Summer Corn & Tomato Salad

May 22, 2012

Summer Corn & Tomato Salad


This salad is so easy to make as it really takes little effort to chop tomatoes and cut the kernels off of the ears of corn.  The reward is a nice summer salad and very portable to make ahead for picnics and cookouts.



5 Cups Fresh Corn Kernels (10 Large Ears)

1/4 Cup Grape Seed Oil

3 Tablespoons Raspberry Vinegar

Juice of 1 Lime

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

4 Ripe Chopped Tomatoes

10 Chopped Green Onions

1/3 Cup Chopped Cilantro or Italian Parsley


Insert a vegetable steamer into a medium size pot filled with salted water. Bring the water to a boil.  Put the corn kernels in the steamer basket.  Cover and steam for 5 minutes.  If you do not have fresh corn then you may use frozen corn, but do not use canned corn.  In a small size bowl whisk together the grape seed oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Core, seed and coarsely chop the tomatoes.  Chop both green and white parts of the green onions.  Chop the cilantro or Italian parsley.  Combine the corn, tomatoes, green onions and cilantro (or Italian parsley) in a large size bowl.  Toss with the dressing.  Serve either at room temperature or chilled.  This salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days.  Serves 8


Potage Paysanne

May 19, 2012

Potage Paysanne


Potage Paysanne or Peasant Soup is easy to make and absolutely delicious. 



2 Diced Carrots

2 Cubed Potatoes

2 Sliced Leeks

1 Diced Onion

1/4  Head Rough Chopped Cabbage

2 Chopped Tomatoes

2 Cubes Diced Celery

6 Minced Garlic Cloves

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

2 Cups Cooked White Beans

6 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2 Tablespoons Parsley

1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes


In a stock pot add the olive oil and heat over a medium heat.  Add the carrots, potatoes, garlic, onions, leeks, celery, cabbage, salt pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley.  Cook for 8 minutes stirring frequently.  Add the vegetable or chicken stock.  Cook for two hours on medium low heat.  Stir frequently.  Add the cooked white beans, chopped tomatoes and cook on medium heat for another 30 minutes.  Transfer to soup bowls or a soup tureen and serve.  Serves 4

Wok Garlic Green Beans

May 14, 2012

Wok Garlic Green Beans


If you don’t have a wok don’t worry about it.  Just use a large sauté pan. 



1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil

4 Slices Chopped Uncured Smoked Bacon

1 Pound Trimmed Green Beans

6 Sliced Garlic Cloves

1 Large Chopped Green Onion

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or wok over a high heat.  Add the chopped bacon and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the green beans and stir fry for 5 minutes over a medium heat.  Add the garlic and green onions and cook for another minute.  Stir in the lemon juice and cook for another minute.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish.  Serves 4

Stir Fried Shrimp

May 6, 2012

Stir Fried Shrimp


Here is a nice light dish that is great for either lunch or dinner and is great for making a quick meal.



1 Cup Raw Rice

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

4 Sliced Green Onions

1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger

1 Clove Sliced Garlic

6 Ounces Pea Pods

1 Sliced Small Zucchini

6 Ounces Broccoli Florets

1 Chopped Celery Stalk

1 Small Diced Red Bell Pepper

1 Pound Shelled Shrimp

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil


Cook the rice according to the package directions.  You can use either white or brown rice.  While the rice is cooking heat the vegetable oil in a wok or a large skillet over a medium heat.  Add the green onions, ginger and garlic.  Stir fry for 1 minute. Add the pea pods, zucchini, broccoli florets, celery and red bell pepper.  Stir fry over a medium high heat for 3 to 5 minutes until the vegetables are crisp but tender.  Add the shrimp and stir fry for 2 minutes.  You want the shrimp just to turn pink.  Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil and cook for 30 seconds.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish.  Serve immediately with cooked rice.  Serves 4

Sour Cream Gratin Potatoes

May 4, 2012

Sour Cream Gratin Potatoes


All I have to say about this side dish is DELICIOUS!  Serve beside beef steak or chicken and you have a beautiful meal. 



1 1/4 Pounds Russet Potatoes

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 Beaten Egg

1/2 Cup Milk

2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic

1 Tablespoon Minced Dill

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese


Preheat your oven to 375° F.  In a medium saucepan put the potatoes in lightly salted water and bring to a boil.  Cook the potatoes on low boil for 15 minutes until just tender.  Remove from the heat and drain.  Let cool slightly and then peel.  Slice the potatoes and put in layers in a buttered 9×6 baking dish.  In a medium size mixing bowl combine the sour cream, egg, milk, garlic, dill, salt and pepper.  Pour over the potatoes.  Evenly spread the cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 40 minutes until golden and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.  Serve alongside the main dish of your choice.  Serves 4

Corn & Black Bean Salad

April 16, 2012

Corn & Black Bean Salad


This simple and colorful salad is packed full of flavor.  With the combination of sweet corn, tender black beans, cherry tomatoes and zesty cilantro in a vinaigrette dressing what could be better.



