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

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fresh Tomato Tart #recipe @LucyBurdette



LUCY BURDETTE: I was thinking of making a southern tomato pie, a la Paula Dean, as our tomatoes are coming in thick and fast. But reading the recipe, a cup of mayonnaise? And all that cheese and butter and salt? Fortunately, an email came into my inbox from David Lebovitz, and he had a link to a rustic tomato tart. And then I remembered a high calorie version I'd prepared with puff pastry. I decided I could combine the three and hopefully come up with something delicious. I used David Lebovitz's tart dough (though with less salt,) which is easier than a piecrust. And the whole thing is less overwhelming than a Southern mayonnaise pie!

Ingredients

Two large ripe tomatoes, sliced thinly
Fresh basil, as much as you please (8-12 leaves), sliced
One shallot or a bunch of green onions, chopped
About 3/4 of a cup grated cheese (I used the end of a fresh mozzarella ball and some Swiss)
Grated fresh Parmesan for the top
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or even less)
2 teaspoons mustard of your choice (I used my favorite Kozlic's Amazing maple)
Several drops or more Tabasco

For the crust

One and a half cups flour
4 1/2 ounces unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
One large egg
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

Cut the butter into the flour. I did this using my food processor. Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of water and beat together. Add this to the food processor and pulse until the batter holds together. Here's where you can add more water if you need, I did not. Roll this out between a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom and a piece of waxed paper on top. And transfer it to a baking sheet on the parchment paper and peel off the waxed paper.

Mix mayo with mustard. Spread the mayonnaise mustard mixture onto the bottom of the tart, leaving the outside edges bare. Arrange the chopped shallots over the mayo, followed by tomato slices and basil. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and fold in the edges. Bake at 385 until brown and bubbly, 30-35 minutes.










Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Roasted Tomato #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: you may be scratching your head and saying why, why Lucy, do we need to roast tomatoes? We have been waiting all year for fresh tomatoes and we want to eat them exactly as they are. My answer? If you have a garden, or a neighbor who has a garden, or you haunt the local farmers market, you may find yourself with a tumult of tomatoes--way more then you can possibly eat before they start to go bad. And at that moment, you will thank me for this recipe! (Which is really more of a suggestion or a reminder than it is an actual recipe.) Once the tomatoes are roasted, you can freeze them in batches for soups and sauces, where they add a rich deliciousness to the flavor...

Ingredients

A tumult of tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt or garlic as you wish

Cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters, depending on their size. Toss them with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt or fresh garlic, as you wish. On a large sheet pan, prepared with oiled parchment paper, lay the tomatoes out.




Roast at 350 until collapsed and beginning to brown. This could take 2 plus hours, depending on the size of the tomatoes. You could add herbs such as thyme or basil, but I would do that later in the cooking process so they don't burn.


That's it! Stir into pasta, or add into soup instead of canned tomatoes, or serve on their own as a delicious side...


Now, did you post an entry to our 7th anniversary contest? It's so easy and the prizes are amazing. Here's the dope...

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

Monday, July 17, 2017

Calabacitas con Queso


Recently I spotted a recipe for Calabacitas in one of the cooking magazines I receive. It piqued my interest but I soon forgot about it. Fast forward a month, and I found a recipe for Calabacitas con Queso in one of my cookbooks with the note "Pleasant and summery. Snap to make." Hah! Didn't recall ever having made it before.

It's perfect for this time of year because it uses all the wonderful things that are getting ripe in our gardens, like zucchini, tomatoes, and corn. But there was a problem. Our corn is only a foot high and our tomatoes aren't quite there yet. This is one we've been watching carefully, waiting for the right day to pick it.



However, I did have zucchini. As it turns out, calabacita is Spanish for zucchini, however, it can also be made with yellow squash. So I winged it with grape tomatoes and frozen corn. It was delicious. It's not spicy, in fact, it isn't loaded with spices at all. Jack cheese gives it a lovely savory and tangy flavor. You could easily add spices if you like. Add beans or tofu and it would make a great main dish for vegetarians. And it might just convert some hubbies and kids who aren't fans of eating vegetables.

I served it with chicken tenders but it would go great with salmon, or anything off the grill.

Calabacitas con Queso
serves four as a side dish

1/2 large yellow onion
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves
15-20 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (or use one regular tomato)
1 small to medium zucchini or yellow squash
1 cup of frozen corn
4 ounces Jack cheese
salt and pepper

Chop the onion. Pour oil into a skillet and cook the onion over medium low until soft. Meanwhile, dice the garlic and half (or chop if large) the tomatoes. Cut the zucchini or squash into 1/2 inch pieces. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and zucchini (or squash), and frozen corn to the pan. Stirring frequently, cook 8 to 10 minutes or until the zucchini is soft.

Grate the Jack cheese. When the vegetables are done, add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the cheese. Cover about 15 seconds, just long enough for the cheese to melt.


Half the tomatoes.
Add the veggies and cook.

Sprinkle with cheese.



