Uncork Summer Recipes

DSC_0590 (1)

with walnuts and dried Door County cherries

serves 8

Salad ingredients

  • 5 cups shaved or julienne-cut vegetables
  • (Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Fennel, Radish, Beets etc)
  • use a mandoline slicer for best results
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds
  • ½ cup crumbled crispy bacon
  • ½ cup dried Door County cherries
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, mint leaves or fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup crumbed goat cheese (optional)

Hard Cider Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup Island Orchard Brut Apple Hard Cider or Pear Hard Cider
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Wisconsin maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  salt and pepper to taste

Combine the shaved vegetables, nuts, crispy bacon, dried cherries and chopped fresh herbs.   Toss gently to combine.

Prepare the vinaigrette by placing the hard apple cider, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, chopped garlic clove and maple syrup in a mixing bowl.   Gradually add the extra-virgin olive oil.

Toss enough vinaigrette into the prepared vegetable salad.   Season generously with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate any leftover vinaigrette.    If desired, top salad with crumbled goat cheese.


Lavender Lemon Pound Cake
With Door County Cherries “Jubilee”
makes two loaves
If desired, drizzle with a light frosting made wit powdered sugar, lavender sugar and a little milk.

lavender sugar

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender

Prepare by placing sugar and lavender in a spice grinder, blender or small food processor.   Process until lavender is ground and incorporated into the sugar.   Store at room temperature.

 Lavender Pound cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup lavender sugar
  • ½ cup regular sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

With an electric mixer, beat the lavender sugar and regular sugar with the room temperature butter.   Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest.  Beat until light and fluffy – about 3 to 4 minutes on medium-high.

While butter is beating, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

On medium-low speed, add the eggs, on at a time, beating between additions.    Alternately add the flour mixture and the sour cream to the butter mixture.    Spread mixture into two lightly greased and floured 8X4X2 loaf pans.

Bake in a 350-degree oven until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean….about 45 to 50 minutes.

Door County Cherries “Jubilee”

  • 1 pound fresh or thawed frozen Montmorency (sour) cherries, pitted
  • ½ cup lavender sugar or regular sugar
  • juice of one orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons brandy, kirsch or Grand Marnier
  • optional – 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water or cherry juice

Heat the cherries, sugar, orange juice and vanilla in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook, stirring now and then until sugar dissolves.

Remove pan from heat and add the liqueur.    Return to the heat and carefully ignite with a match or the flame of your burner.   If flame is too high, place a cover over the mixture to extinguish.    If desired, drizzle in a little of the cornstarch/water mixture to thicken the mixture.  The heat needs to be on low for the mixture to thicken with cornstarch.

Serve over lemon lavender pound cake or ice cream.

Posted in Desserts, Holiday & Entertaining, sides | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A “Use it All” Recipe – Carrot Top Pesto


Summer is fast approaching and that means plenty of fresh farm produce will  soon be available, just waiting to be added to a favorite warm weather recipe.

Pesto is the perfect summer recipe.   It’s fresh, colorful and you don’t even need to turn on an oven.

Try a new version of pesto by creating a carrot top pesto.   Yes, that’s right!   The whole carrot is used to make this terrific flavorful spread, including the feathery carrot tops.   Try it with some simple roasted carrots, as a spread on your favorite cracker or as a substitute for mayonnaise on a summer vegetable roasted sandwich.

Here’s a quick one minute video that shows you how easy it is to whip up.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

A simple roast chicken

close up Moroccan chicken

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a simple roast chicken.   If prepared properly, there’s nothing  like that crispy skinned yet tender meat from a perfectly roasted bird.

Transform a simple roast chicken into an exotic-flavored crispy creation by using a turmeric-based rub.   Start by brushing the bird with butter then generously rub in the Moroccan spice blend.   Drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and the bird is ready for the oven.

Roast chicken, though a basic recipe, can be challenging to get right.  Often the breast is dry or the thigh is not cooked through.    Try preparing the chicken by using a spatchcocking method.   Don’t be intimidated by the term.   Think of it as butterflying an entire chicken prior to roasting.

Use kitchen shears to remove the chicken backbone.   Flip the chicken over onto a clean work surface then gently press down on the breast, making the chicken flatten out.    The result is a chicken that roasts faster and more evenly than the using the traditional trussing and roasting method.   

To get you started on your chicken roasting adventure, try making this Moroccan spice rub. I like to make a big batch and keep it in the cupboard.  You’ll find the blend of exotic flavors will spice up everything from salmon and chicken to a simply stir-fry.

Spice-Rubbed Moroccan Roasted Chicken
Makes one whole chicken

Remove the backbone of the chicken and gently press the breast to flatten the bird.  This technique, known as spatchcocking, allows the chicken to roast evenly.  Sweet smoked paprika and dried turmeric are available at specialty spice houses such as Penzy’s and the Spice House.

1 whole roasting chicken

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 orange, washed and dried, skin on, sliced into 6 rounds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


Spatchcock the chicken by cutting out its backbone with kitchen shears.  Lay the chicken flat, breast side up.  Firmly press down on the breastbone to flatten.  Pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.    Combine the paprika, white pepper, thyme, salt, turmeric and cumin in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan with a flat rack insert.  Alternately, line a rimmed baking sheet pan that is slightly larger than the bird with parchment paper.   Place the chicken, breast side up, on the prepared pan.   Brush the chicken with the melted butter.   Evenly rub the spice mixture on to the top of the bird.  Tuck the orange slices under the bird. 

Let spice-rubbed chicken rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.   Drizzle top of chicken with the olive oil.  Roast in the preheated oven for approximately 40 to 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the breast and thigh reads 165 degrees.   Remove chicken and discard orange slices.   Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. 




Posted in Uncategorized