So, what's your favorite burrito filling? While I'm sometimes tempted towards chile verde or pulled pork, I usually pick the spicy shredded chicken.
No need to go out for this though, it's easy to make at home, especially with a slow cooker! 10 minutes prep, slow cook for hours, then shred with a couple of forks. Perfect for tacos, burritos, tostadas, tamales, or even a taco salad.
What's your go-to quick midweek meal? Mine often involves angel hair pasta, because it cooks in only 3 minutes. My other standby is shrimp, which also cooks almost as fast.
In this Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp we are using both, and tossing them with quickly cooked fresh tomatoes (that's the "pomodoro" part), garlic, and basil. You could use canned tomatoes, but if tomatoes are in season, and they are ripe and juicy, you can use them with hardly any extra time.
There are certain routines in our family for which I am unendingly grateful. One is that at the dinner table there is always a green vegetable of some sort. I may not have loved some veggies as a child, but as an adult, I crave them. If not for the fact that the other members of my family love their greens too, I could easily eat an entire serving bowl of pretty much any of the veggies that regularly grace our table.
Have you ever had mulligatawny? Best soup ever! It's basically a curry soup, most often made with chicken, vegetables, apples, and rice. Not only is it absolutely delicious, it's the perfect example of how one culture acquires food from another, and adapts it to their own taste.
Please forgive the exalted name of this simple dish. Like its black-eyed pea cousin Texas caviar, "eggplant caviar" has nothing to do with salty sturgeon eggs.
It is so named I suppose for several reasons. You place a dollop of it on a cracker to eat, it has somewhat of a tiny bumpy texture, and the taste is exquisite. It's not remotely fancy, but one can pretend, right?
My sweetheart came over to my parents the other day for dinner. He wasn't exactly thrilled when he heard we were having meatloaf, and insisted on taking only a very small piece. All that changed the minute he took his first bite. (You should have seen the expression on his face—that look of amazement? priceless.)
September Newsletter and Announcing Simply Recipes Meal Plans
Is it me, or did our summer just whiz by? Labor Day is our last hurrah for the season. (Though doesn’t it seem odd that most kids have already been back at school for weeks?)
Right about now we start to notice the shift from summer to autumn here in Sacramento. The sun sets earlier. A breeze arrives to cool things off at night which makes it downright pleasant in the morning. Tomatoes that stopped growing entirely in the heat of August have come alive again, as happy with the weather as we are.
September is a great month for produce! Apples, eggplants, tomatoes, tomatillos, green chiles, basil, figs, green beans, and peppers are all in season. My parents’ apple trees are so full with Fujis and Granny Smiths my father has had to prop the trees up to keep the branches from breaking.
If you happen to stop by my parents’ house? Good luck leaving without a bagful of something—apples, figs, plums.
We’re using up the last of our garden tomatoes. This Baked Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Garlic only needs 10 minutes of hands on time and goes great with hot buttered noodles. The dish creates a lot of juice from the chicken and tomatoes, which you can either reduce or use as a dipping sauce for crusty bread.
By the way, if you ever wondered what fruits and vegetables are in season when, here’s a Seasonal Produce Guide by Russ Parsons of the LA Times. The guide is geared to Southern California, but much of it will work for other parts of the U.S. If you have a question about what’s in season in your area, ask your grocery store’s produce manager. I always find them to be helpful.
According to my friend Mary Egan, the founder of Gatheredtable, “If you don’t plan, you don’t cook.” Or at least not as often you could. Meal planning helps make home cooking a habit. Planning will not only help you eat better (healthy home cooking instead of take-out), you’ll save money too, by not buying a bunch of ingredients that you don’t end up using.
The Gatheredtable service makes menu planning easy. You get four menu plans per week, which you can easily customize. Once you’ve set your plan, Gatheredtable generates a shopping list for you. You can keep track of your favorite recipes with the service too. Here’s the Gatheredtable page with more information, including a video showing how the service works. Please take it for a whirl and let me know what you think!
Finally, my sweetheart and I are headed off to France at the end of this month. He’s from Provence which is where we are going. It will be my first trip to Provence, and our first trip to France together. I hope to return with new ideas for Mediterranean inspired recipes to share with you.
Stay safe, cook and eat well, and have a great September.
P.S. For those of you who replied to my last email, thank you, I love hearing from you, keep in touch!
Hi, I’m Elise! Here are some updates from Simply Recipes.