Chopped Lettuce, Radish & Corn Salad with Preserved Meyer Lemon Dressing

I am still obsessed with the jar of preserved meyer lemon in olive oil that my cousin sent me in my birthday package. I can’t get enough of it. I want to put it on everything. I’ve been tempted to put it on ice cream and the closest I got was the Greek yogurt recipe that I posted the other day. It’s just addicting and makes a salad that much better, especially when that salad is topped with pork cracklins! Enjoy!

Chopped Salad

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, about 4 cups chopped
  • 1 corn on the cob, about 1 cup kernels
  • 2 radishes, diced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon preserved meyer lemon in olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pork cracklings also know as chiccarons or country cracklins, found in the refrigerated section, roughly chopped to the size of the corn kernels

Combine the preserved meyer lemon, olive oil, vinegar and black pepper. Stir well until combined. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, corn, radishes and the dressing together. Divide among 2 plates and top with the pork crackling crumbs. Serves 2.

Corn & Pumpkin Soup with Wild Rice

I am seriously in the Halloween spirit! As I recall, this is the earliest the house is decorated. There are faux spiders and mice all around the house. Dark tattered curtains adorn the windows, that only a true witch would approve off. And creepy faux spiderwebs are everywhere, they blend into the natural spiderwebs, that the house is rarely void off. (I love this time of year, the real spider webs are part of the decorations! ;) lol.) If you are in the spirit also, this is a great soup to make. This soup can be a little creepy looking, but it’s so fun and tasty. Late season corn makes this soup pleasantly sweet. If you want to skip the bugs-in-your-soup look, just serve without the wild rice. Either way it’s a treat!

  • 2 ears of corn or 2 cups of frozen corn
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • heaping tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 1-2 cloves
  • 1-2 allspice berries
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 oz. light cream
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vegeta or any all-purpose seasoning that you like
  • 2 cups wild rice, cooked

If using fresh corn, run a sharp knife down the cob, to remove the corn kernels. Do it carefully. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter and add the shallot, saute until soft. Add the corn, chicken broth, pumpkin, cloves, allspice and turmeric. Bring to a boil on high heat. Once brought to a boil, bring down to low heat and simmer for 55 minutes, covered. After the time is up, remove the cloves and allspice and discard. Stir in the cilantro and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Carefully, remove your pot off the stove and either use a blender or a hand immersion blender and puree the soup. It still ends up a little chunky. If you want, you can strain it through a cheesecloth, to get it silky smooth. Once your soup is blended, put it back on the stove, on low heat. Whisk in the cream. Season with Vegeta or all purpose seasoning if needed and simmer for about 5 minutes. To serve this soup, use shallow soup bowls and mound the wild rice in the center. Ladle the soup around the rice. Pass around a small bowl with chopped cilantro, so everyone can help themselves. This serves 4 people.

Ceviche

Lime juice drenched fish topped with lots of cilantro cools you down, on a hot summer day. Temperatures are sweltering and the idea of putting the stove or grill on is making me sweat. The first time I had this, I fell in love, it’s so refreshing. And it’s so simple to make too. My best friend from high school is from Peru and I was obsessed with how to make this, I had to know. She explained to me that the fish gets “cooked” by the lime juice. I couldn’t believe it, so simple and delicious. And ever since I had that first bite of ceviche, it became a favorite of mine at Peruvian restaurants, especially when topped with a spicy green sauce and washed down with a blue corn drink. Craveable! Stay cool and enjoy!

  • 1 pound tilapia
  • 2 cooked ears of corn, trimmed and cut into fourths
  • a few cooked potatoes
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 7 limes
  • sea salt
  • cilantro

Cut your tilapia down the middle of each fillet, and then at a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick. I just follow the lines on the fish, a natural ruler, lol. Put your fish in a glass pan or bowl and salt it. I like to use a flat pan to ensure every piece of fish gets lime juice coverage. :) Juice your limes, make sure that you pick juicy limes, that “give” a little when you squeeze them. Cover your fish with the lime juice. Put your sliced onion in a small bowl and cover with hot water, let it sit five minutes, rinse with cold water and add to your fish. Refrigerate for about 3 hours, once the thickest piece is opaque, your fish is ready to eat. While your fish is “cooking” you can cook your corn and potatoes and let them cool. Assemble your ceviche, topping with lots of cilantro.

Creamy Tortellini Salad

Nothing says a barbecue like a creamy pasta salad. This salad is nice because it has tortellini in it and it’s combined with corn, green peppers, bacon and basil. It would be great to complement spicy grilled chicken or ribs. This salad is very easy to make, so if you were invited to a barbecue this weekend and were asked to make something, this will please the crowd, without you spending too much time in the kitchen!

  • 13 oz bag of meat tortellini
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 medium red onion, minced
  • red wine vinegar
  • 7 basil leaves, minced
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Vegeta or an all-purpose seasoning

Cook your tortellini according to the directions, run under cold water and set aside. Cook your corn in boiling water for ten minutes, once done run the corn under cold water and once cool enough to handle, run your knife along the length of the corn to remove the kernels. Be very careful, and big chunks of kernel sections are ok, if you like. Cook the bacon until crisp and dry on paper towels and set aside. In a small bowl, pour your red wine vinegar over your red onion, this is so it takes the edge of the onion. Leave it in the vinegar for 5 minutes then drain. Into a large bowl combine your cooled tortellini, corn, bacon, red onion, basil, tomato, green pepper, mayonnaise, sour cream and your Vegeta or all-purpose seasoning, to taste. Top with some extra basil leaves for decoration and enjoy!

Ricotta Cheese Platter

Shared messy appetizers are great, piling different flavor combinations on every inch of bread is the best part! But my favorite is ricotta cheese, buttered corn and basil, just delicious! I’ve been obsessed with corn lately! Grilling the corn in their husks till burnt to later reveal steamy creamy yellow kernels of sweetness has been my thing! Eating the corn row by row as a kid, finding odd satisfaction in a clean bare cob.( I still do it now lol) It comes out perfectly clean. I wish I brought that same precision to house cleaning. lol So at first glance the corn looks a little out of place, but when combined with smooth cool ricotta cheese it becomes truly craveable!

  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • a half a cup of fresh “cherry size” mozzarella (ciliegine), halved
  • 6 good small tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus more for drizzling.
  • 4-6 slices good sliced bread
  • a few slices prosciutto, each slice cut in half and rolled up
  • 1 ear of corn
  • a pat of unsalted butter
  • a few basil leaves
  • a little lemon zest
  • fresh ground pepper

In a non-stick pan heat the olive oil and garlic on low heat until beginning to brown. Add into the pan your tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes, increase the heat to medium and saute for another 10 minutes, stirring often until the liquid evaporates and you end up with a thick tomato sauce, set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add your ear of corn and simmer for 10 minutes, once cooled, with care, take a sharp knife and slowly run it down the length of the corn removing the kernels. In another non-stick pan heat the butter until sizzling and add the corn, a little sea salt and a minced basil leaf. Saute until lightly browned and set aside. Take your bread slices and drizzle them lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and throw them on the grill, flipping after a few minutes. Combine the ricotta cheese, lemon zest and ground pepper. Begin assembling your platter! Spread your ricotta cheese in the center and surround with the tomato sauce, corn, halved mozzarella, grilled bread slices, prosciutto, a few chopped basil leaves and finish it off with a drizzle of olive oil and  fresh ground pepper on the cheeses. Enjoy!