Tag: Tomatoes

Weekend Finds 7:1:16: 4th of July Edition

Let’s be honest. The 4th of July has become an occasion for day drinking, barbecues, water balloons, and fireworks. But I’m not complaining. For the past few years we have spent the day in our friends Dylan and Caitlyn’s back yard, lounging, snacking, drinking good Portland brews, and eventually having a summery BBQ feast. And Monday will be no different. Here are the recipes I’m looking to cook this 4th of July.

Green Rice Salad with Nectarines

Green Rice Salad with Nectarines from Not Without Salt

This salad has been a summer gathering go-to for years now, and it never fails. People always love it, it’s summery and colorful with a little bit of spice and plenty of bold flavors.

Tomato-Peach Salad with Tofu Cream

Tomato-Peach Salad with Tofu Cream

Don’t let the tofu cream weird you out and keep you from making this refreshing salad. I promise, it’s delicious.

Barbecue Chicken (Rub and Sauce)

Smitten Kitchen's Barbecue Chicken

If my memory doesn’t fail me – and it’s been a year so it might – Dylan and Caitlyn make this amazing dry rubbed chicken every year, throw it on the grill, and coat it in this homemade barbecue sauce. It is always the hit of the party, no matter how much I up my game.

Strawberry Pistachio Crumble Pie

Strawberry Pistachio Crumble Pie from Bon Appetit

I haven’t made this pie (YET!) but it has been haunting my dreams. The layer of cream cheese at the bottom? The mountain of strawberries? The crumble of pistachio and poppy seeds and cardamom? I mean, come on.

Zero Proof Beverages

The thing about spending all day in the sun eating and drinking is you have to be smart. It’s always good to have a NA drink option around, and I’m having trouble deciding which of these two I should make; saffron and cardamom lemonade or tea thyme soda.

Ottolenghi’s Basic Hummus

Ottolenghi and Tamimi's Hummus

This is my extremely reliable hummus recipe that I starting making regularly after returning from Israel last summer. With a few tweaks, it is rich and healthy and makes a perfect all day snack when paired with pita, carrots, bell peppers, and whatever other crunchy vegetables you like. (What tweaks, you ask? I do 1 cup tahini, 6T lemon juice, 6 cloves of garlic, and 4T ice water.)

Weekend Finds 7:6:14

I don’t know about you all, but I had a truly lovely July 4th. I ate possibly one of the most delicious summer holiday meals every – perfectly grilled steak, BBQ chicken, grilled veggies, and that green rice salad I’ve been going on about. Now I’m at the coast with family, and couldn’t be happier that I get to spend this holiday weekend with people I really love. With that, on to the weekend finds.

1. Corn, Tomato, and Garlic Confit Pasta

Past with roasted tomatoes, corn, and garlic confit from Food52 // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Doesn’t that look like a bowl of summer?

Garlic confit sounds intimidating to me. It really does. But let me say this – it was so easy to make. Like painfully easy. And it added immensely to this dish from Food52 (by Dash and Bella). This dish screams summer, and was so creamy and flavor packed. Just start roasting those tomatoes early! They need 2-3 hours in a low oven.

2. Easy Marinades

Easy Marinades // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Marinate everything!

I love summer because it means marinating meats and throwing them on the grill. I’ve got a couple good marinade recipes in my back pocket, but more can never hurt, nor can the ability to throw one together no matter what you’ve got on hand. This little tidbit from Bon Appetit offers some great ideas, as well as a general equation to make your marinades perfect.

3. Apricots!

All things apricots // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
My favorite apricot recipe.

If I’m being honest, I think apricots are kind of an undervalued stone fruit. I love their small size (the perfect snack), their soft skin, and their mild/sweet/tart flavor. Perhaps my favorite thing to do with apricots is halve them, fill the hole where the pit was with a spoonful of honey, and throw them under the broiler for a few minutes. Top with Greek yogurt, mascarpone, or freshly whipped cream, and some chopped pistachios. Other bites of apricots that look delicious are these crostinis, a different roasted apricot technique with butter and brown sugar, this couscous with apricot (sub fresh for dried apricots please), and this apricot miso jam (I know the recipe calls for dried apricots, but still, two of my favorite things in a jar together, yes please right now thank you).

4. Peas, peas, peas

Summer Peas // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
A little ingredient education never hurt anybody.

I love ingredient education, and various kinds of peas are something that I confuse sometimes. It’s actually pretty important to know the different between your peas, particularly shelling peas and snap peas. Read here about which are best for what.

5. Vibrant Table by Kimberly Hasselbrink

Vibrant Food by Kimberly Hasselbrink // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Doesn’t that cover make you want to cook? Photo from The Vanilla Bean Blog.

This is the cookbook that the green rice salad with nectarines and corn is from (the one I haven’t been able to stop talking about and made for the 4th of July), and that recipe was so freaking good, now I really want this cookbook. I love when books are organized seasonally – I feel like it makes it easier to flip through. And taking a look at some of the recipes in the table of contents, I feel like this book is something I’d reach for again and again. Wish list!

