Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Dinner Party Recipes for August 2009

We hosted our church dinner group here the other evening and I'm offering recipes for a few of the dishes we served.

Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Fiery Grilled Peach and Habanero Salsa

I cannot tell you much about the smoking of the pork, but I do know that C brined it for several hours prior to smoking. The brining adds moisture, and boy was it moist!

I followed the grilled peach and habanero Salsa recipe directly from this month's Cooking Light magazine. Here it is, straight from their website:

Grilling the peaches caramelizes their natural sugar. Serve with grilled pork, fish—like striped bass—or chicken. Refrigerate for up to three days.

Yield: 15 servings (serving size: 1/4 cup)


  • 4 large peeled peaches, halved and pitted (about 1 pound)
  • 2 (1/4-inch-thick) slices red onion
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped seeded habanero pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. Lightly coat peaches and onion with cooking spray. Place peaches and onion on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill peaches 2 minutes on each side. Cool and chop peaches. Grill onion 3 minutes on each side. Cool and chop onion. Combine peaches, onion, cilantro, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; toss well. Let stand 15 minutes.

this salsa received rave reviews, and I've gotta tell you that grilling peaches is all new to me, but I will do it often now!

Tomato Basil Pie

I found this recipe on the internet after my friend Polly raved about a Tomato Basil Pie recipe that a friend had shared with her. Sadly, one of her grandchildren drowned it in water, so I had to find my own. We loved this!!!! I made my own pie crust a day ahead.

November 30, 2008 Simon Monez

8-oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
9-inch pie crust
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 c. fresh basil, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 t. white pepper
Garnish: fresh basil

Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese into pie crust. Top with tomatoes and set aside. Combine basil and garlic; sprinkle over tomatoes. Set aside. Mix remaining mozzarella cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and pepper together; spread over basil mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Garnish with a few leaves of basil. Serves 6 to 8.

Grilled Eggplant Stack

While I was buying my eggplant at our local Farmers' Market, a fellow customer was describing to me a wonderful Eggplant Stack she was recently served at a nearby restaurant. She told me that the chef grilled the eggplant and then put a slice of mozzarella between two pieces of the eggplant, and returned it to the grill just until the cheese began to melt. It sounded so good that I decided to give it a try!


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • 1 pinch each thyme, basil, dill, and oregano
  • salt and freshly grated black pepper


Heat grill.
When grill is hot, slice eggplant about 1/2-inch thick. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the oil and vinegar mixture.

Place eggplant on the hot preheated grill. Grill about 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.

I found that the eggplant took only about 6 minutes per side, and after the first side was grilled, I'd flip a slice, top it with a slice of mozzarella and then top that with another slice of partially grilled eggplant, and then grill the 'sandwiches' for another 5-6 minutes. It was a huge hit!!

Our dessert was Rayna Gillman's Flourless Chocolate Cake, which you can find here. It was wonderful.....and you must remember that a very little bit goes a long, long way!

I hope you will enjoy some of these wonderful dishes.....and if you do, please email me and let me know!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sauteed Okra andTomatoes

1 T whole mustard seeds
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/2 t ground coriander
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 sm red onion, cut into 1/2" thick wedges
1# fresh okra, stems & ends trimmed
3 medium tomatoes, seeded & cut into1/2" thick wedges
coarse salt & pepper

In a medium bowl, combine mustard sees, cumin seeds, and coriander; set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. add onion, and cook, stirring until soft, about 3 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high heat, add spice mixture, okra, and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring, until okra is bright green and just tender, about 6 minutes, adding more water if skillet becomes too dry. Add tomato wedges and cook until just heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

White Bean & Shrimp Stew with Mustard Greens

C and I were both intrigued by this recipe, which ran in the March 12th Atlanta Journal Constitution, so I just had to try it. Since we were heading to the Dekalb Farmers Market on a food shopping trip, it was easy to pick up the one or two articles that I didn't already have in my pantry. We both loved the results, and so I thought I would share it with you here.

3 t olive oil, divided
1/4# diced pancetta or Spanish chorizo
1 onion, diced (about 1 C)
4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1# dried Great Northern beans
7 C water
1# peeled medium shrimp
1 t pimenton de la vera -smoked Spanish paprika, any smoked Paprika is a suitable substitution
1-1/4 t ground cumin
1 bunch mustard greens, chopped (or Swiss chard or kale)
Sherry vinegar

the pancetta, before dicing

Heat oven to 350.

Heat 2 T olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown and render its fat, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic (about 2 T) and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the dried beans and water, cover tightly and bring to a simmer. Stir, then place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour before stirring in 1 t salt.
Cover again and return to the oven to cook,
stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender,
about 1-1/2 - 2 hours total.

rinsed Great Northern beans, ready to be added

Meanwhile, season the shrimp with the pimenton,
ground cumin, the remaining 1 clove minced garlic and 1/2 t salt. Heat a medium nonstick
skillet over medium hight heat, add 1 t olive oil and, when it is very hot, add the shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are bright red on the outside and firm, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.

When the beans are tender, stir the shrimp and the chopped greens into the stew. Cook just until greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Season to taste, adding first salt and then the sherry vinegar, adding it about 1/4 t at a time, it will take only about 1 t total. The stew shouldn't taste noticeable sour, just more complex.

Here is my finished stew

3 primary players:
my kitchen scale,
the pimenton de la vera,
the sherry vinegar

We served it with a hearty whole wheat bread and it was just perfect on a cold and rainy winter evening! YUMMM

Serves 6-8
353 calories per serving
28 grams protein
35 grams carbs
11 grams fiber
12 grams fat