Heirloom Tomato & Roasted Beet Gazpacho

This recipe is featured today in Luri & Wilma, a smart magazine for smart ladies run by native Texan Charlie Heck.  I love the way they shot and featured this recipe, and just as much, I love this Tomato & Beet Gazpacho!  Click through the article below to read the whole issue online (there’s great stuff about fashion, body issues, and vintage duds inside) and scroll down for the full recipe!

Gazpacho Luri Wilma

 

Heirloom Tomato & Beet Gazpacho

Aside from being the perfect make-ahead, quick-cleanup recipe, I love this gazpacho because it relies on fresh ingredients for a bright and complex flavor.  The raw veggies lend a subtle spice to the cold soup, and garden herbs leave it freshly flavored.   Red and golden beets impart a deep magenta hue while keeping the soup slightly sweet.  Plus, this silky staple requires zero cooking and limited utensils, so you can stay cool in the kitchen while impressing your guests with a light supper.  This recipe will serve two as a main course or four as an appetizer.

You’ll need:

  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes
  • ½ large cucumber, seeded
  • ½ red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 beets (try for a mix of red & golden)
  • Handful of fresh herbs: basil, parsley, lemon thyme, chives.
  • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil

First, finely dice the cucumber, red onion, and garlic.  Seed the tomatoes and dice them as well.  When it comes to tomatoes for this gazpacho, I opt for heirloom, but any blend of particularly juicy ones will do- Green Zebras and Brandywines are favorites.  Combine the vegetables in a large bowl and use an immersion blender to puree the veggies until smooth, adding the olive oil slowly.  To flavor the gazpacho, use any herbs you have on hand- I snipped a handful of basil, parsley, garlic chives, and lemon thyme from the window box.  Add 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, then cover the bowl and pop it in the refrigerator.

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Because the flavors of this gazpacho intensify with time, I like to keep it in the fridge for up to two days, then strain it using a fine sieve when I’m ready for a quick weeknight dinner.  Of course, if you don’t want to strain the veggies, you’re welcome to serve it chunky, but I’m always impressed with silky soups.  Serve it up in bowls with roasted shrimp, a creamy burrata, or toasted ciabatta for a simple supper.

gazpacho

xoxo,

Liz of The Hungry Texans

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HungryTexans Flour Tortillas


tortillas
Y’all, something fun happened this weekend- the HungryTexans took their talents off the interwebs and into the District Flea (brought to you by the kind folks at Brooklyn Flea and gracing DC for the next few weekends).

As hungry Texans, we are huge proponents of the breakfast taco- eggs, cheese, savory meats and veggies, all rolled up into a perfectly fluffy flour tortilla.  The breakfast tacos at Chacho’s in Houston have capped many nights out (as well as nursed our headaches the morning after).  But when I find myself reaching hungrily for a breakfast taco in DC, I come up empty-handed.  So what better to bring to the denizens of our great district than these breakfast treats?

Of course the eggs are important.  Cheese?  Essential to a proper breakfast taco.  But what really makes our breakfast tacos special is the homemade flour tortilla, the perfect vehicle for savory goodness.  And because I promised plenty of market-goers the recipe and top-secret-super-secrets for a tortilla that stays soft and pliable and tasty, I want to share it with all of our readers!  It really is extremely simple and quick to make a tortilla, if not labor intensive.  This recipe uses all vegetable shortening to make our veggimatarian friends happy, and makes exactly 16 tortillas (counting helps visualize the size they should be).

You’ll Need:

2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 generous cups vegetable shortening (you could use lard, but we’re accommodating the masses here)
1 cup hot water

Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl or a stand mixer.

Add the shortening in small handfuls and use the mixer (or your hands, which I did for 180 tortillas on Friday- not sure if I can recommend doing this to our readers- it’s quite cruel) to combine until the mixture looks like sand.

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Slowly add a cup of hot water (I do 3/4 cup first, then add as necessary).  You want the dough to seem a bit moist and definitely not crumbly.  Knead the dough ~30 times (or let the Kitchen-aid do this work for you) until the dough becomes a ball.

Let this dough rest, covered with a tea towel, for 30 minutes (up to an hour).  Once the dough has rested, pinch off golf-ball-sized pieces of dough and roll into balls, and set on wax paper.

rolled out

Using a tortilla press or a rolling pin, flatten the dough balls into thin, round discs.  I try to get these as thin as possible with a tortilla press by using my hands to flatten the dough against the press.  Also, breaking news: my grandfather just mailed a beauty of a tortilla roller and I cannot wait to try it out.

pressing dough

You can store these tortillas between wax paper for a few hours in the fridge before cooking them.  When you’re ready, just pop a disc of dough onto a hot cast iron skillet or an electric griddle and cook for 20 seconds on each side.  Keep warm in a…tortilla warmer!

