Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15, 2011

I love farmers' markets! 'Tis the season for search them out and buy local, fresh ingredients!!! On Thursday I had the perfect amount of time to run over to one while Hannah was at her French horn lesson. We picked up some gorgeous zucchini, onions, red potatoes, grape tomatoes, and white flesh peaches. I had already decided on a dinner meal that included the onions and zucchini, and Owen and I love snacking on grape tomatoes. The peaches were perfect for a tart recipe I found while on vacation visiting my parents.

My mother makes these fabulous zucchini "boats". They are scrumptious! She just eyeballs everything, whether she is cooking them for 2 people or 12, so no true recipe previously existed for these. I made 2 (resulting in 4 "boats"), and measured out what I added in. I've listed the rough recipe here, but feel absolutely free to take liberty with it and use this simply as inspiration if you like!

The main course, braised herb chicken with potatoes, was voted a keeper by all of us, though we also agreed it seemed to be more of a winter, or at least autumnal, meal. So, perhaps bookmark this one and come back and make it in the fall. Or, if it looks good to you, go ahead and try it now! We loved the flavors of it, and it did pair nicely with the zucchini boats.

The peach tart was more time intensive than I expected and required some babysitting. The temperature of the oven changed part way through, and later you add the streusel topping; over the course of it cooking you have to set the timer 4 times! It turned out pretty well, but the crust was a little darker than I would have liked. It required too much work and turned out ordinary results; therefore it does not qualify for keeper status.

Hit your local farmers' market this week!

New Recipes
Braised Herb Chicken with Potatoes
Zucchini Boats

Braised herb chicken with potatoes


* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons paprika
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups (2-inch-thick) slices carrot
* 2 medium onions, each cut into 8 wedges
* 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered


1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal bag, shaking to coat. Store in the fridge if not cooking right away.
2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
3. Add chicken and remaining flour mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly brown.
4. Add carrot and onion; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Add broth, wine, and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.

You can use chicken thighs in this as well, so if you have those on hand, substitute these for the chicken breasts.

We served this with crusty French bread, but you could serve with egg noodles or rice. The braising liquid would be great as a sauce!

Zucchini Boats

Ingredients (as an inspiration - tweak this if you'd like!)

2 zucchini
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 - 1/2 tsp thyme
dash paprika


1. Boil the zucchini for about 5 to 6 minutes, then put them in an ice bath to stop cooking.
2. When cool, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Remove the flesh of the zucchini; chop the flesh and reserve.
3. Over medium to medium high heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Cook the shallot and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add the reserved zucchini, breadcrumb, Parmesan and thyme. Mix until well combined and hot.
4. Fill the empty zucchini boats with the filling. Sprinkle the boats with paprika. Pop them under the broiler for a few minutes, or into the toaster oven for a few minutes, or into an oven at 450 F. Keep an eye on just want them to brown a little on the top. Maybe 5 -7 minutes.

A grapefruit spoon works really well to remove the flesh, do give it a try if you have one. Now you have another use for that spoon! If you don't have a grapefruit spoon - borrow one of mine (we have 4), or simply use a paring knife and spoon. :)