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Pomegranate Seeds #recipe

From Daryl aka Avery:

And the winner of last week's giveaway is…

Kate!  KaroS... at yahoo dot com.  I'll be sending you an email to let you know. Congrats!  And thanks for pinning on Pinterest.


 Lately, I've been getting into cheesy dishes again (big surprise) as I approach the release of my next Cheese Shop Mystery (coming February: DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT).


Here's a beautiful salad to put on your holiday menu. I know, salad? Really? When it's the prime of cookie and candy season?

But this one, as a full salad or as a side, is so perfect for the holidays. Sweet, savory, fun! And colorful!!!

I had something like it at one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles, Mistral (in Sherman Oaks). It's a quaint French bistro and does a fabulous job with everything on the menu. The salad was a simple twist on an old classic, tomato and mozzarella salad. But the restaurant added pomegranate seeds. Oh, divine. The pop of the pomegranate. The sweetness with the saltiness of the cheese.

Now a pomegranate…I was scared to get into this fruit. I've avoided since I was a kid when the first and only time I tried to pop pomegranate seeds from the fruit, I ended up with stained fingers. For days!!  I had no clue how to do it, and neither did my mother or friends.

But now, with the advent of YouTube, you can find out how to do pretty much anything. I'd seen one video where you submersed the pomegranate in water and popped out the seeds, but I searched further and found one where you pound the darned seeds out. That's right. Pound them out.

You take a common kitchen wooden spoon, a salad bowl, score the pomegranate, peel the two halves apart...


...and then holding the pomegranate, seed side down toward the bowl, spank the back of it with the wooden spoon. Out they pop. No kidding.




It's so easy I'll probably have pomegranate seeds every week from this point forward. I love them and they add so much texture.

TOMATO MOZZARELLA SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE SEEDS

Ingredients for the salad:

(serves 4-6)

Assorted lettuce
2 thick slices of tomato per person
2 slices of soft fresh Mozzarella cheese per person
1 pomegranate, deseeded as per above (enough seeds for 6 salads)


BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE DRESSING

(makes 1 cup)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil


Whisk all ingredients together. Whatever you don’t use, refrigerate.

Arrange the salad by setting lettuce on the plate. Layer the tomatoes and cheese. Drizzle with balsamic dressing. Adorn with 2-3 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds.

BTW, I'm thinking about a Christmas cookie using pomegranate seeds.  Suggestions? :)


LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Krista Davis, Lucy Burdette, Julie Hyzy and I are having a contest on Facebook. It's fun with lots of ways to win. We're giving away a fabulous gift basket from Salt and Pepper books (you know, the store that inspired the Cookbook Nook mysteries) as well as our books. And we might even sweeten the deal in weeks to come. Runs to the middle of December. So check it out. Click on the picture for the link!



******************


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Next up: 
Days of Wine and Roquefort Feb 2014, preorder here
Inherit the Word March 2014, preorder here

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so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! 


















Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How to Make Meatless Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes: A post for my Dad (Tony Alfonsi) by Cleo Coyle


I swear this 2-hour meatless sauce will fool anyone into thinking it was simmered for 6-hours with meat. The rich depth of flavor is amazing and well worth a Saturday afternoon making it the way the "old timers" did. Even if you make it only once in your cooking life, the experience is one you'll never forget.


For those of you who've made pasta sauce from fresh tomatoes, you know the very smell of the sauce cooking is like nothing else on earth. With all my heart, I wanted to experience that little piece of heaven again to bring back some very sweet memories of my father, Antonio "Tony" Alfonsi.

Dad went into the hospital a week after Father’s Day and never came out again. He passed away on June 27 and we laid him to rest July 3rd at the age of 83. 

Dad was born a poor boy, the son of an Italian mounted police officer and his wife who emigrated here from Italy. But Dad didn't need money to lead a rich life with plenty of family and friends who loved him. 

He was a tough guy with a tender heart who served in the Army Air Corps then worked for years in a Pittsburgh area steel mill...
My Pop, Tony, with his mother Grazia.
(You can see the steel mills in the background.) 

My Father and Mother,
Antonio and Rose Alfonsi



For over 30 years, Tony was a faithful husband to my late mom, Rose. He raised two daughters with her: one a medical doctor (and assistant professor), Grace; and the other a journalist and New York Times bestselling author (yes, me, Alice, aka Cleo). 

As one of his nurses said to him in the last few months of his life, "You did good." I think so, too, and count myself very lucky to have been his daughter.







My sister, Dr. Grace Alfonsi, during her
time serving as Community Health Director
in Bethel, Alaska. 


During the Depression, my father's father kept his large family fed by working a small farm from which they sold produce. Every spring, my dad helped plant 2,000 tomato plants for his family, so he had no problem tending the 100 or so tomato plants he sowed for our own little family every summer.

Fresh pasta sauce was part of that yield, which is why I'm dedicating this post to my father. My husband and I also dedicated one of our Haunted Bookshop Mysteries to him, as well as our 13th Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend, the book we were writing when he passed away. 

