Sharing a seriously fun love for food

Month: June 2018

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast with Blueberry Compote

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast with Blueberry Compote

French toast is a favorite in our family and I’m always looking for twists on this luscious brunch item. I had a big batch of beautiful blueberries and a loaf of Challah bread. With a little inspiration I had a plan – stuff the slices of Challah with fresh blueberries and top with a sumptuous blueberry compote.

I’ve had numerous versions of stuffed French toast – most with thick globs of a cloyingly sweet cream cheese filling. Instead, take those luscious berries and nestle them into the center of the Challah slices. Once the bread is toasted the blueberries are left warm, ready to burst inside your mouth with a tiny explosion of flavor!

Start with a rich custard made from eggs, half and half, pure vanilla extract, plus honey and lemon zest. Let the thick slices of blueberry stuffed Challah soak up the egg custard then cook until the French toast is golden brown and slightly puffed.

And if that’s not enough, top the stuffed French toast with a fruity compote, loaded with more blueberries and brightened with a note of citrus.

And maybe a dash of powdered sugar!

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast with Blueberry Compote

½ cup water

1 cup sugar

Zest of 2 lemons, about 1 teaspoon, divided

2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed and any stems removed, about 3-1/2 to 4 cups, divided

1-1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

6 extra large eggs

1-1/2 cups half and half

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 loaf of Challah bread, cut into 1-1/2” thick slices

1 to 2 tablespoons butter

1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Powdered sugar for garnish

For the blueberry compote:

Combine the water, the sugar and ½ teaspoon of the lemon zest in a medium saucepan.

Cook over medium-heat stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Add 2-1/2 cups of the blueberries to the sugar water.

Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the berry mixture has thickened slightly. Add the lemon juice and cook for an additional five minutes. Set aside and keep warm over low heat.

For the French toast:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, the half and half, the honey, vanilla extract, the remaining ½ teaspoon lemon zest and the kosher salt. Whisk together until well blended.

Cut a pocket in the bottom of each slice of bread, leaving about ½” on either side, cutting about 2/3 of the way down into the slice. You want to make a pocket that wraps up around the berries. Using the remaining blueberries, carefully tuck a handful into each slice of bread, taking care not to break the berries.

Place the stuffed slices of bread in a large baking dish. Pour the egg custard over the top. Let the bread soak for about 5 minutes, then flip and soak on the other side for another 5 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, place about 3-4 slices of the French toast in the pan leaving enough room to flip.

Cook the French toast until it is golden brown on each side and the custard is cooked through in the center. Add additional butter and vegetable oil if needed to finish cooking the remaining French toast.

Place the French toast on a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in a 200-degree oven while you finish cooking the remaining slices.

Top with warm blueberry compote, a light dusting of powdered sugar!

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast with Blueberry Compote

June 29, 2018
: Makes 6 to 8 slices, depending on size of Challah loaf

Challah bread stuffed with plump blueberries, soaked in a rich egg custard, then toasted until golden. Inside are warm blueberries, ready to burst with a tiny explosion of flavor. And if that's not enough, top with a warm blueberry compote!

By:

Ingredients
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons, about 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed and any stems removed, about 3-1/2 to 4 cups, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 6 extra large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 loaf of Challah bread, cut into 1-1/2” thick slices
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Powdered sugar for garnish
Directions
  • Step 1 For the blueberry compote:
  • Step 2 Combine the water, the sugar and ½ teaspoon of the lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-heat stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Step 3 Add 2-1/2 cups of the blueberries to the sugar and water. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the berry mixture has thickened slightly.
  • Step 4 Add the lemon juice and cook for an additional five minutes. Set aside and keep warm over low heat.
  • Step 5 For the French toast:
  • Step 6 In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, the half and half, the honey, vanilla extract, the remaining ½ teaspoon lemon zest and the kosher salt. Whisk together until well blended.
  • Step 7 Cut a pocket in the bottom of each slice of bread, leaving about ½” on either side, cutting about 2/3 of the way down into the slice. You want to make a pocket that wraps up around the berries.
  • Step 8 Using the remaining blueberries, carefully tuck a handful into each slice of bread, taking care not to break the berries.
  • Step 9 Lay the stuffed slices of bread in a large baking dish. Pour the egg custard over the top. Let the bread soak for about 5 minutes, then flip and soak on the other side for another 5 minutes.
  • Step 10 Heat the 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, place about 3-4 slices of the French toast in the pan leaving enough room to flip. Cook the French toast until it is golden brown on each side and the custard is cooked through in the center, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Add additional butter and vegetable if needed to finish cooking the French toast.
  • Step 11 Place the French toast on a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in a 200-degree oven while you finish cooking the remaining slices.
  • Step 12 Serve with warm blueberry compote and a dusting of powdered sugar.
Salad Niçoise – A Classic Salad for Summer!

Salad Niçoise – A Classic Salad for Summer!

Hot summer days can make meal prep a struggle. Salads that bring together the freshness of the season combined with pantry staples are a welcome option.

Salad Niçoise [nee-swahz; French nee-swaz]  is a beautiful summer salad said to have been created in Nice, France in the early 1900s. As with most classic dishes, there is an evolving that takes place through the generations. I looked through dozens of recipes from different decades and they all vary slightly. There are several common denominators in a Salad Niçoise – potatoes, haricots verts and tuna.

