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The sum of the pieces

August 1, 2011

August 1?  Where the heck has summer gone?  I haven’t done all of the bike riding, beach going, sunset watching and wine on the porch drinking that summers are made for.  In my mind it should just be getting started, but I’ve seen families out shopping for school supplies already and all of the summer clothes have  hit the sale racks and been discounted to almost give away prices.  Don’t even try to look for a swim suit, those have been edged out by winter coats.  I know, most of you are thinking, settle down, it’s only August.  Heck, it’s still 90 degrees here just about every day and daylight until after 8:00 p.m..  But me, I’m in summer is ending panic mode.   Are you too?

Last week all the cards came together right and Mike and I were able to squeeze in an after work bike ride.  The weather was beautiful, the path was quiet and we got to really enjoy the ride.  For me, it was made a little more enjoyable knowing that I had prepped and cooked everything for that nights dinner the night before and it was all waiting in the refrigerator ready to go when we got home.

I call this a Grilled Shrimp Salad but that doesn’t give any credit to the co-stars – grilled red potatoes, fresh corn; fresh green beans, tomatoes and hard boild eggs.  Here’s how it goes – lots of little recipes that all come together into one great salad.  Each recipe is more of a method than recipe and can be adjusted for quantity without changing the method.

Hard Boiled Eggs
Recipe from Martha Stewart

Yes, it sounds odd to say “recipe” when talking about hard-boiled eggs, but if you follow these directions they’ll turn out perfect every time, and it works for 1 egg or 12.

Place eggs in a saucepan large enough to cover them by 1 inch of cool water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When the water reaches a boil, turn off the heat and cover the pan and let the eggs sit for

12 minutes. Drain and run the eggs under cold water or immerse them into an ice bath to stop the cooking. They can be peeled and eaten immediately or stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Heat the grill to medium hot. My grill thermometer usually reads about 380F – 410F

Soak fresh ear corn, in the husk for about 10 minutes. I don’t bother to remove the silks from the corn before grilling, I think it’s easier to do afterwards. Move the corn to the grill. Turn them every 3 or 4 minutes, for a total of about 10-15 minutes on the grill. Remove and let them sit until cool enough to handle.  Then remove the husks and silks. Make a cut on the stem end of the corn so it will sit flat on the counter. With a sharp knife, cut down the ear of corn to remove the kernels. Run the back of your knife over the cob once all the kernels are removed to get the last of the corn and corn milk. Refrigerate cut kernels until ready to use.

Grilled Red Potatoes

In a small pot, boil little red potatoes until barely fork tender. Drain, cut in half and toss with a small amount of olive oil. Place on a hot grill, cut side down for 2 – 3 minutes, until you have nice grill marks. Remove and enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Grilled Shrimp

Skewer 12 large shrimp (20-22 per pound), toss in a tablespoon of olive oil or italian salad dressing and grill over medium hot heat for just 2 – 3 minutes per side. These go really fast and you don’t want to over cook them. When they are just opaque, they’re done.

Fresh Green Beans

Trim the stem end, and depending on the length, you may want to cut the beans in half. Blanch for about two to three minutes, drain and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and refrigerate.

Tomatoes

Dice one large tomato or two plum tomatoes.

Plate all of the salad ingredients on a platter and let each person prepare their own salad. Dress with your favorite vinaigrette.

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