Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gratineed Tomatoes with Asiago and Fresh Herbs

As I previously mentioned, my mother-in-law has had a huge crop of tomatoes this year.  One of the recipes I tried with them is this one.  It is so simple and a great summer/fall side dish.  I have made this several times.  Surprisingly I have only taken one picture of them, and that was on Bill's phone.  I guess I have been so excited to eat them every time that I haven't had time to think about taking a picture.  They are pretty good to say the least.

Gratineed Tomatoes with Asiago (or Parmesan) and Fresh Herbs
From: The Bitten Word

Olive Oil
3 medium beefsteak tomatoes, sliked 1/4 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely grates Asiago cheese (I used Parmesan Cheese)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme

1. Turn on broil in oven.  Lightly oil baking dish.  Arrange the tomato slices in the baking dish in a single, slightly overlapping layer. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, thyme, 2 tsp. olive oil, a pinch of salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.  Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture evenly over the tomatoes.

3. Broil until the breadcrumbs are a deep golden brown, 2-3 minutes.  Drizzle with more olive oil and serve immediately. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Savory Creamed Corn


I love corn in any way shape or form so most easy corn recipes catch my eye and this one was no different.  It was easy, tasty, and I got to use fresh corm and fresh basil.  Very tasty!  I would definitely make this again and might even try a little spice to it to make it a little like Elote

Savory Creamed Corn
From: Kraft Family

1 Tbsp butter
4 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 8 ears)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

1. Heat butter in large nonstick skillet on medium heat.  Add corn and cook 6 min., stirring frequently.

2. Stir in sour cream; cook and stir 3 min. or until heated through.

3.  Remove fro heat; stir in cheese and basil.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dill Pickles

Since I was going to do the bread and butter pickles I figured I may as well try my hand at Dill pickles as well. These were very easy to do, however I have no idea if they will be any good since you have to wait 4-6 weeks until you open them.  I will have to update it when I open them.  The recipe called for grape leaves, but I didn't have any so I did it without them.  I also did one jar that has jalapenos in it, so I hope those turn out well!

Dill Pickles
From: Insightful Nana

1 peck of pickles (at room temperature)
1 gallon of white vinegar
fresh dill
Salt (not iodized or it will make it cloudy, but still tasty)
1 clove of garlic for each bottle

1. Mix 1 quart vinegar, 3 quarts water, and 1 cup salt and bring to boil, then turn down heat.

2. In each sterilized and warm place one peeled garlic clove, 1 pinch of alum, and several stems of dill.

3. Place in a large frying pan with boiling water and let the steam come up around them.  (make sure lids and rims are in a little pan of water boiling and sterilizing.

4. Fill one jar with vinegar solution (leave 1/4 - 1/2 inch head room at the top). Wipe top of jar with clean cloth, place lid on jar and then tighten rim and set bottle aside. Repeat until all are filled.

5.  Leave on the counter for at least 24 hours.  Then store for 4-6 weeks before opening.  Any jars that don't seal can be stored in the fridge but use them first.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bread and Butter Pickles

My mom told me she made some bread and butter pickles earlier this summer.  I tasted them, and I was so jealous and knew I wanted to try it myself ASAP.  So I got her recipe and stole some of her jars and set aside some time to make my own. I got a bunch of pickles from the farmers market and decided to also make some dill pickles (that recipe to come).  It was very easy and all of my jars sealed!  I love hearing the popping noise after canning, makes me feel like a job well done. 

Bread and Butter Pickles
From: My Mom

6 qts. sliced pickles
3 medium onions, sliced
1 cup salt
9 cups cold water
3 pts. vinegar
6 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp alum
1 Tbs tumeric
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp celery seed

1. Slice pickles and onion.  Mix salt and cold water together and pour over pickles and onions.  Let sit 3 hours in refrigerator. 

2. Sterilize jars, lids and rings, either in dishwasher or pot of boiling water.

3. In a large pot combine vinegar, sugar, alum, tumeric, mustard seed, and celery seed. Drain pickles and onions and add to pot.  Heat mixture, but do not boil

4. Take one heated jar, fill with pickle and onion mixture, bringing liquid up to 1/2 in from top.  Seal with sterilized lid and screw ring on tightly.  Leave on Counter 24 hours before moving to a cool dry place.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Caprese Salad

Another recipe for all the tomatoes that have been growing!  I love Caprese in any way shape or form, but I like this one because it is nice and bite sized.

I learned how to make a balsamic glaze at my cooking class and I will definitely try that on my next caprese salad, because it tasted even better!

Caprese Salad
From: Elizabeth

Cherry or grape tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella Balls (small)
Fresh Basil, chopped
Sea Salt and pepper
Olive Oil
Balsamic vinegar (or balsamic vinegar reduction)

1. Cut tomatoes and mozzarella in half (or quarters).  Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add Basil and drizzle with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar (or glaze).

- To make balsamic glaze/reduction heat balsamic vinegar and reduce by half.  Keeps for 1-2 months.

