Zucchini Pancakes

It’s that time of year again!  Gardens and farmers’ markets are overflowing with zucchini.  If you are looking for one more zucchini recipe – Zucchini Pancakes is the one to try.  I received this recipe from a friend of my mother’s who compiled some of her favorite recipes.  Perfect as a side dish or a light dinner.  I served fresh sliced tomatoes along side and the combination was a feast for the eyes and well as a feast for the taste-buds.  The summer is winding down, don’t miss out on the abundance of fresh produce this time of year.

zucchini pancakes

Zucchini Pancakes
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups zucchini, grated
  2. 1/2 cup flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. salt and pepper, to taste
  5. 1 egg, beaten
  6. canola oil
  7. 1- 2 tablespoons melted butter
  8. 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine zucchini with the flour baking powder salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the egg and stir until well blended. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat, coat with canola oil. When hot, drop large tablespoons of zucchini batter on hot skillet, slightly flatten the pancake. Cook until brown on each side. Check carefully, if browning too quickly, reduce heat. Serve with a drizzle of melted butter and grated parmesan cheese.
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Apricot Almond Tart

I have to admit that I prefer to serve fruit based desserts after dinner.  I think they are the perfect ending to a meal, I also prefer to serve small portions so everyone can enjoy a small sweet treat after an enjoyable dinner.  This time I was pairing a dessert after an Indian inspired meal.  I served this Apricot Almond Tart and it was a perfect ending to the meal.   I served it straight from the refrigerator with a small dollop of peach ice cream.  Oh so cool and refreshing…a great combination.

apricot almond tart

 

Apricot Almond Tart
Serves 10
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Ingredients
  1. CRUST
  2. 1 1/4 cup flour
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  5. 1 egg yolk
  6. FILLING
  7. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  8. 1/2 cup sugar
  9. 6 ounces almond paste
  10. 2 large eggs
  11. 2 teaspoons flour
  12. TOPPING
  13. 2 14 oz. cans apricot halves, drained
  14. 4 tablespoons brandy
  15. 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  16. 1/4 cup pineapple preserves
  17. Sliced almonds, toasted
Instructions
  1. Crust - mix flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender or food processor, combine butter and egg yolk. Add flour and sugar combination and blend until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Spread into a 10 inch springform pan. Press mixture into plan. Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking, make the tart filling. Cream butter and sugar until light. Add almond paste in small pieces and mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour. Pour mixture over prepared crust and bake 20 minutes. Remove tart from oven, carefully place apricot halves on the tart. In a small saucepan, heat preserves, remove from heat, stir in brandy. Spoon over tart. Sprinkle with almonds. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
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Baked Chicken with Olives and Stuffed Roasted Bell Peppers

Chicken with Olives and Stuffed Roasted Bell Peppers is a perfect week night meal or company fare.  Moist chicken along with fresh mozzarella stuffed peppers, olives and drizzled with red pepper oil.  Since I had fresh mozzarella in the refrigerator and had just picked up a bag of small sweet peppers, I decided to combine the two, toss in some olives and my what a sweet dinner it was.  A feast for the eyes and well as a delicious feast with every bit   I hope you will agree. 

baked chicken with olives and peppers

 

Baked Chicken with Olives and Roasted Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 12 small assorted bell peppers/various colors (I used the mini sweet peppers)
  2. 6 - 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  3. olive oil
  4. salt and pepper
  5. fresh mozzarella cheese
  6. 1/2 cup assorted sliced olives
  7. 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  8. 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
Instructions
  1. Line a sheet pan with foil. Heat broiler to high heat. Place peppers on pan, broil 8 - 10 minutes until all sides of the peppers are charred, turn frequently. Remove from oven, wrap peppers in foil for 10 minutes. Remove peppers, slice one side of each pepper, open peppers and scrape out seeds. Set peppers aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake chicken for 40 minutes. While the chicken is baking, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl, set aside. Slice mozzarella cheese into 1/4 inch slices, cut to approximate size of 1/2 of each pepper, place one piece in each pepper and fold over remaining half of pepper.
  3. When the chicken has baked for 40 minutes, remove pan from oven, place stuffed peppers on baking sheet, return to oven for 3 - 5 minutes or until the cheese is beginning to melt in each pepper.
  4. Line a serving plate with the spinach leaves. Remove chicken and stuffed peppers from the oven. Place on the bed of spinach. Top the chicken and stuffed peppers with the assorted sliced olives. Drizzle the red pepper infused oil over the entire dish. Serve.
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Baked then Grilled Ribs/Interesting Find – Hudson Sauce