This version seems to have something for everyone including those unique ingredients, starting with the roasted potatoes and fresh haricots verts – elegant, slender green beans. They are teamed with crisp bell peppers, plump tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, sweet red onion and fruity Kalamata olives. To finish, tender tuna fillets are added and topped with tangy capers. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette or a simple drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Adding the roasted potatoes to the salad while they’re still warm brings an unexpected surprise to the salad. Roast them with olive oil, a bit of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper – easy and perfect.

The haricots verts are now more commonly found in markets than in years past. If you can’t find them opt for fresh green beans – selecting the smaller, slender beans. But please, nothing canned! Gently cook the beans in chicken stock with a touch of chervil,  just until tender.

For the tuna, look for whole fillets packed in olive oil – Tonnino jarred products are an excellent option. You can find them at most quality food markets or online. In a pinch, you can use canned white tuna.

All the makings of a simple and glorious feast!

Salad Niçoise

12 to 14 small Yukon gold potatoes, rinsed

1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1-½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

1 teaspoon dried chervil*

1 pound haricots verts, very thin French green beans

4 to 5 cups fresh mixed greens

4 to 5 small tomatoes, halved or quartered

½ cucumber, sliced

½ green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

½ cup thinly sliced red onion

1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, about 6.5 ounces

½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 jars tuna fillets in olive oil, about 6.7 ounces each

2 tablespoons capers

*If you can’t find chervil, you can use parsley or tarragon.

For dressing, a drizzle of olive oil or your favorite Champagne or Balsamic vinaigrette.

Shaved Parmesan for garnish  if desired.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss the potatoes with 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil and season with ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Roast at 400-degree for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.

Place the green beans in a medium saucepan and cover with the chicken stock and water. Stir in 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper and the chervil. Bring the stock to a boil over medium heat, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the beans are just tender. Drain the beans and rinse with cold water.

Place the mixed greens on a large platter. Arrange the potatoes, the beans, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, artichoke hearts and olives around the platter on top of the mixed greens. Lay the tuna fillets in the center and sprinkle the capers over the top.

Drizzle with olive oil or your favorite vinaigrette, garnish with shaved Parmesan if desired.

Salad Niçoise, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 27, 2018
: 4

Niçoise is a beautiful summer salad said to have been created in Nice, France in the early 1900s. Layers of taste, textures and color - perfect for a any day!

By:

Ingredients
  • 12 to 14 small Yukon gold potatoes, rinsed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried chervil (If you can’t find chervil, you can use parsley or tarragon.)
  • 1 pound haricots verts, very thin French green beans
  • 4 to 5 cups fresh mixed greens
  • 4 to 5 small tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • ½ green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, about 6.5 ounces
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 jars tuna fillets in olive oil, about 6.7 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • For dressing, a drizzle of olive oil or your favorite Champagne or Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Garnish with Parmesan if desired
Directions
  • Step 1 Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss the potatoes with 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil and season with ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Roast at 400-degree for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.
  • Step 2 Place the green beans in a medium saucepan and cover with the chicken stock and water. Stir in 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper and the chervil. Bring the stock to a boil over medium heat, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until the beans are just tender. Drain the beans and rinse with cold water.
  • Step 3 Place the mixed greens on a large platter. Arrange the potatoes, the beans, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, artichoke hearts and olive around the platter on top of the mixed greens. Lay the tuna fillets in the center and sprinkle the capers over the top.
  • Step 4 Drizzle with olive oil or your favorite vinaigrette. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Popovers

Popovers

Popovers are a simple wonder of the bread family. Five ingredients and you’ve got something beautiful and delicious.

Flour, kosher salt, milk, butter and eggs. Whisk and bake.

Sit back and watch as the batter billows up, rising tall in the oven. Break one open and you’ll find a tender cavity that beckons for some butter and a smear of jam!

Over the years I’ve tried a number of popover recipes and had my share of results that were just “okay”. I always come back to this old version. The batter can be whisked together by hand and is ready for the oven in a few short minutes.

The baking time seems to be just the right. Enough to create a crispy, golden brown exterior and sturdy enough to hold their shape – but with a light and delicate interior. Sort of a “Goldilocks” popover! This recipe makes six large or twelve small popovers. Bake the batter in a traditional popover pan and you’ll get that elegant, long base – a classic detail of the popover.

If you don’t have a popover pan on hand, you can use muffin tins with good results. Though popovers are best the day they’re made they can also be easily reheated. Pop them back in their pan and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 6 minutes.

Whatever you do, resist the urge to open the oven door while they’re baking. You will be rewarded for your discipline. Popovers are perfect as a dinner roll, wonderful with a bit of chicken salad tucked in the center or filled with jam for tea or brunch. Delightful, delectable!

Popovers

1 cup flour

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

2 extra-large eggs

In a large measuring cup whisk together the flour and the salt.

In a small bowl whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add the milk and the butter, blending into the eggs.

Add the milk and egg mixture to the flour and whisk until well blended, about 30 to 45 seconds. Make certain all the flour is mixed in – the batter should be smooth and will be somewhat thin.

Set aside to rest for about 2 to 3 minutes while you prep the pan.