2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Corn

1/2 Cup Chopped Red Onion

2 Tablespoons Malt Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

4 Cups Black Beans

1 Cup Halved Cherry Tomatoes

1/3 Cup Chopped Cilantro


In a medium size pot add water and bring to a boil.  Add the fresh corn and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and drain well.  Rinse in cold water and drain again.  If you are using frozen corn skip the cooking process.  Just thaw the corn out.  In a large size bowl whisk together the malt vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to make the dressing.  Add the beans, corn, chopped onions and cherry tomato halves.  Toss just until all of the ingredients are incorporated.  Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.  Add the cilantro and toss again before serving.  Serves 4


Roman Artichokes

April 14, 2012

Roman Artichokes



2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

8 Medium Artichokes

1 1/2 Cups Chopped Mint Leaves

1 Cup Dried Bread Crumbs

1 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs

1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Chopped Garlic Cloves

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper


Fill a large bowl with cold water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Trim the artichokes by laying each artichoke on its side and with a serrated knife cut 1 inch off the top.  Trim the stem end and cut off the stem level with the bottom of the artichoke.  Peel the tough outer layer of the stem with a vegetable peeler.  Bend back the dark outer leaves just from around the base of the artichoke.  Snap off and throw away.  With kitchen shears trim the thorny tips from the remaining leaves.  Place the stems and trimmed artichokes in the bowl of lemon water to prevent browning.  Repeat with the remaining artichokes.  In a large skillet heat 1 inch of water to a boil.  Stand the artichokes in the boiling water.  Add the stems and heat to boiling.  Reduce the heat to medium low.  Cover and simmer for 35 minutes.  Drain the artichokes.  In a medium size bowl combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice, mint, all of the breadcrumbs, Romano cheese, oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  This should make about 3 1/2 cups.  Preheat the oven to 400° F.  When the artichokes are cool enough to handle pull out the prickly center leaves from each artichoke with a teaspoon.  Scrape out the fuzzy choke and throw away (without cutting into the heart).  Finely chop the stems and stir into the mint mixture.  Stand the artichokes on a large baking sheet – stems down.  Pull the leaves down to open slightly.  Spoon the mint mixture between the leaves and into the center cavities (a little less than 1/2 cup per artichoke).  Bake for 25 minutes until the stuffing is golden and the artichokes are heated through.  Serve hot.  Serves 8


Holy Thursday Spinach

April 5, 2012

Holy Thursday Spinach

Holy Thursday is, of course, the day commemorating the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. A custom was popular in many European countries that greens should be eaten on this day, coming no doubt from the Jewish meal of bitter herbs. The day is sometimes called Green Thursday. Among the Pennsylvania Dutch, spinach and dandelion greens are still eaten on Holy Thursday to prevent spring illness which probably came from Germany where it was an ancient belief. This was probably considered tonic after the weeks of Lent. Vitamins for a body that had been underfed and needing nutrients to fight off viruses. Whatever the reason spinach is good and good for you!


1 ½ Pounds Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

6 Chopped Garlic Cloves

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Tablespoon Butter

Squeeze of Lemon

Rinse the spinach well in cold water to make certain it is extremely clean. You don’t want to eat sand and grit. Spin the washed leaves in a salad spinner. In a large pot heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic over a medium heat for 1 minute. Make sure that the garlic is browned. Add all of the spinach, the salt and pepper to the pot. Toss with the garlic and olive oil. Cover the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn the heat on high and cook for another minute. Stir with a wooden spoon. You want the spinach to be wilted. Using the wooden spoon, lift the spinach to a serving bowl and top with the butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Serve hot! Serves 6

Nana’s Pesto

March 30, 2012

Nana’s Pesto

No cooking is required for this delightfully healthful dish!


2 Large Juicy Ripe Tomatoes

3 Handfuls of Fresh Basil Leaves

6 Garlic Cloves

½ Cup Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Parmesan Cheese To Garnish

Mix all of the ingredients, except for the cheese, in a blender or food processor and puree. Pour over fresh, hot spaghetti or your favorite pasta that is cooked al dente. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Pan Roasted Herbed Fingerling Potatoes

March 27, 2012

Pan Roasted Herbed Fingerling Potatoes

These Pan Roasted Herbed Fingerling Potatoes are a flavorful addition to any springtime menu and perfect for an Easter Dinner.


12 Scrubbed Fingerling Potatoes

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Victoria’s Dry Rub

Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Set over a high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool under cold running water. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, place the potatoes on a cutting board and slice in half lengthwise. Season the potatoes with Victoria’s Dry Rub. Heat a large sauté pan with the olive oil over a medium heat. Place the potatoes, cut side down, in the pan and cook for 3 minutes until browned and crispy. Turn the potatoes to the other side and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss the potatoes with additional Victoria’s Dry Rub if you wish. Serve hot. Serves 4

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