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Monday, August 11, 2014

What's Cookin' in the Country?

I'm LOVING all the fresh produce right now!  We are blessed to enjoy the fruits from gardens of our dear friends and church families!  Tomatoes, corn, zucchini, cucumbers, berries, melons, squash, green beans and peppers have all been on our table in the last few weeks.  I love to eat them fresh and plain, but I also enjoy adding a little twist to them and incorporating them into recipes.  

If you have fresh corn, green tomatoes or berries, I have a few recipes you need to try!  These all come from Cooking Light - my favorite source of great recipes that are a little better for you!


Fresh Creamed Corn with Bacon
Ingredients
6 ears corn
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 slices bacon
1 cup chopped leek

Preparation

Cut kernels from ears of corn to measure 3 cups. Using the dull side of a knife blade, scrape milk and remaining pulp from cobs into a bowl. Place 1 1/2 cups kernels, low-fat milk, cornstarch, sugar, salt, and pepper in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides.
Cook bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until crisp, turning once. Remove the bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Add leek to pan, and cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring constantly. Add pureed corn mixture, remaining 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, and corn milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Sprinkle with the crumbled bacon just before serving.




Unfried Fried Green Tomatoes
Ingredients

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of sugar
16 (1/2-inch-thick) slices green tomatoes (about 3 green tomatoes)
1/3 cup fat-free milk
Cooking spray

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.
To prepare the green tomatoes, combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through sugar) in a shallow dish. Dip tomato slices in milk; dredge in flour mixture. Lightly coat both sides of tomato slices with cooking spray.

Place a baking sheet in oven; heat at 400° for 5 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately coat with cooking spray. Place tomato slices on preheated baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.

We have been abundantly blessed with fresh blackberries this summer.  I hope to make some jam this week with the gems I have recently received.  However, every person in the south knows that berries scream to be put into a cobbler!  

I recently enjoyed this delightful treat...


Can't you just taste those slightly tart berries tucked inside a flaky crust and then a spoon of vanilla ice cream melting over the top?  It was a.maz.ing!  It had only half the guilt, because as is my normal routine, I got out my Cooking Light Cookbook and made a lighter version of this southern classic dessert.  It was every bit as good! 

Here's the recipe:

Blackberry Cobbler -done light
Ingredients
6 Cups Blackberries
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
6.75 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Place berries in a large bowl. Drizzle with juice; toss. Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons flour to berry mixture; toss to combine. Arrange berry mixture evenly in a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon 6.75 ounces flour (about 1 1/2 cups) into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 6.75 ounces flour, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and baking powder in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and butter in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating just until combined.

4. Spread batter evenly over berry mixture; sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until topping is golden and filling is bubbly.

Do you have fresh produce right now?  What do you love to make with it?

With love from my country kitchen,

3 comments:

Whitney Pendell said...

Yum! I've been frying the squash and zucchini I've picked up at the local produce stand...but I need to try your unfried fried green tomatoes!

Denise said...

They taste great done using this method!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to try it with some of our over-abundant squash, both yellow and zucchini. I used a very similar recipe to fry these and green tomatoes, too, so this should be even better!