Raise your hand if you are COMPLETELY OVER your regular recipe rotation!
Six months ago, I will admit, it was fun to have the time to try new recipes and go out on a limb making Pad Thai or home-made croissants. Now that it's OCTOBER, it is possible that the enthusiasm you once felt about stepping foot in the kitchen has waned just a bit.
In the spring, I signed up for a CSA that supports local farmers intending to be more focused on buying only seasonal produce. You pay a seasonal subscription fee and show up to the produce pick up site once a week and make your selections. Typically the selection is pretty standard; tomatoes, onions, potatoes, berries, squash. But often there are selections that are a bit more adventurous; bok choy, eggplant, long beans, beets. I take these ingredients as a personal challenge to hunt down and make recipes that might be outside of my normal rotation.
So, when my neighbor sent me this recipe and I was staring at a pile of squash and eggplant (courgettes and aubergines if you are fancy) recently picked up at the CSA, it was as if the stars aligned right there in the kitchen. Plus, I'll take any excuse to use goat's cheese in a recipe. The original recipe is from the BBC Good Food website, so is in those weird metric measurements, but I've converted it so you don't have to. You're welcome. Also, so you don't have to look it up, passata is basically a tomato puree and you can easily substitute canned crushed tomatoes but I was surprised to see passata in my local grocery store. Lastly, I recommend starting the dish in a pan that can go from cooktop to oven so you don't have to transfer. One fewer dish to wash is always a good thing.
Baked Ratatouille with Goat's Cheese
To find out more about CSAs in your area, go here.
If you love puff pastry, tomatoes, and cheese, you’ll LOVE this tomato tart recipe. I found it in a magazine and tweaked it some to make it my own.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
3-4 roma tomatoes, sliced
¼ cup fontina cheese, shredded
¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded (you can also leave out fontina cheese and use ½ cup parmesan instead)
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp herbs de provence (or Italian seasoning)
½ teaspoon garlic
3-4 basil leaves, chopped
Place oven rack on lowest setting Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and unroll the pastry dough. Fold over the edges ½ inch and brush with egg. Using a fork, poke holes in the dough. Sprinkle dough with fontina and parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. While the dough is baking, spread out sliced tomatoes on paper towels and lightly salt. Let drain for 20 minutes. After that time, blot tomatoes with paper towels to extract what water is left. After dough is finished baking, take out of oven and spread mozzarella cheese on top. Place tomatoes evenly atop mozzarella. Add herbs and garlic salt to olive oil and whisk lightly. Drizzle oil on tomatoes and place cookie sheet back in oven for 15 minutes or until edges of dough are golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Place tart on cutting board and slice into four equal parts.
Stuffing? Dressing? Cornbread? Oyster? When it comes to the side dish that you serve with your Thanksgiving turkey, most people have very specific opinions as to not only what type is the best, but what it should be called. According to Southern Living, the only difference in dressing and stuffing is where you live. Kinda like "coke" or "soda", or "pop". So, down here in Texas, it's all about the dressing. With our cokes. Here in the office, we have two dressing camps; cornbread and sage. Deciphering the recipes with their vague measurements (how much IS a smidge, really?) to a point where we could share them and have them actually turn out OK was a bit of a challenge, but we managed. Hopefully. The third dressing type we've heard rumors of but no one has actually tried is an Oyster Dressing. Or Stuffing, considering it has it's roots in the northern states. We believe in fair play, so even though it's not SGD Kitchen tested, we've got one to share with you. T-2 weeks, y'all.
Shauna's Cornbread Dressing
1 bunch celery, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 stick of butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp herbs de Provence
4 boxes Jiffy cornbread, prepared as directed on box.
½ loaf bread, cubed
6 eggs (3 hard boiled, 3 beaten)
1 carton chicken broth (32 oz)
Set oven to 350. In a large skillet, saute onions & celery over medium heat until soft. Add in salt, pepper and herbs de Provence. Set aside.
Hard boil 3 eggs. Drain and set aside to cool.
Spread bread cubes on baking sheet and toast in oven until golden brown.
In large bowl, crumble prepared cornbread and toasted bread. Add onion mixture and chopped hard boiled eggs. Mix well. Add chicken broth and 3 beaten eggs and stir to combine. Mixture should be very runny, like soup. Add more chicken broth if needed.
Pour mixture in to large baking dish and bake at 350 for one hour.
And when you have leftovers, which you will. Put the leftover dressing in a bowl, whisk in an egg or two and slap in to a waffle iron. Top with shredded turkey and a fried egg and some gravy and voila. Brunch is served.
Grandma Whitley's Sage Dressing
Turkey giblets and neck
1 ½ loaves French bread
2 eggs, beaten
3 stalks celery
1 white onion
½ stick butter
1 tbsp fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley
¼ c fresh sage or 1 tbsp dried sage
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
In a large saucepan, add turkey giblets and neck and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Set aside and reserve broth. In large skillet, saute onions and celery in butter until tender, about 10 minutes. Tear bread in to bite-sized pieces and place in to large bowl. Add onion mixture, beaten eggs, parsley, sage, salt and pepper to bowl. Mix well. Chop giblets in to small pieces and add to bowl. Stir to combine. Add broth to bowl and mix until just moistened. If mixture is too dry, add water. Bread pieces should not bounce back when pinched. Do not over mix. Transfer mixture in to buttered casserole dish, cover and bake at 325-350 for one hour. Remove lid during last 10 minutes to brown top.
Old Fashioned Oyster Stuffing
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup butter
6 cups dry bread crumbs
1 tbsp chopped parsley
3 cups chopped oysters
1 bay leaf
1 tsp poultry seasoning
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¾ c milk and oyster liquid
Cook celery and onion in butter until golden. Transfer to large bowl. Add bread crumbs and parsley, mix thoroughly. Add oysters, bay leaf, seasonings and eggs. Add enough liquid to moisten. Stuff in to 10-12 lb. turkey or bake in casserole dish at 325 for 1 hour. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Speaking of food. We are having a pie contest! Email us your favorite pie recipe for a chance to win $100! Winning recipe will be featured in an upcoming blog post.