Cherry Tomato Clafoutis

Myrna sent me this recipe from her newsletter from PBS,  Because I had a couple of pots of red and orange cherry tomatoes and a pot of French thyme on my patio, she thought this was a recipe I should try.
It’s is a take on clafoutis, which is usually a sweet dessert with cherries or plums.  Somewhere between a cake and a custard, if you forgo the sugar and vanilla, the ingredients aren’t all that far off from a quiche or frittata.   We thought it tasted like an oven-omelet, and it was certainly easy and delicious. 
I poured the batter into the pie plate first, then arranged my tomatoes, then sprinkled with cheese, so the tomatoes would be where I wanted them.  We’ll have this again, but you should know that the tomatoes were very hot, and you probably should let this set 5 or 10 minutes before serving.  I didn’t have Comte cheese, so I used some mixed Gruyere and Emmenthaler that I had on hand; really, I think even cheddar would be delicious.   It really puffs up in the oven, and I worried that I might overcook it, but it was perfect.  The center must be puffed and golden before it’s done.
Thanks, Myrna, for the heads up on this recipe.

                         Cherry Tomato Clafoutis
  1           teaspoon  butter
  8 ½       ounces  cherry tomatoes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  4           eggs
     ½       cup  whole milk
     ¼       cup  heavy cream
  1           ounce  all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
  1           teaspoon  fresh thyme leaves
     ½       teaspoon  salt
     ¼       teaspoon  black pepper
  2           Ounces  Comté cheese -- grated (I used Gruyere and Emmenthaler)

Move your oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8" pie dish or cake pan and then add the cherry tomatoes evenly spaced. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, flour, thyme, salt and pepper until smooth and free of lumps. Slowly pour the mixture over the tomatoes, being careful not to clump the tomatoes together. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until puffy and golden brown (about 35-40 minutes).Slice and serve hot or at room temperature.

4 Servings

Use It Up...Egg Yolks

Eggs are a complete protein food, and as a protein source are cheap compared to meats and  poultry.  Because they are sold by the dozen instead of the pound, comparing them to meat for price is harder.  But keep in mind that if you buy large-size eggs, the most common, two thirds of a dozen is at least one pound.  If you pay 99¢ a dozen, then a pound is about 66¢.  You can’t find meat proteins for that price per pound.
The usual leftover with eggs is either having yolks or whites left from a recipe. 
For yolks: 
You can use 2 yolks for an egg for thickening power. 
Simply use them to enrich scrambled eggs, fried rice, breads, cakes, cookies, puddings and custards. 
Mix one egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water to brush over rolls and breads before baking for a pretty glaze.
You can cook just yolks, if unbroken, by gently cooking them in a small amount of water until set.  Grate or chop over salads, sauces or vegetables.
Use them in recipes; salad dressings, desserts, breads, sauces and ice cream:

Simple Cooked Cole Slaw Dressing  (the best, I think)

Strawberry Cream Trifle

Norwegian Butter Cookies  (Uses hard cooked egg yolks)

Sunday in Iowa...

This is a garage, not a house, in South English, Iowa

A nicely coordinated planting of petunias and climbing roses.

Cookbook Reviews...Land O Lakes Best Loved Recipes

This little Land O Lakes hardcover book was printed in 1996, and celebrates 75 years of the Land O Lakes name.  Two separate contestants entered the Land O Lakes name out of 100,000 entries in a contest held by the Minnesota Cooperative Creameries for a catchy brand name for their dairy products.  The prize was $200 in GOLD – in 1924.
These recipes have been printed in their other books – they represent over 70 all-time favorites from their test kitchens with some new versions as well.  This book includes only baking recipes; cookies, pies, breads and coffee cakes, and desserts.
As you know by now, we are fans of Land O Lakes books and recipes, and this book is no exception.  Here are some recipes we tried.

