Friday, August 31, 2012

Pulled Pork Tostado

Ok, not everyone has a container of homemade pulled pork in their freezer.  The last time I made pulled pork for a crowd, I made 18 lbs. of pork and put away a container for pulled pork nachos.   Tonight I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner and remembered the hidden container.  Since pulled pork nachos is is not an acceptable dinner, I created a pulled pork tostada.  All the ingredients were piled high on a toasted whole wheat flatbread beginning with arugula, a corn salsa with tomatoes from the garden, pulled pork (see link to recipe below), bbq sauce, more salsa, goat cheese and avocado slices.  Oh my, the husband was quite surprised.  Yes, this was a simple weeknight dinner that came together quickly because of my hidden container, but the tangy pulled pork, creaminess of the cheese and avocado, and brightness of the fresh salsa made this tostada a winner.  

Pulled Pork Tostada

2 cups of pulled pork
1 cup of arugula
1/4 cup goat cheese, broken into pieces
3 whole wheat flatbreads
1/2 sliced avocado
1 cup of tomatoes, I used a mixture of grape and chopped whole
1 fresh cob of corn, kernels cut from cob
Juice from 1/2 of lime
1 tsp. of olive oil
1 tablespoon of chopped red onion
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degree. Make the salsa by chopping grape tomatoes into quarters and regular tomatoes into the same size pieces, add fresh corn kernels, red onion, lime juice, olive oil, S&P.  Set aside. Toast the flatbreads in a non-stick pan over medium heat until lightly browned on both sides.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, place the 3 toasted flatbreads on a sheet pan, divide the arugula, 1/2 the salsa, pulled pork, bbq sauce, remaining salsa, goat cheese between the three flatbreads.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and add the avocado slices to the top and serve.  The easiest way to eat this tostada is with a knife and fork.

Serves 2-3

Friday, August 24, 2012

NYC Meat Packing District

This photo was taken in NYC with my iPhone. I tweaked it with Instagram and love it's surreal feeling.  Enjoy your weekend.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup

When planning my garden this spring, I took into consideration my vacation in late July.  My friends and neighbors love it when everything peaks while I'm away, but by planting a little later I get to reap the bounty and also share with everyone.  The garden did very well this year with just the right amount of sun, rain and an extra 4 feet of fencing to keep the deer out.   Since Scarlett my Golden passed, she no longer protects the yard from deer and other salad seeking critters.

This recipe includes pickling cucumbers which are by far my favorite cucumber.  They are not just for pickling, their flavor, small seeds, and crispness make them perfect for salads and soups.  Today I used them in a chilled avocado cucumber soup.  This chilled soup was delicious and perfect for an August lunch. Do not forget the adds the perfect crunch to this soup.

Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup

2 pickling cucumbers (or cucumber of your choice), peeled and cut into chunks, dice 1 tablespoon for garnish.
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks, a few thin slices for garnish
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup dill - chopped - save some for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped and seeded poblano pepper (or hot pepper of your choice) 
1 cup of greek yogurt 0%
1 cup ice water
2 tsp of salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper

In the food processor pulse cucumbers, avocado, lemon zest and juice, dill, and poblano pepper until blended.  Add yogurt, water and blend until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and blend again.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Garnish with finely chopped cucumber and dill, a small thin slice of avocado and a half of grape tomato sliced.   

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Block Island, RI

These are a few of my favorite pictures taken on hikes on Block Island.  I must warn you that it's not the place to go... beaches are rocky, water is cold, and it's hard to get to.  That's what we tell everyone so it remains the unspoiled paradise we love.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Corn and Zucchini Pancakes with Yogurt Sauce

Today the corn and tomatoes at the Farmer's Market were perfect, which isn't unusual for NJ in August.  I had already picked the perfect zucchini from my garden at lunch and was thinking about corn and zucchini pancakes to go along with fresh tomatoes with pesto and grilled chicken.  The simple batter came together quickly with ingredients I had on hand and adding a little lemon zest gave the pancake a bright flavor along with the tangy yogurt sauce.  These savory pancakes were truly the star of my summer dinner.  

Corn and Zucchini Pancakes with Yogurt Sauce - Makes 8 pancakes

Pancake Batter

1 medium zucchini - grated on a large hole grater
1 fresh ear of corn - kernels cut from cob
1 tablespoon red onion grated
1 small clove of garlic minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
3 tablespoons of flour
1 tablespoon ground corn meal
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon of julienned basil
1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt & pepper

Mix first seven ingredients together with a spatular in a bowl.  Stir in flour and corn meal until blended. Add chives, basil, lemon zest and salt and pepper.  Let batter sit for a few minutes.  Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium flame.  Pour 2 tablespoons of batter into pan and flatten tops with a spatular.  Cook for two minutes and flip pancakes, cook for two more minutes or until batter is cooked through.  They should be lightly browned on each side.  Keep pancakes warm in a 200 degree oven and repeat by spraying pan and cooking the rest of the batter.


1/4 cup low fat greek yogurt
1 tablespoon low fat mayo
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon of sugar

Mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve.