heirloom tomato summer salad

I’ve had such great luck with my two patio heirloom tomato plants this summer.  A bounty of green zebras and beefsteaks have resulted in many sliced tomatoes generously sprinkled with sea salt and cracked pepper, blt’s, homemade salsa, and this wonderful tomato salad.

I was able to get an abundance of cherry tomatoes from a friend, so I halved them and tossed them with sliced green zebras, fresh mint, shallots, olive oil, champagne vinegar and salt/pepper. Yum. The addition of mint is just perfect.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

A pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 green zebra tomatoes, sliced
1 shallot, chopped
4-5 fresh mint leaves, cut into thin strips (could also work with basil leaves, and maybe addition of bacon or feta cheese)

Olive oil, to taste (1-2 tbsp)
Champagne vinegar, to taste (1-2 tbsp)
Salt/pepper, to taste

Carefully fold tomatoes, shallot and mint together in medium bowl and toss with olive oil, champagne vinegar and salt/pepper. Chill, serve and enjoy! 

aunt mary ann’s turkey bar-b-que injecting sauce

My aunt Mary Ann makes this marinade to inject in turkeys ready to be grilled.  It creates an amazing, juicy bird that will turn any “non-turkey lover” into a fan, hands-down.  I remember trying this for the first time about 13 years ago at a family reunion.  You will need an injecting needle (the kind you might see at a doctor’s office – weird, I know, but wait until you taste the turkey.) 

I’m so lucky and thankful for all the great cooks in my family and Jeff’s!

Turkey Bar-B-Que Injecting Sauce

3/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup water

2 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. garlic juice

1 tbsp. tabasco sauce

Stir until salt dissolves. 

Note:  This is enough sauce for an 8-14 lb. bird.  It is best to inject and let rest in fridge for 6-12 hours.  But it works fine if you don’t have that much time.  She says she injects the breast first, then leg and thighs and back.  She places her turkey breast side down on the grill (which makes a moist bird).  Inject the bird until all the sauce is used.  Make sure to keep grill at 350 degrees if possible.  Cook an 8-10 lb. bird for 2 hours; 9-14 lb. bird for 2 1/2 -3 hours.  Carve & enjoy.

>mastery of salts

>I’m intrigued by various salts and their uses for cooking and baking. Obtaining the right level of saltiness in your food is really an art in itself. Here are some notes on kosher, sea and table salts from…

Kosher Salt

Kosher salt, usually sold in large boxes, is ideal for salting water when cooking pastas or vegetables, for brining, and for many other cooking uses. It’s additive-free, coarse-grained, and has a fine flavor.

Many recipes call for kosher salt rather than table salt but be careful: The two are not interchangeable; 1 teaspoon of table salt is equivalent to 1 1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt.

We use kosher salt for salting our steaks and other meats, as well as for salting our boiling water. We keep a small dish within reach of the oven/stove, ready to use.

Sea Salt

Sea salt has a bracing marine flavor, and is best sprinkled on food just before eating. Certain sea salts are rich in minerals, which gives them an off-white or gray color. Fleur de sel is an especially valued type of French hand-harvested sea salt.

Sea salt has a nice flavor and is great for finishing cooked foods. I love dark chocolate coated caramels with sea salt – the salty, sweet combination complements each other so well. mmmmm…

Table Salt

Table salt is inexpensive common white salt; it’s very fine-grained and contains additives that help it flow easily from shakers. It’s used in cooking and as a condiment, especially when bigger grains of sea salt and kosher salt are not desired.

Sea salt and kosher salt are not interchangeable: 1 teaspoon of table salt is equivalent to 1 1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt.