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Squash Blossom Soup

This is a great “planned over” meal! Planned Over meals are those meals that the first meal is made knowing what will be done for the second meal with any remaining food. These meals can often be better than the first meal. The first meal here was Baked Chicken on Yellow Squash with Tomatillo Sauce (see recipes for sauce). This meal is wonderful on its own. And the second meal, well, Squash Blossom Soup. Enjoy:

Ingredients:

3 yellow squash, sliced 

1 serrano, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Squash Blossoms, 8, male

Fresh Thyme

Fresh Chives

3 cups chicken stock

leftover chicken, squash, tomatillo, chopped

Directions:

Saute Squash, Onion, Pepper, and Garlic in EVOO until squash wilted and onion is translucent in Soup Pan.  Add chopped leftovers and chicken stock and simmer, reducing liquid by one third.  Add fresh Thyme and Chives, Salt, White Pepper and Butter.  As soup simmers, tear male Squash Blossoms and add to top of the soup until they melt. Serve with Rustic Bread and a Salad. Cheese can be melted into the soup as a variation.  Enjoy.

Fresh Fennel White Sauce

Fresh Fennel White Sauce is all about the Alliums. This is a recipe for a fresh Fennel pasta sauce that is delightfully light and easy to make.  Very delicate flavors of fennel, leek, celery, sweet onion, shallot and garlic combine well in this sauce of white wine, butter and parmesan cheese. Always use quality ingredients .  Choose a wine that you would enjoy drinking to cook with.  We use Sauvignon Blanc for this recipe and we splurge on the quality of the Parmesan cheese.  The fennel is grown in our gardens.  We grow a bulbing variety every year to harvest for this very sauce! Enjoy!

Your Ingredients:

Fennel Bulbs, two, cleaned and sliced

Sweet Onion, sliced

Leeks,  two, cleaned and sliced

Shallot, thinly sliced

Celery, 2 ribs sliced

Garlic, 2 or 3 cloves, chopped

Butter, one stick

Parmesan Cheese, 1/2 cup grated

Cream Cheese, 1/2 block

White Wine, 1 cup, we use Sauvignon Blanc

Vegetable broth, 1 cup

Fresh Herbs of Thyme, Parsley, Chives 

Sea Salt, White Pepper

Directions:

In a deep skillet that has a good lid:  Coat the bottom with a good EVOO and add thinly sliced onion, celery, and garlic, and saute for 3 or 4 minutes adding half the butter a tablespoon at a time.  Add leeks, shallot and fresh herbs, reserving some herbs for topping pasta. Add sliced Fennel and combine, coating the Fennel in the mixture, saute.  Add Wine and stir, burning off the alcohol. Add vegetable broth and rind of parmesan cheese, if you have it, cover and bring to slight boil, stirring occasionally. Add one half the grated parmesan cheese to melt into the sauce to thicken and create creaminess.  Simmer until Fennel is translucent and tender.  At this time, melt cream cheese into the sauce, mixing thoroughly. Serve on Angel Hair or Pasta of your choice, top with remaining Fresh Herbs and Grated Parmesan.  Serve with a Caesar Salad and a Glass of White Wine. Fresh Peas or sliced Mushrooms can be added also. Enjoy! 

Tomato Radish Flower Plate

Artful Food.  Food that is pleasing to all the senses.  The vision of a Flower, the taste of Sweetness, the Smells of Summers End. This Tomato Radish Flower is sure to please all your senses.  Quick and Easy to Create and Serve to Yourself or Friends, it truly is a thing of Beauty.  You will need:  

Tomatoes, sliced, Vine ripened, if possible; Radish, 3 large, sliced thinly, lightly peeled; Mozzarella cheese, fresh, sliced; Olives, Garlic stuffed Spanish and Kalamata; Italian Parsley, chopped and Aged Balsamic Vinegar.

Arrange sliced Tomato and Mozzarella, every other one, in a circle on a large plate,  Arrange Radish slices in a circle in the center of the Tomatoes.  Fill with Olives, Sprinkle with chopped Italian Parsley, Drizzle with Aged Balsamic Vinegar.  Enjoy! 

