Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Recipes and menu ideas for dogfish taco night with peach salsa, salsa verde, squash calabacitas

Recipes and menu ideas for basil pesto, dogfish taco night with peach salsa, salsa verde, squash calabacitas, butter beans and southern pie.

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Tis the season for basil pesto

Every spring I buy at least six baby basil plants so I can make pesto every few weeks throughout the summer and into the fall. Last year, my plants got sick, some kind of wasting disease caused by the soil, after only a few harvests so my pesto inventory got perilously low.

This year, we had so much rain that mildew got them, but they seem to be coming back. I cheated on them by buying a huge bunch of basil at the farmers market for this year’s first batch of basil pesto. I freeze pesto in ice cube trays, then pop the pesto cubes into freezer bags.

Here’s how I’ve been using basil pesto lately:

Recipes and menu ideas for dogfish taco night with peach salsa, salsa verde, squash calabacitas

Fish taco night!

I love all the traditional accompaniments to tacos which is why they’re usually a Sunday dish. On a recent Sunday, I ended up making seven things to go along with dogfish tacos. A little excessive but enough for leftovers on Tuesday too.

Since cod is overfished, I read somewhere that Brits now use dogfish for fish and chips. It’s a tasty fish. I gave it a good rub with ground ancho chile, paprika, cumin, dried oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Taco time in this house means southwestern slaw time. No mayo in this recipe, instead it calls for lime juice and rice vinegar. Red and green cabbage, carrot, sweet onion, red bell pepper, broccoli stems, cilantro and hot sauce are the stars of this slaw.

Of course, you have to have guacamole—and that reminds me of a key step when planning for tacos: you’ve got to have ripe avocadoes. Maybe the store will have them, maybe they won’t. To be safe, I plan ahead and get some ripening by putting them in a sealable bag with a banana or apple.

Peach salsa

I went crazy buying peaches at the farmers market so I decided to make some peach salsa too. I loved having the hit of sweet fruit against the other flavors.

  • 2 cups of diced peaches
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno, remove ribs and seeds before mincing to reduce the heat level
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice of one lime or more to taste
  • salt to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Recipes and menu ideas for basil pesto, dogfish taco night with peach salsa, salsa verde, squash calabacitas, butter beans and southern pie.

Salsa verde

One of my favorite Mexican accompaniments to tacos is salsa verde. My recipe comes from Rick Bayless’ cookbook, From Mexico: One Plate at a Time.

  • 8 ounces (5 to 6 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed, roughly chopped
  • Fresh hot green chiles, to taste (roughly 2 serranos or 1 jalapeno), stemmed, ribs and seeds removed if you don’t want that much heat, roughly chopped
  • 6 hefty sprigs fresh cilantro (remove only the thick stems, you can use the thin stems), roughly chopped
  • Scant 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • Juice of at least 1/2 lime (taste, maybe more)
  • Salt

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, chiles and cilantro. Process to a coarse puree, then scrape into a serving dish. Stir onion and lime juice into the salsa and season with salt, usually a generous 1/4 teaspoon. Taste for lime and salt, and add more if necessary.

Squash calabacitas

Think about it: when you dine at a Mexican restaurant, do you ever get a green veg on your plate? I once ordered nopales as an appetizer but that’s as close as I ever got. When I want a green veg for a Mexican-style meal, I turn to calabacitas. I don’t know how authentic this really is but I don’t care that much, it’s delicious.

  • 1 tablespoon (or more) olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped (or jalapeno or canned green chiles)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large zucchini, quartered lengthwise and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 to 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Cayenne, cumin, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium-low and cook onions and poblano until they just start to get soft. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Turn heat up to medium if you don’t mind some of your squash getting a little brown. Add zucchini and squash and cook, stirring every now and then, until they’re at the tenderness you like. Usually some of mine get pretty soft while some are more crisp-tender, depending on how long they spend at the bottom of the pan.

Add corn, tomato and oregano, cook until the tomatoes are cooked enough for you. Remove from heat and season with cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

Recipes and menu ideas for basil pesto, dogfish taco night with peach salsa, salsa verde, squash calabacitas, butter beans and southern pie.

Southern summering

Different kinds of beans and peas have been appearing lately at the farmers market. These ingredients have never been part of my repertoire so I decided to start my southern bean/pea education with butter beans. They look and taste a lot like lima beans, in fact, I found out they are lima beans—it’s a southern thing.

I asked the lady at the farm stand how she cooked her butter beans. She said to simmer them in water with a ham hock. I can’t recall if she said anything else or if I did anything else—besides add salt, pepper and butter after I drained them.

I added the leftover butter beans to my leftover calabacitas—Mexican succotash!

I was in charge of dessert on the 4th of July so I made another tasty Southern treat: Atlantic Beach pie. The story goes that this pie was served back in the day at many of the seafood places on the coast around Atlantic Beach. I found a recipe by Bill Smith, chef at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill. He’s a proven source of good eats: the only shrimp and grits recipe I ever use is his recipe, and I’m telling you, I’ve never had better in any restaurant.

The pie was a hit. I thought the saltine crust would be weird but the salty buttery crust contrasted with tangy sweet lemon filling. It was super easy to make. Now I need an occasion to make it again. However, next time, I’m going to cut back on the crackers a bit, I had way more crumbs than I needed for the crust.


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Creative Commons licensed image by Daderot (tomatillos).

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Recipes and menu ideas for a summer Indian dinner, yellowfin tuna, peach andouille basil flatbread and blackened amberjack (or other hearty fish).

Recipes and menu ideas for a summer Indian dinner, yellowfin tuna, peach andouille basil flatbread and blackened amberjack (or other hearty fish).

Fighting the heat with Indian food

When the temps are in the 90s, I like meals with fresh, spicy, bold flavors like Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican or Indian. On a hot night recently I made cod with coconut-cilantro sauce. Since the recipe has garam masala in it, I’m guessing it’s supposed to be Indian or Indian-style. Whatever, it was quick, easy and delicious.

I kept with the Indian theme and made this Indian-spiced mashed cauliflower recipe using a yellow cauliflower I picked up at the farmers market. I swear it tasted and looked like mashed potatoes, but even better thanks to the mix of red onion, cilantro and spices. I doubled the amount of red onion and omitted the mustard seeds. Jim’s not a fan of mustard—and doesn’t know what he’s missing—so I go easy on it when recipes call for mustard, mustard powder or mustard seeds.

