Tag Archives | Summer 2011 Recipes


  • 6–8 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar, preferably balsamic
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1–2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 ounces pitted Kalamata olives
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Place the sliced tomatoes in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Add the vinegar, olive oil, salt, thyme, pepper and garlic powder, then secure the lid and shake gently to mix. Marinate at least four hours. When ready to serve, fan the tomatoes in a circle to cover the outermost portion of a round serving platter. Place the olives in the center and sprinkle the feta over the tomatoes. Reserve the marinade to use as tomato vinaigrette dressing.

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PANZANELLA (Summer Bread and Tomato Salad)

  • 60 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large purple onion, quartered and sliced
  • ½ pound day-old Tuscan bread, cut into half-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 60 basil leaves, torn

Toss all the ingredients except the basil in a large bowl. Let rest 30 minutes at room temperature, then fold in the basil and serve.

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Meredith Compton, Owner
Peaceful Valley Orchards, Pittstown

My mom has been making this muffin recipe for many years. She originally used blueberries but when my husband and I started our own orchard over ten years ago she changed the blueberries for Jersey Fresh peaches. This recipe is also a personal favorite of our farm manager, Renee, who cannot get enough of these muffins when peaches are in season.

  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed Jersey Fresh peaches (must be ripe)


  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease muffin tins or use paper muffin liners. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk and melted butter until well blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just blended. Fold in the peaches.
  2. Fill muffin cups with batter. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of nutmeg and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle on top of muffins. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until your cake tester or toothpick comes out dry.


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Evelyn Penza, Owner/Chef
Penza’s Pies at the Red Barn Cafe, Hammonton

We love to highlight all things South Jersey. This pie is traditionally an Italian Easter pie but, by adding fruit to the ricotta, we Americanize it as well as give it seasonal flavor. Since Hammonton is so notably blueberry country, we like to use the blueberry in this recipe, but other berries and peaches also work well. [Editor’s note: Pie crust should be prepared ahead. This recipe makes two pies but can easily be halved for just one.]

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 3 generous cups ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional)


  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  1. Beat eggs and sugar together, then add the light cream and ricotta. Fold in the orange rind, lemon juice, flour, salt and, if desired, Grand Marnier until blended. Pour ricotta mixture into two 9-inch pie crusts (or one pre-crusted oblong baking dish). Top with blueberries.
  2. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 60–70 minutes. (Note: temperature should be dropped 50 degrees after the crust begins to brown.). Pie is finished when an inserted toothpick comes out clean or the mixture no longer jiggles.


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Chasing Chiles book Recipe adapted from Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail (Chelsea Green, 2011) by Kurt Michael Friese, Kraig Kraft, and Gary Paul Nabhan. In addition to being an author and chef, Friese is the editor and publisher of Edible Iowa River Valley.

Ceviche is one of the dishes that has as many varieties as it has cooks, cuisines and cultures.Not only is it popular throughout the southern half of this hemisphere, it is beloved across the northern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and Polynesia.

Although it is never heated, the fish is nonetheless fully cooked.The proteins are broken down by citric acid instead of heat, through a process called denaturation, which “cooks” the fish or shellfish, tenderizing it and adding flavor at the same time.While it’s quick to prepare, it does need to be made a little in advance, since the effect that the citric acid has on the seafood can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours, depending on which fish or shellfish you choose and how it is cut. Nearly any type of seafood will work, but the most popular ceviches are made with flaky whitefish, shrimp and/or scallops.The recipe below is for a simple one, but once you understand the technique, the limits are only those of imagination.

  • 1 pound scallops, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 shallot, julienned
  • ½ cup julienned roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 orange, supremed (remove the segments from between the piths, so they look like the canned mandarin type)
  1. To clean the scallops, rinse them thoroughly in cold water, drain, then inspect each one for a small, tough, extra piece of flesh clinging to the side of the cylindrical form of the scallop. This is called the foot and should be removed, as it is tough and chewy.Then simply pat each scallop dry on a paper towel and slice across the grain into little “coins.”
  2. Mix the scallops with the rest of the ingredients and let sit, refrigerated, for at least an hour (or to taste), stirring often to coat scallops with citrus juice. Serve as a salad or appetizer, or even as a garnish for grilled fish. (Serves 4–6).
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Chasing Chiles book Recipe adapted from Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail (Chelsea Green, 2011) by Kurt Michael Friese, Kraig Kraft, and Gary Paul Nabhan. In addition to being an author and chef, Friese is the editor and publisher of Edible Iowa River Valley.

Xnipek is one of the salsas collectively referred to as pico de gallo, or “beak of the chicken,” a reference either to the size of the chopped ingredients or to chicken feed. It’s made of many ingredients chopped together to form more of a relish than a sauce (or salsa).This favorite rendition includes the unique addition of fresh cabbage, which adds another layer of flavor and crunch.

The name “xnipek” (prounced SHNEE-peck) comes from the Mayan language and means “dog’s nose.” Unappetizing as that might sound at first, rest assured there is no dog in the recipe. It’s simply a reference to this salsa’s heat level. Hot chiles can cause the nose to run, thus the metaphor.