Easy Coconut Custard Pie

Layered Pralines & Cream Pudding

Easy Mini Cheesecakes

Bavarian Custard

Chunky Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Family Favorites...Soft Oat Rolls

You could call these Yeast Biscuits
  These soft oatmeal rolls from the Best of Country Breads are different and easy to make. They are rolled out and cut with a biscuit cutter. In appearance they look like biscuits but taste like a yeast roll which of course they are. The recipe was from Judiann McNulty of Laramie, Wyoming
   The recipe says to eat them warm, and I have a few left to try tomorrow cold or rewarmed for Bettie’s lunch. 
  Everyone seemed to like them, Amy was here and took several home with her for their supper and Lyle and Bettie had them with salad for supper. 
  These are easy enough for even the beginning baker and I hope some of our readers might try them.
Soft Oat Rolls
Preheat oven to 375°    Yield: about 1 ½ dozen
⅔ cup quick cooking oats
½ cup sugar
¼ cup softened butter
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup boiling water
1 package (¼ ounce) active dry yeast
½ cup warm water 110° to 115°
1 egg beaten
3 ½ cup to 4 cups all purpose flour
  In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, sugar, butter and salt. Stir in boiling water; cool to 110° - 115°. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir into oat mixture with the beaten egg and enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  Roll to ½ inch thickness. Cut with a floured 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter. Place 2 inch apart on lightly greased baking sheet.

  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm

Kidney Beans with Onions

  Here’s a recipe from the cookbook "The Art of Hermann German Cooking" (from Hermann, Missouri) that is simple, delicious, and good for you too.  It made a perfect side dish with brats off the grill.  I thought it was too much onion, I was wrong, it’s just right.  The real butter is really all the seasoning this dish needs.  This amount worked perfectly in my 8” cast iron skillet, and makes 3 or 4 side servings. 
I’ve learned to like beans of all kinds, after hating them as a kid.  Recipes like this might have changed my mind sooner.

Kidney Beans with Onions
  2           cups  kidney beans, canned -- or cooked
     1/2    cup  onion -- sliced
  1 1/2    tablespoons  butter
               salt -- to taste
               green pepper -- finely chopped
Melt butter and sauté onion slices until soft and slightly brown.  Rinse and drain beans and add to onions.  Mix lightly to coat beans with butter.

Add remaining seasoning and heat through.  Garnish with finely chopped green pepper.

From the Garden...Summer Cucumber and Sweet Pepper Salad

Don and Bonnie let us pick cucumbers from their great garden; I had Redskin red peppers from my patio pots - I had to make cucumber salad.   It’s great with almost anything from the grill or to complement a main dish or sandwich. It keeps several days in the refrigerator and improves in taste, so it’s a good make-ahead and brightens up any family or company meal, and can be multiplied for picnics and pot-lucks.
Summer Cucumber and Sweet Pepper Salad
1 Pound Cucumbers -- peeled and thinly sliced
1 Celery Stalk -- thinly sliced
1/2 Green Bell Pepper -- thinly sliced
1/2  Red Bell Pepper -- thinly sliced
1/2 Medium Onion -- thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon Salt
6 Tablespoons Sugar
6 Tablespoons White Vinegar
"Redskin" Peppers
1/2 Teaspoon Celery Seed
1/4 Teaspoon Mustard Seed
  • Layer vegetables with salt in glass bowl; let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Drain and rinse off salt thoroughly.
  • Meanwhile bring sugar and next ingredients to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved. Let stand 1 hour. Pour evenly over vegetables. Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight. Serves 6

Per Serving : 73 Calories; trace Fat (2.9% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1074mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Black Bean Minestrone Soup

This is a recipe for a version of minestrone soup; I don’t know how authentic it is, but it doesn’t matter to us as it’s delicious and nutritious, as well as budget friendly.  It has plenty of protein and 15 grams of fiber!    If you don’t have black beans, use red beans.               
We like soups like this with some good whole grain crackers and fruit for dessert.  It's fast to make anytime of year.
Black Bean Minestrone Soup
  2          cans  beef consomme -- 10 1/2 ounces each
  2          cups  chunky spaghetti sauce
  1          cup  carrots -- sliced
     1/2   cup  onion -- finely chopped
  2          teaspoons  parsley -- minced
  1          teaspoon  italian seasoning -- or basil
  1          small  bay leaf
  1          cup  frozen peas -- or fresh
  2          ounces  small pasta -- shells, ditalini, etc.
  2          cups  cooked black beans -- or canned, rinsed and drained
  4         tablespoons  parmesan cheese
In a large saucepan, combine the first 7 ingredients; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add peas, beans and pasta; simmer 5-10 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.  Discard bay leaves.  Ladle into soup bowls, top with cheese.
4 servings

Can substitute 2 3/4 cups beef broth for consommé.