Thursday, July 12, 2012

Backyard Eats

I should probably title that "All Over Yard Eats", as I got some of the ingredients from the front yard, and the side yard.  Can you tell I have gardens all over?!?  There is nothing quite so satifying as deciding, "Hey, I'm hungry", and then walking outside to see what is ready to be eaten.

This time of year, it is quite a lot.  For example, this was last night's deliciousness:

One zuchinni, a few tiny heads of brocolli, a handful of spinach and herbs, a fresh onion, homegrown garlic, and last year's sundried tomatoes, all stirred up together with a slosh of olive oil.  Add some aged feta from my friend Khaiti's remarkable cheese-making magic, and you wind up with a plate full of this:

That's some couscous you see peeking out from underneath.  It didn't last very long after this photo was taken, I promise you.  Om nom nom nom....

And then there was lunch from the other day, one of my favorites that I took from a favorite blog of mine, (  Zuchinni Cornmeal Pancakes.  Oh my.

They are simply fantastic, and wonderfully filling after a morning working the gardens and building mighty chicken tractors.  Topped with the very last of last year's homemade salsa and a dollop of sour cream (ummm, and a sprinkle of extra cheese, too) they are superbly good.  If you find yourself with an overabundance of zuchinni (I'm harvesting one a day now, which is a lot of zukes from one plant), try these instead of just making lots of zuchinni bread or zuchinni pickles, or secretly delivering the glut of squash to convenient neighboring porches.  Your taste buds will thank you.

Zuchinni Cornmeal Pancakes
 You'll need:  one smallish zuchinni, grated (if you have kids who won't eat it, try peeling off the green skin and then grating it); 1/2 cup of sweet corn, fresh, frozen or canned; one egg; 1/2 cup or so of grated cheddar cheese; about 1 1/2 cups of milk; 1 cup cornmeal; 1 cup flour; 1 teaspoon baking soda; 1/2 teaspoon salt; ground pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt.  Add milk until it is thick like pancake batter, then beat in the egg.  Fold in the zuchinni, corn and grated cheese.  Season with ground pepper as desired.  Cook as you would a pancake (I have a nifty cast iron skillet that I love), and serve warm with salsa, more cheese, sour cream, and similar condiments of your choice.  These are fairly bland, so you can spice them up by adding chopped jalepenos, but I like to have the salsa add my heat factor.  I have used some of the Cowboy Candy I made last fall to top these, and it is a really good combination.

This makes a lot of pancakes, so the good news is that you can freeze the leftover pancakes and then reheat them on your griddle when you want them.  I don't recommend microwaving them, as they get chewy-gross.

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