  • ½ cup green cabbage, chopped or shredded
  • 2 fresh habanero chiles, seeded and minced (you could substitute any chile, but you’d lose the right to call it “genuine”)
  • 2 medium-ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup fresh-squeezed bitter orange juice (or use the facsimile below, but stick with fresh)
  • 3–4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Soak the cabbage in ice water for an hour or so to make it crispy. Drain and dry thoroughly using a salad spinner or paper towels.
  2. Toss the cabbage together with the habaneros, tomatoes, onion and bitter orange juice. Let stand at room temperature for a couple of hours, or in the refrigerator overnight, then add the fresh chopped cilantro right before service. (Yields approximately 2 cups.)

Makeshift Bitter Orange Juice

Combine, in a 2:1:1 ratio, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, orange juice and lime juice. Let stand for an hour. It will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 day.

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David C. Felton, Executive Chef, Ninety Acres

One of my favorite quick summer recipes
using all the herbs from my garden.

  • 4 five-ounce fillets yellowtail snapper
  • 4 red or yellow summer tomatoes
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 bulb fresh fennel
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 leaves fresh basil
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves picked
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced very thin
  • 4 pieces parchment paper, 18” x 18”

For the vegetables:

Slice potatoes a quarter-inch thick. Blanch in boiling, seasoned water until al dente. Drain and keep warm. Slice tomatoes one-half inch thick. Set aside. Slice fennel a quarter-inch thick. Blanch the fennel in boiling, seasoned water until al dente. Drain and keep warm.

For the fish:

Season the fillets on each side with salt and pepper and set aside.

To assemble:

Lay the 4 parchment papers out flat on a worktable. Brush each with olive oil from edge to edge. Shingle one tomato (all of its slices) on the lower center portion of each paper. Season tomato slices with salt and pepper and sprinkle an even amount of herbs on the tomatoes. Next spread sliced potatoes on top of the tomatoes. Season them and sprinkle with herbs also. Sprinkle the blanched fennel and sliced garlic over the potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil. Place a fillet of fish on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle remaining herbs over the fish. Brush fish with olive oil. Seal the parchment paper by folding the top edge to meet the bottom edge. Starting with the right corner edge, fold and crimp the extending papers every inch or so until the entire open paper edges have been sealed. Bake in a 350° preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven to a plate and serve. Let guests open packages themselves to reveal the pleasant aromas of the fish and vegetables baked inside. (Serves 4)

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Hop Over beer cocktail
Photograph: Paul Temmerman

Beer cocktails are all the rage.
Here’s one recipe that shows why.


I was sitting on my porch, having a nice cold beer, thinking about what to write about for this summer cocktail column. My beer happened to be one of the fantastic local Jersey brews. And, there you have it: beer cocktail time!

Beer cocktails have become the new craze lately—and for good reason. The great aromatics that come with beer add wonderful layers to cocktails (not to mention an invigorating fizz!).

There are many high-quality New Jersey microbrews, giving those of us who live in the Garden State no excuse to quaff anything but local barleys. They also serve as the ideal ingredient for this cocktail, which I call the Hop Over. In this drink, the flavors journey around in the mouth and blend together into a refreshing new experience.



pilsner glass
bar spoon
bar jiggers with .5-ounce, .75-ounce, and 1-ounce measurements

  • There are numerous sizes of jiggers out there and you need a few for the home bar. It is important to have .5-ounce, .75-ounce, 1-ounce and 2-ounce measures. Measure everything. A quarter-ounce difference will throw off the balance of the drink. And a good cocktail is all about balance.


fresh lemon juice
orange flower water

  • Orange flower water, often used in baking, is a key ingredient in some classic cocktails.You can find it in Middle Eastern grocery stores, and, of course, online.

a nice hoppy IPA (India Pale Ale)

  • I’ve used both the Hopnotic IPA from Cricket Hill Brewery (Fairfield, NJ) and the Hopfish IPA from Flying Fish Brewing Co. (Cherry Hill,NJ) in this cocktail and loved them both. IPAs are important in this recipe, because the hops add a nice bitterness along with aromatics that are crucial to this cocktail. Also, there is a nice fruitiness in the beer that adds a roundness to the mid-palate.

Bols Genever

  • Genever has been around for a long time. It is a delicious, malty aromatic spirit that is experiencing a much-deserved comeback. It is actually the predecessor of gin. Jerry Thomas, considered the father of the cocktail, used genever in his late-19th-century classic bartender’s guide; in the 1880s, genever outsold gin by six to one in the United States. There are a few genevers available today, and hopefully there will soon be more. Bols was one of the originators in the 1600s and I like the balance of their product. Anchor Distillery in San Francisco puts out Genevieve, a genever-style gin which is an American take on the spirit, and quite nice as well.

Velvet Falernum

  • Falernum is a sweet syrup and a key ingredient used in tiki and Caribbean cocktails. It has hints of almond, ginger, lime, vanilla and allspice. You can make your own (there are many recipes on the Internet), or use one of the popular brands. I like John D.Taylor’s Velvet Falernum.

lemon wedge for garnish


Build the cocktail in a pilsner glass. Add .5 ounce fresh lemon juice. Add .75 ounce Velvet Falernum. Add 1 ounce Bols Genever. Add 2–3 dashes orange flower water. Add 6 ounces IPA, a nice hoppy one. (Since a 12- ounce bottle of beer is good for two cocktails, you can make one for a friend while you’re at it.) Give the drink a little stir, and fill the glass with ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

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