Tomato-Basil-Tortellini bisque

20160820_191016Like every other tomato soup ever made, still — so very good,  Sauteed onion, 3 minced garlic, 2-28’s of crushed toms, 2 cups broth, salt, pepper, 1oz chopped basil.  Blended, then pasta cooked in, and lastly most of 8oz whole cream.

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Tomato pie

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Tomato pie was unknown, until a passing reference overheard in conversation. It seemed like such a peculiar idea and called to be examined – apparently, not unheard of in the south. Most recipes, like most things in the south, called for mayonnaise, which is not a deal-breaker, but we took a shot with one that did not, from garden&gun. The issue also has a very interesting article on the hunting of striped zucchini.

The recipe is really simple; the only alterations were of cheese: Using grated raclette with a sprinkle of blue instead of a goat.

The pie was marvelous, the acidity balanced beautifully with the cheese and bread of crumb and crust – cook that first, though, by the way. That might have been in the instructions, but they were thrown away with the packaging.

This would be really good on a warm summer evening with a glass of chilled wine or a refreshing IPA, fruit and crusty bread.

Getting sauced

What a bizarre year it was for vegetables, not exclusively, though specifically, the solanaceae.

Man, Drake, a day away from November and the vast majority of the tomatoes are still not ripe, and ugly ducks they are, that are, bounced around as they did for six months.

Likewise, the peppers and eggplants are just starting to come on – and mostly, likely, will be lost, to frost, though, at least those survived, so far.

Tomato plants aren’t as hardy, tops tipped after the first freeze, collapsed on the second.

What could be salvaged was brown bagged, brought to the basement, hoping for a tomato tornado – not so.

So far, about a peck piqued and about half that peaked, right from rare to rotten.

Ripe on the vine tomatoes are one of the best treats of summer. Bag born bulbs, they are grainier, drier; don’t have the flavor, sort of pasty.

Terrible tomatoes to taste, salvageable stewed as sauce.

So, several sauces, set for the ensuing, snowy season: Simple sauces, certainly; also, a Cypriot style, as at cdkitchen, as well as an… herby variety: With onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, sage, cumin, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper, which, curiously, developed a bit of a kick.

your everyday variety, tomato sauce

A very simple sauce, yet certainly satisfying:

  • 2 quarts, peeled, diced tomatoes
  • 8 or more minced cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced, fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to preference

cook it down for thirty minutes…  Or an hour.

For a smoother sauce, of course, blend.

My favorite variation is to substitute in some chipotle for a nice, spicy and smoky sauce.

 

Dinner, late and great

We’ve been on a roll with meals recently without a dud for days! 

Dinner last night, Jen planned to make gazpacho (blender version ala Joy of Cooking). 

To accompany the soup, we considered the cupboards and devised a couple creations:  Kohlrabi and garbanzo stuffed baked tomato and a black bean stuffed pastry.

We generally have a rule of thumb that if preparations haven’t begun by 6, we resort to something seriously simple or carry out.   That was the route we were heading after I got hung up at work then spent 45 minutes driving the 2 miles home.

But after quick feeding the kids and a very nice glass of wine from the Leelenau Cellars (and a great big hug from Jared!), Jen persevered with the gazpacho, even making homemade croutons from her homemade italian bread from the night before!

 So we went ahead as planned and ate at nine o’ clock.

The gazpacho was delicious

And the sides were wonderful, even if a stuffed tomato isn’t, perhaps, an ideal pairing for gazpacho..

It certainly was an ideal match with the pastries for lunch! 

The rough dimensions of the un-linked concoctions:

Kohlrabi and garbanzo stuffed baked tomato

  • 3/4 c diced kohlrabi
  • 3/4 c squished garbanzos
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 1/4 c minced parsley
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Feta (of say, soy feta)

Using hot-house tomatoes will make this dish terrible.  So using fresh from the vine tomatoes (!), lop off the tops and scoop out the flesh.  Dice what was scooped and lopped and add all ingredients to a pan to chow for about 5 minutes.

Add filling to tomato hulls, top with a little feta and bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

Black bean pastries

  • Puff pastry
  • 1 c rehydrated TVP
  • 3/4 c black beans
  • 1 pablano pepper, diced
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 c tomato sauce (maybe a little more..)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Ground garlic/pepper/salt to taste
  • 3/4 c grated smoked gouda (vegan style)

Throw everything up to the cheese in a pan and heat through, about 5 minutes.  Add cheese and mix.

After puff pastry has thawed to be workable, use a wide mouth glass or jar or cookie cutter to cut circles of dough.  Place a bit of filling in the middle of each circle and fold over to form a crescent and seal.

Place on a parchment paper lined cookie tray and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

-D