Spray the bottom and sides of a 6-cup popover pan, making sure to coat the cups really well. Heat the pan in a 450-degree oven for 2 minutes. Remove and pour the batter into the cups, dividing between each – they should be about two-thirds full for large popovers.

Bake the popovers at 450-degrees for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 350-degrees and bake for an additional 12 minutes. Do not open the oven before the baking time is up.

As soon as they’re our of the oven, poke a small hole in the top or side of the popover with the tip of a sharp knife. This allows the steam to escape and keeps the inside of the popover from becoming soggy. Remove the popovers from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool. Serve hot or room temperature.

Popovers, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 25, 2018
: Makes 6 large or 12 small popovers

Popovers are a simple wonder of the bread family. Five ingredients and you’ve got something beautiful and delicious.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 extra-large eggs
Directions
  • Step 1 In a large measuring cup whisk together the flour and the salt.
  • Step 2 In a small bowl whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add the milk and the butter, blending into the eggs.
  • Step 3 Add the milk and egg mixture to the flour and whisk until well blended, about 30 to 45 seconds. Make certain all the flour is mixed in – the batter should be smooth and will be somewhat thin.
  • Step 4 Set aside to rest for about 2 to 3 minutes while you prep the pan.
  • Step 5 Spray the bottom and sides of a 6-cup popover pan, making sure to coat the cups really well. Heat the pan in a 450-degree oven for 2 minutes.
  • Step 6 Remove and pour the batter into the cups, dividing between each – they should be about two-thirds full for large popovers.
  • Step 7 Bake the popovers at 450-degrees for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 350-degrees and bake for an additional 12 minutes. Do not open the oven before the baking time is up.
  • Step 8 Quickly poke a small hole in the top or side of the popover with the tip of a sharp knife. This allows the steam to escape and keeps the inside of the popover from becoming soggy.
  • Step 9 Remove the popovers from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool. Serve hot or room temperature
Lemon Chess Tart

Lemon Chess Tart

If you’re looking for a terrific way to welcome the summer solstice, this is it. A glorious lemon chess tart – buttery and lemony with a delicate pastry crust – hello sunshine!

Made with four common ingredients – eggs, a bit of flour, butter and sugar – chess pies have been a Southern staple for generations. There are so many variations on chess pie, from plain to coconut to pineapple. But lemon was one of my Grandmother’s favorites and I have to agree with her taste. Many recipes also included cornmeal or nut meal, made from nuts ground with a bit of sugar. And to pair with lemon, almonds are just the right accent for this refreshing citrus filling.

With every good pie or tart, the crust is half the story. This crust is a subtle twist on a basic piecrust. Made with egg yolks and a touch of sugar – it is tender, crisp and flaky – a delectable vessel for the wonderful lemon chess goodness.

It doesn’t roll out as neatly as our favorite basic pastry dough but it’s very forgiving. So if you have a crack or tear along the way, just patch it and keep moving!

Bake the tart on a rimmed baking sheet for easier cleanup. There is a bit of butter in this tart and as any good Southern cook would tell you –“there’s no such thing as too much butter”! This recipe makes enough for two small tarts (I make an 8” and a 10” tart) or a large, 11” tart. You can also make a traditional 9” pie; just add about 10 minutes to the final baking time for the filling to set.

Lemon chess tarts are wonderful served warm or at room temperature, plain or with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. And maybe a twist of lemon and a side of whipped cream!

Lemon Chess Tart

For the crust:

2-1/2 cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 cup well-chilled butter, cut into small cubes

2 extra-large egg yolks, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons ice water

Place the flour and the sugar in the bowl of a food processer and pulse 3 to 4 times to blend.

Scatter the cubes of butter across the flour and pulse about 8 to 10 times or until the butter looks likes coarse meal.

It’s fine if there are larger bits of butter still in the flour.

Add the beaten egg yolks and begin processing, pouring the water through the feed tube. Process for about 20 to 30 seconds or just until the dough starts to hold together. The dough will still be crumbly but should hold when you press it together.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper and using the edges of the paper, bring the dough together into a disc.

Wrap it in the parchment paper and refrigerate for at least an hour. If you’re making two small tarts, divide the dough in half, gently shape each into a disc, wrap and refrigerate. When you’re ready to bake the tarts, place the dough on a surface that has been lightly dusted with flour. Roll it to fit your tart pan, with about 1” to 2” of overhang. Don’t worry if there are tears or cracks; just gently patch them.

Carefully wrap the dough around the rolling pin then gently unroll it into a fluted tart pan that has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray. (Preferably use a tart pan with a removable bottom.)

Ease the dough into the tart pan and lightly press into the fluted edges, taking care not to stretch the dough. Trim off any excess dough.

Chill for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.

For the filling:

6 extra-large eggs

1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

½ cup lemon juice, about 3 to 4 lemons

1 tablespoon lemon zest, about 4 lemons

1-1/2 cups butter, 3 sticks – melted and cooled

1 cup lightly toasted slivered almonds

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon pure almond extract

Beat the eggs on medium speed with 1-1/2 cups of the sugar until the eggs are very pale in color and thick, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the lemon juice, the lemon zest and the melted butter and mix into the eggs.

Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the flour.

