Wrap Up for Tomato Week

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Make your own Bloody Mary Mix

Just in case you missed anything this week, here is a wrap up of the week for you.  We sure enjoyed bringing you a start to summer with all of our tomato recipes.  Summer means so many different things to each of us.  For Heather its all about the bounty of what the season’s gardens have to offer.  She remembers all the time spent at her grandparents, picking vegetables from their garden.  Tomatoes were always a favorite treat.  There is nothing better then the smell and taste of a fresh picked tomato.

Traci and Rj spent summers in the Midwest and have wonderful memories of homemade ice cream and great times by the lake.  Grandmothers gardens and all the wonder that it has to bring.

We thank you once again for joining us.  We loved bringing you the start to summer for us.  Have a wonderful weekend.  Please stop our Facebook page and share with us some of your favorite eats and treats from your weekend.

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Tomato Lardon Jam

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Golden & Red Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

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Fried Green Tomatoes and Classic Remoulade Sauce

Modern Day Forager

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Fried Green Tomatoes

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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Fried Green Tomatoes

4 medium sized green tomatoes

kosher salt

1 quart buttermilk

1 teaspoon hot sauce (we used Tabasco sauce)

2 1/2  cups all-purpose flour

 1 cup cornmeal

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper

5 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons lard (you can use a vegetable oil if you are averse to lard)

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and refrigerate for 1 hour. Wash off salt in cold water.
  2. Lay tomatoes out in a container and cover with buttermilk and hot sauce.  Soak for about 8 hours.
  3. Combine flour, cornmeal, black pepper and salt in a shallow dish. (We use a pie plate)
  4. Heat lard in a cast iron skillet.
  5. Dredge tomato slices in flour mixture then back in buttermilk mixture then again in flour, shake off excess and place in hot oil.
  6. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and then drain on a paper towel.

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Simple Remoulade Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Creole whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon horseradish

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, flavor will get better the longer it sits.

Another simple classic sauce for Fried Green Tomatoes

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup ketchup

1 minced clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

fresh ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, flavor will get better with time.

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Classic Remoulade

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup chopped celery

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

3 tablespoons Creole whole-grain mustard

3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard

3 tablespoons ketchup

3 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for about 30 seconds.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, flavor gets better with time and can be made ahead of time.

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Modern Day Forager

FOUND for Tomato Week

Tomato week has been such a blast and has conjured up so many summertime memories for our crew.

We have  found some great items to go with your garden’s bounty.

How about doing pizza on the grill?  We love this pizza stone, it has a heavy stainless steal frame and makes the pie easier to transfer. So what are the benefits of a pizza stone?  It helps the dough cook more evenly and draws out the moisture which results in a crisper crust.  A great tool for your indoor or outdoor kitchen.

$59.95

pizza stone with frame pizza stone on grill

Williams-Sonoma

Good quality flour should be a staple in every well equipped pantry, we love the products from Hayden Flour Mills and their  pizza flour is a special treat .  Local heritage grains stone milled here in sunny Arizona, made from hard white wheat and white sonora wheat.

$8.00

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Native Seeds for Hayden Flour Mill

We have given you a plethora of tomato recipes but thought  you just might want a few more to add to your literary collection.  This book from Chronicle Books is not just pretty to look at it is also packed with some quick recipes.  We are thrilled to have this in our cookbook library.

$16.95

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Chronicle Books

You might like to try your hand at growing tomatoes in your own backyard patch and heirlooms are the way to go.  The flavor and colors of these little gems will look delicious on your pizza.  There are so many to choose from, we found some good ones to get you started on Etsy.

$3.75 and up

heirloom tomato seeds

Cubit’s – Ethical Seeds for Edible Gardens

We can’t leave out another local favorite for us, Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar from Queen Creek Olive Mill.  Hand crafted and high quality flavored olive oils and vinegars, made from the only working olive mill in our state.  Great for baking as well as drizzling over fresh produce, dips and marinades.  The Balsamic Vinegar is a winning combination drizzled with a couple grinds of black pepper.

