Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Yes (1000 yes').  Yes please.

(Have I mentioned I love gold and black?)

 Dining room

Image via Pinterest

Monday, September 29, 2014

tomato cobbler.

Sometimes I stumble across a recipe that gets printed and added to my ever-growing pile of things I want to make at some point.  This pile is rather large and ominous looking.  It’s something I imagine will never end up fully tackling as the pile will always grow faster than I can cook but I will continue to chip away at it (and I will obviously continue to add to it). 

Other times, I come across a recipe that makes me want to stop everything and cook it right now.  These recipes never see the pile. 

This recipe is one of those. 

I stumbled across this cobbler recipe last Monday.  My initial fear was that cherry tomatoes had already left the farmers market and I wouldn't be able to make it and I would be forced to wait an entire year (these are my big fears). 

Lucky for me, cherry tomatoes were found. 

This recipe is September (or everything I want to eat in September).  Late season tomatoes get cooked down in a cast iron skillet and then dotted with goat cheese and herbs.  Tender and flaky biscuits are baked a top the whole thing resulting in the most insanely delicious thing I’ve had in a long time.  It’s warm and exudes all the qualities one looks for in comfort food but it also manages to be bright and fresh (something most comfort food is not).  The boy and I scarfed it down last night and then returned for seconds.  This will be on heavy rotation until tomatoes disappear.  

Tomato Cobbler
Recipe adapted from Leite's Culinaria

There is probably a Southern woman rolling over in her grave because I am saying this, but I hate rolling out biscuits.  I much prefer the biscuit plop.  I like to think misshapen biscuits have more character.  

For the biscuit topping

¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons (120 grams) whole-wheat flour (can use all-purpose)
3 ½ tablespoons cornmeal
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
4 tablespoons cold buttermilk (only 3 ½ tablespoons if you use all-purpose)

For the tomato filling

2 – 2 ½ pounds red and yellow cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Leaves from 8 to 10 thyme sprigs or 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Healthy pinch freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water (optional)
6 ounces (170 grams) soft goat cheese, crumbled

Make the biscuit topping: Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Dump in the butter cubes. Using a pastry blender, work the butter until you have pea- to lima bean-size pieces. (If you have particularly cold hands, you can use your fingertips.) Drizzle in the buttermilk and toss the mixture with a fork until it’s evenly moistened and begins to come together into a ball. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Break off golf-ball sized balls of dough, flatten them ever so slightly, and place them on the baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  You should have about 12-15 1 – 1 ½ inch biscuits at the end.  Place the biscuits in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours (or in the fridge for 6 hours if your freezer is as filled as mine. (You can also stash the biscuits in a resealable plastic bag and freeze them for up to 3 months to simplify throwing the cobbler together at the last minute easy. You’ll want to allow them a little extra time to thaw a little after taking them out of the freezer and before baking them.)

Make the tomato filling: Crank your oven to 350°F (180°C).

Toss the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, half the thyme/rosemary, salt, crushed red pepper (if using) and pepper in an ovenproof skillet. (I used a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and it worked marvelously.) Cover the skillet and cook on the stovetop over medium-high heat until the tomatoes begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover the skillet and continue cooking until all the tomatoes have burst slightly and released their juices.  Top with half the goat cheese. 

Remove the biscuits from the freezer/fridge and generously brush the tops with the egg wash (if using). Place them on top of the tomato mixture in the skillet, spacing them 1 – 1 ½ inch (2 1/2 centimeters) apart.

Bake the cobbler for 25 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and dot the remaining goat cheese between the biscuits, covering any exposed tomato mixture. Return the whole shebang to the oven, bump up the heat to 450°F (232°C) and continue baking until the top is nicely browned, about 10 minutes more. Scatter the remaining thyme over the top and serve the cobbler warm or at room temperature, scooping the cobbler straight from the skillet at the table. If you’re like me, you’ll want to gild each serving with an extra crank or so freshly ground black pepper. The cobbler is best eaten the day it’s made. (Like it could ever make it to another day.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

avocado tacos (and some awesome salsa.)

