September 05, 2011

Peppers and Tomatoes

I'm happy to report that our latest "muffin of the month" recipe is officially here:

Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins

I even learned how to make flavored butters in the process.  The main issue was that because of the jalapenos we really couldn't have children in the kitchen "helping" so I had to find some child-free moments to do it.  Child free?  What's that?  Exactly.  This recipe combines farmer's market corn and jalapenos from our neighbor's garden.  I followed the recipe as written.  Please note that the recipe does make 24 muffins.  The one change I did make was to use only three jalapenos in the batter, and I didn't add jalapeno slices on top.  This was mainly because I only had three peppers, but also because I knew the kids would be eating them and didn't want it to be overly hot. 

We had the chance for everyone to try them at brunch and they were met with good reviews.  Most people ate them as is but I like the opportunity to add butter wherever possible so I took it upon myself to investigate some homemade flavored butter ideas.  Turns out it is the simplest recipe ever:

8 tbsp (1 stick) softened butter
1 tsp each additional ingredient (no more than two is best)

I added apricot preserves and honey which really tasted great with the jalapenos.  We stored and served the butter in these bowls which I have been using for ages.  Despite being inexpensive toddler-wear they have a myriad of uses, are dishwasher-microwave safe and have held up well for five years counting. 

Earlier in the week another of our neighbors had given us cherry tomatoes from her garden, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to make with them.  Then I remembered we still had the galette dough from the recipes in the previous post.  Suddenly I was overcome with the desire for a tomato-cheddar tart so I improvised with the ingredients we had on hand:

cherry tomatoes (enough to add to the filling as well as cover the top)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
mayo (yes... didn't really measure it out I just added it by tablespoon until it was enough to make the filling spreadable)
1/4 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced

Cut up at least 1/3 of the cherry tomatoes and mix in well with the filling.  Spread filling on tart leaving 2in border.  Encircle the filling with whole tomatoes then fold up the edges all around.  Top with whole tomatoes.

Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 min.

This one went fast.  The tomatoes tasted so fresh and just sort of burst in your mouth...yum!  So glad I decided not to waste them raw in some nondescript salad.  I only wish I had more because the tart should have really been packed full with no spaces, but I simply didn't have enough tomatoes.  What I love about this is a little goes a long way, so a small slice could be a filling dinner (with Jersey wine of course) and you could even have a slice for breakfast/brunch (which, yes, I did). 

Coming up to celebrate switching gears to Fall weather.  I've also been obsessed with figs lately thanks to a gift from a neighbors fig tree (yes, our neighbors are just awesome!)