Fried Green Tomatoes
Adapted from a recipe in Southern Living. Serves 4 - 6.
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
Salt to taste
Combine egg and buttermilk; set aside. Combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or pan. Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture.
Pour oil to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a large cast-iron skillet; heat to 375°. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt.
1 cup parsley leaves (thin stems are okay), rinsed and dried
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 cup sunflower or extra-virgin olive oil, or more
1 tsp apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine the parsley with a pinch of salt, the garlic, and about 1/2 the oil in a mini-food processor, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary, and adding the rest of the oil gradually. Add the vinegar, then a little more oil or some water if you prefer a thinner mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Fettucini with Balsamic Delicata Squash & Bitter Greens
1 pound fresh or dried fettucini
2 Delicata squash (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 sweet yellow onion (or leek), sliced
1/4 pound pancetta, diced (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
10 ounces bitter greens (or baby pac choi!), washed, stem removed, chopped crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Slice crosswise into 1/4-inch thick crescents, discarding the root and stem ends.
Grease a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange the squash slices in one layer and sprinkle with the vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place the baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven and roast, agitating every ten minutes, for 25-30 minutes until squash skin shows some wrinkling. Remove from oven and set aside.
Set 4 quarts of water with 1 tablespoon salt to boil in a stockpot.
While the water is heating, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the onion slices and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until onions caramelize to a light brown color, about 10 to 12 minutes. Scrape from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta and chile flakes, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the greens, stirring until wilted.
When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of pasta water, and add that water to the pan with the greens. In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked pasta, greens, roasted squash, and caramelized onions. Serve with freshly cracked black pepper and Parmesan.
Blue Cheese, Apple & Leek Tart with a Spiced Whole-Wheat Crust
Entertaining some guests? Try this sophisticated dish with your family and friends.
For the tart shell:
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 oz) sifted whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground mace
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into bits
4 - 6 TB ice water
For the filling:
1 medium leek, light and green parts only, split lengthwise, sliced crosswise, washed and drained
1 TB unsalted butter
1 medium apple, unpeeled, cored and cut into 1/4 dice
3 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 lb blue cheese, trimmed of rind and crumbled
To make the shell, stir the two flours, coriander, mace, cayenne and salt together in a medium bowl or food processor. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter bits resemble oatmeal. Mix in just enough ice water to form a ball of dough. Gently flatten into a smooth disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Once chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and place over a 10-11 fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Fit into pan, trimming any excess, making sure there are no holes in the pastry dough where the filling may leak out. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge while you prepare the filling.
Preheat the oven to 375F. To make the filling, heat butter in a medium skillet; add the leeks and apples. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the leeks are brightly colored and the apples are softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Lightly beat the eggs, half-and-half, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Place the tart pan with dough on a cookie sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper. Distribute the cooled leek mixture evenly over the tart dough. Sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese over the mixture. Pour the custard over the top. Bake until the custard has set in the middle and the top begins to turn golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving.