Archives for the month of: July, 2012

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One thing I must say about the good folks at Yellow Wood Farms, they have done an amazing job at keeping our CSA box full despite this summer’s drought. It’s unbelievable, and the veggies are all in beautiful condition.

The downside? Keeping up with using the most of these beautiful veggies around my crazy travel schedule (let’s face it, DH isn’t going to open up the fridge while I’m gone. He’s at Chipotle).

So Sunday afternoon, fresh off my inspiring weekend at Food Media Forum (more on that later), I decided to dig in to the veggie crisper. 5 eggplant and 10 tomatoes later, it called for eggplant parmigiana with homemade tomato sauce. Not exactly the most time-friendly, but dang it I’ve got to free up some space before Wednesday!!!

Eggplant Parmigiana
Serve 6-8

Ingredients

4-5 small eggplants, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Tomato Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, diced
1 pound of tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground oregano
2 eggs
Olive oil
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Parmesan cheese for serving

Method
Put sliced eggplants in colander and toss with kosher salt. Let sit for 30 minutes or until water. Starts to be released.

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Meanwhile, heat olive oil on medium heat in a Dutch oven. Add the onions and sauté about five minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic, cook for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, dried basil, oregano, and sugar. Season to taste. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, keeping the mature bubbling and cooking until most of the water is absorbed. Right before using the sauce, add the balsamic and fresh basil.

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Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a flat pasta bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley and oregano. In another bowl, beat the two eggs. In a large skillet, heat olive oil to cover bottom of the pan. Take eggplant slices, dip in the egg, cover with the breadcrumb mixture, and place in the pan. Cook the eggplant until brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side. Layer in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Continue until all the eggplant has been breaded and cooked (add more olive oil if the pan starts to look dry).

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Layer all of the eggplant in the baking dish.

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Cover the eggplant with the tomato sauce

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Top the dish with cheese. Put in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown.

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(Sorry for the goofy picture… I meant to take a shot at a better picture for dinner, but it disappeared. Guess that was a good sign)!

Well, now I feel a bit more caught up on the veggies, although Wednesday’s pick-up is not far away!

What summer veggies do you have an abundant supply of and how do you plan to use them? Next week, I have to deal with the zucchini.

Beth

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I was grateful that I happened to have all the ingredients for the semolina bread, as it seemed that this recipe took up every spare moment I had this weekend. Actually, that is more of a reflection of how busy I was this weekend than the complexity of this recipe, but it did require some advance planning to squeeze the baking and rising in with meetings and appointments.

Oh, and I had to bake the bread at 9 at night since it’s been above 90 degrees here for three some weeks and I can barely handle any more heat.

Since Saturday was really booked (we are starting a project to redo our basement and I also realized I was so far behind on my routine errands that the dry cleaners had a few of my suit jackets for a good 5 weeks), I only had time to make the sponge. So sponge-making I did that afternoon, and then I took a risk and placed it in the fridge after the recommended hour on the counter.

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Still looks the same after 14 cold hours later.

Then Sunday I brought the sponge up to room temperature and mixed it with flours and salt. And yes, I do actually have semolina flour on hand at all times for when DH decides he needs to destroy our kitchen making pasta. For the first time with a TWD recipe, I used the food processor method. I’m usually not keen on the FoodPro…while it works beautifully, I am secretly terrified of having to wash it myself as I’m afraid of cutting myself (and have no idea how the thing fits together again once I’m done).

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Then, the test. Did keeping the sponge overnight in the fridge do my dough any harm?

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I am happy to report…No!

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Once the first rise was complete, I kneaded the dough into a loaf for the second rise. This one did not rise a ton, but I wonder if some of the issue was that my loaf size was pretty spread out. But as it is, the loaf did rise somewhat prior to baking.

I baked for the exact time as the outside of the loaf was so hard I was afraid I had over baked it since my loaf was so flat. But when I finally cut into it on Monday morning, it was easy to cut and very chewy. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be chewy, but I haven’t minded this week.

Oh, and I am of the camp that there is too much salt in this loaf. Or, due to the semolina flour, it just seemed especially salty to my taste. But it’s still a nice hunk of bread that didn’t require all that much hands-on time to make.

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Visit our hosts beautiful pages (Annaatkeepitlice and Renee at The Way to My Family’s Heart for this recipe. Hopefully I will be back up and blogging more frequently soon!

Beth

It won’t surprise those of you that know me that I have always had a tendency to wander off. When I was young, maybe three or four, my mother would have me paged in Kmart or ShopKo when she couldn’t find me. This happened more than once, despite the trouble I would get into when we got home. I’m sure my poor mother almost had a heart attack each time she turned around and I was nowhere to be found in the racks of sweaters.

Nowadays, I still wander off, and the last few weeks have been a prime example. I have my reasons for the distraction, but the pager has gone off and I’m coming back around. And while I haven’t been blogging, I have still been cooking.

One benefit of the heat we’ve been having in St. Louis is the bumper crop of tomatoes that keep showing up in our CSA box. I’m trying to keep a positive spin on the tomatoes even though their not my favorite. But this tort was a great way to use some tomatoes.

Tomato and Onion Tart
Makes one 12-inch tart
Adapted from Epicurious

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Tort Dough
11/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
8 tbsp butter
1 egg
Ice water

Combine flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the butter is about the size of dimes. Add the egg, and combine with your hands until the dough starts to come together. If it still isn’t coming together, add a tbsp of ice water at a time until it forms. The dough will be a little crumbly. Wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.

Filing
2 large onions, sliced thin
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups shredded jack or fontina cheese
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 small can sliced black olives

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add onions, and cook down for 20 – 30 minutes, until they start to brown and carmelize. Turn off the heat.

On a lightly flours surface, roll out the tart dough to the size of your tart pan. Fold into the pan and crimp into the edges, trimming anything that hangs over. Fill the tart dough with your onions. Spread the shredded cheese over the onions, then add the sliced tomatoes and olives.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for an hour.

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This was especially delicious and DH declared it one of my better dishes (and proceeded to eat it again for breakfast). I highly recommend making the homemade tart dough…this is my favorite dough to make and it’s pretty forgiving.

It’s going to be a long week, I’m afraid. Best to get to bed.

Beth