Break out the grills, invite the neighbors, and serve up an outdoor meal with your favorite foods. I am celebrating the release of my newest cookbook KENTUCKY COOKS—Favorite Recipes from Kentucky Living, to borrow many great dishes from the last 14 years of writing for the magazine. For sides, I have tweaked some of your old favorites and wonderful contributions by you, the readers, to make a complete meal when paired with your choice of barbecued meat.
CASHEW CRANBERRY PASTA SALAD
3 cups cooked penne pasta
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup red pepper, cut into long strips
6 to 8 Romaine leaves
1/2 cup Italian dressing
In medium bowl, combine pasta, tomatoes, cranberries, cashews, red peppers, and Italian dressing. Add two lettuce leaves that have been torn into small pieces. Arrange remaining leaves in a circle on large serving platter. Toss pasta mixture together and sprinkle with pepper. Arrange on lettuce leaves. Serves 4-6.
MARINATED TOMATOES AND ASPARAGUS
1 lb. grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 lb. fresh asparagus (trim cut ends and peel
outer skin from bottom of stalks with peeler)
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon fresh basil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In large skillet, bring a small amount of salted water to a boil. Cook asparagus 2 minutes. Immediately put in ice water to stop cooking. Drain well. Cut in 1-inch pieces. In large bowl, mix all ingredients together and toss gently. Refrigerate overnight. Serves 8.
MARINATED MUSHROOM SALAD
1/2 cup salad oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Scant teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2-1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
1/3 cup red wine
2 (15 oz.) cans button mushrooms
Combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat about 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate several hours before serving. Serve as an appetizer. Serves 8.
TROPICAL RUM FLAVORED BANANAS
You can also cook split bananas on the grill if you have a grill where you can control the temperature. Coat the grill with nonstick spray, then finish the dish in the oven.
4 ripe bananas
1/4 cup light brown sugar
5 teaspoons butter, cut into pieces
1-1/2 cups orange juice
2 to 3 teaspoons rum flavoring
Vanilla ice cream
Maraschino cherries for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease baking dish. Place bananas in baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar and dot with butter. Mix orange juice with rum flavoring and pour around bananas. Bake for 20 minutes and serve with ice cream topped with cherries. Serves 4.
One of my favorite summer drinks, adapted from the Strawberry Coolers recipe in the May 2001 Kentucky Cooks column, now all dressed up with mangos.
2-1/2 cups fresh mangos, chunked
1-1/2 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup ginger ale
Mint sprigs for garnish
Place sliced mangos in blender. Process about 10 seconds. Add next 4 ingredients and continue blending until smooth. Pour mixture into small pitcher and add ginger ale. Stir until blended with a spoon. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish glasses with sprigs of mint. Serves 4.
Share your recipes with other Kentucky Living readers. Beginning in October 2009, we will publish a reader recipe as part of our new format of the Kentucky Cooks column, as well as showcasing a local restaurant and recipe.
Readers can send recipes online at Submit Reader Recipes.
Submit your favorite fall recipe for the October issue.
Recipes must be original, and not taken from other cookbooks or sources.
Coming Next Month: Summer Pies