Showing posts with label tomatoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tomatoes. Show all posts

05 June 2014

Plated: Cheesy Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

When I selected Plated's "Cheesy Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes," I was pretty sure I was taking a big risk at it simply isn't the kind of thing The Husband would ever consider eating. Indeed, when it came down to it, I completely chickened out on serving it to him and kept all the tomatoes to myself. He was happy in his ignorance and I was in heaven. Who knew mixing quinoa with goat cheese could make it so darn delicious?!

Ingredients straight out of the box
Unwrapped ingredients
Obviously, this dish would be better in a few months when tomatoes are in season, but roasting makes most vegetables taste better and these pale, refrigerated tomatoes were no exception. They turned out juicy and flavorful and I was quite pleased to not have to share them.

I did not think the instructions for preparing the quinoa were very good -- not enough time or liquid -- so I chose to make them The Kitchn way and with low-sodium fat-free chicken broth instead of water. Other than that, the instructions were fine and I didn't have any trouble preparing this "plate."

The salad dressing was surprisingly tasty. Creamy balsamic is never something I'd ever considered and the color was a little off-putting, put the flavor was good and I'd definitely make it again. The recipe made a little more than I needed and I'll probably use the extra on that head of butter lettuce I forgot to serve with the seared salmon.

Every bite was delicious!
I had two tomatoes for lunch the day I made them and then took the others to work over the following days, packing the tomatoes separately from the (undressed) salad so they could be reheated in the toaster oven. They reheated well and made an elegant meal there in the staff room amongst the snack machines and work safety posters.

So that's my first Plated box done with and I can't wait for my next!

28 December 2013

(Belated) Eating the Alphabet: G is for Green Beans & Garlic

I never posted during May's Eating the Alphabet Challenge as I never got around to photographing my dish of garlicky roasted green beans before we ate it and then there wasn't enough time to remake it and photograph the redo. Unfortunate, as it was pretty darn delicious. And it's not as if I haven't made it since ... just never get around to photographing it.

But I have now! Et voilà! The belated green beans:

Supper

Roasted Green Beans with Garlic & Thyme
Serves 4 as a side dish

Ingredients
12 oz green beans
1 tbsp olive oil
4 small sprigs thyme, chopped
8 garlic cloves, halved if large
salt and pepper, as desired
Additional fresh thyme, for garnish

Directions
Preheat oven to 425°F. Cover a jelly roll pan with parchment or foil.

Lay green beans, garlic, thyme on the jelly roll pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread them out on the span so that they lay flat. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes.

Roasting Green Beans

Adjust seasonings, if necessary, and serve garnished with additional thyme.
The garlic gets all nutty and, mmm, is just marvelous with the fresh thyme and tender-crisp beans.

08 April 2013

Steak, Tomatoes, and Potatoes

I was in the mood for steak and potatoes late last week and, happily, had a nice piece of organic grass fed steak in the freezer. I seared the steak in a very hot pan then popped it in a 400F° oven for 10 minutes. Came out perfect!

Steak, Tomatoes, & Potatoes

We ate the steak with sautéed cherry tomatoes and my mom's oven-fried potatoes. They're not really fried, but that's what she called them on the recipe card. They're really awesome potatoes and taste even better then next day with a runny egg.
Mom's Oven-Fried Potatoes

Ingredients
6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped into thumbnail-sized pieces
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
Salt & pepper to taste
Smoked paprika
Dried parsley

Directions
Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray 13x9 baking dish. Put potatoes and onions in dish. Liberally season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Toss. Dot with butter. Cover and bake 50 minutes. Uncover and broil 10 minutes longer or until browned and a little crunchy on top.
If you want to use fewer potatoes, that's fine. Just remember the rule of thumb is one tablespoon butter per potato. Also, be very liberal with the seasonings. I'm fond of Bourbon Barrel Foods' Bourbon Smoked Paprika, but Penzeys Smoked Spanish Paprika is also pretty fine.

