Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hickory Smoked Hot Sauce

I used cowhorn peppers to create this particular batch of hot sauce, but you could use jalapeños, habanero, or any combination of tasty hot peppers for this. Keep in mind that the hotter the pepper, the hotter the hot sauce, so choose according to your tolerance. While it's plenty spicy, this sauce is all about flavor, not just heat. The smoke and salt add a ton of great flavor to greens, tacos, cornbread, sandwiches, soups, and, well, the list is endless. It basically improves everything except, like, maybe an ice-cream sundae.

This is a great way to preserve the current harvest. The salt, smoke, and vinegar help to keep this fresh for months in the fridge or even longer if you freeze it or properly can it.

Hickory Smoked Hot Sauce

8 cups fresh chili peppers (de-stemmed)
1 large head garlic (broken into cloves)
2 tablespoons kosher or pickling salt
1 1/2 cups white vinegar (like Whole Foods 365 brand)

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)

Smoke chili peppers for 4 minutes using my easy and quick smoking method. Add 1/4 of the peppers to the work bowl of your food processor. Process until very finely chopped and then place them into a large, non-reactive ceramic or plastic bowl. Repeat with the rest of the peppers and the garlic. Add the salt to the mix, stir with a rubber spatula, and pack the mixture into a 1 quart glass jar. The mixture should just about fill the jar. With the top loosely set, leave the glass jar with the pepper mixture in it out on the counter for 24 hours to ferment. If the jar is particularly full, place a towel underneath it in case it bubbles over.

Place the contents of the jar back into the large, non-reactive bowl, mix in the vinegar, cover, and allow it to sit out on the countertop for an additional 24 hours to develop flavor. After that, use a fine mesh strainer to strain the mixture pressing out all of the liquid until all that's left in the strainer is dry pulp. At this point, place the strained mixture into a blender and add the xanthan gum. Run the blender continuously for 1 minute to make sure the xanthan gum is blended in well; this step will keep your hot sauce from separating in the bottle! (Makes about a quart, depending on how juicy the peppers are that you're using.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pizza Fritta + Vegetarian Bolognese & Smoked Provolone

    I know, I know. You've always wanted to make pizza from scratch at home, but you're not about to invest the money in all of the necessary equipment (pizza peel, pizza stone, pizza wheel, etc.) just to make pizza once or twice before deciding that it's too much trouble or that you don't have time before you never do it again.

Well, I have the solution for you. It's called Pizza Frita. That's Italian for fried pizza, so you know it's going to be good. In fact, I'd argue that it's just as delicious as wood-fired pizza, but different. It's richer, and the dough is chewier. This other traditional Naples-style pie is way less fussy than the more popular Napoleon pizza -- and you can make it with the equipment you already have in your home kitchen.

    "It's a keeper," my wife exclaimed before commenting that it was like a pizza on a savory doughnut. What can I say? You have to live a little every once in a while. This is one you have to try.

Pizza Fritta

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
About 1/2 cup warm water (but you may not need all water)
3/4 cup canola oil (for frying)
2 cups Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce (recipe follows)

2 cups shredded smoked provolone

Into the work bowl of your food processor, add the flour, salt, and rapid-rise yeast. Turn the processor on and drizzle in the warm water until a dough ball forms and rolls around the inside of the work bowl. (Don't worry, you'll know it when it happens.) Turn the dough out onto your work surface, divide the dough in half, roll each half into a ball, and cover with an inverted bowl. Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes.

In an 11-inch frying pan over moderately high heat, heat the vegetable oil until it reaches about 300 to 325 degrees. Using a rolling pin, roll each dough ball out to a 10-inch disk on a floured surface. Have some kitchen tongs handy. Using your hands, carefully lower the dough into the hot oil; start at the edge closest to you and work away, like putting an unfortunate bumper sticker on your car. Using the kitchen tongs, press the center of the dough down as it tends to bubble up. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on the first side or until golden brown. Using your kitchen tongs, carefully flip the dough and cook the other side for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to drain on paper towels. Repeat process with the second dough.

Turn the broiler of your oven on medium; this is how you will melt the cheese. Place the dough smooth-side-down onto a sheet pan. Top the bumpy side of each dough with one cup of the Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce and one cup of the shredded smoked provolone cheese. Place on the middle rack under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly (about 2 to 3 minutes). 

Slice and serve with a simple arugula salad. Though this only makes 2 small pizzas, it will feed 4 people because these are a touch richer than "normal" pizzas.

Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion (chopped)
1 8-ounce package baby bella mushrooms (chopped)
2 ribs celery (chopped)
2 carrots (chopped)
1/2 cup pitted mixed, spicy olives
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
pinch crushed red pepper
4 cups whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil to the pan and bring it up to temperature. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the onion and sauté until it is translucent. Add the mushrooms, celery, and carrots and cook until tender (about 10 minutes). Add the olives, garlic, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Bring the mixture to a simmer. In small batches, spoon the mixture into your food processor and pulse 3-4 times or until the mixture is chopped but there are still some distinct ingredients. Return the blended portion to the pan and simmer until ready to use. (
Makes about a quart.)

*This also is a great sauce on pasta or gnocchi as well. Freeze the unused portion and save it for a quick dinner some other night.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Photos From Quan Am Buddhist Temple

We opted for a feast of glass noodles with shiitake, vegetables fried rice, a rich curry soup, sweet and sour tofu salad, and vegetable spring rolls.
The energy of the market where members of the temple sold food to raise money for the upkeep of the beautiful grounds contrasted with the quiet solitude of the meditation gardens.

The Venerable Thich Nguyen Tanh (top right) presides over an outdoor service which was presented in Vietnamese and translated into English.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Milk Chocolate + Blueberry Bread Pudding

It's starting to feel like fall is going to be here soon -- excited that finally we can sit outside at night now without melting! Another benefit of summer ending is that it's reasonable to make a decidedly non-light, better-in-cool-weather dessert like bread pudding again. Thanks goodness for that. This one has a subtle milk chocolate flavor; we used regular old classic Hershey bars, one melted, one chopped. The blueberries add tartness and promote the fleeting and incorrect thought that this might actually be a virtuous dessert.

Milk Chocolate + Blueberry Bread Pudding

1 baguette
2 milk chocolate bars
3 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon butter
4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup 2% milk (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1 tablespoon rum
1/4 cup cane sugar (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 pint fresh blueberries

Simple Hard Sauce (to garnish; recipe follows)
Maldon sea salt flakes (optional; to garnish)

Roughly chop bread into 1-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups) and set aside. Melt 1 chocolate bar and 3 tablespoons of the butter together and set aside to cool. Whisk eggs. Add cream and milk and whisk again. Add rum, sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt and whisk. Add chocolate-and-butter mixture a spoonful at a time, whisking after each addition. Add bread to wet mixture and stir to coat well. Roughly chop the remaining chocolate bar and stir it into the mixture along with blueberries. Brush a shallow baking pan with remaining 1 tablespoon butter (melted). Pour bread pudding into pan and sprinkle remaining sugar on top. Bake for 45 minutes (or until top of pudding puffs and is crisp and golden brown; placing the pan on the bottom rack for the first 30 minutes and the top rack for the last 15 minutes helps). Let pudding cool and then top each serving with a pinch of sea salt and Simple Hard Sauce.

Simple Hard Sauce

1 cup powdered sugar (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
2 teaspoons whiskey
1 tablespoon 2% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of sea salt

Whisk all ingredients together to form a thick sauce. (Add a little more milk if needed.)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Michael's Truffled Corn Pudding

(We are so excited to bring you this guest post by Michael Hughes of Midtown Stomp! When he made this amazing corn pudding for us this summer, we just had to have the recipe. But really, it was no surprise since we love cooking with him, and we love anything he makes. We topped the pudding with these cute little chanterelles sautéed in butter and thyme, but this dish is so versatile you could serve it with almost anything. Here is his take on a dish that you really should make, today!)

It had been far too long of a time since Kelly and I had our friends Justin and Amy over for dinner.  Some of the best times we have with them is in our kitchen and dining room -- likewise at their place. Last Friday, we planned to have dinner with them but couldn't decide on a restaurant.  I texted Justin and said, "How about our place?  I'll cook."  He responded in the affirmative. Whenever we have them over, I always use it as an excuse to have fun in the kitchen.  

I remember when I was a child, my grandmother, Ta, would make a type of South American corn pudding she called "Uminta".  The first time I tried it, I did not care for it.  Then I began to have a taste for it. After she passed away, I craved it.

While at work on the day of our dinner, I settled on what I would make: a Provencal-style artichoke stew with my version of corn pudding since the corn right now is so fresh and sweet. You could make it heartier with the addition of mushrooms or fennel; with any recipe, don't be afraid to tweak it and make it your own.  

