Friday, September 28, 2007

Sweet and Sour German Potato Salad

This warm and tangy salad is delicious with grilled bratwurst or any kind of barbeque. It holds its own alongside other flavorful foods. Mom used to make this when we were growing up- it is sweet and salty with the familiar potato to soak up all the wonderful dressing.

For the salad:
6 large Maine potatoes
1 large Vidalia onion

For the dressing:

1 lb bacon, diced
3⁄4 c finely chopped yellow onion
3 T flour
1⁄2 c white vinegar
3⁄4 c water
3 T sugar
1 T celery seeds
1 1⁄2 t salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper

Wash and trim the potatoes and onion. Peel the potatoes if you like. Cut the potatoes and onion into quarters. In a large saucepan boil the potatoes and onion until the potatoes are fork tender but not mushy. Drain the water (reserving it if you are making foccacia). Let the potatoes cool. When they are cool enough to handle chop them into bite-sized pieces. Slice the onion into bite sized pieces.

In a large pan, fry bacon till crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, crumble and set aside.

Add the 3⁄4 c onion to bacon fat in pan and cook 5-8 minutes till onion is soft. With a slotted spoon, remove onion and set aside with bacon.

Whisk flour into bacon fat. Add the vinegar, water, celery seeds, sugar, salt and pepper. Heat to a boil. Set pan on medium heat and cook till thickened.

Add potatoes, cooked Vidalia onion, bacon and sautéed onion. Gently stir to coat the potatoes. Serve while warm.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chunky Fresh Gazpacho

Chunky Fresh Gazpacho
This is one of the easiest recipes you’ll find to create this refreshing summer classic. The addition of vinegar gives it a delicious, subtle tang.
Serves 8 to 10

2 c tomato juice or vegetable juice cocktail
1 c peeled, seeded, finely chopped tomatoes
2 c diced canned tomatoes, with their liquid
1 c finely chopped celery
1 c seeded and finely chopped cucumber
1⁄2 c finely chopped red bell pepper
1⁄2 c finely chopped Vidalia onion
1⁄4 c finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 T chopped fresh oregano or 1 t dried
2 t sugar or Splenda sweetener
1 t salt
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 t cayenne pepper (optional)
10 sprigs fresh parsley, for garnish

Place all of the ingredients except the 10 parsley sprigs in a large stainless steel or glass bowl. Cover and chill 6 hours or overnight. Serve cold, garnished with sprigs of parsley.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Heirloom Tomato Bisque from Morning Dew Farm

This simple, creamy soup is enhanced by the bright flavor of fresh basil. It is delicious warm or at room temperature by the bowl or atop pasta with steamed veggies and a touch of garlic oil for a complete meal. Heirloom Tomatoes are found at many farms in Maine- Morning Dew Farm in Newcastle has several delicious varieties available through their CSA or at the Damariscotta Farmer’s Market.
Serves 6
1 large Vidalia or sweet onion, minced
3 cloves garlic minced
3 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white or black pepper
2 Tablespoon sugar
6 large tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped (approximately 4 cups)
1 cup light cream or plain soymilk
12 large leaves fresh basil
Place the onion in a medium saucepan. Sauté over medium heat with the garlic, olive oil and butter. Cook until the onions are transparent. Stir the onions often- Do not let the onions brown.
Deglaze the pan with sherry. Stir the onions and sherry well, scraping the bottom to incorporate all of the brown bits of flavor. Cook the sherry and onions on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over low heat another 10 minutes, stirring often.
Wash the basil leaves well and pat dry with paper towels. Stack the leaves one on top of each other on a cutting board. Roll the leaves up into a tight cylinder with the stems at the bottom and the tips at the top. Using a sharp knife and starting at the tips/top, carefully cut the leaves into 1⁄8” (1mm) slices. End just before the stems. Set the stems aside (these are wonderful to put in a baggie in the freezer for the next time you want extra flavor in your homemade stock.) Lift the ribbons gently and sprinkle them down on the cutting board to unfurl and separate the ribbons. This is called a chiffonade of basil.
Now is the time to puree your soup. If you have an immersion blender it is perfect for blending the soup right in the pan. If you have a regular blender, puree the soup by the cup-full being very careful not to burn yourself. Return all of the pureed soup to the pan.
When the tomatoes and onions are all pureed add the cream to the pan and stir. Heat the soup on low just until it’s is warm enough for your taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the fresh basil ribbons. You are ready to eat!