Corn and Tomato Soup

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, white part only, finely chopped
  • 5 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped, about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups corn kernels (about 4 ears), cobs reserved and cut in half
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup croutons
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes; cook until slightly softened, 3 minutes. Add the flour; stir until flour dissolves. Cook 2 more minutes.
  2. Add the corn kernels, basil leaves, tomato paste, chicken stock and corncobs. Heat to a simmer; cook, partially covered, 25 minutes. Remove the corncobs and discard.
  3. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or food processor. Pour the soup through a fine mesh strainer into a large container. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serve, garnished with croutons, a dollop of sour cream and a basil sprig.

Makes 4 servings

Menemen

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 banana peppers, seeded and thinly sliced or diced (you can use a yellow or red pepper instead)
  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Saute the onion for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the peppers and continue cooking until the onions are golden and the peppers are softened, about 5 more minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened and much of the juice has evaporated. Add the salt, pepper and chili flakes, and cook another minute. Lower heat to medium.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the eggs in a bowl and whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper and add the feta cheese.
  4. Stir the egg mixture into the cooked vegetables and scramble the eggs until they are just done, 5 to 6 minutes. Do not overcook.
  5. Mix sumac, olive oil, garlic, Greek yogurt and salt in small bowl.
  6. Transfer to plates or shallow bowls or serve right from the pan. Drizzle with sumac yogurt sauce and garnish with parsley. Serve the remaining yogurt sauce on the side.

Makes 4 servings

 

Summer Caprese Salad with Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Relish

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Ingredients

Relish:

  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch diced seedless yellow or red watermelon
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch diced European cucumber
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mixed greens, such as spring greens, arugula or mache
  • 6 large, ripe beefsteak tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the relish ingredients in a medium bowl carefully, making sure to not break the watermelon into smaller pieces. Reserve.
  2. In a small bowl, add the red wine vinegar. While whisking, slowly stream in the olive oil and continue whisking until the dressing is emulsified. Add the chives and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Just before serving, arrange the mixed greens in the center of a large circular platter. Cut the tomatoes into 1 1/2-inch slices and arrange on a platter in a circular pattern overlapping.
  4. Pour about half of the dressing over the relish and mix to combine. Taste for seasoning. Place a dollop of relish on each tomato slice. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve immediately.

Advance Preparation

Relish and dressing may be made up to 2 hours ahead, covered and kept at room temperature. It is best to finish this just before serving.

Variations

  • Substitute diced or tiny balls of fresh mozzarella or crumbled goat cheese for the feta cheese.
  • Double the recipe. Use a very large platter or 2 platters.
  • Arrange the salad in stacks. Place a slice of tomato on the bottom of a salad plate and then a dollop of relish. Repeat 1 more time.

Serves 6-8 people

Baked Tomatoes

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Ingredients

  • 12 loaf Italian bread (about 8 ounces)
  • 5 to 6 sprigs flatleaf Italian parsley
  • 1 medium-size clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
  • 2 large tomatoes or 4 small ones

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Cut away and discard the crust from the loaf of bread and cut the loaf in half lengthwise. Bake for 5 minutes on each side. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees on convection heat or to 375 degrees in an oven without convection heat.
  3. Cut the bread into chunks small enough to fit easily in a food processor. Place them in the food processor and pulse until you have fairly even crumbs that are not too fine. Set aside 1 cup of crumbs and reserve any extra for another use.
  4. Finely chop enough parsley leaves to measure about 2 tablespoons. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Put the parsley, garlic, bread crumbs, capers, salt and olive oil in a mixing bowl. Mix well until the ingredients are evenly distributed and the bread crumbs are well coated with the olive oil. If there doesn’t seem to be enough olive oil to coat them, add a little more.
  5. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and scoop out the seeds. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Fill the cavities with a generous amount of the bread-crumb mixture, heaping it on top of each tomato half.
  6. Bake until a brown crust forms, for about 20 minutes. Serve hot, or at room temperature.

