BROWN BUTTER TOMATO SALAD

This is the simplest salad you will ever make. If you read Portuguese, or don’t mind the butchering that google translate occasionally causes, jump over to Fer’s blog (Chucrute com Salsicha) to see where I got the idea for this great side dish.  I echo her words, and urge you to use the best possible tomatoes you can find.  They need to be juicy, packed with flavor, and you must cut them in thick slices to stand the warm shower of the brown butter.   You also must enjoy this salad right away.   Am I bossy today or what?  ;-)  But, once you comply with my demands, you will thank Fer for bringing this to our attention…
Looking for the recipe?  There is no recipe, too simple for that.  Grab the best tomatoes you can find (have I made that clear enough? ;-)). Cut them in thick slices, and arrange them on a plate.

Melt some butter, gently.  On low heat, allow it to get a brownish color, by that time a nutty, wonderful smell should make you smile in anticipation.   Spoon some of the brown butter over the tomatoes, season with Maldon salt (for that added crunch), black pepper, and serve right away.

Leftovers? Toast some rustic sourdough bread, and while the bread is still hot from the toaster (or grill), place a nice slice of brown butter tomato on top…   Take a bite. Then another. And have happy thoughts.

Fer, obrigada pela super receita!  Seu ginger ale esta’ na fila para uma proxima empreitada…

I close this post offering you a  link with NINETY recipes for healthy, no-heat lunches to take to work.  Kalyn, a veteran food blogger recently assembled this collection and I immediately bookmarked it.  A wealth of information!
Click here and ENJOY!

ONE YEAR AGO:  Spelt and Cornmeal Rolls

TWO YEARS AGO: Roasted Potato and Olive Focaccia

THREE YEARS AGO: Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire

A TASTE OF YELLOW TO HONOR BARBARA

Long before I started my own site, I already followed Barbara’s blog, Winos end Foodies.  For a while I was unaware of her health problems, until one day I clicked on the “About” page and learned that she started blogging right after being diagnosed with cancer, in 2004.  She used Winos and Foodies to get her mind away from her illness, and through the years of blogging she touched many people’s lives.  A lot has been written about Barbara, you can read a particularly touching tribute  here 

A few months after I started the Bewitching, I wrote Barbara an email and was amazed by how kind and thoughtful she was, sending me advice and encouragement. She read, left comments, dropped me private emails, it was hard to imagine that she could do it all while fighting one of the toughest battles a person can face.  I feel fortunate to have known her, at least virtually.

If you’ve never stopped by Winos and Foodies, please do so. She wrote about art, photography, food, her relationship with her husband of so many years, and occasionally about her tough times with cancer.   You will notice that  contrary to what most bloggers do (myself included), she didn’t post a blogroll of websites she enjoyed.  Instead, she created a page called Blog Friends, and listed everyone by name.  A special, sweet gesture, so typical of her.

In 2007, fascinated by the performances of Lance Armstrong 0n the Tour de France, she launched the event “A Taste of Yellow”  ,  to coincide with LIVEstrong Day, and to raise awareness about cancer in the community of food bloggers.  Barbara passed away on June 29th, so this year’s event, hosted by Jeanne (Cook Sister), is dedicated to her.

For my participation in this series of Taste of Yellow, I chose to cook with beautiful ears of corn.

COUSCOUS WITH CORN AND SCALLIONS IN BROWN BUTTER
(adapted from Fine Cooking, Aug/Sep 2012)

1 + 1/2 Tbs butter
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
kernels of 2 ears of corn
2 scallions, finely sliced (white and light green parts)
3/4 cup couscous
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1 cup boiling water

Melt the butter on medium-low heat and cook stirring occasionally,  until the butter gets a hint of golden color. Do not let it turn brown at this point because it will still cook a little further.  Add the thyme, and cook until fragrant.

Add the corn kernels, salt and pepper, cook for 2 minutes, increasing the heat slightly so they brown up.  Add the scallions, cook until they soften, another minute or so.  Add the boiling water all at once, close the pan and remove from the heat.  Let it rest 5 minutes, fluff with a fork, and serve.

to print the recipe, click here

My deepest condolences go to Barbara’s husband Bryan, their two sons,  family and friends in this difficult time. She will be missed.

(Comments are shutdown for this post)

BROWN BUTTER MAGIC

I got to know  “Beautiful Disasters” through The Secret Recipe Club, when Casey,  a very fit and active high school student, made a recipe from my blog.  She hit the jackpot: her post was the most popular of our group!   I always look forward to her articles, not only for the recipes, but for the “Random fact of the day“.  Did you know that the average shoe size of a gorilla is 17?  Well, I didn’t, but learned on her site.  ;-)

Recently Casey wrote this enticing post about her favorite chocolate chip cookie, and the description and photos got my immediate attention.   At first glance, the recipe seems pretty straightforward, using the usual suspects for this traditional American favorite: butter, sugar, baking soda, walnuts, and chocolate chips.  But, what sets it apart is the browning of the butter, and the toasting & grinding of the walnuts.  Brown butter. Ground walnuts. Who would imagine they could make a simple cookie so decadent and delicious?
BROWN BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
(from Beautiful Disasters)

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1  + 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 +  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1  + 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cups walnuts, toasted and ground
1-2 teaspoons of milk, as needed

The day before (or at least 3 hours before making the cookies), heat the butter over low heat in a small saucepan.  It will foam and bubble, slowly acquiring a tan color.  Keep stirring, watch it carefully so that the solids won’t burn.  Cook until the butter is a deep caramel color (it took me over 12 minutes).  Pour into a pyrex type dish, and refrigerate until  solid.

Heat the oven to 300 degrees F, and toast the walnuts on a baking sheet for 12 minutes, or until fragrant and starting to get some color.  Transfer to a small food processor and turn it on and off a few times, to grind the nuts.  Reserve.   (You can also finely chop them by hand, but it’s a bit cumbersome).

Cut the brown butter in small cubes, place it in the bowl of an electric mixer, and cream it with both sugars.   Beat in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda. Add the flour and salt, mixing gently.  Finally add the ground i nuts and chocolate chips. If the dough is too crumbly, add a couple of teaspoons of milk.

Scoop the dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, and bake in a 300 F oven for 18 minutes.  Let cool on wire rack.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

These are some amazing cookies!  Hot from the oven, they were simply irresistible…  I had THREE cookies.  Now, keep in mind that when I make a batch of cookies I eat one, and  that is pretty much it for me.  I had three.  One, then another.  And then another. (sigh)

My moment of pure joy, on a Sunday afternoon…

A cup of steaming spiced almond milk….  (for recipe, click here)

With bites of insanely good chocolate chip cookies…

Thank you, Casey!  

ONE  YEAR AGO: Tidy Sourdough

TWO YEARS AGO: Vienna Bread

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