Green Beans with Butter and Toasted Almonds:
-Tip and tail 1 pound green beans.
-Place them in boiling water and cook about 3-4 minutes (they should be crisp when done).
-Drain and spread hot green beans out on a dish towel to dry (they’ll continue to cook and dry from the retained heat).
-Melt 1-2 Tbsp butter in a saute pan.
-Add ¼ cup slivered almonds and cook for about 1 minute over medium heat. Add the beans and toss.
-Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.
Grilled Summer Squash:
-Light your grill or barbeque.
-Cut 1 pound summer squash the long way into ½ inch thick slices.
-Rub or brush both sides of the squash with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
-Put the squash on the fire when its medium hot.
-Grill them turning once until the grill marks are visible, about 10 minutes.
-Transfer to a platter and drizzle with Balsamic vinegar and some chopped basil.
-Serve hot or at room temperature.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
-Put 2 pounds unpeeled diced potatoes and 6 cloves of garlic in a large saucepan.
-Cover with cold water and add 1 tsp salt.
-Boil until tender, about 15 minutes.
-Drain the potatoes, and then mash with a potato masher.
-Add a splash of cream or milk, and a few Tbsp butter.
-Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cucumber Salad with Chiles and Roasted Peanuts:
-Peel and halve 1-2 cucumbers and then scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon. Slice them and put them in a glass bowl.
-Slice 1 sweet onion into thin strips and add to the cukes.
-Cut one jalapeno pepper in half , scrape out the seeds and finely dice it. Add the pepper to the cukes.
-Finely chop ½ bunch of cilantro and add.
-In a small bowl combine the zest and juice of 2 limes, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, and 4 Tbsp roasted peanut oil.
-Toss the dressing with the cucumbers and add 1/3 cup of roasted peanuts. Toss again and serve.
Broccoli with Garlic and Penne:
-Make 1 pound of penne according to package directions.
-Saute 1 whole bulb of garlic in some olive oil for 3 min.
-Chop up 1 head of broccoli (or equivalent) and add to the garlic.
– Cook for 2 minutes and then add ½ cup chicken stock.
-Cook for 5 minutes more and then toss with the penne.
-Serve with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Tortilla Soup made with fresh Epazote:
-Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a lg. saucepan over medium heat. Add 4 coarsely chopped corn tortillas, 6 cloves minced garlic, and 1 Tbsp chopped Epazote. Saute until tortillas are soft.
– Add 1 cup shopped sweet onion, and 2 cups fresh or canned tomato puree. Bring to a boil.
-Add 1 Tbsp cumin powder, 2 tsp chili powder, 2 bay leaves, and 2 qts chicken stock. Bring back to boil, then reduce heat and simmer.
-Add salt and and cayenne pepper to taste and simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
– Pour soup into warm bowls, and garnish each with strips of cooked chicken breast, avocado, shredded cheese and crisp tortilla strips.
-Serve immediately. May be made in advance and gently reheated before serving. Serves 8-10.