Posts tagged ‘tomatoes’

January 25, 2012

Minestrone

I could eat soup at almost every meal. I say almost, because there’s still brunch and breakfast to consider.

Propped, Prepped

One of my favorite parts about this recipe is the fact that for most people, a grocery trip might not even be necessary. I needed to pick up a zucchini (That’s right. Just one.), some broth, and pasta. THAT’S IT!! For me, that’s an incredibly short shopping list for something that’s a) so, incredibly delicious and b) SO much food.

Minestrone
Inspired by Cooking Light’s Slow Cooker

3 c dried Great Northern beans
5 1/2 c chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large red onion
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 medium carrot, chopped
32 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 c spinach
1 c kale
3 t Italian seasoning
1/2 t peppercorns, ground
1 c small pasta shells, uncooked (Aren’t you glad I didn’t make the MINIstrone joke?)
1/2 c Parmesan cheese

Have Halved

In a slow cooker, pour in your Great Northern beans. Top with water. Two inches above the beans will be sufficient. Crank it up to high for two hours, until fork tender.

Pour chicken broth into a large dutch oven and turn heat onto medium.

Mince garlic, chop zucchini, and dice onions. Sauté all. Once browned and smelling delicious, add mixture to broth. The broth should be hot enough to look like this:

Add sautéed vegetables and carrots to the broth. Add tomatoes. Add spinach and kale.

Add spices. Mix together. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for about two hours. Okay, you can simmer for about 30 minutes and get a similar effect, but the longer it goes, the more concentrated the flavors will be. After two hours (or until you don’t feel like waiting anymore) add your miniature shell pasta. Bring back up to medium heat, and boil the pasta in the soup. (Oh, the flavor!! The intensity!) Once the pasta is cooked through, the beans should be ready from the slow cooker. Add.

Spoon into a bowl (with or without a piece of crusty bread waiting at the bottom of the bowl). Top with Parmesan. Enjoy.

As a side note: Feel free to use beans from a can or precook your beans (as I could’ve/perhaps should’ve done) and add when you add the tomatoes.

This makes a LOT of delicious soup. After you add the pasta and the beans, be prepared to add more seasoning. Also, be prepared to freeze at least a portion. This is the gift that just keeps on giving.

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June 30, 2011

Masala-ish, Introductory Dish

First of all, how are you at onions? I am terrible. There he (she?) is. Looking innocent and full of potential. Then, I start chopping, and next thing you know,

I’m worse than any other woman watching Steel Magnolias or reading The Kite Runner or thinking about aging.

No, really. It’s bad.

Before we begin, let me give you a little background. My mom hates hates the smell of curry. I believe I may have mentioned this before (here, in fact). I didn’t grow up with it or any Indian-influenced dishes. I’m trying to learn about them gradually. I’m scared (remember, I’m a wimp) of diving in too quickly to uncharted food territory. But I’m excited to peek and ease into it.

So, I give you the furthest from masala masala dish you’ve ever had. I really do recommend this dish for those of you, like me, who are venturing into these tastes. And maybe no one else in the world needs to go so slowly into this fantastic world of complex, beautiful flavors. Let me introduce you to a friend I just met: Tumeric. And I had NO idea we had so many friends in common! You see, Turmeric gets along super well with Cumin, whom we met in Hummus but then ran into in all sorts of Mexican dishes, Ginger, who doesn’t just show up during the holidays like we thought, and Paprika and Cayenne. Wow. I mean wow. It’s crazy to see so many worlds collide here.

Thank you so much to food blogs and people who cook whom I admire: Deb, at SmittenKitchen, Aarti, from the Food Network Star, and my roommate Zach, who sometimes infuses the whole house with interesting food smells.

Masala-ish, Introductory Dish

largely inspired by Smitten Kitchen

1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 medium tomatoes (or two large), diced, juices saved
1/4 t ground cayenne pepper (add more for more heat)
1/4 t paprika
3/4 t ground turmeric (It’ll dye everything a beautiful shade of yellow. Enjoy.)
Dash of coriander seed
1/4 t ground ginger
1/2 t cumin

Put your olive oil at the bottom of a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium high heat.

Then. Chop an onion. Breathe a sigh of relief once you’re finished and wash your hands a few times.

Mince the garlic and throw it on in. Sprinkle in the ginger and half the cayenne pepper. Let them hang out and sizzle together for about five minutes. During this time, you can chop your tomatoes.

Oh, man. They look so good. Don’t you love summer?

Turn the heat down to medium-low. And add the remaining spices, including the second half of the ground cayenne pepper. Let simmer for at least five minutes.

Serve by itself, with chickpeas, or chicken.

Remember, you can adjust spices as you would like. Play!

February 6, 2011

Mozzarella Bruschetta

Isn’t it just the greatest when a food is both delicious AND simple??

This is the best of all those worlds. Easy. Simple. Fast. Delectable. Incredible. Delicious. Warm. Crunchy. Cheesy. Flavorful. Awesome.

Mozzarella Bruschetta

1 baguette
1 medium-sized tomato (or 2 Roma tomatoes)
8 oz. fresh mozzarella
1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 T Balsamic vinegar
2 t (or more to taste) fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Begin by slicing the baguette.

