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Tag Archives | Summer 2014 Recipes

Garden Fresh Gazpacho




2 pounds tomatoes (about 4 large), cut into chunks
1 English cucumber, seeded and roughly chopped (not peeled)
½ sweet onion, roughly chopped
2–3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (optional)
2–3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper


In a food processor, purée tomato until almost smooth. Add cucumber, onion, garlic, both vinegars, oil, salt, and pepper and pulse until almost smooth. Add more vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Chill soup in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes; the longer it sits the more the flavors will develop. Store gazpacho tightly sealed in coldest part of refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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Dilly Beans




2 pounds green beans
1 bell pepper
2½ cups water
2½ cups distilled white vinegar
¼ cup pickling/canning salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons dill seed
4 cloves garlic


Before you begin: Sterilize 4 pint-size canning jars and prepare two-piece canning lids according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Trim green beans so that they will fit standing up inside the pint jars. The straighter the beans, the nicer it looks in the end. Slice pepper into strips.

In a small pot over high heat, bring water, vinegar, and salt to a boil. Meanwhile, into each pint jar, add ¼ teaspoon cayenne, 1 teaspoon dill seed, and 1 clove garlic.

Pack green beans and pepper strips into jars. You want these to be pretty tightly packed, but with enough room for the liquid you’ll be adding.

Pour the boiling liquid into the pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust the twopiece metal canning lids.

Process jars in a boiling water canner for five minutes. Let the dilly beans stand at least 3 weeks before opening. Refrigerate after opening.

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Hot Pepper Vinegar




6 ounces fresh hot peppers
1–2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)


Before you begin: Sterilize a one-pint glass canning jar and lid in boiling water for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let jar and lid sit in hot water until ready to fill. (Jar should be filled while still hot.)

Fill your sterilized jar with hot peppers and garlic. In a small pot over high heat, bring both vinegars and salt to a boil, stirring until salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in cayenne, and ladle mixture over peppers.

Seal jar with sterilized lid. Let pepper vinegar stand at room temperature at least 3 weeks to marry the flavors. Refrigerate after opening.


Summer is the time to grow and enjoy an abundance of hot peppers—any variety you like! I love the rainbow of hues you get with colorful Santa Fe Grandes and Chinese Five Color. Or spice things up with the classics: serrano, jalapeño, and habanero. For sweet peppers, the disease-resistant Carolina Wonder and heirloom Marconi bell peppers remain my go-to varieties.

When hot pepper production peaks, I go into production in the kitchen, bottling up a tangy-spicy hot pepper vinegar that is super simple to make. In case your Southern roots don’t run as deep as mine, here are a few ways you can use it: Drizzle it over cooked greens (like collards or mustard) and rice dishes; mix it into spicy cocktails, like a Bloody Mary; dash it onto eggs, pasta, fried fish, and roasted veggies; stir it into soup; or splash some on a salad!


Grow a wide variety of tomatoes and you’ll be seeing red (and orange, purple, pink, yellow, and green) all summer! My favorite varieties include large Cherokee Purples; clusters of Riesentraube grapes; pink, flavorful Arkansas Travelers; basic, red Amish Pastes (great for sauce); mild Yellow Pears (lovely in salad); intensely flavored Red and Golden Currants; and I’m crazy for wild Everglades tomatoes, which are native to Florida and produce in abundance all summer long.

In my summer kitchen, tomatoes are simmered into sauces, sliced onto sandwiches, scrambled into eggs, slow roasted on trays, chunked onto salads (or sometimes they are the salad), melted onto grilled fish, and, at least once a week, puréed into a cool, no-fuss gazpacho.


If you haven’t tasted homegrown beans lately, you don’t know what you’re missing (stop on by!). Fresh from the vine they are sweet and crisp, and when steamed they taste almost creamy. Pole beans, bush beans, and yardlong beans climb bamboo structures in both my front and back yards. Though we enjoy them mostly steamed or grilled, I also really love having a couple cans of dilly beans on hand to punch up a salad, or for an easy cold side dish or snack on a long, hot day.

The following recipe was contributed by the lovely Lisa at the Bradenton-based Sunshine Canning (

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Chef Doug’s Fish Taco’s




1 ripe tomato, chopped
¼ cup diced cucumber
¼ cup diced red onion
½ bunch cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving
Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound grouper, snapper, or mahi filets
6 white or yellow corn tortillas
Romaine or iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 avocados, sliced
Citrus Crema
Pickled Red Cabbage


Combine tomato, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Let salsa rest until ready to serve tacos.