Process until the almonds are finely ground, about 20 to 30 seconds.

Add the ground almonds to the egg mixture along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk to blend together.

Pour the filling in the unbaked pastry shell. Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet – this makes for easier cleanup and prevents a mess in your oven!

Bake at 375-degrees for 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350-degrees and continue baking for an additional 15 to 18 minutes, or until the filling is set. If the top of the tart starts to brown too much, tent it with a sheet of foil over the top.

Cool on wire racks. Dust with powdered sugar.

Lemon Chess Tart, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 22, 2018
: Makes two 8

A glorious lemon chess tart – buttery and lemony with a delicate pastry crust!

By:

Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup well-chilled butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons ice water
  • For the filling:
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • ½ cup lemon juice, about 3 to 4 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, about 4 lemons
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, 3 sticks – melted and cooled
  • 1 cup lightly toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
Directions
  • Step 1 To make the crust:
  • Step 2 Place the flour and the sugar in the bowl of a food processer and pulse 3 to 4 times to blend.
  • Step 3 Scatter the cubes of butter across the flour and pulse about 8 to 10 times or until the butter looks likes coarse meal. It’s fine if there are larger bits of butter still in the flour.
  • Step 4 Add the beaten egg yolks and begin processing, pouring the water through the feed tube. Process for about 20 to 30 seconds or just until the dough starts to hold together. The dough will still be crumbly but should hold when you press it together.
  • Step 5 Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper and using the edges of the parchment paper, bring the dough together. Wrap it in parchment paper and refrigerate for at least an hour. If you’re making two small tarts, divide the dough in half, gently shape each into a disc, wrap and refrigerate.
  • Step 6 When you’re ready to bake the tarts, place the dough on a surface that has been lightly dusted with flour. Roll it to fit your tart pan, with about 1” to 2” of overhang. Don’t worry if there are tears or cracks
  • Step 7 just gently patch them.
  • Step 8 Carefully wrap the dough around the rolling pin then gently unroll it into a fluted tart pan* that has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray. (*Preferably use a tart pan with a removable bottom.)
  • Step 9 Ease the dough into the tart pan and press into the fluted edges, taking care not to stretch the dough. Trim off any excess dough.
  • Step 10 Chill for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.
  • Step 11 To make the filling:
  • Step 12 Beat the eggs on medium speed with 1-1/2 cups of the sugar until the eggs are very pale in color and thick, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the lemon juice, the lemon zest and the melted butter
  • Step 13 mix into the eggs.
  • Step 14 Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the flour. Process until the almonds are finely ground, about 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Step 15 Add the ground almonds to the egg mixture along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk to blend together.
  • Step 16 To bake:
  • Step 17 Pour the filling in the unbaked pastry shell. Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet – this makes for easier cleanup and prevents a mess in your oven. Bake at 375-degrees for 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350-degrees and continue baking for an additional 15 to 18 minutes, or until the filling is set. If the top of the tart starts to brown too much, tent it with a sheet of foil over the top.
  • Step 18 Cool on wire racks. Dust with powdered sugar.
Lamb Chops with Mustard Sauce and Fried Capers

Lamb Chops with Mustard Sauce and Fried Capers

Lamb chops are one of those beautiful specialty meats that we seem to reserve for holidays or company. They are actually quite simple to cook – so don’t hold back when looking for dinner ideas.

I’ve had this recipe for years and recently ran across it. Lamb chops, pan-seared in olive oil and butter, served with an incredible savory mustard sauce that is layered with sautéed sweet onions, shallots all brightened with lemon. Top with fried capers, a sprinkling of fresh parsley and your family will think company is coming!

These delectable cuts have about 3 to 4 bites per chop and every bite is loaded with flavor. Depending on their size, plan on at least three lamb chops per person. In about 6 minutes the chops are medium rare – pink and warm in the center  – the perfect temperature for serving.

These lamb chops are wonderful on their own but the mustard sauce is a perfect companion and only takes about 15 minutes to pull together. Use a quality Dijon mustard – you want that flavor to pop through.

To finish the dish, gently fry the capers. It adds a wonderful dimension of flavor and can be done ahead of time. Make sure to drizzle a bit of the olive oil that’s left in the pan over the lamb chops – the capers and olive oil imparts a wonderful, mild saltiness to this dish.

Serve with a tender linguine or creamy mashed potatoes. You want something to soak up those succulent juices and that creamy mustard sauce!

Lamb Chops with Mustard Sauce and Fried Capers

6 lamb chops, about 1” thick

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup chopped sweet onion

½ cup chopped shallots

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Zest of one lemon, about 1 teaspoon

¼ cup capers, drained

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Season the lamb chops with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Let them rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes

Melt the butter with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat. Keep an eye so that the butter doesn’t burn though it’s okay for it to brown.

When the butter and oil are hot add the lamb chops to the pan, cooking for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep them warm in a 200-degree oven while you make the mustard sauce.

Reduce the heat to medium and using the same pan, add the chopped onions and shallots. Sauté until they are tender and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the cream then bring to a low boil, reducing the heat to medium–low. Cook until the cream begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the mustard, the lemon juice, lemon zest and the remaining ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside while you fry the capers.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the capers and cook for about 5 minutes.

