Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recipes galore

I managed to find some inspiration and cooked up a few things this week. Of course the major accomplishment is that I finished the green beans!

As I said last week I was looking for a new way to make green beans and since I got tomatoes this week I did some googling for recipes. I came up with this, and though it wasn't my favorite, it made for a decent dinner and used up the green beans. Of course I only made as much I wanted to actually eat and guessed at the amounts.

Sauteed Green Beans with Tomatoes and Basil
    •    1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
    •    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    •    1 tablespoon olive oil
    •    3 large shallots, thinly sliced (left these out)
    •    2 garlic cloves, minced
    •    1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes (I used fresh)
    •    1/4 cup dry white wine
    •    2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
    •    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    •    Parmesan Crisps (I didn't make these, it's basically cooking a clump of parmesan cheese, but I do wish I had added parmesan cheese at the end.)

Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling water until just crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain well; set aside.
Melt the butter and oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the beans and cook until the juices evaporate and the beans are almost tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Stir in the wine and basil. Simmer 2 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl, and serve.

Then I took the advice of the commenters on my last post about the plums. I found this recipe for a peach and plum jam/spread that was surprisingly easy, and it tastes pretty good too!

Microwave Peach Plum Butter Recipe
    •    1 cup finely chopped, peeled peaches
    •    1 cup pitted, chopped plums
    •    1 tablespoon water
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I used nutmeg because I didn't
    •    1/2 cup granular no-calorie sucralose sweetener (such as Splenda®)

        Combine peaches, plums, and water in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl. Heat in the microwave on high in 3 minute intervals, stirring between heating, until mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, and sweetener. Pour fruit butter into a jar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Then last night I halved the three plums I had left and cooked them on my grill pan and added them to a salad. (I have to add that my grill pan is one of the best purchases I've made for my kitchen. This week alone I've grilled corn, plums and cooked pancakes on the griddle side.)

A few weeks ago, I found this recipe for cornbread that calls for fresh corn and basil, but I was out of corn and my basil was dead (some rain and me actually watering the plant have brought it back to life, though I can't say the same for my thyme). Anyway, I decided to make it last night to have with my salad. It is good cornbread, but the basil that gives it an interesting flavor.

Fresh Corn and Basil Cornbread

    •    1 1/2 cups buttermilk (One of the greatest tricks I learned from Pioneer Woman is that you can make buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of lowfat milk, adjust based on how much you need.)
    •    3 large eggs
    •    1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
    •    2 cups yellow cornmeal
    •    1 cup all purpose flour
    •    1/2 cup sugar
    •    4 teaspoons baking powder
    •    1 teaspoon salt
    •    1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced (I only had salted butter and had already mixed in the salt. I didn't think it came out too salty though.)
    •    1 1/2 cups fresh cornkernels (from 3 ears)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and basil in large bowl. Blend cornmeal and next 4 ingredients in food processor for 5 seconds. Add 1/2 cup butter; blend until coarse meal forms. Add corn kernels. Using 8 on/off turns, blend until kernels are coarsely chopped. Stir dry ingredients into buttermilk mixture; transfer to pan.
Bake cornbread until golden on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

And then because apparently cooking has become my latest hobby (and I worked an earlier shift), I decided to make blueberry muffins. Not that I need anymore muffins, but this is the last batch of blueberries until I get frozen ones in November and I had been wanting to try this recipe (plus this is probably the only time I'll have plain yogurt). Pioneer Woman calls these the Awesome-est Blueberry Muffins, and I have to agree. They are by far the best muffins I've made.

The Awesome-est Blueberry Muffins
  • 3 cups minus 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • Heavy pinch of salt

  • Dash of Nutmeg

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 egg

  • 1 generous cup plain, unflavored yogurt (throw in extra if you want)
2 cups fresh blueberries

  • Vanilla Extract

  • Softened Butter, for muffin tins

  • Turbinado sugar (optional)
 Preheat oven to 385 degrees.
In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl whisk together sugar, oil, capful of vanilla, egg, and yogurt. Add the dry ingredients and stir to a count of 10.
Add blueberries, reserving 1/2 cup, to mixture and stir 3 times.
Add mixture to well-buttered muffin pans. Sprinkle remaining berries on top and press down lightly. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top. (Brown sugar can be used instead.)
Bake 20 to 25 minutes and allow to cool completely.

There's also a recipe for a yogurt blueberry sauce, but I didn't think it was necessary.

I've still got a few things left, but I think I'm going to have to pull out a chicken soon!


  1. I think I'm gonna try out the peach-plum butter. Sounds yummy! (and I'm afraid everything's going to spoil before I can eat it plain.)

  2. I made the recipe according to the original instructions (meaning I used ginger instead of nutmeg) and I have to say I think they call for way too much ginger. I would have been happier with maybe a quarter of the ginger and a little nutmeg - just in case you decide to make it again.
    I had planned to use it on homemade oatmeal bread, but that was a complete disaster. My bread maker experiments continue...