Summer Recipes

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Mushroom Polenta: Savory Napoleon Recipe Recipe

Napoléons are usually pastries made of three layers of puff pastry and two crème pâtissière layers with a fondant topping. I made a savory equivalent using layers of grilled polenta slices, portobello mushrooms, cheddar cheese, grilled asparagus and tomatoes from our garden. 

It's finally tomato season! My husband planted 19 different plants of various tomatoes, which means I'm going to be cooking a lot of tomatoes until the fall. Lulu gathered a large basket of cherry tomatoes that I roasted in fresh thyme and served as garnish. We also happened to find some asparagus Lulu planted several years ago that we were never really able to harvest. It was a nice surprise, so I grilled them too, and added them to the Napoléon layers. I was very proud of how the dish ended up looking: colorful and pretty.

In my opinion, Napoléons have to look gorgeous before being eaten. We eat with our eyes first and I'm confident these savory Napoléons will satisfy the pickiest eater.


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Cucumber Soup Recipe Recipe

Cucumber Soup Recipe

06.19.12 by Jackie

My husband Lulu gathered so many Marketmore cucumbers from our vegetable box over the weekend that our family's had to work hard to keep up. I made the family's favorite cucumber sandwiches and once we had our fill of those, I made a big bowl of cold cucumber soup. I realized that cucumbers can taste pretty mild, so I added smoked blue cheese and plenty of fresh herbs to ampup the flavor. 

Planting your own vegetables can be so rewarding, plus I've noticed that homegrown cucumbers are so much more fragrant than the one from the market. I could actually smell the soup in the kitchen from my front door!

I still have a few cucumbers left from this batch, so I'll probably make some raita (Indian yogurt sauce) for tomorrow. Do you have any suggestions?  


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Cold Cucumber and Arugula Soup Recipe Recipe

This weekend we had gorgeous weather. It was our first chance to enjoy the sun and eat outside, so I prepared a wonderful Sunday brunch for the family. The centerpiece of the meal was a chilled soup flavored with arugula and cucumber.

Arugula gives both an attractive color and a wonderful taste to the soup. If you’ve never had it, it tastes like a cross between mustard and hazelnut. I served the refreshing soup with little puff pastry appetizers. Easy, healthy and delicious.


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Tandoori Shrimp Recipe Recipe

Tandoori Shrimp Recipe

04.04.12 by Jackie

Tandoori shrimp is a seafood dish fit for a feast. The preparation isn't all that complicated; the marinade is the same as for the similarly-named chicken dish. It consists of ginger garlic paste, yogurt, garam masala, turmeric and chili powder. I also add paprika so the color is vibrant without being too spicy. Once the marinade is complete, you can use it for meat, fish or even paneer cheese; you name it. Tandoori paste is a true culinary chameleon.

I made this dish 'way back during the summer and completely forgot to share the recipe. I've been working on an exciting photo project these days (I'll tell you the good news soon!) and found this jumbo shrimp photograph in my image organizer as I was editing my previous food photography work. We made it for a barbecue. It was a very relaxing day and I really didn't want to slave in the kitchen. I just placed the colossal  shrimp in the marinade and my husband's cousin was in charge of grilling. Of course, you don't need to wait for warmer days; simply use a griddle pan and I promise your guests will definitely be in for a treat. 


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Fried Polenta with Raw Beet Sauce Recipe

Polenta is a great alternative when you’re bored with pasta, rice or bread. It works well as a side dish but could also be served as a main course. As an added bonus it's gluten-free, which is very convenient if you're serving it to someone with allergies.

I got a little lazy so I did not cook and form logs of polenta myself; I used store-bought instead. The taste doesn't differ that much, except when I make my own, I usually add a bit of butter , cream and Parmesan cheese for extra flavor. The pre-cooked version is much healthier.

To ensure the success of this dish, the key is to make plenty of sauce to enhance the flavor of the polenta. This time around I made pesto, but with a twist. I made it with raw beets, then sautéed some button mushrooms and melted goat cheese. The combination of both mixtures made the perfect sauce for this polenta.


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