Monday, July 27, 2009

My Herb Garden

Now that summer is in full swing (and I just got a job), I'm not doing any cooking that's too fancy but I am using the herbs from my garden and absolutely LOVING them. I have made a sauce using a large handful of various herbs blended into some yogurt that is really good. The first time I made it I used thyme, tarragon, rosemary, parsley, basil, and oregano - a lot of strong flavors that for some reason really worked together. I just pureed them in a food processor and added some plain yogurt with some salt and pepper. I used that sauce on both grilled salmon and grilled vegetables.
Another time I went heavy on the tarragon and omitted the rosemary and basil. I put that sauce on some pan-fried halibut - delish.
I tried another fresh herb sauce that was kind of a chimichurri but with an Asian flair. I used mint, Thai basil, chives, and lemon balm chopped up with some garlic and mixed in some olive oil. It was a nice sauce on some pork that I marinaded in a store bought Asian marinade (the horror)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Farmer's Market

Over the fourth of July, I went to a Farmer's Market in New Buffalo, Michigan that had some great buys. I think many of the farms in that area supply produce to the Chicago area farmer's markets also. We got some really good corn on the cob, fresh peas, and zucchini. Corn on the cob is pretty easy to cook. I usually put it in the pot with cold water and bring it all to a boil for one minute. Piece of cake. I also like to make a little extra corn to cut off of the cob and use for salads (which we had the next day and was excellent).
The great buy at this particular market was the fresh peas. In Chicago they charge $5 for a pint (and I still buy them because they are so good) but here they were only $2. I like to boil them in some water for a couple minutes, drain them and add some butter and a little chopped fresh mint. Of course I add a little salt and pepper and pretty much any other herb will work well if you do not like mint.