Monday, June 27, 2011

A Special Zucchini Salad

zucchini salad 002
No cookbooks, internet or Food Network gives you the same thrill as a recipe that has been passed down to you from  your grandparent, mom, dad, sister, aunt, cousin or best friend. It is the most precious gift a foodie or a gourmet can receive;  then the exciting part is sharing with another generation.
A few years ago I decided to pass down my recipes as well as a some from family and close friends.  I compiled a recipe book that I shared with a few to celebrate my 60th birthday; wow…that was 10 years ago.  It is “Cuisine de Chez Nous”.  I think I was trying to transfer my passion for food and cooking to the people I love.
I am sure many of you have these special treasures; if you are following me you must love anything to do with food;  and you surely understand what I am talking about. I  have to admit, I often adjust recipes to fit my mood. Nothing is written in granite when it comes to cooking.
                                                                                                     Cuisine de Chez Nous
clip_image002
Today I am featuring a recipe that comes from Sylvana’s aunt Bruna; a lovely lady who lives near Turin, Italy in the Piedmonte region. It was written the way it was told; I hope I didn’t ruin it by making a bit more like a standard recipe. Those who have my Cuisine de Chez Nous will find it on page 106 called  Extraordinary Zucchini by Sylvana and Emily.  Sylvana has now trimmed the fat to make it healthier and better for our hearts. Thank you so much for photographing the steps so I could share this with my friends.
I just finish preparing this gem again; I give it a 5*****; warm or cold; served as a salad or added to a sandwich; sprinkle on a bit of freshly grated Parmesan for an extra boost of flavour.
Summertime and we all love picnics. This is my second recipe for a fabulous picnic.

I am joining Louise at Months of Edible Celebration This was my Part 1
I am going to a picnic and Bringing
Z for Zucchini Salad
My special Mother's Day! (42)

Zucchini Salad
4-6  Zucchinis
3-4 onions
1 Tablespoon  Safflower oil
Salt an pepper
2 cloves garlic sliced
Fresh Basil or Sage
Balsamic Vinegar
My special Mother's Day! (21)
Directions:
Wash 4-6 zucchini and peel 3-4 onions
Slice zucchini horizontally, in strips about .5cm thick & slice the onions in 1cm strips.
My special Mother's Day! (22)
Toss zucchini and onions in a bowl with safflower oil,
a bit of pepper and a sprinkling of salt until covered with oil.
My special Mother's Day! (26)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Pull out one or two cookie sheets (depending on the quantity of your veggies)
and keep in mind that initially, there seems a lot, but they do shrink when cooked!
My special Mother's Day! (34)
Line them with foil for easy clean-up and then coat them lightly with oil spray or just brushed on safflower oil.
Pour veggies onto cookie sheet and spread out.
Bake for 15 min, stir/turn veggies
Bake another 15 min.
My special Mother's Day! (40)
If the veggies appear cooked but are still a bit pale, broil for 1-2 minutes keeping eye an on them until golden
As the veggies cool a bit, take 3 cloves of garlic. Clean and slice them. (It is useful to slice them in large enough slices so they add flavour but can be removed if someone does not want to eat the raw garlic!)
My special Mother's Day! (41)
Pick some fresh herbs: basil and/or sage work well.
Place cooked vegetables in a glass bowl with lid following this pattern: layer of veggies- herbs & garlic slice - splash of balsamic vinegar- dash of salt
Continue that layering system until all of the veggies are in the bowl.
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight in order to enjoy the full flavour!
Gently stir before serving.
zucchini salad 002
Delicious as a cold side salad or in sandwiches!
This recipe will keep for a week in the fridge however.... it has never lasted that long in my house!
Sylvana's Zucchini Salad

Sage's Tips
Sage’s Tips.
Carrot peeler works for slicing, but I did use my mandoline and no bad incidents this time.
I sliced my garlic and roasted it with the zucchini and onions.




