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B.E.L.T. Tacos

B is for bacon but this one is sous vide pork belly, sliced about a quarter inch and crisped a bit.  SVPBLET just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite right.I really like this taco rack.  I bought it thinking to use it to oven crisp store bought tortillas but it’s perfect for holding these home made tortillas for dressing.  My perfect BELT would have the egg yolk still runny, this time I scrambled and chopped a couple of eggs to make them easy to build with.The sauce is half mayo/half sour cream and that seems to work pretty well, it is spread on the tortilla about like you would spread mayo on toast for a traditional BLT sammich.Enjoy!

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Dill Potato Salad

I have a nice bit of dill coming on out on the herb bench so I took some and made a nice potato salad.  It won’t be long before it starts going to seed or some critter starts munching on it so I’ll be looking at some more dill recipes.  Dill buttered fish sounds good!  Dill butter!I think I cut the potatoes to big and the eggs too small but I do have plenty of dill.  For some reason I followed the recipe directions and boiled the potatoes whole instead of cutting them up first and then boiling them.  There may be a good reason for the former method over the latter but I don’t see it.  Leaching out the nutrients, maybe?

Sammich Pr0n – Pork Tenderloin

DSC_1864 (1600x1060)Pork tenderloins, pounded thin, make for fine sammiches.  I floured this one, dipped it in egg, and then into bread crumbs.  Fry in a half inch of 325 degree oil – too hot and the bread crumbs will burn.  They will cook pretty quickly being all thin like that.  I stirred sambal chili paste into mayo for the garnish spread on it but you can use whatever suits you.  I had no lettuce or there would be some on there, shredded just so.

Sammich Pr0n – Pulled Pork with Slaw

DSC_0022 (1600x1060)The local Kroger had pork butts way cheap so I bought a couple, one for freezing and one for immediate use.  It got a dry rub and sat for a while and then was dropped into a covered pot with some broth to braise in a 350 oven.  I think it was in there for about four hours.  Long enough the bone pulled right out.  I bought a bag of shredded cabbage to make a slaw so I wouldn’t need to break out the counter top machine.  The dressing is mayo with a little rice vinegar, salt and pepper, a daub of Dijon, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of red pepper.  These didn’t get any BBQ sauce because they taste good without it but the one I made for Mrs J got a good toss in the skillet with Sweet Baby Ray’s finest.

I just could not wait…

for the garden to produce a fat juicy ripe tomato to slice for a BLT.DSC_8557 (1600x1060)I suppose we could have gone with the grape or cherry tomatoes that are coming ripe but they are not the same.  We have a few tomatoes from Kroger’s that are closing in on their use by date.  That is a commercial blend of Creole seasoning sprinkled on the sammy.

Summer Slaw

DSC_8194 (1600x1060)We swung by the supermarket deli to pick up some of their fried chicken and a couple of sides – we had been shopping garden centers and were getting hungry with nothing quick to eat in the fridge.  We really didn’t want to go to a burger joint or the Chinese buffet.  Mrs J picked a pair of cold salads while I grabbed a box of chicken.  She opted for a mustard potato salad and something that was labeled as “summer slaw”.

The summer slaw was pretty good, we looked online for a copycat recipe but didn’t find anything that looked close.  It had tomato bits, cabbage, and  green bits that were sliced green onion tops and something else – green bell pepper or maybe cucumber with the skin on.  We went with “both”.  The dressing was thin and white and put me in mind of the dressing I use for the copycat KFC slaw dressing.

I whisked a dollop of mayo with buttermilk and rice vinegar, added Splenda to taste, and celery salt with ground white pepper.  It may not be what the deli used in theirs but it came out pretty good!

Summer Slaw

one small head of cabbage, shredded fine

half of an English cucumber, minced

1/4 cup of minced green bell pepper

two small tomatoes, seeded and chopped small

a small bunch of green onions, thinly sliced tops only

Dressing*

1/4 – 1/2 cup mayo

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup rice vinegar dressing (the flavored stuff)

sugar (Splenda) – go with 1/8 -1/4 cup

celery salt and white pepper to taste

* Just guessing after the fact on the dressing quantities.

Potato Salad Pr0n – Potatoes with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

DSC_7945 (1600x1060)We were quite taken with the store-bought baked potato salad we bought the other day at the market.  I was determined to make some and today seemed like a good day.  Alas!  I could only turn up a handful of small yellow potatoes.  I did have a little bag of Brussels sprouts so I thought “why not”?  I quartered the potatoes and halved the sprouts and set them to roasting on a tray at 400 in the oven, drizzling a little olive oil over them first.  When they had a little brown on them I dumped the lot into a big bowl, adding sour cream and mayo,  about a cup each.  Also add chopped crisp bacon, I used six slices, and a fair measure of cheese.  I have about one and a half cups of mixed cheddar and jack cheese.  Chopped green onions are in the classic recipe but I had none, and judged the sprouts sufficient.  I did rethink and add a bit of chopped parsley for a garnish.  The crisp outer leaves of the sprouts go great in this, don’t try to pick them off!DSC_7940 (1600x1060)Some roasted chicken thighs set the salad off perfectly, I brushed them with bbq sauce at the end, and glopped a little more on them for the table.  Yes, we keep napkins at the table.  LOL