Tips

  • Select tomatoes that are vine-ripened for the best flavor.
  • Remember to store tomatoes at room temperature. If they are not quite ripe, store them in a sunny place to hasten ripening.
  • Tomatoes vary widely in the amount of juice they exude, so add a bit of water if you find the pan is dry during roasting.
  • Roasted tomatoes can be made as much as 8 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Serve at room temperature, or reheat in a 325-degree oven for about 10 minutes.

Serves 4

Summer Fruit Crisp

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups raspberries or blueberries (two 6-ounce packages), or 1 package of each, cleaned and picked over
  • 3 medium white or yellow peaches or nectarines, pitted and cut into 2-inch dice
  • 12 cup flour
  • 14 cup sugar

For the custard:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon flour

For the topping:

  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 cup (1 stick) melted unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together the fruit, 12 cup flour and 14 sugar until well the fruit is well coated. Transfer to an 8-inch by 10-inch or a 9-inch by 12-inch greased gratin pan or baking dish. Press down on the mixture with a spatula to make an even layer with no gaps. Place on a baking sheet.
  2. To make the custard: In a medium bowl, with a whisk, beat the eggs well. Add the creme fraiche and vanilla, and whisk until blended. Sift in the flour, whisking well to make sure the custard is smooth and no lumps remain.
  3. To make the topping: In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, 1 cup flour, salt and lemon zest, and mix together. Add the vanilla and melted butter and mix until a soft dough forms.
  4. Spread an even layer of the custard mixture over the fruit. With your fingers, evenly crumble the topping over the fruit. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and completely cooked through. Serve immediately. You can serve this at room temperature.

Advance Preparation

This may be prepared 8 hours ahead, covered and kept at room temperature before serving. Heat in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes before serving.

Tips

Don’t bother peeling the peaches or nectarines. Slice them in half and then scoop out the pit with a spoon. Cut into pieces. Try this same recipe using plums or nectarines instead of the peaches and blackberries instead of the raspberries.

Serves 6 to 8.

Indian Summer Pasta

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Ingredients

  • 112 pounds assorted sausages: sweet, hot, or Turkey Sausages with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, optional

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 34 pound green beans, yellow wax beans or sugar snap peas, cut into 2-inch pieces and cooked until crisp-tender
  • 212 pounds peeled and coarsely chopped ripe red and, if available, yellow tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears)
  • 14 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound dried small pasta shells

For the garnish:

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Prepare a grill for medium-high-heat grilling. Arrange the sausages on the grill rack and grill 3 inches from the heat for about 20 minutes, rotating them on all sides until the fat runs clear. (Alternatively, place them on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high power for 4 minutes, or until the fat runs clear.) Transfer to a platter and let cool. When cool, cut into 14-inch slices.
  2. To make the sauce, in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, making sure it does not burn. Add the green beans and saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until some of the liquid has evaporated. Use a potato masher to crush the tomatoes. Add the corn and cook for 2 minutes. Add the basil, parsley, salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Add the sausages to the sauce and taste again for seasoning.
  3. Add salt to a large pot of boiling water. Add the pasta and cook over high heat until al dente, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain well.
  4. Place the pasta in the sauce and mix well. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Garnish with the basil and a few tablespoons of the parmesan. Pass the remaining cheese separately. Serve immediately.

Advance Preparation

The sauce can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator 12 hour before reheating. Gently reheat the sauce.

Serves 6 to 8 people.

Picnic Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • Water, for boiling
  • 3 pounds medium red, tan-skin or yellow (Yukon Gold) potatoes

For the dressing:

  • 34 cup sour cream
  • 34 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 14 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Coleman’s dried mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • Parsley sprigs, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes for 30 minutes or until tender but slightly resistant when pierced with a fork. Drain and cool. Do not peel. When cool, cut into 112-inch pieces and place in a medium bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, celery, green onions, celery seed, parsley, chopped egg, dried mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Pour the mixture over potatoes and mix gently until coated. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
  4. To serve, transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with parsley. Serve cold.

Advance Preparation

Can be made a day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Taste for seasoning before serving.

Serves 6 to 8.