Tomato Radish Flower 

Shrimp, Avocado, Tomato Salad

Living in Central Texas in the Fall Gardening Season, it is with Great Joy that we Harvest our fall tomato crop. This years crop was bountiful and so very delicious.  With ripened organic tomatoes in the ready, Inspiration for a favorite salad, and Avocados and Shrimp available, we got busy.  You will need:

Tomatoes, chop 5 to 6 large, ripe; Avocado, one, cubed; Shrimp, about a dozen, boiled and chopped; Cucumber, chopped; Celery, 3 ribs, chopped; Shallot, diced; Jalapeno, diced, Cilantro, chopped, Limes, 3, zested and juiced. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Add all the ingredients in a large salad bowl and mix up, add lime zest and dressing with lime juice and EVOO to taste.

Shrimp Avocado Salad

Ripe Tomato Bread Salad

Love this seasonal treat!  When Tomato season is in full swing, or with end of season Harvest, often you find tomatoes that are overripe.  It is also very easy to have some stale bread in the house. There seems to always be left over French Bread that dries out.  Combine these two and the sweetest, juiciest salad is born.

You will need three or four vine ripened tomatoes; cubed stale bread; three ribs of celery, diced; diced red onion; cubed cucumber; sliced green olives; shredded Parmesan Cheese; and Italian Parsley.

Combine three or four over ripe tomatoes, the really juicy ones, with cubed stale bread (French or Sourdough).  Allow the ripe Tomatoes to drain there juices over the bread. Mash together to moisten the bread.  Add the celery, cucumber, olives and red onion. Drizzle with EVOO. Stir together. Allow to sit in Fridge for about an hour in order for the juices of the tomatoes to meld with the bread.  Serve with garnish of Italian Parsley and shredded Parmesan Cheese.  Enjoy!   

Tomato Bread Salad

Glean the Farm Pepper Ragu

This is a very simple recipe for all.  Really to be treated more of a guideline.  Before the first frost we always glean the ripe peppers and tomatoes from the plants to minimize the potential loss. We then mix all the peppers with the ripened straggler tomatoes and the Ragu begins.  We will want:

Mixed Peppers, a good ratio of sweet and hot (Green, Yellow and\or Red Bell, Banana, Jalapeno, Hungarian Wax) 

Tomatoes, a mix of cherry tomatoes is best (over ripe is okay) 

Onion, cut in half and sliced  

Garlic, 3 cloves, minced 

EVOO, Worcestershire Sauce, Butter, Salt and Pepper

( Pineapple made be added to make a delicious variation)

Directions:

Cut peppers into equal size pieces; slice onion and cut slices in half; mince garlic.  Heat pan, adding EVOO, add onion and garlic, stir fry until onion softened, add assorted peppers, add salt and pepper, stir fry until softened, add tomatoes, toss mixture. stir occasionally, add Worcestershire Sauce and a pad of butter.  Stir until well mixed.  Continue cooking the mix, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes pop (pineapple may be added here).  Serve on a Hamburger, a Baked Potato or a Steak.  It is an excellent Ragu.  Enjoy!

 

Arugula, Butternut, Pear and Sprout Salad

This salad combines the best flavors of the garden.  With Arugula back in season. the last of the Tomatoes and Butternut Squash in abundance, this makes a great Farmers Market Salad.  Very fresh in flavor and readily available in the fall.  You will need only a few things, most available at your local Farmers Market or your own Vegetable and Herb Garden.  

You will need: Butternut Squash, Arugula, Avocado, Pear, Shallot, Tomatoes, Celery, Italian Parsley, Chives and Sprouts

Roast the Butternut Squash, medium, at 450 degrees for 50 minutes. Peel, cool and cube; one pear and one shallot, thinly sliced; two ribs of celery, strings removed, and thinly sliced.  Avocado and Tomatoes cut into chunks; Chop Italian Parsley and Chives and rinse your choice of sprouts.  Combine all ingredients in a Salad Bowl and toss. Top with the Sprouts.  Dress with Balsamic Vinaigrette or your choice of Salad dressing. Enjoy!

