Friday, July 27, 2012

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Blueberry-Dijon Sauce





  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter*
  • 1/2 cup blueberry preserves
  • 1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Minced fresh basil or tarragon, optional   ****I used fresh basil...I wouldn't leave it out!!


  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Grill for 7 minutes per side or in a large skillet, cook chicken in butter* over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 170°. Remove and keep warm.
  • In sauce pan or the same skillet, combine the preserves, vinegar, blueberries and mustard, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened. Serve with chicken. Sprinkle with basil if desired. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Blueberry-Dijon Chicken in Taste of Home June/July 2012, p54

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fast & Easy Red Potato Salad

Combine  about 5 cooked and cut red potatoes with jalapeno peppers, celery, red onion, pickles, cilantro, apple cider vinegar & olive oil--and chocolate mint, if you have it!

Yum. I used 1/3 cup of vinegar which I poured over the hot potatoes and then added everything else.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bruce's Garden Fresh Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana

Thank You God for this morning's bounty of eggplant from my garden.

Tonight I will be making Bruce's Garden-Fresh Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana which I plan to serve with a small pasta pesto salad and a green salad.


3 peeled eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut into thin slices
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into thin slices
1 Vidalia onion, sliced
1/4 cup red wine
2-3 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
A handful of basil
1 tomato
Salt, Pepper, Olive oil


Saute jalapeno peppers, red pepper and Vidalia onion in oil till soft. Add wine and reduce.

Salt and pepper eggplant slices, brush with olive oil and grill (about 3-5 minutes per side):

Top with a bit of the pepper & onion mix:

Then top with a bit of mozzarella:

Add another layer of eggplant:

Top with a bit of pepper & onion mix and some fresh basil:

Add a third layer of eggplant:

Top with remaining pepper & onion mix:

And then add sliced tomato:

Add the mozzarella and Parmesan:

Cook (in the aluminum pan) on covered grill for 5--10 minutes and serve:


*The eggplants, peppers, tomato and basil all fresh from my garden.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Japanese Eggplant & Olive Sauce

Inspired by the Sicilian eggplant appetizer, Caponata---and what is growing in garden!


6 tablespoons olive oil
2 Japanese eggplant, trimmed, pared, sliced into small rounds*
1/2 chopped red onion
1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and choped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 large red tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped green olives
1 tablespoon rinsed and drained small capers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

1. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the eggplant. Saute stirring constantly, until eggplant is tender and browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

2. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet. Add onion, peppers and celery. Saute, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in eggplant, tomatoes, olives, capers, basil, parsley, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.

3. Toss with cooked hot ravioli (or any pasta) and serve at once.

*You could substitute one small eggplant.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fast & Easy Corn & Black Bean Salad

Mix together the following:

1 can Goya Black Beans, drained & rinsed
1 stack celery, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & diced
1 cubanelle pepper, seeded & diced
2 ears cooked corn, kernels cut off
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
juice from one lime
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt & pepper

Chill. And serve.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Easy Bread & Butter Pickles

  • 1 pound Kirby cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 3 large sprigs fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice berries.


Trim ends from cucumbers and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. In a colander set over a plate, toss them with salt. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 2 hours. Drain and transfer cucumbers and dill to a bowl.
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, coriander, peppercorns and allspice. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar dissolves. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers and toss well. Let stand, tossing every 10 minutes, for 30 minutes. Transfer to an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
About 1 quart. 
~From The New York Times. July 4, 2012.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Red Potato Salad with Peas and Chocolate Mint

Ingredients (for two): 

3 or 4 red potatoes, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 3/4" slices
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of fresh chopped chocolate mint
1 cup thawed frozen peas

1. Steam the red potatoes, covered, for about 10 minutes or until they are just tender.
2. Transfer red potatoes to a bowl, and toss them with the vinegar, and salt to taste.
3. Let the potatoes cool, and chill them, covered for about 1 hour or until they are cold.
4. Remove potatoes from refrigerator, in another bowl combine mayo and sour cream with the mint.
5. Pour the prepared salad dressing from Step 4 over the potatoes, add the peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the potato salad.
6. Serve the salad at room temperature.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Curried Rice Salad with Melon and Raisons

2 cups long-grain rice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 cantaloupe, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup Major Grey's chutney
1/3 cup unsalted roasted peanuts


In a large saucepan bring 4 quarts water to a boil, stir in the rice and the salt, stirring until the water returns to a boil, and boil the rice for 10 minutes. Drain the rice in a large sieve and rinse it. Set the sieve over a large saucepan of simmering water and steam the rice, covered with a folded kitchen towel and the lid, for 15 minutes, or until it is fluffy and dry. Transfer the rice to a very large bowl and let it cool to lukewarm.
 In a small bowl whisk together 1 1/2 teaspoons of the curry powder, the vinegar, the oil, and salt to taste, add the vinaigrette to the rice, and toss the mixture well. Stir in the raisins and the cantaloupe. In a blender blend the yogurt, the chutney, and the remaining 1 teaspoon curry powder until the dressing is smooth, pour the dressing over the rice mixture, and toss the salad well. Chill the salad, covered, for 1 hour. The salad may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled. Serve the salad sprinkled with the peanuts.
Gourmet, June 1992
Gourmet's Weekend's, 1995