Starting at $11.00

stawberry_balsamic_vinegar extra-virgin-olive-oil

Queen Creek Olive Mill

Modern Day Forager

Golden and Red Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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Incredibly versatile and refreshing, this zesty dressing is very satisfying.   Try tossing into a pasta, add as a topper for a tasty cheese tartin or on a piece of fresh salmon for a quick and easy weeknight supper.

Golden  and  Red Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

1 minced shallot

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pint halved golden and red cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (we prefer Zinfandel)

2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  1. Sweat shallots in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato halves stirring and crushing for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Refrigerate before serving to let flavors come together.
  5. Bring vinaigrette to room temperature and topped with  fresh chives before serving.

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Modern Day Forager

Tomato Lardon Jam

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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This tomato jam pulls triple duty over and over (and over). Spicy, savory, and oh so jammy and if that wasn’t enough we have added lardons. ( a small strip or cube of pork fat) It also can be used as a dip, condiment, or spread and that is just scratching the surface. Try this new staple on burgers, as an addition to a cheese board or to elevate your next grilled cheese.

Tomato Lardon Jam

4 slices thick-cut (as thick as you can find) slices of smoked bacon (we like applewood) very cold or frozen

1 cup diced shallots

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 1/2 cups Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/4 teaspoon African Bird Pepper

salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut bacon into 1/4 inch cubes
  3. Line an edged baking sheet pan and roast bacon cubes until they have crisp outsides.  Remove to paper towels to absorb remainder of fat.
  4. Pour bacon fat into a medium-size skillet over medium heat, sweat shallots, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add brown sugar and apple cider vinegar, mix together.
  6. Add tomatoes and reduce for 10-15 minutes until mixture becomes thick.  Add the African Bird Pepper.
  7. Add bacon to pan, stir in salt to taste.
  8. Texture should be spreadable not runny.
  9. Cool then store in airtight container in fridge. (We like WECK jars)

The jam should keep under refrigeration for up to a week.  We like to warm before serving.

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Fresh Tomato Bloody Mary Mix

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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Welcome to tomato week!

Tomatoes signal the start of summer for me.  As a child growing up in Central California we had a bounty of food all around us.  I remember always having fresh corn and tomatoes during the summer.  My favorite way to eat those succulent tomatoes was on open faced sandwiches.  We would toast the bread, just a little.  Sometimes spread a little mayonnaise or mashed avocado, then add the fresh sliced tomatoes and maybe some lemon cucumbers from my grandma’s garden, sprinkle with salt and eat!  The juice would be dripping down my arm.  We always had to eat outside on the porch so we wouldn’t make a mess, but we didn’t mind, it was the best porch, full of good food and great company!

Thank you for joining us for tomato week, we hope you enjoy it!

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Our beloved bloody mary is so much more than just spicy tomato juice and vodka.  It is savory, hearty and briny.  We encourage you to think outside the box for your garnish, say no to celery sticks!

We used red and green cherry peppers, pickled brussel sprouts, aka frog balls and flowering dill.   Not your usual suspects and loaded with flavor and a good swift kick to balance out the drink.

Fresh Tomato Bloody Mary Mix

5 pounds of chopped fresh tomatoes (we like to use at least 3 different types)

1 bay leaf

1 chopped shallot

1 seeded and chopped red bell pepper

1 cup of kale

1 jalapeno

2 chopped carrots

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

6 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh horseradish

2 teaspoons Sriracha

2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

Directions:

  1. In a non-reactive large stockpot, cook tomatoes and bay leaf over a medium heat.  As you cook crush tomatoes with a potato masher.
  2. Place shallot, red bell pepper, kale, jalapeno and carrots in a blender (food processor, we love the Vita Mix here) and puree.
  3. Pour the puree into stock pot with tomatoes and add celery seed.
  4. Simmer, for about an hour.
  5. Remove bay leaf.  If you prefer smoother less seedy juice you can force mixture through a sieve or food mill.
  6. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, horseradish, Sriracha, black pepper and salt.
  7. Pour mixture into an airtight container and chill for 2 to 24 hours (gets better with time)

