Tomato Pie: Smack Your Granny Good

Heather says:

Two years ago I stumbled upon the deliciousness that is tomato pie. The framework for this recipe can be credited to Paula Deen, but it has been played with enough, to call it my own.

Before giving this pie a shot, make sure you have fully ripe tomatoes. I know, I know it’s tempting, what with the bacon and basil, but just sit tight and wait. Don’t ruin this with a tomato that has seen the inside of a refrigerator. Fine, you won’t ruin it, but. . . it’ll be worth it.

Some people get very persnickety about the bottom crust. You have three options:

  1. Blind bake -pre-bake the bottom crust-  but know that you will absolutely have to protect the edge of your pie during the real baking and I hate putzing around with foil like that
  2. Instead of draining the seeded tomato slices in a colander you can do so on a clean flour sack towel -it doesn’t have to be that particular one, you just don’t want to end up with linty tomatoes. Bleh.
  3. Suck it up and deal with it because it’s delicious.

Double Crust Tomato Onion Bacon Pie

Double Crust Tomato, Onion, and Bacon Pie Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 recipe pie crust (9″ pie) – feel free to cheat and use refrigerated pie crust if you’re in a hurry and sometimes I am
  • 4 very ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 3 slices bacon crumbled
  • 3 TBSP cream cheese or mayonnaise*
  • 1 tsp dried basil, divided -If you have fresh, use a small handfull and cut into a chiffonade -fancy word meaning thin raggy strips
  • salt/pepper to taste

*It absolutely must be mayonnaise, not low-fat and for the love of all that is holy not miracle whip

Tomato Pie Recipe Instructions

Core each tomato. This is simply a matter of removing the hard area around the stem. Cut each tomato in half through the equator. Use your finger to scoop the seeds out and into the trash or sink. Then slice each tomato. Place the sliced tomatoes in a colander over a large bowl or the sink, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow this to sit while preparing the other ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Slice the onion very thinly. No, thinner. No, thinner still, we want the Calista Flockhart of onions.

In a bowl combine the cheese, bacon, and 3TBSP mayo. Mix thoroughly.

tomato layerCarefully lay the bottom pie crust in a 9″ pie plate. Arrange a layer of tomatoes, sprinkle with half the sliced onion and 1/2 tsp dried basil.

Repeat the first layer with the remaining tomatoes, onion, and basil.

Top with cheese mixture. Add the second crust, seal the edges, and cut slits in the top.

Use water to glue on any decorative touches.

Use water to glue on any decorative touches.

Tomato PieBake for 45 minutes, checking after 30. Use the foil trick from the pie crust recipe to protect the edges of the crust.

Allow the pie to cool for 10 minutes (at least) on a wire rack. If you can wait longer to slice the pie, the cheese won’t be as runny.

We look at each other and say, but we LIKE the cheese to be runny.

Enjoy.

***Submitted to: Mouthwatering Mondays***

The Pre-Occupied Man’s Spaghetti

Brian says:
Let’s face it, we can find ourselves relatively busy throughout the week (and some weekends, unfortunately) and cooking can become something of a chore more than an essential trait over time. Now, I can’t really provide an all-inclusive way to end this vicious cycle, but there is a recipe I have up my sleeve to help ease the stress. This spaghetti pomodoro recipe–taught to me by an old Sicilian nanny–is simple, fast and unbelievably delicious. Give it a try the next time you’re feeling swamped. Serves two.

 

You’ll need:

  •  9 oz. of uncooked spaghetti
  •  1 16-oz. can of peeled tomatoes. If you can your own that’s even better!
  •  3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  •  Extra virgin olive oil
  •  Salt and pepper
  •  Freshly grated cheese (I recommend Parmigiano-reggiano)
  •  Parsley, fresh and chopped (optional)
  •  Red pepper flakes (optional)
  •  Sugar (optional)

 

1. In a sizable saute pan, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. On medium heat, add the garlic and saute until it starts to brown. At this point, turn off the heat and add the red pepper and parsley (both optional) and let stand for about 10 minutes.

2. Turn the heat back on to medium-low and add the canned tomatoes, crushing them by hand as you add them. Once crushed into the pan, season with salt and pepper. You can add a pinch of sugar as well to eliminate the acidity. Let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes until all the excess water has been cooked away.

3. While this is going on, boil the spaghetti in generously salted water until it’s al dente. Once finished, set one cup of the pasta water to the side and drain.

4. Add about a 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the sauce, let cook for a minute or so then add the pasta to the pan until it’s coated and has started to absorb the sauce.

