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Summer Recipes


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I hit three different farmers markets this weekend and realized that I am in a rut. While planning my meals I had a hard time looking past my favorites such as melon and meat and pretty much anything with a tomato and basil in it.

Yesterday was tomato soup, today was tomato sauce to freeze, tonight is BLTs and tomorrow is sauteed heirloom cherry tomatoes with pasta. Salsa was supposed to be in the mix but I couldn't find a stand selling cilantro.

Then I realized I am stuck on tomatoes. I haven't made any tzatziki, a roasted squash dish I like, broiled raspberries.

What are your standard late summer dishes? What have you forgotten to make while the makings are good?

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Last year, I made a load of creamed corn and packaged and froze it for winter enjoyment. It was great. Unfortunately, I've been incredibly disappointed with the corn this year. (Toigo @ $.75/ear and it's really not that sweet or special). So, I'm not going to bother.

I will, however, have to get in gear and make tomato sauce and caponata.

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Corn maque choux.

Prep: dice an onion (put in one bowl), a red bell pepper, a green bell pepper, and jalapeno peppers to taste (put in a second bowl), cut kernels from six ears or more of corn (third bowl), scrape the ears and drain the corn milk into a fourth bowl if you plan to use cream, otherwise put this in with the corn.

Sweat onions in butter, bacon grease, or oil (olive oil is good but not essential) in a heavy skillet or heavy bottomed pot until translucent, add peppers and cook until softened, put in the corn and cook until softened, add some cream, just enough to pull this together, and the corn milk, and simmer until it's sort of thickened.

Cream is optional. There are as many ways to make maque choux as there are Cajun cooks. Some put the corn in first and cook so it gets brownish (low temp, keep stirring), some add tomatoes and a little water, some add tomatoes and a little broth, some add bacon, some even make a roux, some even add shrimp and make into a main dish.

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There is nothing wrong with being stuck on tomatoes. They are awesome. I take this time to make different variations of tomato sauce & freeze it for the winter months. So: Tomato Sauce with Citrus, Marinara Sauce, Cream of Tomato, and Tomato Coulis.

But for other summer recipes, I love eggplant - roast several with garlic and olive oil. Then marinate with tons of basil and lemon juice. Add pepper to taste.

Also - I do a peach and yogurt soup. Its a great starter, or you can have it for dessert, especially after a spicey Asian or Meditterranean Meal. You need 2 lb of peaches, 1.5 cup of peach yogurt, some ginger (1.4 teaspoon), 2 tablespoons of port, nutmeg, and some fresh mint leaves for a garnish.

What you do:

Blanch the peaches , remove skins, remove pit, slice in smaller pieces.

Puree the peaches and stir in yogurt, as well as pther ingredients.

Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Garnish with mint leaves.

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