 

Apple Pecan Stuffing

We look forward to this stuffing in the Fall season, when the Apples and the Pecans are fresh from the trees, and the Herbs fresh from the Garden. This is a great meatless stuffing that is good with any rich meal or anytime of year.  It is made with readily available ingredients from both your Herb Garden and your local grocery store.  You will need:

Ingredients:

Stale Breads, (wheat, sourdough, and cornbread), dried and cubed; Green Apples, two, cubed;  Mushrooms, sliced; Celery, 4 ribs, chopped; Onion, chopped; Pecans, one cup, chopped; Eggs, two; Butter, one stick; Broth, (chicken or vegetable); Sage Leaves, twelve or so; Italian Parsley, a bunch; Chives, a bunch; salt and pepper. 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350, Butter 13x9baking dish.  Melt butter in skillet and saute onions, apples and celery until slightly softened. Add mushrooms, pecans and herbs to mix and saute until limp and onions are translucent.  In a large mixing bowl add cubed dry breads and crumbs (a good ratio is 1/3 each bread type),  add all mixture to bread, crack and add two eggs, mix all by hand until blended.  Add enough broth our your choosing to soften the mix.  Place all mix into your buttered baking dish and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden. Decorate with Pecans, if desired. Enjoy!   

Lemon, Artichoke Herbed Chicken

This is a quick and simple meal with wonderful fresh flavors from the garden. It utilizes the fresh Meyers Lemons of the season with Italian Parsley and Chives from the Herb garden. You will need a good bunch or handful of both Italian Parsley and Chives, washed and chopped. Also, you will need three Meyers Lemons, zest two, juicing after zesting, and cut the third into rings. Ingredients follow: 2 boneless chicken breasts, one white onion, 3 or 5 cloves garlic, 1 cup sliced green olives, 15 oz. frozen Artichoke Hearts, Italian Parsley, Chives, Thyme, Olive Oil,  three Lemons, grated Parmesan cheese, White Wine or chicken broth. 

Directions:    Slice white onion thinly, chop Garlic, Chives, Italian Parsley and Lemon. Cut the Artichoke Hearts in half. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and thyme. Place the chicken in a greased casserole dish with some of the sliced onion underneath. Then place slices of lemon on top of the breasts, pouring a little juice on the lemon slices, In a bowl, mix the remaining onion, the Artichoke Hearts, the Green Olives, Garlic, Chives and Parsley with EVOO to coat. Place the mix around the chicken breasts dish, pouring the remaining lemon juice over the mix. For added moisture, lightly pour White Wine or chicken broth over the dish. 

Cover and place in a preheated oven to 425degrees, cook for 20 minutes under foil and 25 without foil.  Remove from oven and sprinkle heavily with shredded Parmesan cheese.  Allow to cool before serving.  Great with your favorite side salad and a glass of the White Wine you cooked with.  Enjoy! 

Tomatillo Salsa or Salsa Verde and Green Enchilada Sauce

One of the best, and most intimidating, salsas has been the Tomatillo Salsa or Salsa Verde.  After watching enough cooking shows, I have created a very good and easy salsa recipe.  With a few more steps, it quickly becomes an enchilada sauce.  We begin with the ingredients. There are very few.  Tomatillos, Garlic, Onion, Serrano, Lime, Comino, Coriander, Cilantro, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (also stock if making enchilada sauce).  Begin by roasting a dozen tomatillos with 5 garlic, an onion and one or two serranoes in the oven at 450 degrees until charred.  Allow to cool.  Place them in your food processor and pulse.  Add a palm full of Comino, Cilantro, crushed Coriander, the zest and juice of one lime and a couple of turns of EVOO.  There you have it! The Best, and quickest Salsa Verde! Now, to turn it into Enchilada Sauce:  In a heated saucepan, add enough Olive Oil to coat the bottom and pour in the amount of Salsa you wish to make into enchilada sauce. Add two cups of stock, chicken or vegetable, add more Comino, and crushed Coriander and a pinch of salt. Simmer until reduced by one-third.  This delicious sauce goes great on enchiladas or stands alone on vegetables and eggs. Enjoy!

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