Here’s what I’ve been cooking and we’ve been eating over the past few weeks.
Key Lime Pears from Michael Recchiuti’s cookbook Chocolate Obsession. I’ve been making these for Christmas for the past few years, and it’s my go-to recipe when I have an excess of pears. My friend Missy gifted me with a box (a BIG box) of the fruit last week, and I’ve been struggling to use them all before they go bad. I’ve lost count of how many batches of these key lime pears I’ve made, but we keep eating them faster than I can make them. You take green, very firm pears and slice them thinly, then soak the pear slices in a key lime sugar syrup. The pear slices are then baked (I use a rack set over a cookie sheet, but Recchiuti just lays them on a silpat-covered cookie sheet) until crisp. Recchiuti dips them in chocolate, but I prefer them plain. I think the chocolate overwhelms the pear/key lime flavor.
Pear Bread from Bake or Break. When the pears got too ripe for key lime pears, I decided to give pear bread a try. This is like zucchini bread, except with pears. There are lots of pear bread recipes floating around, and the only reason I picked this one was because I had all the ingredients on hand. I made a few changes. First I substituted brown sugar for half of the sugar, and I added about 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg. Finally, I left out the nuts because I didn’t have any. I ended up with two loaves of fragrant, sweet, dense quick bread. I didn’t really taste pears, unfortunately. I’m going to keep playing with this recipe, especially as my pears continue to ripen.
Corn with Tons of Herbs from Dana Treat. One night I was looking for a side dish to serve with dinner, and I remembered reading about this dish. Corn sauteed with butter, shallots and a ton of herbs, basil and cilantro in my case. Use the best corn you can and fresh herbs only, please. I liked the basil here, but not the cilantro. Thyme would be lovely as would dill.
Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad from Simply Recipes. We’ve been living off of this salad for the past few months, and every time I make it, I make it a little bit different. I’ve moved away from orzo and now use macaroni pasta; its a little more substantial. I also like this with parmesan instead of feta, and I don’t limit myself to just cucumbers and green onions. Any veggies I have languishing in the fridge tend to make their way into this salad. I especially like bell peppers, frozen peas and avocados.