Weekly recipes for August 15, 2012
Serves 6 to 8.
1 pound eggplant
1 pound zucchini
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound (about 1 1/2 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers
2-3 tablespoons olive oil, if necessary
2 cloves mashed garlic
1 pound firm, ripe, red tomatoes, peeled and seeded (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons minced parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8 inch thick, about 3 inches long, and
1 inch wide. Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends, and cut the zucchini into slices about the same size as the eggplant slices. Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain. Dry each slice in a towel.
One layer at a time, saute the eggplant and then the zucchini in the hot olive oil for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly. Remove to a side dish.
In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Stir in the garlic, and season to taste.
Slice the tomato into 3/8-inch strips. Lay them over the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice. Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil for several minutes, until juice has almost entirely evaporated.
Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of a casserole and sprinkle over it 1 tablespoon of parsley. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini, and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.
Cover the casserole, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices. Correct seasoning, if necessary. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil. Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.
Set aside uncovered. Reheat slowly at serving time, or serve cold.
-- From Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home
Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin
Serves: 8. Preparation time: 30 minutes. Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.
1/2 cup or more olive oil, divided
1 large or 2 medium eggplants, about 1 1/4 pounds
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 medium zucchini, about 1 pound
3 or 4 ripe tomatoes, about 1 pound
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 cup or so fresh bread crumbs (not too finely ground)
1/3 cup or so freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Put the rack on the lower-middle level of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
Smear a large, shallow-rimmed jelly roll pan generously with 1/3 cup of the olive oil.
Trim the ends of the eggplant and slice it on the diagonal into ovals 1/2-inch thick.
One at a time, place the slices on the sheet; press to coat lightly with oil and turn them over. Arrange the slices, oiled side up, in a single layer and sprinkle them with 1/2 teaspoon each of herbes de Provence and salt.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until the eggplant slices are soft and somewhat shriveled; allow to cool briefly. Leave the oven on if you will be baking the gratin right away.
Meanwhile, trim the ends of the zucchini and cut them lengthwise into slices no more than 1/4-inch thick. Core the tomatoes and cut into slices 1/4-inch thick. Spread out the slices and sprinkle them lightly with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
To assemble the gratin: Coat a gratin or shallow baking dish with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle a teaspoon of the herbes de Provence all over the bottom. Place one or two eggplant slices, lengthwise, against a narrow side of the dish. Arrange a long slice or two of zucchini in front of the eggplant, then place two or three tomato slices in front of the zucchini. Repeat the procedure to fill the pan with alternating rows of eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. Arrange each new row of slices so the colorful top edges of the previous row are still visible.
In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and remaining herbes de Provence. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, then toss and rub it in with your fingers to coat the crumbs but keep them loose. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the vegetables and drizzle the rest of the oil over all.
Place the dish in the center of the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft, the juices are bubbling and the top is a deep golden brown. If the crumbs need more browning, put the dish under the broiler for a few moments. Serve hot, directly from the baking dish.
Cook's note: After the vegetables are assembled and topped with the crumbs, the gratin can be covered lightly and stored in the refrigerator for several hours. Preheat the oven and drizzle on the last olive oil just before baking.
-- Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin
Makes 2 1/2 cups.
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon wine vinegar or lemon juice, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dry or prepared mustard, plus more for seasoning
1 1/2-2 1/4 cups olive oil, salad oil or a mixture of each
Freshly ground pepper
Warm a round-bottomed, 2 1/2- to 3-quart glazed pottery, glass or stainless steel mixing bowl in hot water. Dry it. Add egg yolks and beat for 1 to 2 minutes until they are thick and sticky.
Add vinegar or lemon juice, salt and mustard. Beat for 30 seconds more.
The egg yolks are now ready to receive the oil, and while it goes in, drop by drop, you must not stop beating until the sauce has thickened. A speed of 2 strokes per second is fast enough. You can switch hands or switch directions, it makes no difference so long as you beat constantly. Add the drops of oil with a teaspoon, or rest the lip of the bottle on the edge of the bowl. Keep your eye on the oil rather than on the sauce. Stop pouring and continue beating every 10 seconds or so, to be sure the egg yolks are absorbing the oil. After 1/3 to 1/2 cup of oil has been incorporated, the sauce will thicken into a very heavy cream and the crisis is over. The beating arm may rest a moment. Then beat in the remaining oil by 1 to 2 tablespoon dollops, blending it thoroughly after each addition.
When the sauce becomes too thick and stiff, beat in drops of vinegar or lemon juice to thin out. Then continue with oil.
Season to taste using vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper and mustard.
If sauce is not used immediately, scrape it into a small bowl and cover it closely so a skin will not form on the surface.
-- Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Vol. 1
Tomates a la Provencale
6 firm, ripe, red tomatoes about 3 inches in diameter
Salt and pepper
1-2 cloves mashed garlic
3 tablespoons minced shallots or green onions
4 tablespoons minced fresh basil and parsley, or parsley only
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup crumbs from fresh white bread with body
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove stems from tomatoes, and cut in half crosswise. Gently press out the juice and seeds. Sprinkle the halves lightly with salt and pepper.
