Loaves & Dishes
By Jennie Geisler Erie Times-News staff blogger
Follow Jennie Geisler's kitchen adventures on her Loaves & Dishes blog.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1885
Archive for June, 2012
Posted: June 29th, 2012

Homemade Barbecue Sauce from the Food Network looks good enough to eat with a spoon.

It’s kind of annoying that July 4 is on a Wednesday. Picnics are just easier and more relaxed on the weekend.
So, I’m guessing, some of us, OK, John and I, are going to celebrate all week with yummy grill stuff. It’ll give us a chance to try all kinds of grilled food, and this Homemade BBQ Sauce from the Food Network looks special. The Internet is oozing with barbecue sauce recipes, all of which beckon to me this time of year, but I wanted to find one that wasn’t too boring and wasn’t too complicated and was sweet and hot and highly rated. This one looks like a winner.
A tip about using barbecue sauce on stuff you’re grilling. Don’t put it on too early, or it’ll just burn. You can coat the meat lightly if you want, to let it carmelize, but don’t slather it on until the last few minutes of cooking, so it sticks to the meat and thickens just until it’s sticky.
It’ll work on ribs, chicken pieces, pork tenderloin, even burgers if you’re so inclined. I’m going with chicken pieces, skinned. As soon as possible.
Happy weekend before July 4.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 28th, 2012

Don't burn your hands enjoying this volcano of flavor.

I’m hoping you can help me. I’m looking for people who like spicy food to talk to for a story. I want to hear why you like it, how you like it, how long you’ve liked it, and what you like to eat.
We want to hear from people who can’t get enough Tabasco, who go through Sri Racha like ketchup, make their own firey spice blends, make it onto Walls of Flame when they eat crazy hot wings at crazy hot wing places.
We’d also like to hear from people who cook for these culinary pyromaniacs.
Call me at 870-1885 or send e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com. Make sure to include information on how you’d like me to get back in touch: e-mail, house phone, cell, homing pigeon, etc.

To get your juices flowing, I thought I’d share the fiery-looking Triple Smoke Burger, from Epicurious.com.
It comes packing heat with Dijon, chipotles and paprika. Better serve it with something cold to keep that fire under control.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 27th, 2012

This looks like a couple of weekends' worth of summer fun.

Thanks to everyone who wrote in for “Herbivoracious,” by Michael Natkin. The winner is Chelsea McQuaid. I’ll pop it in the mail.

If you are not Chelsea McQuaid, you are eligible to enter the drawing for "Homemade Preserves & Jams," by Mary Tregellas. It’s a great time of year to dive into “90 Recipes for Luscious Jams, Tangy Marmalades, Crunchy Chutneys and more.”
To enter the drawing, please send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com. Include your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and the NAME OF THE BOOK you want. I’ll draw from my “hat” next Wednesday.

In honor of the great Nora Ephron, who died today at 71, Huffington Post Kitchen Daily has a story today about 12 of her recipes, gleaned from her food-infused writing.
Nora Ephron's Peach Pie looks delicious and just about seasonal.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 22nd, 2012

Contemplating a weekend watermelon slushy party. With myself.

Made the watermelon salsa last night. It needed another jalapeno in my estimation, though I probably should have let it sit awhile before digging in. My husband added salt and liked it better, but I don’t like salt on watermelon. Everyone says salt makes watermelon taste sweeter, but I’m just not feeling it.
Oh, well.
I still have half a watermelon in the fridge, and after reading Rhonda Schember’s Summer Sippers column for Wednesday’s Food cover next week, I’m thirsty for something besides my regular weekend beer.
I think I’m going to chunk up and freeze some watermelon overnight and tomorrow mix it with vodka and Midori (melon liquer) and make a slushy. Or 4.
Check out the recipe I’ll start with for Watermelon Vodka Slushy.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 21st, 2012

Think watermelon, think jalapeno, think awesome. Allrecipes.com

I am on Weight Watchers.
Fruit is 0 points.
I bought a watermelon.
It’s on the counter — where it’s been for a week.
I just remembered Fire and Ice Salsa, one of my favorite Loaves & Dishes recipes from several years ago, and now it’s all I can think about. It’s joining me for dinner tonight. As the entree.
You might not think “spicy” and “watermelon” should be in the same sentence. It kind of requires a leap of faith. But no one has wrinkled their noses at it — ever.
Perhaps Fire and Ice Salsa doesn’t fit into your dinner plans, but it would make a crowd-pleasing presence at any summer picnic — July 4 for instance, or a graduation party, a work pot luck. Or you can just eat it for dinner.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 20th, 2012

This guy takes vegetarian food way beyond the lentil.

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for Fresh from the Farmstand by Gooseberry Patch. The winner is Laurie Maze. I’ll pop it in the mail Thursday.
If you are not Laurie Maze, you are eligible for a drawing for “Herbivoracious,” by Michael Natkin. This cookbook is nothing short of awesome. It’s so good I didn’t want to give it away, so the company sent me another copy. My copy has about 400 little post-it notes sticking out of it. I’ve tried to keep your copy clean.
It’s a vegetarian cookbook, but frankly, that’s beside the point. I’m writing about Portobelllo and Summer Squash Lasagna in July, straight out of this treasure trove.
If you want to enter the drawing, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS, and NAME OF THE BOOK. This information will not be stored or shared. I’ll pick a winner next Wednesday.

