Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Green Tomato Chocolate Cake by Christine

Green Tomato Cake by Christine
I used my green tomatoes to make this recipe. Interesting flavor. It definitely needs icing though. I baked mine in a 13 x 9 pan. Texture is very light and fluffy.


Green Tomato Chocolate Cake 

1 c. green tomato puree (2 or 3 green tomatoes)
2/3 c. butter
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. unbleached flour
1/2 c. cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. beer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and chocolate, mix. Add vanilla. Sift together rest of dry ingredients.

Add puree to 1/2 of the dry ingredients. Mix and add to cream mixture in mixing bowl. Mix well. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients.
At last add the beer.

Blend well.

Spoon into 2 greased and floured 9 inch cake pans. Smooth out tops. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool. Frost with your favorite frosting.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Green Tomato Soup by Christine

Green Tomato Soup by Christine
Made this interesting soup over the weekend with all my green tomatoes from the garden. I doubled the recipe.

--- Christine

Green Tomato Soup
yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
active time: 25 min
total time: 45 min

We love the flavor of Black Forest ham in this soup, but you can use any variety of ham, or even kielbasa, smoked turkey, or bacon.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 oz thinly sliced Black Forest ham, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions (from 1 bunch)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
2 lb green unripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Garnish: sour cream, if desired

Heat oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook ham, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add scallions, garlic, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions are tender and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes, broth, water, salt, and pepper and simmer, partially covered, until tomatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf and season soup with salt and pepper.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Under Construction Inside and Out

Under Construction Inside and Out

This is what our kitchen at home has looked like for the last couple of weeks. And the city has torn up the street outside to boot. What a mess! So, we have been staying at the lake and commuting in daily.

As a result, our meals have been a combination of "go-to" recipes like Tom's chili and Tom's Thai chicken curry or sandwiches and sushi from Wegman's. Things we can reheat or make quickly.

The only dish of note would be the baked crab dip I created for guests who stopped by the lake for drinks. Will post it soon, I hope.

The kitchen upgrade will be great once it is done. No more black-and-white-checked wallpaper in the background of Feast Everyday photos!

Should be back to blogging in a few weeks.

In meantime, I am happy to post any of your recipes, if you have something to share.



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Peach Blueberry Bourbon Skillet Cobbler by Gina

Peach Blueberry Bourbon Skillet Cobbler by Gina
Please welcome a new contributor, my younger sister's longtime friend, Gina. --B

"This is a Tyler Florence recipe that I enhanced by adding blueberries. Had it for breakfast this morning!"


Peach Blueberry Skillet Cobbler
(adapted from a Tyler Florence recipe)

8 peaches, peeled and sliced
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup bourbon
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter

Combine the peaches, blueberries, bourbon and 1/4 cup of sugar, plus 2T. of cornstarch and 1 t. cinnamon.

Sift the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Cut 1 1/2 sticks of the butter into small pieces; add to the flour mixture and cut it with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture looks like course crumbs. Pour in the cream and mix just until the dough comes together. Don’t overwork; the dough should be slightly sticky but manageable.

Melt the remaining 1/2 stick butter in 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat.

Add the peach/blueberry mixture and cook gently until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls over the warm peaches/blueberries. There can be gaps because the dough will puff up and spread as it bakes.

Brush the top with some heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar and a little extra cinnamon.

Bake until the cobbler is browned and the fruit is bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream (yes, even had ice cream for breakfast!).


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Which Olive Oils to Use

Our Current Selection of Olive Oils
"If you have the time or the interest would you blog about the type and brands of olive oil and wine you use when you are cooking? I am always uncertain about what I am using and would appreciate your knowledge."

Well, I am not an authority, but I can share what we do.

In general, we keep four types of olive oil in the pantry:  a basic olive oil (about $7.99) and extra virgin (about $9.99), then a $14.99-$24.99 high quality extra virgin bottle, and a top quality extra virgin ($49.00).   We tend to use Italian or Napa valley olive oils, but sometimes we use Greek.

Also, I buy the smaller 500 ml bottle size, so that our olive oils stay fresh.  They should be stored away from light in a cool cupboard away from the heat of the stove.    

Feast Everyday Guide to Using Olive Oil
Sautéing - Heat kills the flavor and aroma of the Extra Virgin oils, so don't waste your expensive stuff in cooking.  Just use your inexpensive grocery store Olive Oil.  We use Filippo Berio.

Roasting -  Use inexpensive grocery store Extra Virgin.  Again we use Filippo Berio.

Prepping for Grilling-- Use the least expensive or whatever you have on hand. The flavor will be burnt off. The oil is being used to crisp the outside and keep food from sticking. But, if the food--veggies in particular --is going to be wrapped in aluminum foil, then use grocery store Extra Virgin.

Salad dressings-- depends on what kind your are making: 
  • When there other strong flavors in play, use your grocery store extra virgin.
  • If it's only oil and vinegar, use one of your best extra virgin and let the olive taste shine through.
Drizzling -- Time to use your best: Lucini from Italy or Long Meadow Ranch from Napa Valley. 

Dipping -- Use your very best, like Prato Lungo.  We buy special bottles based on recommendations, like you would with wine.  For example, we bought a bottle from the olive oil section when we were at Eataly in NYC.

Baking -- Use canola, or the flavorless version of olive oil which is available in most grocery stores.

Frying - Use something like a canola, soy or peanut oil, i.e., a cheap, flavorless oil that has a high smoke point.

When in doubt, taste and trust your instincts.  Use it to compliment or enhance the flavors of what you are making. 

There is only one no-no in using olive oil.  Don't waste the extra virgin olive oil in situations with heat, like sauteing.

I hope this is helpful, Jane.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Culinary Seneca Salt

Culinary Seneca Salt
In the true spirit of being a locavore, we thought it would be fun to try culinary salt from the salt veins below Seneca lake, near Watkins Glen.   Keuka Lake Roasters is selling it under the name Seneca Salt Company, and it is packaged in Penn Yan.

Here's how their website describes Seneca Salt:  "There are deep salt veins 500 to 2,800 feet below the surface of Seneca Lake.  A brine is produced within the salt vein using lake water.  The brine then undergoes an evaporation process creating the purest of all salts, a culinary flake salt."

Seneca Salt's big flakes melt in your mouth and "pop", creating an interesting taste sensation. It is good for salads and veggies.  They say you can use it any way you would normally use salt.

Very cool!