Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Divine Tomato Tart

We grew tomatoes at the Red Brick Ranchero for years. The best was Rose de Berne, a wondrous heirloom.

Then our dirt decided to turn on us and we couldn’t grow a cucumber.


So we took that as a sign from above and decided to leave the tomato growing to the people that know how to do it.

Recently, our favorite “veggies in the summer” guy, Kenny, has had these outrageous Amish grown Better Boy tomatoes.

At least I think they’re Better Boys.

I was swooning and making happy noises while he was telling me what kind they were.

In other words, not listening.

Whatever they are, they shine in this Divine Tomato Tart. It owes a lot to Chuck Hughes ( who is absolutely outrageous and why didn't I know about him before now), nothing at all to Paula Deen, other than butter is used in the process, and a whole lot to the pig, who makes it’s presence known in the form of crisped prosciutto sprinkled on the top with fresh basil right before serving.

A phyllo crust brushed with Dijon and topped with Manchego cheese, a dusting of fresh thyme on thickly sliced tomatoes and some grape tomatoes (because someone who shall remain nameless ate a tomato designated for the tart without permission) round out the ingredients.

This tart is as easy as pie (couldn't resist!) and works wonderfully with a bit of fresh arugula…I’m seriously into arugula this summer…a piece of grilled chicken on the side, or even out of hand a la Nigella late in the evening.

Feeding Groom’s Divine Tomato Tart
Adapted from Chuck’s Day Off

1 package phyllo, thawed
1 stick butter, melted
2 large Better Boy tomatoes, sliced about ½ inch thick
1 cup grated Manchego cheese
Dijon mustard
Three to four sprigs fresh thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pieces prosciutto, diced and sautéed til crisp
A few fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a bit of Pam in a 12 inch quiche dish. Start layering phyllo dough, overlapping the sheets, around the dish. Brush with melted butter. Continue to layer and brush with butter til you have used all the sheets. Be sure to let phyllo overlap the top and brush that with butter as well. Then brush what will be the bottom of the tart with a tablespoon or two of Dijon mustard.

Sprinkle the grated cheese over the tart and then add the tomatoes. If you have glaring holes that need tomatoes, add halved grape tomatoes to fill in the gaps.
Sprinkle the tomatoes with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper and the fresh thyme leaves that you have stripped from the stems.

Pop it in the oven and let bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the prosciutto and the fresh basil. Look at the picture, can you tell which side I used to take it out of the oven?

Serves 4 generously as main course.
Serves 5 as side dish.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Two Years Ago on Feeding Groom

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday Shrimp

Just because you don’t blog all the time doesn’t mean you don’t think about it.

You think about it constantly and wonder what the hell happened to your muse.

Did he run off to live with some other person who thinks they have lots to say about food?

Or is he just being fickle and testing you to see if you are as serious about food as you say you are.

Whatever it is, there has been a lack o’ muse around the Red Brick Ranchero for a couple of months, but I think it’s safe to say that there is light at the end of the tunnel..

Check out this faboo shrimp dish that is fast, easy and full of flavor.

Garlic flavor. Sundried tomato flavor. Italian parsley flavor.

Brine the shrimp. Throw it in a searingly hot cast iron pan with a dab of extra virgin olive oil and you’ve got something special.

Toss with spicy arugula and you’ve got a supper that will, in the Feeding Groom world, make you want to call someone and tell them how good it is, but we all know what your mama told you about talking with your mouth full.

Sunday Shrimp
Adapted from The Italian Country Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

1 pound 21-25 shrimp, peeled, tail on
1 large lemon, cut into 8 wedges
4 fat cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
¼ cup pine nuts
3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
6 julienned sundried tomatoes preserved in oil, give a quick rinse
A good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Put the shrimp in a large bowl and cover with 4 cups cold water and add 2 tbsp coarse salt.
Put in fridge and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Then rinse well, pat dry and put in a large bowl with the sundried tomatoes, chopped Italian parsley and a good swirl extra virgin olive oil
Heat a couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil in a large cast iron skillet.
Add the chopped garlic to the pan and let cook about five minutes, until the garlic gets golden and remove from the pan. Add the pine nuts to the pan and let saute til golden about five minutes. Remove from the pan.

In a large bowl , toss the shrimp with the chopped parsley, a bit more extra virgin olive oil , the sundried tomatoes. Raise the heat under the pan to medium high. When the olive oil looks wavy add the shrimp to the hot pan with the toasted garlic and pine nuts and cook til the shrimp turn pink. It won’t take long!
Add the lemon wedges and toss well.

Serves 3 generously.
This is wonderful with fresh arugula dressed with a zesty lemon vinaigrette.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Two Years Ago on Feeding Groom