Summer is in full swing and even though there’s still daylight at 8:30 p.m. the time seems to go by so quickly. With that in mind I wanted to showcase a quick recipe using zucchini, one of my all-time favorite garden vegetables.
Charred Zucchini Croutons and Grilled Chicken Salad with Mixed Melon Salsa By Jeff Murphy Serves 2 Cook Time: 30 minutes
For Charred Zucchini Croutons • 4 golden or light green zucchini, split lengthwise with partial flesh removed • 1 oz pure olive oil • 2 oz mayonnaise
I grow a number of heirloom tomato plants in my backyard and tend to make this recipe all summer long as it’s quite light and refreshing. The ingredients are simple yet pure and will have your tastebuds dancing.
Chilled Heirloom Tomato Soup By Jeff Murphy Serves 6 Cook Time: 1 hour
• 3 lbs heirloom or garden tomatoes • 1 red onion • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
The sauce alone is called sugo alla puttanesca in Italian. This pasta dish tends to be tangy and somewhat salty. For this reason I enjoy adding sliced avocado to balance out the flavor profile. Regional differences abound in Italy but the basic recipe always has tomatoes, olive oil, olives, capers and garlic. Traditionally, the sauce is served with spaghetti, although it also goes well with penne, bucatini, linguine and vermicelli. I often find myself preparing this dish when I’m in a bind and time is of the essence.
Pasta Alla Puttanesca By Jeff Murphy Serves 8 Cook Time: 20 minutes
• 1 lb pasta cooked al-dente, your choice • 2 tbsp olive oil • 2 to 3 cups roasted tomato, store bought is ok
This simple dish incorporates elements from both Asia and Latin America; two regions I’m particularly fond of due to the diversity of flavors and customs found there. I’ve long been a fan of ahi tuna (or yellowfin tuna as it’s also known). The delicate flavor yet firm texture of this tuna adapts well to numerous cooking methods. I particularly enjoy incorporating ahi tuna into seasonal salads. This recipe showcases one such salad. How do you enjoy preparing ahi tuna?
Ahi Tuna and Grilled Vegetable Salad By Jeff Murphy Serves 2 Cook Time: 30 minutes
So many times I have neglected to give credit to the side dishes. There have been multiple instances when the main course has showed up late, been over-cooked or just failed to please and these trustworthy, colorful, inexpensive and brilliant vegetables have come through saving the dinner or have been the dish that people talk about later. Here are two recipes that deserve a lot of credit.
Roasted Cauliflower with Rosemary and Butternut, Mushroom and Feta Gratin By Jeff Murphy Serves 4 Cook Time: 1 hour
For Roasted Cauliflower with Rosemary • 1 head of cauliflower cut into 1” florets • 1 medium sized red onion cut into thin wedges • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
The holidays aren’t quite over for me in the kitchen as I enjoy making these deliciously chewy coconut meringue cookies all throughout winter. The exquisite texture and coconut sweetness will keep your guests clamoring for more. You can also add chopped pistachios or any nut that tickles your fancy for a wonderful treat anytime of the day. Santa can’t have all the fun.
Coconut Meringue Cookies By Jeff Murphy Serves 8 Cook Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on your preference)
• 1 cup toasted coconut flakes • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar • 4 egg whites
It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate candies and flavored vodka; particularly if you’re late on your gift giving during the holidays. Fortunately these recipes are a breeze to whip up and you’re recipients will love them.
Chocolate Candies and Flavored Vodka By Jeff Murphy Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
For Chocolate Candies • 1 1/4 lb of chocolate, your choice • 1 1/2 cup of any assortment of nuts and dried fruit
This recipe is called “quick bread” because there is no yeast and therefore no need to proof and knead this remarkably versatile dough. I have used this recipe for preparing savory dishes such as chicken and dumplings. I’ve also created sweet concoctions by adding the dough to dried apricots and prunes over fresh peaches. I stole the quick bread recipe from James Beard and have been using it since the early eighties. The addition of lemon zest and rosemary go great with poultry. The dough is particularly wonderful over leftover roasts and even roasted fall vegetables like butternut squash and mushrooms. Please let me know how you can use this quick bread recipe.
Quick Bread By Jeff Murphy Serves 4 Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
• 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour • 2 tsp homemade baking powder (mix three ingredients listed below) - 1 tsp baking soda - 2 tsp cream of tartar - 1 tsp cornstarch • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Sometimes the recipes I make are inspired by the type of cooking equipment I have or come across. This happens to be the case with this simple comforting chicken stew…like the guitar choosing the song. I recently came across this wonderfully large enameled cast iron pan while searching through my cupboards. And as the days get shorter and the nights more chilly, I wanted to make something representative of autumn. A persimmon and celery salad would be a nice side dish.
Autumn Chicken Stew By Jeff Murphy Serves 2 Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
• 1/2 of a free range chicken cut into four pieces ( leg, thigh, breast cut in two) seasoned with salt and pepper • 3 tbsp vegetable oil • 2 medium carrots peeled and cut into 3 inch by 1/2 inch spears
This recipe is a great “starter” for parents who would like to introduce seafood into their picky child’s diet. Fortunately it also happens to be a wonderful dish for all ages to enjoy - picky or not. The toasted sesame seeds provide a crackling crust and complement the flavor and texture of the salmon. Get your kids involved by having them coat the salmon sticks with the sesame seeds during prep. They’ll have as much fun as you enjoy watching your children savor a nutritious meal.
Sesame Seed Crusted Salmon Fish Sticks By Jeff Murphy Serves 4 Cook Time: 20 minutes
• 12 ounces of fresh salmon fillet cut into 1/2 inch by 4 inch pieces • 1/4 cup sesame seeds • 2 tbsp soy sauce