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Entries in guest post (10)


Tomato, Chorizo, and Goat Cheese Open-face Sandwich

Welcome to Round two of Joel's guest post series. This week, I'll be featuring summertime recipes that were put together on the fly, with little planning. Most dishes were concocted while walking around the weekend farmer's market looking for fresh, ripe ingredients. Everything shown this week can be made in minutes flat, and requires only a few ingredients.

Tomatoes in August can't be beaten. I'm always drawn to discolored, misshapen heirlooms, because their flavors are so complex, unlike anything available at a supermarket. Add local chorizo, goat cheese, bread and garden herbs and I'm in heaven.

I put together this summertime open-face sandwich using my farmer's market haul, and Melissa and I were blown away by the flavor and simplicity of it. Using the ingredients below, I was able to make two medium sized sandwiches, but the recipe can easily be upscaled to feed a large group.

1 loaf of bread (I used an "everything" bread with herbs and spices, although a plain Italian would be just as good).
1 Tomato, sliced
1 Link of Chorizo, grilled and sliced
1 Handful Various Fresh Herbs (I used Basil, Thyme and Rosemary because I had them. Use whatever you have, or experiment)
4 scoops (~4-5 Tbsp) of Goat Cheese
Olive Oil for seasoning bread

Cut the chorizo into thin, slightly-diagonal slices and grill or cook in a frying pan. Then, cut the bread into slices, slather some olive oil on it, and grill until slightly toasted. Chop or slice your herbs, and put about a quarter of them on the toasty side of the bread. Next, layer the sliced tomato and chorizo. Top off the sandwich with dollops of goat cheese and the rest of the herbs.


Chicken Tostados

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Well friends, it's been fun. I hope you enjoyed the recipes I shared with you this week, I sure did. I'll be turning the keys back over to Melissa today, expect some great food from her in the coming weeks. We've been getting really excited about upcoming farmer's markets and our own garden as the weather warms up.

When the weather gets hot, I like to turn to Mexican food. The fresh ingrediants are in their peak in the summertime, and the spiciness makes you sweat and actually cools you off. These tostados were simple, taking about five minutes to prepare, but were wonderfully flavored and filling.

1 cup purchased refried beans, divided
4 purchased corn tostada shells
1 1/3 cups leftover roast chicken meat (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
Hot sauce for drizzling
Lime wedges

Lightly grill or toast the shells. Spread the refried beans on the shells. Top with chicken, lettuce, tomato, and cheese, dividing equally. Add hot sauce liberally. Serve with a lime wedge and a Corona.


Boscaiola Pie


Pizza is my favorite food. That sentence makes me sound like a twelve year old, but it's true. To clarify, I don't mean pizza from a so-called "pizza shop." I also am not talking about New York or Chicago style pizza. What I like are small, Italian pizzas with hand stretched dough and minimal toppings.

I discovered the Jim Lahey no-knead method for pizza dough at the same time that I discovered his bread. It's the same dough recipe that we use pretty much every time we make pizza. There are two versions. The quick, and the long. The quick version, used here is from the My Bread cookbook. It requires around three hours to rise. It's a great no-fuss recipe and takes only about five minutes to assemble. The long recipe from Jim Lahey's book My Pizza is similar, but rises for about 18 hours. The extra time may seem crazy, but the dough has a much richer, complex flavor than the quicker recipe. The only reason that I make the quick dough at this point is that we don't plan on eating pizza until the day of.

This pizza is classic Italian. Second in popularity only to the Margherita, it's a great recipe to try your hand at making an easy, tasty, authentic pizza. 

The Dough
500 grams Bread Flour

10 grams Yeast

5 grams Table Salt

3 grams Sugar

300 grams Water, room temperature

Use a food scale to measure out the ingredients. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Pour in the water and stir until just combined. Cover the bowl and let it sit in a warm location for 2 hours. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a floured surface. Split the dough into 2 equal pieces and let them sit, covered, for about 30 minutes prior to baking. At this point, you can wrap the dough and refrigerate up to a week, or freeze it up to a month.

