2018-06-13 / News

Rachel's Recipes

We’re not even half way through June and old Mother Nature is giving the devil a run for his money on who can generate the most heat. The last thing we want to do when preparing meals during the summer is heat up the kitchen. Unless you own stock in the power company you want to keep the cooling bill low. These easy recipes will keep your kitchen cool, or at the very least, make the flavor of the meal worth the extra heat in the house.

Alternative Tomato Sandwiches are not meant to slight the deliciousness of the south’s traditional “‘mater sammich.” There is much to be loved about a fat slice of salt and pepper-laden garden fresh tomato between two mayo-slathered slices of white bread. However, if you’re like me, and have a love-hate relationship with mayonnaise, this easy recipe is sure to please.

The Grilled Striped Bass recipe is not only tasty, but it calls for using the outdoor grill rather than the stove, so you can chalk one point up to keeping the kitchen cooler this summer.

Garden vegetables are really starting to come in and soon eggplants will be plentiful. The Cajun Eggplant Rice Dressing recipe is a yummy way to use them up.

One of my favorite summer recipes is Southern-Asian Fusion Cucumber Salad. Its sweet and sour flavor, coupled with a little bit of crunch, will complement almost any summertime meal. It’s a do-ahead recipe that you’ll want to start at least 4 hours ahead of serving time.

Submit your recipe ideas or your favorite recipe and a little about why you love it toRachel- ScottWrites@gmail.com.

ALTERNATIVE TOMATO SANDWICH

2 slices sourdough bread
2 tablespoons cream cheese
Generous pinch (or to taste) Nature’s Seasons seasoning
Any variety of tomato, sliced
1-2 leaves of fragile-leaf lettuce such as butter, butterhead or leaf

Combine seasoning with cream cheese and mix well. Toast bread, spread with cream cheese mixture, top with tomatoes and lettuce. Enjoy!

GRILLED STRIPED BASS

4-6 bass filets, skin on
4 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
Fresh herbs of your choice (thyme, chives, oregano, etc.)
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Lemon wedges for garnish

Place seasoning, garlic, oil and lemon in a shallow baking pan, mixing well. Dredge filets through marinade on both sides and return to pan. Cover and refrigerate 20-30 minutes. Remove fish from marinade and place on medium-high grill, skin side down. Sprinkle with just a little additional salt. Grill until skin starts to crisp and then turn over. Cook until opaque and slightly browned (about 5 minutes). Serve hot with lemon wedge garnish.

CAJUN EGGPLANT RICE DRESSING

2 pounds ground beef, chicken or turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups plus 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
Dash of cayenne pepper if desired
3 cups cooked rice

Brown ground meat and drain. Reduce heat and add all ingredients except broth and rice. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until eggplant is tender. Add broth and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes or until mixture has just a little bit of liquid in the bottom of the pot. The amount of liquid will determine how moist your dressing is. Stir in cooked rice. Serve hot as a side or main dish. Use hot sauce if you like it extra hot.

SOUTHERN-ASIAN FUSION CUCUMBER SALAD

3 large cucumbers, sliced
2 sweet onions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1-2 pinches celery seed
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup dried rice noodles

Whisk together all ingredients except noodles, onions and cukes. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Chill 4 hours. Stir in noodles and serve.

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