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July Recipes

The two key ingredients in the sauce below are chipotles in adobo and liquid smoke. Liquid smoke, which is essentially distilled smoke collected from moisture added while burning hickory, is available in most supermarkets.

Chipotles in adobo can be found in the Ethnic section of super markets, but if you cannot find them use chipotle powder instead. And if you can’t find chipotle powder, try using Spanish smoked paprika. If all else fails, use chili powder.

This sauce needs to be cooked slowly for at least 45 minutes, and 1 hour is better.

Use it on beef brisket, beef ribs, or on a burger.

Smoky Barbecue Sauce

When handling the hot chilies in adobo, use gloves, or a plastic bag to protect your hands. After handling chilies wash your hands thoroughly in hot soapy water. Do not touch your eyes for several hours.

4    Tbsp. Butter (or substitute vegetable oil)

1/2 Onion (grated)

1    15 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes

1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar

2    Tbsp. Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Molasses

1    to 4 Chipotle Chilies in Adobo (depending on how hot you want your bbq sauce)

1    tsp. Liquid Smoke

1    Tbsp. Fresh Sage (finely chopped)

      Salt to taste

Heat the butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat until if froths (or heat vegetable oil until hot), then add the grated onion. Sprinkle a little salt over the onion. Sauté until the onion just begins to color, about 4-5 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, finely chop the chipotle chilies in adobo. They are hot, so start with one chile. You can add as many more as you want later.

Add the chipotle to the onions, then add the tomatoes, vinegar, molasses, sugar, liquid smoke, and chopped sage. Stir to combine and let this simmer for 5 minutes. Taste it and add salt and more chipotle if you want.

Simmer the sauce gently, uncovered, for 1 hour. Before serving, taste one more time for salt and chile.

Yield: Makes 2 cups.


Blueberry Crisp with Oatmeal Topping

Top with a dollop of homemade whipped cream for a dessert that's simply divine.

Fruit Filling:

3    Pints Blueberries

1/2 Cup Sugar

      Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon (finely grated)

3    Tbsp. Flour

Mix the berries, sugar, lemon juice and zest, and flour in a large bowl. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and butter a 13x9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.

Topping:

1    Cup All-purpose Flour

1    Cup Light-brown Sugar (packed)

2/3 Cup Rolled Oats

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 Cup (1 stick) plus

2    Tbsp. Butter (cold, unsalted, cut into small pieces)

For topping: Combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter, and pulse the machine repeatedly, in 2- to 3-second bursts, until the mixture is clumpy, like damp crumbs. Transfer the berries to the baking dish, and spread the crumbs evenly over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly hot. Serve at any temperature, although it is best to let it cool at least 10 minutes.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


Spicy Slow Cooker Beef Chili

Putting chili in the slow cooker is an easy way to get the richness of a long-simmering stovetop chili. To start developing the flavors, sauté vegetables, ground beef, and spices, then put the mixture into the slow cooker along with tomatoes and kidney beans. Let the chili cook overnight or all day until it’s thickened and has a nice beefy flavor, then stir in jalapeños for a kick of heat. Serve it with cornbread or atop tortilla chips and cheese.

3       Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

2       Medium Yellow Onions (medium dice)

1       Medium Red Bell Pepper (medium dice)

6       Medium Garlic Cloves (finely chopped)

1/4    Cup Chili Powder

1       Tbsp. Ground Cumin

2       lbs. Lean Ground Beef

1 1/2 tsp. Salt (more as needed)

1       (28 oz.) Can Diced Tomatoes

1       (14 oz.) Can Tomato Sauce

2       (15 oz.) Cans Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)

1/4    Cup Pickled Jalapeños or Green Chiles (drained, coarsely chopped)

For serving:

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Scallions (thinly sliced)

Sour Cream

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and bell pepper, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.

Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin, stir to coat the vegetables, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground beef and measured salt and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the beef is no longer pink, about 7 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker, add the diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, and beans, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the chili thickens and the flavors meld, about 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high.

Stir in the jalapeños or green chiles. Taste and season with salt as needed, and serve with the cheese, scallions, and sour cream.  Makes: 6 servings


Blueberry Pineapple Smoothie

2    Cups Fresh Baby Spinach

1    Cup Frozen Blueberries

1    Banana

1/2 Cup Vanilla Yogurt

1/4 Cup Fresh Pineapple (chopped)

1/4 Cup Frozen Dark Sweet Cherries

1/4 Cup Orange Juice

      Chopped Pineapple and/or Fresh Blueberries

In a blender combine all ingredients except the optional pineapple and/or blueberry topper. Cover and blend until nearly smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of container as necessary. Divide between two glasses. Top with pineapple and/or blueberries. Makes 2 (1-cup) servings.


