Sunday, August 06, 2006

Summer Salads

Here are some recent salads I've tried:

Citrus Fennel Salad

4 C thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 2 bulbs)
2 C orange sections (about 3 peeled oranges)
1 C lemon sections (about 2 peeled lemons)
1/2 C thinly sliced red onion
2 T chopped mint (fresh is best)
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fennel fronds
1 T virgin olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/3 t fresh ground pepper (opt.)

Combine ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently to coat. Chill 1 hour. Makes 6-8 servings.

Strawberry, Cucumber, & Basil Salad

4 C hulled strawberries, quartered (about 2 pints)
2 T thinly sliced fresh basil
2 t balsamic vinegar
1 t sugar
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 t lemon juice
1/4 t salt
1/4 fresh ground black pepper (opt.)

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently to coat. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Combine cucumbers and juice and toss to coat. Add this and salt and pepper to strawberry mixture and stir to combine. Serve immediately. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hot old recipes

So what do you do when it's too hot to turn on the oven, you don't have a microwave, it costs too much to go out to eat, and you don't have a grill, either?

What you do is snag a couple of broken chairs left by the former owner and set the crockpot on the patio. Make sure you're on good terms with your neighbors.

This week we've had:

Garlic chicken thighs. (Which turned out amazingly tasty for how plain they were. Maybe it was the thunderstorm that hit them.)

Huevos rancheros. (This worked really well, too. Put some canned tomatoes and green chiles out to get hot for an hour or so, then add as many eggs as you need and cook for another hour. Top with grated cheese.)

French fries with hamburgers on top. (This didn't work. Save the hamburgers for when you actually have a grill.)

Lentil-rice casserole, which then got chilled with a bunch of vegetables added for a salad for supper.

It's a little odd looking, but it's working well and my kitchen is staying cool.