Hopefully, you were able to spend a lovely memorial day weekend with your family. I definitely enjoyed having a day to sleep in and spend some extra time with my hubby. Since Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, I thought this would be a great time to share some summer inspired recipes. I’ve also got last week’s amazing pizza and an upcoming deal to tell you about.
Let’s start with the deal, next Friday (June 7), is National Doughnut Day. (Don’t you love that there is such a thing?) You’ll have to check with your favorite local donut shop, but Krispy Kreme sent me an e-mail saying that you can walk in and get a free doughnut. Sounds tasty!
In a similar vein, last week, we had a breakfast pizza that was extremely delicious. (The idea for this pizza came completely out of my own head.) First, I browned up some breakfast sausage and pan-fried some bacon. Then, I used a combination of sausage and bacon drippings to make a pepper gravy. The pepper gravy went down on the dough first, then I sprinkled on some of McCormick’s Smokehouse Maple seasoning (for a maple syrup flavor without the sweetness). I then put down some cheddar cheese, crumbled sausage, and chopped bacon. We also made a couple of sunny-side up eggs which we put on top of our slices. This was a little harder to eat and distribute than I wanted, so next time I’d pull the pizza out about 5 minutes before it was done, crack a few eggs on top, and let the whole thing finish cooking in the oven. Still, the runny yolk made the pizza even better than it already was. My husband LOVED this pizza (so did I), and we will definitely have it again.
Now what would summer be without a good burger? This next one we’ve had several times, and it is always juicy and full of flavor. The original recipe calls for these burgers to be served like a patty melt, but we usually serve them just like a regular hamburger. What I really love about these burgers is that the hubby doesn’t mind them being made of ground turkey. (He’s usually a big beef guy.) I also like the play on my favorite chip flavor. Curious yet? Here they are.
Sour Cream and Onion Turkey Patty Melts (from the Rachael Ray show)
2 tbsp. veggie oil
1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
1/4 c. sour cream
4 chopped scallions (both parts)
2 tbsp. divided butter
8 slices Muenster cheese
8 slices pumpernickel bread
1. Place the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the turkey, sour cream, and scallions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Butter one side each of 4 pieces of bread (using 1 of the tbsp. of butter).
2. Form 4 thin patties that are each about 1/2 inch thick; add them to the hot pan. Cook the burgers til golden brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. When they’re done, remove them to a plate and wipe the pan clean.
3. When the patties are done cooking, add the remaining tbsp. of butter to the pan and return it to medium heat. Once the butter is melted, place the 4 unbuttered pieces of bread in the pan. Top then each with a slice of cheese, the burger, another slice of cheese, and the buttered slice of bread, buttered side up. Cook the sandwiches in the pan til the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes per side.
Another great aspect of summer is the abundance of fresh produce. This week, we had an amazing pasta coated in a fresh corn pesto. I saw this dish a few years ago in an issue of Bon Appetit, and I immediately knew that I would have to make it. This has such delicious components, it had to be amazing. There’s smoky bacon, sweet fresh corn, fresh basil (I didn’t have this to use this time, but I hope to for the next time.), and some salty Parmesan. As good as this was, I did have an idea or two for the next time we make this. I think some crumbled feta would add a little tartness and creaminess that would be great. My husband also had the brilliant idea that we should top it with a poached egg. Hopefully, we can try both next time, though not at the same time.
Tagliatelle with Fresh Corn Pesto (From the August 2010 issue of Bon Appetit)
4 slices chopped bacon (I wouldn’t mind a couple more slices for extra smokiness.)
4 c. corn (I didn’t have quite enough, but I didn’t want to add any frozen corn. I used the proper amount for the pesto and just used less to mix with the pasta.
1 clove minced garlic
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
1/3 c. toasted pine nuts (I just substituted walnuts.)
8 oz. tagliatelle (I couldn’t find tagliatelle, so I used fettuccine. I had enough pesto that next time I would use the whole pound of pasta and make more meals out of it.)
3/4 c. torn basil leaves (Again, I didn’t have this, but I would’ve loved it.)
1. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat til crisp and brown, stirring often. Transfer to a paper-towel covered plate to drain. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. of the dripping and add in the corn, garlic, salt, and pepper. Saute the corn over medium-high heat til it’s just tender, but not brown, about 4 minutes.
2. Transfer 1 1/2 c. corn to a small bowl and reserve for later. (This is where I used less than called for.) Put the remaining corn in the food processor and add the parmesan and nuts. With the machine running, add the oil and blend til almost smooth. Set aside.
3. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water til just tender, but still firm to the bite. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 c. of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and add the pesto, reserved corn kernels, and 1/2 c. basil leaves. Toss over medium heat til warmed through, adding the cooking water by the 1/4 cupfuls to thin to the desired consistency, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Before serving, top with the remaining basil and the bacon.
And to finish things off, we have to have dessert. There’s no dessert more reminiscent of summer than ice cream. I recently read a wonderful book that had great ideas and flavor combinations of ice cream. This one was crying out to be made, and it was an amazing way to use up some strawberries. The finished product is SO creamy and delicious, that I just didn’t want to stop eating it. I highly suggest you look through the book, and I more strongly suggest that you make this ice cream. (BTW, none of the ice creams in this book are custard-based, so you don’t have to worry about raw or curdled eggs.)
Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream (From Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams by Jeni Britton Bauer)
For the strawberry sauce:
1 pint hulled, sliced 1/2 in. thick strawberries
1/3 c. sugar
3 tbsp. lemon juice
For the ice cream:
1 1/2 c. whole milk
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 oz. softened cream cheese
1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 c. buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In an 8 inch glass dish, gently stir together the strawberries and 1/3 c. sugar. Roast the strawberries for 8 minutes or til just soft; let cool slightly.
2. Once slightly cooled, puree the berries in the food processor with the lemon juice. Measure 1/2 c. of the puree for the ice cream and refrigerate or freeze the remaining sauce for another use. (It’s perfect for strawberry shortcake.)
3. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp. milk and the cornstarch together to make a smooth slurry. (This will be your thickening agent.) In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and salt til smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
4. In a 4 quart saucepan, combine the remaining milk, cream, 2/3 c. sugar, and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 min. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mix back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a spatula, til slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
5. Gradually whisk the hot milk mix into the cream cheese til smooth. Add the 1/2 c. of strawberry puree and buttermilk and blend well. Pour the mix into a 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag. Seal the bag and submerge it in your prepared ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, til the mix is cold, about 30 minutes.
6. Once cold, pour the ice cream base into the ice cream maker (You can just snip one corner and squeeze it in. Very little mess.) and churn til thick and creamy. Once churned, pack the ice cream into a storage container, press parchment on the surface, seal, and freeze til firm, at least 4 hours.
Don’t all those recipe look good? I’m drooling again just thinking of them. Hopefully that gets your weekend off to a great start. I’ll talk to you soon!