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Archive for September, 2009

This summer, we did many things.

We ate a lot of ice cream. There are quite a few ice cream shoppes in our neighborhood. I am not complaining. This is a photo taken at the Bombay Ice Creamery.
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We had picnics at Dolores Park, and got to watch an outdoor movie there one night. They were showing Amelie.
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We saw the Warhol exhibit at the de Young museum. After our visit, I couldn’t get The Velvet Underground’s music out of my head.
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We walked along the Marina, and watched people sunbathe and kitesurf.
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We rode the wooden roller coaster at the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk, and went searching for the sea lions at the pier. They like to sunbathe, too.
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We hiked along coastal trails,
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and in the Sierras, where we camped underneath the stars.
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We met up with friends in Seattle and kayaked through the San Juan islands. It was an amazing adventure. We saw so much wildlife — porpoises, seals, jellyfish, starfish, crab, heron, bats, bald eagles, deer, and a little mouse who stole goodies from our frying pan after dinner.
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Lastly, we enjoyed the bounty that summer had to offer with weekly trips to the local farmers’ market.
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And with that, I will leave you with photos and recipes from a summer supper we made. Original recipes from here and here.

Heirloom tomatoes
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Sticky Balsamic Ribs
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Corn and Tomato Scramble
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It may be fall already, but I believe that any season is a season for ribs. I will surely miss the tomatoes, though — they will be around for only a little while longer.

Heirloom Tomatoes (We had this at a restaurant some time ago as an appetizer. It is so easy to prepare and so delicious.)
Serves 4

4 medium-sized tomatoes, sliced at a quarter-inch thick or less. Arrange on platter and drizzle over with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a sprinkling of salt and grated, thin pieces of parmesan.

Sticky Balsamic Ribs
Serves 8

For ribs
8 large garlic cloves
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon cayenne
8 lb baby back pork ribs (We used 3 racks, about 2 lb each)
1 cup water

For glaze
2 cups hot water
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

Marinate and roast ribs:

* Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 1 tsp salt. Stir together with rosemary, brown sugar, vinegar, cayenne, 1 Tbsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Rub evenly all over ribs and transfer to roasting pans. Marinate, chilled, 8 to 24 hours.
* Preheat oven to 425°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
* Pour 1/2 cup water into each roasting pan and tightly cover pans with foil. Roast ribs, switching position of pans halfway through, until meat is very tender, about 1 3/4 hours. Remove pans from oven and transfer ribs to a platter.

Make glaze and grill ribs:

* Add 1 cup hot water to each roasting pan and scrape up brown bits. Skim off and discard fat, then transfer liquid to a 10-inch skillet. Add vinegar and brown sugar and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil until reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
* Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium heat for gas). We used the oven, since we do not have a grill. We put the ribs under the broiler for a few minutes at the very end.
* Brush some of glaze onto both sides of racks of ribs. Grill, turning occasionally, until ribs are hot and grill marks appear, about 6 minutes.
* Brush ribs with more glaze and serve remaining glaze on the side.

Corn and Tomato Scramble
Serves 4

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar (I used what I had — red wine vinegar)
3/4 lb tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped, keeping white parts and greens separate
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
corn kernels from 4 ears of corn

Whisk together oil, vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, and some pepper. Toss tomatoes with dressing.
While tomatoes marinate, cook white parts of scallions in butter with some salt and pepper in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add corn and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool. Stir together corn, tomatoes, and scallion greens.

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