Last week I discovered one of my favorite farms finally set up shop on Thursdays across the street from my office.

Upon discovering this, I practically wept.

I manage to encounter a farmer's markets at least 5 of the 7 days a week and usually these markets have everything I could possibly need depending on the season we are in.  But most lack the "rare" produce - concord grapes, sugar pumpkins, and tomatillos.  These are the items that I love getting my hands on at least once a season. These are the kind of ingredients that makes cooking fun and interesting.

When I stumbled across the tomatillos last week, I knew fresh salsa was in order.  It also happened to coincide with the discovery of the most epic-ly simple recipe from the NYTimes.  This recipe is the kind of thing I want to eat when I am exhausted and have minimal energy to cook anything.  Avocado wrapped in corn tortillas with homemade salsa? Yes, yes, and more yes.  The salsa is both robust and mild.  It plays well with neutral flavors but manages to add an extra dimension of smokiness that you can never get from store bought salsa. Eating simple has never tasted so good.

Avocado Tacos 
Recipe adapted (barely) from the NYTimes

You will have A LOT of salsa left which if you ask me it's a good thing.  I am already planning on spooning in on baked sweet potatoes and pouring it over bean and cheese enchiladas.  It would be killer on a breakfast taco as well.

Serves 3 - 4 depending on your level of hunger

4 pasilla chiles
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 garlic cloves
10 tomatillos, boiled in salted water for 15 minutes or until soft
Juice of half a lime
3 avocados, sliced thin
12 corn tortillas
½ cup chopped cilantro
Optional toppings: Crumbled queso, sliced radish, black beans, lime juice

Make the salsa: Snap the stems off the chiles and remove the seeds. Using tongs, carefully hold the chiles over a medium flame to char on all sides. Transfer chiles to a food processor, add the salt and process into a powder. Add the garlic and tomatillos and purée until smooth.  Add lime juice.  Taste.  Add additional salt if necessary. (This makes 1 pint salsa, more than needed; refrigerate the rest in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)

To serve, place 3 or 4 slices of avocado on each tortilla and top with salsa, cilantro, and any additional toppings of your choice.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Juxtaposition has been on my mind.  

When Tyler and I discuss the big day we talk a lot about how we see it - a little bit high-brow and a little bit low-brow.  A little bit modern and a little bit vintage.  Classic songs (Michael Jackson) intermingled with some modern hits (BEYONCE).  It seems fitting that the day with be all about contradictions - Tyler and I are polar opposites.  

My love of opposites has extended both to my wardrobe (ripped jeans and sparkly earrings) and my apartment.  Like this space which exudes that mismatched vibe I am obsessed with.  

love this rug.

Image via Pinterest

Monday, September 22, 2014

brown butter apple pie bars.

I don't need to tell you that only an insane person decides to make brown butter apple pie bars when they are less then 2 months out from their wedding.   (Because fitting into your wedding dress is overrated, am I right?)

Now that we've discussed my current state of mind, let's discuss how these bars came to be.  

Apple pie has been on the brain for a couple of weeks now.  It started when we went apple picking and from there I began scouring cookbooks and the internet for the apple pie recipe.  During this obsessive search I realized that while pie is AWESOME it's not easy to share - How do you slice it to bring in for coworkers?  What do you do if not everyone has plates?  I knew if I was going to make a pie, I needed to make a pie that I could share. 

(While I am insane, I am not completely illogical.  Only an illogical person would keep an entire pie in their fridge with less then 2 months to their wedding.)

These bars are a result of necessity but they also came about because I am just really in love with hand-held portable desserts as of late since it's fun is to offer people things like "apple pie bars" . Tyler commented that these are is if an apple pie and apple crisp had a baby and I find this description to be rather apt.  A brown butter shortbread base gives way to layers of cinnamon spiced apple slices.  And the topping? That's a generous layer of strussel deliciousness.  Are these rich, over-the-top, and amazing?  Yes, yes they are. They are also really, really, good.  

Happy first day of fall. 

Brown Butter Apple Pie Bars
Recipe adapted (barely) from Apt. 2B Baking Co.

