Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's a Memorial Day Cook-out!

Now THAT’s my kind of challenge! We have trying to eat as local as possible, and given the weekend of this challenge, there was only one way to go:

COOK-OUT!

Heck, the great American cook-out originated in Western NY. From "real" hot dogs and classic mustards, to fresh salads and canned beer, nothing says "Honey! Hold onto the tater salad, I'm firin' up the grill!" like a traditional cook-out.

So go set up the sprinkler on the lawn, dust off the lawn chairs, put on your plaid shorts, and enjoy the "unofficial" start of Summer!

Cook-out Menu
*While we were able to get some local veggies and herbs, we're just a bit out of season for all of them. Our local farmer markets and grocery stores are great for local fruits and vegetables... when in season.

Here we go...
Barilla (Avon, NY Plant) Pasta Salad
1/2 lb. Barilla Plus Multigrain Rotini, cook as per package directions, drained and cooled.
1/2 c. orange, red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1 c. grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. seedless cucumber, diced
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, freshly chopped
1” of pepperoni, diced
3-4 Tbsp Italian-style oil dressing

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine everything, except the dressing.
2. Mix in 2 Tbsp. of dressing and check coverage. You’ll want to just coat everything, but not drown it. Add additional dressing, if needed.
3. Move to a suitable bowl, cover and refrigerate. This is best when allowed to mellow in the fridge for a few hours prior to serving.


Marion (NY) Potato Salad

2-1/2 lbs. white potatoes, washed but not peeled, 1/2-3/4” dice
1/2 c. orange, red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, freshly chopped
2 large eggs, hard-cooked and chopped

dressing:
2 Tbsp. spicy or Dijon mustard
4 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
1-1/2 tsp. dried dillweed
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1. Place the diced potatoes in a large pot, and cover with cold water. Add about 1 Tbsp. of kosher salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water boils, let the potatoes cook for about 15 minutes, checking for doneness after 10 minutes. Potatoes should keep the shape, and not be mushy. When done, drain and let the potatoes cool in a large mixing bowl.
2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Combine the remaining ingredients in the large mixing bowl, and stir in the dressing

4. Move to a suitable bowl, cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to mellow for a few hours prior to serving.

"Really Local" Rhubarb Tart
3 c. fresh rhubarb, peeled, and cut into 1/2” pieces and blanched**
1 refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. tapioca
Fresh nutmeg
Cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
Whipped cream and honey, for garnish

** Due to the short baking time of a tart over a pie, I was concerned with how well the rhubarb would soften in the oven, so I decided to blanche the rhubarb for a few seconds in a pot of boiling water, and then quickly into an ice bath to cool. Peeling the rhubarb also helps. Oh, and did I mention the rhubarb is from our garden?

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Place rhubarb in a small bowl and sprinkle with the half of the sugar and the tapioca. If the rhubarb is particularly tart, go ahead and add the rest of the sugar. Let rest while the oven warms and the pie crust is prepped. This will draw some water out of the rhubarb.
3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment. (Tip: a few shots of cooking spray will help hold the parchment in place on the baking sheet.)

4. Carefully roll out the pie crust onto the parchment, and repair any tears or holes.

5. Spoon the half the rhubarb onto the center of the pie crust, leaving about a two inch border from the edge. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar, cinnamon, and a few grates of fresh nutmeg. Repeat with the rest of the rhubarb, and a bit more sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
6. Carefully start forming the pie crust into a tart around the rhubarb by folding and overlapping the edge. Brush the folded crust with the melted butter, and lightly sprinkle on a bit of sugar and cinnamon.
7. Place on the center rack of your 400 degree oven, and bake for 35-40 minutes, but start watching it after 25 minutes, until it is golden brown and delicious.
8. Remove from oven and cool before serving. Garnish with local honey and whipped cream (please, make your own if you have the time… from local heavy cream, or course!)
All that's left to do is grill up the white hots (you DO have enough propane, right? Go here and check.), serve up the salads, crack open a beer, and enjoy.... Ahhhh..... That's the taste of Summer...

Enjoy!

Matt

4 comments:

Bill said...

Got any of that tart left? I'll have a slice.

Susan C said...

You're going to have to make another tart, because I would like a slice too! Everything looks yummy, wish I was there.

Matt said...

Bill - We should have enough rhubarb when you visit... I think a tart could be made available. :)

kafa said...

yummy...
delicious...