Our other side was Indian-style kale and spinach. The original recipe called for mustard greens but I used what I had in the fridge. An interesting recipe: the greens were puréed with cornmeal and spices in a food processor. It was pretty good but nothing special although I loved the purée aspect and the heat.

Recipes and menu ideas for a summer Indian dinner, yellowfin tuna, peach andouille basil flatbread and blackened amberjack (or other hearty fish).

Highlight of the week: yellowfin tuna

We received two pounds of gorgeous North Carolina yellowfin tuna from our CSF share at Locals Seafood, more than enough for two dinners. The first night, I made this Sicilian tuna recipe. It reminded me of puttanesca—a boldly flavored topping for the tuna. Next time, I will skip the marinade. I’m not sure it added much plus the lemon juice cooked the sides of the tuna.

On the side I made my Italian-style spaghetti squash recipe with the addition of some carrot top pesto.

The highlight of the week was the next night’s supper: Thai tuna burgers. Oh my, swooningly good. I got to use my mortar and pestle for once to make a paste of ginger, garlic, jalapeño, fish sauce, cilantro and Thai basil. I added this vibrant green paste to the finely chopped tuna. Brush a mix of grapeseed and sesame oil on the buns. Spread some ginger-lemon mayo on mine. Top with pickled cucumber and red onion. Heavenly.

Recipes and menu ideas for a summer Indian dinner, yellowfin tuna, peach andouille basil flatbread and blackened amberjack (or other hearty fish).

Peach, Andouille and Basil Flatbread

I made peach, andouille and basil flatbread as a side one night. I had some peaches that were soft in parts so I thought I’d make a pizza out of them with some type of pork and basil. I decided to go the easy route and use flatbread. Dang, it turned out really well. I will definitely do this again.

  • Olive oil
  • Andouille or linguica sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4” or less
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 large naan flatbreads
  • 2 peaches, thinly sliced
  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced – can add some goat cheese too
  • Basil, chopped

Heat olive oil in pan. Add sausage. If it’s raw, cook until done. If it’s fully cooked, add garlic too and cook about a minute. Spread evenly over flatbread. Place peaches and mozzarella evenly over flatbread. Cook at 350 until cheese bubbles and starts to brown. Sprinkle with basil.

Recipes and menu ideas for a summer Indian dinner, yellowfin tuna, peach andouille basil flatbread and blackened amberjack (or other hearty fish).

Good eats in Massachusetts

I spent some time in Massachusetts recently visiting my family. Here are some of my dining highlights for your menu inspiration:

Razor clam ceviche at Cibo Matto in Mansfield where I also tried a bit of my Dad’s sea scallops (I opted for halibut)—the best darn scallops I’ve had in ages—guessing just seared in butter.

Desserts at Cibo Matto: vanilla bean panna cotta with blueberry sauce and oat crisp crumble—tis the season to make a cool refreshing panna cotta, and the most delicious gingerbread sundae with gingersnap molasses ice cream, gingerbread, and whipped cream with caramel, holy moly—definitely more of an autumn dessert but I couldn’t resist, so darn good.

Lobster roll at Lobster Hut in Plymouth—I can’t go to MA and not have a lobster roll.

Linguica, onion and garlic pizza at Union Villa in North Easton—and I can’t leave without having my favorite pizza.

Swordfish on the grill.

My mum’s cod with Ritz/lemon/butter topping—a family classic.

Breakfast at JJ’s Caffe in Brockton: salmon benedict—two poached eggs on top of a mix of salmon, onion and spinach on a grilled English muffin, topped with whole grain mustard cream, alongside crème brulée french toast topped with apple cinnamon syrup, crème fraiche, bananas, blueberries and strawberries.

Donuts from Kane’s in Saugus.

Recipes and menu ideas for a summer Indian dinner, yellowfin tuna, peach andouille basil flatbread and blackened amberjack (or other hearty fish).

Blackened amberjack

We love amberjack. My seafood shop describes amberjack as having a sweet, mild flavor with tender, firm, and delicate meat along with a high oil content that gives it a buttery texture. All I can say is: fabulous.

I made up a recipe for one pound of blackened amberjack based on a few I found online:

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

We decided to add it to a big dinner salad—I had mine with gorgonzola crumbles and chipotle ranch dressing. I also made some roasted sweet potatoes with smoked paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic powder and sea salt, plus some leftover veggies on the side too.

More to come!

Recipes and recipe suggestions for homemade coffee syrup, carrot top pesto, blueberry cake and a Vietnamese dinner

Recipes and recipe suggestions for homemade coffee syrup, carrot top pesto, blueberry cake and a Vietnamese dinner.

Hot weather treat: chilled or iced coffee

What do you do in hot and humid weather? Stay inside, that’s what. I get out there to exercise and sweat once a day but the rest of the time you can find me in the cool comfort of the AC. If it’s morning, you’ll also find me with a big chilled coffee. I haven’t graduated to any sophisticated methods of making chilled coffee, I simply make a pot of coffee and stick it in the fridge.

I like my hot coffee with a bit of milk but when it comes to chilled coffee, I like a hint of sweetness in it too. My homemade spiced coffee syrup is just the thing.

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the water, maple syrup, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small saucepot and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

You can strain the mixture through a cheesecloth if you wish or simply pour it through a funnel into a jar or bottle. Store it in the refrigerator.

Recipes and recipe suggestions for homemade coffee syrup, carrot top pesto, blueberry cake and a Vietnamese dinner

Carrot top pesto

I’ve written about my carrot top pesto here before but did I give you the recipe? At first, like you, I thought the idea of making pesto from carrot tops was a bit of a stretch, but the flavor is much better than you could ever imagine. As proof, I will point to Jim who has no idea he’s eating carrot top pesto but loves it when I stir it into vegetable sautés. Plus, I hate food waste so I love that I can use every part of the carrot—the ones we get from the CSA or farmers market usually come with their frilly green tops.

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin or sunflower seeds — I’ve been making it only with pumpkin seeds (pepitas) but will try pecans next.
  • 2 cups lightly packed carrot leaves, stems removed, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Spread the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and place them in a preheated 350-degree oven or toaster oven. Toast until fragrant and lightly browned. Watch them closely after 5 minutes so they don’t get too dark and burn.

In a food processor, combine the carrot leaves, parsley, oil, garlic and salt, and process until finely minced. Add the nuts and pulse until finely chopped. Add more oil to get to the consistency you want. I like it thicker than tomato sauce but not as thick as hummus, if that makes any sense.

