Tag Archives: tomato

poached egg croissant sandwich

24 Nov

Coffee, newspaper, egg sandwich.

All it takes to make a perfect Saturday morning.

ingredients

  • 1 croissant, halved and lightly toasted
  • lettuce
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 egg, poached
  • dijon mustard

preparation

Put all that together.  As a sandwich.

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pork, fennel + white bean hand pies or: how to make it though the rest of the stew

12 Nov

so much stew…

For we noble and intelligent and attractive people trying to live and eat well on a tight budget, cold weather is our friend.  Cold weather means making huge pots of slow cooked meat, soups, stews, fresh bread; leaving the crock pot, oven, stove on all day and ending up with enough food to feed you for a week.

The key, however, is to not want to off yourself by the end of that week because you’ve eaten the same f***ing bowl of f***ing stew every day for a f***ing week.

So here’s an easy, cheap and tasty recipe that works well as a stew (either as is or with a little added broth), as a pasta sauce, and in flaky buttery hand pies.  Turning stew into pie is certainly not an innovation but these hand pies are a lot easier to make than a traditional pot pie and you get a much higher pastry to filling ratio which, for me, is a big big plus.

Makes 4 pies with 4 cups leftover stew

pork, fennel + white bean hand pies

ingredients

crust

  • 1 c unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water

stew

  • 1 lb pork (I used tenderloin because I had some in my freezer but almost any cut would work) cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ground pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 generous handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered and finely sliced
  • 1 550ml can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 300ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1 splash white wine vinegar
  • 1 splash balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

from stew to pie

preparation

crust

Get the crust ready first.  Add the cold butter to the flour and salt.  Mix with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles small peas.  Add water one tablespoon at a time until the dough just holds together.  There should still be visible pea-sized butter chunks, that’s what will make your crust tender and flaky.  Divide the dough into 4 equal balls and wrap each one tightly in saran wrap, pressing down to make a small flat disc.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

stew

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and oregano and stir until onions are translucent.  Turn the heat to high and add pork.  Stir for a couple of minutes until pork begins to brown then deglaze the pan with white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar.  Add carrots, bell pepper, fennel, white beans, tomatoes and parsley.

Turn heat to low and let simmer, partially covered, for 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the stew cool.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Roll out the pastry discs one at a time and place a few tablespoons of stew in the center of each one, leaving a 2 inch border around the filling.  Fold the top half of the pastry over the filling and fold the bottom edges in over the top crust.

Like a pizza pocket.

Brush the lightly beaten egg over the tops of the pies to make them nice and shiny – if you have a pastry brush that would be ideal, if you don’t then just dip your dainty little hands into the slimy egg and smush it all over the top of the pastry.  It works.

Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes or until the crust turns light golden brown.

pork, fennel + white bean sauce

You can also turn the stew into a hearty pasta sauce by putting 2 cups of stew, a can of tomatoes, a pinch of salt and a splash of balsamic vinegar in a pot over medium heat while your pasta cooks.

from stew to pasta sauce

toasted tomato sandwich

5 Sep

Yeah, it’s just a toasted tomato sandwich.

When was the last time you had one?

I thought so.

Have a toasted tomato sandwich.

It’s a great thing.

(A special toasted tomato sandwich thank you goes out to John & Deb for fresh tomatoes and amazing spicy arugula from their garden.)

toasted tomato sandwich

ingredients

  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • mayonnaise
  • arugula and/or fresh basil
  • 2 slices of bread, toasted

preparation

Put all those things together, as a sandwich.

don’t we all have mixed feelings about Java House / chick pea + kale soup with cinnamon

22 Aug

If you’re from Toronto and are / have been at one point young and poor you’ve probably had the… not “pleasure”… the, experience of going to Java House.  I’ve been there a lot (not recently but that’s beside the point) and I have a tumultuous relationship with the place, as I believe many do.

There are some undeniably great features – it has a huge patio just off Queen West that’s always bursting at the seams yet always has room for you somewhere, even on the most patio friendly days of summer.  The beer is cheap, like 11$ for a pitcher of half decent beer cheap, and so is the food.  One must, however, consider that the place just feels like there are cockroaches running around the kitchen and under the kegs – I’ve never had a bad experience with that but I’ve heard enough stories to be wary – it’s fairly dingy.  The service is ok-ish but under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you try to get separate bills for your table.  Don’t. Do it.  Oh, and I mentioned that the food is cheap… it is, really really cheap.  It is not “good”.