Blend remaining ingredients plus 1/2 teaspoon salt and a big pinch of pepper in a mixing bowl. Correct seasoning. Fill each tomato half with a spoonful or two of the mixture. Sprinkle with a few drops of olive oil. Arrange tomatoes in the roasting pan; do not crowd them. (Recipe may be prepared ahead to this point.) Shortly before you are ready to serve, place tomato halves in the upper third of the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender but still hold their shape, and the bread crumb filling has browned lightly.
-- Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Selected Recipes
French Potato Salad
Makes about 6 cups.
2 pounds boiling potatoes (8 to 10 medium)
4 tablespoons dry white wine, or 2 tablespoons dry white vermouth and 2 tablespoons stock or canned bouillon
2 tablespoons wine vinegar, or 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons olive or salad oil
Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons minced shallots or green onions, and 2 to 3 tablespoons mixed green herbs or parsley
Scrub potatoes. Drop them in boiling salted water to cover, and boil until potatoes are just tender when pierced with a small knife. Drain. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel and cut them into slices about 1/8 inch thick. Place them in a mixing bowl.
Pour wine or vermouth and stock or bouillon over the warm potato slices and toss very gently. Set aside for a few minutes until the potatoes have absorbed the liquids.
Beat vinegar or vinegar and lemon juice, mustard and salt in a small bowl until the salt has dissolved. Then beat in the oil by droplets. Season to taste, and stir in the optional shallots or onions. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and toss gently to blend.
-- Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Selected Recipes
Bell Pepper and Tomato Bisque
Serves 4 to 6.
1 large onion
2 large bell peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, including romas, halved
2 cups carrots or potatoes, diced
4 cups stock
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup half-and-half
Heat a large stockpot over high heat. Add the oil and sauté bell peppers and onions until translucent. Add garlic, paprika, salt and carrots and sauté until carrots become tender. If mixture sticks, throw in a halved tomato. Decrease the heat to medium, stir in tomatoes and cook until they dissolve. Stir in stock, 2 tablespoons basil and parsley. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puré:e soup in a blender. Return it to a clean pot and reheat. Adjust seasoning. To serve, spoon the soup into a bowl and garnish with a bit of half-and-half.
-- Organic Marin: Recipes From Land to Table, by Tim Porter and Farina Wong Kingsley (Andrew McMeel, $29.95)
Makes 12 cups.
10 pounds very ripe plum tomatoes, cut in quarters
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
In a large pot, heat the water over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Mix in tomatoes, and cook for about 15 minutes or until they start to soften and break down. Reduce heat to low, add salt and keep cooking until the volume of liquid has reduced by one-third. Remove from heat and cool. Pass the mixture through a food mill to remove solids. Place the purée in 1 cup amounts in freezer bags
-- From The Too Many Tomatoes Cookbook, by Brian Yarvin (The Countryman Press, $19.95)
Greek Stuffed Tomatoes
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus oil for baking dish
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1/2 pound ground lamb or beef or pork
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup salt
1 cup chicken broth
Cut the tops off the tomatoes. Use a serrated grapefruit spoon to hollow out the bodies. Reserve bodies, tops and pulp. Heat the oil, onion and garlic in a skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring until the onion begins to turn golden on the edges. Add lamb and 1 cup of the reserved tomato pulp and continue cooking until meat is completely browned. Mix in rice, pine nuts, raisins, salt and broth. Lower heat to medium-low, and simmer until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Remove from heat and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a baking dish. Fill the hollow tomatoes with the meat mixture and stand them on end in the baking dish. Place the reserved tops on the tomatoes. Brush tomatoes with olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes or until completely cooked. Serve warm.
-- The Too Many Tomatoes Cookbook, by Brian Yarvin (The Countryman Press, $19.95)
Serves 6. Don't let the lengthy ingredients list dissuade you from making this dish. Make the meatballs one day and assemble the dish the next day.
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons cilantro
2 teaspoons green chilies
1 teaspoon minced gingerroot
1 teaspoon garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoons cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon peeled gingerroot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced green chilies
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, with juice (or 3 1/2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, for garnish
In a bowl, combine the ingredients for meatballs. Mix by hand. Lightly roll into walnut-sized balls. Do no compact. Set aside on baking tray. (This step can be done the night before.)
In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until beginning to color, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and saute until browned, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Pour in 1 cup water.
Place the baking sheet with meatballs on top of the saucepan, making sure the pan is completely covered. Reduce heat to low and simmer until onions are very soft, 8 to 10 minutes, or until water evaporates. The heat from the pan will "set" the meatballs. When there is no more liquid in pan, carefully lift meatballs from the baking sheet and arrange on top of onions.
Cover pan and cook meatballs 1 to 2 minutes. Uncover pan, increase heat to medium-low and cook until meatballs are firm enough to turn gently with a spoon and the meat juices have been absorbed, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir meatballs to brown. Scatter ginger, garlic, chilies, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper on top. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until meatballs are browned.
If meatballs sticks, stir in a few of the tomatoes to deglaze the pan. Stir in all the tomatoes, 1/2 cup cilantro and the salt. Increase heat to medium. Cover and return to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until gravy is thick, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle garam masala over top. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir before serving.
-- This recipe is from Easy Indian Cooking, by Suneeta Vaswani (Rose, $18.95)