Zucchini Fritters

Serving these with sriracha sauce adds a tasty twist. We think the leftovers are as good (maybe better) cold the next day.

2 cups zucchini, grated
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 T cornstarch
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T finely chopped onion
1 large egg, beaten
black pepper, to taste
2 T olive oil

Place grated zucchini in a colander over the sink. Add salt and toss to combine; let sit for 30 minutes to drain. Then Press in paper towels to remove more moisture.

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, flour, Parmesan, garlic and egg; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Scoop tablespoons of batter for each fritter and cook until the underside is nicely golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side, about 1-2 minutes longer. Makes 6-8 fritters. Serve immediately with sriracha sauce.


Pickled Watermelon Salad


3 1/2 c. water
2/3 c. sugar
1 T salt
1 c. cider vinegar
2 T fresh dill weed chopped
½ tsp minced garlic
2 dashes cayenne
1 tsp. black peppercorns
2 tsp mustard seeds

1 small round watermelon, rind removed, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 16 cups)

Garnish: Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley

Combine brine ingredients: water, sugar, salt, vinegar, dill, garlic, cayenne, peppercorns and mustard seeds, in small saucepan and simmer 30 minutes. Strain and cool.

Clean and cut watermelon. Place in a 1-gallon jar (or use two, 2-qt canning jars). Pour strained brine over watermelon to cover, and chill for about an hour. Drain and serve topped with fresh chopped, flat leaf parsley (In our family, we like cilantro.) Makes 1 gallon of salad.

Variation: Mix in chunks of fresh pineapple

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

A 4th of July favorite.

PULLED PORK for Sandwiches
(Serves 6)

3 lbs. pork butt or shoulder roast
½ c. finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 rib celery, thinly sliced, or ½ tsp celery seeds
2 T Nadia’s Spicy Paprika (see below)
3 T brown sugar
1 tsp oregano
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 tsp. ground sage
3/4 cup water
Fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley

Trim excess fat and brown the roast on all sides in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan. Transfer meat to a slow cooker. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup water. To the pan, add onion, garlic, and celery and simmer until wilted. Add to the slow-cooker along with spicy paprika, brown sugar, oregano, dried onion and sage.

Cook in slow-cooker on high setting 5-7 hours or until the pork is tender and can be pulled apart with a fork.

We like to make the sandwiches with our favorite crusty buns. I top mine with fresh cilantro, Chuck uses flat leaf parsley. Serve with Coleslaw, potato salad or baked beans.

Poultry, Pork and Fish Seasoning

1 cup Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru)
(a mildly hot, sweet, smoky chili powder product available at specialty food stores, sometimes translated and labeled red pepper powder)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 Tablespoon Knorr Chicken Bouillon Powder

Combine all ingredients. Pulse in blender if there are any lumps. Place in a shaker container and store in a cool dry cupboard. Sprinkle generously on poultry, fish, pork, even pasta and vegetables. This seasoning is not spicy hot, it is mild. Some Korean chili powders are hotter than others. Find a brand you like if you want to be consistent with this recipe.

Aronia Berry Jelly

On the off-chance your jelly doesn’t fully set; no problem. You’ll have pancake syrup.
Aronia berry, also called black chokeberry, makes great jelly. here’s how to do it.

3-1/2 cups chokeberry juice from fresh picked fruit
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 oz. or 1 package of pectin (1/4 c. dry powdered)
6 cups sugar

Wash fruit, remove stems and sticks and cover with water, simmer 15 minutes. Strain the juice.

Powdered pectin method: Pour measured amount into a 6-8 quart non-reactive kettle such as enamel or stainless steel. Add lemon juice, pectin and stir. Bring to a boil, add sugar, stir, and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil exactly two minutes. Skim and pour into clean, hot jars. Seal and store refrigerated (or process in a water bath for 10-minutes and then store in a cool dry place).

If using liquid pectin, substitute a 3 oz. pouch instead of the 2 oz. pkg. of powdered pectin. Also if using liquid pectin, add it to the pot only after the juice and sugar mixture comes to a full boil. Then boil for 2 minutes, put into jars, and process.

Do not make more than a double batch. It may take a day or two to fully set up. Yields: 4 pints.

Rhubarb Orange Jam

This recipe from Ball Blue Book is a family favorite in our house.

(From Ball Blue Book of Preserving)
Yield: 7 half-pints

2 ½ lbs. rhubarb, diced
2 oranges
1 pkg powdered pectin (1.75 oz.)
6 cups sugar

Squeeze juice from oranges. Measure juice, adding water if needed, to make 1 cup; set aside. Remove white pith from one-half of orange peel. Cut peel into slivers.

Combine orange peel, orange juice, and rhubarb in a large saucepot. Simmer covered about 3 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender. Stir in powdered pectin. Bring to a boil. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved.

Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.

Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch head space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10-minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Yellow Crazy Cake with Strawberries

(No eggs or milk needed, this is a nice, easy little half-sized cake for a small household.)

1 ½ cups + 3 T all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan or glass baking dish.

Mix together all dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix together the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Immediately pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until relatively smooth. It’s okay if there are a few small lumps. Work quickly and pour into baking dish.

Bake for 35-37 minutes or until top springs back when pressed lightly with fingertip.

Top with your favorite frosting or serve with berries and whipped cream.

You can double this recipe for a 9×13-inch pan.


Chocolate Truffle Dessert Cups

Extra special and extra chocolate-y.

½ c. cocoa
¼ cup cornstarch
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 ½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Whipped cream
Shortbread cookies (your favorite)
Walnut halves (optional)

Mix cocoa, cornstarch, beaten egg yolks; sugar, salt and vanilla. Then add milk gradually, while stirring in a pot over med-high heat (or use a double boiler).

Cook pudding until thickened. Towards the end, your pudding will look lumpy and uneven, but if you alternate whisking and stirring vigorously, it will smooth to silky perfection. Cool for 10 minutes, and spoon into fancy tea cups with matching saucers.

Chill well. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, a walnut half and two shortbread cookies. In each cup, place one cookie angled upright in the dessert and one on each saucer.

This tastes like the creamy center filling of your favorite chocolate truffles.  Serves 8.