Tag Archives: fruit

Farmers Market Fresh

By mid January you will really appreciate the end of August.

Fresh Berries

If you live in the Midwest or the northeastern part of the U.S. this is peak season. Farmers markets are just bursting with some of the most amazing, fresh and delicious produce you can possibly imagine.

In fact, there is so much great stuff, I couldn’t help sharing a little with you.

Fresh Wax Beans.

Fresh Wax Beans

You can’t have a summer farmers market without sweet corn. This is so sweet, it’s hard to not eat three ears at one sitting. One sack wouldn’t last a week in our house!

Sweet Corn

Summer tomatoes. Juicy, ripe and super fresh.

Fresh Tomatoes

And last (for this market tour), carrots that are too amazing to resist.

Fresh Carrots

A full two thirds of the stuff we buy at our local farmers market never even makes it into a recipe. At this time of year we’re eating it straight off the counter.

The Book, Like It’s Author, Big, Bold, Brash

Art imitating life. At least that’s how it looks.

BUY IT - Guy Fieri Food: Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It

Like the man himself, his book stands out from the crowd. It’s big (416 pages), it’s wildly colorful and it’s filled with food and stories that scream GUY! What would you expect from a chef who’s TV persona is larger than life. No matter what you may think about his culinary chops, it always looks like he’s living life to the fullest. I like that.

Reading though his latest cookbook, Guy Fieri Food: Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It, you get the sense that he loves his trade. I’m sure there are those that take one look down their nose at the cover and sniff. But, they should take the time to crack the spine. There is some serious business in there.

I don’t really have a set routine when it comes to evaluating a new cookbook. One thing I do know, I’m going to cook something from it. No preconceived idea of what that something might be, but, something. Whatever might catch my eye from a stunning food image (oh, I can make that) to a super engaging recipe title is fair game.

One thing that struck me as I was paging through this meaty tome, was the complexity of the recipes. This was not home kitchen fluff. These were complex, multi component recipes with some ingredients that most people don’t have stocked in their pantries. This isn’t a complaint, this is a pleasant surprise.

I consider myself to be a fairly competent home chef. One a scale of one to ten, I would give myself a seven (OK, maybe six and a half). I can perform most basic skills and have a pretty good idea of what should go with what. I also have a great array to toys (I mean tools).

My search for the perfect “Guy” dish ended when I turned to page 220 and saw the Watermelon Pork Tacos.

Watermelon Pork Tacos

This recipe has a bunch of great, but at the same time dissimilar ingredients. After I read through it a couple of times I thought, “OK, I can do this one”. In reality, it was harder than I thought.

The thing that makes this spin on the usual taco so unique, is the Asian influence paired with the decidedly not so Asian watermelon.


Fresh summer watermelon makes this a great seasonal dish.

Here’s a look at the pork. All trimmed up, sliced, marinated and ready for the grill.

Marinated Pork

Making the marinade is easy enough. Lots of ingredients. There was one thing that did get my attention when I was putting it all together. The possible heat potential of that marinade. A chopped Serrano pepper and red chili flakes are both in there. As you can see from the above image, there is chopped ginger and garlic too.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Looks great after coming off the grill. The cooking time was right on too. Three minutes per side, then three minutes resting. Want to see how it all turned out? Sure you do.

Watermelon Pork Tacos

WOW, is right! As Guy would say “Off the hook!”. They actually tasted even better than they looked. My worry about the heat level of the finished product was totally unfounded. It did not have a huge pepper burst to it at all. I think some of the Asian elements (sesame oil, oyster sauce and rice vinegar) may have tamed some of that. Just a theory.

Here’s How To Do It

Ingredients – Pork
1 whole pork tenderloin, silverskin removed & cut into 1inch thick slices
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. red chili flakes
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
1 Tbsp. Serrano chile, seeded & minced
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil

Ingredients – Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. sesame oil

Ingredients – Salsa
1 cup watermelon, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup English cucumber, seeded & cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 Haas avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes

1 head romaine lettuce

To make the pork, combine all of the pork ingredients except the pork slices in a small bowl. Mix well. In a gallon Ziploc bag, add the pork slices and the marinade. Seal and marinate for 30 minutes.

While the pork is marinating mix all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette together in a small bowl. In a medium sized bowl, mix together all of the salsa ingredients. Pour the vinaigrette into the salsa and mix gently. Be careful not to crush the watermelon or guacamole-ize the avocado.

Trim off the dark green ends of the romaine and cut off the root end. Separate, wash and dry the leaves. These will be the “shells” for the tacos. Place in fridge until ready to use.

Heat your grill to medium. Remove the pork slices from the marinade. Grill 3 minutes on each side. Remove from grill and rest 3 minutes. Take pork to a cutting board and chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Fill lettuce shells with pork, top with salsa and enjoy.

