A Refreshing Summer Twist To A Mexican Classic
Salsa is one of my favorite things to re-invent. There is just so many directions you can take it! This is a bright and tart salsa “cruda” using heirloom tomatoes. The secret is to remove all of the tomato water and seeds so as not to make the salsa watery.
Citrus Salsa with Heirloom Tomatoes and Avocado
2 Large heirloom tomatoes, water and seeds removed and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Oranges, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Avocado, peeled and diced inot 1/2 inch pieces
1 Lime, juiced
1 Garlic clove, finely minced
2 Tablespoons chopped Cilantro
1/2 a jalapeno, finely minced
salt to taste
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl careful not to bruise the avocado. The salsa should remain chunky and not become creamy.
Summer weather is the perfect time for a delicious Summer Succotash! Mike made this for me a couple of weeks ago and it was divine. The sweet corn was extremely delicious in contrast to the other flavors. This dish is perfect for a BBQ or light supper. Go ahead, give it a try!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
Coarse kosher salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 cups chopped red tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 1/4 cups corn kernels cut from 4 ears of corn (preferably 2 ears of white corn and 2 ears of yellow corn)
2 cups fresh lima beans (from about 2 pounds pods) or 10 to 11 ounces frozen lima beans or baby butter beans, thawed
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sprinkle with coarse
salt. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, corn, and lima beans. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until corn and lima beans are tender and tomatoes are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
The thing that sucks is that we live in a tiny cottage-apartment in Silver Lake, and let me tell you, it’s hot here. Our tiny apartment bakes in the Summer sun…..which means our apartment is even more hot with the oven turned on. What to do?
Bake on the grill, of course! I mean why not, right? I started this little experiment with the New York Times No-Knead Bread because the bread is baked in a cast iron dutch oven. This would be perfect to just pop on the grill I thought.
More on how this little experiment turned out in second part of post..
The bread that emerged, was indeed delicious. But a few things I learned along the way will make an even tastier bread the next time.
Below are the steps I took to bake bread on my outdoor grill:
I used my cast iron Kitchenaide dutch oven per the NY Times directions for the no-knead bread. The dutch oven retains heat and also allows steam from the water in the dough to help form the crust.
If your grill is big enough to accommodate the dutch oven with the lid on, then you’re pretty much done. My grill is really small, so I had to take the grill off and place my pizza stone directly on the gas burners.
I was concerned about the bottom of the dutch oven getting too much heat and burning the bottom of the bread which turned out to be a legitimate concern because the bottom did indeed, burn. Not much, but I did have to cut that bit off. Again, if your grill is big enough to place the dutch oven directly on the grill and still be able to close the lid, you’re set.
My solution for next time? I think I’m going to try placing an un-glazed terracata saucer on the inside of the dutch oven. That way there is one more layer separating the heat from the bread.
It’s important to have an oven thermometer to have accurate temperatures. My grill already has one built in, so this was easy for me.
Pre-Heat The Dutch Oven
This is CRUCIAL. Follow the NY Times instructions and pre-heat the dutch oven for 30-45 mins before adding the bread. The hot dutch oven is what helps to form the crust on the bread
That’s about it. It really was simple. Again, the benefit of doing this is that you can have fresh baked bread without heating up your kitchen, which is a HUGE plus for me. Anyone have different methods of baking bread on the grill? I’d love to hear about it.
A friend of mine decided to have a last minute Memorial day BBQ and I agreed to make a potato salad. Not wanting something boring or heavy, I opted for this light french potato salad. This recipe comes from my favorite cooking lady, Ina Garten.
Like many of her recipes, this one is easy, simple, and totally perfect for any summer BBQ, and the best part…..No Mayo!
Herbed potato salad in second part of post…
- 1 pound small white boiling potatoes
- 1 pound small red boiling potatoes
- 2 tablespoons good dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 10 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves
Drop the white and red potatoes into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Drain in a colander and place a towel over the potatoes to allow them to steam for 10 more minutes. As soon as you can handle them, cut in 1/2 (quarters if the potatoes are larger) and place in a medium bowl. Toss gently with the wine and chicken stock. Allow the liquids to soak into the warm potatoes before proceeding.
Combine the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Add the scallions, dill, parsley, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Light Summer Fruit Dessert
I love Summer and I love fruit desserts. This blueberry dessert comes from Sunset Magazine and I truly can’t wait to try it. It sounds so fancy, right?