Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Squash Salad

In the summer here in Texas there is an abundance of squash - zucchini, yellow squash, crook-neck, 8-ball and a host of others. Our trip to the farmers' market on Saturday yielded some nice, firm zucchini - about 6" long each. Zucchini can be annoying to cook - all that water has to be driven off before they will brown - and then all of a sudden they are black. If you don't drive the water off, they are all limp and mushy - almost able to be sucked through a straw. Am I making them sound appetizing yet? I thought not.

Then I saw this thing advertised. It is a spiralizer. Once you get past the "gluten free" hype and stop trying to pretend that strands of zucchini are pasta, the idea is quite handy. The tool is unnecessary - at least for this dish. A good old-fashioned vegetable peeler is all you need. But the spiralizer did spark some thinking.

The secret to this dish is your choice of olive oil. It would be revolting with a neutral tasting oil. We used a California Koroneiki oil, an oil with lots of peppery notes and a silky, buttery mouth feel.

Ingredients (2 Servings)

4 medium sized zucchini
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 T capers, rinsed and drained
A few sprigs lemon thyme, leaves only chopped finely
A few glugs of high quality, peppery extra virgin olive oil. Probably 1/4 cup
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt to taste
Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1 avocado diced into 1/4" pieces
Crunchy sea salt for finishing


Peel the zucchini, and then slice into ribbons length wise using the vegetable peeler. Discard the core where the seeds are.
Add the tomatoes, capers, lemon thyme, olive oil and lemon juice to the zucchini slices in a bowl and toss to coat. Add the seasoning salt and pepper to taste, and toss again.
Place 1/2 the avocado onto each plate. Mound the squash salad over the avocado. Sprinkle  some coarse salt on the surfaceof the salad. Frind some pepper onto the plate to make it look interesting, serve immediately

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sous Vide corn on the cob

I have had this perpetual search for the best way to do corn on the cob. Kenji at Serious eats turned me on to an approach that turned out fantastic. It involves the vacuum sealer and the circulator. So worth it, and so easy - at least easy once you have the vacuum sealer and circulator!


2 Ears of fresh corn - shucked
2 T butter ( I used home made, cultured butter), but I suspect any would do.


Place water in a large container and set up the circulator. Heat the water to 83C (181.4F). Place the shucked corn into vacuum bags. Ad 2T butter. Vacuum seal the bags and triple seal them.
Place the bags in the water bath at 83C for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, take the bags out of the water bath. Cut open the bags and serve the corn with a little coarse salt.
Serious Eats suggests adding some flavorings to the butter in the bag - we didn't this time, but may experiment later.

Caprese Salad

Kenji at SeriousEats makes some excellent points about Caprese salad. The keys are:

  • Use really fresh tomatoes
  • Use really fresh Mozzarella (none of that supermarket pizza topping Mozz.)
  • Use really fresh basil, and tear it. (From the garden is the best)
  • No vinegar
  • Fruity olive oil
  • Coarse salt.
So I made it his way tonight. Outstanding. I hadn't previously realized what a dulling effect vinegar has. It was so fresh, so tasty this way. I think there will be a lot more in our future.


This is just crazy good. The "Watermelon Ninja" demonstrates a no-mess way of cutting up watermelon. I can't do it any more justice than simply posting a link here.