Garden · New Favorite · Vegetarian

Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie

Fresh local sweet corn, zucchini from the garden and delicious mushrooms are a wonderful combination for this savory pie. My daughters do not like mushrooms, but another vegetable (roasted peppers, additional corn, etc.) would be just as good. I have served the pie warm and cold and enjoyed them both. This pie is so versatile it could be served for brunch or a light summer supper with a salad or with juicy garden tomatoes.

Sweet Corn & Zucchini Pie

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • half of a yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 2 large zucchini, sliced very thinly (about 4 cups)
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces shredded cheese (I used both Mozzarella)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, zucchini, and mushrooms. While the veggies saute, cut the corn kernels off the cob. Add them to the pan and continue to saute until the veggies are soft, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Once the mixture has cooled for a few minutes, stir in the basil, oregano, salt, cheese, and the beaten eggs. Line a pie pan (9-inch or larger) with parchment paper or just grease a pan with nonstick spray. Transfer the mixture to the pan. Arrange the top so the zucchini slices lay flat and look nice. Top with a little extra cheese for looks, cover with greased foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown the top. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting into slices.

Recipe from Pinch of Yum

New Favorite

Pork Poblano Stew – Savory Goodness

Savory Pork Poblano Stew was the second version I tried.  Last week I posted Pork Poblano Stew with Citrus Notes.  My girls asked me which Pork Poblano Stew I liked best and the answer is a resounding ‘Both’.   They are different and the flavors are incredible in both versions.    I called this one savory as opposed to a more citrus version shared last week. Next time I will add fresh cilantro to the stew as well as sprinkling cilantro on top when serving.  

PORK POBLANO STEW

4 to 5 poblano chile peppers (about 3/4 pound)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
Salt
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon cumin
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced (I used 1/2 of one–to keep it milder)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 quart chicken stock (use gluten-free stock for gluten-free option)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn (no need to defrost if frozen)
1 large (about 1/2 pound) sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes)
Sour cream or Greek Yogurt
Cilantro
Toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) Optional

  • Char, peel, and chop the poblano chiles: Char the chile peppers on all sides, directly over a gas flame, or broil, turning every minute or so until the chiles are blackened on all sides.
  • Place in a bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let sit for 10 minutes or so, then rub off the blackened charred skin.
  • Cut away and discard the stem, seeds, and internal veins. Roughly chop the chiles into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Set aside.
  • Sear the cubed pork: Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven on medium high heat. Pat dry the pork pieces with a paper towel and brown them, working in batches as to not crowd the pan. Sprinkle salt generously over the pork while they brown.
  • Sauté the onions and garlic: Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped onion and cumin to the pan and cook about 5 minutes, until translucent.
  • Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan while the onions cook. Add garlic and cook for a minute more.
  • Add the chipotle, poblanos, pork, chicken stock and oregano, simmer: Add the chopped chipotle to the onions and garlic. Return the browned pork to the pan. Add the chopped poblano chiles to the pan. Add the chicken stock and oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 1 hour.
  • Add sweet potato, corn: After an hour, add the diced sweet potato and corn to the stew. Cook for another half hour to 45 minutes, until the pork is tender and the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  • To serve, spoon out the stew into bowls. Swirl in a spoonful of sour cream to each bowl. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and toasted shelled pumpkin seeds.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.

Garden · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cherry Tomato Jam

Sungold cherry tomatoes have become our family’s favorite tomatoes, eating them off the wine as a treat.  They are so sweet and incredibly delicious. Just perfect for Cherry Tomato Jam. 

Each year I seem to have an abundance of tomatoes, making salads with them, roasting them with peppers and garlic and much more.  Tomato Jam recipes were popping up this year and I decided to try it.  It’s so easy and delicious.  I haven’t tried to can it because it disappears from the frig long before the expiration date.  Serve it on a crusty bread or on top of a soft cheese.  I also made a Grilled Cheese with a schmeer of tomato jam.  YUMMO!

