Friday, July 9, 2010

Tomato Garlic Bread Salad

Two servings (more if so desired, but you'll want at least half.)

3 large fresh tomatoes (only really good ones are worth the trouble)
5 large cloves garlic
15 fresh basil leaves
6 Tablespoons EVOO
3 oz. fresh mozzarella

4 1 inch thick slices bread (I use Italian, but I imagine others would be good, too)
6 Tablesppons EVOO
i large clove garlic

Cut tomatoes and mozzarella into 1/4 inch dice. Finely chop basil leaves. Crush garlic. Combine tomato, crushed garlic, 6 Tbsps. EVOO and mozzarella in large bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours. add salt to taste.

Cut bread slices into 1 inch cubes. Slice garlic. Put 6 Tbsp EVOO in skillet and heat to medium high. Add garlic and cook until garlic begins to brown. Remove garlic. Put bread cubes in skillet and toss to coat with oil. Cook, turning frequently until Bread cubes are golden brown and crispy. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

To serve, divide bread cubes between 2 bowls. Top each bowl with half the tomato mixture. Grind some black pepper over bowls and enjoy.

(This is also good with feta instead of mozzarella.)

Spicy Grilled Ratatouille

1 medium eggplant
1 large yellow onion
1 medium zucchini
2 pabloma peppers
1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
5 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt

If using charcoal grill start charcoal.
Cut off ends and peel onion. Cut lengthwise into eighths. Cut off ends and cut zucchini lengthwise lengthwise into quarters. Cut off stem end of eggplant and peel. Cut lengthwise into 1/2 thick slices. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Place cut vegetables in bowl and oil with the grapeseed oil. Grill vegetables on both sides until soft. At the same time, place whole peppers on grill and cook 'til skin is black and blistered, turning often. When peppers are done, remove them to bowl and cover with towel. Remove vegetables from grill and place in oily bowl.

Peel and coarsely chop garlic. Put tomatoes and garlic in deep skillet. Bring to boil. Add basil leaves. Add salt. Reduce heat to low.

Coarsely chop grilled onions, zucchini and eggplant. Peel and seed peppers. Coarsely chop. Add all to tomato mixture on the stove. Bring back to boil. Turn off heat. Serve.

This is also good served at room temperature and like all stews, tastes even better the next day. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mint Julep

Ingredients are per cocktail. You may make more of the mint and sugar combo for multiple drinks, but do not reduce amounts.

12 fresh mint leaves
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 oz. bourbon
Crushed ice

In mortar, crush mint leaves and sugar together into paste. Put into short, heavy glass. Add ice to within one inch of top. Pour in bourbon. Stir. Enjoy! (Yes, this is a very strong drink. If you don't like bourbon, don't bother, because adding any other liquid is just wrong.)