What does one do when one doesn’t want to turn on the stove? One goes back to the old ways – the thing that makes camping memorable for many (and just about bearable for the rest of us). Let’s make supper over the open fire, outside. Let’s make Firepit Balsamic Turkey, with roasted vegetables all marinated and tossed in rock salt, pomegranate balsamic vinegar and sweet olive oil.
Early summer, before storm and insect season, is by far the best time of year, so when the sky is clear all day, and well into the night, it’s probably a good idea to find a recipe that will let you spend minimal time in the kitchen, and maximal time enjoying the fruits of the kitchen outside. Mango Chicken Summer Salad has enough heft to it to convince the crowd on your deck that this is actually a meal, not just a side dish – and when you consider it also comes with black beans, quinoa and avocado, you bet you got a meal!
Who knew that your basic go-to banana-chocolate chip muffin could be the foundation for swapping out all kinds of additives, solving that continuing conundrum of how to keep breakfast interesting? And so it was, one morning, while dreaming of the sunny Caribbean, that Piña Colada Muffins came to be.
Here’s a recipe for dinner that lets you indulge a summer craving early – without the long, lazy wait by the meat smoker in the sun, and serving up not one but two sources of rich sweet corn flavor. Make up some Cherry-Bourbon Ribs with Corn Muffins for next weekend, and get barbecue on your plate before the barbecue even gets moved back onto the deck.
This Pork Tenderloin with Greek Veggies recipe focuses on cheating. When you don’t have enough time, but you don’t want to eat a bowl of Chex or a piece of toast – this one will come through for you. It’s got everything – crisp veggies, light but deeply flavorful seasonings, meat with a perfect caramelized crust, and a punch of tangy garlic to round out the plate. And it has a bunch of shortcuts that let you look (and eat) like you had all the time in the world to make it.
These Chicken Feta Cranburgers with Caprese Salad and Plantains combines the full spectrum of flavors, from the sour zip of balsamic vinegar to gloriously sweet fried plantain and cranberries, to the salty tang of TWO cheeses, the pleasant underlying bitterness of a locally-grown tomato, and the spicy top notes of a garnishing sauce on the crispy chicken patty.
I LOVE Vietnamese food, but I don’t dare try to copy what has been passed from grandmas to daughters to grandchildren for millennia. There are some inventions, though, that lend themselves extremely well to our North American penchant for putting together the best of many worlds on one plate. I particularly like the fabulous rice wrapper – used to encase shrimp, cilantro, rice noodles, and cucumber as the appetizer prior to your great steaming bowl of Pho. It just made sense one day, while thinking about how to make dinner without the customary carbo-load of rice, that maybe nobody minds if you decide to stuff other, non-traditionally Vietnamese things in these convenient rolls.
Keep your money in your pocket for a minute – there ARE ways to get some simple, delicious food on the table in about the same amount of time as it takes for the delivery guy to make his way through rush hour traffic. And with a tiny bit of advance planning – this recipe will let you cover two meals at once, for less than half the price of a couple of takeout solutions. These are based on that old standby – a proven way to your loved one’s heart – roast chicken.
There are some things which those without gluten take for granted – pies, for example. And more specifically, the pie crust – something which is notoriously difficult to replicate with GF ingredients. But the French have a particularly remarkable way of taking the most ordinary and plain ingredients and turning them into something exquisitely delicious – and in this case, it’s what goes into the crust that really shines. And yes – you CAN make a quiche crust with potatoes, (and why wouldn’t you)?
Sometimes, the best cure for the depths of winter is a dish with deeply inherent spice that can remind you of better days in much warmer places. The default is usually Mexican, but for something completely different, (and in honor of Mardi Gras?), you really can’t beat Louisiana – a mad jumble of powerful cultures crashing together to make the most different, exotic and foreign state in the USA. That’s also made for a banquet-load of some of the most memorable things you’ll ever eat.
Pick a day when you know you’ll have some hours to give, and try this. Lasagne has always been a very romantic food – especially those with lots of complex flavors lovingly baked together, the care you need to put into composing each layer, and finally, the anticipation of waiting that extra ten minutes after it comes out of the oven to set, before you serve it – magically, still piping hot and deeply satisfying.
There is a grave injustice in the land. Well, maybe not grave, but an injustice anyway. It isn’t fair that most glutenfolk (it’s a word, meaning “not celiac”) get to wantonly eat those gigantic muffins with their morning coffee, without a care in the world.