I grew up in Texas and we have a tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Year's Eve to bring us luck in the coming year. I am using beautiful, 'super lucky 2017' peas from Rancho Gordo for my recipe but you can use canned or frozen too. People either like 'cow peas' as they are also known, or they don't. I love this recipe from my childhood and I think you will too. If not, at least swallow one whole, like my sister, so you will still have good luck!
1/2 lb dry black eyed peas (preferably Rancho Gordo, soaked overnight and cooked with 3 cloves smashed garlic until soft, about an hour)
2 (15-oz.) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed OR 3 c frozen OR Melissa's steamed peas in the produce aisle, seems they are mainstream now!
1 c cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped or half a small one
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Serve with tortilla chips or in lettuce cups.
I just ate a whole pan of roasted apples and yummy winter squash.......well almost. I just couldn't help myself. Creamy, sweet squash with tart apples, fresh thyme, drizzled with bit of olive oil and honey, so easy and just delicious! I am sure you have seen them, in the store or at your local farmer’s market or perhaps they came in your CSA box this month?
I am talking about those beautiful, yellowish and green striped squash called Delicata! It’s my new favorite winter squash, sorry Butternut! It doesn't take much time or energy to make these squash your ‘star’ side or main dish and best of all there’s no peeling required.
Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples
2 Delicata squash, about 1 1/2 lbs
3 small or 2 lg Gala apples, cut into 1" chunks
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 c honey
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Lay flat side on the cutting board and slice into 1/2" slices. Place cut squash on two rimmed baking pans along with the apples. Drizzle with the oil and honey and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Make sure that all pieces come into contact with the pan so that they will brown well. Roast for 15 minutes and then switch the pans and roast for another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh thyme and serve warm.
You could also:
When the late summer garden gives up its bounty, it's a great time to make caponata. This flavorful Italian variation of the French ratatouille has been in my recipe box for over 30 years, It keeps beautifully, travels well and is best served at room temp or only slightly warm. I serve it in a bowl surrounded by sliced, toasted baguette or mounded on crackers topped with toasted pine nuts as a bite-sized hors d'oeuvre. You can add fish, like calamari or halibut, to the mix and it becomes a main course. Leftover caponata has even been made into soup with the addition of some veggie or chicken stock! Don't let the list of ingredients bother you—it's super easy once you have them all gathered.
Last week I had a special request to pack a picnic for a houseboat full of people to take out on a nearby lake. They wanted typical summer fare, bbq chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, watermelon and fresh corn. I shucked all the corn, packed it in an ice chest and told them to grill over direct or indirect heat depending on how they like their corn. Indirect would be more like boiled or steamed corn but direct would be more like the corn you see on the street in Mexico, charred and chewy, the sugars caramelizing to a nice sweetness. Brush on this butter after grilling for a taste of Mexico right here at home!
Fresh Lime-Chile-Garlic Butter
1 lb unsalted butter, softened
juice and zest of one lime
4 med cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 t chile powder
1 t dried oregano
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t fresh ground pepper
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t dried chile flakes
Blend all together with paddle attachment in a stand mixer. You can also do by hand if your butter is soft enough. Slather on grilled or boiled corn. Also would be great on grilled steaks, fish or chicken.
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.
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!"