Remove the lamb chops from the oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Add any drippings that have collected to the mustard sauce. Plate the lamb chops and top with the mustard sauce. Sprinkle with the fried capers, drizzling some of the infused olive oil on top of the lamb chops then dust with the chopped parsley.

Lamb Chops with Mustard Sauce and Fried Capers, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 20, 2018
: 2

Lamb chops pan-seared in olive oil and butter topped with an incredible mustard sauce with sautéed sweet onions and shallots. Top with fried capers and a sprinkling of fresh parsley and your family will think company is coming!

By:

Ingredients
  • 6 lamb chops, about 1” thick
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup chopped shallots
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon, about 1 teaspoon
  • ¼ cup capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Directions
  • Step 1 Season the lamb chops with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Let rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes
  • Step 2 Melt the butter with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-medium high heat – keep an eye so that the butter doesn’t burn. When the butter and oil are hot add the lamb chops, cooking for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200-degree oven.
  • Step 3 Reduce the heat to medium and in the same pan add the chopped onions and shallots. Sauté until they are tender and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Step 4 Add the cream and bring to a low boil, reducing the heat to medium–low. Cook until the cream begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  • Step 5 Stir in the mustard, the lemon juice, lemon zest and the remaining ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside while you fry the capers.
  • Step 6 Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the capers and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Step 7 Remove the lamb chops from the oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Add any drippings to the mustard sauce.
  • Step 8 Plate the lamb chops and top with the mustard sauce. Sprinkle with the fried capers, drizzling some of the olive oil on top of the lamb chops then dust with the chopped parsley.
Okra and Tomatoes

Okra and Tomatoes

This is an old, simple country dish. Fresh okra sautéed with sweet onions in a bit of bacon drippings then simmered in chicken stock with vine ripe tomatoes.

Okra is considered a Southern vegetable – it thrives in our warm summer climate. We grew up eating okra. Fried okra, stewed okra, pickled okra and yes, even raw okra straight from the garden. And if you’ve ever made gumbo you know you can’t make a good batch without okra. The biggest aversion people seem to have towards okra is its “sliminess”. Though not a pretty visual this odd quality serves as a thickening agent in that pot of gumbo and in this wonderful dish of stewed okra and tomatoes.

Smaller pods tend to release less of this substance and pre-cooking plus a bit of acidity (tomatoes in this case) keep things in check. Look for okra pods about 3” in length that are tender – you can tell by touch. Once okra gets too large it becomes tough and “woody”.

Stewed okra and tomatoes are best when these vegetables are in season. In a pinch you can frequently find okra in the freezer section of most food markets. Just make sure you buy okra that has not been breaded. If tomatoes are out of season you can use cherry tomatoes, which are normally wonderful year round.

And the bacon drippings are a must. Most Southern kitchens always had a jar of bacon drippings on hand. This beautiful fat – from flavorful renderings of fried bacon – adds a depth that’s hard to achieve with anything else. If you don’t keep a jar of bacon drippings, just fry up about 8-10 pieces of bacon. This should leave you with the perfect amount to prepare this delectable Southern side.  I’m sure you can find a use for the bacon!

Simple dish, simple pleasures.

Okra and Tomatoes

3 tablespoons bacon drippings

2 pints of fresh okra, about 36-38 pods – 5 cups sliced

1 medium sweet onion chopped, about 1-3/4 cups

5-7 fresh tomatoes cut into large pieces, about 4-1/2 to 5 cups

1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste

2 cups chicken stock

Warm the bacon drippings in a large shallow stockpot over medium heat. Add the okra and the onions and sauté for about 30 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the okra from sticking.

Add the tomatoes, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and the pepper.

Stir in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid, raise the heat back to medium and continue cooking for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture has thickened slightly and the vegetables are very tender.

Check for seasonings, adding any additional kosher salt or black pepper to suit your taste.

For serving – it’s wonderful as a side with pork chops or top with pan-roasted salmon.

Okra and Tomatoes, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 18, 2018
: 6

This is an old, simple country dish. Fresh okra sautéed with sweet onions in a bit of bacon drippings then simmered in chicken stock with vine ripe tomatoes.

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 2 pints of fresh okra, about 36-38 pods – 5 cups sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion chopped, about 1-3/4 cups
  • 5-7 fresh tomatoes cut into large pieces, about 4-1/2 to 5 cups
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
Directions
  • Step 1 Warm the bacon drippings in a large shallow stockpot over medium heat.
  • Step 2 Add the okra and the onions and sauté for about 30 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the okra from sticking.
  • Step 3 Add the tomatoes, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and the pepper.
  • Step 4 Stir in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Step 5 Remove the lid, raise the heat back to medium and continue cooking for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture has thickened slightly and the vegetables are very tender.
  • Step 6 Check for seasonings, adding any additional kosher salt or black pepper to suit your taste.
  • Step 7 For serving – it’s wonderful as a side with pork chops or top with pan-roasted salmon.
Creamy Southern Grits

Creamy Southern Grits

There’s nothing more comforting than enjoying a wonderful batch of grits! And there’s truly nothing more Southern!

After a recent trip to Atlanta I was reminded of how luscious a really good pot of grits can be. Emily made grits for a gathering and seconds were definitely in order! I always felt my grits hit the mark until the first time I tasted Emily’s. Rich and creamy with just the right amount of seasoning.