Thank you for reading me today; I hope it brought back good memories of recipes that were passed down to you. I assure they are usually the best. Have  a lovely picnic.
Happy Cooking,
Rita

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Picnic and Pan Bagnat Part 1


Did you know that July is the Official Picnic month?   Summertime and we all love picnics, but what to bring? Louise has a picnic party going on at her blog and here we will find great ideas to bring in that picnic basket or just for feasting in your backyard. Sit back and enjoy. I decided to contribute 2 recipes and will post twice this week; I hope I don’t scare you away.
 Renoir knew all about Pique-Niques
We were in Provence a few years ago; every Traiteurs and Boulangeries had their version of this fabulous sandwich. We would stop; buy these and go eat by the ocean; great memories that I wanted to bring back Chez nous. I have posted about this before but I still think it is a something worth including for your next picnic.
Here are the letter that have been tagged so far:
A …Apricot Cobbler
F…Fingerling Potatoes
G…Gugelhopf Twister
K… Kirschmichel
M Mint Sundae Brownie Squares
N  Nice Mini Biscuit Sandwich
O Orange Nut Ring

I am joining Louise at Months of Edible Celebration Pan Bangat
I am going on a picnic and bringing P…Pan Bagnat
Pan Bagnat_thumb[1]_thumb

Pan Bagnat is a sophisticated tuna salad served on a crusty baguette.
SERVES 2
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sal
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (6 ounce) can tuna in olive oil
fresh lemon juice
1 crusty baguette
lettuce leaves
8 tomato slices
6-8 hard-boiled eggs, slices
1/4 cup capers
4 anchovy fillets, drained
black olives, sliced
2 green onions, chopped


Directions
1. Combine onions with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper in a bowl.
2. Slowly mix everything together.
3. Work in undrained can of tuna in olive oil mixture, Season with fresh lemon juice, red-wine vinegar, and salt, then add pepper to taste.
4. Cut baguette in half lengthwise and again crosswise to have 4 pieces.
5. Spread each bottom half with lettuce leaves. Use a couple of varieties—whatever looks good—for the difference in texture.
6. On top of each lettuce layer, arrange 4 tomato slices.Then add about half the tuna mixture and 3 to 4 slices of hard-boiled egg.
7. Crisscross each sandwich with 2 drained anchovy fillets.
8. Top with olives, capers and chopped green onion.
9. Then drizzle generously with more olive oil and top with the remaining baguette half pressing gently but firmly,.
10. Wrap filled baguette in plastic wrap, and let stand at least for 20 minutes.
11. The longer it sits, the more the flavours will soak into the bread.

Pan Bagnat

Sage's Tips
Sages Tips:
Tapenade can replace the black olives .
2 kaiser rolls also works fine.

Thank you for joining me again; l love having you come to read me. Second part of my picnic on Monday.
Happy Cooking.
Rita


Monday, June 20, 2011

A Different Summer Salad

Quinoa 003

The nice weather has arrived in our little corner. Salads are what we are all in the mood to eat and everyone has their own favourites but today,  I needed something different.  A perfect  time to experiment again with Quinoa, that super food.  Last year I wrote about all the goodness attributed to Quinoa 

 

Marisa

Marisa was visiting and I wanted to share with her my journey of getting a post ready for my blog.  She said André loves quinoa, that health food stuff; just like his mom.  She enjoyed helping me do the prep work and setting up for my photos.  I go through my cupboard and sometimes I find the right prop to show off my recipe.   She told me she would keep an eye out for me;  she has the knack to find little treasures that many of us (me) overlook.  I think I made a new blog friend but I know Marisa is not too fond of the computer; I still hope she will come and check me out now and then.  This one is for you Marisa.

 

Quinoa 003

Easy Quinoa Salad
Vinaigrette:
2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 chopped garlic cloves
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2Ttablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Safflower oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper
Salad:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup red pepper diced
1/2 cup yellow pepper, diced
1/2 cup green onions chopped
1/2 cup chopped sugar snap peas
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Quinoa 001

Directions

In a mini processor, combine the basil, vinegar, and Parmesan cheese until the basil is pureed.
With the motor running, pour the oil through the opening and blend until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, pour into a small bowl, and set aside.

