Tomatillo Salsa

My mom has been making this salsa for as long as I can remember. After Thanksgiving she always makes a big batch of it and then cooks up the leftover turkey in the green salsa for a taco or enchilada filling. It’s one of the tastiest and healthiest post-thanksgiving meals. The tomatillos make it slightly tangy and you can adjust the spiciness depending on how many chiles and what kind you use.


summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

  • 20 medium sized tomatillos
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 serrano
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • salt
  1. peel tomatillos and quarter, chop a jalapeno and a serrano in thirds
  2. put tomatillos and peppers in a medium sized pot and add enough chicken broth to cover tomatillos
  3. bring to a boil then bring it down to a simmer  (uncovered) until tomatillos are soft, remove from heat and let cool
  4. remove the big stems from the cilantro but otherwise you can leave it intact, wash
  5. clean garlic and put cloves in a Vitamix, along with the tomatillo mixture and the cilantro
  6. blend until fairly smooth (a few of seconds), then add salt or more chilis to taste

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Stuffed Delicata Squash

    • 2 delicata squashes
    • 1 cup walnuts
    • 1/2 cup sage
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 cup chicken broth
    • 1/2 cup asiago
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 cup Caramelized Shallots and Apples
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • salt n peppa
    1. pre-heat oven to 350°F
    2. mince garlic, grate or shred asiago and chop the walnuts and sage
    3. cut squashes in half and spoon out seeds and insides
    4. lay them skin side down and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
    5. in a mixing bowl, mix walnuts, garlic, sage, egg, chicken broth and caramelized onions and apples
    6. fill the squashes with the mixture then bake for 20 minutes or until starting to turn golden
    7. sprinkle asiago on top and put under broiler for 5 more minutes or until cheese is completely melted and starting to crisp

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Zucchini, Jalapeno, Asiago Bread

Last week we had excessive amounts of jalapenos and I was going  to visit my grandpa (Nonno) who is jalapeno’s number one fan so I decided to spice up some zucchini bread with jalapenos and add some cheese in for good measure. He approved.

  • 4 jalapenos
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup grated asiago
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  1. pre-heat oven to 350°F and line a bread pan with parchment paper or butter or cooking spray
  2. whisk eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until smooth
  3. whisk flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg
  4. make a well in center of dry ingredients, add egg mix and slowly combine, then fold in zucchini
  5. de-seed jalapenos and dice them, then add them into dough along with grated cheese
  6. bake for about 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Sautéed Rainbow Chard

  • 1 bunch rainbow chard
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  1. heat olive oil and garlic in a large pan until  garlic turns opaque
  2. slice rainbow chard
  3. add to the pan and pour chicken broth over
  4. at medium low heat, let cook down to a bit, until chard starts turning dark
  5. add slivered almonds and raisins, add a little water if it’s wilting too fast

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Tahini Cauliflower w/ Caramelized Shallots

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 medium-sized eggplant (diced)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp apricot jalapeno jam (optional)
  • 1/2 shallot
  • black pepper
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pat butter

  1. caramelize shallot in the 2 tbsp olive oil and butter, remove from pan
  2. add remaining tbsp olive oil to pan at medium heat
  3. cut florets off cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and add to pan, drizzle vinegar and jam over top (optional, could replace w/ honey)
  4. after 5 minutes add eggplant and continue to cook at medium-low heat, making sure the eggplant doesn’t turn to mush but it cooked through (opaque-looking) grind pepper over top
  5. take off heat and mix in a bowl w/ shallot, mustard and capers

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Plum Goat Cheese Tart

A couple of weeks ago we went to the swap meet and thought it was a good idea to buy five pounds of plums before trying them. They were chalky and gross and never ripened. Luckily, I am quite the problem solver especially when it comes to all things food related. In one of the most magical transformations I’ve ever participated in, plum jam was created.

plum jam:

  • 10 plums (don’t worry if they’re unripe and tasteless, it’ll be better if they are tasty but it’s not absolutely necessary as evidenced by the swap meet fiasco)
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Slice plums and heat, covered, on medium-low heat with lemon juice.
  2. Let cook undisturbed for 10 minutes, then stir in honey and cinnamon
  3. tilt lid up to let out some moisture and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until desired consistency is reached

This jam is great on toast, yogurt or cottage cheese as well. I think I am going to make baked brie w/ it tomorrow night. This tart was a wonderful and easy dinner/dessert. Puff pastry is a great pantry (er freezer) staple to have on hand because of its’ versatility and scrumptious-ness.

plum jam, goat cheese tart:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 cup plum jam (link)
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese

  1. pre-heat oven to 400°F, thaw puff pastry and roll out on lined baking sheet
  2. poke middle with a fork, leaving a 1 inch border, sprinkle with 1/2 the goat cheese and bake at 400° F for 10 minutes or until it starts to turn gold
  3. remove and spread the jam in an even layer over the middle part then sprinkle the rest of the goat cheese on top, continue baking, about 1o minutes, or until cheese melts and crust turns golden

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Marinated Goat Cheese Balls with Artichokes, Olives and Tomatoes

I got this recipe from the Food & Wine website in a French picnic slide-show. I made it for the sangria party night. I was especially interested in it because not only do I love all of the elements but the piment d’Espelette is a specialty of the Basque region near where I spent the first half of the year studying abroad. There I tried everything with the special chilli flavoring, from chocolate to cheeses.
summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh goat cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1/2 tsp piment d’Espelette pepper or hot paprika
  • salt
  • 1 quart evoo
  • 20 cooked baby artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup red cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup Niçoise olives
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and bake for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  2. In a standing mixer, using the paddle, blend the goat cheese with the toasted pine nuts, rosemary, thyme and piment d’Espelette. Alternatively, blend the cheese in a bowl using a wooden spoon. Season with salt. Shape rounded tablespoons of the seasoned cheese into balls.
  3. Pour 1 inch of olive oil into a tall 1-gallon glass container. Layer the cheese balls, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and olives in the container with enough of the remaining olive oil to cover. Let marinate at room temperature for 24 hours. Serve with the toasted baguette.

Original recipe:

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Fig & Olive Tapenade

I love figs. so. much. We’ve had a big ole fig tree in our front yard for as long as I can remember. I used to take my first-day-of-school photos in front of it every year. Last year when I went back to school in SLO my friend and I realized how many figs were going uneaten on our fellow community members’ bountiful trees. We decided it was not only tragic but a crime against humanity so we started doing nighttime missions to relieve their trees and transport the fat figs to a more happy home, with us. Where they would be thoroughly appreciated*. Although they aren’t the black mission figs I am used to from my tree in San Diego, they are free and we do it for the figs sake, so I’m not going to complain. BUT the late summer months at home when our tree produces, are some of my favorite days of the year. I check the tree daily, sometimes two or three times. I will not let a fig go to waste. I’ve made many a fig recipe this year but this is one of the simplest and tastiest.

Fig & Olive Tapenade

  • 10 ripe figs
  • 2 cups pitted kalamata olives
  • a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 sprigs rosemary and or thyme

Blend ingredients together and get some good crackers or bread. It’s also divine on top of roast chicken or next to herby lamb meatballs.

*we have also been asked to leave our schools’ orchards, for sneaking into the fig tree enclosure

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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