I’m a Jersey girl and one thing I know for sure, when it’s hazy, hot and miserable outside, there’s fresh corn to be had. That’s right, it’s in heaping piles from farm stands to supermarkets along with giant trash cans so people can peel away the husks and inspect the kernels. It’s not unusual to saddle up to the corn heap, elbow out your neighbor, rip apart the corn and only buy the good ones. I on the other hand grab and go because this time of year there’s really no bad corn. When I can’t eat one more perfect ear, I make griddle miso corn cakes. They’re as easy as pancakes and the miso gives them a burst of flavor that’s a great addition to any meal.
Category Archive Veggies, Potatoes & Grains
Grilled squash with basil drizzle is a recipe created from the tangle of yellow squash and basil overtaking my garden and it couldn’t be easier to make. There’s a certain fascination with a vegetable garden for someone who loves to cook as much as me. Planting begins as soon as the temp. clears 32 degrees, around late April in NJ. It’s year two for my little garden and once again, my enthusiasm has yielded so many thriving plants, it’s hard to tell one from the other. So, several days ago I was shocked to find a 4-pound yellow squash growing under a canopy of basil. The dish came quickly in my mind (how fun to pick and cook in a matter of minutes!) and I can’t wait to see what my ‘secret garden’ brings me tomorrow.
Healthy and comfort food are words that don’t always go together. But this recipe; haloumi,farro, zucchini bowl combines whole grains with tangy cheese and fresh zucchini all in one bowl. Haloumi, farro, zucchini bowl is also a great option if you pack your lunch because it’s just as tasty warm or cold and a total do-ahead. No worries if you want to swap ingredients too. Any whole grain will do such as quinoa or couscous and if you can’t find haloumi cheese try feta.
Secrets of a Home Cook would never mess with beloved mashed potatoes. But, what if they got a mini makeover with more flavor and less fat and calories? Adding parsnips and celery root (both veggies that cook just like potatoes and mash like them too) yield a complex and flavorful combo. In keeping with tradition, it wouldn’t be a proper potato, parsnip, celery root mash without butter but there is a secret ingredient: yogurt for a rich and tangy finish.
The next time a kid turns their nose up to vegetables, remind them they are always the prettiest food on the plate. The vibrant colors of assorted root vegetables such as parsnips, butternut squash and purple onions are a far cry from the green variety (also beautiful). Mustard roasted root veggies are transformed into soft buttery caramelized jewels and simply luscious even to the pickiest eaters.
It doesn’t seem possible to get oven roasted crispy fries to taste like they came out of the deep fryer, simply by cooking them in the oven. But, the reality is, you can probably make restaurant quality fries right now in your own kitchen. With simple, quality pantry staples such as olive oil, salt and fresh potatoes (they should almost look like apples when you cut into them), you’ll always start your recipe on a high note. Add a a few “secret” cooking techniques such as high heat roasting, you’ll have the healthier cousin to French fries with no fuss, little mess and tons of flavor.
Here’s a fool-proof easy way to get crispy onion roasted potatoes. You are not alone if you try and try to get your roasted potatoes crispy but inevitably end up with undercooked or dried out spuds. It’s frustrating to fall short on a simple side dish when it just seems so simple to make. The secret is a two-step cooking process. First a quick boil to soften the potatoes, then roasting in hot dry heat to crisp up. It’s a bit more work but guaranteed success.
This time of year local fresh asparagus begin to pop up at grocery stores everywhere. Because they’re in season, the price is right and those long sturdy stalks are just the right size for little hands to grab. But, the shining star is asparagus with lemon ricotta “mayonnaise”. A whirl in the food processor with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt yields a smooth and silky dip just like mayonnaise but so much better.
If there were ever an all-purpose multi-tasking vegetable recipe, slow roasted grape tomatoes would be it. Available year round, not too pricey and oh so good, all you have to do is heat the oven on low, toss with a few ingredients you probably already have and forget about it. The secret is to let the tomatoes shine through and you will be rewarded with little pillows of savory caramelized goodness.