Saturday, August 22, 2009

Family Circle: Chipotle Tomato Salsa

I swear there's a Tex-Mex restaurant on every corner in Texas.  When you walk up to your table, the friendly salsa boy is practically knocking you over to get your chips and a bunch of bowls of salsa down on the table first.  And they will keep bringing more chips and salsa until your sides split, actual dinner be darned.  And that's about when I realized that I had never actually made salsa at home.  It's everywhere I look, except my kitchen apparently.  This recipe gets you a good base, and you can tinker from there.  Adobo sauce not getting you the spice level you want?  Dump in a jalapeƱo.  Heck, dump in a habanero if that's what does it for you.  Like it a little more sour?  Add more lime juice.  Play with it until it's yours.

Chipotle Tomato Salsa
Adapted from Family Circle magazine, January 2009

1 (28-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
½ medium red onion, chopped
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeds removed and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from can
1½ teaspoons olive oil
1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, rinsed and chopped

Run all ingredients through a food processor or blender for 5 to 10 seconds.  Store in airtight jars for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 3 cups

Sunday, August 09, 2009

One Pot French: Tomates de Vigne au Sainte Maure (Roasted Tomatoes with Sainte Maure Cheese)

When I saw this recipe, I thought, wow, that looks relatively simple.  Tomatoes, cheese, herbs, done.  This is why I shouldn't listen to myself.  Sainte Maure cheese is nowhere to be found.  Nowhere.  So I bought the closest thing, an aged goat cheese with the same bumpy rind as Sainte Maure.  But could I cut it into slices?  Heck, no.  The thing was like a brie.  So I got to put scoops of goat cheese on my tomatoes.  But they still tasted pretty darn good.  Very slightly warm, lots of good flavors.  And yes, I have a heavy hand with the herbs.

Tomates de Vigne au Sainte Maure (Roasted Tomatoes with Sainte Maure Cheese)
From One Pot French by Jean-Pierre Challet

4 vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
¼ cup olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ pound Sainte Maure cheese, cut into 8 slices
1 teaspoon finely chopped chervil
1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
Warmed olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

In an ovenproof dish, gently toss together the tomatoes, olive oil, shallots, and garlic.  Bake for 5 minutes - just long enough to warm the ingredients and bring out the flavors.  Flip each tomato cut-side up; top each with a slice of cheese.  Bake 1 minutes to soften the cheese slightly.  Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the herbs, drizzle warm olive oil over top, and serve in the baking dish.

Makes 4 servings