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Modern Day Forager

Happy Memorial Day from Modern Day Forager

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We want to wish you a Happy Memorial Day from Modern Day Forager.  We would like to thank all the men and women in uniform &  veterans that have given of their lives to make ours safer.  Please remember our freedom is not free.  We are not going to be posting a recipe today.  The fun will begin again tomorrow.   If you haven’t guessed from the photos we will be bringing you all things tomatoes this week.

We hope you get to spend your day enjoying good food and wonderful company, they always go well together.

Modern Day Forager

Local Favorites and a Classic

 

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A hometown favorite for us, these culinary sugars are elegant, decadent, but so versatile and can be used in so many different ways.  We went over the top and used the Ruby Pink Grapefruit Hibiscus as a finishing sugar to the broiled top of our grapefruit.  We have also used them to rim glasses of our specialty drinks from week two.  The possibilities are endless.

La Bella Terre  http://www.labellaterre.com/

Also available at Urban Table Larder http://www.urbantable.com/

Local homegrown and handmade pottery.  These one-of-a-kind  pieces are just gorgeous and have rich and inviting colors, nothing is ever mass produced.  Perfect for any decor, and adding these pieces to a brunch table will really make your event special.  All of Alley’s pieces are glazed, lead free, and food safe.  Dishwasher, microwave and oven safe but she recommends hand washing.

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Roots Farm Studio  http://www.etsy.com/shop/rootsfarm    https://www.facebook.com/rootsfarmstudio

Also available at JAM http://www.jamminlifestyle.com/ and limited edition urban table pieces at the Urban Table Larder http://www.urbantable.com/

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We are thrilled to be using these Orange Sunshine Bitters and love to bake and cook with them.  Another local fav, we are thrilled when we have the opportunity to go above and beyond the boundaries of just using them in cocktails.  A real treat!

AZ Bitters Lab http://azbitterslab.com/

Available around the valley and at the Urban Table Larder http://www.urbantable.com/

foundtowel

Heather has a documentary approach to photographing food and she has over 20 years experience in the food industry and brings the same passion to her work as a photographer as she did when she was a working chef.  Now, Heather has added her amazing  work to foodstuffs, kitchen decor and market bags. These hand towels will be a great focal point and give a European look to any kitchen.

Heather Gill Photography   http://heathergillphotography.com/

Also available at the urban table larder http://www.urbantable.com/

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This is a true classic, a must have in everyone’s cookbook library.  Marion Cunningham, aka Fannie Farmer, has written a book that celebrates the simple pleasures of cooking.  Making the most out of the first meal of the day.  Makes a great gift  for a seasoned chef or someone just starting out in the kitchen.

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=

Brunch Week Wrap Up

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Brunch ahhh, who doesn’t love brunch.  Our second week post is filled with drink recipes that work well these dishes.  If you need cocktail recommendations please look back at last week‘s post.  Thirst quenching and mouth watering sips with a twist.

We live for making food and sharing it with those we love.  It is what we do.  We also live for lazy summer days and sleepy Sunday mornings.  Here at MDF, we have been sharing our fondest childhood memories of weekend soirees and brunch.  Our breakfast backstory….how did these gatherings shape us….can you feel the nostalgia coming on?

For Heather her memory takes her back to french toast piled high to the ceiling.  French toast and milk go hand-and hand for Heather, it is the perfect breakfast duo.  Heather’s grandparents had mountains of blackberries in their yard and her grandma would collect the backyard bounty and produce batch after batch of this thick rich syrup to pour over the top of this yummy  goodness and if that wasn’t enough, then she added a light dusting of powdered sugar over the stacks of golden bread to make it even more special.

