Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Roasted Sweet Pepper Salad


The cool thing about this salad is its versatility which is why it is perfect for this weekend's 4th of July holiday or any other summer weekend. In addition to serving alongside grilled meats, it works well as part of an appetizer menu served with bruschetta and assorted cheeses, it is terrific as a side salad or spooned on top of a sandwich. Try as an omelet filling, or mix with hot pasta and grated parmesan, or make a panini with the peppers and your favorite cheese. Also delicious on its own eaten with tortilla chips, used as part of a pasta salad or added to corn and black bean salad. Get creative..there are countless uses.


Roasted Sweet Pepper Salad
(serves 6)

3 red bell peppers (or 2 red and 1 yellow)
1 red onion (peeled, cut in 1/2 and then thinly sliced)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice from one lemon (approx 2 tbsp)
3/4 tsp superfine dry mustard
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp grey sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 1/2 tsp coconut sugar


Char peppers over a gas flame until blackened on all sides. Place in a brown paper bag and let cool. Remove skins. Cut in half and then slice lengthwise into thin strips. Place on a serving platter and arrange red onions on top of peppers. Combine remaining ingredients in a mason jar and shake well until thoroughly combined. Pour dressing over onion/pepper mixture and refrigerate for several hours. Serve cold or at room temperature. The salad will keep in refrigerator up to 3 days. Cover well.

Happy 4th of July to all my American (USA)  friends!

Summer means easy, breezy dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network's Summer Soiree we are celebrating The 4th of JulyDo you have a favorite 4th of July holiday recipe? Or, if you are not from the states, a favorite outdoor picnic recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Feed Me Phoebe: Red Beet Hummus Recipe with Lemony Yogurt
The Heritage Cook: 
Tangy Caprese Salad with Pickled Cherries (Gluten-Free)
Creative Culinary: 
July 4th Red, White and Blue Patriotic Poke Cake
Weelicious: 
Blue Corn Chip Crusted Fish Sticks with Red Pepper Coulis
The Lemon Bowl: 
3 Steps to Perfectly Cooked Sweet Corn
Bacon and Souffle: 
Red, White and Blue Bark
Healthy Eats: 
5 Frozen Treats for a Sweet Fourth
Taste with the Eyes: 
Dessert for the 4th of July: Elderflower Berry Pavlova
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Best Ever Elk Burgers For The 4th of July
Red or Green: 
Roasted Sweet Pepper Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Heirloom Tomato Pie
In Jennie's Kitchen: 
Summer Raspberry Sorbet
Homemade Delish:
 4th of July Cheesecake
FN Dish: 
Portable Picks to Make and Take on July 4th

best,
diane

I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Spicy Pesto Chicken Bruschetta


This dish is perfect as an appetizer for a summer party. Or a light lunch or dinner item paired with a large salad. Classic basil pesto is spiced with a bit of jalapeno and red pepper flakes and then added to roasted chicken. The chicken alone is fantastic (and delicious with steamed potatoes and spring peas), but for a twist on bruschetta, give this a try.


I love the ease of this recipe. Shred the chicken, pile it on top of toasted bread, sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano over everything and serve. For the easiest ever preparation, cheat and use purchased pesto and a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Cut up the chicken, stir in the pesto and follow the rest of the instructions. Sssh! No one will know... Enjoy!


Spicy Pesto Chicken Bruschetta
(serves 6)

4 boneless chicken breasts
sea salt
black pepper
3/4 cup prepared basil pesto (store-bought or recipe here), divided
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced (wear gloves and wash your hands after cutting)
pinch red pepper flakes
1 large sourdough or french bread
shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the chicken breasts to the pan and generously season with salt and pepper. 

Add the pesto to a small bowl. Stir in the jalapeno & red pepper flakes. Spread the1/2 cup of the prepared pesto evenly over the top of each chicken breast. Roast in oven 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven.

Place chicken on cutting board and cut into small pieces. Add to medium sized bowl and scrape any pesto from the baking sheet into the chicken. Stir to combine.

Slice the bread into serving pieces. Toast or broil until golden brown. Spread the remaining pesto over the toasted bread. Mound the pesto chicken over the top of each slice of bread. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano over chicken and serve immediately.