In the meantime, I’ll share another good-looking recipe, since there are so very many.
10-MINUTE CHICKPEA SALADWITH FETA AND BASIL (Don’t look away from the Chickpeas. There’s a lot more going on here than grainy garbanzos)
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Half a red onion, finely diced
Half an English cucumber, finely diced
1 jar roasted red or yellow peppers, coarsely chopped
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the chickpeas, onion, cucumber, roasted peppers, feta, garlic, basil, lemon juice, and olive oil in a salad bowl. Toss well.
2. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Depending on how salty your feta is, you might not need any salt.
3. Serve right away, or refrigerate up to a few hours.
“Herbavoracious: A flavor revolution, with 150 vibrant and original vegetarian recipes,” by Michael Natkin

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 18th, 2012

I don't know if you can see the grilled romaine here, but I saw it and it was good.

Just saying the name of this recipe, Grilled Hearts of Romaine with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette and Pickled Onions, requires some endurance.
Eating it, though, won’t take any effort at all.
I wanted something special to put on the side with the salmon recipe I planned for Father’s Day. The idea of simple greens or steamed veggies left me a little cold. I’ve wanted to try charred greens for a while, and this looked like a low-pressure opportunity.
It turned out to be a lot of fun, especially seeing John’s perplexed look when I told him I was grilling his salad.
The charred bits had a caramelized taste that played well off the tart pickled onions and rich blue cheese.
I wouldn’t call it simple, but it was a fun project for a special dinner. The only real drawback is that it doesn’t keep very well. I had to throw some of it out. I considered picking the blue cheese chunks out first, but abstained.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 14th, 2012

This Allrecipes picture makes a solid case for Father's Day salmon.

John and our son are heading to a ball game and sundry related activities Sunday afternoon. I’m going to sit at home and do nothing. I mean I’m going to stay home and cook something awesome.
My hubby likes any old hunk of meat thrown on a grill with any old teaspoon or so of yumminess rubbed into it.
This said, thus far into the grilling season, I’ve already had had my fill of burgers, sausage and ribs. I’ve always been kind of halfsies on steak. Fact is, if I’m going to shell out for a special dinner, I’d rather make Pepper-Honey Cedar Plank Salmon. I did ask John what he wanted, but his eyes kind of glazed over.
Salmon it is.
I’ll get some sweet potatoes, something green on the side, and make a strawberry or apple pie.
After I sit around and do nothing.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 13th, 2012

Load up on simple ideas for summer produce from this Gooseberry classic.

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “America’s Best Ribs,” by Ardie A. Davis and Chef Paul Kirk. The winner is Carla Gutting. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Carla Gutting, you are eligible to enter next week’s drawing for “Fresh from the Farmstand,” from Gooseberry Patch. It’s packed with simple recipes you can use with all that wonderful local produce that’s popping up at last.

To enter, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com Include your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and THE NAME OF THE BOOK. This information will not be stored or shared.

For those of you just here for the food, check out this use for soon-to-be-abundant blueberries:

Orange-Glazed Blueberry Scones
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup chilled butter, diced
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
2 cups blueberries

1. In a large bowl, sift together 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix well.
2. Cut in butter with a fork until crumbs form. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg; add to flour mixture. Mix just to incorporate without overworking the dough.
3. In another bowl, toss berries in remaining flour; gently fold berries into batter. Drop large tablespoons of batter onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.
4. Cool scones on a wire rack. Drizzle or brush Orange Glaze over scones. Let stand until glaze becomes hazy and hardened.
Makes 6 to 12 scones

Orange Glaze
2 tablespoons butter, diced
2 cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice

In a double boiler, combine butter, sugar and enough juice for desired consistency. Cook and stir until thickened; remove from heat. Beat until smooth and slightly cooled.
Debbie Miller, Springfield, Ohio

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 12th, 2012

Oranges and limes imbue Mojo with mojo.

It’s kebab season. What’s not to love? Well, for me, it’s usually kebabs. This is not because of the kebabs themselves, but for the fact that I always, always, always kill them. I leave them on the grill too long and the meat comes out dry and chewy.
The problem is the meat cubes cook a lot faster than bigger pieces like chops or tenderloin. You’d think I’d know this by now, at least well enough to put a frozen pizza in the oven as back-up.
I stand at that grill and second guess myself right into dryland.
Someday, maybe this time, I’ll get it right. This recipe looks like a good enough reason to try again.

(By the way, Cubans pronounce “mojo” like it has an “h” in the middle. Not like in that song by The Doors. Not that there’s anything wrong with the song. I like the song. But the Cubans don’t. Well, I mean they don’t say it like that. Many Cubans might love that song. If they’ve ever heard it. I don’t know if it’s legal down there to listen to The Doors. I wonder if they say “mo-ho” when they sing it?)
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for grill
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoons lime juice (from 2 limes)
1/4 cup orange juice (from 2 oranges), plus one orange cut into 16 pieces
2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds total), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 large English cucumber, cut into 1-inch rounds
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small pot, combine oil, garlic and red pepper flakes over medium-low. Cook until garlic is soft, 15 minutes, swirling occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in lime and orange juices, and let cool 15 minutes.
2. In a zip-top bag, toss pork with half the marinade and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (or up to 12 hours); refrigerate remaining marinade.
3. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Clean and lighting oil hot grill. Thread pork, orange and cucumber onto skewers. Season with salt and pepper. Grill kebabs 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium. Brush with reserved marinade and serve.
Per kebab if you make 6: 327 calories, 17 grams fat, 33 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber
– Everyday Food, July/August 2012

Posted in: Uncategorized