Summer Corn and Zucchini Chowder

corn chowder

Take all that fresh produce which is at it’s peak right now and make this one pot summer corn and zucchini chowder. Soup in late August you might ask? why yes, why not!

It’s filled with chunks of potato, corn and zucchini and for a smokey element some bacon, it’s a bounty of summer vegetables!

making chowder

It’s a hearty soup perfect for a light lunch on it’s own or for dinner with an additional salad or some crusty bread, either way I promise you will be completely satisfied with this delicious chowder.

I like to toss in the corn cobs after I cut the kernels off so they can release all their milky goodness right into the broth.

pot of chowder

As thick as this chowder looks you’ll be surprised to know that there isn’t any flour of any kind used or a roux to thicken it up. It’s mostly thickened with an immersion blender which I quickly zapped on one side of the pot and then finished off with a touch of cream, and don’t forget there’s potatoes in there too so that helps to thicken it as well.

chowder bowl

This is the perfect summertime soup, it was a hit in my house and I’m sure it will be a hit in yours, enjoy!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Summer Corn and Zucchini Chowder
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 medium zucchini, medium diced
  • 3 or 4 ears of corn, shucked raw ( save the cobs for stock)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, cut in quarters
  • 1 carrot, diced ( I didn't have one and it was fine
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped in pieces
  • 1 qt. box, chicken or veggie stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • smoked paprika, cayenne (optional)dried thyme, fresh parsley and basil, salt and pepper to taste
  • butter and olive oil
Instructions
  1. Have all the veggies cut and set aside
  2. In a large heavy bottomed pot cook up the bacon until the fat renders, but not crispy.
  3. Remove bacon, if too greasy wipe out with paper towel.
  4. Drizzle a little olive oil and add a teaspoon of butter then add back the bacon.
  5. Add in the onions, garlic, celery, carrot, along with a pinch of dried thyme, smoked paprika, optional cayenne, stir until veggies get softened.
  6. Add the potatoes and almost all of the stock, reserve the rest.
  7. Add in the scraped off corn cobs, you can break them in half.
  8. Simmer on low until the potatoes start to get tender.
  9. Remove the corn cobs.
  10. Toss in the corn and zucchini and cook for a few minutes, don't let them get mushy.
  11. Take an immersion blender and quickly whiz just on one side of the pot, making sure not to blitz a large amount, you want all that chunky goodness.
  12. If you don't have an immersion blender you can remove a couple of cups of the chunky broth and whiz it in a blender, then return it to the pot.
  13. Lastly add in the heavy cream and stir til it's thick enough.
  14. taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper, chopped parsley and basil for garnish.
  15. Ladle into bowls with a sprinkling of smoked paprika.
  16. NOTE: If chowder gets too thick you can always add the rest of the stock or water to thin it out.

 

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Melrose Pepper Salad With Heirloom Tomatoes

tomatoes and peppers

If you’re from the Chicagoland area chances are you know all about Melrose peppers, the much loved and coveted heirloom peppers that are thinned skinned and extra sweet.

Each year in August they start to appear and word spreads quickly as to where they are. I’ve featured them several times over the years here on my blog, sometimes simply sautéed and sometimes stuffed but this will be my first time featuring them in a salad.

It’s the perfect time to make this salad with the summer abundance of perfectly ripe tomatoes and farm fresh Melrose peppers, it’s a match made in heaven!

farm fresh peppers

I realize not many people are familiar with Melrose peppers so let me give you a little background.

They came to be called Melrose peppers because as the story goes, many years ago a family from Calabria Italy eventually settled into a suburb of Chicago called Melrose Pk. They brought with them the seeds of this very special, thinned skinned sweet pepper. They quickly became popular among gardeners in the Italian community and then soon after that they started appearing in all the fruit and vegetable stands, and the rest is history. I was recently told that these peppers go by the name, peperoni di Senise.

If you can get your hands on them you’re in for a real treat!

