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home : news : news
September 25, 2021

8/27/2021 11:36:00 AM
Don't throw your tomatoes at me, cook with them!
by JEFF NORTON


Now that we’ve done two weeks of zucchini recipes, it’s time to revisit other favorites from another bountiful summer harvest: tomatoes.

We’ve had an abundance of tomatoes coming in this year, but I’ve heard from others that their tomatoes just aren’t coming in strong or ripening for them. Not sure what I did differently since I am usually a brown thumb extraordinaire, but here we are with a few more tomato recipes to get put to use.

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PAN SEARED CHICKEN WITH TOMATO-OLIVE RELISH
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 (6-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. finely chopped basil
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 c. chopped pitted green olives

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Add one teaspoon oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook six minutes on each side or until done.

While chicken cooks, combine remaining one teaspoon olive oil, basil, and vinegar in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cherry tomatoes and olives; toss to coat. Serve relish with chicken. Makes four main dish servings.

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I am admitting to grand theft right here in this column.

I stole this recipe from an old Alice column. I like to take a look at her old ones just to get a vibe of what the seasons are and what’s popular in recipes at what time, and I found this gem.

I made it last week for my parents when they came over to the house and paired it with some traditional spaghetti, and it was great. It’s cheesy, tomato-y and fluffy, so you know it goes great with Italian food.

Of course it’s not great for you health-wise, but the taste is A-plus!


TOMATO CHEESE BREAD
TOPPING:
1 medium onion, minced
2 T. butter
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. mayo
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. each, pepper and oregano
Pinch of leaf sage

BREAD
2/3 c. milk
2 c. biscuit mix
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Pinch of paprika

Prepare topping by sauteeing onion and butter in a small skillet until tender. Put remaining topping ingredients in a bowl; blend in sauteed onions; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine milk and biscuit mix to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto a well-floured surface; knead lightly for 10-12 strokes. Pat dough down on the bottom of buttered 9x13 inch baking pan, pushing dough up sides of pan to form a shallow rim. Arrange tomato slices over dough. Spoon on topping: sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Makes nine to 12 servings.

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I’m a sucker for comfort food and I’m Minnesotan, so of course I love casseroles. This is a fun, creative casserole that combines the traditional grilled cheese and tomato soup into one hearty, large dish.

GRILLED CHEESE & TOMATO SOUP CASSEROLE SANDWICHES
16 slices sourdough bread
8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
One 5 oz. container of soft, spreadable cheese (or other style of soft, spreadable cheese)
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 8 thick pieces

SOUP
1-14 oz. can tomato sauce
1/3 c. tomato paste
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. shredded white cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Butter one side of each slice of bread with 1/2 tablespoon soft butter. Flip the slices over and spread one tablespoon cheese on eight pieces of the bread. Place one slice of mozzarella on top of the spreadable cheese and then finish with one more piece of bread, butter side up, to close the sandwiches.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place the sandwiches on the hot griddle and cook until both sides are toasted, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the sandwiches aside.

In a medium pot, whisk the tomato sauce with the tomato paste until smooth. Heat over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer. Stir in the cream and thyme.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Pour about a third of the hot tomato mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly to combine.

Return the mixture to the pot and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly, three to four minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour half of the tomato mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Arrange the sandwiches inside the dish and then pour the remaining tomato mixture on top.
Sprinkle the cheddar evenly over the casserole. Bake until the tomato mixture is bubbly and the cheese is melted, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let cool for five minutes before serving warm. Serves 8-12.

TFD: You’re never too important to be nice to people.



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