Grits, which are nothing more than stone ground corn, are either yellow or white. My Grandmother and Mom only prepared white grits which is also the option most commonly used in Southern cooking. Yellow grits are, well, polenta.

Many folks say they’re not a fan of grits. I would dare say it’s most likely due to the way they’ve been cooked. Here’s a tip – if your recipe says to simply cook the grits in water you need to throw that recipe away. Grits benefit from being cooked in dairy with a dose of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper then toss in some cheese for good measure. The cooking liquid should taste slightly salty. If they’re not seasoned while they cook there is no amount of salt that can make up for it afterwards.

If your schedule allows, let the grits soak for one hour in the half and half before cooking. Grits need some attention while they cook – mainly whisking frequently to keep them from clumping or scorching. A flat whisk is the perfect tool since it can work into the corners of your pan.

The best part of this cooking method is that the grits can be prepared in advance then reheated with a touch of extra milk. You can keep them warm in a slow cooker using the low setting if you’re serving a brunch buffet. Add “fixins” such as crispy bacon, chopped scallions or chives and an extra topping of cheddar!

If you think you don’t like grits – this might just change your mind!

Creamy Southern Grits

1 cup stone ground white grits, 5-minute grits in a pinch but not instant

1 cup half and half

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ – ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1-1/2 cups milk, plus extra if needed

½ cup cream

¼ cup grated Parmesan*

¼ cup grated Fontina*

Combine the grits along with the half and half in a saucepan, stirring to combine. Let the grits soak for about an hour.

Add the kosher salt and the black pepper to the grits and cook over medium heat.

Whisk frequently to keep the grits smooth and prevent them from clumping. Continue cooking until the grits begin to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Whisk in 1-cup of the milk into the grits and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the grits have absorbed the milk and are thick. Add the additional ½-cup milk and continue cooking until thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cream until blended into the grits. Add the cheese and mix well. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and the grits are thick and creamy.

Serve hot with grated cheddar, crispy bacon, chopped scallions or chives – or just a touch of butter!

If you’re serving the grits for a group and need to keep them warm, place them in a slow cooker on the low setting. Add additional milk if needed. They can also be made ahead and refrigerated – stir in additional milk to reach your desired consistency.

4-6 servings

*Feel free to use you favorite cheese.

Creamy Southern Grits, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 15, 2018
: 4-6

Rich and creamy with just the right amount of seasoning - there’s truly nothing more Southern than grits!

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup stone ground white grits, 5-minute grits in a pinch but not instant
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups milk, plus extra if needed
  • ½ cup cream
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan*
  • ¼ cup grated Fontina*
  • *Feel free to use you favorite cheese.
Directions
  • Step 1 Combine the grits along with the half and half in a saucepan, stirring to combine. Let the grits soak for about an hour.
  • Step 2 Add the kosher salt and the black pepper to the grits and cook over medium heat. Whisk frequently to keep the grits smooth and prevent them from clumping. Continue cooking until the grits begin to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Step 3 Whisk in 1-cup of the milk into the grits and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the grits have absorbed the milk and are thick.
  • Step 4 Add the additional ½-cup milk and continue cooking until thick, about 10 minutes.
  • Step 5 Stir in the cream until blended into the grits. Add the cheese and mix well. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and the grits are thick and creamy.
  • Step 6 Serve hot with grated cheddar, crispy bacon, chopped scallions or chives – or just a touch of butter!
  • Step 7 If you’re serving the grits for a group and need to keep them warm, place them in a slow cooker on the low setting. Add additional milk if needed. They can also be made ahead and refrigerated – stir in additional milk to reach your desired consistency.
Egg and Sausage Brunch Muffins

Egg and Sausage Brunch Muffins

I’m always on the hunt for new brunch ideas and this is one that’s both fun and delicious. It takes a classic breakfast casserole and blows it apart – perfect for feeding a large group!

We’ve shared our breakfast casserole and our individual quiche – this is a delectable blend of both compliments of Emily. Eggs, sausage and hash brown potatoes are layered with sweet onions, crisp red bell peppers along with fresh spinach all nestled on a bed of rustic bread. These savory flavors are livened up with a beautiful touch of Dijon mustard and a grating of nutmeg.

As with any great brunch casserole there are multiple steps in achieving a comforting and hearty dish. But take heart, everything can be prepped in stages using one skillet and nothing about this dish is difficult. You can also prepare these brunch muffins the day before – just cut the baking time back by 5-minutes then reheat before serving. Line the tins with parchment liners if you want the egg muffins to slide out or standard paper liners if you want the liner as a serving vessel.

Put on the coffee, grab a partner in the kitchen and brunch will be ready in a jiffy!

Egg and Sausage Brunch Muffins

4 tablespoons butter or bacon drippings, divided

1 small onion small chopped, about 1-1/2 cups

1 red bell pepper seeded and small chopped, about 1-1/4 cups

1 package hash brown potatoes, 20-ounces or about 4 cups freshly grated potatoes

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided

1 pound breakfast pork sausage or mild Italian pork sausage

1 package spinach, about 5-ounces

10 extra-large eggs

2-1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 cups small cubed Sourdough bread, about ½” in size

½ cup shaved or shredded Parmesan*

½ cup shaved or shredded Fontina*

Melt 3-tablespoons of the butter or bacon drippings in a large, deep skillet set over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and bell pepper, cooking until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the hash brown potatoes and season with ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook for an additional five minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl while you cook the sausage. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter or bacon drippings to the skillet. Toss in the sausage, breaking it up into smaller pieces. Continue cooking until the sausage is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl while you cook the spinach.

