Category Archives: Seasonal – Summer

Three Cheese Grilled Pizza

I have two favorite things about living in New Jersey.  First is having the luxury of living in the secluded countryside while only being a short train ride away from one of the world’s biggest and greatest cities.  And second, is pizza.  Good classic Italian pizza (and all other Italian deliciousness you find everywhere).

I rarely make pizza at home because we are surrounded by so many wonderful restaurants with those blazing brick ovens.  The ones that cook your pizza to a crispy, flavorful perfection within seconds.  But sometimes in the summer, when grilling season is upon us, I love to put on my sweats, grab a glass of wine and put a cheesy pizza over the coals.  It’s the next best thing to the brick oven kind. 

And if you’re like me, you’ll seek out your favorite pizza shop and buy the dough already made for only a couple of dollars.  More time to sit back, relax and soak up these sweet summer nights.

Three Cheese Grilled Pizza

This is more of the method opposed to a recipe.  Use whatever toppings you like.  For the three cheese pizza I used Shredded Provolone, Fresh Mozzarella and Shaved Parm, and it was superb.

  • Prepared pizza dough
  • Tomato sauce, recipe below
  • Olive oil
  • Toppings (I used shredded provolone, fresh mozzarella and topped with parmesan and basil, but you can use whatever you’d like!)

Tomato Sauce

(This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so if you’re only making one pizza, freeze the rest of it in individual ziplock bags to reuse in the future.)

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes

Heat a saucepan to medium and add garlic, oil, red pepper and salt. Continue to saute for just about a minute. Add tomato paste, oregano and basil and cook for a minute longer. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 5 minutes and then adjust seasonings according to taste.

For the Grilled Pizza

Roll out dough on floured surface.  I like a thin crust, but don’t roll it out too thin or else it will burn quickly on the grill. Once your dough is rolled out heat the grill to med/high and have your sauce and toppings ready to go. 

Place the floured dough on a pizza peel (or back of a cookie sheet) and slide the dough onto the grill.  It should only take a few minutes, but check frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn.  You want it to have a nice browned bottom.  Once the bottom is browned remove from the grill with a spatula and pizza peel.

With the grilled side up, brush with olive oil and then add your sauce (a very thin layer of sauce is all you need).  Add the rest of your toppings beginning with the cheese.  Place the pizza back on the grill and cook covered until the bottom begins to brown and the cheese melts. 

Finish with fresh basil if desired.

UPDATE: If you are using the back of a cookie sheet or other surface, instead of a pizza peel which is made specifically for handling pizza dough, make sure you dust it with plenty of flour to ensure your dough does not stick to the surface when trying to transfer.  Or, it may just have to be a two person job!

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Filed under All Posts, Appetizers and the likes, Great for a barbeque, Happy hour anyone?, Holidays - 4th of July, New Jersey, Pizza, Recipes, Seasonal - Summer

Shoestring Zucchini Fries with Sriracha Mayo

Oh be still my condiment, dipping-sauce loving heart. I am totally fanatical about, not only hot and crispy zucchini fries, but the tangy Sriracha mayonnaise that goes perfectly along with them.  I simply love any type of flavorful sauce or condiment and in this case I would say love is an understatement.

Just in case you’re unfamiliar with Sriracha, it’s a flavorful, fiery hot Thai chili sauce (also known as rooster sauce).  These days you can usually find it at your regular grocery store and the uses are endless, however one of my favorites is to make it into a creamy and spicy sauce.  Gets me every time.

 

 Shoestring Zucchini Fries

  • 1  large zucchini
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • olive oil
  • sea salt or kosher salt

Slice zucchini in half both width and lengthwise.  Continue to slice lengthwise into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick.   Once your fries are ready toss in flour to coat completely. 

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a heavy bottom pan on medium-high heat.  Once oil is hot add zucchini fries in batches and cook until all sides are lightly brown.   Transfer fries to a paper towel lined bowl and toss with salt immediately.   Serve warm.

