Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Asian Marinated Cucumbers

Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner.
     Cucumbers are one of the goodies out of the garden that many don't know what to do with except pickle. I've always liked them soaked in vinegar/sugar water to add some flavor. This recipe takes that same idea but gives it an Asian twist with the use of soy sauce and sesame oil. To add some heat, a touch of red pepper flakes are sprinkled to your liking. One thing to note is that the longer the cucumbers marinate, the spicier they get.

Asian Marinated Cucumbers
1 large cucumber
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 T. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 T. green onion tops, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

Peal and slice cucumber. Put slices in a small bowl and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

In larger bowl, mix all other ingredients.

Drain cucumbers and add to dressing mix. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley. 

Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

Serves 4.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon

Photos courtesy of the Cooking Corner.

    When garden goodies start popping, one of the most plentiful and easiest to cook with is green beans. A new way to use fresh green beans is to wrap them in bacon and pop them in the oven for a little while. The beans cook nicely and don't turn to mush and of course, bacon adds the flavor. These little packets are quite tasty, just be careful to not let the glaze over cook and caramelize. This is a nice little side dish and new twist on a garden classic.

Green Bean Bacon Bundles
1/2 lb. fresh green beans
5-6 slices of thick-cut bacon
2 T. butter
1 T. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
sprinkle of salt
and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.

Wash green beans and then season with salt and pepper. Bundle together about 5-8 green beans – depending on size of beans and the amount per pound. 

Using a slice of bacon, wrap it around the center of the beans to hold them together. Lay the bundle seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining beans.

In a small saucepan over low heat, add butter, brown sugar and garlic. Stir until melted and combined. Pour over each green bean bundle. 

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes more, just until bacon gets crispy.

Makes about 5-6 bundles. Serves 3-4.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sausage Bread

Photo courtesy of Treva Milheiser.
      At a recent party with the girls, I sampled a braided bread that was filled with sausage, peppers, onions and cheese. These are some of my favorite foods wrapped in a nice little doughy pocket. Using crescent rolls makes this dish easy to put together and it travels well when wrapped in foil. The ability to make this the day ahead rates it up there on my list of party foods.

Sausage Bread
12 oz. ground sausage
1/2 cup onion, finely copped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
6 oz. cream cheese, cut in cubes
3 T. green onion, chopped
3 T. parsley
1-8 oz. pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg, beaten (for glaze)

Brown sausage, onion, green pepper, celery and garlic until sausage is cooked (no longer pink).

Preheat oven to 350.

Drain and return to skillet. Add cream cheese, green onion and parsley. Cook over low heat until cream cheese is melted.

Unroll crescent roll as one piece onto a cookie sheet and press perforations together into a 10x12-inch rectangle. Spoon sausage mixture onto dough, leaving 1-inch at each end and 3 inches on each side. Starting in the center make several  2-inch slits on both sides of dough. Bring together dough from each side to cover sausage mixture. You may twist dough to get a braided look. Take dough from either end and fold over to cover sausage.

Beat egg and brush with a pastry brush, glaze over the sides of dough.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

If made the day before, refrigerate in foil and reheat (using foil) in 250 oven for about an hour.

Recipe from Treva Milheiser by way of Shelly Willis.

Taste Of Home Recipe of the Day