If you’re unable to find them you can still make this recipe using those colored, mini sweet peppers, the ones you usually find in a bag.

pepper salad

This salad ticks all the flavor senses with layers of vine ripened heirloom tomatoes topped out with roasted Melrose peppers, briny olives, sharp cheese and sweet red onions, all you’ll need is a hunk of bread!

melrose pepper salad

I hope you recreate this Melrose pepper salad in your own home  this summer and become a devoted fan like me!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Melrose Pepper Salad With Heirloom Tomatoes
 
Quantities are loosely stated which gives you the freedom to add more or less of what you like.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 large, ripe heirloom tomatoes, preferably different varieties.
  • 7 or 8 roasted Melrose peppers ( or mini sweet colored peppers if using them)
  • 8 oz. of asiago, fontinella or provolone cheese, small chop
  • ½ red onion, small dice
  • 2 handfuls each of kalamata and castelvetrano olives, sliced
  • fresh chopped basil
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Rinse, dry and remove the stems and seeds from the peppers.
  2. Roast the peppers at 375F drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast them til tender and slightly golden, then cool them down.
  3. Slice the tomatoes and arrange them single layer on a nice platter and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Place the cooled down roasted peppers on top of the tomato slices.
  5. Scatter the sliced olives, onions and cheese all over and around.
  6. Add the chopped basil.
  7. Finish the salad off with a generous drizzle of good olive oil all over.
  8. Enjoy!

 

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Pistachio Tiramisu No Eggs Required

Pistachio dessert

Tiramisu is a beloved Italian dessert. It’s elegant and rich with luscious creamy layers and coffee soaked ladyfingers, usually spiked with a little liqueur. It’s surprisingly easy to make because there’s no baking involved. This recipe replaces the raw eggs with whipped cream which sometimes makes people leary of eating it and making it, myself included.

I can assure you it tastes just as decadent as the classic.

 

Pistachio cream

There are so many versions of tiramisu but pistachio is on the top of my list! I recently bought this jar of cream of pistachio ( not sponsored) and have been saving it to make a tiramisu and it was worth the wait, just look how dreamy it is!

On a side note there are many recipes on the internet that shows you how to make your own pistachio butter. I might give that a try next time if I get energetic. Keep in mind jarred pistachio cream can be quite pricey but in my opinion it’s still worth it in the convenience factor and the exceptional taste.

Besides, this is a special dessert, not something you make every day but for special occasions, so go ahead and splurge!

tiramisu mixture

Cream of pistachio swirled into mascarpone cheese along with fluffy whipped cream is beyond heavenly!

making espresso

To add to the amazing flavors of this tiramisu a robust espresso spiked with a fancy pistachio liqueur ( not sponsored) that I love and adore, brings the taste to another level!

If you don’t have pistachio liqueur you can use some coffee or amaretto liqueur or even a sweet marsala, but if you want to splurge a little go for the pistachio.

lady fingers

Savoriardi ladyfingers are a sweet and fairly dry finger shaped sponge cake, perfect for dipping into the spiked espresso mix.

ladyfingers dippedtiramisu

You can free form your tiramisu right onto a platter using two layers like I did above or assemble them into individual glasses, you can place and layer your tiramisu into oval dishes, square, rectangle, even gratin dishes like I did below.

individual tiramisu

Sometimes for fun I like to make just one layer of the soaked savoiardi and smear the creamy mixture right on top. Which ever way you assemble it you’ll never go wrong!

Pistachio Tiramisu No Eggs Required
 
Present this special tiramisu into individual glasses, freeform style, small serving dishes, oval, square or rectangle 9x9 serving dishes.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 7 or 8 ounce jar of cream of pistachio ( if making your own you'll need to add a little sweetener otherwise the jarred cream is sweetened enough.)
  • 1 cup of heavy whip cream, whipped to medium
  • 1 8 oz ounce container of mascarpone cream, room temp
  • 1 7 oz. package of savoiardi biscuits/ ladyfingers
  • 2 cups brewed espresso
  • 3 tablespoons of pistachio liqueur or one of your favorites like amaretto, coffee or sweet marsala
  • Chopped pistachios for garnish
Instructions
  1. Brew the espresso, when it cools down pour it into a shallow bowl and add the liqueur, set aside.
  2. Combine the mascarpone with the cream of pistachio, mix well. NOTE: Sometimes if purchased in a jar the pistachio cream may be really thick, you can let the jar sit in warm water for 15 minutes or so or add a little milk to it to make it looser, don't let it seize up. The mascarpone and the pistachio cream should blend well together.
  3. In another bowl whip up the heavy cream until medium peaks.
  4. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone cream mixture until well combined.
  5. TO ASSEMBLE:
  6. One by one dip lady fingers into coffee mixture quickly then place onto the bottom of your serving dish, suggestions are stated in my post and above in my summary.
  7. Cover with a layer of the pistachio cream mixture, then repeat.
  8. Let your tiramisu chill for at least a few hours or even overnight for maximum flavor.
  9. For a lighter version just do one layer of dipped savoiardi and spread the cream mixture on top.
  10. Enjoy!

 

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