Corn Chowder Salad

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2015/08/corn-chowder-salad/

4 thick slices of bacon (4 ounces), cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice, although I made mine smaller
6 large or 8 medium ears of corn, kernels removed (I used 8 large and it was a massive salad)
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Salt and crushed red pepper to taste

Cook bacon: In a large frying pan, cook the bacon over moderately low heat, stirring a few times, until it is crisp, about 5 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels and let drain.

Fry potatoes, peppers and corn: Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the potatoes and cook over moderately high heat until they start to brown, about about 3 to 6 minutes. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes longer, until almost tender; they’ll finish cooking with the other vegetables. Add the diced red peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and peppers are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cook, stirring, until heated through but still crisp, about 3 minutes.

Assemble and serve: Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and stir in the onion, cider vinegar and bacon. Season with red pepper and salt to taste. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
  

Cobb Salad

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/04/classic-cobb-salad/

Serves 4 to 6

Dressing (Heads up: I found I only needed half of this)
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salad
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded
1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 bunch watercress, some of the stems trimmed, chopped
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (we used a Stilton)
6 strips cooked bacon, roughly chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium tomatoes, peeled*, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chives, minced

Make the dressing: Combine the canola oil, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire, sugar, and garlic in a blender. Purée the ingredients to make a smooth dressing and season with salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Make the salad: On a (very) large platter, combine the iceberg and romaine lettuces along with the watercress. Arrange the blue cheese, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, chicken, and avocado on top of the greens in neat rows. To serve, drizzle salad with dressing, season with salt and pepper, and top with chives. Alternatively, toss everything together in a bowl.

Do ahead: Salad dressing keeps, covered and refrigerated, for up to one week. Individual ingredients (except the avocado, which is too prone to browning) can be prepped and chopped, and kept in separate containers in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad. However, no doubt due to sturdiness of 2/3 of the lettuces, I found that the entire assembled salad kept surprisingly well wrapped in plastic in the fridge for a few hours.

Creamy Garlic Herb Mushroom Pasta

Creamy Garlic Herb Mushroom Spaghetti

INGREDIENTS
  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (spaghetti, linguine, etc.) – I like DeLallo brand
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 16 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 1½ cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • additional ¼ cup water, broth, milk or cream (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley (more to taste)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions. Set aside and toss with a little oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Mushrooms: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add one clove of the garlic and saute for a minute until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown and softened. Set aside.
  3. Sauce: Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and melt again over medium high heat. Add the garlic and saute for a minute until fragrant. Add the flour and herbes de provence. Stir fry for a minute to cook out the flour taste. Add the milk slowly, whisking to incorporate. Let the mixture simmer until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Assemble: Toss the sauce, pasta, and mushrooms together. Add the olive oil and water as needed to keep the sauce from getting too thick. Stir in the parsley just before serving.

Tomatoes Stuffed With Tuna and Beans

http://theitaliandishblog.com/imported-20090913150324/2009/4/30/meatless-meals-tomatoes-stuffed-with-tuna-and-cellini-beans.html

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup dried cellini, cannellini or white navy beans, soaked for several hours or overnight (or 1 can of beans, drained)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • several peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced as thin as you can
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
  • 12 ounce can tuna, packed in water, drained
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
Instructions:
Drain the beans and place in a saucepan with 1 bay leave, several peppercorns, a clove of garlic and 1 tablespoon of salt.  Add water to cover by a at least an inch and simmer over low heat, covered, until tender about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  Drain and remove bay leaf, garlic and peppercorns.  Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil.
Slice tops off of the tomatoes and scoop out seeds and most of the flesh with a spoon.  Lightly salt the inside of each tomato and place upside down on paper towels to drain for about 3o minutes.

Ricotta and Spinach Pork Rolls

http://theitaliandishblog.com/imported-20090913150324/2013/1/29/pamela-sheldon-johns-pork-rolls-stuffed-with-ricotta-and-spi.html

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces fresh spinach, steamed and finely chopped
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pound boneless pork loin, sliced into 8 pieces
  • 8 thin slices pancetta
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine

Instructions:

In a medium bowl, combine the spinach and ricotta and stir to blend. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Set aside.

Place a slice of pork between two pieces of parchment paper, and roll with a rolling pin until flattened to an even fitness, about an eighth of an inch. Repeat to flatten the remaining slices.

Spread a thin layer of the spinach mixture on top of a slice of pork, leaving a quarter inch border. Roll it and wrap with a slice of pancetta, then fasten with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining pork, filling, and pancetta.

In a large, heavy sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and sear the rolls for about two minutes on each side.  Add the wine and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer briskly for 7 to 8 minutes, turning the rolls once or twice to heat them through. Serve at once.

