Healthy · Recipes · Side Dish · Vegetarian

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

I’ve been having a hard time saying good bye to summer.  I love the long days, Vacation Sundays at Veronica’s and making ice cream.  I especially love the tomato bounty in the garden.  There’s nothing better than picking a perfectly ripe tomato off the vine and popping it in my mouth.

Sunshine picked up a handful of tomatoes from the grocery store.  They looked okay, just not as glorious as the ones from our garden.  So I decided to give them a little slow roasting love.  We enjoyed them on our pizza at Chik’s house a few nights ago with a little Mt. Tam triple cream cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, burrata and some pine nuts.

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

  • Medium size tomatoes
  • Fennel seeds
  • Dried oregano, hand crushed
  • Grey salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive Oil

Place in a 250° oven on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with fennel seeds, crushed oregano, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 3-5 hours, just until they start to dry out but still maintain a soft texture.

Molly’s got new wheels!  She is so happy.

Look at her go!  She’s leading the pack!

She loves her new ride.  It’s hard to keep up with her!

Recipes · Side Dish · Vegetarian

yummy asparagus

I love asparagus.  Throw in some French feta, some of your favorite olive oil and a nice crank of freshly ground pepper, and you’ve got something special.  I can not take credit for this concoction.  I found the recipe in Bobby Flay’s Grill It! cookbook.  I modified it ever so slightly.

Grilled Asparagus with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Feta Cheese and Black Pepper

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and coarsely ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces feta cheese (I like French feta), cut into small cubes
Heat grill to high.
Snap the woody ends off of the asparagus.  Place asparagus on a baking sheet, toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill asparagus perpendicular to the grates for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until crisp tender.
Transfer the grilled asparagus to a large platter.  Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and feta, and toss to combine.  Serve!
Pre-Photoshop days.  My crafty brother, Chris, taped a couple of pictures of Sunshine and me together.  I’m cracking myself up.  Must be the haircut, and maybe the sweater.
Check out the recipe index page on my blog.  I finally put it together.  Now I can even find some of my recipes.  I know, it’s about time.
Appetizers and Snacks · Recipes · Side Dish · Vegetarian

magical mushrooms

I made these mushrooms for a birthday celebration for Stephanie.  The recipe comes courtesy of Mario Batali’s The Babbo Cookbook.  Sunshine is usually not a big fan of shitakes, but he really likes these.

Cool Roasted Shitakes with Barbecued Onions and Basil Oil

Serves 4
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound shitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large red onions, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch slices

Basil Oil

Makes 2 cups

  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, chilled 2 hours
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
To prepare the mushrooms:
Preheat oven to 350º F.
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the olive oil, sage, rosemary and chopped garlic, whisk to blend.  Place the mushrooms in a small roasting pan or casserole dish and pour the oil mixture over.  Season with salt and pepper and roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside in a medium mixing bowl.
Add the anchovy paste, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to the pan.  Gently whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and pour over the mushrooms.
Preheat the grill.
Brush the onion slices with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill on the hottest part of the grill until tender and grill-marked, about 4 minutes each side.  Remove onions from grill and place them on a serving platter.  Remove mushrooms from the marinade and place on top of the onions.  Drizzle plate with basil oil and serve.
To make the basil oil:
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until nearly smooth and uniformly green.  Strain through a fine sieve.

The spread…

A little wine, and Stephanie’s shoes.

Recipes · Side Dish · Vegetarian

oven baked truffle fries

Yum…fries.  Truffle fries.  Crunchy, salty, glorious fries.

We had these last night.  Mine were inspired by Ellie Krieger’s version in her cookbook – “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”.

This truffle salt is really good.  It’s great on pizza.  I also love it on cauliflower puree.

Oven Baked Truffle Fries

  • 1 large baking potato
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • truffle salt or truffle oil

Preheat oven to 450°.  Insert a rimmed baking sheet into the oven.  This tip comes courtesy of Tyler Florence. It helps to prevent your fries from sticking to the baking sheet.

Heat olive oil and sliced garlic cloves in a small saute pan until garlic is golden brown.  Remove from heat, strain olive oil into a mixing bowl.  Slice potatoes lengthwise into 1/4″ matchsticks.  Add potatoes to the garlic oil and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.

Remove preheated baking sheet from the oven and add potatoes in a single layer.

Bake for 35 minutes until golden and crisp.  Sprinkle with truffle salt and parsley.

My mouth is watering.  I think I need more.

Greg Schroeder, owner of Amazing Grapes Wine store

Greg says:

Salt and fat – yeah baby!  Fries work really well with sparkling wine.  Yup, Champagne is a great way to go with this one.  There’s nothing quite like gourmet trashy food like these truffle fries and a superlative Champagne which gets the balance just right!

