June 2014

Greek Pasta Salad

June 30, 2014
Thumbnail image for Greek Pasta Salad

It’s officially Summer! And you know what that means, right? Vine ripe tomatoes and cucumbers filling the gardens and farmer’s markets along with fresh herbs. And cold summer salads, one of my favorite things to eat. I love a traditional Greek Salad with briny olives, sweet tomatoes and earthy feta and combining those flavors with some pasta makes it a treat good enough to bring to a summer picnic and hearty enough for a Meatless Monday meal. The salad would also be a delicious accompaniment to grilled chicken, lamb kabobs or grilled fish.

This recipe could not be easier. If you can’t find tiny grape tomatoes or Sweet 100’s just dice up the sweetest tomatoes you can find. Fresh oregano is delicious, but dried will also work in a pinch.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

greeksaladingredients

Greek Pasta Salad

Yield: 6 Cups

Ingredients

Read the full article →

My First Refrigerator Pickles

June 23, 2014
Thumbnail image for My First Refrigerator Pickles

Last weekend I found myself with a couple of pounds of cucumbers from the garden, both the standard green kirby kind and those of the lemon cucumber variety. There was no way we were going to be able to eat all of them before they got soft and wrinkled, and I’d already given away several, so I decided to take my first foray into pickle making.

Not ready to get into canning, I chose to make “refrigerator pickles” which don’t require water baths, canning jars, or my irrational fear healthy respect of botulism.

After I made the pickles, I put the hastily snapped photo above on the Formerchef Facebook Page and it got such a positive response, I thought I’d share what I did for those who were interested but also new to pickling. I’m certainly no expert here, just a pickle newbie, but the results were good enough that …

Read the full article →

How To Make Vegetable Stock

June 17, 2014
Thumbnail image for How To Make Vegetable Stock

In previous posts we’ve talked about the basics of making any kind of homemade stock, learned how to make chicken stock and veal/beef stock and now it’s time to look at making a vegetable stock.

While vegetable stock may not have some of the “body” of a stock made with bones, it can still add significant flavor and is excellent for enhancing vegetarian dishes, soups, stews, curries and risottos. Use a light vegetable stock in the same way you would use a light chicken stock; for poaching vegetables, cooking a rice pilaf, or as an addition to a light sauce or light colored curry. Use a darker, roasted vegetable stock, for soups and vegetarian chilies and stews. Consider adding dried mushrooms to a vegetable stock to add color and enhance the flavor (mushrooms are a flavor enhancer because they contain glutamic acid, a naturally occurring version of MSG).

There …

Read the full article →

The Sacred Valley- A Pisco Cocktail

June 14, 2014
Thumbnail image for The Sacred Valley- A Pisco Cocktail

My husband and I recently spent nine days in Peru, our first time to that country and our first trip to South America. This visit marked our travels to our 6th continent (someday Antarctica, someday…).

We had a fantastic time exploring the Inca ruins of the Sacred Valley, including the incomparable Machu Picchu and wandering the streets and markets of the colonial city of Cusco and the vibrant capital of Lima. We spent our time eating and drinking as much as possible of the best Peru has to offer; we ate ceviche, alpaca and even tasted guinea pig. We had a 15 course Japanese-Peruvian fusion meal to rival the best Michelin starred restaurants in the world and an fragrant, life affirming, bowl of chicken soup at a market stall which cost about $2. And we drank Pisco, lots and lots of Pisco.

What is Pisco? Besides

Read the full article →