Mom's Oven Fries

15 March 2013

Eating the Alphabet: C is for Chayote

March's Eating the Alphabet Challenge was to use C and/or D ingredients. Last year, I used chickpeas in "Pasta With Chickpeas, Spinach, and Golden Raisins" so I planned on sticking with a "D" ingredient this time 'round. Maybe daikon radishes or dates. But then I espied chayotes at Shoprite and knew I had to give them a try.

Chayotes (also called "mirliton," "cho-cho," and "christophine") are adorable pear-shaped gourd-like fruits. Besides being totes adorabs, chayotes are also a great source of folate, fiber, and vitamins A and C. Raw chayote has a very crisp, dry texture -- a bit like biting into a slice of underripe pear. Flavor-wise, it's very cool and refreshing with a decided cucumber note. And, although technically a winter fruit, thanks to global commerce chayotes are available year-round.

Chayote & Friends
It's making a prune face at me ;)
Chayote & Friends
Just like that!
If you can't find chayotes, most recipe sites I visited suggest zucchini or summer squash as a substitution in a cooked dish, but I think the flavor and texture would be wrong in the raw dish I've made. I would recommend jicima as a substitute or, if you're planning on serving the salad immediately, a well drained salted and seeded cucumber would probably work alright.

The recipe I made, "Ensalada de Chayote, Elote, y Tomates" (Chayote, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette), comes from Thomas Schnetz and Dona Savitsky's Dona Tomas: Discovering Authentic Mexican Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2006) and is a compilation of recipes from Dona Tomas restaurant near Berkeley, California. I borrowed the cookbook from my library along with The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook (splendid recipe for "Pulled Buffalo Sandwiches with Chayote Slaw") and Down-Island Caribbean Cookery (many delicious cooked chayote recipes).


While the recipe does not say to peel or seed the chayote (every part of the chayote fruit is edible), I chose to peel mine and remove the large flat pit as my chayote skins were a bit blemished and unsightly. Peeled, there were some rusty brown spots such as you might see on a peeled apple, and I just cut them away.

Peeled Chayote

Halved Chayote

As I planned on taking this salad to work with me over a few days, I did not dress the salad until I was ready to eat it. I stored the vegetable mixture in a large covered bowl and it kept quite well. Like jicama and unlike apples, chayote does not discolor when exposed to air. I stored the vinaigrette in a repurposed mini milk bottle.

Chayote Salad

While I really loved this salad, I didn't think that much of the vinaigrette and stopped using it after the second serving. Instead, I switched over to Newman's Own Lite Honey Mustard Dressing and Lite Lime Vinaigrette. The Lite Lime Vinaigrette was fantastic and made me wish I'd not wasted time (and ingredients) on the recipe's vinaigrette. The last day, I didn't have much of the salad left, so tossed it with some salmon and served it on a bed of chopped romaine and that, too, was fabulous.

Chayote Salad w/ Salmon & Romaine

So glad I tried a new fruit! Looking forward to making many other chayote recipes!




28 January 2013

Italian Homework: Pork Pizzaiola

I can't seem to close the book on my online cooking course. I've done everything I need to except submit the final assignment and, rather than do that, I keep going back and trying new recipes. Oh well, I have a year to complete the course ...

Anyway, the dilly-dallying has been worth it as I've made some really nice dishes, including this pork pizzaiola. I haven't cooked with pork very often, because I believed The Husband didn't eat the other white meat. Then, a few weeks ago, he mentioned it had been awhile since I cooked any meat that wasn't chicken or beef and the Truth of Pork was revealed. He doesn't eat ham or bacon, but everything else is (probably) fair game.

Pork Pizzaiola & Pasta

So I made this pork pizzaiola and, wow, it was good. The chops were tender and flavorful, the sauce rich and tomato-y. While it looks pretty fancy, it was super easy to make, didn't take a lot of prep, and cooked quickly. Indeed, it's actually something I could throw together on a weeknight!
Pork Pizzaiola
Serves 3

Ingredients
3 thick center cut boneless pork chops
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
6 large basil leaves, rolled and sliced into thin ribbons (chiffonade)
1 14.5 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Thirty minutes before cooking, remove the chops from the refrigerator, unwrap, pat dry, and liberally season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet and add in the garlic. Sauté the garlic for a few minutes over medium; shaking the pan to keep the garlic moving. Add the chops to the pan and brown the chops on both sides. Lower heat to medium-low.

