Mussels with Linguine
Cook 8 oz linguine according to package directions, then toss with a little olive oil to avoid sticking. Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large stew pot over medium heat. Add 1 onion, finely chopped, and cook until soft. Add 4 garlic cloves, minced, and 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and cook for another minute, stirring. Add 2 cups Roma or summer tomatoes, diced, and sauté about 10 to 15 minutes. Add 2 cups dry white wine, 2 cups fish stock, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cook until reduced by half. While cooking, scrub and de-beard 3 lbs of fresh black mussels and be sure they are tightly closed (discard any that are not). Stir the mussels into the sauce, turning to coat them. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cover the pot. Once the mussels are open, place evenly into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme and chives). Serve with a crusty French bread drizzled with olive oil. Serves 4.
Grilled Okra Stuffed with Jalapeño Goat Cheese
Soak 4 wooden skewers in water for several hours. Preheat grill to medium and while heating, rub 12 pieces of okra with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place 3 pieces of okra on each wooden skewer and grill, rolling around frequently until tender, about 10 minutes. While these cook, combine ¼ pound of jalapeño goat cheese and 1 tablespoon of spicy pepper relish (or mild, if you prefer) in a bowl. When cool enough to handle, slit the okra up the side with a sharp paring knife. Stuff with the goat cheese mixture and serve at room temperature. Serves 4.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with
In a blender, add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Tabasco (or more, to taste), 1 egg yolk, ½ teaspoon salt and a pinch of sugar. Blend on a low speed and very slowly, in a thin stream, add ¾ cup of grapeseed or canola oil. The mixture will become thick and glossy. Slice 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes of various colors and shapes and arrange on individual plates or a platter. Add dollop of mayonnaise or place in bowl to pass around table. Serves 4 to 6.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Moonshine Cordials
Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a separate bowl. Beat 1 stick butter, softened, then add ½ cup sugar and ½ cup packed brown sugar. Continue to beat until creamy. Add 1 large egg, 1 cup peanut butter, ½ teaspoon vanilla, a dash of salt, and mix. Stir in 1 cup of flour and ½ teaspoon of baking soda until blended. Shape into balls about a tablespoon-size around moonshine cordials (a liquid-filled, non-alcoholic chocolate) and arrange about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Press cookies slightly. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly brown. Let stand briefly, then remove to cooling rack. Makes 40 cookies.