Wednesday, August 27, 2008

august 27, 2008: frugal feasts grilled up and gorgeous

Marinated Vegetable Salad
Serves 8:
3 medium sized ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 red or yellow or green sweet pepper, chopped
1 can small black pitted olives
1/4 cup minced red onion
3 tablespoons cider or balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon snipped fresh oregano or ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta
Leaf lettuce (optional)

Put the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the onion, vinegar, oil, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add to the veggies and toss gently. Chill until serving.

When ready to serve, line a salad bowl with leaf lettuce (optional). Spoon in the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with the feta cheese, and maybe a little more of the herbs.

Roasted Pepper Sandwiches
Serves 8:
4 large Sweet Bell Peppers
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 pound deli sliced cheddar or other sliced cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
8 burger buns, toasted

Hold the pepper upright on a cutting board by the stem. Cut straight down the side of the pepper with a sharp knife taking off the entire side in one slice. Cut off the remaining three sides so that you have four fairly large, flat pieces of pepper. Drizzle the peppers with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Put the slices skin side down on a medium hot grill, turning when the peppers look soft and slightly charred.
Fit a slice of cheese into the pepper and leave on the grill until the cheese melts.

Serve 2 pieces on each bun and top with dilled Mayonnaise

Dilled Mayonnaise

This spread is a quick and easy way to add some flavor to even a standard burger. Robin likes the new mayo made with olive oil by Kraft -- yummy!

1cup of Mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
Salt and pepper to taste—start with ¼ teaspoon of each

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. This tastes best if made a few hours in advance.

Grilled Burgers with Garlic and Provolone

2 ½ lbs 80% lean ground beef
1 cup coarsely chopped provolone—1 small (4 ounce) package of sliced or a ¼ pound chunk from the deli counter.
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs – sage is good here
1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
8 burger buns, toasted

Put all ingredients into a large bowl. Gently combine all ingredients by hand. Shape into 8 patties and refrigerate.

Grill on a medium hot grill for 4 minutes on each side for medium.

Serve with fresh lettuce and dill mayo for a nice twist on an old favorite

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

august 13, 2008: frugal feasts fritatta and fruit crisp

3 tablespoons Olive oil
2 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thin
1 small onion, cut in half and then into very thin slices
1 medium zucchini, chopped into small chunks
2 medium tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
8 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
teaspoon salt and and pepper to taste.
Chopped fresh herbs or ½ teaspoon dried sage or thyme
½ cup shredded cheese – cheddar or monteray jack
Salsa and more sour cream for serving, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Boil the potatoes for 3 minutes in salted water. Drain well and set aside
Heat a cast iron skillet or another heavy pan that can go into the oven oven on the stove over medium heat. Warm the olive oil and add the drained potatoes and onion. Push around the pan for about 6-7 minutes on medium heat, until the potatoes start to brown and the onions are soft. Add the zucchini and the tomatoes and continue cooking until the zucchini softens, about 3 minutes. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl with a whisk. Add the sour cream and the herbs and beat until combined. Add the cheese. Add the salt and several grindings of black pepper. Pour the egg mixture on top of the vegetables and slide the skillet into the oven. Roast until the eggs are set in the center, about 20 minutes Remove from the oven and cut into 8 wedges. Serve hot or at warm room temperature.
Makes 6 generous servings @ $.86/serving

Fruit Crisp – for eight. If this is too much, halve all ingredients and bake in an 8 or 9 inch square pan.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup quick cook oats (not instant)
1 stick butter, very soft
4 cups fresh fruit: 6 medium peaches and 1 cup raspberries or
any combination of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or 8 medium peaches or
8 apples peeled and sliced.
Approx ½ cup sugar
Vanilla ice cream, optional.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Put the fruit into a large shallow baking pan, like a pyrex or decorative ceramic dish. Add the ½ cup sugar or more to taste and mix well. Set aside.
Dump the flour, sugar oats and butter into a medium bowl. Mash together with a fork, working in the butter until the mixture comes together into clumps. Sprinkle this over the fruit making a thick even covering. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the topping is dark brown and the fruit is bubbling.
Serve warm with ice cream if desired.
Makes 8 generous servings @ $.81/serving