Through the Kitchen Window

July . . . The warmth . . . The sun . . . Relaxing . . . Mmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

Even a self-proclaimed "foodie" like myself hates to cook sometimes. I hate it most when it's too hot to eat anything too elaborate anyway. My theory is: if I'm too hot to cook, you must be too hot to eat. Doesn't always work out that way though in a house full of teenaged boys.

I've said it here before, but it bears saying again. My favourite summer food is salad. I love them in any configuration and tend to "wing it" fairly often when it comes right down to it. Sometimes I buy special ingredients to add to my salads and sometimes I just open the fridge and "create". It's fun, interesting and a switch from re-heating the "planned-overs" that reside at the back of most refrigerators.

This month I bring you three of my meal salads. They're simple, easy to put together with ingredients we mostly have in the pantry, and they use up those bits and pieces that otherwise become unrecognizable. Each of the recipes is fairly quick and easy to prepare and each will serve two hearty appetites. So lay out in the sun all day and then repair to the kitchen for a quick, delicious, hot weather meal.

Roast Turkey and Romano Bean Salad

I usually accompany this salad with a chilled glass of my favourite Sauvingon Blanc.
  • 12 oz. roasted turkey breast
  • 1 - 19 oz. can Romano beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup diced fennel
  • 1 cup diced Vidalia onion
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp. chopped parsley

Dice the turkey breast and mix with Romano beans, fennel and onions. Whisk together the dressing ingredients until well amalgamated. Toss with the salad, sprinkle parsley over all and serve.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Southwestern Ham Salad with Nachos

I can taste it now. Have an ice cold Corona with lime and you're in heaven!!!
  • 8 oz. smoked ham
  • 1 roasted red pepper, diced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups nacho chips

Dice the smoked ham, mix with peppers, onions and corn in a serving bowl. To make the Chili Lime Mayonnaise, whisk together the mayonnaise and seasoning, toss with the salad and garnish with the nachos.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Roast Turkey and Romano Bean Salad

Thai Beef Salad
  • 8 oz. rare roast beef
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lime rind
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. Asian chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped mint
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 head leaf lettuces separated into leaves
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts

Cut the beef into slivers and combine with dressing ingredients. Let it sit for about half an hour. Combine beef mixture and salad ingredients, pile onto plates lined with lettuce leaves and garnish the whole thing with peanuts. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Take a look at the recipe exchange this month. I think we have a couple of winners in there!! As always, there's a submission form in the column, so it couldn't be easier to send us your request or recipe.

Recipe Exchange

We didn't get any new requests this month, but we do have what look like the answers to two of our previous requests.

Deana had asked for a recipe for a corn casserole from the south. I found this one on www.about.com under "Southern US Cooking". Hope it's what you're looking for Deana!

Creole Corn Casserole

From the First Lady Bicentennial Cookbook.
  • 3 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 can shoe peg corn (Niblets), drained
  • 1 pound can tomatoes, drained
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 pound cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper

Heat the drippings. Add flour and brown. Add corn, tomatoes, celery, and onion. Mix well and remove from heat. Make layers in a 2 quart casserole, alternating vegetables and grated cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake 30 minutes (covered) in 350 degrees oven.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

L.J. had written in to ask about a shrimp dip that used cream of something soup. Since I had never heard of one like that, I again turned to the web and found this one again starting at about.com and following links.

Creamy Shrimp Dip

  • 1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
  • 1 - 10 oz. can cream of shrimp soup (or any other cream soup)
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 - 6 oz. can baby shrimp, drained

Place the cream cheese in a bowl. Microwave on MED-HIGH for 1 minute until softened. Stir in the soup, green onions, and shrimp. Microwave on MED for 2 minutes, or until hot, stirring halfway through cooking. Serve warm with chips.

  • Yields: 3 cups
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Amazing Grace

Here's one that a reader sent in:

May all that we do and all that we say,
Help to brighten someone's day.
And may this meal give strength today,
To do your will at work and play.
Etcetera

I found this a couple of years ago and held onto it cuz it kinda applies to me. In fact, I think it applies to most of us "foodies". We just love to collect 'em!!

    Recipe Collector
    I'll go get the scissors,
    And cut it out quick,
    This recipe looks plain delicious.
    And what I adore,
    Is new recipes for
    All kinds of unusual dishes.

    I've got them in folders,
    I've got them in drawers,
    I read them and just can't resist them.
    I cut them from ads,
    And from boxtops in scads,
    And someday I'll sort them and list them.

    But not at the moment,
    I'd best stash away, this recipe, gee, it's a dilly!!!
    And rustle some chow,
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, let me see now,
    Should I open some soup or some chili?

TTFN . . . I'll leave you with this thought . . . You never can tell which way a pickle will squirt.

See you next month!!

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