A friend of mine had a milestone birthday yesterday so his wife threw him a big pot luck bbq party in our sweet ‘right out of Mayberry’ park here in Murphys. Since it’s the middle of summer and it has been blazing hot, I figured everyone would be bringing tomato and cucumber salads so in an attempt to be different I decided to bring deviled eggs. Everyone LOVES deviled eggs, right? I wanted to be a bit more original though so I decided to cut mine through the center instead of end to end and then add a bit of the devil, in the form of curry powder. Thanks to my friends from next door Paul and Bill and their beautiful hens, Claire and her sisters, I had plenty of fresh eggs!
Curried Deviled Eggs (makes 36)
18 eggs, hard boiled and peeled 3/4 cup Best Foods mayo, more if needed
1/4 of a red onion, chopped finely (sub green onion if you like)
1 stalk of celery with leaves, chopped finely
1 small jalapeño, cut in a tiny dice (optional)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped (you can also use cilantro)
1 T plus 2t good curry powder
sea salt and pepper, to taste
mango chutney (I like the Major Grey’s variety)
chives, chopped roughly, for garnish
Cut the eggs around the ‘equator’ and squeeze out the yolks into a fine sieve. Press through the sieve with the back of a soup spoon into a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Stuff back into the whites ( you may have to cut a bit of white off the bottom so they sit flat). Garnish with the chutney and chives and chill until ready to serve.
*see my instructions for hard boiling eggs under Wren’s egg salad post in the June 2016 archives
It's always a good idea to have several versions of potato salads in your recipe box. This one is a crowd pleaser. Fashioned after everyone's favorite toppings for a baked potato, it's just a little bit different and really colorful too. I made this one on the 4th of July and it was a huge hit. It's great with bar-b-que, holds up well in an ice chest and can be made a day ahead. You can substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream if you must, I don't!
Bacon, Cheddar, Chive & Sour Cream Potato Salad
6 c small red potatoes
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
2 T sugar
1/2 lb bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped into a 1/2" pieces
1/2 lb sharp cheddar, grated
1/2 c chives, chopped medium
1 small red onion, cut into a 1/4" dice
2 c sour cream
salt & pepper, as needed
Cut potatoes in to 1" pieces, cover with water, add 1 T salt and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and put in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper and then the oil. Pour over warm potatoes, blend and let cool. Mix into the potatoes the bacon, cheese, chives and red onion (save some of these ingredients to sprinkle on the top if you want) then add the sour cream and mix well until blended. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6-8.
My good friend Annie left a basket of summer produce from her garden on my front step the other day. It's fun to use these gestures as inspiration for my blog but I wondered what I could come up with that would be interesting and different enough that involves summer squash and tomatoes? Hasn't it all been done before? The answer came last night when I went to have dinner with my friend Carol. She was making a warm kale salad (she is always trying some new recipe!) and invited me to join her. I brought my garden offerings and at her suggestion, came up with this fabulous rendition of the classic Caprese! How refreshing to create such a simple salad with these 'all too often' over abundant summer garden ingredients! I hope you agree.
Summer Squash & Tomato Caprese
1 large, red garden tomato, sliced
10 small, gold cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 raw zucchini or trumpet squash, sliced on a mandoline
1 raw yellow crook neck squash, sliced on a mandoline
fresh mozzarella balls
fresh basil, torn into pieces
sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
good olive oil to drizzle
Arrange the tomato slices on a platter. Tuck the thinly sliced squash in between. .Place the golden tomatoes around the outside of the platter with the mozzarella balls, however many you feel is enough and still looks balanced. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the torn basil, sea salt and pepper. Serves 4.
I recently took this salad to an informal bbq at a friend’s house here in Murphys where the weather has suddenly taken a turn towards summer. It got rave reviews and I had so many requests for the recipe, I decided to feature it as a blog post! Easy, cool and refreshing, this salad is interesting, pretty and delightfully tasty. Spring veggies are still plentiful in the market so take advantage before they are a fond memory.
‘Good bye to Spring’ Veggie Panzanella
for the salad:
1 small round loaf of artisan sunflower (or other) seeded bread, cut into 1/2” pieces
3 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 English cucumber, sliced thinly
1 bunch radishes, sliced thinly
1 lb bunch of asparagus, cut to 1/2 inch pieces
1 - 5 oz container fresh sunflower sprouts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted and salted
4 oz crumbled feta
for the vinaigrette:
2 T fresh dill, chopped
1 large shallot, finely diced
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 T fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until toasted to a light brown, cool. Meanwhile, in a small pot of boiling salted water, blanch the asparagus until tender, 2-3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain well, pat dry. In a large bowl whisk the vinegar and lemon juice together with the dill and shallot, salt and pepper. Add the oil slowly to incorporate. Place the bread, peas, cucumbers, radishes and asparagus in a bowl and toss to coat with about half of the vinaigrette. Add the feta, sunflower sprouts and seeds. Toss with more vinaigrette as needed. Serve right away or let it sit for a minute to soak up the dressing!
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
"Love your recipes! Pat made your avocado toast a few weeks ago, delish! I'm taking them to a party in a few weeks, although the mushroom crostata looks pretty darn good!"