Garlic Scapes and Yellow Squash

June 30, 2010

One of my initiatives this spring/summer is try new seasonal food. The latest thing to tempt me was garlic scapes. I read about them and everything I read said they are very similar to scallions. So I decided to give them a try in a simple way. I had some yellow squash I needed to use. I like yellow squash, but I just don’t like how it gets mushy inside. So I decided to cut it into spears. This was genius – somehow there is less mushy inside, or so it seems, when it is cooked this way. I sauteed the squash and the scapes, which I had chopped up.

I couldn’t taste the scapes. It didn’t add anything to the dish, so that wasn’t a success, but the squash was great this way. Do you have any tips for me on using scapes? I have some left and need some suggestions!

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Martha Mondays

June 29, 2010

Since the person assigned to next week’s project hasn’t responded to my emails, I think we’ll just skip it since it will be a holiday weekend and I imagine a lot of you won’t have time to do Martha Mondays anyhow. We’ll get back to it for July 12, when the project will be chosen by Ana at Sweet Almond Tree (Ana feel free to let me know your pick whenever). After that, I’ll be posting a new list of dates for everyone for the coming months.

Martha on Demand: Golden Crab and Papaya Salad

June 29, 2010

Sarah at Mum in Bloom asked me to make Golden Crab and Papaya Salad from Martha’s Healthy Quick Cookbook for Martha on Demand (where you pick a recipe and ask me to test drive it for you).

This sounded sort of complicated, but it actually wasn’t hard to make at all. The only problem I had was finding papayas – I had to buy one giant one and use that but it worked out.

You start with making a lime caper vinaigrette which was easy: 2 tbsp oil, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup parsley, 2 dashes Tabasco, 2 tsp capers, 1/2 tsp dried hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper, 1 tsp sugar.  Then you mix together 1 lb of crab, 1/2 lb of snap peas, 1/2 small red onion and salt and pepper and put the dressing on it. Serve it in the papayas, seeds removed. Martha said to peel the papaya, but I didn’t. I also did not add Tabasco and used only a little red pepper.

I LOVED this. Really and truly thought it was fantastic. I think it would be perfect for a summer luncheon with your girlfriends. Mr. MarthaAndMe did not enjoy this but could not say why. He said it tasted ok, but he just didn’t want to eat it. It’s girl food, not guy food.  So thank you Sarah for requesting this one – I adored it and will make it again.

Do you have a Martha recipe you’ve been thinking of making but weren’t sure? Post a comment and tell me what it is and I’ll test it for you.

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Martha Mondays: Coconut Cream Tart

June 28, 2010

Confession: I generally don’t like coconut, but I have learned I don’t hate it like I used to. My kids like it, so I made this coconut cream tart for them, chosen by Brenda at Brenda’s Canadian Kitchen.  It was simple to make – make the crust, toast the coconut then make the cream which is just milk, eggs, cornstarch, and salt.  No brain science needed for this one. It looked pretty and the kids liked it. I tasted it and thought it was good (for something made with coconut!).  This is a nice recipe and definitely looks more complicated than it was.

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Congratulations Teen Martha! High School Grad!

June 27, 2010

Grilled Corn with Sour Cream and Cheese

June 25, 2010

I don’t make corn a lot as a vegetable, because, as I like to point out, it is actually a grain. But there’s something so summery about corn on the cob that I make it a few times each summer (mostly when we’ve got local corn which won’t happen for another 6 weeks or so). I was sucked in by the recipe in July Everyday Food for Grilled Corn with Sour Cream with Cotila Cheese. Cheese? I’m in.

You peel back the husks and remove the silk, then pull them up and wrap a thin piece of foil around the corn to hold them closed. Soak the corn in cold water for 10 minutes. Then Martha says to grill for 8-10 min over direct heat. This all went as planned. My husks got pretty charred so I assumed it actually cooked (silly me). When you serve the corn, Martha says to slather with sour cream and cotija or feta cheese (I used feta).

Sounds easy. Mmm-hmm. Here’s what happened. First of all, you really should husk them before bringing them to the table. It was a mess. Once we got to the corn we realized it was not cooked. At all. Mine was not even hot. Everyone else’s was hot, but none of it was cooked. I went the full ten minutes on high on the grill. So that’s a load of baloney.