Quinoa 002
Salad
Rinse your quinoa in cold water. In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove lid, let cool and fluff with a fork.
In large bowl, combine quinoa, peppers,green onions, peas, cranberries and almonds.
Spoon on the vinaigrette and gently toss together. Taste to adjust seasoning.

Easy Quinoa Salad

Sage's Tips

Sage’s Tips:

I wanted to let you know this recipe works with any of your favourite ingredients;                                                            I used what I had in the house.                                                                                                                                            If Quinoa is not your thing, give it a try using rice.

Louise from Month of Edible Celebration is hosting a Picnic Game that I will join. If you are a foodie you would love to read her; she has a wealth of information about of favourite thing….food.  I will report back about this next time.

019Butterfly chez Marisa.

Thank you for reading me and taking time to comment.

Wishing a great summer; it’s finally here!

Happy Cooking!

Rita

Chez André_0102André,Marisa and Dad in their back yard.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Weekend for Memories

 Michelle's confirmation (2)Michelle’s special cake.

It was a weekend to make memories with the grandchildren.  Friday evening we attended the piano recital.  Both Robert-16 and Michelle-14 were participating.  What a joy to sit and listen to these 30 young people showing off their skills that they have been practicing for so long.

Recital 2011 (1)Recital 2011 (8)

There is a electricity in the air; everyone is holding their breath until their turn comes; it is Perfect and then…a sigh of relief; we can now enjoy the rest of the concert.  As grandparents, we are observers and we knew all the time that it will turn out just  fine.

Michelle's confirmation (30)

Saturday was Michelle’s confirmation. Another day of holding our breath until it is her turn to be confirmed; it was lovely to be part of this holy ceremony.

Like everything else in life we seem to always culminate every special event with food.  Is it the same thing at your place or is it just me and the people we hang our with?

Michelle's confirmation (54)There was a spread of delectable foods from a South American deli that included Triple Sandwiches with variety of fillings;  Sylvana wanted to share their unique flavours with us; these were very popular in South America where she grew up.   There was a large platter of Empanadas; I found out every country has their own version of this pastry. I promised myself I would learn how to make these in 2011 and post about my accomplishment; stay tuned.

Michelle's confirmation (50)Uruguayan 3 decker sandwiches

Michelle's confirmation (52)Empanadas   

Michelle's confirmation (47)Pasqualinas

      There was also Spinach and filo pastry pie called called PasqualinaTorte as well a tuna and filo pastry pie. It was a feast of taste sensation.  I apologize for any mistakes in my presentation; all this was new to me. 

cake 007

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fantastic Greek Salad was also on the table.  I know this has Nothing to do with confirmation, piano recital or South America, but I had nothing else from my repertoire to contribute in today’s post. I assure you it is very tasty.

Creamy Greek Salad. Photo by Sage

Creamy Greek Salad

"A delight for Feta cheese lovers."

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 tomatoes, cut in chunks
  • 1/2 red onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

 

Photo

 

Directions

Using food processor, blend the egg, garlic, vinegar,
Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, garlic, dry mustard, 2 Tablespoons Feta, salt and pepper.

With motor running, drizzle oil through the feed tube and process until mixture is thick. Set aside.

Place lettuce in large salad bowl, add the tomato, cucumber, onion and olives.

Pour dressing over salad and toss.

Top with remaining cheese.

Printable Recipe

 

Sage's Tips

Sage’s Tips.

I now use Egg Beaters to replace the egg.

Have extra Feta on hand. I always sprinkle more on my salad.

My special Mother's Day! (18)Robert’s Strawberry Bouquet for Mother’s Day…as good as it looks

Thank you for your visit; I love your comments. No I didn’t make this  lovely cake, but found  a cake shop that specializes. Come again and Happy Cooking!

Rita

mimi