I don't need to tell you there is a decent amount of butter in these.  You have eyes, you can see it.  But!  These make A LOT of servings.  And a lot of healthy servings.  This is the kind of thing you should only make when you have a crowd to feed.  You've been warned.  

Yield: one 13''x9'' pan, 24-30 bars  (You can also halve this if you want to make a more manageable amount.)

For the Brown Butter, Brown Sugar Shortbread Crust

12 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
½ cup brown sugar (I used light)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (you can also do a full 2 cups of all-purpose flour though the whole wheat is lovely)

Preheat your oven to 350º and line a 13''x9'' baking dish with greased foil or parchment paper. 

Brown the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan, stirring frequently until the milk solids turn light brown and the butter has a nutty fragrance. Set aside to cool slightly. 

When the butter has cooled a bit add it to a medium bowl and add in the brown sugar, salt, and vanilla and stir. Add the flour and mix until completely combined. Press it into the prepared pan and bake it until it is golden, about 20 minutes. Set the baked crust aside to cool.

While the crust is baking and cooling prepare the filling.

Apple Filling

¼ cup brown sugar (I used light though dark would work well)
6 large apples, peeled and cut into thin slices (Any pie apples would work)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt

In a large bowl toss the sliced apples with the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Set aside.  

Crumb Topping

1 ½ cup oats
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3/8 teaspoon salt
8-9 tablespoons butter, softened

In a large bowl combine the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt, then add in the butter (start with 8 tablespoons and add the extra one if your mixture isn't coming together) and mix with your hands until it holds together in clumps.

To Assemble

Spread the apple mixture evenly over the prepared crust, then top with the crumble mixture and press down lightly. 

Bake the bars at 375º for 30-40 minutes until the crumb topping is golden. Cool completely before cutting into 24-30 squares.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

turkey zucchini burgers with sumac sauce.

I realize I am 29 going on 30 and that at my age I shouldn't be looking for ways to sneak more vegetables into the foods I eat.  I should eat more vegetables willingly.

But in every 29 year old there lies a bit of their 5 year old self and for that reason I still look for ways to trick myself into eating more vegetables. (Because more vegetables is always a good thing.)  

The easiest way to add more vegetable deliciousness into your life is by combining vegetables with something that people love.  Tacos will always and forever be my favorite vegetable vehicle (you can stuff anything in a tortilla and have it taste awesome, true fact) but meatballs and burgers are a superb alternative when you are looking to try something new.  Vegetables, especially grated vegetables, manage to melt into the meat as it cooks which means they become practically invisible to the eyes of those that hate green things.  

These turkey zucchini burgers may be one of the greatest things ever. There is one whole zucchini packed in there along with a plethora of herbs and spices which helps to create one incredibly moist and delicious patty. They are pretty excellent on there own but when smothered in sumac sauce they become positively addicting. 

Turkey Zucchini "Burgers" with Sumac Sauce
Recipe from Jerusalem: A Cookbook 

For the Meatballs

1 pound (300g) ground turkey
1 large zucchini, coarsely grated (scant 2 cups/200g)
3 green onions, thinly sliced (chives also work brilliantly as I was out of green onions)
1 large free-range egg
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
About 6 1/2 teaspoons sunflower oil (canola oil will work too)

For the Sauce

Scant 1/2 cup (100g) sour cream
Scant 2/3 cup (150g) Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Make the  sauce by placing all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside or chill until needed.

Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs except the sunflower oil. Mix with your hands. Using a tablespoon (or a regular spoon), scoop about 2 tablespoons of the turkey mixture and shape into about 18 patties.  Place patties on an oiled baking sheet.  

Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to form a layer about 1/16 inch thick on the pan bottom. Heat over medium heat until hot, then sear the meatballs in batches on all sides. Cook each batch for about 4 minutes, adding oil as needed, until golden brown.

Carefully transfer the seared meatballs to a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until just cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the sauce spooned over or on the side.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


This weather is killing me with happiness. 

