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Posts Tagged ‘Tomato’

Creamy Tomato Soup

Well Hello there… This is embarassing.  It appears that I have neglected to update this blog in, awhile… Oops.  I promise it’s not because I was lazy!  (Well, maybe a little.)  (Maybe a lot.)  My apologies.

But enough about that…on to the food!  One of the best parts of moving up to Chicago is now I actually get to attend all the weddings I get invited to over the summer.  One particularly special one a few weeks ago, featured the most amazing creamy cheesy tomato soup so good I may have…umm…kinda…maybe…licked the bowl when no one was looking…?? 

I absolutely had to have more because, well, clearly that little bowl was not enough for me.  And so began my first cooking project in the new apartment.  Now, I know that it’s summer and insanely hot/humid outside.  But if you can’t sweat a little for good food…well buddy, I’m afraid we can’t be friends anymore.  Sorry.

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Texas Caviar

We all know how terrible I am at posting things on time.  I really should get on that because I start forgetting my recipes which is really the purpose of this whole blog thing.  BUT not this time!  This recipe is so “fresh”, I actually just got done making it and am in the process of enjoying it right now.  Actually, I’m having issues typing because I’m trying to inhale this salsa at the same time.  Why am I finally posting in a timely manner?  Because this Texas Caviar is so freaking amazing.   I can’t stop eating.  yummm.  Ahhhh!  My keyboard is getting dirty because I keep taking bites in between sentences.  Ok. Stopping now. Wait…one more…

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Wow.  I’ve been surfing the internet looking for inspiration for new recipes…wow…there are a lot of awesome food blogs out there.  I am humbled…but then again, I’m just a poor college student living on a budget and cooking for fun.  So I guess I don’t feel too bad about the poor quality of this blog.  Because, as much as I am lacking now, I still remember the first time I ever tried to cook dinner for my family.  What a disaster.  Baking was easy but cooking was a whole other monster…learning how to have two things going on the stove at the same time and keeping it from burning took a lot of practice.  My brother still makes fun of me about it all.the.time.

For a project for my high school French class, we had to cook a three course french dinner for our families and journal the entire process.  I chose to make French Onion Soup, Ratatouille, and Chocolate Mousse.   All three dishes were catastrophes but the worst was the French Onion Soup.  Beef broth, onions, some seasonings…sounds easy, right?  How could one mess this up?  That’s what I thought!  But then again, I also thought that the order ingredients were listed in recipes were arbitrary and you could just dump stuff in whenever.  So, instead of adding flour to butter and making a roux at the very beginning of cooking, I added flour at the very end – after the broth.  What resulted was giant lumps of flour floating all around my soup instead of the smooth creamy texture you normally get from roux based soups.  Upon serving it to my family, they pretended to enjoy my horrible soup until my jerk brother pointed out the obvious and ridiculed my abilities to no end.   It wasn’t until winter break 2009 that I had recovered enough from this traumatic incident to attempt French Onion soup again.  But this time, it was wonderful.  Hmm…maybe this will be a future recipe post….

If you’ve ever had Caprese Salad before, it’s normally just tomato, mozzarella cheese, and basil – classic Italian flavor combo.  In an effort to add more flavor and depth into this dish, I decided to roast the tomatoes and top everything with a pesto.  The result is well worth the extra effort.

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Today I had a cooking buddy!!  Chrissy, my lovely accounting bff + fellow slave to the CPA came over for a Thursday afternoon cooking session.

The recipe for today is not mine but my favorite food network chef: Ina Garten!  You can find the full recipe here.

::GOAT CHEESE TART::

I love goat cheese!  I know what you’re thinking…eww goat cheese.  Seriously!  Try it!  It’s creamy, sharp, and completely delicious.  If that’s not incentive enough to dry this dish…the crust is made out of puff pastry!  Crisp and flaky, the puff pastry really makes this tart elegant.  After you try this recipe, you could totally make variations of this tart with roasted asparagus or even a small slice of steak placed on top with cheese melting down over it…yum!

This tart starts out with puff pastry, rolled out and cut into circles, six inches across.  Half and inch from the edge, score a border around the pastry circle so the crust will puff up with you bake it.  Be careful not to cut through all the way.  I sautéed onions with garlic, white wine, and dried herbs.  Next: the assembly.  Sprinkle in the center of the puff pastry some grated Parmesan cheese.  Top with a mound of the onion mixture and then crumble some of the goat cheese on top.  Lay a thick slice of tomato in the center and season with basil cut into thin strips, salt and pepper.   Shave some Parmesan on top and drizzle a tsp of olive oil to finish it off.  Bake in the oven 475º F for 10-12 min or until the puff pastry rises and browns.

mmm…check out all that melted cheese!

::CINNAMON TWISTS::

Don’t throw away all the extra scraps of puff pastry you didn’t use for the tart!  Here’s a recipe to turn that flaky goodness into a dessert to follow up your tart with.

Contents:
Puff Pastry
1 tbs melted butter
3 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cut the leftover puff pastry into small strips.  Brush butter onto the strips, just enough to cover so the cinnamon sugar will stick.  Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the strips.  Twist the strips lengthwise or into small knots.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 min at 375º F.

An amazing Thursday afternoon lunch!  Now time for some more CPA studying…

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