Drain off the most of the drippings from the pan. Place the spinach in the skillet and cook over medium heat until the spinach has wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs with the milk, the remaining kosher salt and black pepper along with the Dijon mustard and nutmeg. Whisk until well blended.

Line the muffin tins using either parchment or paper liners – you’ll need 36. Place enough bread cubes to just cover the bottom of each liner. Divide the mixture of onions, bell pepper and hash browns between each muffin.

Place a bit of the wilted spinach on top of each.

Then add the sausage.

Using a small ladle, slowly add about ¼ cup of the egg mixture to each muffin cup then top with a mix of the Parmesan and Fontina cheese*.

Bake for 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Serve warm.

If you’re prepping ahead, reduce the baking time to 25 minutes, cool, cover the tins and refrigerate. About 40 minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the egg muffins from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for about 20 – 30 minutes. Reheat for 10 minutes, loosely covered with foil in a 350-degree oven.

*Sartori makes a wonderful Tuscan blend with Parmesan and Fontina, perfect for topping this dish!

Egg and Sausage Brunch Muffins, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 13, 2018
: Makes 36 muffins

Loaded with eggs, sausage and hash browns- this dish takes a classic breakfast casserole and blows it apart - perfect for feeding a large group!

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter or bacon drippings, divided
  • 1 small onion small chopped, about 1-1/2 cups
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and small chopped, about 1-1/4 cups
  • 1 package hash brown potatoes, 20-ounces or about 4 cups freshly grated potatoes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided
  • 1 pound breakfast pork sausage or mild Italian pork sausage
  • 1 package spinach, about 5-ounces
  • 10 extra-large eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 cups small cubed Sourdough bread, about ½” in size
  • ½ cup shaved or shredded Parmesan*
  • ½ cup shaved or shredded Fontina*
  • *Sartori makes a wonderful Tuscan blend with Parmesan and Fontina, perfect for topping this dish!
Directions
  • Step 1 Melt 3-tablespoons of the butter or bacon drippings in a large, deep skillet set over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and bell pepper, cooking until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Step 2 Stir in the hash brown potatoes and season with ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook for an additional five minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl while you cook the sausage.
  • Step 3 Add the remaining tablespoon of butter or bacon drippings to the skillet. Toss in the sausage, breaking it up into smaller pieces. Continue cooking until the sausage is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl while you cook the spinach.
  • Step 4 Drain off the most of the drippings from the pan. Place the spinach in the skillet and cook over medium heat until the spinach has wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Step 5 In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs with the milk, the remaining kosher salt and black pepper along with the Dijon mustard and nutmeg. Whisk until well blended.
  • Step 6 Line the muffin tins using either parchment or paper liners. Place enough bread cubes to just cover the bottom of each liner.
  • Step 7 Divide the mixture of onions, bell pepper and hash browns between each muffin.
  • Step 8 Place a bit of the wilted spinach on top of each and then add the sausage.
  • Step 9 Using a small ladle, slowly add about ¼ cup of the egg mixture to each muffin cup.
  • Step 10 Top with a mix of the Parmesan and Fontina cheese.
  • Step 11 Bake for 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
  • Step 12 If you’re prepping ahead, reduce the baking time to 25 minutes, cool, cover the tins and refrigerate. About 40 minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the egg muffins from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for about 20 – 30 minutes. Reheat for 10 minutes, loosely covered with foil in a 350-degree oven.
Double Chocolate Cookies

Double Chocolate Cookies

There are days when chocolate is the answer. Not simple chocolate but double chocolate that comes from chocolate chips baked into a chocolate cookie loaded with toasted pecans!

This is a terrific recipe given to me by one of my favorite cooks who also happens to be the husband of one of my oldest and dearest friends. Dave is a terrific cook and in my earliest memories of my friendship with Pat, he would cook for us while we sat at their kitchen table working. Proof that strong bonds are made over food!

Dave’s recipe starts by taking chocolate and blending it with both white and dark brown sugar before adding butter for richness. Then a hefty dose of pure vanilla extract is mixed into the dough to enhance all the wonderful flavors in this cookie. Toss in toasted pecans and finally more chocolate in the form of chips for that double shot of chocolate. He uses semisweet chocolate; I use bittersweet so use your favorite or a mix of the two. Either way is chocolate heaven!

The dough comes together quickly, courtesy of your food processor, making this a perfect cookie for any chocolate emergency!

And for fun, smear some ice cream in between these slightly crispy – slightly chewy chocolate cookies for a fabulous ice cream sandwich!

Double Chocolate Cookies

5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces, about 1-1/4 cups chopped (I use Williams-Sonoma Hot Chocolate mix – it’s a beautiful, bittersweet chopped chocolate!)

½ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature

1 extra-large egg

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup, minus 2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 package semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, 12-ounce package

¾ cup toasted chopped pecans

Add the 5-ounces of chocolate along with both sugars in the bowl of a food processor.