If you’re not freezing the pesto, stir in the Parmesan. If you’re freezing it, wait until you defrost the pesto to add Parmesan. Taste the pesto and add salt and/or lemon juice if you think it needs it. I freeze my pesto in ice cube trays.

Here are some ways to use carrot top pesto:

  • Stirred into a vegetable sauté.
  • Tossed with pasta—I added it once to cheese-filled tortellini.
  • Dolloped on top of hard-boiled eggs.
  • Tossed with roasted potatoes.
  • Spooned on top of bruschetta with goat cheese.

Blueberry season

Peaches have overtaken the farmers market but blueberries are running a strong second in the most popular fruit category. I’ve been coming home with at least two pints every week.

A few weekends ago, I made this blueberry cake recipe from Simply Recipes. I increased the cinnamon because why not. And I omitted the powdered sugar topping because this cake really doesn’t need it. This is more of a breakfast and snacking cake than a fancy wow-you-made-cake dessert cake.

Recipes and recipe suggestions for homemade coffee syrup, carrot top pesto, blueberry cake and a Vietnamese dinner

Satisfying my Vietnamese yearnings

Southeast Asian food is perfect for hot humid evenings. I pulled some wild salmon from the freezer and made roast salmon with Vietnamese caramel sauce—a Food52 recipe. Fantastic. I will make it again, but next time I’ll add some heat to the sauce itself.

My spiralizer went into action for the side: Vietnamese zoodle salad with herbs and roasted peanuts—a Fine Cooking recipe featuring zucchini, carrot and red onions with mint, cilantro and Thai basil—the recipe called for regular basil but I’ve got a pot of Thai basil on the deck.

That’s all for now. I’ll have more meals to share soon since I’m still catching up here.

Creative Commons licensed photos by Frank McKenna (iced coffee) and Joanna Kosinska (blueberries) via Unsplash.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

Tilefish and fish cakes

My cooking week began with blueline tilefish. Before getting involved in a CSF (that stands for community supported fishery which is like a CSA share but with fish and shellfish), I hadn’t ever heard of tilefish. Tilefish is a mild, white, flaky fish found along the east coast. Its diet of tasty sea critters makes it quite delicious—some people compare it to grouper.

A few years ago, I made tilefish with a spiced breadcrumb topping. The star of that topping was New Bay 33—a black garlic enhanced take on Old Bay seasoning. And let me tell you, New Bay 33 is so much better than Old Bay.

This time I made a tilefish cakes recipe from Food52. I used New Bay 33 instead of the Old Bay and celery salt called for by the recipe. And, I added a shallot which is missing from the list of ingredients although it’s mentioned in the instructions—sloppy recipe writing.

I love fish cakes. Maybe because I love meatballs of all types too and what’s a fish cake but a smooshed fish ball, right? This recipe doesn’t have a lot of filler so the tilefish shone through.

On the side, roasted new potatoes sprinkled with a sample of Nons pinching salt I got when I picked up my CSA share at Chickadee Farms. I used all my leftover broccoli stems in a sauté with a mix of summer squash, grape tomatoes, spring onions and garlic scapes—all local veggies.

recipes on my menu (including tilefish) and e-cookbooks on sale this week

This is a golden tilefish fillet, both sides.

Portuguese perfection

The highlight of the week was a dish inspired by an Andrew Zimmern recipe: Portuguese clams with linguica, spinach, tomatoes and orzo. I got two dozen littleneck clams in our CSF share and although I was tempted to pop them open and snarf them down raw, I decided to turn them into dinner. Zimmern’s recipe looked fine but I thought linguica would be so much better than Italian sausage. My real inspiration was the Portuguese habit of combining pork and clams. Here’s my recipe:

  • 3/4 cup orzo, cooked up and tossed with butter as I prepped the rest
  • 12 ounces linguica, sliced in half lengthwise, then into 1/4” slices, cooked in olive oil with a medium chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes melted with 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 cup white wine, reduced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, brought to a boil
  • 24 littleneck clams, steamed in all that goodness until the shells opened
  • 6 ounces spinach, stemmed, julienned, mixed in along with 2 tablespoons butter

I went with my gut and the results were swooningly delicious. Following my gut doesn’t always work out but boy did it ever this time.

Now about that linguica: that’s a Portuguese sausage made, as far as I know, with garlic and paprika. You can find it in Massachusetts and Rhode Island—it’s my favorite pizza topping when I go home. I was ecstatic to find it in Sacramento too—another Portuguese-American area. Now, I order it from Amaral’s. Gaspar’s is another popular brand.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

My gorgeous little littlenecks before they headed to the pot

Amberjack and Essence

Speaking of Portuguese, Emeril Lagasse’s Essence was the co-star of the next night’s dinner: pan-roasted amberjack. I made a batch of Essence, a Creole seasoning mix, a while back to keep on hand. I sprinkled two amberjack fillets with salt and Essence and cooked each side two minutes then put the pan in a 375 oven and cooked them four minutes more. The cooked fillets sat in the covered pan on the stove while we ate salad so it probably cooked a bit more. But, oh my, the fish was moist, tender and absolutely delicious.

Amberjack is a game fish. Here’s a description from my CSF: “Greater amberjack has a sweet, mild flavor and is tender, firm, and delicate. The high oil content gives it a buttery texture. Fresh greater amberjack has a bright color and firm, compact flesh.” Accurate on all counts.

For our side, I made a potato, squash and goat cheese gratin from The Kitchn. I added sliced onion to the veggie mix and made the topping with equal parts parmesan and panko breadcrumbs.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

Amberjack aka sea donkey

On My Menu

The hot weather is turning me toward Asian flavors so tomorrow night we’ll have roasted salmon with a Vietnamese caramel sauce. Yes, more fish, this time from the freezer. I’ll spiralize two big summer squash for Vietnamese zoodle salad. I may have to increase the dressing ingredients because I want to add four cute little heads of cabbage I’ve been neglecting—two green and two red.

Right before I joined the CSF, I bought several packages of frozen (supposedly) sustainable fish from BJs, hence all fish all the time here. My plan for Tuesday night is baked mahi mahi with coconut cilantro sauce. This recipe looks wicked easy. On the side, kung pao yellow cauliflower and a kale sauté of some type.

And then on Thursday, I’ll pick up more fish from Locals Seafood! What tasty delights await, I do not know. But I do have a spaghetti squash that needs cooking so I’ll make an Italian-style spaghetti squash sauté either Thursday or Friday.