Add the tomatoes, oregano, parsley, and basil and continue to cook over medium-low heat until done (145 F° according to the USDA). Let rest for about five minutes. Serve with pasta.
So, yes, pork should definitely be on the menu more often. And lamb! And duck! And, wow, it's been a long time since we had a turkey ...

27 August 2012

Pasta & Tomatoes Two Ways

Also known as how-fast-can-supper-get-in-my-tummy?!

Pasta & Tomatoes

Thaw two fully-cooked chicken sausage, slice into coins, and set aside. Toss four cups cherry tomatoes with olive oil, four crushed garlic cloves, and salt-free Italian seasoning blend. Roast @ 400°F for about 30 min.

Slice two fully-cooked chicken sausage into thick coins. Add sausage to tomatoes and roast 15 min more. Toss with cooked egg noodles. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and season with freshly ground black pepper, as desired.

Pasta & Tomatoes

Core, seed, and dice five large tomatoes. Heat a small splash of olive oil in a skillet until fragrant. Add diced tomatoes, minced red onion, pressed garlic, and salt-free Italian seasoning blend. Cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes have broken down and onion is translucent. Add one cup cubed cooked chicken and cook, stirring, until chicken is heated through. Season with Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper. Toss with cooked pasta.

25 August 2012

Presto! Pesto Baked Salmon & Tomatoes

When life gives you a bumper-crop tomatoes ... you darn well eat them, knowing you'll miss them dreadfully in January. This week, we've had tomato-bread salad, tomato soup, tomato pizza, tomatoes stuffed with eggs, and now tomatoes baked with salmon.

Pesto Baked Salmon & Tomatoes

All this lycopene better be doing brilliant things to my ramshackle body, I tell you what.

Anyway, this dish was dead easy to make and tasted really good -- the tomato juices and olive oil mingled with the herbs and salmon juices and it was just oh! a savory flavor explosion for the tastebuds.
Pesto-Baked Salmon & Tomatoes

Ingredients
4 large tomatoes, cored and diced
1 lb salmon fillet, boned and halved
2 Tbsp prepared pesto
freshly ground black pepper
fresh thyme, minced
fresh oregano, minced

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Toss tomatoes with one tablespoon pesto, pepper, and herbs. Set aside.

Spread salmon with remaining tablespoon of pesto. Place, skin-side up in a baking dish. Surround with tomatoes.

Pesto Baked Salmon & Tomatoes

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with fork. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel off salmon skin.

Serve with pesto rice (toss hot rice with pesto) and steamed spinach.

24 August 2012

Too Many Tomatoes? Pizza!

I thought about making a tomato pie with garden herbs, corn, cheddar and pie crust, but then I realized I could just make pizza with the same ingredients for less time and effort.

Pizza!
Actually forgot to put corn on it!

I bought a ball of refrigerated whole wheat pizza dough at the grocery store, but all the other ingredients were on hand -- pesto, red onions, mozzarella, and cheddar were already in my fridge and tomatoes, thyme, and oregano came from my garden.

I preheated my oven, with the pizza stone in it, to 450°F. While the oven was doing its thing, I sliced the vegetables very thinly and chopped the herbs.

Feeling all smugly organized and shizzle, I set out to roll my dough ... not realizing I had no cornmeal and didn't know where my rolling pin was! Yes, I lost a rolling pin somewhere in my kitchen. I am truly blessed.

Happily, a water glass makes a handy rolling pin substitute and I rolled the dough out on a rectangular piece of parchment. This turned out to be The. Best. Idea. Ever. as I could just pick up the parchment, pizza and all, and slide it onto the hot stone. The paper browned while the pizza baked, but did not burn. Then I just slid the hot parchment paper/pizza off the stone onto a cutting board and let the pizza set for 5 minutes or so. Cut it into pieces and went omnomnom.

Pretty sure this pizza should have served four people with salad, but we skipped the salad and split it between the two of us and were happy. The Husband gave the pizza 10 ★s, but later downgraded it to 9½ ★s when I told him I'd used a whole wheat crust. Silly.

