Heirloom Tomato Crostata

Heirloom-Tomatoe-Crostata-Yes,-more-please!

This is one of the recipes I being waiting to make with the gorgeous tomatoes from the market, Heirloom tomato Crostata!…Last time I went to Boggy Creek Farm,( my favorite urban farm here in Austin, TX.)  I bought about 5 different Kinds I could not resist!( honestly If you have 3-2 or even just one kind it will be good too) Looking at all this colors and shapes made me turn my sweet crostata dough into a savory one. I read about this tomato pie with Corn Meal, and honestly I’m not very fond of Pies, I love crostata because of the dough-filling ratio. In a pie usually you have thin crusted and lots of filling versus a crostata in which you have little more crust-less filling (which makes it lighter and balanced to eat. The exposed fruit or vegetables or in this case the tomatoes can get a little roasted and it adds lots of character to it.  I hope you like it. Enjoy!Heirloom-Tomatoes-Variety_Corn-Meal-Crostata_Yes,-more-please!

Tomatoe-Crostata_heirloom-tomatoes,-thyme,-great-fresh-seasonal-ingredients

Heirloom Tomato Crostata

Serves 6-8

For the Dough:

2 Cups of Unbleached All-purpose flour
¾ Cup Corn Meal (I used Larry’s Corn Meal from Boggy Creek Farm, I highly recommend to look for a good quality Organic no GMO coarse ground corn meal it really makes the difference!)
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes.
1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt
¼ to ½ cup iced water

How to make the crust:

Measure all your ingredients, and place all the dry ingredients on a bowl and mix. Place bowl in the freezer. Meantime cut your cold butter, and Iced water ready to measure. Remove the bowl of dry ingredients from freezer and add the butter. With a pastry Blender incorporate the butter and flour until the mixture resembles to a coarse meal, and the butter pieces are small like the size of a pea. Slowly add the cold water and carefully with your hands form a dough that just holds together. Do not work the dough.
Once that the dough barely holds together cut a piece of plastic wrap and place your dough. Wrap it and shape it into a disk.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, 4-6 is best.(see pictures )

Tomatoe-Crostata-how-to-make-the-dough-step-by-step!

How-Dough-Texture-should-look-like-for-a-Crostata,-galette-or-free-form-pie

When the dough is ready Preheat Oven at 400.
In clean work surface, dusted with flour unwrap the dough let sit for a couple of minutes and roll the dough into a 20-22” round and about 1/8 “ thick. Once is rolled place it into a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Tomatoe-Crostata_Rolling-the-dough

For the Filling:

4 medium size heirloom tomatoes cut into ¼ inch tomato slices, from at least 2 kinds of heirloom tomatoes. I used green zebra, yellow oaxacan, prudence and cherokee. Use what ever is best fresh available at your farmers market.
1/2 cup cherry gold or cherry tomatoes

I used:
1/3 cup of goat cheese.
3 fresh sprigs of thyme.
Sea Salt, freshly ground pepper.
Small drizzle of Extra virgin Olive Oil.

Directions:

Spread ½ of the Goat cheese into the rolled dough, place the tomato slices, thyme, rest of the cheese, salt pepper and drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Fold the edges in creating a 2” border. You can brush the edges with and egg wash and sprinkle sea salt to add crispness to the edge. Bake at 400 F/ 200C for 35-45 minutes. Serve warm.

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Heirloom-Tomatoe-Crostata_Tomato-Season-Cornmealcrust

Heirloom Tomatoe Crostata

Music Pairing: Pink Martini- Hang on Little Tomatoe

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Gazpacho Andaluz … recipe from a Sevillian chef!

Gazpacho-Andaluz_Yes,-more-please!

