1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
Good olive oil 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet)
1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves
Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.
Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.
Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped (8 tomatoes)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
10 dashes, hot red pepper sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
Puree the tomatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, red pepper sauce, salt and pepper in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the scallions and pulse twice. Serve at room temperature
A load of pictures from the most recent foodapalooza! As many people were taking photos of the food, I can assure you that there will be more to come!
Chris presents two different, delicious salsas!
2 cups chopped mango
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon
½ teaspoon grated fresh orange zest
3 tablespoons finely minced red onion
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Salt and Pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 yellow pepper, roasted and diced
3 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
3 jalapenos, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, finely diced
1/2 cup rice vinegar
juice of 2 limes
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Pre-heat oven to broil. Cut one large sweet bell pepper (any color but green) in half and remove seeds and insides. Place skin side up in any pan with sides. Broil peppers until a lot of the skin turns black and starts to peel. Remove from oven and cover. Let peppers cool, covered. The steam will make it much easier to remove the skins. Remove skins and dice the peppers.
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Place in a covered container and let sit in fridge for a couple hours.
I got this recipe from the French Laundry, Thomas Keller's restaurant in Napa Valley. The French Laundry, for the uninitiated, is currently $295.00 per diner, so the food had better be amazing (and it is!).
1 cup chopped red onions
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped English cucumber
1 cup chopped and peeled tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups tomato juice
Sprig of thyme
Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl or other container. Cover, and chill overnight. The next day, remove the thyme, and then puree with a stick-blender*. Serve in demitasse cups (or small teacups!), and top with a few drops of high-quality balsamic vinegar.
*Also, if you don't have a stick-blender, for some reason, do yourself a favor and get one. I use mine nearly every day, for everything from making protein shakes to mashing potatoes to making AMAZING gazpacho!!
Our participating chefs will share their recipes here in the comments! I'll post up loads and loads of pictures soon!!
Our haul from Nugget Market, featuring everything K and I need to create our Foodapalooza dishes for Saturday... except for the milk, which I forgot. And the prosciutto, which I also forgot. And the marscapone, which I forgot. And the lobster, which... okay, look, I remembered MOST of it, alright??
Also, I started dehydrating the carrots to make the carrot powder:
They were crispy and crunchy this morning, and should powderize up nicely!
Tonight we're doing quite a lot of prep work, cleaning up the house, and generally getting ready for Foodapalooza: Tomatoes and Ginger, which is TOMORROW!!! AAAAAAaaaaaAAaaaaaaaHHH!
I'm planning on doing the following:
- Gazpacho - From a recipe from Thomas Keller's outstanding French Laundry
- Lobster with Carrot Ginger sauce - Also from the French Laundry, though I'm changing it up a bit to be more achievable given everything else I'm going to be doing.
- Homemade Tomato Ravioli with Sundried Tomato stuffing - This is more or less a take on a ravioli that I *think* I originally got from Jamie Oliver. Prosciutto, mozarella, basil, sundried tomatoes. Homemade pasta. YUM!
And, of course, Tomato Water, because it's delicious, and because I just can't help myself. We've had it at every foodapalooza so far. I don't care. It's an excuse to make tomato water, and I'll take it!
K is planning on:
- Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts
- Guinness Gingerbread Cake (!!)
Our house is going to smell awesome, if nothing else...
Until next time, paloozists! :)
July 7, 2014 - This Saturday, July 12, will be the fourth Foodapalooza that I've hosted since coming out to California, and the second that will be done (more or less) "Iron Chef" style. I, along with a pack of wonderfully talented and beautiful friends, are given a week or so to come up with our best recipes around two seasonal ingredients, and then we all gather to roast/bake/puree/simmer/sautee/fry or otherwise prepare our delicious foods for a dinner party... which is us. We then score the dishes we loved, and the winner gets a great big cheer from the crowd, though winning is hardly the point. FOOD is the point!!
It is, frankly, a BRILLIANT way to spend a Saturday, and I always look forward to these days. They're like little holidays, where the celebration is the glorious food itself. "Welcome to foodapalooza! Your present is food!"
The ingredients this time are tomato and ginger, which are both delicious independently and can also play well together. Last time we did plums and basil, which was a great success, but... alas, we completely forgot to take pictures of the food!!!
To remind us to do that, I've started up this food blog, and I will post up pics just as soon as they're available, of all of the sweet dishes, and hopefully I can convince some of my peeps to share their cooking secrets here for all the world to see!
Until next time, my little paloozists!! :)