Category Archives: Seasonal

Refreshing Summer Drinks

Basil is a nice addition to plenty of easy cocktails: add a torn leaf or two to your gin and tonic, or tap a little into the bottom of a mojito. But these drinks are a change of pace from the classic and the ordinary that feature the fresh green flavor of this herb, and are just right for summer sipping.

Honey-Basil Lemonade

Honey-Basil Lemonade Recipe

 

This simple lemonade combines fresh basil with a touch of honey.

Makes 1 Quart, Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh juice from 10 to 12 lemons
1/2 cup honey
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
Pinch salt
3 cups cold water
1 quart ice
Basil leaves for garnish

Directions:
Combine lemon juice, honey, basil leaves, and salt in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher. Discard solids. Add cold water and whisk to combine. Add ice. Serve in ice-filled glasses garnished with basil leaves.

Cucumber and Basil Slush Cocktail

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(Photo Credit : Kelly Carámbula, Serious Eats, 2012)

As temperatures and humidity rise, having some frozen drinks in your arsenal becomes more and more essential. This one offers double-cooling action with loads of ice and a soothing cucumber in the mix, plus fresh lime and basil. Vodka’s an easy partner that won’t dominate the flavor—try Karlsson’s Gold, which has a slightly floral side and rich texture—but if you prefer another spirit, feel free to experiment.

Makes 2 cocktails

Ingredients:
1 kirby cucumber, sliced
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup basil leaves
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup water
3 1/2 cups ice
Garnish: cucumber slice

Directions:
Place all the ingredients in the blender. Using the ice crush setting, blend until all the ingredients are even and finely chopped, about 30 seconds.

Pour the slush into a glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice and a straw.

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Catfish in a Basil Lemon Sauce

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Summer is here, more or less, with the flavors of basil and lemon. This catfish recipe is a twist on a classic Southern fish dish and is one of the easiest, quickest dinners you can prepare in a flash for family and friends.

Enjoy!

Serves 2

Ingredients
2 catfish fillets
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup cream
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
Lemon wedges, for serving
Capers, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Pat the fish dry: Use a paper towel to pat the fish dry on both sides.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, mix together cornmeal flour, salt, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Dredge  the fish in cornmeal mixture, pressing the cornmeal lightly into the fish to make is adhere.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, cast iron skillet over high heat just until the oil is shimmering. Lay the fillets in the skillet carefully, using long-handled tongs. Fry for about three minutes on each side, then remove from the skillet to two plates.

Turn the heat to medium and whisk the lemon juice into the remaining fat. Whisk in the cream and basil and let boil for about a minute or until just reduced. Drizzle over the fish and serve immediately.

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NEW COOKBOOK FOR SPRING 2017!

HELLO!

My New Cookbook is now available on amazon.com  ,  barnesandnoble.com  and xlibris.com !

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The Book is also available at Indiebound.org, which is a community of independent local bookstores. You can search for the book based on your zip code and note that the individual price for the book will vary among stores.

If you love food and enjoy to the art of preparing dishes with seasonal produce, then this is the cook book for you.

“A Celebration of Spring” is dedicated to the way we are eating right now, and features recipes for traditional and innovative dishes based on regional cooking found in the Southern United States and influenced by the global cuisines of Africa, Asia Europe and South America.

Bring the celebration of spring into your home with this enticing collection of recipes including—Almond-Crusted French Toast with Raspberries, Classic Gazpacho, Gumbo Ya Ya, Black Eyed Pea Salad and Coconut Layered Cake.

Full- color photographs, that are delightful to look at, along helpful tips and charts are also included to bring the full cooking experience to you at your finger tips.

See What’s Inside:

For every book that is sold, 25%  of the proceeds will be donated to Charity!

Click on the Links before to select your format!

Available at amazon.com  as a Kindle E-book ($9.99)
Available at amazon.com  in Paperback 
Available at amazon.com in Hardcover ($109.49)
Available at barnesandnoble.com in Paperback

Available at indiebound.org in Paperback

Available at xlibris.com in all three formats

You can also purchase the book in digital and eBook formats:

Available at Google Play ($7.99)

Available at Kobo.com ($8.69)

Available at Barnesandnoble.com ($8.99)

Hello, June!

Hello , June!

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Basil  (Ocimum basilicum), “king of herbs” also called great basil or Saint-Joseph’s-wort, is a culinary herb of the family Lamiaceae (mints)and is this month’s featured ingredient.

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The name of this tender plant,  derives it’s name from Greek βασιλικόν φυτόν (basilikón phutón), meaning “royal/kingly plant” , and rightly so, given its prominence in Mediterranean and especially Italian cooking, as well as the cuisines of India and Southeast Asia. While it can be found in the markets year round, it’s especially well-suited to summery dishes, and even works as a lovely partner with summer fruits, such as peaches and watermelons. You can also substitute basil where you might find cilantro – a great thing for those with an aversion to the taste of cilantro.

So make sure you stop by you local farmer’s market for a fresh bunch of basil!

 

Chicken and Black Truffle Sausage with Broccoli Rabe

Sometimes, you just get inspired by what is left over in your refrigerator, like this experimental dish full of Italian flavors and Spring vegetables.

This dish is a little like one of my Grand’s creations. She never measured anything exactly and her dishes and desserts always came out perfectly with a” little of this” and a “little of that” and a “handful of this”. But for those who need exact measurements, I am still working on the perfect amounts for this particular creation in the “laboratory”.

The goodness is that the family loved it, the bad news is that there were no left overs…. lol!

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Thank you so much!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower Soup

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Roasted seasonal vegetables add depth to this simple winter soup.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into  florets
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced  white onion
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup  milk
Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Halve Brussels sprouts. Arrange sprouts and cauliflower on a large sheet pan. Light season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring halfway.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large sauce pan and sauté diced onion until translucent. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Transfer half of the roasted vegetables to the broth and simmer for about 2 min., stirring occasionally. Return the remaining vegetables on the baking sheet to the oven, to roast for another 5 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to purée the soup. Remove from heat and stir in the milk and remaining roasted vegetables.

Pour the soup into serving bowls and garnish with a few sprinkles of crushed red pepper. Serve immediately.

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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