(Note: If your zucchini fries are not moist enough to hold flour you may have to briefly dip them in milk before coating in flour for flour to stick)

Sriracha Mayo

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and mix well.

 

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Filed under All Posts, Appetizers and the likes, Healthy Options, Recipes, Seasonal - Summer, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Cilantro-Lime Jalapeno Chicken Salad

For anyone who loves a killer chicken salad recipe, the fresh taste of cilantro, ripe avocados, a hint of spice, refreshing summery recipes, or just a really good sandwich, this recipe is for you.  Well, ok that covers just about everyone.  But I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say everyone will love this chicken salad whether it’s enjoyed in the middle of two crispy slices of bread or scooped out of the center of a creamy avocado. 

I posted this recipe last year along with a pasta recipe I wrote about, but I decided it needed a post of its own – a platform to showcase the vibrant green colors that match the beautifully merged flavors that will leave your senses speechless.    It’s literally that good.

 

  Cilantro-Lime Jalapeno Chicken Salad

  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • poaching liquid (chicken stock, water, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns)
  • 1 jalapeño diced (with seeds scraped out)
  • 4 Tbs cilantro coarsely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 red onion diced fine
  • 1/3 cup mayo (plus a little more if needed)
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 ripe avocados (or for a sandwich good French or Italian bread)

Season chicken with salt and pepper and *poach. Remove chicken from liquid and shred with a fork. 

Once chicken has cooled add mayo, Dijon, cumin, lime juice, salt and pepper and incorporate.  Add more mayo and lime if necessary.  Mix in red onion, jalapeño and cilantro. Cool in fridge for several hours to let flavors merge and serve with avocado or for a sandwich on French bread with a slice of provolone.

*To Poach – In a medium pot add chicken breasts to the poaching liquid.  The chicken should be completely immersed.  Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce heat and partially cover.  Reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes (be sure to just simmer and not boil….and no longer than 10 minutes since you don’t want the chicken to turn “rubbery”).  Remove from heat and let chicken remain in the liquid for about 15 minutes.   Reserve the liquid for future use.

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Filed under All Posts, Appetizers and the likes, Healthy Options, Recipes - Chicken, Sandwich Craft, Scrumpdidily Salads, Seasonal - Summer, Side Dishes

Blueberry Goat Cheese Pie

Time has truly slipped away from me these last few weeks and I realize that I have been withholding some seriously swoon-worthy summer delights from you all.

This is partly due to my vacation in Maine that took up the beginning of July where I literally spent my days lounging on the lake and my nights chasing down any kind of lobster dish I could get my hands on.

I did however manage to get myself off my inflatable and into the kitchen once while we were there, and being in the blueberry capital of the world, a creamy, summery blueberry goat cheese pie was my only choice (a pretty good choice, may I add!).

Blueberry Goat Cheese Pie with Toasted Almond Topping

(Recipe by Moira Sommers)

Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2  cup cold butter

1 tbs sugar

pinch salt

cold water

Filling:

1/2 cup soft goat cheese

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 large egg

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil

5 cups fresh blueberries

Topping:

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup melted butter

For the crust:

Combine the flour, margarine, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Work with your fingers

gathering and crumbling until you have a crumbly mixture, about the size of peas.

In small amounts, slowly add cold water, gently incorporating by hand. As soon as the dough comes together in a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

For the filling: Mix the goat cheese, heavy cream, egg, sugar, flour, salt and basil together in a bowl. Add the blueberries and mix to desired texture.

For the topping: Mix the almonds, sugar and margarine in bowl, set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out the dough and place in a 10-inch pie pan. Pour the filling into the crust and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake 25 minutes, rotating at the pie halfway through.

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Filed under Maine, Seasonal - Summer, Sweet Treats

Summer Corn and Chick Pea Salad

 

With a whole slew of summer soirees to attend to in the months to come, I am always looking for new sides to cook up without breaking a sweat. Literally. 