That’s the plan but we’ll see what happens in real life.

eCookbooks and Food eBooks on Sale

Act quickly if any of these interest you, ebook deals last a day, a week, or sometimes longer. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal. No time for Amazon blurbs this week, sorry, but I feel these are all worthy.

The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum ($3.99) – I’ve had this one in my library for a loooong time. If you need a good baking cookbook, this is the one.

Essential Pépin Desserts: 160 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food by Jacques Pépin ($3.99) – I love Pépin’s approach to desserts. He’s my hero.

The Model Bakery Cookbook: 75 Favorite Recipes from the Beloved Napa Valley Bakery by Karen Mitchell and Sarah Mitchell Hansen ($4.99)

Cook Simple: Effortless Cooking Every Day by Diana Henry ($2.99)

Southern Routes: Secret Recipes from the Best Down-Home Joints in the South by Ben Vaughn ($2.99)


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recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

Anthony Bourdain. His death shattered me. He had gusto. Cook, writer, publisher, traveler and best dinner guest ever, I’m sure of it. My first introduction to this talented and fascinating man was his article in The New Yorker, Don’t Eat Before Reading Thisback in 1999. Damn, has it been that long? A year later, Kitchen Confidential was published and I snapped it up right away.

Once he got on TV, I was hooked. He still makes me stay up longer than anyone else. I love his personality—as well as his brilliant, smart ass yet generous and curious attitude.

I can easily imagine working with him. A different kitchen at a different time. He’s the kind of chef I would have laughed with, vented at, and drank with after closing, a brother in arms.

Bourdain inspired me to go to Vietnam. I couldn’t decide where in Asia I wanted to go that year. While watching one of his Vietnam episodes, it dawned on me that I loved Vietnamese food more than any other Asian cuisine. If Vietnam was his favorite place, I had to go experience it too and what an experience it was.

Oh man. Rest in peace, brother, so sad you couldn’t find it here in this life. Thanks for reminding us about what really matters.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

produce vendors in Halong Bay, Vietnam

In My Kitchen

We spent another weekend away so I’m struggling to get back on track with all the items on my personal to-do list. Last weekend we were in the mountains in Stone Mountain State Park and this weekend we were at the beach on Emerald Isle. Can’t complain.

Looking way back to last week—which seems like so long ago—I recall making bonito with roasted red bell pepper sauce early in the week. The recipe was made easier by a jar of roasted red bell peppers. I should have taken the fish off the pan earlier—I would have preferred the pieces a little underdone, oh well, live and learn.

On the side, baby bok choy and cabbage sautéed with spring onions and garlic scapes and sweet potatoes roasted with Turkish seasoning and sea salt. I’ve been buying Covington sweet potatoes lately and I think they’re my favorite although I’d have to do a blind tasting to know for sure.

When any of the packages in the organic/sustainable, or whatever it is, more expensive, meat section of our supermarket sport the “manager’s special” yellow deep-discount stickers, I snap them up for the freezer. I picked up a package of discounted jalapeno-cranberry-cheddar turkey burgers a while back to save for one of those nights when I’d have no time to cook.

One of those nights came last week. Because of book club, I moved one of my dinner duty nights to a gym class night so I took advantage of those burgers and they were good. We had leftover summer squash with carrot top pesto and leftover roasted sweet potatoes on the side.

We normally have book club at a restaurant but this time we met at someone’s house so we all brought a dish for dinner. I made tortellini pesto salad:

  • 20 ounce package of cheese-filled tortellini
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • Few handfuls of stemmed and julienned baby spinach
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
  • 8 to 10 ounces of quartered fresh mozzarella cheese balls
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil

On Friday night, Jim and I were sent to nirvana with sautéed soft shell crabs again. This time I dredged them in flour, then in egg mixed with some milk and hot sauce, then in cornmeal, and cooked them in a mix of butter and grapeseed oil. I believe soft shells are my favorite seafood. It’s a short season so I feel lucky to have had them twice this year. I’m hoping Locals Seafood can get their hands on some in the short season later this summer, otherwise I’ll eagerly await their return next year.

Saturday, after my morning class at the gym where I did something painful to the front of my left shoulder while doing a push up, we left for Emerald Isle. I’m so bummed about my shoulder because I’ll need to give it a rest and skip classes until it gets better. I’ll miss the sweating and exhaustion. Back to the boring machines for a while.

The guys manned the grill on Saturday night at the beach and made us NC flounder, shrimp and venison tenderloin plus hobo packs of new potatoes and rainbow carrots—and leftover tortellini pesto salad. Sitting outside, eating, laughing, hearing the surf and feeling the sea breeze—nothing much better.

Yesterday, on the way home from the beach, Jim and I drove up to Morehead City for lunch on the waterfront deck at Southern Salt. They served hushpuppies alongside our tasty adult beverages, then we split a fantastic appetizer: down east egg rolls stuffed with collards, pimento cheese and andouille sausage and served with a spicy reddish aioli sauce. I’d love to recreate those rolls at home. For the mains, we shared plates of crab cakes and fried oysters—so good. And filling, we didn’t even bother making dinner when we got home.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

our view at lunch at Southern Salt

On My Menu

I was going to cook blueline tilefish last night but now plan to cook it tonight or tomorrow. I’ve only cooked tilefish once before—golden tilefish with a spiced parmesan and bread crumb topping—and remember thinking it was a delicious fish I wanted to try again. I still don’t know what I’ll do with it this time, maybe tilefish tacos if I find some ripe avocados and salsa verde in the store. I have cilantro and two baby cabbages that would be perfect for a simple slaw.

Whatever I end up doing, I’ll use those little cabbages in something and make a sauté of summer squash and broccoli stems.

Jen at the CSA was giving away some big boy zucchini and yellow squash so I picked up two to make zoodles. I’m considering this recipe for zucchini (zoodle) alfredo but would also add canned clams. People hate canned clams but they have their place. Yes, fresh is way better, no comparison, but pantry clams are handy, I’m a fan.

Friday night we’ll have fish or shellfish from Locals Seafood along with other CSA and farmers market goodies. I still have a spaghetti squash and a yellow cauliflower from last week’s market—plus blueberries and blackberries. Time to get my baking on!

