baked feta in tomato sauce

Baked Feta in Tomato Sauce

To write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write.

- Gertrude Stein

Writer’s block.

I have it. Bad.

What do I do?

What CAN I do?

Continue reading

About these ads

mushroom and sun-dried tomato bruschetta

We Americans often think that bruschetta is the mixture of tomatoes, garlic, and basil on a slice of toasted bread. Bruschetta, from the Italian word bruscare, meaning to toast or burn, actually refers to the thick slices of grilled bread. Often served as a snack or appetizer, bruschetta is traditionally prepared by rubbing the bread with garlic and drizzling it with olive oil before toasting it over hot coals.  Then the bread is topped with a simple mixture of tomatoes and fresh herbs.  It is an easy way to showcase the excellent quality of freshly-pressed olive oil as well as a way to preserve bread that is beginning to get stale.

Continue reading

i say kumato, you say tomato

Kumato tomatoes

I discovered these brown tomatoes at Trader Joe’s the other day. They are called Kumato tomatoes and they have an unusual brownish-reddish appearance. They are firm, juicy tomatoes that are sweeter than traditional tomatoes. The label says that they are distributed and sold exclusively by Trader Joe’s. I was originally drawn to its unusual color and I thought it would make for a unique presentation in a Caprese salad or a bruschetta.

Chris and I have been cooking from scratch lately and we came up with a decidedly un-Fourth of July dinner, using the newly discovered Kumatos – roasted tomato and basil pasta and rosemary-olive bread. Chris made the fresh angel hair pasta and we collaborated on the sauce. I roasted the Kumatos in the oven in olive oil with a little balsamic vinegar and garlic for about 15 minutes. I transferred it to a sauce pan with more olive oil and garlic and added red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese, basil, and salt and pepper.

As Chris was draining the pasta, he saved some of the pasta water so I could add it to the simmering sauce. The starchy water and the olive oil simmered together, forming the base for the sauce. When the sauce was almost done, I added the pasta and mixed it to coat the pasta evenly with the slightly thickened tomato sauce. I seasoned generously with salt and pepper and garnished with more cheese and basil.

For the bread, I made french baguettes again, but this time added rosemary and diced Kalamata olives. From start to finish, it took a few hours to make dinner, but result was a simple and deliciously satisfying meal we enjoyed making together. It was a lovely way to end the holiday weekend.

Pasta with Kumato Tomato Sauce

© Daisy’s World. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Daisy’s World with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

everything’s better with butter

Homemade butter

Homemade bread is good.  Homemade bread with homemade butter is even better!  Yes, you read it right. I made my own butter this morning!  As it turns out, butter is surprisingly easy and fun to make. Essentially, heavy cream is just whipped until it breaks and the fat separates from the liquid.  The fat is the butter and the liquid is buttermilk.  How easy is that?  I used a stand mixer, but a food processor works as well.  Shaking the fermented cream in a mason jar for about 20-30 minutes will supposedly work but I prefer to have my kitchen gadgets do the heavy work.

I followed this cultured butter recipe from the Seattle Times, which calls for culturing, or fermenting the cream, before churning.  I had no luck in finding a good quality, organic cream, so I settled for a pint of the Trader Joe’s brand.  The resulting butter is a pale yellow color and  creamy with a little bit of tang to it.  Better quality cream would have resulted in a deeper yellow color and a richer flavor.  Next time, I can experiment with adding different herbs and flavorings to make compound butter.

© Daisy’s World. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Daisy’s World with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.