Tag Archives: tomatoes

Green Chile Tomato Pie

There are two kinds of tomato pie here in the United States.  One is the Italian version, aka pizza, the other is one of my summertime faves, the savory oh so Southern Tomato Pie!

This not too heavy pie is filled with fresh ripe tomatoes from your garden and bright herbs and onions.  Topped with a warm cheesy topping that gives you that comfort food feel pie always brings.  My only change up to the classic is I like to add a bit of that Tex-Mex flair with sliced jalapenos and green chiles.  I swear on a baby, they only enhance the flavors of the dish and do not overpower with heat..promise!

*You can drain and dry your tomatoes ahead of time and keep between paper towels on a plate or large Ziploc baggie in the refrigerator.  You can also make the cheesy topping ahead of time and keep in the fridge as well. 🙂

**Another great ingredient you can add in is bacon!!  Bacon is good in everything, right?

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 deep dish pie crust, frozen works great!
  • 4-5 large ripe tomatoes, sliced and patted dry
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped/torn
  • 4oz can green chiles, I prefer ‘hot’
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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Preheat your oven to your pie crusts directions (mine was 375 degrees).  Once the oven has heated up, take a fork and prick the bottoms and sides of your pie dough shell a few times and place in the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove the par baked pie dough and set aside.

Meanwhile, rinse and slice your tomatoes.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and lay in a colander and let drain for 20-30 minutes.  Also pat dry with a towel or paper towel.  You really want to remove as much moisture as you can from the tomatoes so that the pie wont be soggy.  TomPie2.JPG

Once the tomatoes have drained, layer in the half-baked pie shell.  Sprinkle the green onions, sliced jalapeno and torn basil leaves overtop the tomatoes.

In a large bowl, simply combine the mayonnaise, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, drained green chiles and a pinch each of salt and pepper,  Fold together till mixed.  Top this mixture evenly overtop the fresh vegetables and place in your oven, now at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!!

 

 

Serve by itself for a light lunch, bring to a brunch or as a side dish along with grilled pork chops!  Just delish!!

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Texas Taco Joes

This is another FUN meal that the entire family will love!!  A spin on the classic “Sloppy Joe” with an open-face, TexMex twist!  

The meat topping can be made to your desired heat level (or use ground turkey, pork or chicken if you’re not a beef fan) and then the toppings can range to what I listed below or can go waayyyy beyond that!!

*If your grocer doesn’t carry “Texas Toast” in the bread aisle…move.  

… Just kidding 😂, you may check the freezer section OR buy a large bread loaf in the bakery and just slice it at least a good 1-1/2″ thick!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped 
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes, “Mexican Style lime & cilantro” (don’t drain)
  • 1 can green chilis
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Texas toast 

Garnish (optional)

  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Chopped onion
  • Diced tomatoes 
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado slices
  • Black olives    

Heat a pan up to medium with the ground beef and the chopped onion *add about 2Tbsp of EVOO if using a very lean meat.  Cook until the onions are translucent and the meat is browned. 

 In that same pan (draining grease IF necessary), add in the taco seasoning along with the can of Rotel tomatoes, green chili’s and water.  Stir, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer.   Cover the mixture and walk away till thickened *about 15 minutes. 

     While the meat mixture is thickening, we’ll toast those fat slices of bread.  Aka “Texas Toast”.  Now you can do this as you wish, oven or toaster, but I layed a bunch of slices down on a baking sheet and popped it under the broiler of my oven for just a minute till toasted!

The fun part has arrived!!  Preparing your own Texas Taco Joe with the toppings of your choice!  I’m a fan of “the works” and add everything but the kitchen sink to mine, but to each their own!!  Enjoy! 

 

Bacon Bolognese

This is quite likely the best bolognese this side of… well, somewhere..  It has bacon in it, yes, bacon!  Which is actually quite authentic of bolognese recipes.

It’s not enough of the pork delicacy to think you’re eating breakfast or a strange BLT, but just enough to add some smokiness and an underlying flavor to the dish.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1/2 package (6-8 strips) bacon
  • 8-12oz ground beef
  • 8-12oz ground pork
  • 28oz can of quality whole tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 1 cup chicken broth/stock
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup of Marsala or Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb spaghetti or tagliatelle noodles
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Parmesan, grated
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper

I always like everything in order before I begin cooking…and I mean everything.  So after I get all of my ingredients ready, I’ll then ‘prep’ the veggies, etc.  It makes for a much more efficient and clean kitchen.  I like things CLEAN! ✨

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1-2Tbsp of EVOO over med-high heat.  Once oil is hot, add in your carrots, onion and bacon.  Cook till soft and onions start to look translucent.

This should take about 8-10 minutes.  Now add in your meats (pork & ground beef).   Season liberally with salt & pepper.  Cook with the bacon/veggie mixture for another 8-10 minutes,

Once meat is basically cooked through (this recipe will cook all day, meat will be done by day’s end), drain a bit of the ‘grease’ out.  You still want to maintain some of it though.  There’s a LOT of flavor there friend!  A LOT..