Weekends meant sleeping in for Rj and brunch meant spending that last day of his week at his favorite place, his grandmother’s house.  A sensory overload of sorts, the sights and smells of his grandma’s waffles is still a family affair that he carries on and continues with his children today.

And as for me, it takes me back to comfort food and family; our house had an open door policy, a haven for good food and breaking bread.  Food was the draw, always plentiful and the weekend just included even more family and even bigger sense of community.

Our coddled egg recipe is reminiscent and reflective of days gone by.  It is a recipe that gently immerses the egg just below the boiling point and slightly cooks and coddles the egg.  We encourage you to try this old time favorite and this is a great addition to any recipe collection.

The blueberry jam is our go to pantry staple and extremely versatile, so keep the recipe handy for when all that fresh little fruit is at your farm stand.

The french toast is big and bold, sophisticated, with the unique splash of citrus bitters, rich flavorful filling, a perfect balance of sweet and savory, and the quintessential brunch favorite.

We think that the grapefruit is just a fresh take for a tried and true breakfast classic.

Don’t keep these recipes all to yourself, share with your closest friends and family.  Really that is what food is for, sharing.

Last, but surly not least, the cold brew.  Ahhh, coffee, our morning ritual, our daily rocket fuel, we all have a jars , with this robust, smooth and deeply intense flavor, chilling in our iceboxes.  We are prepared for the hot desert days ahead in sunny Arizona.  You can find these way cool mason jars (shown below) at JAM for ten dollars.  JAM is located at 6938 E First Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, 480 522-5410.

Thank you for joining us again this week.  We would love to connect and hear your fondest childhood morning memories of breakfast and brunch in the comments or on our Facebook pages.

coffeecollection

Cold Brew Coffee

grapefruitgoodness

Glazed Grapefruit with Ruby Red Grapefruit & Hibiscus Sugar

frenchtoast

Stuffed French Toast

blueberryjam

Elegant, yet Simple Blueberry Jam

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Coddled Eggs with Bacon & Chevre

Modern Day Forager

Coddled Eggs with Bacon and Chevre

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

We are always looking for different ways to cook eggs.  While preparing for this post, I was reminded of an old legend I learned while in culinary school.

The folds in a chef’s toque represented the number of ways to prepare an egg.  This 100-pleat white hat was only reserved for the heads of the most knowledgeable and regarded chefs who had mastered their craft.

While attending school you are taught to be the best, hone and ply your skills, master every method of cooking and honor your craft.  A pledge of sorts, that defines you.  So for me, it starts with eggs.

Today we chose coddled eggs.  The egg is slowly and gently immersed into the water just below boiling point.  This recipe will also allow you to add just about anything from your pantry or garden to the ramekin or jar you use for the process.

Thomas Keller who is big muckety muck around here at Modern, he does a version at Bouchon with potato puree, earthy mushrooms and fresh baby spinach that would blow your mind.

Doing this week on breakfast cookery took me back to my strong commitment to my profession and why I am honored to be a chef today.  Hats off to eggs!

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Coddled Eggs with Bacon & Chevre

2 Tbl. plus 2 tsp. unsalted, room temperature butter

4 eggs

4 tsp. heavy cream

¼ cup cooked, diced bacon

¼ cup crumbled goat cheese (we like Vermont  Butter and Cheese Company, Chevre)

4 tsp. scallions thinly sliced (we like sliced on the bias)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil a pot of water. (We used a teapot)
  3. Butter bottoms and sides of 4 ramekins (5 to 6 oz.) with 2 tablespoons of butter.
  4. Put ½ teaspoon piece of butter in bottom of each ramekin.
  5. To each ramekin add 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of cream, one fourth of the bacon, one fourth of the cheese, 1 teaspoon of scallions, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cover each ramekin with foil.  Place each in a baking dish and then fill dish with boiling water half way up the ramekins.

Bake until whites set and yolks are runny, about 20 minutes.  Garnish with additional scallions.

Serve immediately.

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Modern Day Forager