Process using about 6-8 pulses or until the chocolate is finely chopped and blended into the sugar. Continue processing until the chocolate appears to be the same size as the sugar granules.

Scatter the butter across the top of the chocolate and sugar and process for about 30 seconds. The dough will start to come together.

Add the egg and the vanilla then process for an additional minute.

Scrape down the bowl then toss in the flour, baking soda, kosher salt and the pecans.

Blend together with about 4-5 pulses, just until the flour disappears. Add the chocolate chips and pulse 2-3 times.

Transfer to a mixing flour and stir lightly to make sure the chips are evenly blended into the dough.

Drop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with a Siplat liner or parchment paper using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon. Leave about 2” between the cookies to allow them room to spread.

Bake at 350-degrees for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pan until they are just set, about 3 minutes then transfer them to a rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 3-1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.

Double Chocolate Cookies, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 11, 2018
: Make about 3-1/2 to 4 dozen cookies

This is no simple cookie but a double chocolate cookie with chocolate chips baked into a toasted pecan loaded chocolate cookie!

By:

Ingredients
  • 5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces, about 1-1/4 cups chopped (I use Williams-Sonoma Hot Chocolate mix - it's a beautiful, bittersweet chopped chocolate!)
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup, minus 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 package semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, 12-ounce package
  • ¾ cup toasted chopped pecans
Directions
  • Step 1 Add the 5-ounces of chocolate along with both sugars in the bowl of a food processor. Process using about 6-8 pulses or until the chocolate is finely chopped and blended into the sugar. Continue processing until the chocolate appears to be the same size as the sugar granules.
  • Step 2 Scatter the butter across the top of the chocolate and sugar and process for about 30 seconds. The dough will start to come together.
  • Step 3 Add the egg and the vanilla then process for an additional minute.
  • Step 4 Scrape down the bowl then toss in the flour, baking soda, kosher salt and the pecans. Blend together with about 4-5 pulses, just until the flour disappears.
  • Step 5 Add the chocolate chips and pulse 2-3 times.
  • Step 6 Transfer to a mixing flour and stir lightly to make sure the chips are evenly blended into the dough.
  • Step 7 Drop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with a Siplat liner or parchment paper using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon. Leave about 2” between the cookies to allow them room to spread.
  • Step 8 Bake at 350-degrees for 10 minutes.
  • Step 9 Let the cookies cool on the pan until they are just set, about 3 minutes then transfer them to a rack to finish cooling.
Watermelon Juice

Watermelon Juice

Who could ever imagine something as simple as puréeing fresh watermelon yields something so refreshing?

This might possibly be the simplest beverage recipe we’ve ever made. Ripe, seedless watermelon with fresh mint. That’s it. And after a busy week and dealing with this heat we need an easy way to quench our thirst.

Fresh precut watermelon is commonly found at most food markets but the flavor is sometimes a miss. I will say, if you live in Tarrant County, the North Richland Hills Farmer’s Market has precut watermelon that always hits the mark. But if you’re looking to purchase a whole fresh watermelon there are some of tricks to picking a ripe one.

My Grandmother was a “thumper”. If it sounded hollow when she thumped it with her thumb it was ripe. Her method never failed her. Watermelon, like most fruit, will feel heavy for its size when it’s ripe. Then turn the melon over – there should be a light yellow spot where the melon has rested on the ground.

Now some tips when cutting up the watermelon. Make sure your cutting board is secure and doesn’t slip around. Placing a kitchen towel underneath the board wil help keep it in place. Use a sturdy, sharp knife – a dull knife is actually more dangerous than a sharp one. You can cut it into thick slices and trim out the melon or you can cut off the ends, stand it up and carve the rind away from the fruit.

Serve this gorgeous watermelon juice chilled, straight up or over ice. Toss in an extra sprig of mint for garnish, kick back and relax – Enjoy the weekend!

Watermelon Juice

For each batch:

6 cups cubed watermelon

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

Extra sprigs of mint for garnish

Place the watermelon in the canister of a Vitamix or blender along with the mint leaves.

Remove the cap from the lid and turn the machine on the lowest setting. Using the plunger, push the melon down into the blades until it begins to liquefy. Put the cap back into the lid and process using the “juice” or highest setting for about 2 minutes.

Refrigerate until well chilled. Makes 4 cups of juice. (One medium-sized watermelon will make about 3-4 batches of juice.)

Watermelon Juice, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 8, 2018
: About 4 per batch

This might possibly be the simplest beverage recipe you'll ever make! Who could ever imagine something as simple as puréeing fresh watermelon would yield something so refreshing?

By:

Ingredients
  • For each batch
  • 6 cups cubed watermelon*
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • Extra cubed watermelon and mint sprigs for garnish
  • *A medium-sized watermelon will make about 4 batches.
Directions
  • Step 1 Place the watermelon in the canister of a Vitamix or blender along with the mint leaves. Remove the cap from the lid and turn the machine on using the lowest setting. Using the plunger, push the melon down into the blades until it begins to liquefy.
  • Step 2 Replace the cap to the lid then process using the juice or highest setting for about 2 minutes.
  • Step 3 Refrigerate until well chilled.