Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Side Dish

Tomato and Goat Cheese Crumble

The first sun-ripened tomatoes of summer are eagerly anticipated by impatient tomato enthusiasts. Conversely, by the end of summer, these same enthusiasts are petitioning friends and neighbors to take the excess of their abundant crop! The Cooking School staff enjoyed using a generous variety of beautifully colored tomatoes for this gratin-style side dish called Tomato and Goat Cheese Crumble. Not only did we enjoy this as a side dish, we looked at the leftovers and decided that they would be delicious as a "sauce" for pasta. It's always fun to be a little creative and experiment in the kitchen. You'll find our bonus recipe at the end of the post. If you haven't joined us for a cooking class, consider Savor Summer's Best on August 5 for a menu highlighting the best of summer produce available at Jungle Jim's International Market.


Aren't those tomatoes pretty? The multi-colored grape tomatoes are from NatureFresh Farms and the large tomatoes are a combination of vine-ripened and heirloom varieties. You can use any tomatoes you have available.


Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks, leaving the cherry tomatoes whole. 


Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet; add the tomatoes and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and most of the tomato liquid has evaporated. 


Spoon half of the tomatoes into prepared baking dish and crumble half the goat cheese on top. Repeat layers. Chef's Note:  After making this dish, we wished we would have used an herbed goat cheese for that extra punch of flavor. 



Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet and add the breadcrumbs.


Cook, stirring occasionally until crumbs are golden and crispy.



Remove from heat and stir in pine nuts and half of the Parmesan cheese. 


Scatter mixture over the tomato and cheese layers.


Then sprinkle with remaining cheese.



Bake 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbly.


Below you'll find the leftover tomato crumble used as the sauce for pasta. If you aren't a fan of leftovers, try telling yourself this is a completely different dish - revamped to serve with your favorite pasta!


Tomato and Goat Cheese Crumble

2¼ pounds assorted ripe tomatoes, including a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces fresh goat cheese, preferably with herbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375°. Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish.

Cut tomatoes into bite-sized chunks, leaving cherry tomatoes whole. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet, add the tomatoes and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and most of tomato liquid has evaporated.

Spoon half of the tomatoes into prepared baking dish and crumble half the goat cheese on top. Repeat layers.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet, add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally until crumbs are golden and crispy. Remove from heat and stir in pine nuts and half of the Parmesan cheese. Scatter mixture over tomatoes, then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Serves 4



Make pasta with leftovers:

Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Save 1-2 cups pasta water before draining pasta. Return drained pasta to pan, add warmed Tomato and Goat Cheese Crumble and a large handful of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese and a couple teaspoons of fresh, chopped herbs to pan. Stir, adding pasta water as needed to make a smooth and creamy sauce. Serve sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Skillet Bread

Mediterranean Skillet Bread

A well-seasoned cast iron skillet is a treasured piece of kitchenware. Today our small 8-inch cast iron skillet was put to good use baking this sturdy, flavorful Mediterranean Skillet Bread. Although perfect as an accompaniment to soups and salads, the Cooking School staff decided to slice it horizontally and use it for sandwiches - both hot and cold. If you are not a fan of olives, you can omit them from the recipe. Don't be afraid to experiment with other add-ins like chopped sun-dried tomatoes and bacon. You'll love the aroma wafting from the oven as this easy quick bread bakes. It will take some self-discipline, but leave the bread alone until it cools completely before assembling a sandwich. Your reward will be a firmer loaf that is easier to slice.


Preheat oven to 450°. Position oven rack in lower-middle position. In a separate bowl, combine milk, sour cream and egg together, whisking until smooth. Heat the oil in a 8-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour all but 2 teaspoons of oil mixture into milk mixture, whisking to incorporate.


Whisk flour, basil, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold milk mixture into flour mixture, just until combined.



Fold in olives; do not overmix. 



The batter at this point will be thick.



Quickly scrape it into hot skillet and smooth top. 


Sprinkle the top with remaining cheese.



Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.



Let bread cool slightly in skillet before removing. An 8-inch Lodge skillet is perfect for this application. The Gourmet Galeria has a full selection of cast iron products from Lodge.