I’ll report back next week on my kitchen fun.

don-lu-423845-unsplash

eCookbooks and Food eBooks on Sale

Act quickly if any of these interest you, ebook deals last a day, a week, or sometimes longer. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal. Blurbs are from Amazon unless otherwise credited.

The Book of Greens: A Cook’s Compendium of 40 Varieties, from Arugula to Watercress by Jenn Louis ($1.99)

Winner of the 2018 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook Award for “Health & Special Diet” category and finalist for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Awards for “Vegetable-Focused Cooking” category.

For any home cook who is stuck in a “three-green rut”—who wants to cook healthy, delicious, vegetable-focused meals, but is tired of predictable salads with kale, lettuce, cabbage, and the other usual suspects—The Book of Greens has the solution. Chef Jenn Louis has compiled more than 175 recipes for simple, show-stopping fare, from snacks to soups to mains (and even breakfast and dessert) that will inspire you to reach for new greens at the farmers’ market, or use your old standbys in totally fresh ways. Organized alphabetically by green, each entry features information on seasonality, nutrition, and prep and storage tips.

Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World by Sam Kass ($2.99)

Sam Kass, former chef to the Obamas and White House food policy advisor, makes it easier to do a little better for your diet—and the environment—every day, through smart ways to think about shopping, setting up your kitchen so the healthy stuff comes to hand most naturally, and through 90 delicious, simple recipes.

Maman’s Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen by Donia Bijan ($1.99)

For Donia Bijan’s family, food has been the language they use to tell their stories and to communicate their love. In 1978, when the Islamic revolution in Iran threatened their safety, they fled to California’s Bay Area, where the familiar flavors of Bijan’s mother’s cooking formed a bridge to the life they left behind. Now, through the prism of food, award-winning chef Donia Bijan unwinds her own story, finding that at the heart of it all is her mother, whose love and support enabled Bijan to realize her dreams… An exhilarating, heartfelt memoir, Maman’s Homesick Pie is also a reminder of the women who encourage us to shine.

Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan by Naomi Duguid ($2.99)

Winner of the James Beard Award for Best Book of the Year, International (2017), winner of the IACP Award for Best Cookbook of the Year in Culinary Travel (2017) and named a Best Cookbook of the Year by many papers.

Though the countries in the Persian culinary region are home to diverse religions, cultures, languages, and politics, they are linked by beguiling food traditions and a love for the fresh and the tart… Our ambassador to this tasty world is the incomparable Naomi Duguid, who for more than 20 years has been bringing us exceptional recipes and mesmerizing tales from regions seemingly beyond our reach. More than 125 recipes, framed with stories and photographs of people and places, introduce us to a culinary paradise where ancient legends and ruins rub shoulders with new beginnings—where a wealth of history and culinary traditions makes it a compelling place to read about for cooks and travelers and for anyone hankering to experience the food of a wider world.

Tartine All Day: Modern Recipes for the Home Cook by Elisabeth Prueitt ($2.99)

A comprehensive cookbook with 200 recipes for the way people want to eat and bake at home today, with gluten-free options, from James Beard Award-winning and best-selling author Elisabeth Prueitt, cofounder of San Francisco’s acclaimed Tartine Bakery… As the family cook in her own household, Prueitt understands the challenge of making daily home cooking healthy, delicious, and enticing for all—without wearing out the cook. Through concise instruction Prueitt translates her expertise into home cooking that effortlessly adds variety and brings everyone to the table.

Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat ($2.99)

Move over, sushi. It’s time for gyoza, curry, tonkatsu, and furai. These icons of Japanese comfort food cooking are the hearty, flavor-packed, craveable dishes you’ll find in every kitchen and street corner hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Japan. In Japanese Soul Cooking, Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat introduce you to this irresistible, homey style of cooking… With foolproof instructions and step-by-step photographs, you’ll soon be knocking out chahan fried rice, mentaiko spaghetti, saikoro steak, and more for friends and family. Ono and Salat’s fascinating exploration of the surprising origins and global influences behind popular dishes is accompanied by rich location photography that captures the energy and essence of this food in everyday life, bringing beloved Japanese comfort food to Western home cooks for the first time.

Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill ($1.99)

Tasting Rome provides a complete picture of a place that many love, but few know completely. In sharing Rome’s celebrated dishes, street food innovations, and forgotten recipes, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture its unique character and reveal its truly evolved food culture—a culmination of 2000 years of history. Their recipes acknowledge the foundations of Roman cuisine and demonstrate how it has transitioned to the variations found today. You’ll delight in the expected classics… the fascinating but largely undocumented Sephardic Jewish cuisine… the authentic and tasty offal… and so much more. Studded with narrative features that capture the city’s history and gorgeous photography that highlights both the food and its hidden city, you’ll feel immediately inspired to start tasting Rome in your own kitchen.

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recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

Last Sunday, I made slow cooker barbecue beef short ribs. I consulted two recipes—this one and this one—to come up with my own version so I could use what I had in the pantry instead of running to the store. Here’s the barbecue sauce recipe I developed for two pounds of ribs:

  • 1/2 large onion, chopped (I added them to the pan after browning the ribs for a bit)
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

We’re talking tremendously delicious here. I froze the leftover sauce and will figure out a way to revisit that goodness—maybe over polenta? The recipe would be great with pork ribs too.

I made roasted beet and quinoa salad with orange-ginger vinaigrette for one of our sides—the other side was leftover greens. This was another adapted recipe from here and here. Besides the beets and regular quinoa, I added:

  • Carrots, chopped
  • Fresh little mozzarella balls, quartered
  • Spinach, julienned
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Red bell pepper, chopped
  • Sweet onion, chopped

During the week, I made chipotle salmon. But since I was in a rush—it was a short work week and I was pressed for time—I didn’t marinate the fish. Instead, I sprinkled on the spices, using ground chipotle instead of chipotle en adobo. We also had sautéed lacinato kale and chard with bacon, spring onion, carrot, and tomato along with the leftover quinoa/beet salad. I munched on that salad all week, so good.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

We went backpacking Friday in Stone Mountain State Park. Since we were meeting family on Saturday morning to hike a few trails in the park, Jim and I decided to hike out to a primitive site in the park and camp Friday night. Widow’s Creek trail to our site was only 1.8 miles but it was mostly uphill and rated strenuous. With 30-pound packs on our backs, I agree with the strenuous rating.

I’m the designated camp cook—for now, REI is my grocery store. For dinner we had Mountain House beef stroganoff. I boiled some water in a pot over our backpacking stove and added it to the package: stir, seal, wait, stir, seal and serve. It was better than we expected. Dried apricots for dessert.