CHICKEN ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE

1    pkg.  (6 oz.) Stove Top (I use turkey flavor)

3/4 Cup Butter (melted)

3    Cups Zucchini (diced)

2    Cups COOKED Chicken Breast (cubed)

1    Can Cream of Chicken Soup

2    Medium Carrots (shredded)

1/4 Cup Onion (chopped)

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

In a large bowl, combine stuffing mix and butter.  Mix it well.  Sit aside 1/2 cup for topping. Add the zucchini, chicken, soup, carrots, onion, and sour cream, to the remaining mixture.

Transfer to a greased (or spray it with Pam) 2 qt baking dish. Sprinkle stuffing mixture across top. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Recipe From: Wendy Reinert


Baked Zucchini

2    Medium Zucchini

2    Tbsp. Butter (melted, or olive oil)

1    Tbsp. Fresh Oregano (or 1 tsp. dried oregano)

1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)

      Salt & Pepper

Slice zucchini in 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices. Toss with melted butter and oregano. Arrange in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Servings: 4 to 6

Recipe From: Kaarin


Baked Zucchini and Tomato Casserole

Flavorful, yet light, a simple vegetable recipe that highlights the natural flavor of zucchini and tomatoes.

2    Large Zucchini (thinly sliced lengthwise)

4    Large Heirloom Tomatoes (sliced thinly)

1    Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)

1    Tbsp. Dried Basil

1    Tbsp. Dried Oregano

1    tsp. Garlic Powder

1    tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside. Spray an 11 X 13 casserole pan with nonfat cooking spray.

Place a layer of zucchini slices along bottom of pan. Sprinkle lightly, but evenly with a bit of the seasoning mix. Then place a layer of tomatoes on. Sprinkle a bit of seasoning. Repeat layers and seasoning until all tomatoes and zucchinis have been used.

Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven for about 25 minutes.

Remove from oven, and top casserole with parmesan cheese and then the panko bread crumbs. Lightly mist with olive oil mister or nonfat cooking spray.

Return to oven, uncovered, and bake for another 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and top is crusty.

When done cooking, remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. Cut into 6 equally sized pieces and serve immediately. Number of servings (yield): 6


BLT Salad

The favorite combination of bacon, lettuce, and tomato are added to a mix of vegetables and toasted bread to make a delightful meal. Creamy mustard dressing makes the perfect topping.

1/4 Cup Olive or Salad Oil

3    Tbsp. Tarragon Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar

3    Tbsp. Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing

2    tsp. Coarse-grain Mustard

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/4 Cup Butter (melted)

1    tsp. Lemon-Pepper Seasoning

2    Cloves Garlic (minced)

8    (1/2" thick) Slices Italian, French, or Sourdough Bread

5    Cups Torn Mixed Salad Greens

2    Medium Tomatoes (cut into thin wedges)

1/2 Cup Cucumber (chopped)

1/2 Cup Smoked Cheddar Cheese or Swiss Cheese (2 oz., cubed)

8    Slices Bacon or Turkey Bacon (crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled)

2    Tbsp. Green Onion (thinly sliced)

For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt. Cover; shake well. Set aside.

Preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, stir together butter, lemon-pepper, and garlic. Lightly brush 1 side of each bread slice with some of the butter mixture. Place the bread slices, buttered side up, on a baking sheet. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until the bread is toasted. Cut the slices lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips.

To serve, stack bread strips on each of 4 salad plates log-cabin style, leaving a space in the center. Arrange the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and cheese in the center of the bread strips. Top with bacon and green onion. Shake dressing well; drizzle over salads. Makes 4 side-dish servings.


Pickled Green Beans

Pickled Beans are a farmhouse staple and common to old preserving books. They are equally good as part of a relish or antipasto tray or at a picnic with burgers and brats.

2       lbs. Fresh Green Beans

8       Cloves Garlic (peeled)

8       Small Heads Fresh Dill*

2       Small Jalapeno Chile Peppers** (optional)

2       tsp. Cayenne Pepper

2 1/2 Cups Water

2 1/2 Cups White Wine Vinegar or White Vinegar

1/4    Cup Pickling Salt

Wash beans and remove ends and strings. In an uncovered 8 quart pot, cook whole beans in enough boiling water to cover for 5 minutes; drain.

Pack hot beans lengthwise into two hot, sterilized quart canning jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Add four cloves garlic; four heads of dill; one jalapeno chile pepper, if desired; and 1 teaspoon cayenne to each jar. Set aside.

In a large stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy saucepan, combine the 2 1/2 cups water, the vinegar and pickling salt. Bring to boiling, stirring until salt dissolves.

Immediately pour hot liquid over beans in jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids.

Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. Store at least 5 days before serving. Makes: 16 servings, Yield: 2 quarts

Tips:  *Dill substitution: If you cannot find fresh heads of dill, you can substitute 3 tablespoons dill seeds in this recipe.

          **Handling Hot Peppers: Because hot chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid contact with chiles as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the chile peppers, wash your hands well with soap and water.