And it makes me want to spend  my time in a kitchen baking apple pie and roasting chickens.  And drinking pumpkin beer.  

(I wouldn't mind holing up here, staring out that window, instead of staring at my computer screen.  It's just so welcoming.)


Image via Pinterest.

Monday, September 15, 2014


We've reached this point where I've started to realize that in just a few short weeks the tomatoes, corn, and zucchini that are currently ABUNDANT at the farmer's market, will be gone.

I am going to be so sad when they are gone.  

The plus side is right now we are experiencing that kind of epic weather that only ever exists during the first couple of weeks of September.  I live for this time of year.  When summer produce is still bountiful and things like turning on an oven doesn't break me out in a sweat.  I love being able to coerce new flavors out of summer ingredients through cooking and roasting and baking.  It allows the foods of summer to take on a whole new level of flavor.  

This caponata is the epitome of everything I want to eat right now. It's chock-full of all sorts of summer deliciousness (tomatoes! eggplant! zucchini!! peppers!) but when cooked together it takes on a whole new dimension.  Caponata is kind of like an Italian sweet and sour stew.  It's traditionally eaten as an anti-pasta (and I've been known to eat entire bowls of it like that) but it also makes for a great side to sausages or served over a bed of pasta. However you choose to eat it, you will find yourself returning for seconds.  

Caponata Modo Mio
Recipe adapted From Urban Italian

Serves 6 - 8

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced large
1 red pepper, diced large
1 yellow pepper, diced large
2 Japanese eggplants or 1 Italian eggplant, diced large
2 small or 1 large zucchini, diced large
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
½ cup raisins re-hydrated in 1 cup water
1 cup basic tomato sauce 
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Basil for sprinkling

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the onion, peppers, and eggplant. When the vegetables have softened a bit (about 5 minutes), add the zucchini. Season  with half the salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients together and continue to cook.

After ten 10 minutes, add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Cover and reduce the heat to medium, and let the steam roast the vegetables for 5 minutes.

Remove the raisins from the water and add to the pot with the tomato sauce.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, until vegetables are soft but not falling apart and the sauce is well incorporated.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, Add the fresh oregano and season with remaining salt and pepper. Mix in vinegar. Serve in a large bowl with pine nuts sprinkled on top.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I am currently packing for my bachelorette weekend. 

I am feeling impossibly overwhelmed by this for multiple reasons.  One of which is because I am a notoriously bad packer who over thinks everything.  The second is because this means we are nearing the two-month mark which is a thought that makes me feel both queasy and excited.  

I am off from work on Monday and I am looking forward to a most glorious day spent in the kitchen cooking a feast to celebrate our two month to the wedding we haven't killed each other yet (I will also be addressing our final wedding invites).  I can't wait to blog about food again.  Eggplant and apples and so many wonderful things.  

Image via Pinterest.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

fresh tomato sauce (take 2)

Last week I purchased a box of tomatoes weighing close to 30 pounds.

Why you may ask, would a girl who lives with only one other boy decide to purchase 30 pounds of roma tomatoes?  I'll tell you why, it's because the box cost $15.  FIFTEEN DOLLARS.  At a price like that, they are practically giving away the tomatoes and if my father taught me anything it's that you never ignore a good deal (especially when it's a good food deal).  

On the long walk back to my apartment (and on this walk I managed to spill the box of tomatoes but we don't really have to talk about that), my arms began to quiver and reality began to set in.  What does one actually do with 30 pounds of tomatoes?

The answer lies in tomato sauce. So much tomato sauce.  Enough tomato sauce to last us though the winter.

I made tomato sauce this time last year and it was good (and far easier then this version) but it lacked the perfect stick to the pasta consistency.  So this year I set out to tackle tomato sauce again and what I discovered was the perfect sauce does exist it just takes a lot of work.

I don't need to tell you that making your own tomato paste is annoyingly time consuming.  I don't need to tell you that peeling and seeding 25 pounds of tomatoes will make you want to scream.  I don't need to tell you that deciding to make tomato sauce on the hottest and most humid day of the summer is a bad idea. But I do need to tell you that this sauce is dreamy.  The work is totally worth it.

