And this little figgy piggy screamed “kiwi, kiwi, kiwi” all the way home!
This semi-exotic fruit lends a clean, tart flavor to savory dishes.
For most of us, dandelions are obnoxious weeds. They’re something to be pulled, yanked and banished from well-manicured lawns. But consider this: Their leaves are edible and according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, they’re full of vitamins A, B, C and D as well as minerals such as iron, potassium and zinc. You can use them in most in recipes that call for spinach.
In the world of canned tuna, there’s much more than Starkist or Bumble Bee. Water packed tuna was all the rage a few decades ago for those eating on the lean side but oil packed, especially olive oil packed is the best choice for ultimate flavor – even if you just eat it out of the can with a fork. A multitude of tuna salads can reach ethereal heights if made with high quality tuna and our home canned fish will provide the back bone for this chunky, no-cook pasta sauce.
I love shrimp! I love bacon! Shrimp loves bacon and bacon loves shrimp. We’re such a lovey-dovey group
Grinding them both up into some savory meatballs for pasta in a creamy sauce seems like a perfectly natural thing to do.
As a twosome, shrimp and bacon go back a long way. Back in the cocktail buffet days they appeared on tables as devils on horseback, a variation of angels on horseback. Often oysters or chicken livers stood in for the shrimp.
Insalata Caprese, a simple salad in the style of Capri, is so simple that you must use the very best ingredients in season or it will by ordinary at best. The required ingredients are fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and good olive oil.
It is traditionally served as an antipasto. Additional ingredients are often added and could include garlic, balsamic vinegar and in this rendition, sopressata, an Italian style dry salami. Let’s go one step further and push it right into the primo course by including some freshly cooked bow tie pasta.
When is the best time to enjoy the bright flavor of tomatoes? Anytime! These native Mexican fruits are at their best sun-ripened and just off the vine. For me, out of season tomatoes are merely flavor-lacking fruits disguised in a reddish skin.
Tomatoes, like fresh spring peas that maintain their freshness in a frozen state for months, can be preserved in a canned state for even longer. Happy is the summer canner whose larder is full of summer tomatoes put away as sauce, concentrated paste, chopped, whole or juiced. Tomatoes and cream pair happily with shrimp for this treat.
Every now and then I open the kitchen cupboard or spare freezer in the garage and have to stifle a scream because both are bulging with so many half-used boxes of pasta, cans of diced tomatoes, packages of sausage, and frozen vegetables that I vow to challenge myself to whip something tasty and nutritious for my family from these cast-asides. In times like these, the bounty of food on hand can be the mother of invention. All you need is a spark of creativity and a sense of adventure to give birth to something delicious for the table.
Wild mushrooms permeate the forests of the Pacific Northwest like spring bluebonnets cover fields in Texas. Most supermarkets offer ample selections of the ones that are easily cultivated, such as shiitake, oyster and portobello, to name a few. Also available are those that must be foraged: morels, matsutake, maitake, and porcini and the black trumpet.
Drawing on two great Oregon resources, here is a crab and wild mushroom extravaganza with five, that’s right, I said FIVE varieties of wild mushrooms.
Smoked Alaskan Sockeye salmon, shrimp and leeks make a wonderful stuffing for an easy recipe for ravioli using won-ton wrappers. Top it off with steamed mussels and a sauce of white whine, cream, fish stock and peas for a wonderfully tasty dish.
How generic can you get with a recipe? How about “Pasta with House Sauce”? In truth, how often, especially when time is an issue, do we turn to pasta to help us put a meal on our table? It can be the “go-to” for stretching quantities when unexpected diners are coming. It can help turn boring leftovers into something new and fresh, as well as serving as a dependable base for knockout sauces. And…….it’s nutritious, satisfying and inexpensive.
Of all the abundant natural resources we enjoy in the Pacific Northwest, wild mushrooms occupy a lofty status due to their rarity. Even if you don’t live in an area where you can forage for wild fungi, locating dried shouldn’t be that difficult. Gourmet stores and many supermarkets stock dried mushrooms. If your community still doesn’t offer a source, consider the Internet. Oregon Mushrooms, a provider of local mushrooms and truffles, offers mail order service from Keno. Unfortunately, the farther you are from the source, the deeper you have to dig into your pocketbook.