- I've also recently fell in love with this Alaea Sea Salt from Whole Spice when we were visiting my brother in California.  It is fantastic especially on tomatoes!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Artichoke & Roasted Red Pepper Linguine


At the farmers market recently I bought some homemade pasta.  I bought a couple kinds and both came with recipes.  This is the first one I tried.  I think it would be delicious with regular Linguine as well.  Bill and I both really liked it, but Bill said (like he does with all veggie pasta dishes I make) that it would be better with chicken.  I do agree though, chicken would be a delicious add!

Artichoke and Roasted Red Pepper Linguine
From: Pasta Pappone

12 - 16 oz Artichoke Linguine Pasta (or plain Linguine)
2 cups artichoke hearts
1 cup roasted red bell peppers
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp dill

Can use roasted peppers in a jar, but if you want to make your own roasted peppers like I did, place the whole peppers on a cookie sheet and bake them at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, or until charred on all sides (turning halfway through).  Then place in a paper bag to cool for at least 15 minutes.  Then gently remove skin by sliding off. Cut off tops and de-seed.

1. Boil pasta according to instructions

2. In Saute pan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and add artichoke hearts and bell peppers.  Saute on high heat for 2 minutes. Reduce heat

3.  Add lemon juice, dill, and heavy cream. Heat until cream starts to boil.  Add cheese and stir thoroughly to mix.

4. When water is boiling, add pasta and cook to package directions.  When al-dente, strain and toss with sauce.  Serve piping hot with additional parmesan cheese.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rustic Italian Cooking Class

Last week I went to a cooking class at Olives 4 You for Rustic Italian Cooking (found it through Groupon).  It was a great experience.  The chef was born in France, but his grandmother lived in Italy and taught him traditional Italian cooking.  It was an absolutely fantastic meal and I learned a lot of little technique hints in addition to the recipes.  One thing I learned is that Alfredo sauce is not actually a cream sauce.  It consists of only butter, Parmesan and pasta water.  And it was fantastic.  Of course with that much butter and cheese why wouldn't it be.  Here is a quick look at what he made and we ate (some don't have great presentation since most were just serving size for each person).

Caprese Salad (left) & Pan Seared Wrapped mozzarella with sun-dried tomato Bruschetta (right)

Ravioli Florentina with Crema Rosa Wine Sauce
(loved the egg yoke that broke into the sauce once cut open... not sure if I could actually make this work at home)

Traditional Fettuccini Alfredo
Sauteed Chicken Scallopini in Marsala wine sauce


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Roasted Tomato Soup

My Mother-in-law has a lot of tomato plants which have been producing a LOT of tomatoes this year and she has been kindly sharing them with me so I have been trying a lot of different tomato recipes.  I also received an immersion blender from my Mom for my birthday - so the logical thing to make is tomato soup!  I looked at a couple recipes, but didn't love any of them, so just kind of did my own thing.  I really liked how it turned out and will definitely make it again. It was great with grilled cheese on a cool late summer/early fall evening.  

Roasted Tomato Soup
From: Elizabeth

3 lbs of Tomatoes (I used a mixture of beefsteak and cherry)
3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/4 cup onions, sliced
5-6 sprigs fresh Thyme
1/2 - 1 tsp Italian seasonings
5-6 leaves fresh basil
5-6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut tomatoes in half (or quarters if they are large) and squeeze out some of the seeds.  Lay out on cookie sheet with cut side up. Place garlic and onion slices in between the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, thyme and Italian seasonings.

2. Roast tomatoes for 30 minutes, removing the garlic around 20 minutes if getting soft. After 30 minutes place tomatoes and garlic (after unpeeling) in a large pot.  Add chicken broth and blend tomato mixture into the broth with immersion blender.  I made mine quite smooth but next time might try it with leaving some tomato chunks in.  If you don't have an immersion blender you can use the food processor before adding the tomatoes to the pot.

3. Heat soup and let simmer for 20 minutes. Season with Salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in basil and cream and turn off heat.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Southwestern Tossed Salad/Dip


A blog I read called Boo Mama occasionally hosts a Diptacular - in which everyone can share links to their favorite dips.  She usually does this right around football season to get (and give) some ideas for dips.  This one is the first one I tried this year and I'm sure there will be many more to follow from this site because they all look so good!  This is one Boo Mama shared and it was very fresh, light, and delicious.  I tried it both as a dip and a salad and I liked it better as a dip, but my in-laws preferred it as a salad. So it is great as both!

*** This picture is missing several ingredients... I guess I wasn't thinking before I took the picture.

Southwestern Tossed Salad/Dip
From: Boo Mama

2 cups fresh, frozen, or canned corn kernels
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 roma tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, diced
4 ounces of feta or cotija cheese, crumbled (I used tomato & basil feta because boo mama suggested it)

1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp grated lime zest (about 1 - 1 1/2 limes)
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1 - 1 1/2 limes)
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.

2. Combine the salad ingredients (all except avocado) and pour the dressing over it.  Marinate in refrigerator for several hours (up to overnight).  Add avocado right before serving.  Serve as salad or with tortilla chips as a dip.


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