Fresh Tomato Sauce (Take 2)
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats

10 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, preferably mixed varieties (such as Romas, Amish Pastes, and San Marzanos), plus 15 pounds ripe mixed tomatoes, mostly plums with a small portion of other tomatoes (such as beefsteaks)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (see note above)
2 large sprigs fresh basil
Kosher salt

Peel the tomatoes: Bring a large Dutch oven or stock pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a mixing bowl with ice and water and set this next to the stove. Core out the stems from the tomatoes and slice a shallow "X" in the bottom of each fruit. Working in batches, drop several tomatoes into the boiling water. Cook until you see the skin starting to wrinkle and split, 45 to 60 seconds, then lift the tomatoes out with the slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice water. Continue with the rest of the tomatoes, transferring the cooled tomatoes from the ice water to another mixing bowl as they cool. When finished, use your hands or a paring knife to strip the skins from the tomatoes. Discard the water used to boil the tomatoes.  Halve tomatoes, remove their seeds, and cut into chunks. 

In a large stockpot, heat the 10 pounds of the peeled plum tomatoes, covered, over high heat, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes dump their liquid. Bring to a boil, covered and stirring occasionally, and then cook until tomatoes are softened, about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 275°F and grease several rimmed baking sheets and baking dishes with oil.

Pour plum tomato mixture into a food processor or Vitamix and blend until smooth. Pour plum-tomato purée into rimmed baking sheets and/or baking dishes, being careful not to overfill them.

Carefully transfer baking sheets and dishes to oven and bake, checking every 15 minutes and stirring once purée begins to thicken, until a thick, spreadable tomato paste forms, at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, fill the same large stockpot with remaining 15 pounds of peeled mixed tomatoes and cook, covered, over high heat, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes dump their liquid. Bring to a boil, covered and stirring occasionally, and then cook until tomatoes are softened, about 15 minutes. (Work in batches if your pot can't hold all 15 pounds at once.)

Using a food processor or Vitamix, puree the tomato mixture to desired consistency.  Set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large, wide saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and sweet, about 4 minutes. Add mixed-tomato purée and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a sauce-like consistency, 35-40 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in basil. Stir in oven-dried tomato paste and season with salt. Use as desired or freeze.

Monday, September 8, 2014


My obsession with mixed textures and materials is at an all time high.  

That and using items in awesomely unintentional and repurposed ways.  Like this killer kitchen storage system.  

Mis-matched reigns king.

Image via Pinterest

Thursday, September 4, 2014

blueberry cornmeal butter cake.

This past weekend Tyler and I took a little road trip down to the Philly area to visit one of our good friends and her boyfriend.  They just bought a house.  It has multiple floors and multiple bathrooms and SO MANY CLOSETS.  It has 3 bedrooms and a patio and kitchen big enough for a table.  It made us both feel very young and all kinds of out of sorts because when you live in a city if you get even one closet you should count yourself lucky.  

It seems this is how the other half lives.  With closets and pantry's and actual dinning room tables. Something I can only wish for.  

I made sure to arrive at the house with a cake because I know the quickest way to get invited back is to show up with gifts of sweets.  This particular cake is the ideal thing to bring to any kind of housewarming because people just eat it up.  It dense and buttery and studded with just enough blueberries that you can convince yourself you are eating something somewhat virtuous (you aren't but but I see no issues with lying to yourself).  The strussel topping provides the necessary crunch and takes this into coffee cake territory (which is a wonderful place to go). I've eaten wedges for breakfast and I also have found myself enjoying a wedge as an afternoon snack.  It's a cake that works any time of day and a cake that everyone loves and it's a cake you will find yourself making constantly.  

Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake  
Recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Make 12 -16 servings

I have made this cake so many times it scares me.  The cornmeal is probably the single greatest addition to blueberry coffee cake as itt provides just the right amount of textural contrast (and superb flavor).  I promise you will love it too. I will cough up to the fact that my blueberries sink to the bottom of the cake almost every time I make this.  I blame myself.  If your's does the same don't be sad.  It still tastes absurdly amazing.  

