Squash Fritters with Buttermilk Dressing

Squash fritters are the seasonal appetizer you never knew you needed in your life. Easy to throw together and highly snackable, these fritters are worth turning on the stove for. Plus, there’s a buttermilk chive dipping sauce that you’ll want to dip everything into (or bathe in). Serve these to friends alongside cocktails (an aperol spritz perhaps?) or just munch on them solo with a glass of wine. Pick up some squash from the grocery store or farmer’s market and get frying.

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Squash Fritters with Buttermilk Dressing

From Julia Turshen

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pound summer squash, coarsely grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for frying

Whisk together the flour, 1 teaspoon salt and baking powder.  Place the grated squash in a piece of cheesecloth and wrap it up tightly. Wring out the liquid over the sink. Squeeze real hard since the less moisture in the fritters, the crispier they’ll be! Heat 1/4 cup oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, drop in tablespoonfuls of the squash mixture and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Cook for 3 minutes and then flip over and cook for about 2 more minutes until nicely browned. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Continue to fry the remaining fritters adding more oil to pan.

Whisk together the buttermilk, mayo, red wine vinegar, garlic, chives and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Serve alongside fritters.

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Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt

I recently bought a 5 pound bag of carrots and let me tell you – those suckers are resilient! I used some carrots in my chicken soup. I brought carrot sticks to work to munch on. I made my favorite carrot soup. Despite my efforts to incorporate more carrots into my diet, there was still a hefty number of carrots left in the fridge.

I decided to go big with my carrot swan song.  I chose a dish that really elevates the humble carrot.  A spice rub, comprised of smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, mustard powder and sugar, adds a delightful smokey and sweet flavor to the carrots when they caramelize and the harissa yogurt is the perfect creamy accompaniment. If you find yourself flush with carrots, make this recipe. It’s super flavorful and way more interesting than your run of the mill carrot dish.

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Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt

From Bon Appetit

  • 2 pounds carrots, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • pepper
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add carrots and let them cook for about 5 minutes. Remove carrots with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Using a paper towel gently remove the carrot skin and pat the carrots dry.

In a medium bowl, combine the spices and add the carrots with 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss everything together and add salt and pepper to the carrots. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots in batches and cook turning occasionally for about 6 minutes or until the carrots are golden brown. Salt and pepper the carrots when they are done cooking.

In a small bowl, gently fold the harissa, lemon zest, salt and pepper into the yogurt, stopping just before the yogurt turns pink. Spoon the yogurt onto a plate and top with carrots and additional lemon zest.

 

Potato Salad with Leeks

Nothing says summertime like potato salad. And hot dogs. And fireworks and sunburn and watermelon.  The perfect BBQ side, potato salad is a diverse dish that can be easily adapted to suit your tastes. You can go old school and use mayo and mustard or you can go the olive oil and vinegar route. Choose your preferred tater— red potatoes, sweet potatoes, yukon gold and fingerling work well. Then you add the fixings— chopped egg, pickles, celery, red onion, fresh herbs, capers, the sky’s the limit! This particular recipe calls for sauteed leeks, which are just divine and so springy. I decided to add capers for a little bite. Next time, I might add diced red pepper or red onion for a little more crunch and color. Pairs well with a slab of ribs. But, really, what doesn’t pair well with a slab of ribs?

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Wash your leeks!

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Potato Salad with Leeks 

Adapted from Bon Appetit 

3 1/2 lbs of small yukon gold potatoes

3 medium leeks (pale green and white parts only)

1 tbsp kosher salt plus more for seasoning

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

pepper

6 tbsp olive oil

Handful of capers

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 tbsp of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain. When potatoes cool, cut them in half. Cut your leeks in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch pieces crosswise. Place the leeks in a large bowl and fill with cold water. Swish the leeks around to loosen the dirt. You will start to see the dirt settle in the bottom of the bowl. Remove leeks with a slotted spoon and repeat the process until you are satisfied that the leeks are cleaned. In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat and add leeks. Season with salt and saute for about 10 minutes. Whisk 4 tbsp of olive oil, Dijon and white wine vinegar together in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes, leeks and capers and toss in the vinaigrette. You can make this dish 1 day ahead. It’s best when the flavors have time to marinate together.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing

Roasting vegetables is a sure-fire way to extract flavor and elevate nearly any vegetable. Throw down your favorite veggie, some olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and roast at a high heat for a crowd pleasing side.  You can never go wrong with basics like  asparagus, sweet potato, squash, carrots or brussel sprouts. But, sometimes the basics can get a little boring.  My sister in law, Devora, inspired me to think outside of the box and roast different veggies like fennel and artichoke hearts. I found that squeezing fresh lemon juice on the veggies just as they come out of the oven adds a bright citrusy freshness. The lemon-parsley dressing in this recipe takes that concept to a whole new level. The dressing really pumps up the flavor and enhances the delicious roasted cauliflower in the best way.  Don’t bank on adding the leftovers to tomorrow’s salad— there won’t be any.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing

Adapted from Bon Appetit

1 head cauliflower

6 tbsp olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground pepper

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 tsp lemon zest

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425. Toss the cauliflower with 4 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Put the cauliflower on a cookie sheet and roast for 35 minutes, tossing occasionally. Pulse the parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a food processor until very finely chopped and season with salt and pepper. Toss cauliflower with lemon-parsley mixture and sprinkle lemon zest on top.

Game Day

The Super Bowl is over, leaving only a trail of beer cans and indigestion in its wake.  It was a game to forget, but a night to remember at my apartment, with guests so sated by the food that one ended up unconscious on the floor. The wings showed more fight than Peyton Manning and the spices in the chili were more aggressive than Seattle’s defense— this was the game of my life.   Football deviled eggs, chili, corn bread muffins, baked salami, hot wings, fun punch, roasted chickpeas, chips, dips and more. This spread was more ludicrous than Denver -2.

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Oven Roasted Chickpeas

1 15 oz can of chickpeas

1 tsp ground corianderpicstitch (9)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika

Big pinch of kosher salt

2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Drain chickpeas and dry thoroughly on a paper towel. Toss chickpeas with olive oil, zest, salt and spices. Spread the chickpeas on a cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Occasionally move the chickpeas around on the pan while roasting. Let cool and serve. Flavor explosion.

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Football Deviled Eggs

10 large eggsphoto (5)

7 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

pinch of kosher salt

squirt of  sriracha

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

chives

Perfect hard boiled eggs every time: Place your eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let the eggs sit covered for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs and run under cold water. Peel the eggs under cold running water. Cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks. Mash the yolks with the mayo, mustard, cayenne, salt and sriracha until nice and smooth. Stuff the creamy mixture back into the egg whites. Decorate the eggs like footballs with the chives. Become everyone’s favorite hostess.

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Baked Salami

This recipe is from my wonderful mom, Carol

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A work of art.

Large hard salami (2 lbs)

1 cup apricot preserves

1 container frozen orange juice concentrate

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup spicy mustard

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the salami into thin slices, but not all the way through. Place a wire rack on a cookie sheet and put the salami on top so the excess fat will drip off when baking. Bake the salami for 1 hour uncovered. Meanwhile, place the apricot preserves, orange juice concentrate, brown sugar and mustard in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the ingredients are all melted together. Take your salami out and pour maybe half of the sauce on the salami. Bake for another hour, pouring more sauce on the salami every 15 minutes or so. Cut the salami and serve with mustard and cocktail bread.

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Halftime Chili

This recipe is from Bon Appetit

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Oliver’s masterpiece.

2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onions

8 large garlic cloves, chopped

3 pounds ground beef

5 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried basil (used fresh)

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree

1 14 1/2-ounce can chicken broth

1 12-ounce bottle beer

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 15- to 16-ounce can pinto beans

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add meat and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano and thyme. Stir 2 minutes. Mix in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, beer and tomato paste. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Mix in beans. Simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with corn bread muffins, sour cream, chopped tomatoes and sliced green onions.

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Corn Bread Muffins

5 tsp baking powder

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Find a man who makes muffins. Never let him go.

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup honey

3 eggs

1/3 cup oil

1 1/8 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 18 muffins.
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Buffalo Chicken Wings
32 chicken wings (about 6 lbs)picstitch (2)
2 sticks of margarine (SORRY WORLD)
8 tsp Frank’s Hot Sauce
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
Preheat the broiler. Cut the chicken wings in thirds, cutting between the bones. Melt the margarine and add the cayenne, hot sauce, and salt. Put the wings on a sheet pan and brush them with the sauce. Broil them about 3 inches below the heat for 8 minutes or longer until golden. Turn the wings, brush them again with the butter, and broil for 10 minutes or until crisp and delicious. I tossed the wings in extra hot sauce at the end.
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Fun Punch
This recipe is from my Aunt Debbie
1 package frozen limeade concentrate
36 oz of Miller Light (I used Bud)
Malibu rum
Place the frozen limeade in a punch bowl. Fill the limeade container with Malibu rum and add to the bowl. Crack open the beer and pour in. You’re welcome.