Tag Archives: family favorites

Tomato-Cheddar Cornmeal Crust Tart & Hurricane Pie

27 Aug

Q: What happens when you visit the in-laws for vacation but the East Coast shuts down because of Irene*?

A: You come home with four kids and a hairy beast and a soggy husband and scrounge.  The shelves look like Soviet markets circa 1982 or my older brother’s fridge that first year out of college (hint: mustard is not a food group).  We let the kids entertain themselves on the long car trip back by reading, taking turns kicking each other’s seat and/or annoying each other by chewing gum loudly or humming, and making up new lyrics for songs.  Now, you might be thinking, “Gee, I wish my kids were creative enough to a) know b-sides of Beatles’ songs well enough to change the words.”  If so, you were NOT in the car with us and thus didn’t get to hear the 9 year old and 12 year old compete for who could be grosser-slash-less appropriate (Dear Poo-dence was only the first step). But all four of them got along well and laughed and the rain was thick and my husband’s hand was on my arm.

I thought about posting the lyrics, but decided I’d post the recipe for Hurricane Pie.  I made two – one to cover tonight’s shitstorm and one for tomorrow’s.

Tomato-Cheddar Cornmeal Crust Tart (aka Hurricane Pie)

Our CSA gave (read: unloaded) about seventeen pounds of tomatoes in the past couple of weeks. I’ve canned sauce and frozen sauce.  I’ve dried tiny tomatoes and soaked others in garlic and oil for the jar I keep in the fridge.  I happened to have yellow tomatoes and red, but feel free to use whatever you like.

1-2 lbs tomatoes, cored and sliced
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup grated cheddar (sharp is best)
3/4 cup other (try Gruyere or Pecorino)
for the crust:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp coconut oil
6 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup very cold water
Oven to 375.  Salt the tomatoes and let drain while you make the crust. Mix flours and meal.  Add salt.  Cut the butter and coconut oil into the mixture.  Add the water bit by bit until dough starts to form.  Work into a ball and let rest in the fridge for about ten minutes.  Roll onto floured surface (this yields two crust bottoms or one full pie – up to you) and fit into tart pan.  Mix Greek yogurt, mustard, and lemon juice.  Using kitchen towel, pat tomatoes as dry as you can.  Fill the tart crust(s)with tomatoes and slather with yogurt mixture. Top with both cheeses.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes until crust is browning and cheese is bubbling.  Serve with garlic green beans or simple mache salad.
*Yes, I am am aware that hurricanes Emily and Franklin both graced us this year.

Triple Cheese Polenta & You Married…her?

12 Aug

It’s official; I am now in touch with everyone I have ever met.

It used be that people lost touch.  I made friends at a summer job or met a boy in creative writing class and we had to write actual letters in order to keep knowing each other.

here is an essay I wrote back when Google became a verb all about those infamous searches we do to locate our pasts.

Up until last night, there was one person missing from the parade of old friends.  OKay, fine, he’s the one old boyfriend who seemed to drop off the face(book) of the planet.  I actually wrote about him in here but havent done much searching…

I don’t know where I pictured this used-to-be boy now man living, but I hoped he’d be a writer because we’d met through a writing class and he’d written the funniest postcard ever and I helped him learn how to end a story.  How did our story end?  With my immaturity.  He wanted a real girlfriend.  I didn’t know how to be that.

But don’t feel bad for him.  It worked okay.  See, the reason I hadn’t seen his name in the publishing world or our overlapping alumni newsletters is because he changed his surname back to his mother’s maiden name, published tow bestsellers, wrote screenplays for huge blockbusters starring those golden people who are always on the cover of weekly mags, and – wait for it  – married an a-list actress.

How do I feel reading that from my comfortable, quirky farmhouse in which my four children are running around in various stages of undress waiting for one of their favorite meals, my pediatrician husband is singing Ben Folds, and I am stirring polenta for the second time this week?

I feel fine.  David, I am so glad life worked out for you, so happy for your successes in work and love, and I have just the slightest bit of regret or perhaps it’s that wonder at what would have been.  Your actress wife is really funny and pretty and I would happily give back the t-shirt and boxers you gave me, but I will never let go of that funny postcard.

Triple Cheese Polenta

This is the Italian comfort food you’ve been looking for your whole life.  The kind of food that makes you taste it and say Oh my word…texturally satisfying with layers of flavor this is best hot and served with vegetables you’ve quickly cooked in a skillet with olive oil and a pinch of salt. You can use different cheeses; Fontina is great for melting.  Add cheddar last as it will become stringy if stirred too much.

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup polenta

2 oz Taleggio cheese in pieces

1/3 cup Asagio fresca in slices or pieces

1/3 cup grated cheddar

Bring stock to a rapid boil and add polenta in a steady stream, stirring with a wooden spoon as you do so.  Keep stirring until the mixture is thick and polenta has swollen, about 12 minutes.  Add Taleggio and stir to melt.  Start your vegetables on high.  Add the Asagio fresca.  Let sit in the polenta to melt.  When veggies are done, reduce heat on polenta and add cheddar.  Stir and cover to finish melting.  Serve right away without looking back.


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