22 August 2012

Tomatoes Stuffed With Eggs (Really)

I'd been mulling over the idea of baking eggs in hollowed out tomatoes for a while now, but either didn't have big enough tomatoes (wall to wall cherries, man) or had the right tomatoes but no courage. Seriously, I couldn't decided if baked egg-filled tomatoes would be The Best Idea Ever or just a bit weird. In the end, I just decided to go for it. If the dish failed, there was always the burger shack down the road!

Baked Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes

For this dish, I merged two recipes -- Martha Stewart's "Baked Eggs in Tomatoes" and Whole Living's recipe for "Baked Eggs in Whole Roasted Tomatoes." I liked Whole Living's idea to roast the tomatoes before filling them with whole eggs, but I also liked Stewart's use of corn and chives. And then I just had a moment and stuff happened in the kitchen and the eggs didn't turn out quite as I'd planned, but were still pretty darn delicious.

Cheesy Baked Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients
4 large tomatoes
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp dried thyme
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 Tbsp shredded Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar (or whatever you like best)
4 large eggs
Smoked paprika, as desired

Directions
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice a little bit off the bottom each tomato so they stand firm and don't wobble. Slice the top off the tomatoes, core, and use teaspoon to gently remove the flesh and seeds. Turn upside down and drain on paper towels for about 15 minutes.


Baked Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes

Place tomatoes in a baking dish, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle insides of each tomato with thyme and garlic. Roast until tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven.


Baked Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes

Add a tablespoon each of corn and cheese to the bottom of each tomato. Carefully crack an egg into each tomato. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar. Dust with paprika. Bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 9 minutes more. Eat.
I really wasn't sure what The Husband would think of this dish, but he really liked it and said he would be happy to eat it again. I served it with pesto rice and the egg yolks and tomato juices ran all over the rice, creating the most delicious mixture.

Baked Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes

16 August 2012

Improv Challenge: Peppers & Tomatoes

I've always been intrigued by panzanella and, when I saw August's Improv Challenge was peppers and tomatoes, I knew it was time to try making one. I started looking for recipes and almost immediately came across Stewart's recipe for "Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Salad." It sounded pretty darn delicious and I had all the ingredients on hand so I set forth on the path to panzanella mastery.

The first time I made this salad, I halved the ingredients but otherwise followed Stewart's recipe exactly. The salad was surprisingly fabulous for something so simple -- all those beautiful garden tomato juices mingling with the oil and vinegar, soaking into the crunchy bread. Double yum with knobs on!

Then I started thinking about all the fresh herbs rioting in my garden and wondered if I could incorporate those into the salad. I started messing around with Stewart's recipe and ended up with what you see below -- a kind of faux Greek panzanella. It's fantastically good, combining all my favorite summer flavors in one bowl. I keep debating throwing a little goat cheese in, but I can't decide if that would increase the level of awesome or just gild the lily.

Panzanella

Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Bread Salad
Adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart

Ingredients
2 ounces day old baguette, chopped or torn into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil [Lucero Arbequina]
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar [Katz Late Harvest Zinfandel AgroDolce Vinegar]
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
8 kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 medium tomato, cored and cut into ½-inch wedges
1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch strips
Sea salt and ground pepper

Panzanella Ingredients

Directions
Preheat oven to 450°F degrees.

Toss bread with 1 teaspoon oil and spread across a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together remaining oil, vinegar, and garlic. Add tomato, roasted pepper, thyme, oregano, olives, and toasted bread. Toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 large serving.


06 August 2012

Invasion of the Heirloom Tomatoes

Tomato Time
Italian Ice, Red Lightning, Tye-Dye,
Honeybunch, Sun Gold, Heritage,
Pink Pounder, Orange Slice, Black Krim,
Big Rainbow, Brandywine, Burpee's Supersteak.

I planted them all.


What was I thinking? I know what I was thinking. It was winter and spring seemed a long time off and I, missing summer's fresh tomatoes, thought "I can't plant too many tomatoes." Well, yes, I can and clearly did, because I harvested just shy of 20 pounds of the delicious bastards this weekend. Cherry, small fruit, and big 'uns. Heirloom and not so.

