Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eating Red, White, and Blue

As you may have guessed, Aaron and I decided to have a little fun with our food on Independence Day so we tried to make sure as much as possible that day that what we were eating was red, white, and/or blue. We wanted to stay away from the stereotypical strawberry/blueberry flag cake, so we had to get a little creative. There just aren't many blue foods out there!  Here's what we came up with:

Blue chips, Red Salsa, Sour Cream

We didn't make much of this one, though I'm sure we could have. We made the salsa from scratch, but we weren't able to get to the farmer's market and while the tomatoes at PCC were decent, the season for them around here is really just beginning. The recipe for our mild red salsa:

2 heirloom or vine tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and diced)
2-3 small roma tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and diced)
3/4 of a red pepper (cored and diced)
7-8 stems of cilantro (chopped)
A dash of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Red, White, and Blue Rosemary Potatoes

I was originally intending to make these crispier but I boiled them a little too long and used more potatoes than my pan could handle. They turned out quite nicely anyway, so here's what we did:

Boil 3 potatoes of each variety (small varieties work best, we used Yukon Golds, Baby Reds, and Peruvian Purple) cut into approximately 1 - 1.5 inch cubes for about 10 minutes. Or until they're slightly less tender than they look above.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat when your potatoes are about 3 minutes away from being finished boiling.

When the potatoes are tender in the water, drain them. If the oil is sufficiently heated, add the potatoes to the oil.

If you're like me, your potatoes won't all be able to reach the heat source, so you'll need to periodically stir them around to ensure that all the potatoes get some chance at being cooked.  Don't stir them too much, or none of them will get crispy on the outside at all.

Once the potatoes look tasty, add about 2 teaspoons of fresh, chopped rosemary (1 teaspoon dried) and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 more minutes, then serve straight from the pan.

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kebabs

We found this recipe originally in Sunset Magazine, but made some adaptations for our taste. Sunset suggested using Angel Food cake, but neither of us prefer that so we made a fresh pound cake that morning. For the topping, Sunset also suggested using a combination of crème fraîche, whipped cream, brown sugar, and lemon zest, but we wanted something a little more simple, so we stuck with homemade whipped cream. All in all, we really enjoyed what we came up with, so here is our adaptation.

2 Slices of Pound Cake
8 Strawberries
2 Tablespoons Strawberry Jam
1/2 cup freshly made whipped cream

Heat the jam in the microwave just long enough so that it starts bubbling and coat your hulled strawberries with it. (We happened to have strawberry jam that was just made a week ago by my co-worker. I think this was a major plus.) Cut the pound cake slices into cubes. Double up the skewers for stability and thread approximately 4 strawberries and 3 pieces of pound cake onto each one. (As you can see, we had varying sizes of strawberry.) Place the skewers onto a relatively low-heat grill (approximately 350 degrees) for about 2 minutes per side. We tried to cook all four sides rather than just the 2 suggested by Sunset, but it might be different with Angel Food Cake. When the cake (and hopefully the strawberries) are lightly grilled on all sides, take them off and serve with the whipped cream!

We realize that our dessert did not have any blue. We had intended to make some blueberry fools to remedy that situation, but we were too full, too tired, and ready to watch some fireworks. So, the blue dessert will have to be saved for another day.

1 comment:

  1. I'm totally going to try making those kebabs...what a clever idea!