Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dining al fresco (recipes)

There is one thing more exasperating than a wife
who can cook and won't,
and that's a wife who can't cook and will.
Robert Frost (poet)
If more of us valued food and cheer
above hoarded gold,
it would be a merrier world.
Mark Twain
It is heartwarming to know that famous writers and poets also contemplate the art of food through the delicacies of words.
Dining al fresco
Spanish for outside, open air
These recipes were chosen because they require little preparation and are easy which gives you more time to visit with friends and family. Today will cover sides that go well for grilling and dining al fresco. Check back during the week for main entrees and desserts suitable for outside dining.
Watermelon Salad
Makes about 6 cups
Whisk together for Lime Dressing
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 TB. honey
  • 2 TB. fresh mint
  • 1 TB. vegetable oil
Combine the following ingredients and toss with
lime dressing
4 cups cubed watermelon
1 cup honeydew melon cubed
1 cup cantaloupe cubed
1/4 cup sweet onion slivered like Vidalia onion
Garnish with coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
Tomato Dressing
makes about 8 cups
  • 1-3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 5 cups baguette cubes, stale and cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 10. fresh mozzarella diced
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Grease a 8 inch baking dish
  • In blender add broth, cream, eggs, spices and blend well
  • In a bowl add bread cubes and pour cream over cubes
  • Let stand 10 minutes or until bread is saturated
  • Stir in tomatoes, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper and mozzarella cheese
  • Spoon mixture into prepared pan and sprinkle with rest of Parmesan cheese
  • Bake until dressing is bubbly about 30 minutes
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving
Bourbon Beans
Makes about 4 cups
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1 cup of onion
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 cans red beans (rinsed and drained) but can also use baked beans
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup chili sauce
  • 2 TB. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB. brown sugar
  • 1 TB. molasses
  • 1 TB. prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco red and/or green yellow peppers
  • Saute bacon and add onions cooking till crisp about 3 minutes
  • Off heat deglaze onions and bacon with bourbon
  • Return pan to stove and simmer till bourbon is nearly evaporated
  • Stir in remaining ingredients except peppers
  • Bring to boil reduce heat to medium low and cook 5 minutes
  • Garnish with peppers
Note: All recipes have been adapted from a special issue of Cuisine At Home Specials 2008

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