Skip to content

The Cookstr Weekly: Cold Noodle Dishes For Hot Summer Days

July 27, 2015
 

  

When I want a substantial dish in the summer that’s satisfying any time of day but doesn’t have me sweating by the time I sit down to eat, I think immediately of cold noodles. Often the craving begins with the sesame-peanut variety, garnished with julienned cucumber and sesame seeds. Then I branch out to noodles like soba and udon, and even experiment with variations on that old picnic classic, pasta salad.

Whether you prefer angel hair or farfalle, egg noodles or buckwheat, these ten cold noodle dishes are perfect for al fresco dinners – and equally suited to eating straight out of a Tupperware from the fridge when you’re back from the beach and famished.


Warmest regards,

Kara Rota
Editorial Director
by Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord

Paired with a sweet-tart summer fruit salsa, queso fresco’s signature soft personality is highlighted by a generous amount of fruity acid. This cheese has a lighter flavor, though some varieties are saltier than others. If you feel that your cheese is on the saltier side of the spectrum, reduce the amount of salt in this dish by half. You may also find this cheese under the name queso blanco.” – Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord

The Cookstr Weekly: Easy Chicken Dinners for Summer

July 21, 2015
 

 As summer rolls on, I want dinners that taste more complex and thoughtful than they really are. I want to spend as little time as possible wilting in front of the oven, and as much time as I can lingering at the dinner table as the sun lasts well past suppertime. I’ve found that many nights, that means the answer is chicken. You may tend to envision chicken for dinner in its whole state, roasted with potatoes and aromatics, perfect for cooler weather. But that would be a mistake.

Whether it’s cutlets pounded thin enough to quickly bread them or sauté them with herbs, or cubes strung on kebabs to grill outside, or succulent thighs marinated overnight (one of the best low-effort, high-reward methods), chicken might just be overtaking hamburgers and hot dogs as my favorite summertime main.

Warmest regards,

Kara Rota
Editorial Director
by Nigella Lawson
“Buttermilk chicken has long been one of my favorite al fresco summer suppers. My method of choice has usually been to butterfly a chicken – or rather, many chickens – and then cut them into feisty quarters to layer up on serving plates. I’ve altered this to make cooking speedier, and conveying easier, by using only drumsticks. – Nigella Lawson

Read more…

The Cookstr Weekly: Get Pickled

July 16, 2015

Pickling, preserving, and canning are all excellent ways to preserve summer’s bounty of fresh produce while making sides and condiments that go perfectly with this season’s meals, from grilled meats to simple sandwiches.

Home pickling generally falls into two categories: vinegar pickling and salt water pickling, the latter of which uses fermentation to preserve and pickle your vegetables, and results in probiotic pickles. I’ve been experimenting with salt water pickling plenty this summer, and my favorite part is the cold jar of leftover pickle brine in the refrigerator, an ingredient to add to salad dressings or just to slug straight as a surprisingly refreshing, satisfying probiotic boost.

From beets to watermelon rind, here are ten recipes to try your hand at home pickling.


Warmest regards,

Kara Rota
Editorial Director
by Terry Golson

Eggs don’t get any prettier than this. The whites absorb the beet juice and turn purple, and yet the yolks remain bright yellow. Not only are these beautiful, but they taste great, too. Add pickled eggs to a green salad, use them in a cobb salad, or serve them quartered with the beets as part of an antipasto plate.” – Terry Golson

Read more…

The Cookstr Weekly: Fourth of July Pie

July 7, 2015

Pie, like pizza, has its fair share of purists and the ability to cause conflict over almost every detail. All-butter crust or shortening? A splash of vodka? Food processor, or kneading the dough by hand? Cornstarch in the filling? Flour? Tapioca? None of the above? Happily for me, I have little interest in convention or technicality. I just like eating pie.

The ten pies here celebrate the seasonal ingredients of summer (berries), the classic ingredients of Americana (apples), and the most important ingredients in desserts (mmm, sugar). Experiment, enjoy them, and cut a slice for friends and family.


Warmest regards,

Kara Rota

Editorial Director
by Beth Allen
 

Fresh cherry pie is one of the treats of summer. May, June and July are the best months to bake a cherry pie. From early May through July, look for the sweet golden cherries with red blushing color known as Royal Ann or Queen Anne. In late June and July, try the tart red Montmorency cherries. Both kinds of cherries make great pies … just adjust the sugar.” – Beth Allen

Read more…

The Cookstr Weekly: Ten Burgers for Summer

June 29, 2015
Featured Recipe: BLT Ranch Burgers 
by Katie Lee
 

 

During the barbecue season that stretches from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there’s perhaps no dish as iconic as that star of the show, the burger. As a kid, I vastly preferred the smooth texture and pure saltiness of a hot dog, each juicy bite smothered in ketchup. With the flat, dry, hockey-puck burgers  topped with a single slice of rubbery cheese that abounded at pool parties and park picnics, who could blame me?

But in adulthood, I struggle to think of a chargrilled pleasure more worthwhile than a thick, well-salted patty (be it beef, bison, turkey, or legume-based) joined by a vast array of good cheeses, in-season vegetables and other favorite toppings.


Warmest regards,

 

Kara Rota

Editorial Director
Read more…

The Cookstr Weekly: Have a Squashing Summer

June 29, 2015
 

 

The CSA (community-supported agriculture) that I’m a part of has kicked into gear for the summer, and with it has arrived the beginnings of a glut of zucchini and yellow squash, ready to be sautéed, stuffed, fried, and baked into cupcakes, breads and savory tarts. Colorful and with a meaty bite that makes them a satisfying part of meatless main dishes, summer squash should be one of your go-to ingredients through the end of August.

Summer squash, the family that includes zucchini, pattypan squash, and yellow crookneck squash, is named not for its season but for its short storage life, as compared to winter squashes like acorn and butternut. So take advantage of summer and its squashes while we have them!


Warmest regards,

Kara Rota

Editorial Director

Read more…

The Cookstr Weekly: Strawberry Season

June 4, 2015
 Featured Recipe: Strawberry Ice Cream 
by Leslie Bilderback
 

 

Nothing says late spring to me like the smell of fresh strawberries, still warm from the sun. You want the smaller ones from a farmers’ market or local provider: although they don’t have the size of the mammoth version you can find in the supermarket year-round, the flavor punch they pack is huge.

If you have any berries left after eating them straight from the carton or maybe slicing them with a little fresh cream, the recipes below offer plenty of ideas for chilled soups, sides, and desserts that are excellent for bringing to potlucks or simply serving with supper in the backyard.


Warmest regards,

Kara Rota

Editorial Director

Read more…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers

%d bloggers like this: