Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Got Tomatoes ????

Here's three great recipes for fresh tomatoes:

Tomatoes, Pecans, Peaches, Blue Cheese and Basil Salad
Makes 6 servings

1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (if no white is available, ok to use dark brown)
1 garlic clove, minced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large fresh peach, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
2-3 lb. sliced heirloom tomatoes
3oz crumbled blue cheese (substitute with goat or feta if you prefer)
½-3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk together balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, olive oil, and salt. Stir in diced peaches into mixture Place single layer of sliced tomatoes on serving platter. (I usually overlap one edge of tomatoes for a nice presentation) Spoon out peach/balsamic/olive oil mixture over tomatoes. Then sprinkle crumbled cheese, chopped toasted pecans on top of tomatoes. Next sprinkle chiffonade of basil on top. Finally, sprinkle freshly ground pepper to taste. (If you prefer, top with additional sea salt. I prefer to skip this step but I’ve been accused of “under-salting”!)

Grilled Tomatoes with Basil Vinaigrette
Makes 6 servings

3 yellow tomatoes
3 red tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Garnish: fresh basil sprigs

Clean and preheat grill. (You may also prepare this recipe indoors using a grill pan on the stovetop). Soak skewers submerged in water for at least ½ hr. Cut tomatoes in half; thread onto skewers, alternating colors. Brush with 1-2 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium heat (300° to 350°) 10 minutes, turning skewers often. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and basil; drizzle over kabobs. Garnish with fresh basil, chiffonade cut.

Roasted Tomatoes with Feta and Basil
Makes 6 servings

6 plum tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon mixed fresh herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, etc)
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup Italian dressing (use olive oil and mix of fresh herbs from your garden or from the farmer's market)
Handful fresh basil, chiffonade cut


Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise, and place, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper to taste, Italian seasoning, and feta cheese. Drizzle evenly with 1/4 cup Italian dressing. Broil 3 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or just until cheese starts to brown.

Simple Homemade Barbecue Sauce !

Basic Barbecue Sauce

This traditional American barbecue sauce is good on chicken, spareribs and hamburgers as well as beef brisket sandwiches. Because the sauce contains sugar, it burns easily and should be brushed on during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking. Use any remaining sauce to finish, just before serving.


2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups ketchup
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently, stirring for about 3 minutes. Add the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chili powder and cayenne. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered until the sauce had thickened slightly, for about 20 minutes. Makes about 2 ½ cups.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

whew whooooooo

Two days left--- then the Summer program ends at The Burrage Mansion. Thanks to the wonderful staff from Kaiser Hospital, Boys and Girls Club of Redlands and The Rochford Foundation for making this wonderful program possible. More soon on this fantastic project. Support your local Boys and Girls Club !

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Locally Produced Olive Oil !

Over the last few months, I've been purchasing olive oil from Malibu Olive Company, at the downtown Redlands Farmer's Market. I've also seen Malibu Olive Co selling their wonderful products at other area farmer's markets, such as Palm Springs.

All of the olive oils Malibu Olive Co produces are incredible, it's probably the best olive oil I've ever tasted. AND, it's great to be able to finally tell clients I am using locally produced olive oil.

Be sure to pick up your bottle of Malibu Olive Oil, I know you'll find it to be delicious too. If you're just started to learn more about olive oil and the various flavor pallets- stop by the Malibu Olivre Co booth at the downtown Redlands Farmer's Market for a sample. The staff from Malibu Olive Co will educate you about various types of olive oils, what characteristics to look for in quality olive oil and give you samples to distinguish the various types.

The Farmer's Chef