Who doesn’t love a great rack of fall-off the bones BBQ’d ribs in the summer time? We certainly do!  I found years ago that by baking the ribs first and then grilling them, you get fall of the bone tenderness without the 3 hours of tending to the grill.  I usually rub the ribs with a dry rub or concoct a BBQ sauce to baste the ribs.  This time, I used a terrific new find – Hudson Sauce.  Their spicy marinade is unbelievably delicious and made this rib preparation even easier.  I marinated the ribs in their Spicy Marinade.  Then followed the method I have always used for ribs.  Bake the ribs in the oven first, them finish on the grill.  I even brushed the ribs with some of the marinade during the last few minutes of cooking.  Finger lickin’ good with a bit of heat and oh so easy!

 hudson sauce 2

                                                                          Marinated Ribs                                   Ribs just taken off the grill

marinated ribs cooked ribs

 

Baked then Grilled Ribs
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Ingredients
  1. Baby back or spareribs
  2. BBQ sauce or dry rub
Instructions
  1. Remove ribs from package, place in large ziplock bag or place in glass baking dish. Marinate in sauce or dry rub of your choice. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove ribs from marinade and place on foil lined baking sheet. Cover ribs with additional foil and seal edges. Bake 2 hours at 325 degrees. Prepare grill - medium low heat. Place ribs on grill and cook an additional hour or until ribs are tender. Serve with additional sauce.
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BBQ Corn

When we were visiting Hawaii earlier this year, I happened to purchase the most delicious BBQ Corn at a local food stand.  Is was just by chance that I noticed this stand nestled along side other small stands.  While the rest of my group was in line ordering shrimp from one of the many shrimp trucks, I found this stand and just had to try it.  We were all surprised how absolutely delicious the corn was and now that it is peak corn season, this is the perfect recipe to try on the grill.  You will not be disappointed, the flavors blended together are delicious.  A wonderful combination with layers of flavor.  They served their corn on sticks, I have found that wooden skewers are not strong enough to hold the corn, wood chop sticks or small wood dowels work the best.  Enjoy!

corn stand

BBQ corn

BBQ Corn
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Ingredients
  1. Corn on the cob, husks removed
  2. Melted butter
  3. Mayonnaise
  4. BBQ seasoning (there are many delicious blends available at your local grocery)
  5. Juice from one lemon
  6. Juice from one lime
  7. parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Amounts of ingredients will vary depending on the number of ears of corn you are cooking.
  2. Combine lemon and lime juice and put in a small spray bottle.
  3. Place husked corn directly on the grill over medium heat, keep rotating for 12 - 14 minutes until a light char has formed on the kernals. Remove from heat.
  4. Immediately after removing from heat - insert wood dowel
  5. brush each ear with melted butter
  6. brush with mayonnaise
  7. spritz with juice mixture
  8. sprinkle with BBQ seasoning
  9. dust with parmesan cheese
Notes
  1. As unconventional as this sounds, try it - the results are amazing!
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Fresh Corn and Avocado Salsa

We just returned from the upper Midwest where the weather is beautiful, waters are wonderful and the farmers markets are at their peak.  When in the Midwest, you absolutely have to try the fresh sweet corn.  Abundant and oh so sweet, the ultimate taste of summer.  After I purchased corn at the market, it was back to stir up this delicious salsa.  I have to admit, it was so delicious, we just could not stop eating it!  Great as an appetizer served with tortilla chips, but this salsa would be equally delicious along side grilled chicken or over fish tacos.

fresh corn and avocado salsa

Fresh Corn and Avocado Salsa
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ears of fresh corn, husk remove and kernels cut off of the cob
  2. 2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
  3. 1/3 cup olive oil
  4. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  5. 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
  6. salt and pepper, to taste
  7. 2 avocados, ripe but firm, diced
  8. 1 red bell pepper, diced
  9. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  10. 4 - 8 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  11. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  12. 1/2 cup lime juice
Instructions
  1. Mix all vegetables together in a medium bowl. Combine olive oil, cumin, oregano, red wine vinegar, hot pepper sauce, chili powder and lime juice. Pour over vegetables and mix thoroughly, Salt and pepper to taste.
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Fresh Peach Ice Cream

