Archive for August, 2011

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Stonefruit Lattice Pie

August 22, 2011

 

Stonefruits are any fleshy fruits with hard pits on the inside, like peaches and plums and apricots. This time of year you are sure to be able to find a variety of ripe, juice stonefruits to use for a great fruit pie. Because this recipe (based on a Bon Appetit special) uses sliced fruit, it will be more like an apple pie than a custard-like blueberry pie. It is great warm or cool.

You will need:

  • 2 pie crusts
  • 4 lb stonefruit (I used a combination of plums, peaches and nectarines from my farm share)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 T water

Then you will…

  1. Halve, pit and cut fruit into half-inch thick slices.
  2. Place fruit in a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour, tossing occasionally.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degree. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray and then line with one of the pie crusts.
  4. Strain fruit, reserving 1/4 cup of the fruit juice. Return fruit to the same bowl.
  5. Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved fruit juice.
  6. Toss the fruit with the juice mixture and the nutmeg.
  7. Pour fruit mixture into the prepared pie plate.
  8. Cut the second pie crust into half-inch wide strips. Weave strips over the filling to create a lattice top.
  9. Trim the strips shorter then than the bottom crust. Fold bottom crust over the strips and crimp decoratively, if desired.
  10. Beat together the egg and water. Brush the crust with the egg wash.
  11. Set pie on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
  12. Reduce heat to 350 and bake until golden and bubbly, about another 40 minutes.
  13. Let cool on a wire rack.
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Cucumber Feta Salad

August 19, 2011

This light summer salad is a refreshing starter or side, especially with the grilled lamb and chicken from last week!

You will need:

  • 6 c seedless cucumber, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 7 oz feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 c fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 6 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Combine the cucumber, tomato, scallion, half of the feta and all of the basil in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
  4. Sprinkle remaining feta on top and serve.
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Olive Oil Orange Cake

August 16, 2011

This is a special dessert that I also saw in the Mediterranean grilling article of BA. The candied oranges and pistachios are great with the olive oil cake, and the extra effort it takes to make this one is worth the excitement on everyone’s face when you serve it. Bring on the celebration!

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 c sugar, divided
  • 3/4 c honey
  • 3 t ground cardamon, divided
  • 3 c water
  • 1 small orange, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 c plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 t grated orange zest
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • Chopped pistachios

Then you will…

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Bring 1 cup of the sugar, honey, 2 teaspoons of the ground cardamom, and the water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add orange slices to the syrup. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, turning orange slices occasionally, until tender and syrup is reduced to 3 1/4 cups, about 40 minutes.
  4. Arrange orange slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9″ cake pan with olive oil.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour with the baking powder, remaining teaspoon of cardamom, salt and baking soda.
  7. In a large bowl, beat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 c olive oil for one minute. Beak in egg yolks, then the flour mixture.
  8. In another medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until firm peaks form.
  9. Fold egg whites into batter just to blend.
  10. Transfer to prepared pan; smooth top.
  11. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  12. Allow to cool 10 minutes and then remove from pan.
  13. Pierce hot cake all over with a fork.
  14. Slowly drizzle 3/4 cup of the warm honey syrup over the top. When it is absorbed, slowly pour another 3/4 cup of the syrup over the top.
  15. Arrange candied orange slices on top and sprinkle with pistachios before serving.
  16. Cut into wedges and serve with extra syrup.
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Greek Grilled Chicken and Lamb Chops

August 13, 2011

This yogurt-marinated grilled chicken and lamb is full of flavor from some homemade Greek seasoning mix. It’s great fresh off the grill or the next day in sandwiches with some of the grilled flatbread and roasted vegetable dip!

You will need:

  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 2 t dried mint
  • 2 t dried thyme
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried marjoram
  • 2 t dried minced onion
  • 1 T dried minced garlic
  • 2 t dried lemon peel
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t pepper
  • 16 oz Greek yogurt
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 lb lamb chops
  • 1 lb chicken tenders

Then you will…

  1. Mix together all of the seasonings with the Greek yogurt and olive oil.
  2. In a large ziplock bag, combine half of the marinade with the lamb chops.
  3. In a second large ziplock bag, combine the remaining marinade with the chicken.
  4. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  5. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
  6. Grill chicken until cooked through about 4-5 minutes per side.
  7. Grill lamb until cooked to liking. 4-5 minutes on each side should bring the internal temp close to 155 for medium lamb chops. Remember to let them sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Meanwhile, grill lemon halves, with the cut side down, until charred, about 5 minutes.
  9. Serve chicken and lamb with the grilled lemons.

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Roasted Veggie Dip

August 10, 2011

This dip goes incredibly well with the grilled flatbread recipe I just posted the other day. It takes a bit of work to get everything prepped and ready to mix in, but the end result is a salsa-like blend of roasted vegetables that is very light and perfect for a summer snack. You can prep it in advance and serve at any temperature you prefer. This is also a variation on the Mediterranean feast BA recipes, like the flatbread.

You will need:

  • 4 large unpeeled cloves of garlic
  • 4 plum tomatoes (about 12 oz)
  • 2 small whole unpeeled onions (about 1/2 lb)
  • 3 large bell peppers (try to get more yellow/orange/red for the flavor than green)
  • 1 large poblano chile
  • 1 small eggplant (about 5 oz)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Prepare a grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Thread garlic cloves onto a metal skewer.
  3. If desired, thread other veggies onto skewers by type or simply place on the grill rack directly.
  4. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred all over: 6-7 minutes for the garlic; 15 minutes for the peppers and chile; 20 minutes for the eggplant and onions.
  5. Place peppers and chile in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand about 15 minutes.
  6. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and eggplant.
  7. Peel and coarsely chop the onion and garlic.
  8. Peel, seed and coarsely chop the peppers and chile.
  9. Pulse all vegetables in a food processor or using a handheld blender, along with the olive oil until desired consistency.
  10. Transfer to a large bowl and season to taste with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.

 

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Grilled Flatbreads

August 7, 2011

The June Bon Appetit had a series of recipes for a Mediterranean grilling party that caught my eye. When I was home for the 4th of July, I adapted the menu for an amazing outdoor feast. This grilled flatbread recipe was incredibly easy and resulted in some of the most delicious hot and toasty bread I’ve had in awhile. They were slightly charred from the grill and crispy on the outside, but they were also still tender on the inside. One note: when kneading the dough, be sure to have plenty of extra flour on hand, as it can start out a bit on the sticky side!

You will need:

  • 2 c warm water (105º-115º)
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4-oz)
  • 1 T olive oil plus more for brushing
  • 5 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 T salt plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Then you will…

  1. Pour warm water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast into the water and let sit until the yeast dissolves, approx. 5-10 minutes.
  2. Mix in the tablespoon of olive oil and of salt.
  3. Stir in the flour until dough forms.
  4. On a well-floured surface, knead the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth. Add more flour as needed by spoonfuls for a soft but still slightly sticky dough.
  5. Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. This will take about 1 hour.
  6. Turn dough out onto a floured workspace. Divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll into balls and space 2″ apart. Cover with the kitchen towel and let rest another 15 minutes.
  7. Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray several cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
  8. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll out into a 9″ round or stretch into a long rectangle of thin flatbread dough. Place on the prepped cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil or lightly spray with the non-stick cooking spray. Season with a touch of salt and pepper.
  9. Working in batches, place flatbreads seasoned side down on the grill. Lightly brush the other side with olive oil and season as well.
  10. Grill until lightly charred in spots and cooked through, abut 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side.
  11. Transfer to a work surface and cut into serving-sized pieces.

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