Tomato Time

What am I going to do with all these tomatoes? Well, a whole lot have already been made into soup -- both the roasted cherry tomato soup I made last week and "Heirloom Tomato Soup" from Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking magazine. Some of the cherries will go into Martha Stewart's Baked Stuffed Red Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes, Feta, & Thyme." As for the rest, I don't know. Tomato jam, maybe, or pie.

I used Italian Ice tomatoes in the roasted cherry soup so it came out paler and a little tarter than the one I made last week with the Sun Golds. A little bit of honey helped sweeten it, though, and I wasn't really concerned about the color while I was sucking mugs of it down.

Tomato Time

And we won't even talk about the enormous quantity of carrots I harvested ... monstrous carrots of unusual size. Help. Send raw vegans. Or vampire bunnies.

30 July 2012

Tomato Soup, I Love You

As was bound to happen when you go and plant thirty cherry and small fruit tomato plants, I have too many tomatoes. So many, that I've already given some away at work rather than see them go bad. Being selfish, I don't really want to keep doing that.

What to do? Make soup! I had bookmarked a lovely recipe from FamilyFun.go.com for "Roasted Tomato Soup" last winter when I was positively jonesing for soup every darn day. Obviously, cherry tomatoes weren't in season then but they certainly are now and the recipe is a great way to use up six cups of the precious darlings.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup
It glows with the glow of a thousand orange tomatoes ...

To healthify this soup, I omitted the butter and reduced the amount of cream by half. I also omitted the grilled cheese croutons and didn't miss them, because this soup is so veryvery delicious on its own. (I can usually take or leave tomato soup, but this stuff is addictive and I want to eat it constantly. Good thing the recipe makes a lot).

I used turkey broth, because I still have quite a lot leftover from last year's big buy, but chicken or vegetable broth would work just as well. I also used less broth than the original recipe called for, because I wanted a very thick soup.

Despite being pureed, this soup retains a lot of texture from the bazillion cherry tomato seeds. If you don't like seeds, I recommend straining the soup through a sieve before adding the cream. (I strained about two thirds of the soup, leaving a little bit of seeds and skin behind for body).
Creamy Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup
Adapted from FamilyFun.go.com

Ingredients
6 cups cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 springs fresh thyme
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium red onion, chopped
14 oz can Muir Glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
14 oz can turkey broth
½ cup heavy cream

Directions
Heat oven to 400°F. Toss cherry tomatoes with 3 sprigs thyme, 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread evenly on a large jelly roll pan. Roast until tomatoes have shriveled and some have burst, about 40 minutes. Set aside.


Roasted Tomatoes

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic, onion and remaining sprigs of thyme and saute until onion is softened. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice, turkey broth, and roasted tomatoes with their juices and bits of thyme. Simmer, covered, for 40 minutes.

Remove from heat. Puree tomato mixture with an immersion blender or what have you. Strain out seeds, if desired. Stir in cream and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 for lunch with leftovers.

24 July 2012

More Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken Goodness

I know summer is a time for pasta and potato salads, grilled chicken and burgers, but I seem to be out of sync with the season. Oh, we're eating lots of fresh seasonal produce (a whole lot of which is coming from my garden), but the grill's seeing no real action and I've only made pasta and potato salads once.

What's seeing a lot of use? Why, my slow cooker. Fill it with stuff in the morning and come home at five thirty to a supper that is ready to go straight into my belly. The house doesn't heat up from cooking and I don't have to stand outside at the grill, dodging horseflies and feeling irritable from the heat (or con The Husband into doing the same).

When I think about it, it seems a bit weird to be using my slow cooker so heavily this summer when I more-or-less ignored it all winter. Well, regardless of weirdness, I do love my slow cooker this summer!

Monday I modified the "Slow Cooker Creamy Mushroom Chicken" I made last week, because I had a bumper-crop of cherry tomatoes to eat up ("Sungold" are prolific little buggers, you know) and no fresh mushrooms.