Next, add in your smashed up garlic cloves.  Let simmer about 1 minute and then deglaze your pan with your Marsala or Sweet Vermouth.  Pour in your wine and chicken stock here after you scraped up any brown bits while deglazing.

Next up, those glorious (San Marzano) tomatoes.  You’ll want to take your rings off here and literally hand crush these suckers straight into your meat and veggie mix.  *Take note: wear an apron and/or do your best to point these tomatoes towards the back wall and straight into your pot.  Tomato juice is no joke!

Stir together, bring to a boil and then cover this baby up while reducing heat to a simmer.  She’s going to sit, cook, marinate and smell your casa up good!!  Let cook down for a solid 4-6 hours.  It will thicken up over this time.image

Once you’re ready for dinner, cook noodles to 1-2 minutes UNDER package directions.  Do not drain the noodles, but add straight from boiling water to sauce filled pot.  *reserve some pasta water if your sauce needs thinned.  You can also add a cup of milk.  Sounds weird,  but it works and is wonderful.  Trust me.*. The noodles will continue to cook in your warm, aromatic sauce.

Garnish your Bacon Bolognese with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a glass of vino!

Smothered Italian Pork Chops

This isn’t my normal comfort food cuisine.  The weather is getting slightly warmer, so I thought I’d lighten it up a bit this week with this one!  Don’t let the “smothered” part fool you.  The lean pork chops are topped with fresh veggies and stewed tomatoes.  No heavy cream here….though it’s not a bad idea. At all..

The Starting Linup

  • 2 lbs pork chops, bone in OR boneless
  • 1 box Orzo pasta
  • 2 cans Italian Stewed Tomatoes
  • 1 yellow squash, thickly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, thickly sliced
  • 1 pckg mushrooms
  • 1/2 red onion, thickly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt & pepper 

Start this easy meal by rinsing and chopping your vegetables.  These make for some pretty colors together!  I choose to thickly slice them, as they hold up better after being cooked in the crockpot for hours.  If they’re too thin they’ll almost just disappear and have absolutely no texture.

Layer about 3/4th’s of these veggies down into your crockpot coated in nonstick spray.

Generously salt & pepper your pork chops and place onto the veggies.  Top the chops with the rest of the vegetables and pour in the two cans of stewed tomatoes.  If needed, also add in 1 cup of water or chicken stock.

Cover and set to high for 4-6 hours and let that genius device do everything for you!  Here is where I finish picking up the millions of Hot Wheels cars and toy monster trucks from under my feet and head off to t-ball practice, because this is a glorious crockpot meal!

When time is up, cook your orzo according to package directions. *Though orzo looks like rice, it is actually a pasta!  You can find it right where the good ol spaghetti noodles are 🙂

Spoon a cup of orzo pasta into a bowl and smother with the tender pork chops and tomato veggie mix.  I like to shred some parmesan cheese over top for a bit of extra saltiness.  Here’s an easy & healthy meal that will not leave you filling hungry!

 

Short Rib Ragu

The aroma in your home is worth this.  This isn’t your store brand ‘Ragu’, this is  an authentic meat based sauce where the tomatoes take a back seat to the delicious braised meat.  In layman’s terms, this is fancy Italian food.

The Starting Lineup

  • 3lbs beef short ribs 
  • 1 lb noodles
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth, low-sodium
  • 1 cup red wine, I.e. Cabernet Sauvignon 
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Italian flat leaf parsley 
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • EVOO    

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Start this dish by liberally seasoning your short ribs with kosher salt & pepper. I say do much more than you think you need.  Pour a few tbsps worth of EVOO into a heavy bottomed pan (I prefer my enameled Lodge cast iron for this, cleans up easy).

Heat that EVOO up to a med high temp and then add in your short ribs, searing all sides a couple of minutes.  This should take about 10 minutes, set your short ribs aside, but leave that now flavored oil and brown bits in the bottom of your pan.

  

In that same pot, with allll that brown goodness and flavor, add in your onion.  Sweat those down for 2 minutes and then add in your garlic.  Cook for 1 more minute.

 Add in your quartered tomatoes, cup of red wine and Dijon mustard.  Bring up to a boil while scraping up the brown bits on bottom of pan with a wooden spoon.  Place your short ribs back in your pan along with the beef stock.

Turn your oven down to 300 degrees, cover your pot and pop in the preheated oven for 3 1/2 hours.  I suggest going out & about, so when you return home you really get a whiff of this delicious delight!

When the braising meat is almost done, start your pasta according to package directions.  I usually undercook my noodles by about 2 minutes, they’ll finish cooking in your sauce.  *Keep your left over pasta water on hand in case your sauce needs thinned.

After the time is up, take your covered pot out of the oven and carefully remove the short ribs. They will be fall apart tender.  Shred.

Ladle the remaining vegetable, wine broth into a food processer and pulse till smooth.

Return both the short ribs and the puréed sauce to your pot, add in your noodles. (If needed, ladle in a bit of your reserved pasta water to thin).  Cover and allow flavors to meld.

Meanwhile, chop up some parsley and shred your parmesan cheese.

Scoop a large serving into a bowl, garnish and enjoy!!  Serve with some crusty bread and the rest of your red wine! 🍷

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