The next morning we had Mountain House breakfast skillet: another package filled with hash browns, scrambled eggs, pork sausage, peppers and onions. Add some hot sauce, ignore the texture, and it’s darn satisfying alongside a cup of coffee. We only camped out one night and spent the next night at our nephew’s house which is only an hour or so away from the park.

I had plenty of time to make dinner on Sunday so we had baked cobia with parmesan bread crumbs. What a fish. My seafood shop says it’s one of their favorites and I can see why. For the topping I tossed melted butter with parmesan, seasoned bread crumbs, garlic salt and fresh basil.

On the side, I sautéed a medley of summer squash—pattypan, zucchini, yellow, and zephyr—with red bell pepper, spring onions and carrot top pesto. The squash was from our CSA (Chickadee Farms) as were the new potatoes roasted with rosemary and garlic.

On My Menu

I haven’t had a chance to think about this week’s meals. I know we’ll have bonito tomorrow night—it’s the other fish I picked up from Locals Seafood (and froze) before going camping. I still have some baby bok choy and cabbage in the fridge and some sweet potatoes too.

If I pick up some blueberries at the farmers market this week—highly likely—I might make this blueberry cake over the weekend. All the calories I burn hiking and at the gym just come right back to me. C’est ma vie!

I’ll report back next week on my kitchen activities.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

eCookbooks and Food eBooks on Sale

Act quickly if any of these interest you, ebook deals last a day, a week, or sometimes longer. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal. Blurbs are from Amazon unless otherwise credited.

32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line by Eric Ripert ($1.99)

In an industry where celebrity chefs are known as much for their salty talk and quick tempers as their food, Eric Ripert stands out. The winner of four James Beard Awards, co-owner and chef of a world-renowned restaurant, and recipient of countless Michelin stars, Ripert embodies elegance and culinary perfection… Taking us from Ripert’s childhood in the south of France and the mountains of Andorra into the demanding kitchens of such legendary Parisian chefs as Joël Robuchon and Dominique Bouchet, until, at the age of twenty-four, Ripert made his way to the United States, 32 Yolks is the tender and richly told story of how one of our greatest living chefs found himself—and his home—in the kitchen.

Le Bernardin Cookbook: Four-Star Simplicity by Eric Ripert and Maguy Le Coze ($2.99)

Cuisine from New York’s four-star seafood restaurant, Le Bernardin, is made accessible to everyone in more than 100 meticulously formulated and carefully tested recipes for all courses, from appetizers through dessert. The food served in Le Bernardin’s beautiful dining room is as subtle and refined as any in the world, and because fish and shellfish are often best turned out quickly and simply, the recipes in this book can be reproduced by any home cook… Essential to the experience of dining at Le Bernardin and to the Le Bernardin Cookbook are the dynamic and charming personalities of Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert, whose lively dialogue and colorful anecdotes shine from these pages as brightly as the recipes themselves.

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant Cookbook: Recipes & Tales from a Classic American Restaurant by Sandy Ingber ($1.99)

Here are more than 100 of the restaurant’s best-loved classic recipes—some dating back to its opening in 1913—along with behind-the-scenes stories, historical anecdotes, and a wealth of expert information on buying, cooking, and serving fish. Featured throughout are vintage images and ephemera, along with gorgeous photos of mouthwatering favorites from raw bar to buffet. With recipes that have stood the test of time, The Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant Cookbook is a must-have for seafood lovers and fans of this famous New York City landmark.

The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony and Danny Meyer ($2.99)

Opened in 1994, Gramercy Tavern is more than just a restaurant. It has become a New York institution earning dozens of accolades, including six James Beard awards. Its impeccable, fiercely seasonal cooking, welcoming atmosphere, and steadfast commitment to hospitality are unparalleled… Restaurateur Danny Meyer’s intimate story of how Gramercy was born sets the stage for executive chef-partner Michael Anthony’s appealing approach to American cooking and recipes that highlight the bounty of the farmer’s market… An insider look into the things that make this establishment unique, from the artists who have shaped its décor and ambience, to the staff members who share what it is like to be a part of this close-knit restaurant family.

Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David ($1.99)

62 articles originally written by Elizabeth David between 1955 and 1984 for numerous publications including The Spectator, Gourmet magazine, Vogue, and The Sunday Times… Her subjects range from the story of how her own cookery writing began to accounts of some restaurants in provincial France, of white truffles in Piedmont, wild risottos on the islands of the Venetian lagoon and odd happenings during rain-drenched seaside holidays in the British Isles. Here we can share her appreciation of books, people who influenced her, places she loved and the delicious meals she enjoyed… Some articles include recipes, but for the most part this is a volume nicely sized to curl up with or to take on a trip.

Lulu’s Provençal Table by Richard Olney ($1.99)

Richard Olney—responsible for the legendary Time-Life cooking series as well as other cooking classics such as his wonderful Simple French Food—moved to Provence in 1961 and had the good fortune to befriend Lulu and Lucien Peyraud, the owners of the noted Domaine Tempier vineyard in Provence, not far from Marseilles. Lulu’s Provençal Table tantalizes the reader with Olney’s descriptions of the regional food served as the vineyard meals at the domaine. Then he lovingly transcribes Lulu’s recipes… Starting with aperitifs and amuse-gueule and finishing up with fruit desserts, hers is classic French country cooking, featuring everyday ingredients cooked with respect for their nature and flavor.

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard ($2.99)

A memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs—one with her new beau, the other with French cuisine. Packing her bags for a new life in the world’s most romantic city, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size 2 femmes fatales. She learns to gut her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen), soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate soufflé), and develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon). Elizabeth finds that the deeper she immerses herself in the world of French cuisine, the more Paris itself begins to translate. French culture, she discovers, is not unlike a well-ripened cheese—there may be a crusty exterior, until you cut through to the melting, piquant heart.

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti ($1.99)

While proofreading a deli catalog in Michigan, Michael Paterniti is bewitched by a description of cave-aged Spanish cheese. Years later, disillusioned with modern life and his own “computer-soft hands,” he travels to its Spanish back-country source, where he becomes obsessed with its larger-than-life maker and his story of soul-stealing cheese-related betrayal… Equal parts mystery and memoir, travelogue and history, The Telling Room is an astonishing work of literary nonfiction by one of our most accomplished storytellers. A moving exploration of happiness, friendship, and betrayal, The Telling Room introduces us to Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, an unforgettable real-life literary hero, while also holding a mirror up to the world, fully alive to the power of stories that define and sustain us.

