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September 2009
Recipes Contributed by:
Jacksonville Mercantile

Dear Fellow Foodies:

I can’t believe it is already September.  Over the Labor Day weekend I made Mozzarella Cheese.  It has been a while since I made it and the first batch turned out pretty awful and extremely small (most of the curds went down the drain).  The second round worked like a charm.  In the back of my mind I kept hearing my mother’s voice from my childhood “practice makes perfect”.

The Jacksonville Mercantile is ordering cheese-making kits to make your life easier if you are so inclined to make your own Mozzarella.  This would be a fun project to do with the kids on a rainy winter day.

The end of summer is full-blown vegetable season, lots of my friends have been sharing their garden bounty with us.  So naturally I want to make Ratatouille.  Here is a twist on that recipe.  By grilling all the vegetables and mixing at the last minute with flavored oil this lends itself to making this anywhere.  Even on a camping trip you would be able to pull this one off.  Be sure you either use metal skewers or soak your wooden ones in water for ½ an hour to prevent them burning up on the grill.  Also, cook each vegetable separately since they all have different cooking times.  As pretty as it looks with mixed veggies on the skewers it is better to cook them separate.

Grilled Ratatouille
Chicken with Grilled Figs
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Grilled Ratatouille

Grilled Ratatouille

1 large globe eggplant – cut into cubes
2 squash – cut into cubes or if small in rounds
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 sweet yellow onion – cut into wedges (they fit and cook easier on the skewer this way)
½ cup Elki Basil Pesto
1/8 cup Jacksonville Mercantile Tuscan Dipping oil
¼ cup Italian dried olives (optional) – remove pits
1 Tablespoon Italian capers in salt – rinsed well
Salt & Pepper to taste

Grill all the vegetables until well cooked.  Using tongs, pull the vegetables off the skewers into a large bowl.  Add the pesto and the dipping oil, olives and capers.  Add salt and pepper to your taste. Mix well.  Serve hot or room temperature.

Another wonderful late summer goodie available to us is Figs.  Most people don’t know what to do with figs.  Figs are one of those wonderful fruits that can be used with sweet and savory applications.  The following is a chicken recipe that uses figs on the grill (can you tell we like to grill this time of year?)  When you grill the figs it brings out more of the sweetness.  Pair this with Rogue Valley Crater Lake Blue cheese mashed potatoes and you and your dinner guests will be quite happy.

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Chicken with Grilled Figs

Chicken with Grilled Figs

1 whole cut up chicken (I prefer organic)
Sonoma Pepper Rub
1 pint fresh figs
Prepared Mashed potatoes added with ¼ pound Crater Lake Blue Cheese (keep warm until serving)

Rub the chicken with the Sonoma Pepper Rub.  Grill the chicken until cooked.  The last 7 minutes of cooking time, place the figs onto the grill and turning every few minutes cook until they start getting soft and a little charred on the outside.  While figs are hot, cut in half, serve over blue cheese mashed potatoes with the chicken on the side.  Easy huh?

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