Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday recipes

OK, so no one's commenting anymore--is anyone out there? I guess I'd better step up my subject matter to appeal to the masses!:) If you're reading this and you haven't checked in in a while, let me know. Or tell me what's boring you!
I haven't posted any recipes in a couple of weeks, so I'm due. I thought I'd share some of the things we are enjoying on this Sunday.
I went to the Farmer's Market yesterday right before they were closing and got a lot of amazing stone fruits and tomatoes for 50 cents a pound. I also bought some blackberries (not quite the steal, but beautiful), a whole wheat baguette, and fresh basil. So those are some of the ingredients I'm working with today.
Here's what I threw together at lunchtime. It didn't take long, looked pretty, and was soooo yummy. I love basil and tomato together. This is just a variation on bruschetta based on what I had around. I think I'll call it . . .

Farmer's Market Bruschetta
  • one large heirloom tomato (or any garden fresh tomato), diced in chunks
  • one or two cubes of frozen pesto, thawed (if you haven't made it, do it before the basil crop is gone for the summer!)
  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated (don't insult me by asking if you can use the stuff in the green can. Throw it away today and buy some real cheese!)
  • One whole wheat baguette, sliced in 1/3 inch thick slices
  • olive oil spray
Arrange the sliced baguette on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil spray. Put under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until lightly toasted. Turn over slices of bread, spray, and toast. Remove from oven.
Spread a thin layer of pesto on each piece of toast (thicker if you want to use more than 2 cubes. It'll be yummy, but higher in calories.) Place chopped tomatoes over pesto. Sprinkle liberally with feta cheese and top with a shaving or pinch of Parmesan.
Put tray back under the broiler for about 2 more minutes (but watch it--don't just take my word for it) until cheese begins to brown and melt but not until your toast burns!
Remove and serve. If desired, garnish with some fresh basil cut in ribbons and coarsely ground pepper.

I've also concocted a blackberry tart for dessert tonight:

Fresh Blackberry Tart
Shortbread Crust
  • 1/2 c. butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 8 oz. light cream cheese at room temperature (I used fat free because that's all I had--it would have been much creamier if we'd had the light.)
  • 1/2 c. light sour cream
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 c. fresh blackberries
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3 T. water
Cream butter and sugar well. Add remaining crust ingredients and mix until just combined. Press into a tart pan. Prick with a fork and bake at 275 degrees for about 55-60 minutes until golden brown. Let cool.
Beat together cream cheese, sour cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Spread over cooled tart crust. Arrange 3 cups fresh blackberries over the cream cheese. Place remaining 3 c. berries in a saucepan over low heat with sugar, lemon juice, and water. Sprinkle cornstarch over and toss gently. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
When berry mixture is warm but not hot, pour over tart. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Slice into 8 pieces and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
(This came out delicious but a touch on the soupy side as far as the fruit topping goes--which was great with me. If you want something that won't run at all, add a lot more cornstarch--or pick a different recipe!)

I also tried the Cooking Light Pork Carnitas from last September. It was a pain to cut up the roast--I thought the Beef Carnitas were much easier to make. Halfway through these, I was afraid that they were going to be tough and terrible, but by the time they were finished, they were fab. They have a subtle flavor, which makes them more versatile. I had one in a corn tortilla with diced mango and the other one smothered in salsa verde and they were two completely different but wonderful tacos. It made enough for leftovers (even though I was feeding my in-laws as well) and I can't decide if I want to do tacos again or put them in enchiladas or empanadas--decisions, decisions! I also served pinquitos (if I'm using canned pinto/pink beans, I love these from S&W in the low sodium variety. They have a nice flavor and cook down well.), green salad, fresh fruit salad, and grilled green beans.
This is my favorite way to have green beans--in the summer I grill them and in the winter I roast them at 450 in the oven. All you do is buy the long, French green beans. (You can use fresh, with the ends snapped off, or frozen if they are high quality like C&W or Trader Joe's). Spray the beans liberally with olive oil spray. Salt with kosher salt. Grill in a foil pouch or roast on a cookie sheet until they are crisp tender. If you are careful not to overdo them, they are positively delicious and I'd take them over french fries anytime!
We were stuffed after dinner and had to wait a bit for the dessert, but somehow we managed to fit that tart in!
Bon Appetit!


Andrea said...

Sorry, I have to admit that I don't always comment. I really enjoy checking your blog though...and hearing about what is going on up there in Roseville. Your pottytraining experiences makes me laugh... It also sounds like you had a fun road trip!

Rebecca said...

Hi Michal,
I've checked in and read, but haven't always left a comment. I say, you have lots of energy when it comes to cooking. I hate to admit I zone out a bit reading recipes...I'm just not a cook. I think more of the time it takes rather than what it will taste like. If I was rich, one thing I'd pay for is a chef to cook meals for my family. Right now my chef happens to be *La Lean Cuisine* who stops by often while I'm on weight watchers. I do have real parmesan cheese in my fridge though!

Rhonda said...

I am not sure I know how to leave comments, since mine never seem to show up on the blogs I read. I guess I will have to stop using such colorful language.

Anonymous said...

Ok so I left a comment on the last blog I just reposted it I guess I did something wronge... We still love your blog and your not boring us keep it up ....

Melissa said...

Hey Michal,
I check your blog daily, and just don't post as often as I should. That blackberry tart looks amazing and I am going to have to try it! I told Brady all about your dishwasher story, he got a kick out of that.
p.s. I have real parmesan cheese in the fridge also!

Michal said...

yeah for comments! thanks, guys, for letting me know that at least a couple of you are reading. i hate to be a whiner, but the past few days i began to wonder if i had gotten too boring!
rebecca, i guess one of my downfalls is good tasting food--and i sometimes spend too much time preparing it and eat too much of it because i know how good it is! i would do well if i ate lean cuisine!

Allison said...

I'm kicking myself for not making and freezing pesto this summer. I had three beautiful basil plants growing in my whittier garden and never new what to do with all of my excess. I guess I should have called you. As it is I had to go with the plain garlic/(real) parmesan cheese toast for dinner last night insead of the yummy bruchetta.

Anonymous said...

I guess being whiner works. I can attest the blackberry tart was superb!
Did we let Jared win Rook again? It's better when he does.
Dinner was delicious, Thanks again!

Deborah Gamble said...

Nothing like a little food to get everyone talking! The bruschetta looks delicious!