Michael's Truffled Corn Pudding 

5 ears of corn
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour 
2 tbsp corn meal or grits (I wanted texture, so I used Delta Grind Grits.)
1/4 cup half & half
1/4 cup 2% milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
tablespoon unsalted butter
tablespoon truffle butter
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup parmeggiano reggiano 
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the corn off the cob. (An easy way to catch it all is to put a small bowl upside down inside a very large bowl.) Balance the cob vertically and cut downward. Remove the small bowl. In the same bowl with the corn, scrape the cut cobs with a spoon; that will release the corn "milk" and pulp still left in the cob.  In a separate bowl, mix milk, half & half, salt, eggs, egg yolk, and melted butters.  (Note: if you don't have truffle butter just sub another tablespoon of regular butter.) Whisk it all together.  Add the flour and grits and whisk again.  Add the corn mixture and stir to combine.   Pour into a shallow, buttered (or olive-oiled) baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese and a few dashes of paprika.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooked, let it sit for 10 minutes to settle.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Grilled Artichokes with Tarragon Butter

I love this time of year for grilling. The severe heat of the summer is beginning to wane, and the nights seem just a little more tolerable. No time like the present to stand over a hot flame grilling a big hunk of artichoke. 

There is no demure way to eat these. You must use your hands. Most people pick each leaf off, dip it in butter, and eat the heart last. I like to flip the script. I pull out the heart, dunk it in butter, and eat it first. It is the best part. Then I take 5 or 6 leaves at a time and bite the tender ends off of them. The whole thing is smoky, meaty, rich and wonderful.

Grilled Artichokes with Tarragon Butter

2 lemon
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons Old Bay

2 large artichokes
1 tablespoon canola oil
Tarragon Butter (recipe follows)

In a large soup pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Half the lemons and add them to the water. Add the salt, and Old Bay. Trim the top third off of each artichoke. Peel the stem using a vegetable peeler and trim the end off of the stem. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and place each into the boiling water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until stem is tender. Remove artichokes from the water. 

Preheat your outdoor grill on high heat. Once the artichokes are cool enough to handle, pull the fibrous "choke" out of the middle. It should slip right out. Drizzle artichoke halves with canola oil and grill them cut-side-down for about 3 minutes or until well-marked by the grill grates. Serve with Tarragon Butter. (
Serves 2-4 depending on hunger levels/greediness.)

Tarragon Butter

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
2 cloves minced garlic
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
zest of one lemon

In a small saucepan melt the butter and add the tarragon, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Keep warm on the stove until ready to serve.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vegetarian Dinner at Mayuri

The Chubby Vegetarian/ Mayuri Dinner

To Start: Papadums and Mixed Vegetable Pakora (fritters)
Served with a selection of coconut, tomato and tamarind, and mint chutneys

First Course: Masala Dosa (A South Indian Specialty)
Fermented rice crepe stuffed with curried potatoes and peas served with sambar, a vegetable soup, for dipping. No knife and fork needed; just eat it with your hands.

Second Course: Dahi Vada (A North Indian Specialty)
A savory lentil doughnut floating in cool spiced nothing else you have ever had.

Third Course: Trio of Vegetarian Curries
Vegetable Koorma, a favorite of The Chubby Vegetarian, contains cauliflower, peas, potatoes, and carrots that are presented in a rich coconut gravy. The vegetables and sauce are cooked slowly at a low temperature to keep the yogurt smooth. Use the starchiness of the rice and the naan bread to control the heat level.

Saag Paneer features cubes of chewy housemade cheese called paneer that do not melt when heated served in heaps of curry made with puréed spinach leaves. The result is beautiful mix of textures and spices.

Mushroom Masala is our favorite masala dish. The warmth of the cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns plays incredibly well with the meatiness of the mushrooms.

Dessert: Rice Kheer, a mild and sweet concoction of milk, vermicelli noodles, nuts, spices, and dried fruit is the perfect thing to  soothe the spice.

(Plus the best iced tea and garlic naan, traditional bread cooked in the tandoori oven, provided with each meal.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hot Ricotta Dip

Not cooking much in a busy week makes us feel really off. There's just a real lack of joy or calm or relaxation in that scenario. So as a corrective, we set up the record player, bought some ricotta and French bread, and decided to stay home and get around to whisking, picking herbs, deglazing pans, and making up something brand new.

We've never made this particular appetizer before and never even eaten it before (really!), but we had to try it because, well, what a way to dress up a plain old tub of ricotta, right? This is already a 'thing,' there are recipes everywhere, but it's hard to get it to have some good solid flavor. We added herbs and pepper, garlic and onions, lemon and parmesan to ours...basically everything we could think of within arm's reach in the kitchen.

Hot Ricotta Dip

2 tablespoons olive oil (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
1 15-ounce container of whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 egg (beaten)
zest of 1 organic lemon
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (minced)
5 sprigs fresh thyme (stems removed)
toasted french bread rounds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium skillet over medium-hight heat, bring one tablespoon of oil up to temperature and sauté the garlic and onion until it is just beginning to brown. Add the red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze the pan using the wine and reduce until thick and syrupy. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine the ricotta, parmesan, egg, zest, rosemary, thyme, and the sautéd onion mixture. Grease a 9 x 5 baking dish using the remaining olive oil. Pour ricotta mixture in and smooth the top using a rubber spatula. Bake for 30 minutes. You may brown the top under the broiler if desired. Serve with toast.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Zucchini and Garbanzo Bean Pancakes (Gluten Free)

In our constant quest to eat from the garden, we developed these tasty little savory pancakes. They make good use of abundant zucchini, and they are quite tasty. I made them once on a whim a few days ago, and they were so good that I thought I'd make them again and actually write down the recipe this time.

Garbanzo bean flour is a seemingly unusual ingredient, but it's available at Whole Foods. You can use garbanzo bean flour for all sorts of things like falafel, socca, and panelle just to name a few. This simple recipe is a great use of the stuff as well, and it's definitely something we always keep on hand.

Zucchini and Garbanzo Bean Pancakes (Gluten Free)

2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup finely diced shallot (about 1 medium shallot)
1/2 cup garbonzo bean flour
2 large eggs (beaten)
1 tablespoon canola oil (like Whole Foods 365 brand)

tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and parsley (to garnish) 

In a medium bowl mix the zucchini, Italian seasoning, salt, shallot, garbanzo bean flour, and eggs together until well incorporated. In a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, bring one tablespoon of canola oil up to temperature. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture into the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. (It's best to cook these in batches of 3 and add more oil if the pan goes dry.) Drain the pancakes on paper towels. Serve topped with tomato sauce, parmesan, and parsley. (Makes about 12 small pancakes.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dinner Tray: Tempeh Chops + Miracle Mushroom Gravy, Truffled Cream Peas, Corn & Tomato Salad, and Seared Apples

If this was a Houston High School tray circa 1990 -- the second year that the school where we met was open and the first year it had a working lunchroom -- it would have a pile of dinner rolls, hash browns, and some inexplicably greasy cookies. If it was our Picadilly tray of the same era, it would have a cloverleaf roll, mashed potatoes, and a tall, dark cup of amazing egg custard. Our experience with tray food for vegetarians in the past has been pretty starchy, but the memories sure are sweet. We had to re-do it and make it better for 2012. 

We found our trays at Lit Junior here in Memphis. (You can also procure a beige tray there if you prefer a more realistic tray food experience.) You can make this meal without them, sure, but some reason, this stuff is just better all around on a tray. (Now we have a craving to go here for the same old school vibe.)

Dinner Tray

Tempeh Chops + Miracle Mushroom Gravy

1 8-ounce package of tempeh
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg  (beaten)
1 tablespoon mustard (like Zatarain's Creole)
1/4 cup canola oil (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tempeh into 4 triangles. In a large bowl combine the flour, garlic, and salt. Toss it around and coat tempeh. In a separate bowl whisk the egg and mustard together and dip each tempeh triangle into the egg mixture one at a time. Put the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl and dredge the tempeh in them until they're coated. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, lay the tempeh into a single layer and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with Miracle Mushroom Gravy on top and add salt and pepper to taste. (Serves 2 as a main dish.)

Truffled Cream Peas

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large shallot (diced)
1 package of fresh English peas (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon truffle salt
truffle oil (to taste)
cracked black pepper (to taste)

Melt butter in a medium skillet on medium heat. Add shallot and when it is translucent, add peas. Add cream and truffle salt. Cook 5-7 minutes until peas are tender. Drizzle with truffle oil and add pepper to taste. 

Corn and Tomato Salad

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 a white onion (diced)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup white wine (like Pinot Grigio)
2 ears of corn (kernels removed)
2 cups cherry tomatoes 
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)

Melt butter in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion thyme and sauté until onion is translucent. Add wine. Reduce by half and then add the corn and tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes and add salt and pepper before serving. 

Seared Cinnamon Apples

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large Pink Lady apples (peeled and thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch or two of sea salt 
1 tablespoon port wine

Melt butter in a skillet on medium-high. Add apples, sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Push apples around every minute for about 3 minutes. Once you see browning that signals caramelization, carefully pour in port. Let apples cook for 3 more minutes while continuing to move them around the pan. Serve them alongside the 'chops'.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Simple Oven-Fried Okra

This was the perfect accompaniment to our one millionth tomato sandwich of the summer, and this side dish comes together will no fuss at all. If you aren't a fan of the sliminess of okra, then this is the perfect okra dish for you. For some reason, when you bake okra, it's not slimy at all. 

