Yea, it’s almost summertime. The snow has finally melted, spring has sprung, and it’s time for a fun holiday get-together with family and friends. We’ve created a fabulous menu just for you! The following recipes are geared toward pleasing everyone’s taste buds including the grandkids – so go ahead and enjoy.
SPINACH AND PARMESAN STUFFED PORTOBELLOS
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves 4 as side dish
4 large Portobello mushrooms
4 tablespoons e.v. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
8 cups baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1. Heat the oven (with the oven rack in the middle) to 425°F.
2. Break off and discard the stems at the base of the mushrooms. Using a damp paper towel, wipe off any visible dirt.
3.Measure 2 tablespoons of the oil into a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of the mushroom caps with the oil. Place them, stem-side up, in a rimmed sheet pan or baking dish. Roast until the mushrooms are tender and the centers can be easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 20 to 25 minutes.
4.Meanwhile, slice the onions into half moons. Place a large skillet on the stove and turn the heat on to medium-high. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and heat until it shimmers (about 1 minute). Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring often, until tender and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes (you may have to turn down the heat as it cooks, to avoid scorching).
5.While the onions cook, wash and spin-dry the spinach. Add the spinach to the cooked onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a lid over the spinach until it starts to wilt and shrink, about 1 minute. Remove the lid and stir until the spinach is completely wilted and any water is evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
6.Dividing evenly, fill the roasted mushroom caps with the spinach mixture. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the tops.
7.Adjust the oven rack to about 4 inches from the top. Turn your broiler on to high. Broil the mushrooms until the Parmesan melts and bubbles, about 2 minutes.
(Recipe reprinted from www.doitdelicious.com , Jessica Seinfeld)
For Side Dishes…
PASTA PRIMAVERA WITH PEAS, ASPARAGUS, AND KALE
(This pasta salad is also great cold/room temperature!)
8 ounces penne
8 ounces snap peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 small bunch kale (preferably Tuscan kale), stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large bunch fresh chives, chopped
Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup coarsely grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
1.Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs; add the peas, asparagus and kale to the pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking and stir occasionally. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables.
2.Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, all but 2 tablespoons chives, the lemon zest and juice, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a blender. Add 3 tablespoons cold water and pulse until smooth, scraping down the inside of the blender. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the tarragon and drizzle with olive oil.
3.Add the pasta and vegetables to the chive puree along with 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water and half of the cheese; season with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat, adding more cooking water to loosen, if necessary. Serve topped with the remaining cheese and chives.
(Recipe reprinted from: HYPERLINK “https://www.foodnetwork.com” www.foodnetwork.com )
POTATO SALAD WITH DILL
2 pounds small waxy potatoes, halved and scrubbed
¼ cup olive oil
½ onion, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
4 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted
1.Cover potatoes with cold salted water, bring to a boil, and cook until tender; drain and transfer to a large bowl.
2.Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes.
3.Remove from heat and mix in vinegar. Add to potatoes along with scallions, dill, and caraway seeds and toss, crushing potatoes slightly; season with salt and pepper.
(Recipe reprinted from: HYPERLINK “https://www.bonappetite.com” www.bonappetite.com)
Now for the Main Course…
STICKY AND SWEET CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS WITH CUCUMBER RIBBONS AND MANGO
(If you have time, marinate the chicken to boost the flavor. Place the chicken and sauce in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate up to 24 hours.)
1 c. unsweetened coconut milk (if separated, mix to combine)
1 c. water
1 c. brown rice
½ tsp kosher salt (¼ tsp + ¼ tsp)
8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 lbs.)
¼ c. apricot preserves
2 tblsp. Low-sodium soy sauce
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tblsp. rice vinegar
½ tsp sugar
1 English or hothouse cucumber
1 mango, cut into bite-size pieces
1.In a medium saucepan, combine milk, water, rice, and ¼ tsp of salt; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to low; and cook, stirring once until the rice is tender, around 40-45 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, preheat the oven (with oven rack in the middle) to 425 degrees. Line a small roasting pan with foil. Rinse and pat dry chicken, then place in the pan.
3.In a small bowl, whisk together the preserves, soy sauce, pepper, and remaining salt. Pour over chicken, and using your hands, toss to coat.
4.Transfer chicken to the oven and roast 30-35 minutes until cooked through. During the last 5 minutes, baste the chicken a couple of times with the sauce from the bottom of the pan.
5.In a medium bowl, combine vinegar and sugar. Working over the bowl, use a vegetable peeler to create long ribbons of cumber by peeling from top to bottom. Stop once you reach the seed section. (TIP: Cut this part up, sprinkle with salt and pepper, an lace it on the table for the kids to snack while they are patiently waiting for dinner.)
6.Add the mango and toss.
7.Serve the drumsticks, any extra sauce from the pan, and cumber salad over the rice.
(Recipe Reprinted from *www.doitdelicious.com, Jessica Seinfeld)
What’s inexpensive, versatile, and crazy tasty? Skirt steak. It also cooks in a flash, which makes it tailor-made for grilling.
1½ pounds skirt steak
Salt and pepper
1.Cut 1½ lb. skirt steak into 4 pieces; season with salt and pepper.
2.Grill over medium-high heat until medium-rare, about 4 minutes per side.
3.Let rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.
(Recipe reprinted from: HYPERLINK “https://www.foodnetwork.com” www.foodnetwork.com)
Can’t Forget Dessert…
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY POPS
You will need Dixie cups and Popsicle sticks
½ cup peanut butter, smooth (or any kind of nut butter you like)
2 tblsp. honey
1 cup milk, divided (any type of milk will work)
½ cup your favorite fruit preserves
1.Combine the peanut butter, honey, and ½ cup of milk in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
2.Whisk the preserves and remaining milk in a separate bowl to combine.
3.Pour both mixtures into 2 separate liquid measuring cups for easy pouring.
4.Pour 2 tblsp of the peanut butter mixture into each Dixie cup, followed by 3 tblsp of the fruit preserves mixture.
5.Freeze for 30 minutes.
6.Pour the remaining peanut butter mixture on top. Poke a popsicle stick in the middle of the cups.
7.Freeze for at least 6 hours or more, and serve.
(Recipe reprinted from www.weelicious.com, Catherine McCord)
BEST BLONDIES EVER!
From Grandma Charlotte – (This recipe sits in our family library and is cherished because of all the love our Grandma Charlotte put into it. Watch these bars disappear!)
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips
1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8inch baking pan.
Combine the flour and soda in a medium bowl, and mix well with a wire whisk.
2.In a large bowl use an electric mixer to blend the sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla and beat at medium speed until light and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the flour mixture, pecans and chocolate chips. Use a wooden spoon to combine the last two ingredients rather than beating.
3.Transfer the batter into the prepared pan, and level the top with a rubber spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 35 – 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack to room temp, and cut into bars.
(You can add variations to this recipe using a ¼ cup sweetened coconut and/or butterscotch chips).