3/8/2015 – Well, this sucks. This post was hacked and deleted, and I don’t have a back up. Stupid hack fucks. At least we still have pictures, and honestly this is the same scone base I always use, just with two Tbsp clementine zest and 1/2c. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries added and skip the lemon and pistachio, and the glaze is made with the juice from those clementines.
So, you know when you go to Costco and get that HUGE clamshell of cherry tomatoes, and you tell yourself – Oh! I’ll eat all of them. They look so good! I’ll have some every day!
Only a week later they look like this?
Or, maybe you have a neighbor who went to Market on the Move and brought you four pints of them? (Because you have the best neighbors ever!)
What to do, what to do? Soooo many cherry tomatoes. Some a little on the sad side. Well at our house, that means cherry tomato jam.
This stuff is like grown-up ketchup – it goes on everything. On a sliced baquette with some goat cheese. On a pork chop. On a ham and cheese scone. On a bacon sandwich. Everything, I tells ya.
I make mine with the toms, some grated onion and sliced shallot, thyme, sugar, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire, garlic and olive oil.
Since these were M-O-M cherry tomatoes, and most likely not organic, I gave them two good washes with soapy hot vinegar water.
Anybody with a split skin, I tossed. (Hello? Hot soapy vinegar water?) Next, slice the toms in half. These aren’t cranberries – they don’t automatically pop when they’re done. Trust me, I’ve tried. You get stuck trying to mash them at the end and it’s a pain. Plus, this way you can inspect each one.
Throw them in the pot and simmer on low for a couple hours. I actually wound up having to add some tomato paste to mine. It *is*January, they weren’t exactly chock full of tasty tomato-loids.
You can can it at this point. Or freeze it. Or just toss it in the fridge for up to a few weeks. I’ve been known to make a mini batch of these when I’ve got a partial pint mummifying on the counter.
I tried to use less sugar this time, and it did not set up – it’s like a thick tomato jam sauce type thing. But still *very* tasty. Just not as pretty. And, unfortunately, I’ve promised some to friends so hello, cooking shame. Haven’t seen you in like…a day.
Alright – moral of the story? Never throw away ageing cherry tomatoes again!
Cherry Tomato Jam, Not-So-Cherry
Sweet and tangy with thyme, vinegar and mild onion. Yum!
No process shots this week, kids. Just the final product – this is a planned over. When chicken breasts are on sale for 99 cents a pound, I always buy a big pack and roast them, then dice them and freeze them for quick meals through the week.
This dish features beautiful kale – they way it is best. Sautéd with garlic, served with a touch of balsamic vinegar. Not puréed in to some hipster smoothie like a hamster shat in your glass, or baked to a chip that looks and tastes like the shit petrified in your fridge for six months. No, this is luscious, tender but firm, sweet and slightly bitter. A fantastic foil for the melting sweetness of the onion and potato. Yum!
Sweet Potato Kale Skillet with Chicken
Quick planned overs - sweet potato and onion sauteed with kale, garlic and chicken. Served with a nice balsamic vinegar.
First, roast the sweet potato. Pierce it a couple times and roll it up in sheet of wax paper, twisting the ends. Cook it in the microwave for 7-8 minutes. Get the rest of your mis en place done while it cooks. Let it cool for a couple minutes, then peel and cube it. It will be HOT, be careful. And it doesn't have to be 100% done because it's going to cook in the pan with the kale.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet.
Add the onions and stir over medium high for a couple minutes until they're halfway translucent. Add the cubed sweet potato and chicken, toss to coat with the oil and onion. Lay all the kale on top, and sprinkle the garlic over the kale. S&P. Reduce the heat to low, pour in the chicken broth and cover.
Cook about 20 minutes, until the kale is what you consider done. Check after 10 if you like it still mostly raw.
Serve with a sprinkling of good balsamic vinegar and a grind or two more of the black pepper.
You could totally make this with rotisserie chicken, or even those frozen cooked chicken breasts, but I would leave out the salt and use 2/3 c stock and 1/3 c water. You can always add more salt at the end if needed.
Our neighbors went to Market on the Move and brought us this beautiful eggplant. And peppers. And squash.
It’s “Meat-Free Monday” at our house. And, honestly at this trail-end of the holiday season if I see one more damn cookie or chocolate-covered-whatever, I think I’m going to explode. So a ratatouille sounds just right. Fast and warm, full of yummy vegetables. Easy to make. Thanks to our neighbor’s generosity, now all the ingredients are on hand:
Some diced canned tomatoes (lighten up, purists, it’s December),
Basil, tomato paste, olive oil and garlic,
some cubed extra-firm organic tofu,
onion, bell pepper, zucchini and the eggplant,
Put them together, and bam! So long, seasonal overindulgences. Kiss my tofu.