Run a knife around the edge of the skillet to release the bread, Remove and cool  on a rack. The bread will be good served warm or at room temperature depending on the use.


Our sandwich was composed with Boar's Head's rosemary ham, heirloom tomatoes, Dijon mustard and then slices of Boar's Head  manchego cheese. The sandwich in the center was served cold. The sandwich on the right was browned in the cast iron skillet on the stove top and then popped in a 350 degree oven until the cheese was melted. Both delicious!


Mediterranean Skillet Olive Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour (5 ounces)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup lightly packed
 coarsely shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup whole milk
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped


Preheat oven to 450°. Position oven rack in lower-middle position.
.
Whisk flour, basil, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in 1/3 cup of cheese and toss to coat with flour.
 
In a separate bowl, combine milk, sour cream and egg together, whisking until smooth.
 
Heat oil in a 8-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour all but 2 teaspoons of oil mixture into milk mixture, whisking to incorporate.
 
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold milk mixture into flour mixture, just until combined. Fold in olives; do not overmix. Batter at this point will be thick. Quickly scrape it into hot skillet and smooth top. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese.

Transfer pan to oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of bread comes out clean. Let bread cool slightly in skillet before removing. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Serves 4

Thursday, July 17, 2014

White BBQ Sauce

Southern-Style White Barbecue

When we discover a trending food idea, how can we possibly ignore it?! Southern-style white BBQ sauce is popping up in print and online. Unable to resist the challenge of trying something new to us, we mixed some up to try with grilled chicken. Great for grilling, the boneless, skinless chicken breasts at Jungle Jim's International Market are all-natural and that includes no injected solutions. Armed with a pack of chicken to grill, we gathered the simple ingredients to try this BBQ sauce. No thick, sweet red sauce here. Not even a splash of yellow from a Carolina mustard sauce. This, indeed, is white! Not wanting to present you with a bland looking plate, Leigh mixed a quick cream of fresh corn with red peppers and scallions to add a little color. It's an easy dinner idea for summer.



The sauce ingredients are common, pantry and refrigerator-friendly ingredients. If you are not familiar with sambal oelek, it is a thick paste of ground red chilies with vinegar and salt. You can find it on the shelves in our International Department.


Whisk the ingredients together. This sauce can be made up to 24 hours in advance. 


Cover and refrigerate until needed. The flavors will meld and you may want to add more sambal oelek if you like a spicy kick! Get your grill hot and chicken ready. Reserve half of the white BBQ sauce to drizzle and dip. Baste the chicken several times while grilling. 



The fresh corn side dish isn't really a recipe - it's more of a spontaneous culinary concoction. Take the kernels off of 2-3 ears of fresh sweet corn. Saute with a tablespoon of butter and a 1/2 clove of minced garlic. Stir until the butter has melted. You can make this side dish before you grill the chicken - just keep warm until ready to serve.


Add cream or half and half - we had some cream. Pour in about 1/4 cup. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. The cream will be absorbed.


For color and flavor, add some diced red pepper (or you can use diced tomato). Saute for another five minutes or until the pepper is tender-crisp.


Add a tablespoon or so of chopped scallions and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


When the chicken is done grilling, plate it up with a side of the corn. Drizzle the reserved white BBQ sauce over the grilled chicken and pour some into a small bowl for dipping. Enjoy. Let us know if you tried and what you think!


Southern-Style White BBQ Sauce

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (we recommend adding 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 clove of garlic, peeled, minced and mashed

Whisk the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate. This sauce can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
olive oil, salt and pepper

Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Reserve half of the sauce for dipping. Baste lightly with the sauce as you grill the chicken until it is done. Serve the chicken with the reserved sauce.




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mediterranean Bulgur Salad

What's For Lunch?

For those of you who have visited Jungle Jim's International Market, you might find our dilemma to be surprising - almost blasphemous! We work in a food-lover's paradise and yet there are days we can't find anything to eat for lunch! We debate our options and usually settle on making something simple and hopefully, delicious. We hit the jackpot today with this fresh, healthy Mediterranean Bulgur Salad. You may be familiar with bulgur; it is the traditional grain found in tabbouleh. This is a sturdy salad that will pack up perfectly for lunch. We added some grilled chicken because we had it available. Vegetarians can skip the chicken and enjoy a meat-free salad for lunch. If Mediterranean cuisine is something you enjoy, join chef Joanne Drilling for her Fresh Meditarranean class at The Cooking School.