With one exception!  There was (as I said, I haven’t been there recently so maybe it’s gone?) a tomato chick-pea soup that I believe cost about $3 a bowl.  It was not spectacular but it was really tasty.  It was especially good when, half way through an after-work session of “beer instead of dinner will be just fine”, I realize that no I need to eat at least once a day.  Probably more.

So I feel that an homage to that fine, fine soup is in order.  My soup is better.  In fact it’s unreasonably f***ing delicious, especially considering how simple it is.

makes 6 servings

chick pea + kale soup with cinnamon

ingredients

  • 6 c vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 400 ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch of kale
  • 1 500ml can chick peas, drained
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • olive oil
  • salt

preparation

Cut the spine out of each kale leaf.  Rinse the leaves, bunch them together and roughly chop them; you should have about 2 generous cups of chopped kale.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and sautee until they just begin to soften.  Add garlic, turmeric and oregano along with the chick peas.  Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are translucent.  Add kale one handful at a time, stirring until it wilts.  Add tomato, broth and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Remove cinnamon stick, add salt to taste and serve.

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pasta + roasted tomato sauce

2 Jun

I work all day and I get home and I. am. so. HUNGRY.  But I’m also tired.  So the trick is to have an after work dinner that is both satisfying for my tummy and not too much work for my brain and body.

This loose, roasted pasta sauce is just right.  The best thing about it is that there are plenty of variations so even if I make it every couple of weeks – which I do, especially in the winter – it doesn’t get too boring.

The recipe I have here features some wonderful Columbian chorizo sausage (from Segovia – if you’re in Toronto go there..).  It’s also great with shrimp and/or mussels, just add them in the last five minutes in the oven, or leave out the meat altogether and add a few extra tomatoes and some more onion to bulk up the sauce.

Makes 4 servings

pasta + roasted tomato sauce

ingredients

  • 2 handfuls of linguine (or any pasta of your choice)
  • 2 lbs roma tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 large sausages, cut into large pieces

preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut the tops off of the tomatoes.  Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds.  Cut each half into about 3 pieces.  Crush the 6 garlic cloves with the side of a heavy knife, remove the skin and tough bottom from each.

Throw the seeded tomatoes, crushed garlic cloves, sliced onion, basil, capers and sausage in an ovenproof dish.  Squeeze the juice from the 1/2 lemon over everything and drizzle with olive oil.  Toss to coat and put the dish in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Cook the pasta while the sauce is in the oven.

Once sauce is cooked, toss with pasta and serve.

leftover risotto? pancakes!

25 Apr

Risotto is fantastic.  I love it dearly.  But I have to admit… I kind of get more excited about the leftovers.  Risotto pancakes are little bites of perfect crispy golden-on-the-outside-creamy-on-the-inside awesome.

They make a wonderful appetizer, lunch, snack… I eat them for breakfast.  What I’m saying is, there is no time that is not a good time for risotto pancakes.

I’ve also included a simple tomato basil sauce that I like to dip the pancakes in.

Makes 16 portions

Basic risotto recipe here.

risotto pancakes with quick tomato basil sauce

ingredients

sauce

  • 1 400ml can good quality crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 8 large basil leaves, chopped

risotto pancakes

  • 16 heaping tbsp risotto (about 2 c)
  • 1 1/2 c panko
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided

preparation

sauce

Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, sautee until onions are soft.  Add tomato, basil and lemon juice.  Simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes.

risotto pancakes

While the sauce is simmering, get three plates.  Put the flour on one, egg on another and a mixture of panko, oregano, salt and 2 tbsp olive oil on the other.

Take a heaping tablespoon of risotto and roll it into a ball.  Dredge it in the flour, then egg, then in the panko mixture.  Set aside on a plate and repeat, making 16 balls.

Cook the pancakes in 2 batches.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat.  Place 8 of the risotto balls on the pan and press down gently on them to flatten slightly.  Cook until they’re golden brown then turn over and cook the other side to the same golden brown.  Repeat with the second batch.

