Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grilled Goat Cheese Pizza with Figs, Beets, and Wilted Greens

A great grilled pizza topped with a variety flavorful meatless options.

Who would of thought that grilled beets and greens makes for a delicious pizza topping.

Grilled Goat Cheese Pizza with Figs, Beets, and Wilted Greens
Serves 4
Recipe from Fine Cooking

4 medium beets with tops, beets peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick, and beet greens washed, stemmed, and thinly sliced
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1lb. pizza dough (white or whole wheat), at room temperature
All-purpose flour, as needed
Cornmeal, as needed
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
1/3 cup chopped dried figs (note: we used fresh figs)
4 thin slices provolone (about 3 ounces)

Prepare a high gas or charcoal grill fire.

In a medium bowl, toss the beets with 2 tsp. of the oil and light sprinkling of salt and pepper.  In another medium bowl, toss the beet greens with the remaining 2 tsp. oil and light sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Using a dough scraper or sharp knife, quarter the dough.  Working with 1 piece at a time, stretch or roll each piece of dough into a rustic 12x3-1/2to 4-inch oval.  If the dough resists stretching, let it rest for a few minutes while you work on the other pieces.  Transfer to large cornmeal-coated rimmed baking sheets.

Grill the beets, covered and turning once, until tender and spotty brown on both sides, 8-10 minutes.  Return the beets to their bowl and set aside.

Reduce the grill heat to medium low (or let the fire die down).  Arrange the pizzas on the grill perpendicular to the grate.  Cover and grill, moving them around as needed to ensure even cooking, until bottoms are spotty brown, 2 to 4 minutes.  Return the crusts to the baking sheets grilled side up.  Spread each with a quarter of the softened goat cheese and then top with the beet greens, grilled beets, and figs.  Top with the provolone, breaking it into pieces so that most of each pizza is covered.  Return the pizzas to the grill, cover and cook until the bottoms are spotty brown, the greens are wilted, and the cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes longer.  Transfer the pizzas to a cutting board, cut into pieces and serve.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Andy Wallack

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa

The combination of sweet and sour, with a bit of heat really come together in this grilled pork dish.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa
Serves 6
Recipe from Bon Appetit

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 cup minced shallots, divided
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 pork tenderloins, about 2-1/2 lb. total
1/2 lb. fresh cherries, stemmed, pitted, halved.
1 fresh Fresno chile, red jalapeno, or Holland chile, thinly sliced crosswise
thinly sliced.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat.  Combine 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup minced shallots, 4 tablespoons lime juice, and vegetable oil in resealable plastic bag.  Add pork; seal bag and turn to coat.  Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup cup shallots, 2 tablespoons lime juice, cherries, chile, and olive oil in a medium bowl.  Season salsa lightly with salt and pepper and set aside to let flavors to meld.  

Remove tenderloins from marinade and season generously with salt and pepper.

Grill tenderloins, turning frequently, until a thermometer inserted into meat registers 145 degrees, about 15 minutes.  Let rest 10 minutes.

Cut into thin slices and serve with salsa.


Note: You can make the sauce and marinate the meat the day before.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cherry Clafouti

A simply inspiring French dessert. 

Served warm or at room temperature. Either way, you are going to be delighted.

Cherry Clafouti
8 servings
Recipe from Bon Appetit

1lb. fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted, or frozen pitted cherries, thawed and drained
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Powdered sugar

Special Equipment: 10" springform cake pan or eight 2/3 - or 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups.

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F.  Butter cake pan or ramekins.  Arrange cherries in a single layer in pan.

Combine milk and cream in a small saucepan; bring just to a simmer over medium heat.  Set aside.  Combine eggs, flour, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl; whisk to blend.  Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture; whisk until custard is smooth.  Pour custard evenly over cherries in pan.  If necessary, gently shake pan to allow custard to settle.

Bake clafouti until custard is set and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes for ramekins and 45-55 minutes for cake pan.  Let cool 3 minutes, then run a knife around pan sides to loosen clafouti (if using a cake pan).  Dust top with powdered sugar; cut into wedges and serve.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fresh Figs stuffed with Blue Cheese Wrapped in Prosciutto

Getting ready for the weekend?  The wine is chilled.  We have a spot for you.

The figs are ripe on our tree.  We picked a few to share this appetizer with you, while you enjoy your wine.

