Greek Maroulosalata

chef's journal

One of my favorite salads is a simple Greek salad primarily comprised of Romaine lettuce, scallions, and dill. I love it so much more than the traditional Greek salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta.

One of the keys to nailing this salad well is white wine vinegar with the dressing. The vinegar complements the flavors without overpowering, brightening the ingredients.

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It’s simple to prepare, just some cleaning and chopping. It’s a great summer salad, but can be enjoyed year round.

MAROUSALATA
Romaine Lettuce, chopped
Fresh Dill, chopped
Scallions, chopped
Olive Oil
White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Feta Cheese, optional

Quantities for this salad is up to your personal preferences. I usually use about 1 head of lettuce, 1/2 cup of scallions, 1/4 cup dill, and a 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar. I am not a huge dressing fan so I lightly dress the greens. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and topped with crumbled feta if so desired.

Strawberry Hand Pies

IMG_3955Speaking of summer, another one of my loves for the summer is berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc. They are so versatile and can be used in countless ways – salads, sauces, cocktails, crumbles, gallettes, etc.

One thing I like to make, which is a cousin to my empanada obsession, is hand pies. I find strawberries fall apart too much when you prepare them as a filling, making a really slopping and unattractive traditional pie. But for a hand pie, they are a great consistency.


I was at the grocery store yesterday and found a good deal on strawberries. I often freeze and reserve for smoothies, but I decided to go the sweet route. I also had some Dancing Deer Flaky Pie Crust mix, and as always, some butter in my freezer, so I was good to go.

Preparation is really easy, especially using a pie crust mix. You can go an extra step with laziness by using refrigerated pie crust or frozen puff pastry for turnovers. I do not suggest cheating on the strawberries – keep them fresh.

STRAWBERRY HAND PIES
Makes 8 Pies
1/2 package Dancing Deer Flaky Pie Crust Mix (7.2 ounces)
1 stick Butter, cold
2 ounces water

2 cups fresh Strawberries, cleaned and halved or quartered
1/4 cup Sugar or Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons Corn Starch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Extra Butter or Coconut Oil

  1. Prepare pie crust according to package directions. Roll into a large, thick disc and cut into 8 equal pieces. Refrigerate until ready to prepare pies.
  2. In a heavy bottomed nonstick pan, add the strawberries and sugar. Boil until some of the liquid is reduced. Add the corn starch mixture and cook until well incorporated and mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and allow too cool. If filling is too hot, it will melt the butter in the pie crust and the crust will fall apart, or you will have soggy pies.
  3. When ready to assemble, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Roll dough out, one piece at a time, to about 1/4 inch thick. Add about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center and fold the hand pie over, sealing the edges by hand. Too much filling will spill out. Score the top of the pie to allow ventilation during baking.
  5. Line a cookie or baking sheet with parchment paper. Line the pies on the sheet, about 1 -2 inches apart. Baste the top of each pie with a bit of butter or coconut oil. Bake for 25 minutes or until crust starts to turn a light golden brown.
  6. Serve warm with ice cream, whippped cream, or all alone 🙂


  

    
    
  

Summer Corn Chowder

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My years of living in New England made me a chowda lover. In addition to the regional cuisine, I had a roommate who was obsessed with the dish, especially corn chowder.

Now that summer is here I am taking advantage of all the fresh beautiful produce out there. This afternoon I picked up corn, potatoes, and bacon for the soul purpose of transforming them to soup.


I also love any reason to use my Staub coquette.


The soup is really easy to prepare once all the chopping is complete.

SUMMER CORN CHOWDER
5 ears fresh Corn
3 Potatoes
1 sweet Onion
5 strips Bacon
1/4 cup Flour
1/2 stick Butter
2 Tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 quarts Chicken Stock
1 cup Greek Yogurt
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Cheese and Scallions to garnish, optional

  1. Prep the corn, potatoes, and onions. Strip the corn from the cob, using either a knife or corn stripper. Dice the onion to a medium chop, and peel and cube the potatoes into one inch pieces.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan, render the bacon. Once browned, remove the strips, leaving the grease.
  3. Sauté the onions until soft and starting to brown. Add corn, flour, and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, about two more minutes until ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Add chicken stock and potatoes. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer about 25 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
  5. Ladel out about 2-3 cups of soup, process in a blender until smooth and creamy. Mix in to the rest of the soup.
  6. Chop the bacon and add to the soup. Adjust seasoning to taste preference. Serve with cheese, scallions, and fresh ground pepper, if desired.