Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday Supper Club - Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese

sunday supper club - tomato soup & grilled cheese edition (#268)

A trip to the farmer's market had me buying a whole bushel of tomatoes for a couple of bucks. I'm planning on canning most of them to use throughout the winter, but I decided to make some soup with the rest of them. The grilled cheese sandwiches involved muenster and thick slices of country white bread.  Amazing. The perfect meal for inviting friends over to share on a Sunday evening.

Tomato Soup
(Slightly Adapted from Former Chef)

2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
3 cups diced onions
6 cloves garlic, minced
12 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups water or chicken stock
2 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp. sugar

1. Rough chop all the vegetables. It doesn’t matter what they look like because the soup will be blended later, but make sure the carrots, onions and celery are all about the same size so they cook at the same rate.

2. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add in the carrots, celery and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes, but don’t let the vegetables brown. Add in the tomatoes and water or chicken stock. Allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the carrots are soft.

3. Puree the soup (I used an immersion blender - a regular blender would do as well) add the salt and sugar to taste.

[This is the point in the original recipe in which they strained the soup to remove the tomato skins, but tomato skins especially blended ones, don't kill people, and I hate straining so I just left them in, the soup was then was a tad chunkier, but not noticeably]

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

blueberry crumb bars

blueberry crumb bars (#248)

I had a mess of blueberries still sitting in the fridge, and so I decided the other night was the perfect time to mix them with some butter and flour into blueberry crumb bars. There isn't much else to say but that they were perfection. And also stupid easy to make. Aside from the butter cutting - which is high on my list of annoying baking tasks. If I actually got myself a pastry cutter would I hate my life less? Or is it only a marginal improvement?

[Blueberry Crumb recipe from Smitten Kitchen]

Monday, September 6, 2010

first soup of fall - roasted apple, red pepper and tomato

first fall day soup - roasted apple, pepper and tomato (#247)

Yesterday dawned windy and sunny but with a chill in the air. After the heat wave for most of the previous week, it felt like fall had finally arrived with the first days of September. I went to the farmer's market in the morning and bought a couple of things that I thought I would use - apples, peaches, red peppers and some big tomatoes. I had no specific plans, but later on I knew exactly what I wanted to make for dinner - soup.

After a little Googling, I found this recipe, which happened to use most of the things I had bought earlier. It seemed like a match made in heaven. I wasn't sure exactly how it would turn out, especially since I made some changes to the recipe. In the end, it was exactly what I wanted. Mine had a thick-ish consistency, almost like home made tomato sauce. But it was sweet and smokey and hearty and it was perfect for eating a big bowlful out on the porch with Liz.

veggies ready for choppingveggies, chopped and ready to roast

Thursday, September 2, 2010

zucchini and corn quesadillas

zucchini and corn quesadillas (#233)

I had forgotten about how good these quesadillas are until the other night, when I needed something to make for dinner. They are a perfect dinner for the end of the summer when both zucchini and corn are cheap and plentiful. They are also really quick, easy and very delicious.

The original recipe makes two medium sized quesadillas, which is great and all, but it's a lot one person. Half of a large quesadilla can make a solid meal for one person with some leftovers. So here's a rough halving of the recipe from Ezra Pound Cake.

Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas

Adapted from “Everyday Food” & Ezra Pound Cake

Serves 1-2 depending on hunger.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 smallish zucchini, halved lengthwise and roughly chopped
1 cup fresh corn kernels (or the kernels from 1 ear of corn - frozen corn works too)
Dash of chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
2 flour tortillas (12-inch)
1 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt, cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cook 1 minute more.

2. Add zucchini and frozen corn kernels, cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is soft and corn is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, if using.

3. Brush one side of all tortillas with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; lay 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on a baking sheet. Place half of the filling on each, and sprinkle with half the cheese. Place remaining 2 tortillas on top, oiled side up; press down gently with spatula to seal.

4. Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning once, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. To serve, slice each quesadilla into wedges.