Tortillas cooking

Happy pressing and, if you can’t make your own, we’ll be at the District Flea every Saturday until October 18th, slinging tortillas!

garlicky broccoli slaw

Broccoli_Slaw

Last week I awoke to a bountiful produce delivery from From the Farmer on my doorstep. For any friends in the DC area, I couldn’t recommend From the Farmer more highly – they deliver fresh produce to your doorstep weekly. I love it because of the flexibility of From the Farmer vs. traditional CSAs or produce delivery services. I can suspend my deliveries if I know I’m traveling and won’t have time to put my produce to good use! This week my bin overflowed with peaches, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, baby eggplants, beets, broccoli, apples and more. I wanted a fresh and hearty salad, so whipped up this garlicky broccoli slaw with beets, apples, and almonds.

BrocSlaw_Ingredients

For the salad:
Three heads of broccoli
Two beets, peeled and diced
Two apples, skin on and diced
1/3 cup sliced raw almonds

For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
juice from half of one lemon
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Start by roughly chopping your broccoli so it’s small enough to fit through the tube of your food processor. I used my the slicing disc attachment on my food processor to thinly slice the broccoli, but you could also use a mandolin or just roughly chop with a big chef’s knife.

Peel your beets and dice into bite-sized pieces. Dice your apple into similar sized cubes. In a large bowl combine broccoli, beets, and apples.

Mixture_slaw

Add your almonds.

Mixture_almonds

Next, make your dressing in the bowl of a food processor by combining garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over all ingredients and toss to combine.

DressedSlaw

Serve as a side or enjoy all on its own as a salad!

xo,
julia

Raw Corn & Tomato Salsa

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If you’re a member of a CSA or just get carried away at the farmers market, then you probably have a surplus of tomatoes and corn in your kitchen.  Put them to good use with this quick and tasty Raw Corn & Tomato Salsa.

Freaked out by raw corn?  Feel free to char the summer kernels over an open flame, but when corn is this fresh and sweet, I promise it is just as delicious raw!

I make a few cups of this salsa on Sundays and top my salads with it for lunch throughout the week.  It stays colorful, fresh, and healthy for days.  Or spoon it over eggs and black beans for a perfect brunchy treat.  This recipe makes ~6 cups.

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You’ll Need:

  • 6 ears fresh corn
  • 4 small tomatoes
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • S&P, to taste

To make the salsa:

In a large bowl, shave the corn kernels off of the cob.

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Dice the tomatoes (removing the seeds), jalapeno, bell pepper, and onion, and combine with the corn.

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Add the juice of two limes and olive oil, and season with salt & pepper.  Finish the salsa with a handful of cilantro.

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You can use this salsa immediately, or store for up to 5 days in jars or tupperware.  I do both!

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xoxo,

Liz

Gingered Peach Mason Jar Cobblers

Four Pies Finished

In honor of my darling best friend Julia’s birthday and in honor of peaches being abundantly available and ripe this weekend, I knew a fruity dessert was in order.  Since we had made plans to visit a couple vineyards on Sunday with our sweet friends Amy and Ryan, this dessert also had to be easily portable.  And it had to be adorable.  Whew- no pressure!

As it turns out, a perfectly peachy, easily transportable dessert was well within my reach (and yours!).  All it takes is a trip to the farmers market, a quick spin in the Kitchen-Aid, and a few mason jars to make these Gingered Peach Cobblers.

For the Filling (makes 4 individual pies):

  • 4 peaches
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger

For the Pastry Dough:

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • 1 stick cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs sugar

To make the Dough:

I have to admit, I’m no baker- I usually leave the sweet treats up to Julia.  But I’ve been pushing myself to mix flour + water instead of trudging to the store for some mediocre pre-made dough, and this recipe couldn’t be simpler.  Just combine your flour and sugar in a food processor or stand mixer.  Add the cold butter (with the mixer on a speed-2), one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles sand.  Then, add your ice cold water and mix for ~15 seconds.  I made my pastry dough the night before the wine tour, and refrigerated it in plastic overnight.

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To make the filling:

When you’re ready to make your cobblers, grease the insides of four mason jars with butter.  Slice your peaches and place them in a sauce pan with 2 tbs sugar and 1 tbs ginger.  Give them a good stir and let them simmer over low heat for ~10 minutes until they’re syrupy and delicious.

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While those peaches are simmering, let’s talk produce!  Since there are really only 4 ingredients in this recipe- flour, butter, peaches & ginger- you can have some fun with the fillings.  I got three different peach breeds- Donut, Yellow, and White- from the farmers market.  And I was inspired to add ginger after finding this incredible baby Hawaiian variety.  No peeling necessary?  I can freeze you?  Hello, new favorite ingredient.

peaches with ingredients

Once your peaches are finished simmering, take them off the heat and let them cool a bit.

Peach Cobbler, Assemble!