The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones by Anthony Bourdain ($1.99)

Bestselling chef and No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain has never been one to pull punches. In The Nasty Bits, he serves up a well-seasoned hellbroth of candid, often outrageous stories from his worldwide misadventures. Whether scrounging for eel in the backstreets of Hanoi, revealing what you didn’t want to know about the more unglamorous aspects of making television, calling for the head of raw food activist Woody Harrelson, or confessing to lobster-killing guilt, Bourdain is as entertaining as ever. Bringing together the best of his previously uncollected nonfiction—and including new, never-before-published material—The Nasty Bits is a rude, funny, brutal and passionate stew for fans and the uninitiated alike.

Betty Crocker Lost Recipes: Beloved Vintage Recipes for Today’s Kitchen by Betty Crocker ($2.99)

Eighty percent of the book includes tried-and-true recipes that simply aren’t in today’s cooking repertoire—mainly from-scratch recipes that are hard to find. Twenty percent is a fun look back at some of the cooking customs of the past that may not be worth repeating, but are worth remembering. Features include ideas like “How to Throw a Hawaiian Tiki Party,” and the robust introductory pages contain interesting stories, anecdotes, and artwork from Betty Crocker’s history. Recipes are carefully curated to ensure that they are still relevant, achievable, and made with available ingredients—think Beef Stroganoff, Chicken à la King, Waldorf Salad, and Chiffon Cake. These lost recipes are ready to grace the tables of a whole new generation of cooks.

The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy ($2.99)

Combining her three bestselling and classic books–The Cuisines of Mexico, Mexican Regional Cooking, and The Tortilla Book— in one volume, Diana Kennedy has refreshed the classics and added more than thirty new recipes from different regions of Mexico. More than twenty-five years ago, when Diana Kennedy first published The Cuisines of Mexico, knowledge and appreciation of authentic Mexican cooking were in their infancy… Through Diana Kennedy, [home cooks] discovered a delicious and highly developed culinary tradition they barely knew existed and she became recognized as the authority on Mexican food.

The Grand Central Market Cookbook: Cuisine and Culture from Downtown Los Angeles by Adele Yellin ($1.99)

2018 IACP Cookbook Award nominee. Founded in 1917, Grand Central Market is a legendary food hall in Downtown Los Angeles that brings together the many traditions and flavors of the city. Now, GCM’s first cookbook puts the spotlight on unique recipes from its diverse vendors, bringing their authentic tastes to your home kitchen… over 85 distinctive recipes, plus spectacular photography that shows off the food, the people, and the daily bustle and buzz. Stories about the Market’s vibrant history and interviews with its prominent customers and vendors dot the pages as well. Whether you’ve visited and want to make your favorite dishes at home, or are simply looking for a cookbook that provides a plethora of multi-national cuisine, The Grand Central Market Cookbook is sure to make your kitchen just a little bit cooler.

Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook: Celebrate America’s Great Flavors by Bobby Flay ($1.99)

The Food Network celebrity and renowned chef-restaurateur created his Bar Americain restaurants as our country’s answer to French bistros—to celebrate America’s regional flavors and dishes, interpreted as only Bobby Flay can. Now you can rediscover American cuisine at home with the recipes in Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook… Bobby also shares his tips for stocking your pantry with key ingredients for everyday cooking, as well as expert advice on essential kitchen equipment and indispensable techniques. With more than 110 recipes and 110 full-color photographs, Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook shares Bobby’s passion for fantastic American food and will change the way any cook looks at our country’s bounty.

Looking for more e-cookbook and ebook deals? Check out previous lists, some are still on sale.


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Creative Commons licensed image by Lynnette Jones (squash) via Unsplash.

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recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

I’m noshing on rye scones with smoked gruyere and caramelized onions fresh from the oven as I write this. Scones get a bad rap because the ones you find in Starbucks and other bakery cases can sometimes be dry. But thanks to sour cream, cheese, butter and lots of caramelized red onion, these are divine.

Last Sunday I made a simple lemon chicken dish for dinner. Instead of chicken breast like the recipe directed, I used thighs, cutting each in half, and added capers.

On the side we had cannellini beans with onion, tomato and carrot top pesto. I started by sautéing sliced onion, added sliced grape tomatoes to the pan and let them cook a bit, then a can of drained cannellini beans and some of my homemade carrot top pesto. I love finding ways to use the entire carrot instead of consigning the tops to the compost pile. In this batch of pesto, I used pumpkin seeds (pepitas) as the nut ingredient. We also had local snap peas sautéed in a mix of butter and oil. So good.

Dinner salad season is officially here. Last night, Jim grilled some marinated ahi (tasted like an Asian-style marinade) and made a big dinner salad, using some of the marinade as the foundation for the dressing. Sorry, I have no idea where he got the recipe but if you search for “ahi dinner salad” you’ll probably find something similar on the first page of the results.

Earlier in the week, I made a big chipotle chicken dinner salad. I used a mix of local Bibb, romaine and green leaf lettuces, spinach, carrot, sweet onion, broccoli, cucumber, radish, grape tomatoes and pea shoots. I took the recipe’s suggestion for strawberries, corn and avocado, left off the bacon, and added steamed chilled asparagus. I steamed the asparagus in parchment with lemon, my new favorite asparagus prep. I didn’t make the cilantro vinaigrette because I ran out of time. We used the dressings we had, which for me, was my favorite chipotle ranch—perfect for this mix of flavors.

The highlight of the week: soft shell crabs—simply dredged in flour and sautéed in lots of butter. Every Thursday, I’m now going to the State Farmers Market in Raleigh to pick up two different types of fish or shellfish at Locals Seafood as part of my CSF share—that’s community supported fishery.

On the side we had kale sautéed with bacon, tomatoes and onions, and a summer squash, broccoli stem and red bell pepper sauté with carrot top pesto.

The next night, we had the other half of our CSF: Maple Soy Glazed Mackerel. The recipe made way too much glaze, tasty, but too much. Instead of brushing it on the fish three or four times like the recipe suggested, I only did it once before putting the mackerel in the oven. The glaze is so boldly flavored, like the fish, that one application was sufficient.

Instead of making the avocado side suggested by the mackerel recipe, I made a cucumber mint avocado salad—what one commenter called “mojito guacamole,” the name fits. I added sweet onion to the recipe for additional crunch and flavor. I’ll make this one many times more, it’s a perfect summer side.

