Wednesday, September 6, 2017

End of the Season

 Nothing says summer, more than vine ripened tomatoes, and fresh corn on the cob.  Heading into September, in many parts of the US the tomatoes are either at their peak or dying on the vines, due to inclement weather.  While we were at our daughter's home in Connecticut last week, we had beautiful tomatoes given to her by a friend, and some local farm stand corn.  While everyone was out for the day, I got to play in the kitchen and make my Nonna's stuffed tomatoes, which always signaled summer for me, and since there were only 4 ears of corn, and we were at least 6 at dinner, I decided to make a saute of the sweet corn and green beans.  I will ask your patience, since I hadn't planned on blogging about these dishes, and only took photos of the finished dishes, I'll hope that my descriptions will help you to make these simple end of summer recipes.  Truth be told, you could make the corn during the year using frozen defrosted corn, and I know people who make the tomatoes using halved cherry tomatoes.

Nonna's Stuffed Tomatoes
Serves 6 to 8
You will need large beefsteak tomatoes for this dish, since one half will serve one person.  

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large tomatoes, cut in half horizontally
salt and pepper
2 cups fresh bread crumbs (run a baguette through the food processor)
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
3 garlic cloves, minced

  1. Film the bottom of a large skillet, with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  2. Arrange the tomatoes in the skillet cut side up.
  3. In a bowl combine the crumbs, cheese, parsley, basil and garlic, stirring to blend. 
  4. Mound the mixture onto each tomato, drizzle with olive oil and bring the heat to medium high.
  5. When the tomatoes start to sizzle add 1/3 cup water, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, 
  6. baste the tomatoes with any of the juices in the pan, cover and cook another 10 minutes.  
  7. If the liquid in the pan is evaporated add another 1/3 cup water to the pan, and cook uncovered, basting with the liquid in the pan for another 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender.  
  8. Serve the tomatoes hot or at room temperature.  
  9. The tomatoes are delicious with grilled meats, poultry and seafood.  

Corn and Green Bean Saute
Serves 6

1/2 pound green beans, ends snipped
6 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
4 cups corn cut from the cob

1/4 cup vegetable broth (or you could use 1/2 and 1/2)
salt and pepper

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and blanch the green beans for 3 minutes.  Drain and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, remove all but 1 tablespoon of drippings, add the shallot and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until the shallot is softened.  
  3. Add the corn and broth or 1/2 and 1/2, sauteing for 2 to 4 minutes, until the corn is tender.  
  4. Add the green beans to the skillet, and toss to heat through.  Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve warm.  

Dr. C. and I are in Frankfort on our way to Rome, and then to Spello for the next two months.  We will be heading North in a week to Lake Garda and Trentino Alto Adige (check out the map) Dr. C's bucket list of driving the Stelvio Pass is part of the trip--we'll be driving a rented classic Alfa Romeo, and I'll be filming, so stay tuned.  
Until next time, Ciao for now.

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