I jump at the opportunity to avoid turning my oven on in the prime of the heat, so when I first tried this summer salad, with the most beautiful mélange of flavors, I was instantly sold.  Not only am I a sucker for anything with avocado and fresh corn, but the sweet taste of basil just sent me over the edge.  

I first experienced the salad when I was at a friend’s house grilling out.   I acted casual as I spooned more out onto my plate, but then I went in for the steal as I made a mental note of each ingredient that hit my tongue.  It was so simple yet the combination was so divine.

So, I guess this is where I should give credit to my friend, Annie, for the recipe.  But if you can’t steal from your own friends then who the heck can you steal from! 

For the complete recipe go to The Magazine of Yoga.

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Filed under All Posts, Great for a barbeque, Healthy Options, Recipes, Seasonal - Summer, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Creamy Dill Potato Salad

I am 100% positive that my favorite time of year is the grilling season. That is, of course, until the heat starts rising above 90 degrees for 3 weeks straight and then I’ll be dreaming of the cool autumn breeze and spiced lattes.  But right now I am all about the summer barbeque.    

We haven’t had much of a chance to indulge this year with all of the grey and gloomy skies we’ve had, but with the holiday weekend coming up I’m sure many will be pulling out the barbie – rain or shine.  

We all know that when you’re grilling there’s nothing more classic than pairing a home-style potato salad with the goodies, so that’s just what I plan to do.  Rich and creamy potato salad laced with fresh dill, yet still perfectly light and refreshing.

So, here’s to hopes for a Memorial day weekend filled with lots of grilling out, some delicious dill potato salad and bright yellow sunshine!

 

Creamy Dill Potato Salad

  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes or small white potatoes
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • 1/3 cup tightly packed chopped fresh dill
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1- 2 stalks celery
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

Boil your potatoes in a large pot of salted water (place potatoes in the water while cold and bring up to a boil).  Reduce heat and cook the potatoes until fork tender, or about 15-20 minutes.  Drain and let potatoes cool.

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustards, dill, salt and pepper and set aside.

When the potatoes have cooled, cut them into small cubes and while still warm pour dressing over top. Add the celery and red onion, a generous amount of kosher salt and fresh pepper.

Toss well and then cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow flavors to blend.

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Filed under All Posts, Great for a barbeque, Recipes, Seasonal - Summer, Side Dishes

Farmer’s Market Succotash

When I eat fresh lima beans, I taste the sweet flavors of self-liberation.  Every picked-from-the-pod bean frees my inner child from the traumatic frozen-fed upbringing that’s held me captive in a lima bean prison since I was a tot.  While I appreciate my mother’s efforts to provide nutritious meals, I feel I’ve been deceived.  I mean, why would she teach me that these delicious vegetables grow from a cardboard box?  Now that I’ve discovered the truth, its invigorating to know I never have to lay eyes on an iced up piece of mush again. In the famous words of Anthony Bourdain –  I’d rather lick Cheeto dust off the floor of a public bus.

This recipe is wonderful!  Succotash offers so much versatility and flexibility, so you can really mix and match an array of flavors, using whatever ingredients strike your mood. 

Fresh from the Market Succotash

  • 1/2 lb lima beans, out of pods
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 onion (or one small onion), diced
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels cut off
  • about 6 small fingerling potatoes
  • about 12-15 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced fine
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F and slice potatoes into 1/4 inch discs.  Place potatoes on baking sheet with salt and an olive oil drizzle and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.

While potatoes are cooking, blanch lima beans in boiling water for about 5-7 minutes or until beans are soft.  Drain beans and transfer immediately to a cold water bath. 

In sauté pan with olive oil add onions and cook for about 3-4 minutes on med-low or until translucent.   Add garlic, corn, zucchini and cook for another 3-4 minutes.  Once potatoes are ready add to sauté pan with the other veggies and add lima beans and basil.  Combine in pan, season with salt and pepper and serve.

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Filed under All Posts, Healthy Options, Recipes, Seasonal - Summer, Side Dishes, Southern Specialties, Vegetables