I had the fortune to travel to Spain in company of my Grandma Ana, she is an 80 years young Lady a globetrotter and highly energized with an incredible charisma. You can imagine what a trip I had with her! … it was one of the best experiences of my life. We traveled for two weeks, starting from Madrid, clockwise all around the country from Segovia, Valladolid, Burgos, Vitória, Bilbao, San Sebastián, Pamplona, Zaragoza, Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia, Granada, Costa del Sol, Gibraltar, Sevilla , Toledo…Yes! This lady traveled for the 7th time to Spain, just for the pleasure of it and decided to take me along with her… I said it was about time grandma! Lol!…

We had very diverse food, a little sample from the different regions. Seville is a beautiful city and the Gazpacho Andaluz stole my heart. It was simply fresh, smooth, light, true to its tomato nature. Me being from Mexico and have studied culinary arts, I have had lots of different versions of Gazpacho, and frankly the mind of my palette always connected it to eating salsa with a missing ingredient!(oops I said it!). It had to be in Seville where I discovered the real deal… good place to be right?.

My grandma and I were having lunch at the hotel and of course I asked for Gazpacho as an appetizer. When I had the first spoonful I was hooked. Smooth, velvety, sweet, acid, fresh tomato flavored cold soup with little crunchy pieces (tropezones) of diced seedless cucumbers, bell peppers , white onion, seedless tomato, white bread, drizzled with a fantastic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the region. I finished my bowl cleaning it with a piece of bread as is good manners in Spain; and before the next course, I apologized to my grandma and I had to get up from the table. I could not wait to talk to the person who had made this cosmic cold soup. Who made the Gazpacho I asked the waitress?… “Chef Fernando”he replied…

Chef Fernando was really friendly and share the recipe with me, I also I asked his secret to such a smooth velvety texture, He said “mucha maquina” meaning lots of time on the food blender, or food processor, he explained me that by blending it long enough it will marry the flavors and give the right consistency. Well now this is one of my favorite dishes to make in summer during tomato season. You have to have good quality tomatoes there’s no way around. I’m sure you have access to a good Farmer Market in your city, go the extra mile to get them fresh, is worth it.

Gazpacho 01

Gazpacho Andaluz

Recipe adapted by the Good Samaritan Fernando the Sevillian chef.

Serves 4 or 2 good-hearted Sevillians!

Ingredients:

2 small day old demi-baguettes or one small ciabatta bread
1.5lbs of ripe tomatoes skinned and (seeded optional)
10-15 Cherry and Gold tomatoes cut in halves.
1 Jade Cucumber (English cucumber is best if you are using regular cucumber remove the seeds it will work fine.)
1 green bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic
3 Tablespoons of Sherry Vinegar
½ cup of good fresh quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 pinch of white or black pepper
My spin: 1 sprig of fresh thyme and fresh oregano
Garnish:
Cherry and Gold tomatoes
Diced bell peppers
Finely slivered white onion
Slices or diced cucumber
Fresh thyme
Ciabatta bread toasted
Sea Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste.
*(Cubes of ham, diced hard boil egg is also good variation).

Method:

First, break bread into pieces, and let it soak with about ¼ of a cup of water.( About 20.min.).In the mean time prepare the Tomato Concasse, this is a great french technique to skin the tomatoes (and is really easy and fast). Next get ready with medium size pot of boiling water and a bowl with cold ice water. With a paring knife, make a shallow cross on the back of the tomato. Blanch the tomato for about 20-30 seconds. (Depending if you store your tomatoes on the refrigerator, or at room temperature). Quickly shock the tomato in the ice water bowl to stop the cooking process. And proceed with the rest. Remove them from ice bath and with a paring knife remove the skin from the bottom cross of the tomato. It is so easy you will want to do this every time.

Tomato-Concasse_steps

Cut the tomatoes in quarters and remove seeds. In a food processor or blender, place the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, soaking bread garlic, herbs, sea salt, vinegar, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add a little water for desired consistency, and just like Chef Fernando said “Mucha Maquina” Blend it throughly.
If you find it not to smooth you can pass the soup through a fine sieve. Refrigerate soup for about 30-45 min. Serve cold with garnishes on the side so each person can customize their soup. Enjoy!

Gazpacho Andaluz_Gazpacho texture_mucha maquina! ~ Yes, more please!

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Gazpacho featured image

Gazpacho Andaluz, the greatest cold soup…Ole! ~

Enjoy!