One of the secrets here is the Creole mustard. It's almost like cheating because everything it touches tastes delicious. The other is layering on the flour, and then egg, and then corn meal. It makes for a nice crispy crunch. This is okra season. You can find it at the farmer's market for cheap right now. Find some good okra and get crackin' on this easy dish.

Simple Oven-Fried Okra

3 cups sliced okra (about 1/4 inch slices)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg  (beaten)
1 tablespoon mustard (like Zatarain's Creole)
Tabasco sauce (to taste)
1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup canola oil (like Whole Foods 365 brand)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl comine the okra, flour, garlic, and salt. Toss to coat. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, mustard, and Tabasco together and then pour it over the okra mixture. Using your hands, mix the egg mixture into the okra mixture. Add the cornmeal and toss until evenly coated. Lastly, add the oil and toss to coat. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread the okra into a single layer and place on the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with extra Tabasco and ketchup if you like. (Serves 3-4 as a side dish.)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tomato Freezer Jam

Keep things easy peasy during this hot summer and make tomato jam with just a few ingredients that are probably already on hand. This is going to go in a tomato tart later this week, but I can just imagine finding a jar of it in the back of the freezer come fall and re-living this wonderful tomato season.

Tomato Freezer Jam

1 quart cherry tomatoes
2/3 cup cane sugar
1 lemon (juice and strips of peel)
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)

Halve all the tomatoes and place them in a large stockpot. Add sugar, lemon juice and peel, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Set pot on stove on on medium-low heat. Stir often. Let it cook for 1-2 hours until reduced by half and at a thick consistency. Let it cool before spooning into freezer jars. Keeps for about 2 weeks in the fridge, much longer in the freezer. (Makes about 3 cups.)

How would you use your tomato jam?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Oven-Dried Cherry Tomatoes

Melissa Petersen of Edible Memphis gave me this idea when I was overrun with buckets of little tomatoes. She suggested I either dry them in the oven or buy an Excalibur dehydrator. I suppose I'm not pure of heart because I immediately chose the oven method. With a freezer packed with tomato sauce, salsa, and tomato jam, we still had two gallons of tomatoes left, so this will preserve them a bit longer. 

Oven-Dried Cherry Tomatoes

Cut 2 gallons (or however many you have) of cherry tomatoes in half. Use a good pair of kitchen shears to cut the tomatoes; it's much faster that way. Lay the halves cut-side-up in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets, sprinkle with  a little sea salt, and put them in a 175 degree convection oven for about 12-15 hours. (Smash them gently with a 
spatula halfway through the process in order to release any juice that is stubbornly hiding inside the fruit.) Once they are completely dry, they will feel like raisins. Allow them to cool and then store them in a an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 months or freeze them for up to a year. Do this and you'll have summer tomatoes for a long time to come!

So after you've made them, what can you do with them? Here are some TCV recipes that star dried tomatoes:

Vegetarian Carbonara + Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Smoked Sun-Dried Tomato Tortilla

Tomato Aioli

Italian-Style Eggs

Tomato-Lemon Soup

Triple Tomato Soup

Vegetarian Meatloaf

Smoked Sun-Dried Tomato Salad Dressing

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Baked Zucchini Fries

I suppose zucchini fries are a big hit on Pinterest for a good reason. What a great way to use up overgrown zucchini -- actually, the big guys are the best to use because they have much less water in 'em, and you can get so many cuts of the seedless part. Make more than you think you'll need because you won't believe how much of these you'll want. 

Zucchini Fries

3 cups of peeled, matchstick-cut zucchini (about 1/2-inch thick and 4 inches long)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (like Whole Foods 365 brand unbleached)
1 egg (beaten)
1/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups coarse bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil (like Whole Foods 365 brand extra virgin)
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese (for garnish)
fresh parsley (finely chopped; for garnish)
tomato sauce (for dipping)

Preheat oven to 415 degrees. In a large bowl, sprinkle zucchini fries with salt and Italian seasoning. Add in flour and toss to coat. Set aside. Set up two stations, one with egg and whole milk whisked together in bowl and another separate bowl of bread crumbs. Dip each fry in the egg-and-milk mixture and then roll it in the bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until you've used all the zucchini. Drizzle coated fries with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with parmesan and parsley and dip into tomato sauce.