Tag Archives: tomatoes

alllayers

International Identity Crisis Spaghetti Squash “Lasagna”

If you have been with me for a while now, you have come to realize that consistency in posting is not my strong suit.  Being still uncertain of my camera and a fear that what I cook is either too boring or not “good” enough to share are top reasons for my infrequent entries.  The second concern is strong enough that I don’t like to tell people that I keep a food blog.  I get embarrassed if someone asks me about it, something to do with the implication that if you write a food blog you are/should be either more knowledgeable or a better cook than “other people”. . .and I am fully aware that I am not and dread having others think that I think I am!  Then I come to a moment in which I remind myself why I started this blog in the first place.  It wasn’t to win awards, find sponsors, or get a cook book deal (have you noticed this intimidating trend among food bloggers?), fantastic as those things may be; I started writing in the hopes of being able to help people.  In my own way, with my own often unimpressive food, I would like to make a difference.

In addition to these tiny self-esteem issues :), travel and a family business venture have been keeping me on the run.  We recently spent ten days in Georgia trying to make up for the family time that was cut drastically short by the diabolical Christmas flu (note: we will be getting flu shots this year!).  At the same time, Jason (that’s the hubs) is starting a pretty exciting, very tiny business  and I’ve been lucky enough to get to help out with a few minor things, like building a photo light box for his product pics and some drafting and sewing.

So, in a great big nutshell, that is where I have been.  I didn’t get on today intending to have a public therapy session, despite how it is panning out so far.  Nope, I wanted to share a recipe.  I mentioned a few months ago that Jason loves, LOVES marinara and pasta but that I have developed a . . . block against it.  It is crazy, I know, but I feel a little sick just thinking about it.  So, we are still looking for ways to satisfy his sauce longings and keep the cook happy too.  This dish has actually been hanging out in our arsenal for years, but has always played a distant second string to the real noodles.

Chorizo and Feta Spaghetti Squash “Lasagna”

Does the title make better sense now?  This “lasagna” is composed of Mexican chorizo, goat feta, and a basic Italian marinara.  You could easily resolve this identity crisis by doing a more standard italian sausage and mozzarella, but I really enjoy this flavor combination.

shell

strands

basil

lemon

feta

fillshell

finalsquash Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

1 batch basic marinara

3/4 lb mexican chorizo (or sausage/meat of your choice)

6 oz. feta (or mozzarella)

tomato

olive oil

salt

pepper

oregano

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and place flesh down on parchment lined pan.  Bake at 400 until shell gives slightly under pressure (between 40 minutes and and hour, depending on the size of your squash).  Remove pan from oven.  With forks or spoon, scraping/scooping width-wise across the squash, remove the strand like flesh into a strainer.  Lightly salt and pepper squash strands and leave to drain.

In large pan over medium high heat, brown meat.  Pour off excess oil when complete, then add 1.5 cups marinara sauce to pan.  Cook meat and sauce together for approx. 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

In hollowed shell, place and press down a small amount of squash.  To this base add one quarter of the meat mixture to each.  Top with one quarter of cheese.  Now distribute one quarter of remaining squash strands and press firmly to create a tight package.  Repeat process, ending with next layer of squash.  Top with sliced tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with oregano.  Return to oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until juices are bubbly and tomatoes are coloring.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

crosshatch

 

Roasted Tomato and Basil soup

Soup of the Day: Roasted Tomato Soup (and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches)

Hi there!  I’m back with something toasty to get us through the (hopefully) last few cold days of Spring.  A completely cozy, warm and rosy bowl of homemade tomato soup!

Roasted Tomato and Basil soup

I know, I know, they are out of season, but I proceeded with good reason:  my Mr. had a tomato craving.  Now this recipe has him raving (glad, not mad I’m happy to say).  The recipe is below; I hope you’ll stay.  But stop, delay, just one moment please; what would you say to a nice grilled cheese?

The High-Vibe Sandwich Makeover. Image property of Sarah Britton at My New Roots

Arrrrg, stop the rhyming!  My brain has been working in badly composed rhyme schemes all morning.  In plain English, this soup is really good and ‘s grilled cheese sandwich is a phenomenal accompaniment.  The only changes I make to the sandwich are, first and most obvious, the use of gluten-free bread, second, a thin layer of goat cheese  and , third, the addition of cheddar for Jason.  I hope you enjoy this most warming of meals!

Roasted onions, tomatoes and garlic

Ready to puree

Roasted Tomato Soup

Ingredients

3 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh heirlooms, cherry, vine and plum tomatoes)
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken stock (or vegetable)
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons butter
½ to 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup heavy cream, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Remove seeds and liquid; strain and reserve juice. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.
Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot . Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, reserved tomato juice, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
Wash and dry basil leaves and add to the pot. Use an immersion blender (or your best substitute) to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low heat, add cream if desired and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.