26 July 2013

A Collection of Chill Summer Recipes

Summer is half over!  And if you're running out of cool recipes to satisfy your taste buds without breaking a sweat, here are some great ideas.


For the Grill:


Summer Cool-Down:

Since I only blog once a week now, the seasonal recipes I've been trying out don't get put on the blog in a timely manner.  For instance, over the 4th of July weekend, I picked a bunch of huckleberries and made them into a fabulous sauce, but you probably won't see that recipe until sometime mid-August.
I've also been eating guacamole about twice a week.  There aren't many dishes I make more than once, but guac has made the list on an extremely regular basis in the way no other food has before.  I even made it while camping!  And now that I've found some (seasoned!) Michigan-made tortilla chips to pair it with, I think I am pretty much set.  So if I had a recipe for guac somewhere on the blog, it would definitely have a place on this page as well.  I guess I sort of have a recipe here, but that's not quite the same as what I make now.
I'm harvesting some delicious produce from my own garden, I'm doing a slow deep-clean of the apartment, and I'm reading books!  Not to mention the camp fires, boat rides, live music in the park, and all the other events going on.  I hope you've been having a great summer as well!  Thanks for reading :)

19 July 2013

An Empanada Adventure

I have wanted to make these for almost a year.  Even worse, I've never actually had an empanada so I have no idea whether these are anything like the real thing.  Either way, these were delicious.
These empanadas were great with the cherry salsa, too!  So that's a double win.
I started out with homemade dough.  Let me tell you, homemade dough is absolutely my bane when it comes to baking.
Luckily, it held together pretty well.  For the most part.
And hey, everything is okay in moderation, right?  So I took this opportunity to deep fry them.  Well, shallow fry.  Because I rarely do.
Yum.  For the inside, I basically made a corn and black bean salsa and added some chorizo.
Anyway, this is less of a "here's how you make this!" post and more of a "this is a thing that I did!" post.  Someday I'll learn that you can't just use whole wheat flour instead of bleached, enriched all-purpose flour JUST because it's all I have in the house.
Empanadas.  I think it's time to go to Mexico and find something a little more autentico.  In the meantime, dough recipe here, and for the corn and black bean salsa, try this one.  Oh, and because apparently empanadas often have raisins, I added a couple tablespoons of raisins to the salsa/chorizo mixture.

12 July 2013

Tart Cherry Salsa

This is one of those times where I had a dish in mind, and some internet perusing for a recipe netted nothing (I'm not saying it's not out there - I didn't look very hard, but most search engines tend to assume that when you want a tart cherry tomato salsa, you're looking for a salsa made from cherry tomatoes).
A good cherry salsa recipe has been on my radar ever since a trip up to Glen Arbor's Cherry Republic, where I had tasted some of their cherry products ranging from sweet to savory.
My recipe is vaguely reminiscent of this one, which is actually from the Cherry Republic (that was just a happy accident, although in retrospect maybe I should have started there).  I wanted a cooked salsa that included tomatoes.  They use cherry jam in this recipe and I just went straight for the cherries, so I'm sure the recipe I linked to is a much sweeter recipe, while the one below is a savory, spicy salsa.

Tart Cherry Tomato Salsa
  • 2 c. tart cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2 c. roma tomatoes, chopped (3 to 4 tomatoes)
  • 2 jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 to 4 tbs cornstarch
  • zest and juice from 1 lime

1.  Mix everything except for the lime and corn starch in a medium sauce pan.  Bring it to a boil, then turn it down to simmer.
2.  Gently add the cornstarch, stirring to remove any lumps.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
3.  Let cool.  Mix in the lime zest and juice.

Note1:  Since it was cooked, the jalapenos did not overwhelm everything with heat.  That being said, if you don't like it spicy, either remove the pith and seeds from the jalapenos, or choose a mild pepper to add instead.
Note2:  I wanted this to be a thick salsa.  If you want a thinner salsa, then by all means omit or reduce the cornstarch.
This salsa was really great with some blue corn tortilla chips.  It was even better with the recipe I'll be posting next Friday :)