What’s not to like…II

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According to Merriam Webster, the definition of confit is duck, pork or other meat that is cooked and preserved in it’s own fat. But it can also be a garnish of fruit or vegetable that is cooked until tender in a seasoned liquid.

I had some nice Roma tomatoes from Costco and as we have been on a whipped Feta and roasted tomato kick in this house, I decided with this batch, I would confit vs. roast.

As you know I have done garlic confit on this site a mere 60 days ago or so, and made it again after that. I used the same directions except I had to add a step to dry out the tomatoes which you do not have to do with garlic.

I rinsed the tomatoes and quartered them and spread them on a baking sheet. Sprinkled with a little sea salt and ground pepper and a teensy bit of sugar. I popped them into the oven on a 300° convection bake setting but you can use 275° for a regular oven. Drying out the tomatoes means low and slow, so they were in the oven for about 2 hours. a

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You know they are done in the oven when they go all dull looking. No shine to the tomatoes at all and if you press on them they have very little if any juice to give out.

Place them in a heavy pot and just cover with olive oil. I used the end of the oil that I made another batch of garlic confit with yesterday also, so mine will have a LOT of garlic flavor. I added some capers, finely chopped basil and parsley and teensy bit of anchovy paste. I brought to a boil and then dialed back the burner to a simmer. Important that you don’t cover the pot or too much steam will go back into the confit and make it watery.

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Cook them about an hour, give or take, until they are translucent. I wasn’t feeling getting them all jarred up pretty last nite, so I popped them into a plastic container and will worry about them later.

Remember like all items that are in oil, you need to keep them refrigerated for food safety reasons until you use the.

These will be terrific with a little arugula and olive oil on top of a cornmeal crusted chicken breast with some black olive tapenade. Or whipped with some butter on french bread, or as  previously discussed, with whipped Feta and bread.

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Enjoy!

Easy Peasy

  
The New York Times has a great cooking site that I get in my email inbox a few times a week. This week they had a fast and easy recipe for braised pork chops with tomatoes, rosemary, and anchovies. “Blech, anchovies…” I can just hear you say.

BUT, you can’t even taste them! 

  
Start out by searing the bone in thick cut chops.

  
Remove the seared chops to a platter and then sauté the garlic and onions and rosemary till the onions are golden. It’s unusual in that the recipe calls for red onions versus yellow. I think because they are a little sweeter.

  
Add all the chopped tomatoes and anchovies and cook everything down for about five minutes. The anchovies add some depth and  Umami to the dish. Nestle the chops back into pan and spoon the tomatoes and sauce over the chops and put in a 350 degree oven till you get an internal temp of 145 degrees.

  
Remove to a platter and let rest for about five minutes. Cook serve and enjoy in about 30 minutes. While the chops are cooking you can throw a salad together and maybe some polenta, as suggested in recipe. This would also be good with roasted potatoes or reheated risotto.

Stacked Up

  
I had both zucchini and ground chicken that needed to be dealt with before going over the edge, so on the verge of the weekend, after wrestling my email to a draw, I got busy making these chicken meatball stackers.

   
 
I started by mixing the ground chicken with shredded mozzarella, panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. I got them started cooking in some olive oil, garlic and finely chopped basil. At the same time I caramelized four thick slices of zucchini in olive oil and cooked them till soft and set aside.

  
After the meatballs were cooked through I set them aside also and deglazed the pan with red wine and then added a huge tomato from the farm stand that I had rough chopped. I put some extra garlic in also.

  
I cooked the tomatoes until I had a thickened sauce and the added a tiny bit of cream to smooth out the taste. 

  
Stack a meatball on each slice of zucchini and top with a bit of buffalo mozzarella and then give it a little melt under the broiler. Finally, top  with the tomato sauce !

  

A New Kind of BLT

Perfect for a hot and humid Sunday supper with cold sliced chicken is a quick and easy BLT pasta salad. I boiled some rigatoni and ran under cold water to stop the cooking. Next come quartered cherry tomatoes and slices of crispy bacon, snipped into bite size pieces. I added mayo, salt and pepper, a touch of celery salt. At the last minute add shredded iceberg lettuce and for a real twist…diced avocado!

EZPOT update

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Remember these from over the weekend? Thought I’d update you on what went where…I used the onions in the roast pork loin stuffing for Sunday nite. Tonite I used the roasted tomatoes, as expected in a batch of roasted tomato soup.

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But then I got really inspired with the little roasted eggplants.
Mini eggplants = mini paninis!
Start with sliced French bread from the batch of baguettes I baked on Saturday.

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Then I reheated the roasted eggplants in a skillet.

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And while they got warm and the soup cooked, I layered up som prosciutto, provolone, and the eggplant halves and made sandwiches!

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I melted some butter with some basil and put the sandwiches on to toast.

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Here’s our yummy component dinner…

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Now I just need to do something with the peppers!

Stop the madness…

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Still buying spaghetti sauce??
Stop right now! It’s zippity do dah easy to make your own. Sauté some garlic and basil and other Italian herbs in EVOO, stir in tomato paste and a can of crushed Roma tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I added fresh crushed red pepper and about 1/2 tsp of sugar to take the bite out and then finish with a pat of butter. Start to finish, less than 15 minutes!