Summer means easy, breezy dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network's Summer Soiree we are celebrating ChickenDo you have a favorite chicken recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Feed Me Phoebe: Gluten-Free Healthy Chicken Parmesan with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce
The Lemon Bowl: 
Za’atar Spiced Grilled Chicken
The Heritage Cook: 
The World's Easiest BBQ Chicken
Creative Culinary: 
Smoked Chicken with Chipotle, Peach and Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Homemade Delish: 
Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups
Daisy at Home: 
Perfect Fried Chicken with 5 Dipping Sauces
Healthy Eats: 
6 Reasons Not to Write Off Chicken — Summer Soiree
Red or Green: 
Spicy Pesto Chicken Bruschetta
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
"Buffums" Chicken Salad Sandwiches
TasteBook: 
Asian-Style Grilled Chicken Thighs
Domesticate Me: 
Chicken and Goat Cheese Burgers with Peaches, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes
Taste with the Eyes: 
Gochujang Chicken Adobo
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Tandoori Chicken
Bacon and Soufflé: 
BBQ Chicken Pizza
FN Dish: 
The 6 Essential Chicken Recipes of Summer

best,
diane

I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Corn & Sweet Red Pepper Casserole

My book club (or Salon as it has been christened by Lily), is comprised of a group of smart, successful and accomplished women. Two lawyers, a former Mayor, a judge, published author, former corporate executive and a former educator, this group produces intense conversations and debates. But, no matter what topic is up for discussion, there is always plenty of delicious food and wine.  We talk...we cook...we eat!



Our last meeting was to discuss the book Coming of Age in Mississippi, by Anne Moody 1968
The publisher describes the books as follows:

"Written without a trace of sentimentality or apology, this is an unforgettable personal story—the truth as a remarkable young woman named Anne Moody lived it. To read her book is to know what it is to have grown up black in Mississippi in the forties an fifties—and to have survived with pride and courage intact.

In this now classic autobiography, she details the sights, smells, and suffering of growing up in a racist society and candidly reveals the soul of a black girl who had the courage to challenge it. The result is a touchstone work: an accurate, authoritative portrait of black family life in the rural South and a moving account of a woman's indomitable heart."


The book provided lots of fodder for discussion and, since it was based in Mississippi, Lily (our host) decided on a classically Southern menu for the night. She assigned each of us a dish and gave me corn casserole. I confess that I had never heard of corn casserole (not a big item in California), so I did some research. Who knew? There are 2,580,000 results on Google alone! And they all are a version of the same recipe starting with the Jiffy brand corn muffin mix and additions of creamed corn, canned corn, sour cream, and butter. Some have eggs; some do not. With a bit of trepidation, I gave it a try.


To my relief and surprise, it was delicious! Light, airy, creamy and slightly sweet. I added fresh red bell pepper and green onions for color and crunch, but this is optional. I think I will try it with fresh corn this summer. The dish is super simple and packable, so it was perfect to take to book club. We had a classic Southern supper of fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans and biscuits with the casserole. But I think it would also be good with barbecue, or glazed ham or even with eggs for breakfast. If you grew up eating corn casserole, please tell me how you made yours in the comments section...if, like me, this is new to you...give it a try and let me know what you think. Happy summer everyone!


Corn & Sweet Red Pepper Casserole
(serves 8-10)

1 14.75-ounce can cream-style corn
1 15-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
4 green onions, white & green parts, chopped1 stick butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon salt

1 8.5 ounce package JIFFY Corn Muffin Mix

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish and set aside.

Combine all ingredients in large bowl until well mixed. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 40-50 minutes or until casserole is set in the middle.

Serve warm 



Summer means easy, breezy dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network's Summer Soiree we are celebrating Portable/picnic-ready (Anything you can easily pack and take with you)Do you have a favorite portable recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Feed Me Phoebe: Baked Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
Buckwheat Double Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies: 
Buckwheat Double Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Bacon and Soufflé: 
Classic Tomato and Garlic Bruschetta
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Fruit Sandwich
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
White & Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Red or Green: 
Corn & Sweet Red Pepper Casserole
Homemade Delish: 
Mini Tea Sandwiches
Taste with the Eyes: 
Rice Noodles with Miso Butter and Ramen-Style Toppings
Virtually Homemade: 
Virtually Homemade Gluten Free Blueberry Crumble Bars
Dishin & Dishes: 
Iron Skillet Upside Down Mulberry (or Blackberry or Raspberry) Cake
The Wimpy Vegetarian: 
Strawberries and Skinny Yogurt Cheesecake Dip
Healthy Eats: 
How to Pack a Healthy Picnic — Summer Soiree
The Mom 100: 
Creamy Corn and Potato Salad with Bacon

best,
diane
red or green? 


I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cheesy Polenta with Spicy Leeks