the recipe sharer

Archive: Dec 2011

Scalloped tomatoes with garlic, basil and toasted croutons

Again, there’s something comforting but light about this recipe.

This is another Ina Garten recipe from  “How easy is that?”

5 tbsp good olive oil, divided
2 cups (1/2 inch dice) diced bread from a round, rustic loaf, crusts removed
3 lbs plum tomatoes, 1/2 inch diced (14 to 16 tomatoes)
1 tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1 heaped cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a large (12 inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir well to coat with the oil.
Cook over medium to medium high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often until the cubes are evenly browned.
Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic,sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Add the tomato mixture to the bread cubes and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in the basil.
Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the parmesan cheese and drizzle with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubble.
Serve hot or warm.

Middle Eastern Chopped Salad (CleanCuisine)

My step daughter  Candice, made this last night and everyone fell upon it. After the heavy Holiday  eating it was so refreshing. I would give it 6 out 5! The only thing you could add, maybe, is pitted Kalamata olives, but it was perfect as it was. It’s an Ina Garten recipe.

Serves 4 – 6
10 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1lb ripe tomatoes, seeded, cored and  1/2 inch diced.
1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthways, seeded and  1/2 inch diced
1 16 oz (or as near as possible) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1 tbsp minced garlic, (3 cloves)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
8 oz good Greek feta cheese, 1/2 inch diced
Toasted pita bread, for serving
Some optional additions are; halved pitted Kalamata olives or chopped avocado

Place the scallions, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, parsley, mint and basil in a large salad bowl and toss to combine.
Ina  small bowl or measuring cup whisk together lemon juice, garlic, salt and 1 tsp of pepper.
Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour the dressing over the salad tossing gently to coat all the vegetables. ( You might not even want to put all the dressing on, depending on how much you like. I held some back)
Add the feta, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss gently.
Serve the salad with the toasted pita bread.

Tomato Terrine

And now for something completely different and light.

This is a very elegant starter, especially when the heirloom tomatoes are at their best.

2 carrots, chopped
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, peeled and chopped
1 shallot, halved
1 garlic clove
10 flat leaf parsley sprigs
10 black peppercorns
3 fresh bay leaves, or 1 dried

6lbs large firm ripe tomatoes, peeled. (a mix of colors makes the terrine look great)
1 tsp kosher salt plus more for extra seasoning
1 1/2 tbsp unflavored gelatine
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
2 tsp red wine vinegar
non stick vegetable oil spray
sea salt

You will need two 8″ x 4 1/2 ” loaf pans

Bring the first 8 ingredients and 3 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the stock yields 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes.
Set a fine mesh strainer over a large measuring cup and strain the stock, discarding the solids. Cover and keep hot.

Set a fine mesh strainer over another measuring cup. Cut each peeled tomato into 4 wedges. Place wedges, cut side up, on a work surface. Cut away seeds and pulp from the tomato and transfer to a strainer.
Place the filleted tomatoes on a double layer of paper towels to drain; sprinkle with 1 tsp kosher salt. pat tomatoes with more paper towels. let stand for 30 minutes.

Press on the seeds to yield 1/2 cup of tomato juice. Sprinkle gelatin over the juice let stand for 10 minutes to soften. Add to the hot stock, whisk vigorously to dissolve the gelatin. Stir in 1/4 cup chives, vinegar and kosher salt to taste.

Spray 1 loaf pan with non stick spray, line with plastic wrap allowing for a 3″ overhang on each side.
Smooth out the plastic to remove any wrinkles as they will show on the finished terrine.
Pour 1/2 cup stock into the prepared pan. Chill until set, about 40 minutes. Arrange 1 layer of tomatoes in the pan, pressing down gently, then drizzle 2 tbsp stock mixture over. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes and stock. Pout the remaining stock over the fill the pan.
Cover the terrine with plastic wrap. Place on a small rimmed baking sheet.
Place the second loaf pan on top of the terrine, weigh down the terrine by placing 2 – 3  small canned goods in the top pan (some liquid mixture in the bottom pan may spill out). Chill the terrine until set, about 6 hours.
Do ahead.  This can be made 2 days ahead but keep it chilled.
Uncover the terrine when ready to serve and invert onto a platter. Remove pan and plastic wrap.
Slice the terrine and transfer to the plates. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with chives and sea salt.

Easy oven baked pesto chicken breasts

This is a recipe from “Kalyn’s Kitchen” food blog which I tried one evening when I didn’t really feel like cooking. It was so delicious I decided to post it.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning the chicken
1/2 cup basil pesto
2 oz (1/2 cup) grated mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Trim all visible fat and tendons from the chicken pieces, then cut each breast lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces. (I cut the larger ones into 3 and the smaller ones into 2 strips)

Spray a 9″ x 12″ baking dish with non stick spray, then spread 1/4 cup of basil pesto over the bottom of the dish. lay the chicken strips over the pesto then spread 1/4 cup more pesto over the chicken.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake the chicken for 25 to 30 minutes, just until the chicken is barely firm and cooked through. Don’t over cook at this point or the dish will be very overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.

When the chicken is barely cooked through, remove the foil and sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese then 1/2 cup grated mozzarella. Put dish back in the oven without the foil and cook 5 more minutes or just until the cheese has melted. At this point it is nice to put under the broiler to get a nice color on the cheese.

Serve hot. There will be great and flavorful juice in the bottom of the dish so you may want rice, couscous, ciabatta bread or quinoa to soak up the juice.