Cornmeal Fried Porkchops

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2015/03/cornmeal-fried-pork-chops-goat-cheese-smashed-potatoes/

For the pork chops
6 boneless pork chops (about 3 ounces each)
About 3 cups buttermilk, whole milk if you can find it
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups yellow cornmeal
Cayenne pepper
Canola oil (or high heat safflower or sunflower, what I used) for shallow-frying

For the potatoes
3 pounds small-to-medium red potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup half-and-half (or 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 cup heavy cream)
6 ounces soft goat cheese
8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, diced and chilled
1/2 cup finely sliced fresh chives
Freshly ground black or white pepper

Marinate the pork chops: Pound each pork chop (using a meat pounder or, in a pinch, I’ve also used a cast iron skillet, rather dramatically) between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/8-inch thick. Place the chops in a container and cover them with the buttermilk. Cover and marinate at least four hours or overnight or in the refrigerator.

Prep the smashed potatoes: Put the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and add 1/4 cup salt. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 20 minutes for small potatoes or 30 minutes for medium ones; try not to let the water boil.

Cook the chops: Heat your oven to 200 degrees. Remove the chops from the buttermilk, discarding it and patting most of the buttermilk off the chops. Season the chops with salt and cracked pepper. Put the cornmeal in a shallow bowl and season it with salt and cayenne pepper. Dredge the chops in the cornmeal, gently shaking off the excess, and put on a large plate.

[Brock wants you to cook these in two large cast-iron skillets, using the oil in each only once, discarding it and putting new oil in for the next chop. I used one 12-inch skillet that fit two chops and reused the oil a couple times, but the downside of this is that it will pick up black bits that fall into the oil as it cooks.]

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the skillet is hot, add a 1/4-inch of oil to each and heat for 1 minute. Carefully place 2 pork chops in each skillet; do not shake the skillets or touch the chops for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook the chops until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the chops over and cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes more. I found that my chops really wanted to stick on the second side, so slide a thin spatula underneath them to loosen them from the bottom of the pan before transfer the chops to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Discard the oil the skillet if it gets too murky and repeat with remaining chops.

Finish the potatoes: When the potatoes are almost cooked, bring the half-and-half to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, carefully smash each potato without breaking it apart. Pour the hot half-and-half over the potatoes; crumble the goat cheese, butter and chives over them then fold it together — I only did this once or twice, preferring to keep as many small pockets of goat cheese throughout as possible. Season with salt, if needed, and white or black pepper.

Serve: The potatoes and chops together. Repeat as soon as possible.

Serve with: Brock recommends that you serve these with a cucumber and pickled green tomato relish, which sounds like everything I want to eat right now, but I would have had to have had 3 1/2 pounds heirloom green tomatoes and gotten started on it two weeks ago (1 week for each pickling stage). I’ll be trying it out this summer. In a pinch, I wish I’d made these pickles instead.

Cucumber and Avocado Salad

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2015/04/obsessively-good-avocado-cucumber-salad/

3/4 to 1 pound seedless cucumber, washed and chopped into chunks
2 thin or 1 regular scallions, thinly sliced
1 large avocado, pitted and diced
2 tablespoons mayonaise
Juice of half a lime, plus more to taste
Salt and hot sauce (we used Sriracha) to taste
Chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley to garnish

Combine cucumber, scallions and avocado in a bowl. Whisk together mayo, lime and seasonings, adjusting levels to taste. Drizzle salad with dressing and garnish with cilantro or parsley. Repeat again tomorrow.

Potato Scallion and Kale Cakes

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2015/04/potato-scallion-and-kale-cakes/

12 scallions (mine were very thin; I’d use fewer if yours are on the thick side)
1 handful kale leaves, rolled in a stack and sliced into very thin ribbons
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (I totally skipped this)
1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt (use less if your mashed potatoes are already seasoned)
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs or panko (plain and lightweight)
1 1/2 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Clean and trim the scallions, leaving about 2 inches of green stems; I reserved the darker green tops for garnish and salad additions. Cook in boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, wring out well, and chop finely. Place the scallions in a medium-sized bowl, add the kale, eggs, nutmeg (if using), salt, pepper, bread crumbs and potatoes and stir to combine. The batter will be loose and wet; this is just fine.

Heat the oils in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Use about 2 tablespoons batter (I used a cookie scoop that holds slightly less) per pancake, flattening them as they hit the pan. Cook until golden brown underneath, just a couple minutes, before flipping them and cooking them on the reverse side until golden and crisp as well. Drain on paper towels, but be gentle as they are still fragile. You can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven while cooking off the rest of the batter, adding more oil as needed and letting pan cool between batches if it gets too hot.

Serve scattered with reserved scallion stems, if desired, topped with a crispy egg or alongside a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt. They also make a wonderful meal with a big salad. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days