Friday, July 23, 2010

A day in my pouch

The past few days have been AWESOME. Absolutely beautiful weather. 80°'s and dry versus last week's 100°F+ and sticky. This is the Southern California I know and love. My tomato harvest is in full swing. It is a great year. Thankfully the gnarly heat last week didn't seem to do any damage. Every morning I'm getting about this many.

After I picked the tomatoes and watered the garden I nuked a couple of leftover pancakes.

Breakfast: Leftover "Ricottage" Pancakes. They heat up really well out of the fridge. I just nuke them for 25 seconds and seriously it is like you just made them. They will also freeze well between sheets of wax paper. Defrost in fridge, then nuke.

Lunch: Most of the tomatoes I picked in the morning became this salad.

Shelly's Tuna Caprese Salad

1 can Tuna Fillets, packed in Olive Oil, drained (I use Roland Ventresca Tuna Fillets)
2 cups Homegrown, Just Picked Tomatoes
1/2 cup Fresh Mozzarella, chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped
dash of Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
A few twists of Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon of any Fruity Vinegar (Champagne, Orange, Lemon)

Mix all ingredients together till well combined.

Dinner: One thing the heat has affected in the garden are the lemons. They are dropping off the tree. I need to come up with some lemon recipes. Mmmm maybe a Sugar Free Lemon Curd. Oooh cooking experiment. I know what I'll be doing when insomnia strikes at 3 AM. Well I figure it's either cooking experiments or go broke buying stuff on infomercials. Though I have to say the Ultimate Rock Ballads CD Set by Time Life Music tempts me. That's 9 CD's, 153 unforgettable hits for just 5 easy payments of $29.99 but wait there's more... ;) Yeah I've seen that infomercial one too many times.

Anyway back to dinner... one fallen lemon helped make my variation on the traditional Italian dish, Chicken Piccata. Normally made with capers (which I dislike) I made it with green onions instead.

Shelly's Chicken Picatta

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced into 4 pieces and pounded flat
1/4 cup Multigrain Pancake Mix (I use this)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
1/4 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 cup White Wine
juice of one Lemon
3 Green Onions, chopped
Olive Oil for sauteing

Pound chicken breast pieces flat between plastic wrap. Mix pancake mix and seasonings in a flat dish (a pie plate works well) dredge pounded chicken to coat. Saute till golden on one side then flip. Add onions cook 1 minute. Add broth, wine (practically all the alcohol will cook out, not even lightweight post weight loss surgery peeps will catch a buzz on the chicken) and lemon juice. Simmer till sauce thickens and reduces by half and chicken is done.

I served it with a Summer Squash Casserole.

Our Farmer's Market has a great booth that sells oodles of different varieties of squash. Last week I picked up a few sunbursts and sundrops.

Shelly's Sunny Summer Squash Casserole

1 Yellow Onion, diced
4 Mushrooms, sliced
about 4 cups Summer Squash, sliced (any variety will do or yellow crookneck or regular zucchini too)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Storebought (or Homemade) Pesto Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons Durkee Onions (you know the Green Bean Casserole kind)

Saute onions and mushrooms till golden. Add squash. Cook till fork tender and slightly golden. Add pesto, garlic and seasonings. Mix to combine. Pour into a Pyrex casserole dish. In a sealed snack size Ziploc baggie mix/crush Parmesan and Durkee onions together. Sprinkle mixture on top of casserole. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Snacks: Oodles of Coffee and a scoop of my Black Cherry Fluff Stuff.

Have you made it yet? Do it. Soooo good. Between my Fluff Stuff, Iced Tea Lattes and Protein Ice Cream even the hottest summer days are bearable.


battynurse said...

That tomato salad looks yummy. The tuna fillet's I haven't seen around locally, does any type of tuna work with it?

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Thanks. It was yummy. Technically sure any tuna will work... but OMG I'd never have regular tuna again after ventresca tuna. It's from another universe good. Pricey but worth every single cent. The online source in the entry is a great price. Locally I can find it at Whole Foods and Barons.

LilyG said...

I don't know what it sells for out there, but this month it's on sale at our local deli.

I don't even LIKE raw tomatioes or mozarella and this is fantastic!

Theresa said...

Made the Chicken Cantini and Summer Squash tonight. Everyone raved. It was wonderful and amazingly simple! Thank you

Theresa said...

Ooops I meant Chicken Picatta