Use your discretion when deciding what to do with the end pieces. I recommend using them as snackrels. However, just about anything will work. You want to slice the baguette on the diagonal to give yourself a little bit more surface area for delicious ports.

Once you slice the baguette, place the slices on a cookie sheet. Spread minced garlic over each slice, top with sliced fresh mozzarella. Then bake for about 7 minutes, or until cheese is melty.

While toasting up and melting down, you can prepare the tomato mixture. Dice the tomato into little squares. Place in bowl. Pour in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add salt, pepper, and basil to taste.

Take baguette out of the oven and top with tomato mixture, pouring a little bit of the oil and vinegar from the bowl over the bread.

December 22, 2010

Winter Chicken Salad

It’s cold, and when it is cold outside, a salad sounds like one of the least appetizing foods. However, this is hearty, warm, and delicious. And there is more chicken than salad. It’s perfect and incredibly quick, and it’s delicious…. Did I mention that?

Winter Chicken Salad

Chicken Broth
Chicken tenderloins
1 medium-sized tomato
1 clove garlic
Mozzarella
Spinach
Salt & Pepper
McCormick’s Steak Seasoning

Boil mix of chicken broth (about 2 c) and water (about 2 c) with chicken tenderloins until chicken is done, juices run clear, and cut reveals no pink.

While chicken is boiling, dice tomatoes and clove of garlic, mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Once chicken is finished, plate the serving bowl. I made mine an upside down salad, because the surprise, for me, was fun. So, I put the tomato mixture in first, then cheese, chicken, spinach, and finally seasoning. You may toss it however you’d like. However, please put the cheese into right before you put the chicken onto the mix. The heat of the chicken will slightly melt the cheese for perfection.

When you serve it, all the wonderfulness is revealed.

Mm!

Do you see those colors?? Do you see the way the cheese is melted?? Mmm.

October 11, 2010

Happy 10.10.10, Everyone!!!

I know. It was yesterday. And I wanted to post then, when the world was still celebrating. However, there was so much to be done to prepare and celebrate the Big Day. The Historical Day. Yester Day. So I get really excited when there are things to celebrate, and the tenth day of the tenth month in the tenth year of the two thousands is no exception. I made a meal. Okay, okay. A feast. With ten different dishes. This week, we’ll go through all the dishes. Starting with the soup, which was served in the third course. (That’s right. Courses.) And the soup was delicious.

 

Can I admit something to you? I was nervous about this recipe. Really nervous. I started cooking the onions; that was fine.

But THEN, I added all the spices. And I got THIS!!! Any food that looks like worms at ANY point isn’t really going to get me overly excited about eating said food. I wasn’t excited, but rather, felt a little ill and incredibly worried that I had actually wanted B.F.C.P. and his aunt to eat such food. Okay. Be warned; this dangerous picture could upset the following: people with weary stomaches, young children, dogs, cats, elderly, anybody brave enough to scroll down.

There!! Okay. You saw it. Are you all right?!?! Now that you’ve braved the worst, you’ll have no problem, because this soup is so good. SOO good. So. Good. Really. I promise. The aroma while cooking is almost overwhelming, but the taste of the soup is perfectly balanced. AND it has salsa to go on top to give a zing and a pop. (Whoops. Accidental rhyme.)

Red Bean Soup with Salsa
Inspired by The Ultimate Book of Vegan Cooking by Tony and Yvonne Bishop-Weston

For the soup:
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 t ground cumin
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 T paprika
1 T tomato paste
1/2 t dried oregano
14 oz can chopped tomatoes, no salt added
2 14 oz cans red kidney beans, rinsed (I would recommend light. Although, I used one can of dark red and one can of light red for mine.)
3 3/4 c vegetable stock
Hot sauce, to taste (I used Frank’s Hot Sauce)

For the salsa:
1 avocado
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 T chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime

Heat oil in large, heavy pan and add onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the cumin, cayenne, and paprika. Don’t feel grossed out by the worminess, because you know it’ll be okay. Cook for one minute stirring continuously but not really looking at the pan, if you can help it.

Stir in the tomato paste. (It starts to get better at this point.) Cook for a few seconds then add the oregano. Add the cans of tomatoes and kidney beans. (Up to this point, I had been using a saute pan. Now is when I transferred all the ingredients to a Dutch oven.) Then, pour in the vegetable stock.

Bring tomato and bean mixture to the boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the soup slightly, then puree it in a food processor until smooth. Rinse the pan. Then pour in the smooth soup mixture. Add hot sauce. After you think about freckles then Jackson Pollock then moon craters, stir in the hot sauce and begin working on your salsa.

For the salsa:

Chop up onions into eensy bitsy pieces. This is especially good if you need an enforced cry. Then, chop cilantro and tomatoes. Then slice into your avocado, de-pit, and score to scoop out all the goodness into a small bowl. Add all the chopped ingredients. Then, top with the juice of a lime. Toss all together.

Ladle soup into bowls, and top with a little guacamole salsa in the middle of the bowl.

After ladling, pat yourself on the back for surviving such an ordeal. And get yourself a spoon to enjoy!!!