Wednesday, August 7, 2013

More terrific summer recipes - pastas, salads, appetizers, cake!

My promised update of recipes I tried so far this summer that worked continues. In this blog entry are summer pastas, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, cake and more. All of them were awesome – try all of the recipes below without fear! Click on the links to get the recipes. (For the recipes for cold drinks and ice pops that I shared yesterday, please go to:

Summer pastas
Here are three pastas that are perfect for summertime: They use fresh tomatoes and basil.

One-Pan Pasta: This amazing recipe really does require just one pan. The pasta is cooked right along with tomatoes, garlic and basil. It’s ideal for weeknights: It took my husband just 25 minutes to make it, from prep to serving, without rushing.

Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella: This pasta has a no-cook sauce. Kids will love it!

Spaghetti with Sun Gold Tomato Sauce: The sauce has some unusual ingredients, a star anise pod and whole clove among them. But what results is an amazing, warming sauce that makes lovely use of tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes can be substituted.

Strawberry delight
Here are a couple of fantastic recipes using fresh strawberries:

Herb-Crusted Chicken with Fresh Strawberry Relish: This dish is so good, it’s a little breathtaking. Make sure to use a roasting pan as directed to get a slight crisp on the chicken.

Strawberry & Blue Cheese Bruschetta: Serve this with champagne and you’ve got a gorgeous start to a summertime dinner party.

Something’s fishy
Shrimp and fish fillets are featured in these lovely recipes:

Warm Shrimp Salad with Honeydew and Feta: The secret ingredient to this refreshing salad, for which the skillet is used to cook the shrimp, is coriander seeds. The recipe calls for cracked coriander seeds, as opposed to ground coriander. We used a spice grinder to crack up some whole coriander seeds, but not grind them completely.

Striped Bass Poached in Herb Butter: Caught some fish you’d like to cook and enjoy? Here’s a wonderful recipe in which fish fillets are poached, rather than fried, in butter, resulting in tender, flavourful fish.  Any type of white fish can be used. Since we couldn’t find striped bass, we used cod with great results. You don’t even need to use fish with skin on one side, as the recipe calls for. We used cod fillets without skin and they worked fine.

Summer baking
Lemon Bundt Cake: Although this recipe is from a December issue of Food & Wine magazine, I thought it looked much more suited to spring and summer. The recipe is a little involved but the end product is definitely worth it.

Polenta Pound Cake with Blueberries and Thyme: This is hands-down the best pound cake I’ve ever made. Even though it is a rather dense cake and the sauce best served warm, it is still surprisingly well suited to outdoor summer dinners due to the luscious blueberries and herby time.

Fine fennel
These two recipes use fennel: One with fresh fennel, the other with fennel seeds.

Chilled Fennel and Cucumber Soup: Creamy (from fresh steamed fennel as the base), satisfying, and COLD. Enough said.

Grilled Pork Sandwiches with Fennel, Dill, and Cucumber: Fennel seeds and allspice are rubbed into pork tenderloin before it is grilled for these delicious sandwiches.

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