Thursday, July 23, 2015

Seasonal Plate for Week of July 20th

The Earth has music for those who listen.
-Shakespeare
A Slice of Summer The sweet and spicy combo of Blueberry- Chipotle Sauce is the perfect accent for meaty chops. Serve these chops over a bed of Cinnamon-Spiked Mashed Sweet Potatoes with a side of Summer Vegetable Gratin and Peach Watermelon Salsa or a watermelon slice. To save time make the blueberry chipotle sauce a day ahead and later warm on a low heat. The sauce can easily be doubled. Pair the meal with Chardonnay, Chablis or a Shiraz.

Pork Chops with Blueberry-Chipotle Sauce
Recipe adapted from tideandthyme and serves 4.
Ingredients:
4 thick pork chops
Directions:
  • Grill pork chops to internal temperature of 135 degrees and then remove from grill and cover with foil. Let them rest for 5 minutes. The internal temp should reach 145 degrees during this time. 
  • For each serving place about ¾ cup of sweet potatoes on a plate, top with a chop and immediately drizzle with warmed blueberry chipotle sauce. 
Blueberry-Chipotle Sauce
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 TB. red wine vinegar
  • 3 TB. light brown sugar
  • 2 TB. blueberry preserves
  • 1 TB. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, drained. chopped and patted dry on a paper towel
Directions:
  • Prepare the sauce by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  • Once blueberries begin to soften and burst, reduce heat to low and let sauce simmer until it’s reduced by almost half.
Cinnamon-Spiked Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2-3 TB. butter
  • 1 TB. brown sugar
  • 2-3 TB. half and half
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½-1 tsp. kosher salt
Directions:
  • Add the quartered sweet potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Boil over medium-high heat until potatoes are tender – about 15 minutes. Drain, and place back in the pot. 
  • Add the butter, brown sugar, half and half, and cinnamon. Mash until smooth or use a hand mixer to combine. Season with salt. May need to add more half and half to get the desired consistency. 
  • Cover and set aside.
Summer Vegetable Gratin
Adapted slightly from Food Network and Iowagirleats.com. Other vegetables can be substituted in the dish e.g., butternut squash or eggplant.
Ingredients:
  • 2 TB. extra virgin olive oil or lemon olive oil, plus more for drizzling 
  • 4 shallots or 2 cups sweet onions chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 5-6 Roma tomatoes or 4-5 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced 3/4” thick
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 3/4 -1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 2.1 qt. baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots or onions, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until softened, 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Add fresh basil, thyme and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. 
  • Slice tomatoes and pat dry on a paper towel. Evenly spread shallot/onion garlic mixture in bottom of prepared baking dish. Combine sliced zucchini and yellow squash in a large bowl, drizzle lightly with extra olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Layer the vegetables including the tomatoes in slightly slanted rows on top of the shallot/onion mixture starting at one end of the dish. Mix Parmesan cheese and seasoned breadcrumbs. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top of vegetables and bake for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 
Peach Watermelon Salsa
Cook's notes: This no-cook salsa is also great served with fish or chicken. Makes 4 servings. Recipe adapted from McCormick.com
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups peeled and diced peaches
  • 2 cups chopped and seeded watermelon
  • 6 TB. orange juice
  • 1-2 TB. chopped fresh basil
  • 3 TB. finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves 
  • 2 TB. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 
Directions:
  • For the salsa, mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate 30 minutes to blend flavors. 
  • Drain juices before serving.

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