Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Set the Table! Summer's Coming!

Mother Nature is being her usual bitchy self - it is mid-60s here with "overcast" or "marine layer" or ?  It's May Gray leading into June Gloom.  Yo, Ma,you get too fat to wear a bikini?   We can take it.  You do this every year.

But:  undaunted we have hope that it will warm up and toward those happy days - when we don't have to stand around a barbecue pretending to be interested in what's on the grill (but secretly just getting warm at the fire) here are some dishes.  Richie made this last night:

HUNGARIAN CUCUMBER SALAD - New York Cookbook by Molly O'NeilI
6 medium cucumbers, peeled and diced
1/4 cup salt (Horrors!)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 T red wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1/4 cup plus 2 T vegetable oil (olive is fine)
1 large red onion, diced
2 T fresh dill, minced - we didn't have any and didn't miss it.
2 teas. sweet paprika - enter the "Hungarian" part.

Mix it all up, chill and serve.

TUNA MACARONI SALAD
1 can tuna - oil or water-packed, your choice - drained and dumped in a bowl and flaked
1 medium red onion, diced
8 to 10 pimento-stuffed olives, chopped
Stir together and add enough mayonnaise to coat all of the macaroni - how much macaroni you cook depends on the number of people you plan to serve this dish to.  Warm macaroni "eats" or sops up mayonnaise like Grant took Richmond.  Make it the day before you're going to serve it and add mayo as needed when you do.

Summer kitchens are hot.  Avoid some of the heat by buying pre-cooked bacon.  This is something of a misnomer because you have to give it 20 seconds in the microwave before it's usable and the bacon we're used to seeing.

I made scallops with orange marmalade sauce and chopped bacon last night.  Saut√© the sea scallops in butter, remove them and let them exude their juice in a plate.  Add more butter to the pan, take about 1 T orange marmalade and swirl it around, mixing well, Arrange scallops and sauce over toasted bread quarters and garnish with bacon.

Pre-cooked bacon also makes a quick bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado sandwich.

Or my current favorite - a chipotle chicken and bacon with chipotle mayonnaise sandwich.

You're bringing the deviled eggs?  Mainstay of many a summer buffet?  Here's how to pack them if you don't have a dedicated deviled egg platter. BTW, deviled egg platters don't travel well.  The plastic wrap over them to keep them from sliding off of said platter smears up the pretty eggs.  

Open an empty egg carton, line it with a loose sheaf of plastic wrap, making sure you have enough to cover the egg tops and nestle each egg half in the holes.  Close the lid and shut with a rubber band on either end of the carton.  When the eggs are gone (nanoseconds usually) toss the egg carton and plastic wrap.   H/T to Hints from Heloise.  ,


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