Tag Archives: tomato

Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad ~ a.k.a. Bogie’s Pasta Salad

So this pasta salad was originally called “BLT Pasta Salad” until The Chef rightly (and a little smugly) pointed out that there is not, in fact, an “L” in it. To which I replied, “Um yuh-huh! Little tiny cucumbers. So there. What do you think about that?!”

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Turns out he thought that was stupid, which it was, so I renamed it. Basically it’s my copyright-infringement version of Bogie’s pasta salad but with bacon. Because… you know what, no. It needs no explanation. Bacon is its own reason.

As per usual with my pasta salads, I am not entirely sure about the amount of mayo, so you’ll just have to taste and add to your desired level of saturation. (The ladies reading this will appreciate that I’ve avoided using the words “moist” or “wet” here. Yes, we all hate those words. They’re icky, so just shut up about it.)

Also, if you are firmly anti-cucumber as I am, do not fear – if you dice the little buggers up tiny enough, you will barely even notice them. (But they are an integral part of the “Bogie’s” taste and the “saturation” factor, so don’t leave them out completely.)

And there you have it. This pasta will make your transition from lake to tailgate smooth – and delicious – so make sure you have some on hand.

1 package rotini, cooked al dente*
5 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 large cucumber, seeded and minced**
5 green onions, chopped (white parts discarded)
1.5 cups mayo (Duke’s!)
6 strips bacon (preferably Wright), cooked and chopped
1 cup sour cream
juice of 2 lemons at serving time
chili powder
Cavender’s

  1. While the pasta is still hot, mix all ingredients in large bowl. (You actually don’t have to do it while it’s hot, but the mayo coats everything better that way, so proceed as you will.)
  2. Add chili power, Cavender’s or your favorite all-purpose seasoning to taste.
  3. Chill (at least a few hours, preferably over night). Before serving, check to make sure the pasta is not too dry and add more, ahem, “saturating” ingredients as necessary and the lemon juice.

*Make sure to cook the pasta a little under as it will sit and soften in the mayo. Also, don’t buy multicolored rotini for this because it’s much prettier red, white and green. But that might be the OCD talking, so you do what you want.
**Mince the life out of that little effer. I mean it. No big chunks of cucumber here. The slime will not stand.

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Filed under Comfort food, Party food, Pasta, Salad, Side dishes, Southern food

Lobster Caprese Salad ~ Fancy 4th of July 2K11

Well corporate America, it’s almost quittin’ time on our most hallowed of holiday weekends. And nothing’s more American than using company time to do entirely personal things on a Friday afternoon, so that’s what I’m doing here.

This recipe is obviously of the rich and famous variety (because we clearly are SO VERY both), and it is as good as you think it is. The Chef made this in honor of our last dinner with The Grosshans (while we were still official Memphians, that is), and sitting on a porch eating this with a cold glass of white wine and good company is about as close to perfection as you can get. While you’re outdoors in Memphis in June, anyway.

The freshness of the tomatoes, the sweetness of the lobster and the bite of the balsamic make this dish truly addictive. So if you’ve decided to turn in your hot dogs for fancier fare this Fourth of July, this is a recipe not to be missed. (I obviously will not be doing that because hot dogs and me are an American love affair for the ages, but it’s your life.)

Lobster:
2 lobster tails
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
1 lemon

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Season lobster with salt and pepper and dab one tablespoon of butter on each tail.
  3. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Once done place in a ice bath to cool.
  5. Once cool dice and squeeze the juice of one lemon over them.

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction:
2 yellow tomatoes, diced
2 orange tomatoes, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
salt to taste
Basil Vinaigrette
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup balsamic vinegar

  1. Take one cup of balsamic vinegar and cook in a pot on low heat for thirty minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Season tomatoes with salt and toss with Basil Vinaigrette.
  3. Top with  goat cheese and lobster. Drizzle balsamic reduction over salad and serve. (Makes 4 servings)

Luxuriate. That’s the only word that does this justice. And justice is American as hell.

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Filed under Appetizers, Salad, Salad dressings, Sauces, Seafood, Shellfish, Special Occasion

Green Tomato Salsa

As it turns out,  it IS easy being green. And nothing proves that more than this funky take on a summer classic. Plus, this is one time in life where impatience serves you well because you don’t even have to wait until the tomatoes are ripe. So get in there early. And often.

6 green tomatoes, diced medium
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 red onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 3-4 limes
salt to taste
3 green onions, thinly sliced
handful of cilantro, chopped

  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Let sit for at least 2 hours.
  3. Serve with chips. Preferably from Las Delicias.

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Filed under Appetizers, Dips, Mexican food, Toppings, Veggies

Watermelon & Tomato Salad

Like any good Southerner, I love watermelon… Mmkay, you know what? In the spirit of exhaustion and honesty this post-Music Fest week, Imma be real with you: I’m not really a fan.

I’ve choked it down at every Fourth of July catfish fry, I’ve tried it with salt (and if salt can’t help me, honey, I don’t know what can), and I’ve even had the vodka-soaked variety and frankly, I’ll leave it.