Easy Year-Round Tomato Sauce

Easy Year-Round Tomato Sauce // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerEasy Year-Round Tomato Sauce // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Over Christmas, my sister Emily was raving about this tomato sauce on Smitten Kitchen that I’d seen several times. For some reason, it never really stuck out to me. It’s almost too easy.

But for New Year’s Eve we were having some friends over, and I decided to make fresh pasta with homemade sauce. Knowing full well that I wouldn’t be able to find incredible fresh tomatoes, I decided to give the recipe a shot. And you know what? It was awesome.

I did a few things differently. Firstly, I doubled the recipe. I probably could have still only used one onion, but I used two. Instead of just mashing the tomatoes against the side of the pan, after removing the onion I used an immersion blender to slightly puree the sauce. I’m not a huge fan of chunks in my tomato sauce, so it was a personal taste thing. I also added some chili flakes for a bit of heat.

Easy Year-Round Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 28-oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano (yes, you can taste the difference)
5 Tbl unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
Red chili flakes
Salt

Instructions

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine butter, tomatoes, onion, and a pinch of red chili flakes. Choose a pan bigger than you might think. The onions can be a little unwieldy while stirring as they’re in such big chunks. Over medium heat, bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce heat to maintain that simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring every once in a while, and smashing the tomatoes against the sides of the pot (be careful not to squirt all over yourself here). Remove onions from sauce, turn off heat, and, if you’d like, use an immersion blender to lightly purée the sauce. If not, that’s ok too. Season to taste. Use sauce to dress your favorite pasta (homemade or otherwise), or in a lasagna or on pizza.

Lasagna, of the cheesiest variety

Lasagna // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Lasagna // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Lasagna // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Sometimes you need to make those meals that yield a million servings so you can eat it all week. The week before the CD release concert we had for Jonah’s new album was absolutely one of those weeks.

We had a few guests staying with us, band practice almost every night, and I had work on the nights I wasn’t rehearsing. It was a busy time, to say the least. So the night of our Kickstarter team meeting, to discuss merch and social media, etc. I made this lasagna, so that we could eat it throughout the week. It was high up on the list of best lasagna I’ve ever made. What made it so good? The homemade sauce, the homemade noodles, and some absurd amounts of cheese.

I’ll admit, however, that this uses a lot of dishes, and has a fair amount of ingredients. But when you’ve got some time and you’re making a meal that will carry you through the week, it’s worth it. I like to think of it as an entire week’s worth of mess (and cleanup).

Cheesy Meat Lasagna

Note: I used a 13×9 inch baking dish, and filled it right up to the brim. I put a baking sheet underneath it to catch any overflow (which was minimal), but still, if you’ve got a slightly bigger baking dish, it might be a good idea to use it.

Ingredients

Noodles

3 eggs
2 cups flour

Meat Sauce

Olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3/4 lb ground beef
3/4 lb ground italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt, pepper, other Italian seasoning (parsley, basil, oregano, to your liking)
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1 28 oz can crushed (or diced) San Marzano tomatoes (yes, these are expensive, but I found it to be terribly worth it, and they weren’t THAT MUCH more than the other brands)

Ricotta Filling

3 cups ricotta
2 eggs
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 cup freshly grated parmesan
2-3 cups (preferably freshly) grated mozzarella

Instructions

Noodles

In the bowl of an electric mixer, or using a bowl and whisk, or a bowl and fork, mix up the eggs and flour into a dough. If it’s too wet, add more flour 1 tsp at a time. If it’s too dry, add water 1 tsp at a time. Dump the dough out onto floured surface, knead a few times, and wrap in plastic (or put in a bowl and cover with dishtowel) and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Meat Sauce

In a large pot, heat 2 Tbl olive oil over medium heat, and add the onion and carrot. Cook until starting to soften. Add the garlic, beef, and Italian sausage, and cook until the meat has browned. Add 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp ground pepper, and whatever other spices you’d like (I did 1/2 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp dried parsley). Add the tomato paste and canned tomatoes to the pot (no need to drain them!) and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low and cover, letting it simmer for ~30 minutes.

Ricotta Filling

While your dough is resting and your sauce is simmering you can whip up the ricotta filling. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, pepper, and 1/2 cup of both the grated mozzarella and parmesan. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your lasagna.

Roll out your pasta into sheets for lasagna and set aside, covering so that the noodles don’t dry out. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and lightly coat your baking dish with oil. Spread ~1 cup sauce in the bottom of the dish. Here’s how you’re going to do this: noodles, ricotta, sauce, cheese. That’s your order. On top of the sauce in the bottom of the dish, arrange a layer of noodles; spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top, then 1 cup sauce, and sprinkle with cheese (a mixture of the mozzarella and parmesan). Do that twice (now we’ve got sauce, noodles, ricotta, sauce, cheese, noodles, ricotta, sauce, cheese), and in the next layer, leave out the cheese (so just noodles, ricotta, sauce). Put another layer of noodles on top, spread the rest of the sauce on top, and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Phew! If you don’t feel like following my layering instructions, just do whatever you want. It’ll probably work, and you’ve probably eaten enough lasagna in your life to figure out how it works.

Bake the lasagna for 30-40 minutes, rotating it half way through, until the cheese on top is melted and turning golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool/set for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!