Posts tagged ‘Tomato’

September 19, 2011

An Ohio Casserole Classic | Johnny Marzetti

Food trends come and go.  And ideas, ingredients, or dishes that you might think aren’t exactly cool, always seem to have a way of coming back around.  Being thrifty and using offal and off cuts is fashionable.  It’s hip to garden again.  The values of my Gran are suddenly in vogue.  How charming!

My friend John loves Columbus, loves food and thought it would be great to celebrate Johnny Marzetti with a collection of blog posts from local Columbus food bloggers.  I was so pleased to be included in the crowd and to learn about this dish, not being a Columbus native.  I assured John I’d never heard of or eaten this dish before.  But now what truly fascinates me is that there is a version that made its way to the Rio Grande valley of Texas, a stone’s throw away from where I grew up.   And as it turns out,  it’s something that my Grandma often made for Sunday dinners and potlucks.  I knew it as Macaroni Crunch, but many others knew it as Johnny Marzotti.  Maybe this is the sort of unspoken influence that food has on our lives.

Here’s my version of this Ohio and South Texas classic.  I’ve put my own spin on it by using heirloom tomatoes, fresh mushrooms and peppers from my back garden.  The result is a fresh take on the already entirely delicious French’s-fried-onions-canned-mushroom-soup-and-canned-tomato version with which I grew up.  And somehow, I think Grandma might be proud.  Proud of my garden and my thriftiness and my comfort in the kitchen.

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July 14, 2011

Summer Produce | Short Ribs Braised in Tomato

This is a Saturday meal.  Not because it’s hard.  (It’s not.)  Not because it takes a long time.  (It could.)   But because if you head to a farmer’s market Saturday morning, or happen to run across some really fabulous tomatoes while you’re doing your weekly grocery shopping, this is what you should make.  This time, I used some beautifully imperfect farmstand tomatoes from an unscheduled stop at a roadside market.

This is, without question, the easiest way to make a fresh tomato sauce.  And perhaps one of the tastiest.  What follows is not so much of a recipe, as a way of cooking.  Let your heart (and perhaps your tummy) lead you.

Braised Short Ribs in Tomatoes, Serves 4, inspired by Scott Conant

2 pounds of really lovely ripe tomatoes, cored

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July 12, 2011

Cherub in the Kitchen | Cherry Salsa

Whole Foods recently ran a contest for kid-friendly cherry recipes and honestly I can’t think of a better time for them to have done this.  This house has been overrun with cherries.  And Cherub’s always wanting to help in the kitchen.

Here’s a no-cook cherry salsa that we came up with together, that uses seasonal raspberries and tomatoes, too.  Her favorite task was to pit the cherries: smashing them lightly with a glass and removing the pit.  It was roll-y, juicy, slightly messy fun.  I recommend an apron for this part.

As for the final product, it was, in a word, devoured.  I love that she gets an extra boost of fiber along with a good amount of vitamin C.  She loves to scoop big, delicious mounds into her mouth.   Everybody’s happy.

While this recipe is super kid friendly, don’t let it stop you from serving it next time you’ve got a bar-b-q or a casual family get together.  It’s wonderful.  No chilies means it’s not too spicy and the hint of cumin lends it just a bit of sophistication.  And we all love that.

Firecracker Cherry Salsa, Serves 4

1/2 c. sweet red cherries, pitted and quartered

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June 2, 2011

Spargel Pasta | Asparagus in Cream Sauce

While I was in Germany and France last month, just about everywhere I went, sandwich boards proclaimed in German or French “Lust auf Spargel?” “Fin de l’Asperge!” And it seemed every bistro and restaurant had specials celebrating the edible spring perennial.  And truly, it is best savored when it is fresh and local.  I enjoyed a wonderful pasta dish at the Ratskeller in Munich my very first night and remember it wistfully.  With roasted tomatoes, tender asparagus and a drizzle of cream, this easy dish is a satisfying vegetarian meal, even for omnivores like myself.  There is a brief moment here in Ohio in the latest June or the earliest July, when the asparagus and the tomato harvests almost touch, those few precious days would the most wonderful time to enjoy this dish.

Spargel Pasta, serves 4

1 bunch asparagus

1 cup of small tomatoes or

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October 11, 2010

Tomato Bread Soup

I’ve been in an Italian mood lately.  One of the things that’s been encouraging this is a cookbook I hadn’t pulled down in a while: Flavors of Tuscany, by Nancy Harmon Jenkins.  There is a real difference in Italian cooking and Italian-American cooking.  There is an ease to these Italian recipes: many can be served hot or room temperature, which is tremendously helpful if you’re budgeting your time.

Last night, I made a pappa al pomodoro with Roma tomatoes from Wishwell Farm and the leftover ciabatta from Omega in North Market.   I also used carrots and a celeriac that I picked up on Friday at the Pearl Alley Farmers Market.  All this local produce simply prepared made for a lovely meal.  The soup is a thick one, almost like a porridge.  We served it fairly warm, but I can see making this mid-summer and placing it in a cool pantry before serving it.

Pappa al Pomodoro, inspired from Flavors of Tuscany

2 pounds fresh tomatoes, cut in chunks

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped

1 small celeriac, peeled and coarsely chopped

4 or 5 sprigs parsley

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1/2 pound slightly stale ciabatta, or other country bread, in small slices

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October 5, 2010

Steak & Eggs

It’s a classic.  Make it extra sexy by using local eggs and Ohio-grazed buffalo.  Saute a Roma tomato from Wishwell Farm, and add slice of ten grain toast from Daily Bread slathered with fresh made butter from Snowville.  Girl, please.  

Juicy tomatoes make a perfect "sauce" for the rare tenderloin.

 

Seared Vista Grand Ranch Buffalo Tenderloin with Manchester Hill Farm Eggs  

Preheat the over to 400˚.   Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper, drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  In a scorching hot pan, add the tenderloin and sear all sides to a nice golden brown.  When evenly browned, insert an instant read digital thermometer and set the temperature to 120˚.  Slide the pan (make sure it’s oven safe) into the preheated oven.  Entire cooking time in the oven is somewhere between 20 to 25 minutes.  When you rest the meat, the carry over cooking will raise it to 125˚ to 130˚, which will make it a brilliant medium rare.    

While your buffalo is in the oven, chop up one large Roma tomato, and cook over a low heat in a saute pan with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.   

Do all of the following tasks at your leisure, because when the thermometer beeps that it’s reached 120˚, you still need to rest the meat for at least 10 to 15 more minutes before you even think of slicing it.  In fact, while it’s resting, put a generous pat of butter on top.  Don’t rush this step, give it time to rest, you don’t want it bleeding out all over the cutting board.   

Scramble a couple of eggs with some butter, a drizzle of milk and chopped fresh tarragon over very low heat to make them extra creamy.   

Toast a couple of slices of bread and slather with that Snowville butter.   

Playlist included the totally dominant Tighten Up, by The Black Keys.  Ohio music rocks. 

Complete sourcing for all the local produce and products can be found on the Farms and Producers page.

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