Fresh Figs stuffed with Blue Cheese Wrapped in Prosciutto
Serves 6

6 fresh figs
1/4 cup good quality blue cheese
3-4 prosciutto (thinly sliced, cut lengthwise)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Turn the oven to broil.

Cut the figs in half, and place a piece of the blue cheese on each half.  Wrap the prosciutto around each fig half, covering the cheese.  The ends of the prosciutto should overlap.

Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the prosciutto begins to color and crisp.  Remove.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Serve warm.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Ton Vanvliet

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Watermelon and Cress Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Hearts of Palm

We had a most enjoyable weekend.  We played in the dirt (we have a family garden plot), did much needed yard work.   In the evening we drank cocktails with friends in our community garden patch, and enjoyed light summer meals.   If only we could do this more often....

One of the meals that was a highlight of our evening was this main entree salad.  The subtle sweetness of the watermelon is a nice contrast to the grilled shrimp and hearts of palm.  The crumbled cheese adds just enough salty flavor to make it all work together.

Watermelon and Cress Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Hearts of Palm
Serves 2

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. jumbo shrimp (21-25 per lb), peeled and deveined
3 canned hearts of palm, drained and patted dry (about half of a 14-oz can.)
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon minced shallot
6 oz. watercress or upland cress, separated into small sprigs, thicker stems trimmed
1/2 cup packed fresh basil, thinly sliced
12 oz. watermelon, thinly sliced into narrow wedges, rind removed, seeded if necessary
3 oz. ricotta salata, crumbled (about 3/4 cup) Note: we used feta

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire.  meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk 1-1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the mustard, the lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Toss the shrimp in the marinade and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Thread the shrimp onto metal skewers.  Toss the hearts of palm with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Grill the shrimp and the hearts of palm, flipping once, until they have nice grill marks and the shrimp are just cooked through, about 4 minutes total.  When cool enough to handle, halve the hearts of palm lengthwise, and then cut crosswise into thirds.  remove the shrimp from the skewers.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1 teaspoon mustard with the vinegar, shallot, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a thin stream.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, toss the cress and basil with just enough of the dressing to lightly coat.  Season to taste with salt.  Divide the greens between 2 plates.  Top with the watermelon wedges and drizzle lightly with the remaining dressing.  Top with the hearts of palm, shrimp, and crumbled ricotta salata or similar cheese.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Floridita Cocktail

A traditional cocktail enjoyed in the 1920's-1930's at the famous Floridita Hotel in Cuba.  This cocktail stands up nicely to time.  It sticks to the traditional fresh flavors of citrus and rum and has a tangy refreshing taste.  Perfect for hot weather.

We enjoyed these cocktails on a Friday evening at our rented family garden plot close to our home.  It was a fun evening with friends, drinking cocktails and watching our vegetables grow.

Floridita Cocktail
Makes 2 6-ounce drinks

4 ounces white rum
3 ounces fresh grapefruit juice (from approximately 1/2 grapefruit)
2 ounces fresh lime juice (from approximately 2 limes)
1 ounce triple sec
1 ounce maraschino liqueur
1 ounce Grenadine
2 fresh mint leaves for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients except the mint.  Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is beaded with sweat and is frosty.

Strain into cocktail glasses, garnish with mint leaves, and serve.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Brenda's Canadian Kitchen at

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Supper and Fresh Peach Ice Cream

It's Sunday, and we are having our usual gathering of friends and family for  Sunday Supper.

Come join us!

 Peaches are in season and are a symbol of summer in the South.   My husband used tree fresh peaches and prepared a peach ice cream for dessert.

Fresh Georgia Peach Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart

3 large, sweet peaches, peeled and pitted (about 1-1/4 pounds)
1/4 cup peach nectar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream

Slice the peaches into eighths and place in a blender with the peach nectar, lemon juice, and salt.  Blend until the peaches are pureed.  Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the eggs until they are thickened and pale yellow.  Beat in the flour.  Set aside.

Bring the milk to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan.  Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and sugar.  Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat.  Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly.  Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl.  Allow the custard to cool slightly, then mix the peach puree and cream.  Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.

Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturers instructions.  When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat.  For firmer ice cream, transfer to freezer-safe container and freeze at least 2 hours.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tallahassee Wine Club

What a beautiful evening. 

No recipes today, just sharing a few images from our monthly wine gathering.  

Cheers to you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Photo Submitted by Samantha at Hungry Dog