But as with so many things I’ve traditionally disliked, The Chef has found a way to make it not only palatable but actually good. Bacon, tomatoes and cheese have a hand in that, but the watermelon itself actually gets a dose of personality here, so go on and get out and proud and pretty with this one. You won’t be sorry.

2 cups watermelon, diced and seeded
2 cups assorted tomatoes, diced
basil vinaigrette
2 tbsp toasted pecans
crumbled goat cheese (or mozzarella or blue cheese)
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
spring mix

  1. Get mixy and then serve atop spring greens. That’s all folks.

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Filed under Fruit, Salad, Side dishes, Veggies

Avocado, Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

You know how sometimes people think hot girls are automatically stupid? Like there’s no way that something can look that good on the outside and not be either dumb or awful on the inside? Well, I think this salad is that hot girl. And this one actually reads Dostoyevsky for fun and got a perfect score on her ACT.
(Incidentally, I would hate that chick.)

What I’m sayin’ is there’s substance here as well as pretty. The avocado and cheese are rich, the tomatoes are juicy and tangy, and the croutons give you the perfect amount of crunch. Dress all that up in Balsamic and drive it around town in your new convertible? It will be like Weird Science in here. And everybody wants that. (Minus Chet.)

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
3/4 cup olive oil
juice of half a lemon
salt to taste

  1. Mix all ingredients except oil.
  2. Slowly add oil while constantly whisking until it emulsifies.

Salad:
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 orange tomatoes, chopped
2 yellow tomatoes, chopped
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1.5 cups of diced mozzarella
1 cup of fresh croutons
salt to taste
1 tbsp mint or basil (optional)

  1. Mix together and toss in dressing.
  2. Eat and bask in the afterglow.

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Filed under Appetizers, Fruit, Salad, Salad dressings, Side dishes, Veggies

Fried Green Tomato Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing

Though spring is taking way too long to get here, we thought we’d tee up this spicy/sweet Southern treat for you so that you’ll be ready when the unparalleled Ripley tomatoes finally appear at your local farmers market. This is a great spin on classic FGT, and any self-respecting Southern lady simply must know how to fry one.
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On a related note, I would be remiss if I did not include a quote from the movie of the same name that Dunny so expertly worked into an e-mail the other day: “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” Ouiser Boudreaux (and for that matter Sara Dunigan), you are a woman after my own heart.
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Fried Green Tomatoes
3 green tomatoes
1/2 cup AP flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 milk
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 vegetable oil
1 tsp pf salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
large pinch of chili powder
mixed greens for salad
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  1. Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Season both side with salt, pepper and chili powder and let sit while you prepare dressing.
  2. Make dressing and prep the the breading bowls. You will need 3 bowls with the following:
    1. seasoned flour
    2. milk and eggs mixed and
    3. panko
  3. Heat a large skillet with oil over medium high heat.
  4. Dip tomato slices in flour, then egg/milk mixture, then panko.
  5. Fry slices in skillet 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Dress and serve on top of salad greens.
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Sweet Chili Dressing
2 tbl bottled sweet chili sauce (The Chef likes Mae Ploy)
2 tbl ketchup
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbl sugar
2 tbl water
2 tbl lime juice
2 tsp chopped cilantro leaves
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  1. Mix all ingredients together and dress those ‘maters.

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Filed under Appetizers, Comfort food, Fried food, Salad, Southern food, Veggies

Roasted Veggie Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This is by far my favorite salad The Chef has made to date. And not just because I got to eat it while watching The. Most. Shocking. Bachelor. Finale. EVER. (Which it wasn’t even – I mean, Brad picked Emily. That girl was so good-looking even I was in love with her, and I usually only go for Latinas. Sup Eva Mendes.)
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But I digress. Whenever you give me roasted mushrooms and tomatoes of any kind, I am happy, and the combination of both with the crunchy walnuts was fantastic. The Chef says the tangy vinaigrette is also great as a sauce on chicken or fish. I just thought it would be highly drinkable… if you’re into that sort of thing.
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Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 shallot, minced
zest of one lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a mixing bowl, add everything except oil and combine.
  2. Slowly add oil to emulsify.

Roasted Veggie Salad:
1 pound portabella mushrooms, sliced
arugula, half of a container
6 *yellow tomatoes, quartered
crumbled goat cheese, a few “sprinkles” (We’re very technical here.)
walnuts, chopped, a few “handfuls”
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Toss mushrooms and tomatoes in oil, salt and pepper. Lay out on sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes. (The Chef likes to serve these veggies at room temp, and I agree.)
  3. Toss arugula with dressing and top with veggies, goat cheese, and walnuts.

*You can obviously use red tomatoes if necessary, but these are prettier and have a great flavor, so try to snag some if you can.
**Also fairly obvious is the fact that this picture is not of the same version of the salad written above. Mainly because I was too involved in finding out whether or not Chantal was gonna wig out and deck Brad when he basically denied ever liking her on “After the Final Rose” (She didn’t – LAME.), and I forgot to take a photo. The Chef says he makes this a lot, though, so we”ll replace this one shortly.

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Filed under Marinades, Salad, Salad dressings, Side dishes, Veggies