Music Pairing: Paco de Lucia, Manolo Sanlucar- Sevillana a Dos Guitarras

 

 

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Tomato Salad and Honey Jalapeño Corn Bread

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_heirloom-tomatoes

So I’ve being counting the days to tomato season, since is one of my favorite times of the year I’m in heaven. I live in Austin Texas and my mainly source of vegetables is a small urban farm call Boggy Creek, they open Wednesdays and Saturdays 8am-1pm two of the happiest days of my week. This year they have harvested: Heirlooms Cherokee Purple, Prudent Purple, Azoyscka, Oaxacan Jewel, Green Zebra, Regular Tomatoes ; Big read super fantastic, lemon boy, cherry and cherry gold tomatoes!!!…. This Farm resembles me a bit of my Mexico. The camaraderie, the beautiful freshly cut vegetables, and also and most important “seasonal produce”. Waiting for the seasons creates a momentum between the ingredient and me I crave them. I imagine new dishes and the expectation grows momentum. Cooking with ingredients at their peak of the season is just about the best you can hope for when you are creating a dish. Little preparation is required to enjoy them. I compare them to a string quartet, where everybody is supporting the first violin.This recipe is one of the many examples of this string quartet ensemble, where the Tomatoe has the solo part and its accompaniments make it shine… lets start cooking!

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_the-table-is-served!

Tomato Salad and Honey Jalapeño Corn Bread

Serves 4 – Prep time 10 min.

Use at least 3 different kinds of tomatoes, choose what ever look best to you at your farmer market.
For the salad I made I used:

1 Heirloom Oaxacan Jewels
1 Heirloom Cherokee purple
1 Big Red super fantastic
2 Green Zebra
10-12 Cherry tomatoes
Arugula
Fresh Goat cheese
Fresh sprig of Thyme
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle
about ½ teaspoon per plate of Rice Vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Directions:

Slice the  tomatoes a little less than ½ inch. Quarter the smaller tomatoes like the green zebras, half the cherry tomatoes. On a Large platter (or in 4 plates) place a light bed of arugula, and approximately one big slice of the heirloom, one slice of the Cherokee Purple, some quarters and halves of the little ones. Theres no rules, you can balance the plate as you like. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil and ½ teaspoon of rice vinegar per plate, goat cheese crumbs, sea salt pepper and fresh thyme. Serve.

Tomatoe-Salad~-Yes-more-please

Honey Jalapeno Corn Bread

Adapted from : “Boggy Creek Farm recipe”

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_ingredients-for-baking

1 cup of Corn Meal (use the best kind you can find, organic and non-GMO is always preferable)
I used our local, Larry’s Fresh-ground Corn Meal
(Organic, non-GMO fresh Texas Dent Corn from Coyote Creek Organic Mill)
1 Tablespoon of Aluminum- free Baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 or 2 pinches of paprika
1 cup Milk (you can substitute almond, soy or rice milk)
1 egg
1 teaspoon of Honey (I used Local Texas Honey off course!)
2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.( you also can use Butter, Canola, Coconut Oil)
½ -1/3 of a cup fresh corn kernels
Thin slices of fresh Jalapeno Pepper.
– 2 extra teaspoons of Oil for Pan-

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 400* F degrees.

Measure all your Ingredients and Place a small 8” Cast Iron skillet in the oven to heat. Add the 2 teaspoon of Oil.
Combine all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients mixture into Dry mix. Stir until combined small lumps are allowed. Add fresh corn Kernels to the Mix.
Carefully using an oven mitt at all times, remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter into the hot skillet, quickly top the batter with the thin jalapeno slices,drizzle a little more honey, bake for about 20-25 minutes until a light golden top. Take the skillet to the table to serve warm with the salad.

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_steps for making corn bread

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*Note: For the summer if you are grilling you can bake this on top of the grill just cover the pan with a lid, it will be fantastic and smokey. This meal will go so well with any light or amber beer. Take into consideration that you can substitute any herbs, I’m just in love with Tomatoes and Thyme, I think the aromatic lemony taste of the thyme goes perfect with tomatoes…. is my new fav! Enjoy.

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