Ratatouille au tofu
Fast and savoury. A southern French vegetable dish with the added lean protein of tofu.
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, or 3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp. basil leaf chiffonade
Heat a large nonstick skillet. Add the olive oil, saute the onion for a minute or two. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and saute for a minute or two. Add the rest of the diced vegetables and tofu, and saute for a minute or two. Add in the diced tomatoes and basil, stir. Cover and simmer on low for 20-30 minutes.
Serve with rice. Or pasta. Or by itself with a good crusty loaf.
Oh, holy shit ya’ll. I just tried this fantastic cracker recipe from the Oh Dear Bakery blog. Instead of the Italian seasoning, I used a littled dried minced garlic and TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute, and added some coarse black pepper on top with the salt. These are fast. And addictive. Make at your own risk. I could not stop eating them as I was shooting. Bill said they’re yummy. Well, I’m off to make a whipped cream cheese with lemon zest, dill and shallots to schmear on these fuckers. And to taunt Bill, obviously.
Make these. They’re awesome.
They put the crack in cracker.
Crunchy herby bits of addictive goodness that are mix to eat in half an hour.
1/3 cup olive oil plus about a tablespoon for sprinkling on top
Sea salt and coarse ground black pepper to sprinkle on top
Preheat your oven to 450*. Throw everything except the sprinkles in the kitchen aid with the paddle. Mix 30 seconds, or until dough forms. Divide in to two balls. Take a sheet of parchment the size your cookie sheet, and roll that dough to about 1/8" keeping it as rectangular as possible. Repeat with the second ball. Drizzle on the last Tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with the sea salt and the course ground pepper. With a pizza wheel, gently slice each lengthwise to get 6-8 strips. Then take a fork and lightly score the strips about every 1/2" or so.
Bake 10-ish minutes - they should be golden brown and smell done. When they're cool, break the strips in to cracker-sized chunks.
Anybody out there old enough to remember SOAR? The Berkeley Searchable Online Archive of Recipes, that has since become RecipeSource? It was (is) this wonderful place created to preserve family recipes, back before the explosion of the interwebs and when you still *really* needed cookbooks. I used to read that for fun – they have it sorted by geographic region and ethnic groups. It was a fascinating place to browse. So, back when dirt was new and I wanted a good biscotto, that was where I went to look and found this marvelous recipe and printed it out on my dot matrix printer. And saved that paper for years. These are fantastic biscotti – crunchy, but not so hard they break your teeth. Dippable without disintegrating – truly a work of art.
I eventually lost that recipe, and despaired. But was saved by our Google Overlords. I found it again at Cooks.com (because for the life of me I cannot find it again at Recipe Source – weird, I know.) Biscotti are pretty damn easy to make, and have a big wow factor. Although I swear anything that isn’t a chocolate chip cookie seems to have a big wow factor because no one cooks any more. But, hey – that’s why I blog!! Shall we?
Cream the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs and vanilla.
Sift your flour with the salt and leavening, grind the pepper and zest the orange.
Chop the nuts. Please forgive me, I apparently saved the shot of the chopped hazelnuts for another recipe and not the walnuts – but we’ll include them here just for continuity.
Mix in the dry and the nuts.
Flour your hands and make a log.
Bake it, cool it and slice it in even pieces. Save the biscotti butts for taster-testing.
Bake ’em a second time (that’s the bis to the cotto), and away we go – snack time!!
Here’s the recipe. Try them – they’re easy. Some like to dip one side in chocolate, but I think that overpowers the wonderful play of the heat and the orange with the toasty nuts and butter. But hey, that’s probably just me.
I usually go nuts with the cookies for Christmas. Make dozens and dozens. Ship them off to friends and family. But this year, I just wasn’t feeling the cookie love. We tried some candied orange peel (delicious!), and then when I was at Caravan the Force of the Baklava was too strong to resist. Of course, the problem with that is that there is now half a tray of baklava in the house…..
This is just AB’s recipe, basically. Except I skip the almonds and use 9oz ea pistachios and walnuts. Oh, and use orange blossom water instead of rose. This is one of those things like cheesecake – people ooh and aah, and it’s really a simple simple thing to make. It just has a lot of steps, but they’re not impossible complicated ones.
Thaw the fillo:
Whiz the nuts, spices and sugar in the robot:
Brush the layers with butter, and put in some of the nut mix every few layers:
Remembering to bless each layer with some orange blossom water
Score the tops, bake:
Make the syrup
Pour it over the cooked pastry, garnish with more chopped nuts and let it soak up the syrup for 8+ hours
God, I love this stuff. Crunchy, nutty, buttery, sweet, exotic with orange blossom. Yum.