Finally, I'd love to tell you how the Chianti in this picture got into this recipe, but that’s another story (thank you, Maria)! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the recipe. May you cook it with love and make lifelong memories of your own...

Eat with (everlasting) joy,

Alice Alfonsi,
who writes The Coffeehouse Mysteries
as Cleo Coyle with her husband Marc Cerasini

8 pounds (about 23) peeled and de-seeded
fresh tomatoes will cook down to about 1 quart (4 cups),

which is what I use in the sauce recipe below...


Cleo Coyle's
Meatless Italian Spaghetti Sauce 
from Fresh Tomatoes for my Father...

To download this recipe
in an illustrated PDF
 document that you can print,
save, or share, click here.



What kind of tomatoes should you use for this recipe? While Roma (aka Italian plum) tomatoes are traditionally used for sauce, you can use any kind for this recipe. Whether you grow your own, pass a farm stand with big baskets for sale, or simply see a summer sale at your grocery, you can make this sauce out of any tomatoes you find or even mix the varieties--as long as they're ripe, you will eat with joy! 

~ Cleo (Alice)


Makes about 1-1/2 to 2 quarts
(depending on your thickness preference)


Ingredients:

8 pounds ripe garden tomatoes

   (about 20 to 25 tomatoes)
5 celery ribs
2 carrots
1 large white onion
1/3 cup roughly chopped parsley leaves (curly or flat-leaf)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 Tablespoon dried basil (or 3 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade.)
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of your favorite red wine (I’m using Chianti this go-round)

1-4 cups vegetable stock (in a pinch, simply use water)


Step 1- Prep the fresh tomato base: The taste of fresh summer tomatoes in this sauce is truly amazing, but you must first properly prepare the tomatoes. The process of peeling, de-seeding, and pulping those little round orbs may sound difficult, but it’s very easy—and once learned, the techniques can be used in a lifetime of cooking. See my instructions at the end of this recipe.




Step 2 - Prep the veggie aromatics: Roughly chop the celery, carrots, parsley, and onion. Add them to a food processor with the olive oil and pulse until very finely chopped—but do not puree or liquefy.



Step 3 - Add the spices and ignite: Add this veggie mix to a large pot with the spices (garlic powder, fresh or dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper) and sauté (while stirring) over medium heat for about 10 minutes to release the flavors. Be sure to stir to keep the mixture from burning.



Step 4 - Add tomato pulp, wine and simmer: Add the quart of tomatoes that you have peeled, de-seeded, and cooked down into pulp (see instructions at end). Pour in the wine and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every so often to prevent scorching. After 1 hour, the mixture will have thickened into a beautifully condensed and very flavorful sauce. Now all you need to do is thin it out a bit...

Step 5 - Finish with stock (or water): To thin out this very thick sauce, stir in 1 to 4 cups of vegetable stock (or water). Continue cooking and stirring for another 20 to 30 minutes. If you like, use an immersion blender to smooth out any remaining chunks before serving. (We do!)

Depending on your own taste, continue adding more stock (or water) and/or cooking down until you get the consistency (thinness or thickness) that you prefer. 

Storing: This sauce will stay fresh about 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.


How to Prep Fresh Tomatoes for Sauce 

Peeling and de-seeding tomatoes will remove bitterness and unwanted textures from your sauce. Because this step brings your sauce to a higher level of taste, it’s truly worth it—and it’s very easy to do. To watch a chef from the Culinary Institute of America perform this very easy process, click the arrow in the window below and watch the YouTube video.

-----------------------------------



---------------------------------------

1 - Peel your tomatoes: Remove stems and shallowly core as shown in my photo. Slice a small X at the bottom of each tomato. 


Place a few tomatoes at a time into a pot of simmering (or boiling) water. After 15 to 30 seconds (no more) remove immediately and drop in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. 



Using your fingers, gently peel the skin off the tomatoes. (You can save the skins to make a delicious condiment "sun-dried tomato flakes," click here for that recipe.) If you have any trouble with peeling a tomato, simply place it back in the boiling water for another 15 seconds and repeat the process. 


2 – De-seed your tomatoes: Cut the tomatoes in half--make sure you cut it as shown, crosswise, along its equator. Using a small spoon, gently dig out the seeds and discard. (You will not get every single seed out, and that's okay, just get as many as you can and you'll improve the sauce flavor.)


3 – Pulp your tomatoes: Place a large pot on the stove. Using a clean hand, roughly crush each peeled and seeded tomato over the pot and toss inside. Cook down the tomatoes over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent scorching. Continue mashing the tomatoes with a large spoon as they cook


Cook until the excess water has evaporated and you are left with tomato pulp. 8 pounds of tomatoes will give you about 4 cups (1 quart) of tomato pulp. 



While the tomatoes are cooking down, begin the Meatless Spaghetti Sauce recipe, starting with Step 2, and when you're finished, be sure to...eat with joy!



A daughter may outgrow your lap,
but she will never outgrow your heart.
I love you, Dad. Rest now and
I will see you again...



~ Alice Alfonsi
(Cleo Coyle)

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me now, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.




The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 

 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.