Slow Cooker Tomato-Chicken Yum

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Chicken with Squash

Ingredients
3 partially thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
2 small yellow squash, halved and thinly sliced
Cherry tomatoes (enough to fill the bottom of your slow cooker)
6 sliced garlic cloves
1 Tbsp Penzeys Italian Vinegar and Oil dressing mix
1 Tbsp Penzeys salt-free Tuscan Sunset Italian-style seasoning blend
10.5 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
6 oz Neufchâtel cheese, softened

Directions
Coat slow cooker insert with cooking spray. Place tomatoes and garlic on the bottom and top with chicken breasts.

Stir together soup, dressing mix, seasoning blend, and softened cheese. Pour over chicken.

Close lid and cook on low for 6 hours.

Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Return to slow cooker and very thoroughly mix everything together. Serve over rice or pasta.

28 May 2012

Easy Sautéed Chicken & Cherry Tomatoes

I had some iffy looking tomatoes and scallions left in the fridge at the end of the week and wanted to use them before they went from iffy to inedible. Since I was feeling tired and impatient, I couldn't be bothered looking for a recipe and just hacked something together.

IMG_3687

Of course, the dish turned out really well, so I've had to go back and think through what I did, writing down the recipe as best I can. I might actually have used a tablespoon of salt-free Italian seasoning blend, but that seems like too much. Also, my ¾ cup of white wine was more like a several glugs. Glugs, alas, is not a recognized or standardized form of measurement!
Sautéed Chicken with Tomatoes & Scallions

Ingredients
2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3 oz each)
sea salt and pepper, as desired
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
¾ cup whatever white wine you have open
4 scallions, chopped
2 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend

Directions
Pound chicken breasts until they are a more uniform thickness. Generously season the breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the breasts and saute until beautifully brown and cooked through. Set aside in a shallow bowl (don't want to lose any chicken jucies).

Add tomatoes to hot skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until cherry tomatoes skins begin to char a little and burst. Add the wine and cook until liquid evaporates. Add the scallions and seasoning blend. Return any chicken juices to the pan. Serve over the chicken.
I served the chicken with garlicky green beans and a pasta packet. It was yummy.

10 December 2011

Tomato-tastic Presents!

For the third year in a row, Muir Glen sent me a limited edition Reserve kit. Besides the awesome little basket (which I look forward to using in my vegetable garden next summer), I received Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, No-Salt Added Diced Tomatoes, Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Fire Roasted Red & Yellow Diced Tomatoes, Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Red & Yellow Diced Tomatoes, and a recipe booklet.

2011 Limited Edition Reserve Tomatoes

I don't know how Muir Glen found me or why they send me free products, but I hope they never stop. Muir Glen is the only brand of canned tomatoes I use these days as they're organic, high-quality, and so very flavorful -- sweet and ripe-tasting, that taste as if they were just picked and processed yesterday.

If you've never ordered a Muir Glen Reserve kit before, I suggest you do so rightnowthisminute. $15 dollars gets you a beautiful basket of tomato goodness!

Legalese: I am not affiliated with Muir Glen Organics nor was I compensated for gushing over their Reserve kit. All opinions, such as they are, are my own.

16 September 2011

Friday Night Delicious: Crunchy Turkey Cutlets w/ Sauteed Tomatoes

First proper meal we've eaten since we returned from England and, I must say, an excellent recipe for easing back into regular cooking habits. Don't like lemon? Use a salt-free Italian seasoning blend and fresh basil. A little crumbled fresh goat cheese might be also nice, mixed in with the sauteed tomatoes.
Friday Night Deliciousness

Crunchy Turkey Cutlets with Sauteed Tomatoes

Ingredients
2 cups small-fruited (currant) tomatoes
1 pound turkey breast cutlets
½ zested lemon
black pepper
salt
olive oil
egg white
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning blend
cornmeal

Directions
Toss the tomatoes and lemon zest together with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a shallow dish (pie plate works well), whisk together the egg white and lemon juice. In another dish, combine cornmeal and salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning blend. Heat  a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan.

Dip a cutlet in egg, then in cornmeal, and cook until golden brown on each side. Remove cooked cutlets to a warm oven. Add tomatoes to hot frying pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until tomatoes begin to crack.

Serve tomatoes over cutlets.

