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Browsing Tag

farm to table

2 In business/ local/ salads/ Seasons/ Sides/ summer/ vegan/ Vegetarian

You say tomato, I say let’s eat

tomato, tomatoes

You say tomato…

Every year my now 88 year old grandfather grows tons of his favorite vegetables (and fruits) in his garden in Philadelphia.  You can always find a tomato, tons of lima beans, string beans, cabbage or collards.   He was raised on a farm in North Carolina during the 1930s & 1940s a time when many families had to grow their own food to survive. 

Today the farm to table movement is booming with a whole new generation leading the charge. 

Tomatoes have long been considered as a beginner gardeners friend, especially grape and cherry tomatoes.  In fact, when I was in the 3rd grade one of our projects was to grow cherry tomatoes (luckily, my grandfather was able to revive my almost dead plant before it was due).  And even though my gardening skills leave much to be desired, there are numerous farmers around the country with tons of tomatoes this time of year. 

And such a versatile fruit that is treated like a vegetable deserves a box.

Eating them raw in salads and gazpacho or roasted in a hot soup or tomato sauce, tomatoes are great for large dishes that you can freeze or can.

All the recipes this month may call for a specific type of tomatoes but feel free to swap out your favorites or what is abundant at the markets.  Maybe even branch out and try the many heirloom varieties easily found these days.

2 In local/ Seasons/ Sides/ summer

Mom-Mom’s Fried Corn

If I had to think of one recipe that always makes me think of my grandmother aka ‘mom-mom’, fried corn would have to be it.  Every summer she, my mother and myself would make it over and over again.  It was my saving grace the 2 years I had braces and the orthodontist told me corn on the cob was a no-no.  And now it’s a hands down favorite for my 4 year old, who spends too much time explaining why ‘real’ food shouldn’t be on the menu today.

 

I remember telling my husband about it when we were dating.  He kept saying that I was describing creamed corn.  And I emphatically told him that no it was FRIED corn.  It’s a simple dish and uses a lot of butter 🙂 and everyone I make it for loves it.  Because every time I make it a little bit of Ella Belle, Michele and Thembi are in every serving.

 

Things to note:

  • I always use a cast iron pan.  A 12 inch one like this one from Lodge Cast Iron.
  • I’ve never made this with corn I personally didn’t cut off the cob.  Can’t say how any other corn might turn out.
  • I always make a large batch.  My family will eat fried corn with anything.  So we usually do.

Tasty Tin

 

 

 

Fried Corn
Serves 8
A simple way to enjoy the bounty of summer corn.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 8-10 ears fresh corn
  2. 1 stick butter
  3. 3 tbsp flour
  4. kosher salt
  5. fresh ground pepper
  6. water
  7. sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Husk corn
  2. In a large bowl and using a sharp knife cut the kernels off the ears and make sure to capture all the "milk"
  3. In a 12 in cast iron skillet melt butter over medium heat
  4. When melted add corn and 1 tbsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper
  5. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Add flour and stir to coat kernels
  7. Add enough water to barely cover the corn
  8. Reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Keep stirring so corn doesn't stick to bottom of the pan. add water if it's too think and burning.
  9. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar, if using
Notes
  1. I can not say what this dish tastes like if you don't use fresh corn straight from the cob. That's why we only make it when it's plentiful in the summer time.
  2. *If it's early in the season and the corn isn't sweet enough to stand on it's own add 1 tbsp of sugar at a time
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/
0 In fall/ Lobster/ local/ pasta/ Seafood/ Seasons/ shellfish/ Sides/ spring/ summer/ winter

Lobster Macaroni & Cheese

I remember first meeting my husband and discussing food and he mentioned how he only ate macaroni and cheese out of a box.  Because that is what his grandmother served.  My grandmother always made baked macaroni and cheese from scratch.  

And since I’m the cook in the family he didn’t eat macaroni and cheese for a while.

I also grew up with macaroni and cheese being a side dish.  I didn’t realize people ate it as a meal till I moved to the south. And they put extra things in it.  Things like bacon, broccoli, tomatoes, ham, chicken etc.  The only addition I will eat is lobster!  

My original mistake with making lobster macaroni and cheese is that I thought I could just add lobster meat to my grandmother’s recipe.  

After trying several lobster mac & cheese dishes at restaurants and some regular mac & cheese dishes (I only try them if they are baked).  I began to pinpoint the differences I would need to do in order to create a recipe that worked for me.

