Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grilled Veggies with Herb Vinaigrette!

I'm getting the grilled fired up and ready for the 4th of July. 

What's not to love about fresh veggies cooked with the heat of the grill! And it keeps my kitchen cool on hot days.

Here is what I am grilling today. Zucchini, Yellow Squash, and Eggplant.  

But peppers, onions, and mushrooms  are excellent candidates for grilling.

Let's prep the veggies.
Cut the eggplant in to thick slices. I like to cut the veggies lengthwise.  Then I have less to handle and they don't fall through the grill grates as easy. 

Same with the zucchini and yellow squash.

Aren't they so pretty?

Put about a 1/4 cup of olive oil in a bowl and brush over both sides of vegetables lightly with the oil.

Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.

These babies are ready for the grill.

Start with a clean grill on medium-high heat.  To prep the grill I like to put some olive oil on the grates.  Fold up a paper towel and dip it in the olive oil.

Rub the paper towel on the grates. This leaves a nice thin coat of oil on the grill and prevents the veggies from sticking.

On go the veggies.  Squash and eggplant usually take 8-10 minutes on the grill. Peppers take a little longer like 10-12 minutes.

But you really have to watch because it all depend on your grill and how thick your veggies are.  

LOVE the pretty grill marks!

 You just might live in Salem County if you turn around from the grill and see this going down the road.  That is one crazy big planter.

Back to the grill.

It took me a couple batches to get all the veggies cooked on the grill, but its okay.  The vegetables can be served warm or at room temperature.  

I really didn't want crunchy vegetables. So be conscious of how stiff the veggies feel when you pick them up.  

The challenge is grilling them to just the right point--gently charred on the outside and tender within, not pale and crunchy or blackened and mushy.

Now to take these veggies to the next level: THE SAUCE

For the dressing: 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
3 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar.  What ever you fancy.

Add 2 cloves of garlic minced.

Grab some fresh basil and parsley

Add the chopped herbs.  Whisk together adding salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle dressing over platter of veggies. Serve warm or room temperature.

Since I already had the grill warmed up, I threw a steak on for a perfect supper!

Yum Yum Yum.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fixin' to make some Squash Casserole for Ya'll.

Pour yourself a nice big glass of sweet iced tea and join me on the porch swing while we chat about yellow squash.

Just kiddin'.

But I do think on Yellow Squash Casserole as being "southern food." And with cheese and bacon you can't go wrong.

Lets Git-R-Done.

 Cut up some yellow squash.

Put your cut up squash in a saucepan add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until squash is tender.

Drain your squashes.

Then mash 'em.

In a skillet cook 4 slices of bacon.

I cut my bacon slices in half before I put them in the pan.  They fit better in my pan and are easier to handle.

Drain cooked bacon on paper towels.

Mince an onion.  You need about 1 cup of minced onion.  I used half of a big onion.
This is drugs.  This is your brain on drugs.  Any questions?

 Hold up.  Are we in the 80s?  Tell me I'm not the only one that thinks of that commercial every time I hear butter sizzling in a pan.

Back to 2012 and squash casserole.  Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a skillet.

Add the minced onion and saute in butter until tender.

You will need 18 crackers.  I used Ritz, but use what ever you have on hand.
Take 12 crackers and smoosh them into crumbs.  Add to the sauted onions.

Shred up a nice pile of sharp cheddar cheese.

Beat 2 eggs.
Now combine: in this pan we have the sauted onions, smooshed crackers, drained and smashed squash, cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, beaten eggs and a little salt and pepper.

Stir it up.

Pour the mixture into a small casserole dish.  Smoosh the remaining 6 crackers on top.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

I guess a real southerner would add pimientos or paprika, but I like it without those extras.

Yellow Squash Casserole
2 pounds yellow squash sliced, about 3-4 
1 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons butter
18 Ritz crackers, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
salt and pepper

Combine squash and water to cover in a saucepan; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Drain well, and mash.

Saute onion in butter until tender.  Combine onion, squash, cracker crumbs from 12 crackers, cheese, eggs, and bacon.  Pour into a small casserole dish.  Sprinkle with remaining crackers crumbs.  Bake 350 for 45 minutes.

Happy Cooking Ya'll

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CSA Share 2012: week 7

 Starting at top right and continuing clockwise.  Sweet Corn, beets, yellow squash, zucchini, string beans, carrots. 

I wish you all could have been there when Gail, Angie and I were pulling carrots this morning.  Pulling these beautiful carrots up from the earth could only be followed by great squeals of delight.  We were like giddy school girls, so excited with our harvest.

Beets!  I love them roasted.  Check out this recipe for Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze. It's my favorite beet recipe...... the orange, with the balsamic, and the beet. Ummmm, yeah, amazing.  And don't throw away the tops, you can cook the the beet greens just like you would, collards or kale. 

I would like to proudly announce the arrival of SWEET CORN to the CSA share this week.  Nothing tastes like summer like some corn!

We grow about 90 acres of corn every year.  It is all hand picked by an elite crew of specially trained guys.   Here at A.T. Buzby Farm, we are sweet corn snobs.  The lengths that we've gone to for this corn are remarkable. The corn that you are getting this week was started in the greenhouse and transplanted to the field, then covered with a mini-greenhouse. check it out here. It has been cultivated, irrigated and cared for. We harvest it at just the right time, when the flavor is at it's best and we harvest first thing in the morning, when the corn is the most turgid (crisp) and cool.  So I have some specific directions for you so that this extra special corn is cared for properly.

For the best flavor eat your corn as soon as possible.  I mean the same day you pick up.  If you can.

Although, if you can't eat your corn that night leave the husk on and store it in your refrigerator.  Refrigeration really helps to slow down the loss of the corns sweetness.  We have had many customers tell us that they leave their unshucked corn in the fridge for up to 7 days and it still tastes great!

To prepare your corn, husk and wash the corn.  Bring a big pot of water to boil.  Toss the ears in, cook for about 5 minutes.

What I normally end up doing is tossing the ears in the boiling water, bring it back to a boil, and then shutting the burner off.  Then I just let the corn sit in the water until we are ready to eat.  This works well for me because, I don't always know when Eric will come in for dinner.  This way the corn stays warm until I need it.

Corn is going to be a regular in the share for july and august.  If you ever have a week when you can't eat all the corn or it just isn't fitting into your meal plan. Freeze it!  It is so easy. Just cut the corn off the cob, stick it in a freezer bag, and toss it in the freezer. Done! If you're feeling extra ambitious, you can date the bag. Once you get used to eating this frozen corn, you will be ruined for all other frozen corn.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Journey of the Pickle: Video

Watch the journey of a pickle from plant to bushel.  A little peek into the packing house.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Hi. I love this food.

If you have been hanging around the CSA for a while, you have seen this recipe.  I give it out every year,  but this time with pictures.

Take 3 zucchini and cut the top and bottom off.  This recipe works best with medium to large zucchini.
Then cut in half length wise.
Now you have your 6 halves ready to get in the hot tub. 
Bring a big pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the zucchini halves and let boil for about 10 minutes. 

Kinda keep your eye on them.  You need them cooked enough so you can scoop the insides out, but you don't want them too soft or they'll break.
Meanwhile, chop a small onion and a clove of garlic. 

Take a pound of Italian sausage out of its casing and start cooking in a skillet.
(Not pictured, because raw meat didn't look so appetizing in the picture)

After about 5 minutes, add the onion and garlic. Continue to cook until sausage is cooked through.
The zucchini is ready to come out of the boiling water. 

This part can be tricky, those zucs are slippery when wet!
***I serve stuffed zucchini with pasta(rigatoni or rotini) and sauce, so after the zucs come out of the pot I use the same water to cook the pasta.  Just make sure it comes back to a boil before putting the pasta in.
Let the zucchini cool a bit. Then scoop out the guts. Save the guts in a bowl.
Now you have your zucchini boat.  Fancy, Right?!?!
 Place the boats in your baking dish.
Now mash the guts of the zucchini.
Drain the mashed guts. They are very watery.
Add the drained, mashed guts to the skillet.
Next add Italian bread crumbs
About 1/3 cup of them.
Now your stuffing is ready!
Spoon the stuffing into the zucchini boats.
Shake on some Parmesan. I know.... shaker cheese is not real Parmesan. If you have the real stuff, go for it.
Sprinkle some mozzerella on top.  

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Enjoy.
Now stop yourself from eating the whole pan before your family gets to the table.
**Mom, if you are reading this, sorry, that is your towel. I guess, I forgot to return it.  But doesn't look really nice next to the stuffed zucchini?

Stuffed Zucchini
3 medium-large zucchini halved lengthwise
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
1/3 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Cook zucchini in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain, then scoop out insides leaving 1/4 inch shell.  Mash insides, drain well.  Put boats in shallow baking dish.
Remove sausage from casing, brown for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and onion and saute until meat is cooked through and onions are tender.  Stir in mashed zucchini and bread crumbs.  Spoon into boats.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 350 for 30 minutes.

Zucchini is so versatile. The possibilities are endless.  But if your brain is fried and you can't come up with what to do with your squash check out Kalyn's Kitchen . She has 20 zucchini recipes at the ready.

What is your favorite way to use zucchini?