Roasted Tomato & Butternut Squash Soup

duo soup 3 (1 of 1)

Yoga may have killed my burger mojo. Read More

Cooking with iamafoodblog’s Easy Gourmet: Haloumi Caprese Sandwiches

I’m cooking my way through Stephanie Le’s book Easy Gourmet.  She is the very talented and original writer who won this year’s “Blog of the Year” in Saveur Magazine’s annual food blog awards.  I’ve always wanted to cook my way through an entire book and, in fact, one of the reasons I started blogging was to get myself to crack open my thousands of cookbooks and actually cook from them.  Since I am in the process of re-formatting my blog, organizing and cataloging my “recipes” and adding pages and features, as well as wanting to delete about 50% of my early posts containing many jaundiced iPhone pictures, the timing seemed perfect when Stephanie’s book arrived yesterday. Read More

Tomato Tarte Tatin

Ah, tomatoes.  Fresh, ripe, summer tomatoes.  It may be hard to top a freshly picked, home grown tomato sprinkled with salt and eaten out of hand like an apple.  Or a classic BLT with mayonnaise.  Or a Caprese Salad.  When you have fresh tomatoes, it’s best to not mess with them too much.  The Tomato Tarte Tatin is a nice way to use fresh tomatoes that concentrates their flavor and adds to their natural sweetness with the use of balsamic vinegar and sugar.  The tomatoes are thus rendered sticky and almost candy-like, on top of a puff pastry tart.  The result is like a pizza without the cheese, and with a mouthful of bursting tomatoes and juice.  It’s a messy dish, but is absolutely delicious, as well as beautiful.  Give it a try!

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Finished Tarte

IMG_5945

Tomatoes Simmering

For Mr. Fitz we turned the tarte into a BLT, adding the necessary porcine element.

For Mr. Fitz:  Adding Porcine Goodness!

For Mr. Fitz: Adding Porcine Goodness!

Tomato Tarte Tatin

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/3 lbs cherry or medium tomatoes (or enough to fill your tart pan)
  • 1 pack, 8 oz. puff pastry
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400°F

  1. In a large pan, melt the butter and one tablespoon of the sugar together. When it starts to caramelize, add the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar all over. Season with salt & pepper.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce for 2 minutes. Place the tomatoes in a tart pan. Place the pastry on top of the tomatoes and tuck the sides in. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.
  3. Leave the tart to rest for 5 minutes, then flip over on a plate. Pour as much excess liquid as possible. Garnish the tart with fresh thyme leaves.

Sweet Avocado

In college I had a good tennis team friend, Harriet, who used to eat mashed up avocado with banana, sugar and milk.  She was half Filipino and grew up in Kuwait.  She did not know the savory application of the Avocado, only the sweet.  I had never known any sweet recipes for Avocado, only savory.  But I tasted her bowl one day after a long hot tennis and track session, and boy was it good!

The Avocado fruit is commonly used in Asia to make sweet shakes or “smoothies.”  In Indonesia, it is called “Jus Alkapat” and involves avocado, condensed milk, ice cubes and . . . . . chocolate syrup or . . . coffee!!!!!; in the Phillipenes the drink is made with avocado, ice, milk and sugar; the Vietnamese version, Sinh to Bo (Butter Fruit Shake), is made with avocado, milk, sugar, ice and condensed sweetened milk; in Brazil I actually had such a shake made with avocado, milk, sugar and ice.

Since I am still on soft and liquid foods due to my recent tooth extraction, I am on the search for different ways to be in post-operative compliance.  I got tired of ice cream and yogurt after a few days.  Well, not really.  But I needed more variety.  And as you all know, one of the wonderful features of the internet is that it has a vast sub-universe of food information and recipes.  I first made a standard Vietnamese version, and I could not believe how incredibly delicious it was.  Wow. But I thought it wouldn’t lack anything if I didn’t add all of the sugar, so I opted for a sweet tomato and date relish.

Here is my own version of a sweet avocado drink:

Ingredients:

1 large ripe avocado

Ripe Avocado

Ripe Avocado

1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (if you don’t do dairy, simply use coconut milk or coconut cream thinned out with a bit of water)

1 cup ice

1 date, chopped

2 cherry tomatoes, quartered

Quartered Sun Golds & Medjool Date

Quartered Sun Golds & Medjool Date

A handful of nasturtiums or other edible flowers

1/4 tsp grey salt

Instructions:

Place the avocado, milk, salt and ice in a blender and blend for 30 seconds on medium speed.  Pour into a glass and top with date and tomato.  Rim glass with flowers.  Drink up!

Ready to Drink

Ready to Drink

In a Mason Jar, Ready to Go to Work

In a Mason Jar, Ready to Go to Work