Basic Tomato Sauce
1 28 ounce can of whole, peeled roma tomatoes
20 grams (2 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil
2 grams (1/4 teaspoon) fine sea salt

Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl. With your hands, squish the tomatoes until they are in small chunks. Whatever size you want to eat. This part is fun.

The Pizza
1 ball of Pizza Dough, shaped and waiting on a floured peel
70 grams (¼ cup) Basic Tomato Sauce
50 grams (about ¼ cup) Pork Sausage cooked
50 grams (about 1 3/4 ounces) fresh mozzarella, pulled into 5 clumps
40 grams (heaping ½ cup) thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
15 grams (about 1/8 cup) thinly sliced red onion, separated into ribbons
Pinch of chili flakes
Pinch of fine sea salt

Preheat the Oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone on the rack about 8 inches from the top of the oven. Switch to broil for 10 minutes before you are ready to cook the pizza.

With the dough on the peel, spoon the tomato sauce over the surface and spread it evenly, leaving about an inch of the rim untouched. Place the sausage in small mounds around the pizza. Distribute the mozzarella over the pie. Arrange the mushrooms and onion evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with the chili flakes and salt.

With quick, jerking motions, slide the pie onto the stone. Broil for about 4 minutes under gas (somewhat longer with an electric oven), until the top is bubbling and the crust is nicely charred but not burnt.

Using the peel, transfer the pizza to a tray or serving platter. Serve immediately. Eat this with a cheap chianti for maximum effect.


Grilled Chicken Salad with Garlic Confit

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Today's recipe, like yesterday's, also comes from the website of Bon Appetit. This great summer salad is easy to make and manages to fill you up. The peppery arugula offsets the tangy sweet dijon garlic dressing, and while not exactly a confit like the title suggests, the grilled chicken absorbs the garlic oil on the grill, and is perfectly, subtly flavored.

20 garlic cloves, peeled (Seriously. 20 of them)
1 cup olive oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons Dijon or whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup pitted olives
4 cups (packed) baby arugula
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 roasted red peppers from a jar, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper 

In a small saucepan over medium-low, bring the olive oil and garlic cloves to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the garlic is golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool. Place a mesh strainer over a bowl, and strain the garlic, reserving both the cloves and oil.

Toss the chicken in 2 Tbsp garlic oil, a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill the chicken until slightly charred, and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Let the chicken cool for 5 minutes before slicing it into strips diagonally.

In a food processor, puree 8 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of garlic oil, Dijon mustard, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the chicken, arugula, remaining garlic cloves, olives, sliced peppers, and parsley to a large bowl and toss. Toss in bowl, or spoon dressing onto plate as desired. Any remaining garlic oil can be covered and refrigerated for future use. This recipe calls out for an IPA or a dry white wine such as a Gewürztraminer, or Sauvignon Blanc.


Rajas Poblanas

Hello, Dear Readers. Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Melissa's husband Joel, famous and noteworthy for many things- but most of all for appearing within posts on this very blog. I'll be your guest host this week, guiding you through recipe-land. I'll be filling in for my wife Melissa; who is currently resigned to sitting in the corner of the room, wearing a cone hat that reads "I shall not use so much butter."

I enjoy simple, rustic food. In my posts, you'll find minimal ingredients, and little prep work. I like to cook things from all over, but you'll be hard pressed to convince me that there is better food than a simple handmade pizza. Let's begin.

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These Rajas Poblanas caught my eye while browsing Bon Appetit on the Basil iPad App. Creamy, smoky, and vegetarian are qualities that require no second-guessing in this house.

1 pound fresh large poblano chiles
1 onion, quartered, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack
1 package tortilla shells 
Kosher salt

Char the poblanos on a grill, turning over until fully charred and tender (15-20 minutes). Place the the charred chilies in a glass bowl, and cover with saran wrap for 15 minutes to steam. Peel, seed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onion until slightly charred, about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, and after about a minute, add oregano, and 1 cup water. Simmer until water evaporates, about 5-7 minutes.

Add chilies, cook another 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and monterey jack cheese until melted. Season with salt if necessary.

Serve on Tortilla shells, and dress with lime and cilantro. A sweeter white wine like riesling pairs perfectly with the smoky spice.

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