of enjoying Cioppino is from our trip to Cinque Terra in northwestern Italy.  Vernazza, one of the five towns that make up the Cinque Terra region is one of the most quaint little fishing villages on the Italian Riviera…just breathtaking!  Hubby and I hiked from Monterosso al Mare (the first of the villages) up one side of the mountain and then down to the next village of Vernazza.  We lunched at a little cafe called Taverna Del Capitano and had the most wonderful Cioppino we’d ever tasted!

This particular recipe is one I’ve adapted from Chef Tyler Florence after trying several different styles.  While it’s not necessarily authentic due to the added Spanish chorizo, it makes for a much heartier broth, and my boys say it’s their favorite!  Please don’t mistake Spanish chorizo for Mexican chorizo–it’s definitely not the same!  Click on this “link” for a wonderful Spanish chorizo that’s actually made right here in my own home town of Boerne, Texas! Serve with a nice crusty loaf of french bread for soaking up all that delicious broth! Bon Appétit!!

Cioppino

Cioppino served at Taverna Del Capitano in Vernazza

Monterosso al Mare

We hiked up Monterosso al Mare…about a 3 hour hike!

 

Cinque Terra

It’s a beautiful hike meandering through lots of vineyards, and the locals living along the hike are so friendly!

 

Vernazza

HELLO Vernazza!! Once you’ve hiked to the top of the mountain, this is the view you feast your eyes on! Just breathtaking!

 

Vernazza, Cinque Terra, Italy

Each little inlet is it’s own fishing village only accessible by boat or train.

 

Vernazza, Cinque Terra, Italy

Isn’t this just GORGEOUS?

Cioppino-Seafood Stew

adapted from Tyler Florence

Ingredients:

  • 5 links “Spanish” chorizo
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 (28-ounce) can Marzano tomatoes, drained, hand-crushed with juice reserved 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 16 clams, scrubbed
  • 16 mussels, scrubbed
  • 16 large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12-15 bay scallops
  • 1 small filet of cod (cut into 4 pieces approx 3-inches each)
  • 1/4 bunch Italian parsley, chopped for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation:

In the bowl of a food processor, place chorizo, onion, garlic, celery and tomatoes, and pulse until pieces are small and well ground up.  Transfer this mixture to a Dutch oven, and cook over medium heat until well colored and fat is rendered. Once cooked, add the flour, thyme and bay leaves, and sauté for another 5 to 7 minutes (this forms the base of a roux). Add red wine, reserved tomato juice and chicken stock. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. With 10 minutes left go, bring to a boil and add the clams and mussels.  Cover and steam until mussels and clams open (5-7 minutes) and discard any that don’t open. Reduce the heat to simmer, nestle fish into bottom of pot, add scallops and shrimp, cover, and simmer just until cooked.  This will only take a few minutes, so be careful not to overcook.  Remove the bay leaves, ladle into large shallow bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.  Serve with a crusty french bread!

Bon Appétit!

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • Any mixture of seafood will work in this stew, so choose your favorites! Throw in some crab legs or maybe try a couple of whole Dungeness crabs (cut into about 6 pieces).  If you don’t like cod, try halibut or any other firm white fish.  Just add all the seafood at the last part of cooking so it’s not overcooked!
  • I can’t emphasize enough the importance of using “Spanish” chorizo and NOT Mexican chorizo.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Shirazi Salad

If you’re looking for a totally refreshing salad for a hot summer day, look no further! OMG…I could eat this all day long! You’ll find it on many mediterranean restaurant menus, as it’s named for the Iranian city of Shiraz, the capital of Fars Province. Many recipes call for various different ingredients, but the one I tasted was simple and light and utterly addicting! Tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and mint surrounded by a light fresh lemon dressing. It’s a marriage made in heaven!

Shirazi Salad

Shirazi Salad

Shirazi Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup red or green onion, diced
  • ⅓  cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Preparation:

Place tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and mint in a bowl.  Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.  Combine all and stir.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Farro, Dried Cherry & Toasted Pecan Salad w/Feta

Never heard of farro?  Well, it’s a type of ancient wheat grain, and you might be surprised to know that it’s been around for thousands of years! Because of its high fiber content, it’s gaining popularity for it’s many health benefits.  And, we’re all over health benefits, right??  This salad combines the nuttiness of the farro, the sweetness of the cherries and the saltiness of the feta all in one healthy dish.  Throw in some pecans for crunch, fresh parsley and green onion to freshen it up and a light and tangy fresh lemon dressing to finish it off.  It’s one of my new favorites!  🙂

Farro, Dried Cherry & Toasted Pecan Salad w/Feta

Farro, Dried Cherry & Toasted Pecan Salad w/Feta

Farro, Dried Cherry & Toasted Pecan Salad w/Feta

Adapted from Southern Living Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup toasted pecans, chopped (See Liz’s Tidbits)
  • ¾  cup dried cherries
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup feta cheese

Preparation:

Bring farro and broth to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low, cover tightly and cook until the farro is tender 20-25 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cool water. Then set aside to cool.

Once cool, stir in remaining ingredients.  I like to add my feta cheese to the top just before serving.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • To toast nuts, place them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350° for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. I like to toast a whole sheet pan full then keep them in a mason jar in the fridge for when I need them.
  •  I like organic produce when I can get it.  It’s just a personal preference.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Marinated Garden Tomatoes

One of my favorite things about summertime is all the fresh produce.  Having your own garden is great, but even if you don’t, you can always find garden fresh produce at local farmers markets.  If you’re lucky, you might even have a friend or two looking for someone who might enjoy their garden bounty (thank you Stephanie and Pat!). Tomatoes are definitely one of my favorite things about summer.  They are fantastic on their own with a bit of sea salt, but they’re also delicious marinated in vinegar and herbs. I’ve made this recipe with large tomatoes that I sliced, and I’ve also done it with smaller ones including really small cherry tomatoes. It really doesn’t matter what size you use, they will all be delicious.  I love serving them over an avocado for a light lunch or a side dish for dinner!  Thank you, Corrie, for this great recipe!  🙂

Marinated Garden Tomatoes

Thickly Sliced Marinated Garden Tomatoes

Can also be made with many different sizes

 

Marinated Garden Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion (green and white parts)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground pepper
  • ¼ cup snipped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 fresh tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white vinegar

Preparation:

Combine first 6 ingredients and sprinkle over tomatoes. Mix oil and vinegar and pour over tomatoes.  Cover and chill several hours or overnight. Spoon dressing over tomatoes several times while chilling, and drain before serving.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Cannellini Bean Salad

 Continuing on my quest for great summer salads, this winner comes from the magazine, “Eating Well”.  I love all kinds of beans and always keep a good variety of canned ones in my pantry just for throwing together a last minute salad.  They’re good for you and make a great, quick “go-to” lunch.  Fresh herbs make all the difference in this light summery salad, and I love the crunch of the celery against the creamy beans. Everything about it screams healthy!  Eat it on it’s own as a salad or use as a base to top with fish, grilled shrimp, scallops or chicken!  Bon Appétit!
Cannellini Bean Salad

Cannellini Bean Salad

Cannellini Bean Salad

adapted from “Eating Well” Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed well
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 cup finely diced celery

Preparation:

In a large bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, sage, chives, salt & pepper. Add rinsed beans, celery and tomatoes.  Toss well.  

 

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • Great for picnics or outings! Can be made and stored in the refrigerator a day ahead.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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