Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hummus with smoked paprika butter and za'atar


I love recipes like this that take something standard (hummus) and elevate it to a new level by adding something unexpected that I never would have thought of (smoked paprika butter!). Also, although I usually focus on vegetable recipes for this blog, it's nice to sometimes make something with pantry ingredients. Especially because I was out of town over the weekend and didn't make it to the farmers' market. I do wish I had fresh summer veggies (especially corn and tomatoes) around, but this hummus definitely distracted me from their absence! I really loved this - the hummus is super creamy, the smoked paprika butter adds richness and spice, and the za'atar adds wonderful flavor. I found this recipe in Food & Wine, and according to the headnote, the chef that created it (Sameh Wadi) makes several other hummus variations at his restaurant Saffron. After tasting this one, I definitely want to try them all!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Tomato and corn pie


I generally feel that summer is a time for simple food. Life moves at a leisurely pace during the summer months (relatively speaking), and the seasonal produce doesn't need a lot of manipulation to taste awesome. But every once in a while, I get the urge to make something elaborate, something that will show off summer vegetables in a special way. This tomato and corn pie does just that. I have actually been wanting to make this recipe since 2009, ever since it was posted on Smitten Kitchen. Somehow three years went by, and  though the recipe crossed my mind often, I never got around to making it. I finally got my act together and gave it a try this past weekend, and I can't believe I waited this long! This recipe combines fresh tomatoes and corn with herbs and cheddar cheese, and encases it all in a flaky crust. It's really wonderful, ideal for a special summer dinner. I'd say it's perfect to serve to guests, except for the fact that you're not going to want to share...


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tomatoes stuffed with roasted peppers, tuna, capers, and olives


My first week at the new job went very well - it was somewhat overwhelming, of course, meeting new people and getting oriented to the projects that I'll be working on. But overall, I feel like I've already learned a lot and I'm definitely excited about the work! I think the hardest thing was adjusting to a full-time work schedule again - I was surprised at how little energy I had for cooking when I got home each day. I'm sure I'll get used to the schedule soon enough, but for this week I made a meal plan to make things a bit easier. As I made the plan, I made sure to pick out a couple recipes from my new Middle Eastern cookbook to try.

This stuffed tomato recipe is perfect for this time of year, when the tomatoes are so great. It's a Tunisian recipe, and it's wonderful. The tomatoes are stuffed with roasted red peppers, tuna, capers, and olives. Add in some garlic, parsley, and a chile pepper, and I'm sure you can imagine how flavorful this is!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Zucchini fritters


I've been keeping a bit of news from you - I start a new job on Monday! My time off (aka "funemployment") is officially coming to an end. I'm ready for it though - the job is in public health, which is a field I have been wanting to enter for a while, and I'm really excited about it. Anyway, I bring this up because even though I sometimes wonder if I have too many cookbooks, I still bought myself two more to celebrate getting the job offer. One of these was Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. Ever since our trip to Turkey, I've been very interested in exploring the food of the Middle East, particularly the mezes.

The first recipe I decided to try was for Turkish zucchini fritters. Shredded zucchini and onion are mixed with herbs and feta cheese to make the batter, and then the fritters are pan fried. These fritters have a thin crisp crust, but are very soft and melty on the inside, due to the cheese. I especially love the addition of mint to the batter. For those of you looking for new ways to use up a bumper crop of zucchini, give this a try!