Find one that has loads of bread yeast with flavors of truffle and wood smoke.  A perfect one at Amazing Grapes is the Perrier Jouet 2000 Fleur de Champagne.  It offers complex aromas and flavors of truffle, wood smoke, butter and spice with a strong mineral element on the finish.

Thanks Greg!!  Now that sounds amazing!!

Healthy · Main Dish · Recipes · Salad · Side Dish

dinner for less than a trillion calories

FINALLY!  Dinner for less than a trillion calories.  This after Chik made us ride 7.5 miles on our bikes.  That’s a lot for people who don’t ride bikes.  My legs felt like they were going to fall off.  I felt very righteous after our ride…and Sunshine kept going on about how Monday is the beginning of his week to be good and healthy…so, I guess I was inspired, or he shamed me into making this dinner.  Either way, it is delicious.

Red cabbage slaw with smokey blue cheese

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • good splash of cider vinegar
  • drizzle of good olive oil
  • 2 ounces of smokey blue cheese

Grilled chicken thighs with ancho chili rub

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Yukon gold mashed potatoes

  • 1 pound baby yukon gold potatoes
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

For the slaw: shred cabbage and carrots and combine in a bowl.  Add cider vinegar, olive oil and smokey blue cheese.  Refrigerate.

For the grilled chicken: combine chili powder, cumin and salt.  Season chicken.  Grill for 4 minutes over medium heat.  Turn chicken and grill for 3 minutes longer.

For the mashed potatoes:  Cut potatoes into 1″ pieces and steam until fork tender.  Mash with olive oil, add steaming water as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.

Turley has moved on from eating my shoes to spying on the neighbors.

Greg Schroeder, owner of Amazing Grapes Wine Store

Greg says:  Hi Slop!
I’ve been waiting for you to cook something that would pair well with my favorite white wine find this year – a 2008 Chilean Chardonnay from Errazuriz.
The Chardonnay , called Wild Ferment, features a complex, multi-layered nose that combines mineral notes with expressive tropical fruit aromas. This fresh and elegant white has just the right amount of toasted notes from oak ageing to cut through the ancho chili on the chicken and compliment the smokey blue cheese in the cabbage side dish at the same time. No need to open two different wines for this meal! I love the bright acidity that balances the lush and creamy texture that leads to a long, lingering, and pleasing finish.
How about an invite for this one?!?

Okay Greg…you’ve got it.  Come over anytime….but don’t forget the wine!!!  Love ya…Slop

Recipes · Side Dish

a sharp knife or a strong man is required

I’ve got a sharp knife.

I’ve been thinking about my dear sweet Michael lately.  Not in a sexy way as you might assume.  I just have a butternut squash, and he has the magic recipe.  It’s Michael Chiarello I’m referring to and his recipe in The Tra Vigne Cookbook for roasted winter squash.  A sharp knife is necessary for cutting a butternut squash, if you don’t have that, well…. you know what you need.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my roasted butternut squash puree yet, I know it’s a little anti-climatic.  I’m thinking raviolis, or soup, or I’ll mix it into polenta.  Next time I won’t puree the squash.  I’ll serve it over pasta and add a little crumbled French feta.  Stay tuned.

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 3 pound butternut squash
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup blasamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, halve and remove seeds.  Cut into 1″ dice.  Place in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.

Heat butter in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat.  When butter ceases to foam and turns light brown, remove from heat.  Add sage, sugar, vinegar and molasses.  Mix well and return to medium low heat for 1-2 minutes.

Pour mixture over squash, toss to coat.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.  Place in the oven and roast, tossing occasionally, for 1 hour.

Transfer to food processor, and puree until smooth.  Refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Grandma Sherry is up to her old tricks again…check out Paige’s fancy new outfit, compliments of Grandma of course.  Sunshine said Paige has more clothes than me now.  Fine.  I’ll go shopping.

Appetizers and Snacks · Recipes · Side Dish · Vegetarian

Braised Artichoke Bottoms

You’ve got to really love someone a lot to make these artichokes for them.  To say they are for special occasions ONLY is an understatement.

Here are a couple of suggestions before you dive into this recipe:

1/  Make sure you’ve had a full night’s rest prior to making these artichokes.

2/  Limit your alcohol consumption the day before.

3/  Do not attempt to make these on a hot day while wearing sweat pants.  (It is okay to make on a hot day, but dress appropriately, for the love of God!)

Braised artichoke bottoms

  • 6 artichokes
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chiffonade

Trim artichokes, remove stems and choke, leaving the artichoke bottom only.  Rub with lemon as you go.

Mash garlic and salt together, rub some of the paste onto the top of the artichoke bottoms and place upside down in a 12″ saute pan.  Add water, olive oil, the rest of the garlic paste, and  lemon half.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Remove artichoke bottoms from the pan, sprinkle with basil.  Bring the braising liquid to a boil, and reduce to 1/4 cup, whisking to emulsify.  Drizzle over artichoke bottoms.  Serve at room temperature.

Paige loves artichoke leaves.