Sammich Pr0n – Breaded Chicken

DSC_7006 (1600x1060)The little smashed potatoes worked well with this.  Boil the potatoes until they can be smashed easily with a spatula then pop them into hot oil.  I had the deep fryer going for another project so I used it but they would fry nicely in a skillet with olive oil.  The golden potatoes are good for this.  That tomato was from the garden but I don’t know how much longer we’ll have them.  We decided to rip out all but one tomato bush because I am done with canning sauces and juices and ketchup and soup.  Last year was a near total loss for tomatoes so this year we planted extra fearing a repeat but it may have been the best year ever.  I’ve been boiling down 3 5-gallon buckets per week for the last month and more and I deem our supply sufficient.

Sammich Pr0n – Bacon, Basil, Tomato, and Fried Egg

DSC_6938 [1600x1060]I wanted to use a big tomato from the garden because it was just perfect and it’s hard to find a better place to put a big thick slice than on a bacon sammich.  I like the basil on these in place of the usual lettuce, and the fried egg is now considered as a required part of the ensemble.  I used sliced sourdough for this one.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Cold Salads, Part Deux

Cucumber Salad FinaIt’s been over 100 degrees most of this week and when that happens, I want only two things: cold fruits and cold vegetables. Okay and maybe some ice cream, but we already did that post.  So it seemed like a good time to revisit cold salads. Coleslaw and pasta were covered here and tonight will be about cucumbers and potato salads. I should think between all of those you’ll have plenty of choices for holiday cookouts this next week. Which reminds me, there will be no recipe exchange next week.

My dad is an avid gardener and until he catches on, I often plan my summer trip home in time to coincide with tomato, cucumber, and corn harvest. I always come home with a big bag of produce. My youngest brother is following in his footsteps, so my bag of goodies overfloweth. I’m not a bad gardener myself, but my current location has not proved productive. So I’ll take advantage where I can.

The abundance of cucumbers inspires my brother and his wife to makes jars and jars of pickles, but I’m not as ambitious. Instead, I like to make a variety of cucumber salads, three of which are tonight’s featured recipes.

To start off, let’s talk potato salads. I suspect there are as many recipes as their are families. My mom makes one I still cannot duplicate, but everyone wants her to bring to family gatherings. It’s got lots of mayo, onions and mustard in it. I make do with a different take on the salad with a lighter touch with my Italian Potato Salad (recipe here).

One of my favorite posts ever was when I asked everyone to send me their favorite Potato Salad Recipes and I received quite a few, those recipes are here. Talk about variety.

Moving into the cucumber section of the garden, JeffreyW makes Cucumber Kimchi (click here), not to be missed.

My family has a favorite (and pretty traditional) Cucumber and Tomato Salad (recipe here)

Now it’s your turn. What’s on your plate (figuratively and literally) for the mid-week holiday celebration? Cook-outs? Fireworks (a must for me)? Waterpark? What do you absolutely crave when the mercury rises to new heights? Hit the comments and share your recipes.

Now the featured recipes, three quick and easy cucumber salads:

Simple Cucumber Salad (pictured above)

I grabbed what looked good at the farmer’s market, you can change up the ingredients to your faves.

  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup wine vinegar
  • 1 English cucumber, washed and sliced thin
  • 2 cucumbers, washed* and sliced thin (I did a little decorative peeling before I sliced it)
  • 1 sweet red pepper, washed, sliced thin (or substitute orange or yellow)
  • 3 tomatoes, washed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • pinch of dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • opt: garlic, basil, rosemary – one or more of this depending on your tastes

Add sliced onion and vinegar to a bowl and marinate onion for at least 30 minutes. Prepare the rest of the vegetables and toss gently with the onion slices (reserve vinegar).  Mix together 3 tbsp (or more if desired) of the vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil and pour over vegetables. Add salt, pepper, dill and toss gently. Let rest for 5-10 minutes at room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to serve. This one is best if it’s served within an hour – the vegetables are still crisp and that enhances the fresh, light flavors of the dish.

*If it’s been waxed, you’ll probably want to peel it completely before slicing

Chipotle Lime Cucumber Salad

  • 3 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Chipolte Lime Dressing (bottle or recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

Mix together dressing and mayonnaise, add to sliced cucumber, toss and refrigerate. With this dish, the longer it has, the better the flavors blend. So at least an hour or more ahead of time. I made it for a bridal shower and actually made it the night before.

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, minced finely (start with one, add another as desired)
  • salt to taste

Mix ingredients together well. Goes great on salads, tacos and as a marinade, too.

Minted Cucumbers

Now for something completely different, these have a distinct Mediterranean feel.

  • 2 English cucumbers, sliced or diced, don’t peel (no wax, thin skins)
  • 2 mild red chilies, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried mint, crushed (or 2 oz fresh leaves)
  • 4 oz dates or figs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 to 4 tsp sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • feta cheese as optional garnish

bowl

Mix vinegar with sugar and toss with remaining ingredients, salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with feta

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