5. Pour pasta into a bowl, incorporating the grated cheese until the sauce gains a creamy consistency. Serve immediately.

Brian Wilder is a writer for Home Ec 101. You can also find him at Things My Grandfather Taught Me.
If you have a question you’d like Brian to answer send it to Brian@home-ec101.com.

 

Cheeseburger Macaroni

Heather says:

There are some meals that are so simple that I’ve forgotten to include them in the recipe files here on Home Ec 101. This easy recipe for Cheeseburger Macaroni is one of the forgotten go to meals. This quick dinner is a great for busy weeknights.

It is as simple as it sounds, but the key difference between cheeseburger macaroni that is meh and cheeseburger macaroni full of awesome is how long you cook the hamburger. Seriously, if your hamburger is just barely grey with little or no browning from the Maillard Reaction you’re going to miss out on whole slew of flavors. Am I saying to crank the heat to high and turn the burger into a charcoal briquette? Heck no. Just let go a little past barely done before draining. This recipe takes no longer than the kind that comes in a pot, but it’s worth the extra pan.  Sometimes you pay for flavor with a couple of extra dishes.

Cheeseburger macaroni is a great starter meal for those just learning how to cook. Just be sure to serve it with some form of vegetable…Please?

Here’s your printable shopping list for this recipe.

Easy Cheeseburger Macaroni Recipe


Cheeseburger Macaroni

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

In a large skillet, brown the meat over medium low until nearly done and then drain off the grease. Return to the skillet and add the diced onion and minced garlic. Continue cooking over low heat until the meat has browned and the onions are soft.

While the meat is browning make:

1 Recipe for Homemade Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1/2 lb elbow macaroni
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 5oz evaporated milk or 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 10 oz sharp cheddar, shredded

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente. While the noodles are cooking, whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk OR half and half, hot sauce, dry mustard, and salt / pepper

Drain. While the noodles are draining melt the 4 TBSP of butter in the pan, then return the pasta to the pot. Stir to make sure all of the pasta is coated evenly. (The burner should be off). Add the sauce and turn the burner to low, stir the macaroni until it is evenly coated in the sauce mixture. Then stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until everything is melted and wonderful.

Dump the contents of the pot into the skillet with the ground beef. Stir to combine and serve.

If you want to stretch the meal further consider stirring in:

2 cups of cooked pinto or kidney beans -stir into the ground beef just before adding the macaroni

or diced bell pepper -stir the bell pepper in just after the onions are added to the ground beef.

or diced tomatoes – fresh or canned.

It’s that easy.

Submitted to A Southern Fairy Tale’s Mouthwatering Monday – A Healthier Chicken Parmesan and Tasty Tuesdays.

Vegetable Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Heather says:

Winter is officially here and eating seasonally in the winter can certainly be difficult. Well, difficult if you like variety that is. For the most part we’re reduced to vegetables that store well, like squashes and potatoes, along with hardy vegetables from the brassica genus: brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, etc. I’m not too strict with my efforts to eat seasonally during the winter months, I just like to keep it to a decent percentage of our consumption. It’s significantly easier the rest of the year.

I’ve been wanting to make cabbage rolls, but we’ve been out of ground beef for a while now -we buy beef  in bulk. So I decided to give a vegetarian version of stuffed cabbage a go. This recipe would work as a main dish for a couple or as a side dish for a family over 4. This recipe also taught me that my version of “steam until just tender” and the source’s are quite different. Next time I’ll steam the cabbage until nearly limp.

If you don’t have vegetable stock on hand, don’t worry chicken stock works quite well.

Vegetable Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Vegetable Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

  • 8 leaves green cabbage, steamed until tender, but not falling apart
  • 2 cups cooked rice (feel free to substitute brown, if that’s how you swing)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil or butter
  • 1 medium onion – diced (How to dice an onion)
  • 1 bell pepper diced, preferably red or yellow
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 14.5oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce (L&P is gluten free in the US, but not in Canada, look for those made w/out malt vinegar)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp each: oregano, thyme, basil + a pinch each for the sauce

Vegetable Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Preheat the oven to 325°F

In a heavy skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in the olive oil or butter. Add ½ teaspoon each of oregano, thyme, and basil.  Cook until the onions are soft. Turn off the heat and stir in the rice, then the beaten eggs.

One at a time, spoon the rice mixture into the center of a steamed cabbage leaf. Wrap the leaf around the mix and place in an oven safe casserole dish.

In the empty skillet, stir together the tomato sauce, vegetable stock, worcestershire and a small pinch each of oregano, thyme, and basil. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls and bake for 45 minutes.

Enjoy!

Shared on Musings of Housewife