For the Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups blueberries, rinsed and patted dry

For the Strussel Topping

½ cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoon cornmeal
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, COLD and cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350*.

Line the bottom of an 8x8" square pan with parchment paper, and then coat the parchment paper and sides with nonstick cooking spray. Wipe the cooking spray to evenly spread and to ensure it gets in all of the corners, thoroughly coating the bottom and sides.

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, for at least 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition, then add the vanilla and zest.
Then add a third of the flour mixture, all of the sour cream, and another third of the flour mixture - beating until just blended after each addition.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix the remaining third of flour mixture with the blueberries. Gently fold the blueberry-flour mixture into the cake batter.

Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan.

For the streusel topping, combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Mash in the cold butter pieces with a fork, your fingertips, or pastry blender. Scatter the topping evenly over the batter.

Bake the cake about 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife or spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake, then flip out onto a wire cooling rack (flipping again to make it right-side-up).

Store in a covered container. If keeping for more than 24 hours, refrigerate in a covered container.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

wedding fact #1.

Things people don't tell you about weddings.  

Fact #1 - Writing your own wedding ceremony is incredibly difficult.  I now understand why people get married in churches and temples, someone else writes the whole thing for you.  This is why I am doing everything in my power to avoid writing them. (This is why I am currently watching the Newsroom and admiring pictures of kitchens.)

This. Kitchen. Is. Epic.  
(My knees have gone weak.  Love a good pendant light and gold.  Lots of gold with wood.)


Image via Pinterest. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

tomatoes with crisp fried eggplant and burrata.

Let's get this out of the way, ok? Panko crusted pan-fried eggplant is awesome.  

Good, now that we've established that, let's talk about this dish which I keep referring to as a deconstructed eggplant parmeasn and if we're being honest, I think it's better then eggplant parmesan.  

I've been on a hunt as of late for eggplant recipes because I tend to rely on my defaults i.e. smoky eggplant dip and this pizza (which is awesome I might add). I had lofty summer plans involving perfecting my eggplant caponata game and also re-imagining the eggplant pizza but as usual I got sidetracked (I am the worst).  This dish, which I discovered when browsing online for food-spiration (more specifically eggplant inspiration) ticked off all the boxes that I require to be ticked off this time of year - does not involve the oven!, involves tomatoes and burrata!, can be prepared in under 30 minutes!.  

My problem with eggplant parm has always been that it's a heavy wintery dish which is why this version is so incredible.  You get the flavors of eggplant parm but without the heaviness.  It's light and fresh!  The true star of the dish is the panko crusted eggplant which is seriously amazing.  Crispy and crunchy (eggplant parm lacks the crunch which is where this dish shines) and positively perfect with chopped tomatoes and creamy burrata.  This is the kind of thing you should be eating this week as the perfect summer send-off (though I will be eating it well into the beginning of fall).  

Tomatoes with Crisp Fried Eggplant and Burrata 
Recipe adapted (barely) from Lootie and Doof

Serves 2

All-purpose flour, for dredging
1 large egg, well beaten
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 Japanese eggplants (½ to ¾ pounds total), cut on the bias into ½ -inch-thick slices
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, preferably in a mix of colors (you can sub larger tomatoes that you cut into wedges)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, half of them torn
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 ball or about 6 ounces burrata cheese (you can use fresh mozzarella, but it won’t be as creamy and delicious)

Place flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate wide, shallow bowls. Working with 1 eggplant slice at a time, dredge in flour, then dip in egg and then breadcrumbs. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, halve tomatoes and toss with olive oil and torn basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat about 1/4 inch vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add enough eggplant slices to fill but not crowd skillet and fry, flipping once, until deep golden brown and crunchy, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. (Lower heat slightly, if necessary.) Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on a clean wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, and season with salt. Discard used oil and repeat process with fresh oil and remaining eggplant.

Arrange eggplant and tomato mixture on a platter. Cut burrata in half, place next to tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Scatter remaining basil on top.