Archive for August, 2010

August 31, 2010

Soup and Sandwich for Two

Feel like you’ve spent your entire life in the customer service line?  Tired of being fed the robotic, ubiquitous and industrial tomato soup with grilled processed cheese?  Then give today’s lunch menu a go with someone you love.  This light and tasty combo is vegetarian friendly and takes advantage of two peak late-summer crops.  Its slightly adventurous and playful, but won’t alienate lovers of the S&S tradition.  C’mon, Robots need love too…

Chilled Cantaloupe “Soup”

½ cantaloupe, seeded and cut into chunks

¼ c. heavy cream, sprinkle of sugar, drop of vanilla – combined and lightly whipped

Puree the cantaloupe in a blender or food processor, divide between two bowls.  Drizzle with the cream (you won’t need all of it).

Marinated Cucumber “Sandwich”

½ large cucumber, peeled

3 chive stalks and 6 mint leaves, chopped

Mirin, rice wine vinegar, pinch of sugar, pinch of salt, splash of olive oil

2 slices thin white bread

1 T. Boursin

Using a vegetable peeler, peel ribbons of cucumber from the length of the cucumber stopping when the seeds are reached.  In a bowl toss together the cucumber ribbons, chive, mint, Mirin, vinegar, sugar, salt and olive oil.  Spread the Boursin thinly over the two slices of bread, divide the cucumber mixture between the two slices.

Playlist included Dan Mangan’s Robots (Robots need love, too.  They want to be loved by you.)

August 30, 2010

Last of the (Famous International) Tomatoes

Super fresh tomatoes give the puree a lovely orange color.

We’re on the cusp of September and the tomato plants are on their last legs.  There are still a ton of green tomatoes on the vines, but I wonder if we’ll have enough hot days to turn the rest.  My guess is not.  I’ll take this as an opportunity to learn how to make stuff besides fried green tomatoes.

But winding down the summer, I can reminisce over all we’ve used our tomatoes for: some pretty tasty tomato and peach panzanella salads, sausage (we love ones from Bluescreek Farm Meats)with roasted tomatoes peppers, omelettes with tomato compote, and super simple, super fast tomato and basil sauce over pasta.  No dish was earth shattering in its creativity, to be sure, but oh my is it tasty.  I always feel a little sad when summer comes to end because the tomatoes will be gone.  Ah, seasons.

We cook pretty casually around here.  If you’ve got an hour to let something roast in the oven, now’s the perfect time of year to cook this:

Italian Sausages with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes, Peppers and Onions

1 pound of Italian sausages (combination of sweet and hot)

1 large yellow onion, sliced in thick rounds

2 large bell peppers, deseeded and cut into wide strips

3 medium sized (or 1 large or heck a couple of handfuls of cherry sized) tomatoes

1 or two cloves of garlic, smashed, fresh thyme (if you’ve got it in your garden or feel like buying it), a bay leaf or two

Balsamic Vinegar, olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Place sausages, onions, peppers and tomatoes (cut up in large-ish chunks), garlic, thyme and bay in a large roasting pan.  Drizzle a good amount of olive oil and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar over the veg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss together with your (clean, of course) hands and then rearrange to place the sausages back on top of the veg.  Slide in a 350 oven (preheated or not, who cares? it’s not a cake) for about an hour, to an hour and ten minutes.  Give the pan a shake and turn the sausages over half way through if you remember.

If you’ve got the desire to be a bit posh about it, and you’ve got more tomatoes than you know what to do with, puree four cups of diced tomatoes (chef’s choice) in the blender (throw a bell pepper in there if you want), reduce over low-ish heat in a sauce pan, at the last minute, whisk in some good olive oil, a pinch or two of sugar, and a good amount of salt and pepper. 

To serve with the sauce, put a ladle of sauce in a shallow bowl, top with a pile of the roasted veg and a sausage or two.  Good bread is almost an essential. 

We served this with PBR tall boys and thought it was just fine.

Playlist included Last of the International Playboys by Morissey.

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