Serves 6

Watermelon Pork Tacos

Recipe Adapted From Watermelon Pork Tacos, Guy Fieri, Guy Fieri Food: Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It.

Notes: This thing looks and reads through easy enough, but, it’s deceptive. Lots of ingredients and a fair amount of prep. I think once you’ve made it one time, the next attempt would be a lot smoother. It was a nice light, summertime meal. I’ll be a repeat customer for sure.

BONUS: Since we only had two people eating a recipe sized for six, we had a fair amount of pork leftover. I’m not one to just pitch some great seasoned meat. So, day two, a more traditional taco, with the fantastic untraditional pork filling. This was great too!

Leftover Tacos

THE BOTTOM LINE: If you like Guy’s style both in the kitchen and on the tube, you’ll love his book. It’s him to a T. You won’t be disappointed.

Be ready for some challenging recipes. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of culinary security by the sometimes brief instructions. These dishes are worth the effort in the end. But, getting there can be a little challenging.

BUY IT - Guy Fieri Food: Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It


Author: Guy Fieri
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks (May 3, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0061894559

An At Home Pie Contest, Rick Bayless and Eva Signs

side dish

Out Soon: Lots of great new cookbooks will be hitting the market soon. Here’s look at a few.

Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard
From Nani Steele, Plum Gorgeous will concentrate on, yes, plums. With 60 seasonal recipes to celebrate the “romance fruit”. – Andrews McMeel (July 2011)

Food from Many Greek Kitchens
As the title would imply, Tessa Kiros gives us a look at Greek cuisine through the kitchens of her friends and family. More than 200 classic Greek recipes. – Andrews McMeel (June 2011)

Pie Contest in a Box : Everything You Need to Host a Pie Contest
OK, great title. What’s the deal? It’s a pie baking contest kit. Everything you need to host your own competition. This sounds like fun! – Andrews McMeel (June 2011)

Perfect Pops: 50 One-of-a-Kind Popsicles That Will Rock Your World
Summer is either here or on the way depending on where you live. This one will make the kiddies in you world smile. – Chronicle (June 2011)

Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Aguas Frescas & Shaved Ice
Another potential summertime hit. Frozen treats are BIG in the summer. Fany Gerson takes us through how to make these icy Mexican delights. – Ten Speed Press (June 2011)

News and Events: There are things happening in the culinary world. We’ve got you plugged into a few items.

Helping Make Things Better. Everybody knows Rick Bayless gives back a ton to his community. The Frontera Farmer Foundation is holding a recipe contest to help raise money to fund it’s grants. Here’s more details on how you can enter and help some folks in the process. Frontera Farmer Foundation Recipe Contest.

Under The Radar. Everyone had their eyes glued to the announcement of this years James Beard Award winners. But, back in March the Gourmand Cookbook Award winners were announced. Here’s a look at the winners. Bhutanese Cuisine, Charity Books Among Winners of 2011 Gourmand Cookbook Awards


Eva Longoria, Eva’s Kitchen
Saturday, June 4, 2011, 12:30pm
Shops at La Cantera
15900 La Cantera Parkway
San Antonio, TX
(210) 694-0146

The Deen Brothers, Get Fired Up: Grilling, Tailgating, Picnicking, and More
Friday, June 17, 2011, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
LuLu’s at Homeport Marina
Gulf Shores, AL
(251) 967-5858

Barry Estabrook, Tomatoland
Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 6:00pm
Inkwood Books
216 S. Armenia Avenue
Tampa, FL

We want your news and events. If you’ve got something you would like to tell the whole cookbook world, tell us. We’ll help you spread the love. Just drop us an email by clicking here.

Cookbook Daily: Tomatoland

Cookbook Daily

Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit

If you’ve been buying fresh vegetables for any descent amount of time you have probably noticed something. The decline in flavor of some of your favorites.

Now investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook, takes us through the journey of the humble tomato. From its start as a vitamin packed, taste filled veggie treat. To, where it is today, a victim of modern processing and growing methods.

This book will be a great read for all who have loved food industry exposes like, Food Inc., In Defense of Food and Four Fish.

The next time your cruising through your local farm stand or farmers market you’ll be thinking about some of the valuable lessons from Tomatoland and how they have impacted your table.

Author: Barry Estabrook
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN-10: 1449401090
ISBN-13: 978-1449401092

Want It? We Can Help.

Buy This Book

If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

Just in case you may have missed some of our other Cookbook Daily features here are a few links:

Eva’s Kitchen
If It Makes You Healthy
Italian, My Way
Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi
Modernist Cuisine
Appetite for Reduction