Serve warm with sauce.  You can pour the sauce over them if you like, I prefer to serve it on the side so the crust on the pancakes doesn’t get soggy.

camembert grilled cheese + simple pear salad

4 Apr

There is a National Grilled Cheese month.  It is a real thing and guess when that month is.  It’s now!  April!

If you’re not reading this in April then you’re just going to have to wait.  Move along.  Find yourself something else to eat for lunch.  If it’s May, I’m sorry, you have a long year ahead of you.

In honour of this very special month I’m going to post a new grilled cheese recipe every week.  Maybe some other grilled cheese related items, I don’t know yet, stay tuned.

PS. Global Cheese in Kensington Market has140g wheels of camembert on sale right now, 2 for $5.

Enough chit chat, here’s this week’s grilled cheese:

Makes 2 servings

$4 per 2 servings

camembert grilled cheese + simple pear salad

ingredients

sandwich

  • 125g camembert (one small wheel)
  • 1 to 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 5 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • 4 slices rye bread

salad

  • 2 handfuls baby arugula
  • 1 bosc pear, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • pinch ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp olive oil

preparation

sandwich

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Pile the avocado, tomato, cheese and basil on the bread.

Fry the sandwich until golden on the bottom – about 2 minutes – and drizzle the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil over the top of the sandwich before flipping and frying another 2 minutes.

salad

To make vinaigrette, whisk together honey, pepper, mustard, vinegar & oil.

Place pears on top of arugula and drizzle with salad dressing.

Serve alongside grilled cheese.

frittata with fennel + herbes de provence

1 Apr

Who doesn’t love brunch?  Curmudgeons and people who don’t have any friends to have brunch with.

You aren’t one of these unfortunate souls are you?  Of course not.

Invite some friends over and make this rather impressive brunch with very little effort and, as usual, very little money too.

Makes 4 servings

$4.75 per 2 servings

frittata with fennel & herbes de provence

ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp herbes de provence
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes
  • 100g goat cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 slices of toast

sliced fennel

preparation

Whisk together eggs, milk, herbes de provence, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack positioned in the middle.

Cut the top off of the fennel bulb, then cut the bulb in half.  Cut each half crosswise into thin slices.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.

Heat oilve oil over medium-high heat in a heavy, ovenproof skillet.  Add sliced fennel and cook until it begins to soften – about 2 minutes.  Add garlic and continue to cook until fennel is soft and somewhat translucent – another 2 to 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and add spinach, one handful at a time, and stir until wilted – 30 seconds.

Whisk the egg mixture to distribute herbs evenly throughout and pour over the vegetables in the skillet.  Distribute cherry tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese evenly over the top.

Let the frittata cook on the stove for 4 to 5 minutes then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.  Switch oven to broil until the top starts to bubble – 1 minute.

Top each piece of toast with a quarter of an avocado cut into thin slices and rest a piece of frittata on top.

pico de gallo

17 Mar

Fresh salsa to go with grilled basa fish tacos.  It’s also tasty on tortilla chips and even better mixed into guacamole.

pico de gallo

ingredients

  • 4-5 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, finely diced (about 3/4 c)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 green onions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (seeds in if you like heat, seeds removed if you want it mild)
  • 1 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 a lime

lots of cilantro...

preparation

Combine all ingredients, mix well.  Adjust amounts of jalepeno and lime as desired.  If made in advance pour off any excess liquid that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl before serving.

red lentil soup with lemon + fresh mint

25 Feb

I’ve been working at a cafe for the last few months that serves a daily soup.  The owner threw this one together a while ago just using what we had around in the kitchen and it was incredible. I’ve been meaning to try and recreate it and, finally, here it is! It’s quick and easy and cheap and filling and tasty and healthy and just an all around great soup. Eat it up!

$3 per 2 servings

Serves 6 as main course.

red lentil soup with lemon & fresh mint

ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400ml can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 c dried red lentils
  • 6 c vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint

preparation

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and sautee until beginning to soften.  Add garlic and continue to sautee until onions are translucent. Add canned tomatoes, lentils, mint, lemon juice and stir.  Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Once it boils, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are very tender.

Puree, add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve garnished with fresh mint and lemon.