CHERRY TOMATO JAM

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
32 ounces (2 lbs.) cherry tomatoes (about 2 1/2 pints)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 large spring thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Heat the olive oil in a large stainless steel or non-reactive pot over medium heat.  Add the shallot and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  • Add the chili powder and smoked paprika and sauté 30 seconds more.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring often, until the tomatoes burst and thicken, for about 10-15 minutes.  If at any time the pan becomes dry and the tomatoes begin to burn, add a tablespoon or two more of water and reduce the heat a bit more.
  • Remove from heat and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.  Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 10-14 days.

 

 

New Favorite · Nicaragua

Nicaraguan Perrerreque (Corn Cake)

During my trip to Nicaragua, I had the opportunity to stay with a host family in San Ramon. My roommate, Sally, and I had the great pleasure of staying with Neyda and her family. We enjoyed many wonderful meals at Neyda’s home. One evening our ecotour group were treated to an evening of native Nicaraguan food and music. It was wonderful and highlighted by a light shower and a gorgeous rainbow.

Rainbow over San Ramon Nicaragua

The food served that evening included an unusual, sweet yet savory corn cake, baked in an outdoor wood-fired oven. The cake was baking when we arrived and like hungry baby birds, we all flocked to see what was in the oven. Our hostesses were kind enough to share the cake while it was still warm.  Heavenly! The three photos below were taken the night of our dinner in San Ramon.

Once returning home, the hunt was on for corn cake.  My sister-in-law, Betty, discovered a similar recipe and shared it with our ecotour group.  I baked the corn cake to share with my gal pals.  By chance, I also brought a bowl of fresh pineapple and found it to be a wonderful side dish to serve with the bread.  This recipe is slightly sweeter than the cake in Nicaragua, but delicious.  A winner!  However, I will continue my search to match the exact experience of our memorable Nicaraguan dinner.

NOTE: During our special evening in San Ramon we were also served the traditional Nicaraguan Nacatamal, a steamed corn cake filled with meat and vegetables, steamed in banana leaves. They, too, were fabulous and will be covered in a separate post at a later date.  Stay tuned!

Cathy’s Nicaraguan Corn Cake

PERERREQUE (CORN CAKE)

1 pound fine white corn meal  (I used regular white corn meal and ground again with the food processor)
1 pound crumbly cheese, grated finely (try Monterey Jack or Wensleydale)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons margarine
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ cups milk

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the corn meal with the cheese and sugar. Cut/crumble in the margarine.   Mix the baking soda into a little of the milk and pour into the dry ingredients.   Add the remaining milk until the mixture is well blended.

Corn Cake: Adding milk to cheese and dry ingredients

  • Place the cake mixture into a greased baking pan. The mixture should be about 1 inch thick.

Corn Cake batter ready for the oven

  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the cake is golden brown. After this time, remove it from the oven, allow to cool and then cut into small pieces or squares before serving. I found the bread to be at it’s best when served warm, about an hour after baking.

Baked Corn Cake

Adapted from The New Internationalist Food Book

New Traditions

Mini Red Peppers stuffed with herbed goat cheese

 

to die for!
Mini Peppers stuffed with herbed goat cheese

Recently I discovered this recipe on the bag of mini peppers I bought at Costco.  I’ve experimented with the recipe and love a variation of this recipe, combining goat cheese with the Savory Seasoning of Tarragon Shallot Citrus.   The sweetness of the red peppers combined with the goat cheese and citrus blend is scrumptious. When the peppers come out of the oven, you can also top with half of pecan (or walnut).  A very simple appetizer for your holiday parties.

Mini Red Peppers stuffed with herbed goat cheese

Mini Red Peppers
Softened goat cheese (or cream cheese)
1/4 cup snipped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, thyme, basil) or Savory Seasoning Tarragon Shallot Citrus Seasoning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Rinse red peppers and cut a slit down the side of the pepper.  Remove seeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Combine softened cheese and herbs.  Place a heaping teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture in each pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes until peppers are soft-crisp and goat cheese is hot.
  • Optional: Serve with pecan or walnut half (or basil leaf) on each pepper.
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