Bulgur can be found in the bulk or Middle East section of the store. #2 medium bulgur is just right in this salad - not too small and not too large. 


Boil 3 cups of water for 1 1/2 cups of bulgur. Pour the boiling water over the bulgur in a large bowl.


Stir the water and bulgur. Let  it stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed and bulgur is room temperature, 35-45 minutes. While the bulgur is softening, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.



 Fluff up the bulgur with a fork or spoon.



 Whisk the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.


Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, scallions, cheese, pine nuts and parsley to bulgur. 



Pour the dressing over top and toss gently until thoroughly combined.


Serve the salad with grilled meat or shrimp to make a heartier entree or enjoy it just as it is.


Mediterranean Bulgur Salad

1½ cups uncooked bulgur, #2
1½ cups boiling water
6 tablespoons olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
10 ounces grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
½ English cucumber, diced
¼ cup kalamata olives, sliced
4 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
½ cup toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Place bulgur in a large bowl. In a large saucepan, bring about 3 cups water to a boil. Measure 1½ cups of boiling water, pour over bulgur and stir. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until water is absorbed and bulgur is room temperature, 35-45 minutes.

Whisk olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

Add chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, scallions, cheese, pine nuts and parsley to bulgur. Pour dressing over top and toss gently until thoroughly combined.


Serves 6

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mango Yogurt Popsicles

Frozen Summer Treat

If you were at the Summer Thai Grill class last night at the The Cooking School, you enjoyed a Mango Yogurt Popsicle at the end of class. An Alphonso mango is a sweet, rich flavored fruit that is grown in India. Jungle Jim's International Market carries a sweetened Alphonso mango pulp that works perfectly for this fragrant, flavor-packed popsicle. You'll find cans of Alphonso mango pulp in the Indian section of the International department. 


The ingredient list is short:  mango pulp, vanilla yogurt, heavy cream, sugar and lemon juice. For this recipe, we used Chobani 0% fat yogurt, but feel free to use any brand of vanilla yogurt that you enjoy eating - low-fat or full-fat, too.


For a swirled effect, combine the yogurt, sugar and 1/2 cup cream in one bowl. In another bowl, add the mango pulp, lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 cup of cream. You could combine all the ingredients and make a solid color mango pop.


Pour the yogurt mixture into each popsicle mold and fill it half full.


We used the Frosty Pop Maker brand of popsicle molds available in Gourmet Galeria. The molds are very stable in the base and don't tip over when you pour in the liquids. As you can tell from the first photo, we also poured the mixture into a small, 3-oz. disposable plastic cup. The downside of using a cup is that you have to remember to put in the sticks when the mixture is half frozen. Despite that, it is a fun, inexpensive alternative to purchasing molds.


Pour the mango mixture over the white yogurt. Fill to the top, just leaving a little space to snap on the base with the stick.


Add the mango mixture and with a skewer, vigorously stir the two mixtures to "swirl" the colors.



Once you have all 8 popsicles filled, swirled and tops securely on, slide into the freezer and patiently wait until they are frozen solid. If you are a mango fan, you are going to love these! 



Mango Yogurt Popsicles

1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup heavy cream, divided use
¼ cup sugar, or more to taste
1 cup mango puree or canned Alphonso mango pulp
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


Whisk together the yogurt, ½ cup cream and the sugar.

Whisk together the mango puree, lemon juice and the remaining ½ cup cream. Taste and sweeten with additional sugar, if desired.

Fill popsicle mold or disposable plastic cup half full with the vanilla yogurt. Top with the mango-cream mixture. Using a skewer, stir vigorously, until the mango puree ‘bleeds’ into the vanilla yogurt, creating pretty swirls.

Freeze until solid, preferably overnight. To unmold, run water over the popsicle molds and serve.

Makes 8-10 popsicles, depending on the size of your molds