Monday, May 28, 2012

Lamb kefta with fennel green apple slaw

This may not be the prettiest dish I've ever written about but sure did it taste good. For the most part when I'm writing a recipe I'm usually just posting about a meal that I made spontaneously and it happened to be worth reporting on. Yes there are the times where I plan a post and stage a photograph but this just isn't one of those instances.

1 pound New Zealand spring lamb - ground
1 medium cooking onion - diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
pinch of cumin
pinch of sumac
pinch of paprika
small handful parsley - chopped
1 egg
about 1/4 cup almond meal
evoo - extra virgin olive oil 

PREP: Sautee the onion & garlic in a drizzle of evoo until translucent add spices & a pinch of s&p and continue to cook for a minute or two. Place off to the side to cool. When mixture has cooled add chopped parsley, almond meal, egg a pinch of s&p. Rub your hands with evoo before portioning off individual keftas. Shape into cigar shape.  Pre heat oven to 350.
COOK: Heat a cast iron pan and drizzle a small amount of evoo before searing off the keftas until slightly charred on all sides. Transfer the pan into the oven and continue to cook for 5-7 mins until the keftas are cooked through.

fennel - julienned 
green apple - julienned
purple cabbage - julienned
green cabbage - julienned
cucumber - ribbons
mint - gently tear leaves
basil - gently tear leaves
apple cider vinegar 
apple butter, 
dijon mustard

PREP:  Chop & slice all veg. In a small glass jar combine 1 tsp apple butter, 1tsp dijon mustard, 4 tbs apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup (or so) evoo and pinch of s&p. Toss everything together. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers Day rhubarb & red plum scones

 It was a sunny beautiful mothers day in Toronto. I spent my day cooking (obviously) for my own mother. Planning the brunch menu was kind of difficult because my mom hates runny egg yolk, which eliminated 90 percent of the gourmand breakfasts I had in mind. After racking my brain I decided to go with a delicious go to brunch item tortilla espanola also known as tortilla de patatas. It's a very simple Spanish dish consisting of eggs, caramelized onions, & paprika fried potatoes. I also served my fabulous kale salad, which I promise to post once the photos are ready, but today is all about my new yogurt scone recipe. You can use 3/4 cup of berries or dried  fruit in this recipe if you like, I used some leftover rhubarb & plum compote and the outcome was amazing. Using yogurt instead of milk gives these scones a light chewy texture kind of  a hybrid between an English muffin & a scone. This simple quick recipe is a must try at your next brunch gathering. They key is to keep the butter cold and handle these as little as possible.

* I will post the recipe for the compote later this week.

INGREDIENTS: make about 6-8 large scones
2 cups ap (all purpose) flour
2 tsp baking powder 
3 tbs sugar  
1tsp cardamom 
1/2 cup butter - cold & grated (about 1/4 large stick)
pinch of salt 
2 eggs - 1 for egg wash 
3/4 cup plain yogurt 
1/3 cup rhubarb & plum compote - can substitute other fruit jam 
handful chopped rhubarb - optional 
coarse sugar - optional 

PREP: Pre heat oven to 350. 
Line baking sheet with parchment or silpat mat if you have.
Sift flour, sugar, salt, cardamom & baking powder, then add grated butter. Toss mixture lightly with your fingers. In a separate bowl beat egg then add yogurt & compote or fruit. Combine the two until they just come together. Spoon mixture on to baking sheet into flattened rounds. Brush each scone with egg wash & a sprinkle of coarse sugar.
BAKE: for 10-15  mins (until firm) 
NOTE: I baked for 13 mins at 325, but my oven is hot and extremely temperamental. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Like it!

Hello lovely readers. Just want to send out a big thank you to everyone who buzzed my Pasta Fagioli recipe on Today I'm once again asking for some support and about two seconds of your time. I'm trying to build my page and audience up on facebook and I would greatly appreciate your "Likes". Please either click the like button on the side bar or visit me here and click like it.
Thanks yall and have a grrrreat weekend.
Jaime aka The Tomato Snob

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pasta Fagioli aka fazool

UPDATE: Thanks to all who buzzed this awesome recipe, It's made the top 9
Good morning yall. I've been wanting to publish this recipe for quite some time, but it seems life and work have really gotten in the way. If you've never had pasta fagioli and you call yourself a connoisseur of Italian cuisine you are a total fraud! This soup epitomizes Italian comfort food. It's a delicious dish with modest ingredients and humble beginnings.  Pasta fazool as it's called in the U.S. is one of my all time favorite soups and literally means pasta and beans. While I was writing this recipe I was blogging about the process. I promised Tess from Slow Cooking Kitchen I would let her know as soon as it was ready. This is for you Tess! 
1tbs butter
1tbs evoo (olive oil)
2 carrots chopped
2 celery chopped
1 large onion chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic - thinly sliced or minced 
1/2 sprig fresh rosemary - chopped
5 sprigs fresh thyme - separate leaves
1 bay leaf
2 pinches of dried oregano
1 can pureed san marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup water - to rinse the can of tomatoes
1 quart chicken or veg stock (4 cups)
1 can kidney beans - rinsed & divided  
1 can ramano beans - rinsed & divided
1 cup (spelt) Tubetti rigati - small pasta or whatever small pasta you like
parmesan rind + 1/2 cup grated - more for serving
PREP: Chop all veg. Puree the tomatoes - just place immersion blender into the can and slowly pulse until smooth. For beans puree 1/2 before adding to the soup (this creates a beautiful creamy texture). 
COOK: In a large soup pot add butter and evoo and begin to sautee onion & garlic. After 5 mins add the fresh and dried herbs + a pinch of s&p. After another minute or so add the carrots and celery. Cook down for another 5 mins before adding tomato puree, water, stock & parmesan rind. Bring mixture to the boil (about 8-10 mins). Then add your pasta and cook covered for 5 mins. Oncover and add all of the beans (pureed and whole). Cook on a low simmer for another 10 mins or so. Add parmesan and enjoy. 
SERVE: With a drizzle of good quality evoo, a sprinkle of parmesan and crusty bread! YUM

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

Hi all. How I've missed all you lovely readers. The last few weeks have been amazingly busy which is great, but I feel terrible for neglecting you. Yesterday was my 30th birthday. I had an excellent day filled with good food and even better company. As you may or may not know I've had to cut out pretty much all my favorite foods, which has obviously been extremely difficult for a Tomato Snob like myself. Since I have been so good and disciplined lately I decided that for this milestone birthday it would be ok to indulge slightly. I enjoyed 1/3 of a lemon cupcake that was gifted to my by the lovely lady at Cake Opera Co. as well as 4 of their unbelievable macaron. Definitely a must try if you live in Toronto. I've decided that in honor of my dietary changes and awesome display of will power over the past few months today's blog will be an ode to all the foods I've loved. Notice a pattern? Bread, cheese, butter, sugar, pasta, cream, flour yum. Have any of you ever had to cut out a food or ingredient you love?

Photo referrences: