Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In our Kitchen, August 2011

1. Garlicky Green Beans, 2. lemonade, 3. SNAP Dark & Stormy, 4. peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, 5. fish taco, 6. caprese kabobs., 7. Mom's Penne and Meatballs, 8. Grilled pork loin, 9. Chicken Enchiladas

A flickr mosaic via Big Huge Labs because I’m always too frazzled getting food to the table while it’s hot to take photos.

It’s harvest time, the time of year when we ask each other, “How many tomatoes did you eat today?” to make sure people are doing their share.

It’s also the time of year…just when everything is oh so plentiful, that we finally get a little tired of salads. It’s still too hot here for soup, but I’m so ready to start baking and stewing in the kitchen.

We’ve been having lots of typical fare. Tonight was mostacolli and meatballs with garlic toast (since we only had sliced bread), with salad---of course. Last night was chicken enchiladas. I found it hard to find a recipe for them that doesn’t contain the dreaded can of condensed soup, so this Tyler Florence recipe is a keeper. I include a spoonful of shredded cheese on top of the meat before I roll them.

Pork loin is a favorite, because if you snag it (and one to freeze) while on sale, you’ll have enough for a party or at least a few meals. It’s too hot to slow cook in the oven so I tried grilling it for the first time (using a variation of this recipe). Ours caught on fire during the browning/over the coals stage, and it is easy to overcook, so you’d have to play with the timing. I like it slightly pink so next time I’ll use a meat thermometer (though Bri prefers no pink and liked it better this time).

An unfortunately theme this week was making kid-versions of some dishes. Sometimes that means taking their portion out before I add the good spicy stuff (see the recipe for Garlicky Green Beans at the end of the post), or giving them all the ingredients (ala chicken enchiladas) but not mixed together. Aidan and Sean want nothing to do with anything that even resembles a casserole. They’re great about eating their veggies though,  so I grant them this request. They had beef tacos when Bri and I had fish tacos, but that’s only because I didn’t want to share and we had leftover taco meat in the freezer.

This Peanut Butter chocolate chip cookie recipe from Smitten Kitchen we all agreed on. Oh me oh my. I said I wouldn’t make them again because they were TOO good, but I’m totally making them again this week. If it cools down enough to turn the oven on again.

Also pictured are some favorites from this summer---Dark & Stormy; weak lemonade with some mint---a discovery from my friend Sarah who adds 2 parts water to 1 part Santa Cruz Lemonade and some mint, super simple and so refreshing; and caprese salad on a stick (I served them on long sticks in a big mason jar).

All these recipes are online except for one from Too Many Cooks by Emily Franklin:

Garlicky Green Beans
1 lb green beans
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into slivers
Olive Oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt and a dash of soy sauce
“Trim and steam the green beans but make sure they stay crunchy---maybe 5 minutes in just a half-inch of water. Drain. Meanwhile, slice and saute the garlic in olive oil without letting it brown. Add in a pinch or two of red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute more. Turn off heat. Dice some red pepper and add to the oil and garlic mixture. Sprinkle with sea salt, trickle with a bit of soy sauce, and pour the whole thing on top of the drained beans.”

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