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Cooking with Lady Smokey: Summer Fruits and Vegetables Y’all!
The ebb and flow of the summer fruits; just as we enjoy the last of the strawberries (over some homemade waffles, thanks Grant!), I spotted the first of the southern peaches this past week. I look forward to many new peach recipes to follow soon.
The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables combined with all the long holiday weekends, picnics and potlucks make summer a fun eating season! I have so many ideas for fresh salads and slaws. I walked past a huge jicama on a produce stand the other day and then that night, couldn’t sleep because of all the Jicama Slaw recipe ideas dancing through my mind. Here’s what I came up with a few days later.
- 1 large Jicama, cut into matchsticks
- 4 Carrots, shredded
- 1 bunch fresh Cilantro
- 1 small Vidalia Onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- juice of 1 Lime
- ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp toasted Cumin Seeds, coarsely ground
- 1 tsp Honey
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- ¼ tsp- ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- freshly ground Black Pepper
- raw Pepitas, toasted (optional)
Mix the carrots and the Jicama together in a medium size bowl. Mix all the other ingredients together in a food processor or blender to form a vinaigrette. Pour over vegetable and toss. Toss a handful of toasted pepitas on top.
The first night we ate it, we enjoyed it with a simple Lemon Butter Rainbow Trout.
We had some left over Jicama Slaw so I came up with this nice stuffed chicken dish to enjoy with it. We served it with homemade watermelon margaritas. So many fresh fruits and vegetables in one meal makes a body feel good!
Fiesta Stuffed Chicken
- 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 small Vidalia Onion, sliced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
- 1 small handful fresh Cilantro, chopped
- 1 big handful fresh Spinach, chopped
- ¼ cup Refried Beans (I used Field Day organic brand. You could also just mash some cooked pinto beans.)
- ½ cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 1 cup Chicken Stock
- 1 small can Green Chilies (chopped)
- 2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- Cooking Twine or Toothpicks
In an iron skillet, saute the onion. Add the pepper. Remove from the stove and place onions and peppers in a bowl. Mix with the cilantro, spinach, beans, and cheese. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the stock with the garlic and green chilies. Set aside. Pound chicken breasts to flatten. (To do this, I place them in a large ziplock bag and pound with a kitchen hammer.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread the bean and vegetable mixture over each of the flattened chicken breasts and then roll the chicken up. Tie it with the kitchen twine in 2-3 places, or use toothpicks to hold it together. Place a little olive oil in the skillet on medium heat and then add the chicken breasts. Brown on each side and then add the stock mixture into the pan. Place skillet in the oven and baste by spooning the stock over the chicken about 7 minutes and cook for an additional 7 or 8 minutes (or until chicken is done). The stock will thicken up and makes a nice sauce for the stuffed chicken.
Note about leftovers: Chop up leftover stuffed chicken and place over tortilla chips with a little more grated cheese and the rest of the refried beans for (drum roll please)… Fiesta Nachos!!! I served with fresh avocado and salsa mixed with cilantro and plain non-fat Greek yogurt. I don’t normally like any meat on my nachos but these were pretty delicious!
I’ve been wanting to make homemade Vanilla Wafers for quite some time now. I have looked up many different recipes from a variety of sources but they all seem to be about the same- half a cup of butter, one cup of flour, 1-1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla, etc… Here’s what I settled on which turned out great. I think these will make a fine banana pudding, speaking of celebration foods! Stay tuned for that one.
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter
- ½ cup Raw Cane Sugar
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
Preheat oven to 350. With a mixer, mix sugar and butter together until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and mix. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix. Refrigerate for about half an hour. Roll dough out to ¼” on a well floured board. Cut with a small cookie cutter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet and they will crisp up. This is a nice basic cookie to serve with some summertime fruit, too!
I’ll close this post with this nice tune from Nashville singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Charlie Worsham. He’s a name to remember.