Posts by ChefDeb

Second Annual Barbecue Recipe Contest

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in BBQ, Salads | 0 comments

Second Annual Barbecue Recipe Contest

Memorial Day weekend is here, the unofficial start of summer.  And you know what that means – barbecue!  Time to haul out the grill if you haven’t already, clean it, check the propane or lay on some charcoal, and fire it up for another summer of great food and good times. And if that isn’t fun enough, Home Star Cuisine is announcing its 2nd Annual Barbecue Recipe Contest.Like last year, I am asking you to share your favorite barbecue recipes with us.  Whether it is for a Southern-style low-and-slow cooked ribs, a great grilled chicken marinade, or a delicious side dish that wows your guests at all your cook-outs, I want to try your best summer recipes.  And the top three recipes we receive will earn their creators a $25 gift certificate to Omaha Steaks.  Just send your recipe to me by e-mail before July 31, 2013, and I will announce the winners in the August newsletter and they will be receiving their gift certificates by Labor Day weekend.I had a great time last year trying all the recipes that I received, and some of them have found their way into my permanent repertoire.  I hope this year brings me another good crop of recipes, especially for side dishes, a category that was noticeably under-represented last year.  So to prime the pump, I’m sharing with you an unusual and delicious Asian Cole Slaw.  And it goes well with the Korean Barbecue recipe I kicked off the contest with you last year.  I wish you all a fantastic summer! South Asian Cabbage Slaw Vinaigrette: ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari 1 tablespoon light brown sugar 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce zest and juice of one lime ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper 1 clove garlic, minced ¼ cup vegetable or peanut oil   Slaw: ½ cabbage, shredded or finely sliced 1 large carrot, grated 1 red pepper, julienned ¼ cup chopped cilantro ½ cup chopped dry roasted, salted peanuts Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, or shake well in a small glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Toss together the cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and peanuts.  Add vinaigrette and toss to evenly distribute.   Serves 6 –...

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A growing trend – Community Supported Agriculture

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Food | 1 comment

A growing trend – Community Supported Agriculture

Spring has come, albeit a cool one, and we are just around the corner from the opening of local farmers markets. The farmers have been preparing the earth, enriching the soil, plowing, planting, and starting seeds to get ready for the season, and we await the delicious bounty that our local food producers will soon be bringing to market. Besides farmers markets though, there is another way to support local agriculture: through buying a share of a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. This is a way to directly invest, so to speak, in a local farm, to share the costs and rewards of farming, and to get a lot more up close and personal with the ups and downs of food production. For those of you who don’t know, buying a CSA share means that you directly pay a farmer for a “share” of his or her crops and you will receive vegetables (and usually herbs, sometimes fruits, and even, depending on the CSA eggs and/or meat) directly from the local grower. This comes in the form of a box of produce that you pick up at a local pick-up center, at the farm or it can even be delivered to you. What is in the box depends on what is growing at the time. If you go to the farmers market in your area you already have a sense of what is ready to harvest when. For example, here in New England you don’t see eggplant in the farmers market in June. Consequently, you won’t see them in your CSA box in June either. Depending on the farm and the success of the growing season, the box could be enough to satisfy two veggie lovers’ needs for a week, more or less. If you have a small garden or if you’re single, you might consider getting a half-share, which are available at many CSA’s. Besides getting incredibly fresh and delicious vegetables for several months, CSAs give you  the satisfaction of knowing that you are giving invaluable support to a local grower. It is easy for us to forget that farming is an uncertain business. We are so used to going to the grocery store and finding the fruits and vegetables we want pretty MUCH any time of year. So we sometimes don’t appreciate what individual farmers go through–rain or lack of it, freak storms, or unexpected insect infestations, etc. For a farmer who sells shares at the beginning of the season through a CSA, part of his and her income is already guaranteed and all involved share in the risks inherent in the vagaries of Mother Nature. So if you buy a share, you are helping to insure the survival of local agriculture. Another plus of buying a CSA share is that you will be receiving a “mystery basket” from your farmer every week. This is sure to broaden your culinary horizons. Ever tried rutabagas? Collards? Well, if you get them in your CSA box you will have the opportunity to experiment with something new and outside your comfort zone. Who knows, maybe you’ll have a new favorite vegetable by the end of the summer! And if you’re really stumped, send me an e-mail and I’ll see if I can help you figure out what to do with an unusual offering from your CSA. Maybe it will become the subject of a future newsletter. How do you find a CSA? If you do an internet search on “CSA” and your state you will easily find a listing for ones in your area. Here in Rhode Island, Farm Fresh Rhode Island  keeps a listing on their website. The cost of a share ranges anywhere from $250 – $650, depending on the farm and the size of the box you’ll be given each week. If you would like to buy into a CSA, do it soon. Shares do sell out and the season has begun. If you feel that’s too much for you right now, please do support your local farmer in whatever way you can-go to farmers markets, pick...

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A super salad for your Easter or Passover dinner

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Salads | 0 comments

A super salad for your Easter or Passover dinner

Spring is here, at least officially, though it does seem like the snow doesn’t want to stop this year. But with Easter and Passover here it won’t be long before the weather will warm and we’ll be putting the first plants in our gardens. So to get us looking forward to those first crops from the garden I would like to share with you a recipe for a salad that will go well with an Easter ham or lamb, or a Passover meal (in that case, you just need to look for vinegar marked “Kosher for Passover”). Springtime Salad 1 cup arugula 1 head Boston lettuce, broken into bite-sized pieces 1 baby bok choy, cut into chiffonade ½ bunch mint leaves, torn 1 cup sugar snap peas, diagonally sliced into ½ inch lengths 6 large radishes, thinly sliced 1 carrot grated ¼ cup golden raisins   Dressing: grated rind and juice of 1 lime 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 2 teaspoons honey large pinch salt 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil   In a salad bowl, place greens and sprinkle with the other vegetables and the raisins. In a glass jar, combine dressing ingredients except oil. Shake well to blend and then add oil. Shake again and drizzle over the greens. Toss gently and serve. Serves...

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