Heat grill to medium-high. Cut fish into 12 equal portions. Season with salt and pepper.

Oil grill grates and transfer fish to grill. Cook until opaque and flakey, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer cooked fish to a plate. Place tortillas on grill and cook, turning, until nicely toasted.

To assemble, place shredded lettuce, avocado, and salsa on a tortilla. Add 2 fish filets per tortilla and top with Citrus Crema. Finish with pickled cabbage. Garnish with lime segment and cilantro and eat right away or tortilla will become soggy.

For Pickled Red Cabbage: Combine 3 cups shredded red cabbage, 1 cup red wine vinegar, ½ cup water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and let cabbage mixture sit for 5–7 minutes. Cabbage should be slightly soft, but still crunchy.

For Citrus Crema: Combine ½ cup sour cream, chili powder to taste, and zest from both a lime and an orange in a small bowl.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Doug Vogel, Maggie’s Seafood

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Pineapple-Shrimp Cocktail




1 small pineapple
Juice and zest of 2 limes
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 pound peeled and deveined small Gulf shrimp, cooked
½ red onion, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup diced avocado
2 tablespoons minced mint


Halve pineapple lengthwise and remove flesh leaving a ¼-inch border. (Cover hollowed out pineapple halves and refrigerate until ready to serve.) Remove fibrous core from flesh and discard core. Chop remaining flesh and set aside, you should have about 3 cups.

Combine lime juice and zest, lemon juice and zest, honey, garlic, and jalapeno in a large bowl. Add shrimp, onion, and reserved pineapple. Season with salt and pepper. Let marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, add avocado and mint. Serve in hollowed out pineapple halves garnished with tarragon.

NOTE: Tr y serving this tucked in lettuce wraps.

Recipe courtesy of Charlotte Abrams

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Grandma’s Sweet Cornbread



2 cups yellow cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
⅔ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups heavy cream
½ cup water
1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons butter, melted


Heat 9-by-13-inch baking pan in a 425° oven. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Sift in baking powder and baking soda. In separate large bowl, combine cream, water, condensed milk, and eggs.

Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in melted butter. Remove pan from oven, coat with nonstick cooking spray, and pour in cornbread mixture. Carefully cover with foil and return to oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook until golden and just set, about 10 additional minutes. Do not overcook, it will firm up as it cools.

Recipe courtesy of Blue Marlin

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Cortez Boil


Start by making a rich fish stock. Then add a few good ladles of the stock to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Next start adding your local seafood. Clams first, chorizo, and then cooked red potato and corn on the cob. Add some fresh cuts of grouper and snapper, and Gulf shrimp. When the clams are open, transfer to a large bowl and dust with old bay. Serve with some of my grandma’s sweet cornbread.

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Piccolo’s Stuffed Bell Peppers




1 small loaf Italian bread (about 9 ounces), very stale
1 medium tomato, chopped
6 slices Italian prosciutto, medium thickness, chopped
6 slices sweet sopressata, medium thickness, chopped
6 slices dry cured capicollo, medium thickness, chopped
2 (¼-inch thick) slices fontina cheese, diced
2 (¼-inch thick) slices aged provolone, diced
¼ pound Fontinella cheese, diced
2 tablespoons chopped mixed olives
2 teaspoons non-pareil capers
2 large eggs, beaten
6 large red bell peppers
2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino
Romano cheese
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


Heat oven to 400°. Soak bread in water until moistened and swelled. Remove from water, crumble, and squeeze out excess liquid.

Transfer to a large bowl. Add tomato, meats, fontina, provolone, and Fontinella cheese, olives, capers, and eggs; mix well.

Cut peppers in half lengthwise leaving stem in tact. Remove ribs and seeds. Stuff peppers with mixture making sure to pack them as tight as possible. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Cover with foil making sure it does not touch the tops of peppers and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and allow the top to lightly brown, about 15 minutes. The internal temperature should be 150°–160°. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes.

Enjoy as a meal or an appetizer paired with a red wine of your choice. Buon Appetito!

Recipe courtesy of Piccolo Italian Market & Deli

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