green tomato walnut cinnamon bread

11.06.2019

 
I've been holding on to tomato growing season as long as I possibly could. I really pushed the limits this year.... but I also believe that I really utilized my tomatoes as best as I ever have. I have processed and canned a whole lot of sauce. It has been living in stacks on my kitchen counter since mid-September so time to divide up the winnings and store for Winter.

I worked pretty hard to ripen the most tomatoes possible but still ended up with many green ones. There are some fairly traditional recipes for green tomatoes: fried green tomatoes and relish. I didn't not have it in me to do any more canning so I turned to a 3rd option.... this green tomato bread. I think you can put it in the zucchini bread bucket if you are looking to classify it. 

Frankly it would be hard for this bread to be disappointing. It has all the components for success: butter, sugar, and cinnamon. The tomatoes are finely diced enough that they don't affect the consistency of the bread the way bananas sometimes do (which by the way I have a couple sitting on my counter waiting for me to tackle). To make this bread a little different, I added in walnuts and raisins. I used just what I had on hand but I would probably opt for golden raisins next time since I feel like they are sweeter.

This was so easy to make that I might pull a few more tomatoes off the vines before the next cold snap comes through... maybe there is another batch of green tomato bread in me before I put up my Christmas trees.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  2. Grease and flour two 9x5-inch loaf pans.
  3. Blend butter and sugar until smooth in a stand mixer. Add in eggs one at a time and blend until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine tomatoes, walnuts, vanilla extract, and salt together in a large bowl until well blended. 
  5. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder together in a separate bowl; stir into egg mixture until just blended. 
  6. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before transferring loaves to wire racks to cool completely.
Shopping List
2 cups finely diced green tomatoes
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

pumpkin brown butter mac and cheese

11.05.2019

Here is another dish to sneak some veggies into your diet... also who doesn't love mac and cheese? I was hosting a small gathering for Halloween. Halloween is a big holiday in my neighborhood. Houses don't go crazy with decorations but there are endless amounts of kids running around. I buy my candy in bulk from Amazon and simultaneously pray that they come and eat it all ... and also that I don't run out.

I fell in love with this recipe from Food52 because it optimizes for crunchiness. We are a family that would fight to the death over the corner pieces from a Stouffers mac and cheese. There were some comments that it could be cheesier - and I get that. So if that is you, just amp up the cheese but honestly I loved it! You get a bit of a crunch on the bottom of the pan and on the top. The pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas) were a hit as well. My mom commented on them several times.

Here's how it goes.
  1. Heat oven to 475°F. Grease a 11x17-inch sheet pan with rimmed edges.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for only 4 to 5 minutes, so they’re quite al dente—just soft enough that if you taste one, there's no audible crunch. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water and drain the pot of pasta.
  3. In the same pot you used for the noodles, brown 6 tablespoons of butter: Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until it foams. The foam will recede, and the butter will be golden-tan. (If your pot is dark, you’ll know it’s ready when it starts to give off a deeply appealing rich, nutty scent.) Turn the heat down to low.
  4. Add the noodles back to the pot and immediately toss so your butter doesn’t stay on the bottom and burn. Drizzle in a few tablespoons of the hot reserved cooking water. Add the salt, pepper, three-quarters of the cheddar (about 12 ounces), Pecorino, and milk, and stir until you have a homogenous, creamy sauce. Mix in the pumpkin puree, adding a little more reserved water if needed to thin slightly. Turn off the heat.
  5. Transfer to the sheet pan, and sprinkle the remaining 4 ounces of cheddar, the panko, and the pumpkin seeds over the top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the panko is nice and toasted, and some of the cheesy noodles sticking out around the edges are tinged with amber spots.
Shopping List
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for pasta water
1 pound cavatappi (or other twisty pasta shape with lots of nooks for cheese to nestle into)
6 tablespoons butter, plus more to grease the pan
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (you can substitute black or rainbow if you prefer)
1 pound sharp cheddar, grated
4 ounces Pecorino Romano, grated
1 cup whole milk
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
1 1/4 cups plain panko
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), raw
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