11 September 2010

Easy Corn & Black Bean Salad

Made a lovely side salad for to accompany this week's turkey tacos using leftover roast corn, tinned black beans, diced red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley and basil. It was really yummy and making it got me over my fear of stripping ears. Williams-Sonoma wouldn't try to sell me a special stripping gadget if it weren't hard, right?

Maybe ... because it's easy and painless. Just take a small, sharp knife, hold the ear steady, and make long, smooth downward strokes, separating the kernels from the cob. The trick seems to be lie in mastering the depth of your cut -- too deep and you'll end up with woody bits of cob mixed in with your corn. Too shallow and you're leaving half the corn behind. Personally, I err toward shallow cuts as I can always go back and "milk" the cobs by flipping the knife over and running the blunt side down the length of the cob.


Easy Corn & Black Bean Salad
15.5 oz can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ear leftover roast corn, stripped and milked (or about 1 cup thawed frozen corn)
2 cups cherry and pear tomatoes, halved
¼ cup minced red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup basil chiffonade
garlic vinegar, to taste
olive oil, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Combine all in a large bowl and let sit on the counter for about an hour so the flavors marry.
Going back to the tacos, for a minute, I used Eatingwell's no-fry recipe for "Crispy Taco Shells" to make my own "homemade" taco shells. As the recipe's description says, they are surprisingly easy to make and do taste better than the store bought ones. I will definitely use this recipe again and recommend you try it, too!


Refreshing summer salads!

28 August 2010

Simple Cherry Tomato & Basil Summer Salad

Since we spent the day at home, I thought today would be a good opportunity to take a crack at finishing off all those half-eaten restaurant meals that have been slowly taking over my fridge since The In-Laws came to visit.

To accompany our smorgasbord of leftovers, I made a simple side salad of garden fresh tomatoes, basil, and parsley. Oh, it was delicious and made my reheated stir-fried chicken and green beans seem like something special.

Easy Tomato Salad

Simple & Delicious Tomato Salad

Ingredients
Two handfuls cherry, pear, or other small fruit tomatoes
2 Tbsp minced parsley
2 Tbsp chiffonade of basil
Garlic vinegar, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Directions
Halve or quarter tomatoes to make similarly sized pieces. Toss with basil and parsley. Drizzle with garlic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper.
And that's all the cooking I've done this week!

22 August 2010

Beautiful Tomatoes Are For Roasting

Made Jamie Oliver's "Sweet Cherry Tomato and Sausage Bake" (Jamie at Home, Hyperion: 2008) for Saturday's supper using cherry and small fruit tomatoes, rosemary, and oregano from my garden plus fresh garlic and really nice beef sausages from New Boston Beef. I'd picked up the sausages at the Coventry Regional Farmers Market many months ago and frozen them until I had time to do them proper justice.

Aren't my tomatoes pretty?
This was a really easy recipe to put together and yielded spectacularly delicious results. However, I did have to make a few adjustments:
  • As I did not have any fresh thyme or bay, I omitted them and simply used more fresh rosemary and oregano.
  • As some of my "small fruit" tomatoes were a bit on the large size, I halved or quartered them so all the tomatoes would roast evenly.
  • The beef sausages were very lean, so I only roasted them for 40 minutes. Then I removed the sausages, put the tomato pan on the hob, and reduced the tomatoes down until super thick and nomalicious (about 10 min on high).
Served over rice, this made an excellent Saturday night supper and I look forward to making it again with different combinations of herbs and varieties of sausage.

21 August 2010

Rachel Ray Knows a Thing or Two

"Orzo with Feta & Tomatoes" from Rachel Ray using cherry and small fruit tomatoes, parsley, and basil from my garden. Served with boneless, skinless chicken thighs I had marinated in light Italian dressing all day and then grilled.

I didn't pick this recipe specifically because it was a Rachel Ray recipe, but because it used ingredients I already had on hand. In the end, I thought this recipe made a lovely side dish -- fast and easy and all the flavors worked really well together. I can see this become a regular part of my "tomato season" menu.

I can also see myself borrowing a couple of Rachel Ray's cookbooks from my library ...