Hot peppers of every color and shape are in season. Several recipes below use them to add heat to mild summer evening dinners. Picante pero sabroso.
Braised breasts with summer vegetables. 2 split chicken breasts, skin on and bone-in. Pat dry with paper towels. In a large, deep fry pan, brown 1 sliced onion in a little olive oil. Push to sides of pan and brown seasoned breasts on both sides. Set chicken aside. To the browned onion, add fresh farmstand fare. Sliced hot peppers, halved cherry tomatoes of every variety and hue, sliced scallions, shaved corn of two formerly cooked cobs. Brown and deglaze with 1/2 cup dry white wine. Stir and add 2 tbs. butter. Add back chicken breasts. Cover pan and bring to boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour or more. Serve over rice.
2 medium thick pork chops, bone in. Dry both sides on paper towels, then drizzle each side with olive oil, and dip into a shallow dish of seasoned panko crumbs. In a heated skillet sear chops on both sides until crispy. Remove. Fry slices of sweet and hot peppers and/or onions in a little olive oil until brown. Move to sides of pan and place pork chops in the middle. Add favorite Sriracha sauce to the peppers/onions. Not on the chops. Cover pan and turn to low for 20 minutes until chops are heated through. Juicy and tender.
For 2. In a medium saucepan, boil 1 box Pacific Chicken Broth with 2 sliced seeded serrano and 2 sliced seeded red chili peppers. Season with sea salt, black ground pepper, red pepper flakes to taste. Turn to simmer and cover. Halve 10 cherry tomatoes and roast or grill 2 cobs of corn. Shave kernels off the cob. To the simmering broth, add 1 – 1 1/2 lb. filet of wild hake. Simmer until flaky, about 10 minutes depending on thickness. Add tomatoes and corn kernels to the broth. Simmer until heated. Serve in pasta bowls with an olive oil drizzle and fresh basil chiffonade finish. A baguette of course to dip into the broth.
Slice 2 zucchini squashes lenghwise, about 1/8″ thick. Dip each slice in milk, then panko crumbs. Sauté each slice in a large fry pan with a little olive oil until golden brown on each side. Set aside and place slices on paper towels. Put 1 leaf fresh basil, a slice of mozzarella cheese, crushed oregano, thin prosciutto on each slice and roll them up and secure with toothpicks. Place rolls into heated fry pan with a little more olive oil to a deeper brown all around. Add 2 native tomatoes seeded and diced, a little butter to finish. Cover for 5 minutes on low heat. Eat.
Breakfast for 2. In a small fry pan, sauté a quarter red onion, cut into thick slices in a little butter. Add 1/4 green cabbage cut into chunks and brown on all sides, adding another pat of butter. Add 2 eggs, broken, and stir until eggs are set on the bottom. Pop under the broiler to brown. Serve with hot sauce or salsa.
Red White Blue Dessert- Fresh strawberries, sliced with fresh blueberries in small bowls. Melt Herrell’s malted vanilla ice cream and pour over the berries. Or. Berries over homemade shortcake with fresh whipped cream.
Grilled Corn in Husks- Fresh corn on the cob as soon as it hits the stand. Peel back the husks and take out the silk. Put the husks back up and soak the corn in a pot of cold water until ready to grill. Place soaked corn with husks still up on the hot grill and turn as necessary on the outer edge of the grate, so as not to burn. Cover to heat and eat. No need for butter.
Grilled Flank Steak- 2 lb. flank steak. Pound with pyramid meat mallet to tenderize. Season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder. Sear on both sides quickly over hot coals, then cover so it stays moist. 8-10 minutes. Rest 5 minutes off heat. Slice against the grain and add favorite barbecue sauce.
Summer Slaw- Red cabbage slaw is my favorite. I shred a small fresh cabbage into a large bowl. Toss in 3 thinly sliced scallion ends, 2 tbsp. Boar’s Head Pepperhouse mayonnaise, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, a handful of sesame seeds, 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. celery salt. Check for tanginess, I like it more vinaigry than mayonnaisey. Toss well to coat the cabbage. Cover, refrigerate. Or. Quick Slaw.
Summer Soup- Peel and slice 4 large zucchinis. Put in saucepan with 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth and bring to gentle boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Take off heat and let cool. Add basil, pepper, hot pepper, a dash of ginger to taste. Place cooled mixture into blender with 2 peeled, seeded native tomatoes and pulse until smooth; check seasoning. Put in container to refrigerate for a few hours. Serve topped with plain yogurt or sour cream dollop and chopped zucchini garnish. Light supper for 2 with a Bread Euphoria baguette.
Cucumber Salad- Thinly slice: 6 pickle cukes, 1/2 large red onion in bowl. Dress with 3/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1 tsp. each: oregano, basil, celery salt, black pepper. Proportions vary to your taste, could use some fresh basil instead of dried. Chill. Can also toss in chopped native tomatoes when in season but after taking out of the fridge.
Quick side dish for 2. Shred a quarter green cabbage into a small bowl. Add 1/8 cup whole grain Maille mustard, 1/4 cup plain yogurt or mayonnaise; cracked black pepper, celery salt to taste; snip some garlic chives; 1/4 cup red wine vinegar. Toss and refrigerate.
When chopping or slicing fresh veggies, it’s important that they be dry before sauté or salad. So, I place a paper towel or two into a bowl and place cut veggies on the towel in the bowl before cooking or tossing. Moisture drains out. When ready to use, slide towels away. Veggies are crunchy and dry.
Marinade chicken breasts, skin-on, bone-in overnight in a mixture of: 1 cup plain yogurt. Juice of 1 lime. 1/2 tsp. each cayenne, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, ginger. 1/4 tsp cloves. When ready to cook, bring to room temperature.
In a large deep skillet, sauté 1 Vidalia onion, sliced, chopped mushrooms. Add the chicken breasts and marinade to the skillet. Place in preheated 425 degree oven for about an hour until chicken skin crispy, meat cooked through but still juicy.
Serve with chilled Cucumber & Red Onion Yogurt salad.