Next I put sour cream and cheese on mine. The cheese didn’t stick very well. It tasted ok, but honestly I would rather just have regular corn on the cob with butter and salt. This was too much work with terrible results.

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Peach Marinated Pork Tenderloin

June 24, 2010

Originally I intended to make the peach stuffed pork roast from July Living. I went to the store looking for dried peaches, but couldn’t find any. I bought peach jam and then bought fresh peaches since the recipe said you could dry them yourself. Then I got home and really read the recipe and wasn’t about to spend 3 hours drying peaches so I could then rehydrate them. I decided to take Martha’s original concept and play with it.

So here’s what I did. I defrosted one pork tenderloin. I chopped one garlic clove and put in a bowl. I added about 1/4 cup peach jam, several tsp of Worchestershire and 4 tbsp lemon juice and about 1/4 cup orange juice. Salt and pepper went in too. I mixed it up and put it and the tenderloin in a ziploc and stuck it in the fridge for several hours.

I made up a sauce that had about 1/4 cup of the jam and 1 fresh peach, peeled and cut into pieces. I added all the tamari I had left in the house, which was about 2-3 tbsp. A little bit of lemon juice – about 1 tbsp. Salt and pepper too. Then I added about 1 cup of chicken broth. I boiled this and then added cornstarch to thicken – about 2 tbsp.

I grilled the tenderloin and served it with the sauce on the side. It was fabulous. Everyone loved it. Even Teen Martha’s boyfriend, who will almost never eat anything unfamiliar, liked it. Not a drop was left. So I say thank you to Martha for the inspiration and will definitely be making this again.

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Blueberry Muffins

June 23, 2010

I couldn’t help myself at the grocery store – I bought a giant box of blueberries. So I whipped up a double batch of blueberry muffins, most of which are headed to the freezer. I use a mix of half white flour and half wheat for this and make a crumb topping. Cinnamon is key. I love these muffins – they’re moist, sweet, have just the right crumb texture and are perfect with just about every meal.

Brette’s Blueberry Muffins

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup flour (half wheat, half regular, reserve 1/4 cup to toss with blueberries)

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup blueberries

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix egg, milk, and oil. Add flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix blueberries with reserved flour. Add to mixture with cinnamon. Stir gently to mix.

To make streusel topping, place 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon in food processor and mix until it resembles coarse meal.  Sprinkle topping on top of muffins before placing in the oven. Freeze remaining streusel for future use. Bake for 20 minutes.

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Martha on Demand: Mrs. Kostyra’s Meatloaf

June 22, 2010

This is part of my ongoing series where you ask for it and I make. I’m calling it Martha on Demand and the idea is that I’ll be your guinea pig and try any Martha recipe you suggest so you can see if it’s worth making (if you have a request, leave a comment!). Almost Slowfood suggested I make Mrs. Kostyra’s Meatloaf. Mrs. Kostyra was Martha’s mom (Big Martha, as she called her) and often appeared on her show to make her recipes, and so far every one I have tried has been very good. I hadn’t tried her meatloaf though, so this was a fun experiment for me. I don’t make a lot of meatloaf. In fact, I hardly ever make it. And when I do I have two recipes. One is a turkey and rice meatloaf that I stick some veggies in and serve with a cheese sauce. The other is meatloaf the way my mom taught me, which is just a lot of dumping – ground beef, breadcrumbs, ketchup, onion, herbs, cheese, Worchestershire with mozzarella on top.

Martha’s meatloaf is truly fantastic. I think I like it more than the way my mom taught me. It comes out dense and moist. It’s even better cold the next day for lunch. I cut the recipe in half and it made enough for 4 people. It was pretty easy to make, even if it involves chopping some veggies (carrots, celery, onion, garlic). I think that using some real bread instead of breadcrumbs really adds to the flavor and texture as well. The only thing missing in my opinion is cheese. I missed the mozzarella on top and so if I make this again, I will probably add that to it, but otherwise I thought it was truly fantastic.

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Martha Mondays: 6/28

June 21, 2010

The Martha Mondays pick for next week (6/28) is coconut cream tart, chosen by Brenda at Brenda’s Canadian Kitchen. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

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