This dish is the perfect summer side.  It’s easy, colorful, make-ahead and, most importantly, delicious!  I like to pack it up and take along to the beach or on a picnic, serve alongside ribs, or make a batch to take into work to have for lunch for the week.  If enjoying for lunch, you could add shredded chicken, or boiled shrimp, to make it a little more hearty, or serve alongside a summer soup or salad.

cousWhat’s your go-to summer salad?

Hubby’s Homecoming

July 29, 2013

My husband and I were both recently out of town, so we didn’t see each other for a couple of weeks. While I was attending a work conference, he and a friend traipsed around Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Needless to say, I had to make his homecoming meal a good one…and what better way to tell someone you love them then with lobster?

This Lobster Roll recipe is incredible. I can honestly say that I have never had a “real” lobster roll in Boston or Maine, but if they taste anything like these came out, it’s a good thing I don’t live in either place. I’d be broke and probably weigh a few more pounds from eating the irresistible sammy multiple times a week. I made just a few small tweaks to the original recipe. I did add Bibb lettuce and I subbed green onions for chives, because that’s what I had.

Yes, lobster is expensive, so do not let any of it go to waste, I opted to buy lobster tail (mainly b/c I didn’t want to have to kill a live lobster by stabbing it to death or throwing it into a pot of boiling water). After roasting it in the oven, and removing the meat, I used the shells to make a rich lobster stock which I will be using in a Lobster Bisque tonight. Note: I used one lobster tail per sandwich, roughly, and roasted a third tail, and put the meat aside, to be used in the bisque tonight.

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Tell me, what’s you’re favorite way to prepare this sweet crustacean at home?

Suffering Succotash

July 14, 2013

This dish looks and tastes like summer. The vivid color of the veggies, the freshness of the herbs and the brightness of the lemon make for a healthy and delicious side during the hot summer months.

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I think the corn would be tasty grilled if you have the grill on already…it helps to not heat up the kitchen. (I also like to utilize the burner on our outdoor grill.) I used shelled beans from the farmer’s market and fresh basil from my garden. Also, I did not have canola oil so I used vegetable oil and it worked great.

My husband asked what exactly succotash was, so I looked up the history. Pretty interesting.

There are many ways to prepare succotash. What’s your favorite?

Rubbed Ribs

July 7, 2013

I’m absolutely obsessed with ribs right now. We had some at a friend’s home a few weeks ago. Then I made them for Father’s Day…then for dinner a week ago…and now I’m cooking them up again this Saturday. Besides being delicious, they are easy on the wallet. I just picked up pork ribs on sale for $1.99/lb.

This recipe is so easy, anyone can do it. All you need is time. Also, I’ve made these with beef and pork ribs and they were delicious both ways. I’ve finished them on a charcoal grill (the best!) in the oven (the easiest!), especially if it’s raining and you’re stuck indoors (like everyone in the Southeast).

Here’s the recipe: Beth’s Melt in Your Mouth Ribs

What’s your favorite meat to grill in the summertime?

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Dry-rubbed Ribs

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After three and a half hours, time for bbq sauce!

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Pork candy

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Served with yellow rice and roasted acorn squash for a weeknight dinner

Red, White and Green

July 4, 2012

A friend served this delicious chilled avocado soup at her summer party and my husband insisted I recreate it at home.  Boy, am I glad she shared this recipe with me (thanks Kathryn!)!  Not only is it extremely flavorful and refreshing, but it’s quite versatile.  When I made this batch originally, I served it alongside Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas for a #MeatlessMonday dish, and then used it again later in the week as a dressing on a Taco Salad.  It would also be delicious as a layer in a Mexican dip, a sauce over a taco or served atop grilled shrimp or chicken.  This recipe has definitely made into my list of summer staples!

avocado soup

Chilled Avocado Soup with Chile Lime Pepitas

 Ingredients

  • 1 medium poblano chile
  • 1 small white onion, sliced into 1/4 -inch-thick rings
  • 2-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth; more as needed
  • 2 medium firm-ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/8 tsp. chile powder; more for serving

Instructions

On a gas stove, turn a burner to high and set the poblano directly over the flame, turning it with tongs, until completely charred, 5 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, on an electric stove, heat the broiler on high and char the poblano on all sides on a baking sheet placed directly under the broiler. Put the poblano in a bowl, cover, and set aside to steam and loosen the skin. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and cut the poblano into 1/4 -inch dice.

Heat an 11- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and cook, turning a few times, until soft and browned in places, about 5 minutes.

In a blender, purée until smooth all but 1 Tbs. of the poblano, the onion, broth, avocado, cilantro, parsley, marjoram or oregano (if using), 2 Tbs. of the lime juice, cumin, coriander, and 1 tsp. salt. Blend in the yogurt. Season to taste with more salt. Chill well.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook until they begin to pop and color a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice, the chile powder, and 1/8 tsp. salt and stir until the juice has evaporated, leaving a film on the pan.

Season the soup to taste with salt and thin with broth if necessary. Divide among 6 cups or small bowls and garnish with the pepitas, the remaining poblano, and a few pinches of chile powder.

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