I also made this quick and easy spicy roasted bok choy again, but this time I added chopped garlic scapes instead of regular garlic.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

On My Menu

Tonight, thanks to another raid of our chest freezer, we’re having slow cooker barbecue short ribs. Since I only about two pounds of short ribs, I created a recipe based on this one and this one. I meant to do something with these ribs in the winter but they were lost in the freezer. At least the slow cooker won’t heat up the kitchen.

If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll make a roasted beet and quinoa salad with orange-ginger vinaigrette that’s been on my to-do list for a while. This is another adapted recipe from this one and this one. We’ll have leftover greens on the side.

I haven’t made my old stand-by, chipotle salmon, for a while so it’s time. And I’ll have CSF fish for other meals. Yes, it’s a fish week, love it! Our sides will be produce from the CSA and farmers market: perhaps kale, chard, broccoli, bok choy and/or sweet potatoes.

I’ll report back next week on what I end up making.

recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

eCookbooks and Food eBooks on Sale

Act quickly if any of these interest you, ebook deals last a day, a week, or sometimes longer. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal. Blurbs are from Amazon unless otherwise credited.

Julia’s Cats: Julia Child’s Life in the Company of Cats by Patricia Barey and Therese Burson ($2.99)

Soon after the Childs arrived in Paris in 1948, a French cat appeared on their doorstep, and Julia recalled, “Our domestic circle was completed.” Minette captured Julia’s heart, igniting a lifelong passion for cats equaled only by her love of food and her husband, Paul. All the cherished feline companions who shared Julia’s life—in Paris, Provence, and finally California—reminded her of that magical time in Paris when her life changed forever. From Julia’s and Paul’s letters and original interviews with those who knew her best, Barey and Burson have gathered fresh stories and images that offer a delightfully intimate view of a beloved icon.

Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi ($2.99)

Yotam Ottolenghi’s four eponymous restaurants—each a patisserie, deli, restaurant, and bakery rolled into one—are among London’s most popular culinary destinations. Now available for the first time in an American edition and updated with US measurements throughout, this debut cookbook… features 140 recipes culled from the popular Ottolenghi restaurants and inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of the Mediterranean. The recipes reflect the authors’ upbringings in Jerusalem yet also incorporate culinary traditions from California, Italy, and North Africa, among others. Featuring abundant produce and numerous fish and meat dishes, as well as Ottolenghi’s famed cakes and breads, Ottolenghi invites you into a world of inventive flavors and fresh, vibrant cooking.

The Cottage Kitchen: Cozy Cooking in the English Countryside by Marte Marie Forsberg ($1.99)

Share in a gorgeous, thoughtful life in the charming English countryside with The Cottage Kitchen, a cookbook of recipes and stories by Norwegian-born photographer and tastemaker Marie Forsberg.

A Real Southern Cook: In Her Savannah Kitchen by Dora Charles ($2.99) 

In her first cookbook, a revered former cook at Savannah’s most renowned restaurant divulges her locally famous Savannah recipes—many of them never written down before—and those of her family and friends… These are the intensely satisfying dishes at the heart of Dora’s beloved Savannah… Each dish has a “secret ingredient” for a burst of flavor… With moving dignity, Dora describes her motherless upbringing in Savannah, the hard life of her family, whose memories stretched back to slave times, learning to cook at age six, and the years she worked at the restaurant. “Talking About” boxes impart Dora’s cooking wisdom, and evocative photos of Savannah and the Low Country set the scene.

Farm Fresh Southern Cooking: Straight from the Garden to Your Dinner Table by Tammy Algood ($2.99)

You’ll always find the truest taste of home at the local farms, roadside stands, and produce markets in your community. These are the places that offer up the native flavors of the South and all its seasons. They are your portal to the fields, the waters, and the vines where your food is cultivated… Tammy Algood’s Farm Fresh Southern Cooking celebrates this experience with delicious recipes that will enhance the natural flavors of your latest market haul and stories of the South’s most dedicated growers and culinary producers.

Slow Cook Modern: 200 Recipes for the Way We Eat Today by Liana Krissoff ($2.99)

Beloved for her fresh, modern canning recipes, Liana Krissoff is back with modern slow cooker recipes that are sophisticated, full of flavor and spice, and thoughtfully designed for those who wish to use their slow cookers on weekdays, when they can leave the Crock-Pot on all day. In Slow Cook Modern, Krissoff shares more than 150 recipes, including quick, fresh side dishes created for the adventurous home cook. All the slow cooker recipes are true 8-hour dishes, so you can actually prepare each dish in the morning and finish it quickly when you get home… Filled with recipes using real, fresh ingredients, Slow Cook Modern allows busy people with eclectic tastes to come home to a nourishing meal every night of the week.

Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times by Mark Bittman ($2.99)

In sections that cover everything from appetizers, soups, and sauces to meats, vegetables, side dishes, and desserts, Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from The New York Times showcases the elegant and flexible cooking style for which Bittman is famous, as well as his deep appreciation for fresh ingredients prepared with minimal fuss. Readers will find tantalizing recipes from all over, each requiring little more than basic techniques and a handful of ingredients… the dishes here are perfect for simple weeknight family meals or stress-free entertaining. Certain to appeal to anyone—from novices to experienced cooks—who wants to whip up a sophisticated and delicious meal easily, this is a collection to savor, and one destined to become a kitchen classic.

Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from Our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan ($3.00)

Everything in generosity is the motto of Zoe Nathan, the big-hearted baker behind Santa Monica’s favorite neighborhood bakery and breakfast spot, Huckleberry Bakery & Café. This irresistible cookbook collects more than 115 recipes and more than 150 color photographs, including how-to sequences for mastering basics such as flaky dough and lining a cake pan. Huckleberry’s recipes span from sweet (rustic cakes, muffins, and scones) to savory (hot cereals, biscuits, and quiche). True to the healthful spirit of Los Angeles, these recipes feature whole-grain flours, sesame and flax seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, natural sugars, and gluten-free and vegan options—and they always lead with deliciousness. For bakers and all-day brunchers, Huckleberry will become the cookbook to reach for whenever the craving for big flavor strikes.

Looking for more e-cookbook and ebook deals? Check out previous lists, some are still on sale.


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Creative Commons licensed image by Markus Spiske (chard) via Unsplash.

Amazon book links are affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you.