Cut the pastry dough into two unequal parts.  Roll out the smaller half, then use the mouth of a mason jar to cut 4 rounds.  These should be thinner, because they’ll be on the bottom of the cobblers.  Roll out the larger half, which should be the thicker cobbler-toppers, and cut four more rounds.  Place the thin rounds of dough carefully in the bottom of your mason jars and bake at 400° for ~5 minutes.

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When the dough is a bit cooked, fill the jar up to the top with peach filling, and finish with the thick round on top.

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If you want to be really cute, and who doesn’t, use some leftover dough to form hearts or initials to pop on top.  Brush the whole thing with an egg wash and place in the oven (on a baking sheet!) at 375° for 30 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown.

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I pulled these out of the oven about 2 hours before eating them and screwed the lids on for easy transport.  Not only did this make them easy to get to the vineyards, but would you believe that they were still warm when we ate them?  Just plain peachy!

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xoxo,

Liz

oh what?  you wanted to see a photo of the birthday girl on her vineyard trip?  so happy you asked:

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brown butter, brown sugar cookies

Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

It’s been so long since last we wrote, but these brown butter, brown sugar cookies are worth the wait. This Hungry Texan will occasionally make a quick detour on her bike to work and pop into Bean & Bite on 15th for a “treat yo self” iced coffee. Aside from their smooth and rich iced coffee the second biggest attraction is that they always have bite-sized samples of their sweet treats cut up in plates by the register. On two separate occasions I’ve been lucky enough to sneak a taste of their brown sugar cookies, and after taste number two I vowed to try my hand at recreating them. I took to my mixing bowl and this recipe triumphed. I’m a modest gal, but these are honest to everything the best cookies I’ve ever made.

Just thank me that I’m sharing this recipe as bathing suit season is waning.

Ingredients

Modified from Cook’s Illustrated’s Brown Sugar Cookie Recipe

1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter 14tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups brown sugar (I used a mix of dark & light)
2 cups + 2 tbls flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 overflowing tbl vanilla

+ an additional 1/4 cup of each brown & white sugar for rolling

Start by preheating your oven 350º.

The secret to this recipe’s success is the brown butter – browning your butter gives it a dense, almost nutty flavor, that combined with salt and sugar becomes borderline carmel-ish. Start by melting all but 4 tbls of your butter in a pan at medium heat. Stir constantly until the butter begins to brown. Transfer to a container to cool and add the additional 4 tbls of butter to the warm butter. You may notice sediment-like solids forming in your brown butter, embrace them!

Brown Butter

Let your butter cool for about 15 minutes and then combine your butter and sugars.

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Add your egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.

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In a separate bowl, combine all your dry ingredients (flour, salt, soda, powder). Begin slowly folding the dry into your wet mixture until fully combined.

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Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Combine 1/4 c white sugar and 1/4 c brown sugar in a small bowl with enough surface area for covering your dough balls. Begin scooping and rolling your dough into spheres the size of ping pong balls, roll your ball in sugar so that it’s completely covered.

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Once your sheet is full, bake for 8-12 minutes. You want to take these cookies out on the rarer side as they’ll firm quite a bit as they cool. The center of the cookie tastes like chewy, salted caramel. The cookies are sturdy, stack well, and would be mean bookends to an ice cream sandwich.

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Get baking!

xoxo,
Julia

key lime pie

KeyLimePie

This Hungry Texan celebrated the Fourth of July in the Houston homeland with the Lovett clan. We feasted on a red, white, and boil of tasty crustaceans and satiated our sweet teeth post-Fireworks with this sweet and tangy key lime pie.

When life gives you limes, make key lime pie!


KeyLimeCrust Ingredients

Key lime crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tbl melted butter
2 tbl lime zest

KeyLime Filling

Key lime filling:
4 egg yolks
3 tbl lime zest (from 4 key limes)
1/2 cup lime juice
1 can sweetened condensed milk

This is a one bowl, one whisk pie that requires minimal baking. For your crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, zest and melted butter in a large bowl until it sticks together like wet sand.

MixingCrust

Spray the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with your preferred baking spray and pack your crust into the pie plate until it’s densely and compactly situated. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-minutes or until it’s looking golden and the smells start wafting.

Crust_prebake

For your filling, whisk together 4 egg yolks for about two minutes. Add your lime zest and continue whisking until your mixture is a pale green.

Eggs + Lime

Whisk in your lime juice and condensed milk until your filling starts to thicken. Let rest for at least 20-minutes at room temperature, giving the filling adequate time to firm up. Pour filling into the cooled pie crust and return it to your 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the center of your pie is firm.

Full_Pie

Let your pie rest until it reaches room temperature and then place in the fridge to chill (can be made up to a day in advance).

Slice & serve chilled with a dollop of whipped cream and a slice of lime!

xoxo,

Julia