This last time, I used langostinos because I had some in my freezer and they work well as a substitute for lobster in a pinch.  

But use whatever you have.  

Like I mentioned before, what’s important are the type of cheeses used and the liquid to solid ratio.  

And just as with any recipe, play around with the ingredients.  There are so many types of cheeses out there.  Start with your favorites and go from there.  

Remember it’s basically pasta, cheese and lobster.  You really can’t go wrong with it.

 

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Lobster Macaroni & Cheese
A decadent and rich comfort food for any occasion
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb pasta (such as elbow, rigatoni, penne, ziti etc)
  2. 4 tbsp of butter, plus extra for baking pan
  3. 1/4 cup of flour
  4. 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  5. 1/4 tsp course ground pepper
  6. 3 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
  7. 1 cup each of 2-3 cheeses of your choice (I use gruyere, gouda and parmesan)
  8. 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  9. 1 tsp of thyme (optional)
  10. 1 lb of lobster meat, thawed if frozen
  11. 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  12. 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  13. olive oil
Breadcrumb topping
  1. whisk together, breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, and 1/2 tsp of thyme if using. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and put in a bowl with lobster meat and 1 cup of cheese (1/3 of each cheese). Set aside
  4. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter gently and whisk in flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  5. Add in salt, pepper, dry mustard. Combine well.
  6. Add milk in 1/2 cup at a time while whisking constantly to remove any lumps that form. This is sometimes known as a white sauce or béchamel sauce.
  7. Once fully incorporated, let the sauce cook to thicken for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Slowly add in 2 cups of cheese (2/3 of each cheese). Whisk again to combine.
  9. Mix cheese sauce with pasta and lobster.
  10. Butter a baking dish or cast iron skillet. Gently pour macaroni and cheese into your baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes.
  12. Let stand for 5 minutes
  13. Bon Apetit
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/
0 In business/ fall/ local/ pasta/ Seasons/ winter

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s January!  The best month out of the year.  The first month, my birthday month. 

But one of the other great things about January is the cold weather that we finally get in this hot southern state.  And cold weather means SOUP!  I’m not a huge soup eater but sometimes I crave it.  And today was one of those days.

 

And nothing beats a homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.  I tend to go all out using homemade chicken broth I keep frozen in my freezer but if you don’t have any substitute your favorite store bought brother.  And if you want to save even more time, grab a rotisserie chicken from the deli section as well.  Just keep an eye on the salt levels.  

My kid prefers alphabet noodles so she can spell out her name, the rest of us prefer wide egg noodles.  But this is also great with orzo, rice, couscous or even barley.  Cook the pasta separately (but in chicken broth) so it doesn’t soak up all the delicious broth from the soup.  

You can also add some last minute spinach for an extra boost of green veggies.  The thing about Chicken Noodle Soup is, it’s so basic you can make it what you want.  I love thyme, lemon and leeks added to mine.  If you don’t like any of those flavors grab your favorites.  This soup is so forgiving.

 

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
A lovely rustic homemade soup filled with chicken flavor, noodles, and vegetables
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Noodles
  1. 3 quarts chicken broth or water (homemade or store bought)
  2. 1/2lb wide egg noodles
Soup
  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1/2 cup onions, roughly chopped
  3. 1/2 cup leeks, roughly chopped
  4. 1/2 cup carrots, roughly chopped
  5. 1/2 cup celery, roughly chopped
  6. 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  7. 1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
  8. 1 bay leaf
  9. 6 qts chicken broth (homemade or store bought)
  10. 1 cup cooked chicken torn to pieces
  11. 1 lemon, plus zest
  12. 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  13. salt
  14. course ground pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot of dutch oven, heat oil over med-low heat
  2. Sweat onions, celery, carrots and leeks until soft (season with a tsp of salt and pepper) and they begin to release their own juice
  3. Stir in garlic and lemon zest and cook for 2 minutes
  4. Add white wine if using allow it to reduce for 5 minutes
  5. Add broth and bay leaf, simmer for 1 hour
  6. Add chicken simmer for another 15 minutes
  7. Add juice of 1 lemon
  8. *If you are going to eat soup immediately you can cook the noodles in the soup now*
  9. Finish with fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Remove bay leaf before serving
For Noodles
  1. Cook noodles according to the package, omitting additional salt
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