Remember my fruit post, about trying to utilize the plethora of fruit in your house? Let’s substitute fruit with the word tomatoes.
The regular recipes have run their course in my house. Enough with the Caprese Salad, tomatoes with cottage cheese, tomatoes on my eggs, on my sandwich, on my fill in the blank. It’s time to start getting creative, and I mean quick.
It is hard to believe how many tomatoes I have been eating considering my pathetic tomato plants. They have not been doing their job and they are fired.
No worries, I have a new favorite place on St. Matthew’s Avenue where I have been feeding my habit. No, it is not a store. I would classify it as a very rudimentary farmer’s market; it is really just a cart in front of the man’s house. But, it is quite an operation with over 200 tomato plants, a wheeled cart, a sign for the prices and even a scale. They are the best tomatoes I have had all summer. The proprietor, I call him “Old Man Tomato” busted me going to his cart twice in one day last week. Once before lunch and once after carpool. We all have needs sir.
I don’t know what I love more, him or his tomatoes. He is lacing his sprinkler water with Miracle Gro.
I have two great and different recipes with tomatoes. My family has not caught on yet, so let’s keep the fact that they are tomato-based on the down low.
This recipe is from is from Ingrid Hoffman from the Food Network. It is simply divine and the next time I make it, I am doubling the recipe because it is not enough for five hungry eaters. It is basically just fresh corn and fresh tomatoes with some extras. Very easy.
Mexican Corn Soup
- 4 ears fresh or 3 cups frozen, thawed corn kernels
- 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth, divided into 2 cups/2 cups
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 1/2 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup queso fresco, fresh farmer’s cheese, feta cheese, or sour cream, optional
- Tortilla chips or fried tortilla strips, optional
If using fresh corn, scrape kernels from cobs using small sharp knife or spoon. Place half of the corn kernels in blender with tomatoes, 2 cups of broth, and oregano. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon, turning once until brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Set aside. Add onion to bacon fat in saucepan and cook, stirring frequently until onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and stir for another minute.
Add tomato-corn puree to saucepan with remaining 2 cups of broth. Bring to a low boil and add remaining whole corn kernels. Simmer over medium-low heat until thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and remove any foam as it develops with a large flat metal spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix in half of the parsley and cream, if desired, and heat through.To serve, garnished with crumbled bacon, remaining parsley, crumbled cheese and tortilla chips or strips.
The next recipe hails from my friend Ann Greenwood Watson, lover of tomatoes.
1 pie crust, rolled out into a pie pan
4 tomatoes, sliced thick
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 tbsp oregano, or Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
10 leaves fresh basil, chopped into thin ribbons (chiffonade)
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Slice tomatoes thick and allow them to drain for about 1/2 hour in a colander over the sink. Pre-cook pie crust for about 5 minutes before putting the tomatoes on it (it is so juicy that it won’t cook otherwise).
Layer tomatoes nicely in your pie pan.
Now prepare your topping. Mix the mayonnaise, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese together in a separate bowl. Add fresh basil, oregano (or Italian seasoning), salt and pepper.
Spread the topping over the tomatoes with a spatula. I re-season the top at this point with more italian seasoning and a hit of red pepper flakes.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Slice and serve. It tastes like a delicious deep dish margarita pizza. (In fact I tell my kids it is a pizza).
Tomato, tomaahto…let’s not call the whole thing off. Try these two new recipes and renew your love of tomatoes.