Well, I definitely bought more peaches than I needed this past Saturday at the Farmers Market.  It was just one of those impulse buys where the peaches were ripe, the samples were delicious and when I asked if they had peaches ready to use – they headed to their “chefs box” and handed me beautiful ripe peaches.   I few years ago, I purchased an ice cream maker that has proved to come in very handy in the kitchen.  If you do not have an ice cream maker, it is a great kitchen gadget to have.  You keep the liner in your freezer and when you are ready to make ice cream, you simply pour in the chilled ice cream mixture and in approximately fifteen minutes, you have delicious homemade ice cream or frozen yogurt. So, ripe peaches called for my second peach recipe of the week – Fresh Peach Ice Cream.  Cool, creamy and delicious….perfect for these hot steamy July days.   I can’t wait to see what I find this week at the market!

fresh peach ice cream

 

Fresh Peach Ice Cream
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Ingredients
  1. 3 large peaches, peeled and cubed
  2. 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  3. 1 1/4 cup half and half
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. Combine peaches and sugar, set aside for one hour. Puree peach mixture in a blender ( I like large chunks of peach remaining, however, you can puree until the mixture is smooth is you prefer). Add remaining ingredients and refrigerate until well chilled. Process in your ice cream maker as directed.
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Fresh Peach Cake with Crumble Topping

Another great find at the farmers market this week – perfectly ripe peaches.  How could I possibly pass those by?  Fresh Peach Cake with Crumble Topping is the perfect recipe for these gems.  This cake features a moist cake layer topped with fresh peaches and a crumble topping.  Delicious served with coffee for brunch or a delightful summer dessert.  Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a wonderful summer treat.

Fresh Peach Cake

Fresh Peach Cake with Crumble Topping
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Ingredients
  1. Crumble Topping
  2. 3/4 cup flour
  3. 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  4. 1/4 cup sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  7. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  8. Cake
  9. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  10. 1/2 cup sugar
  11. 1/2 cup sour cream
  12. 2 large eggs
  13. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  14. 1 1/4 cup flour
  15. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  16. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  17. 3 - 4 large peaches, peeled and sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10" baking dish.
  2. Combine topping ingredients and set aside.
  3. To prepare the cake layer- in a large bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar until smooth, beat in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. The batter will be stiff. Smooth the batter in the prepared cake pan, top with sliced peaches. Crumble the topping over the peaches.
  4. Bake 35 - 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool before cutting into pieces.
Notes
  1. To easily peel peaches, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Carefully lower the peaches into the boiling water and boil for 20 seconds. Remove peaches and place in a bowl of ice water. Remove and peel.
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Rigatoni with Fresh Burrata

This week has been a week of farmers market finds.  I purchased 7 oz. of fresh Burrata Cheese from a local cheese company, assorted heirloom cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.  Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese; basically a ball formed from Mozzarella filled with fresh cheese and/or cream.  When you cut it open, the wonderful creamy center flows out.  I think you will agree this is a wonderful concoction of pasta, tomatoes, sausage, and fresh burrata.  

Rigatoni with Fresh Burrata

Rigatoni with Fresh Burrata
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 clove garlic, minced
  3. 8 oz. hot Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage, however you can use pork or turkey sausage)
  4. 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  5. 8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
  6. 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  7. 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
  8. 8 oz. rigatoni
  9. 7 oz. fresh burrata cheese, let sit at room temperature while preparing sauce.
  10. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium dutch oven, over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant (do not brown). Add Italian sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add crushed tomatoes, mushrooms and 1 cup cherry tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook rigatoni al dente and drain. Add to sauce, stir. Stir in basil leaves, remaining 1/2 cup of tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Stir until heated through. Top with burrata cheese, serve.
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Grilled Fish with Peppers

The days are so hot, I decided it was time to utilize the grill.  I purchased orange roughy at the store along with assorted peppers.  I wrapped it in foil along with lemon juice, butter and spices.  In twenty minutes, dinner was ready in one packet.  It was the perfect summer dinner, you certainly could substitute any fish; just adjust the cooking time according to thickness of the fish.  Entertaining? – serve each guest one packet to reveal the contents at their place setting.

grilled fish with peppers

Grilled Fish with Peppers
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 orange roughy fillets
  2. 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  3. 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  4. 1 onion, sliced
  5. 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/2 cup melted butter
  7. 2 teaspoons salt
  8. 2 teaspoons paprika
  9. Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease 4 pieces of heavy duty foil. Place one fillet in each, top with peppers and onion. Combine remaining ingredients and pour evenly over the four fillets. Wrap each fillet into a package, with seams securely sealed. Place foil packets on the grill over medium heat. Cook for 20 - 30 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of fillets.
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