Enjoy It Raw While It Lasts

Soon the days of easy prep meals will be over, when you could walk into a kitchen, slice a tomato, wash some greens and be eating in 5 minutes.

Instead, we’ll be forced to wait an hour as thick winter squash bakes to tenderness in a hot oven. In winter it’s easier to wait for dinner, as the cold air doesn’t tempt for evening walks and late-night drinks on a rooftop.

But while it’s still lovely outside, and the season’s produce remains quick to prepare, remember that a raw salad is pretty rad.

Raw Summer Salad with Smoked Whitefish

This salad is ripe for flexibility, so throw in what you’ve got in the fridge. The taste of raw vegetables are much different than their cooked counterpart, so it’s fun to remember the snap of a bell pepper and the nose-tingle of a raw onion. With produce so fresh I didn’t even need a dressing, especially as the fatty whitefish salad complemented the clean vegetables.

I sliced up a yellow roma tomato, half a cucumber (peeled), half of a mutli-colored bell pepper and one tiny, tiny onion. I heavily seasoned all of the cut pieces with kosher salt and pepper and then quickly charred a corn tortilla on the burner. I lumped a few spoonfuls of smoked whitefish on top and called it finito.

 

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I’m Not Bloody Kidding: Chocolate-Tomato Cake

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When I think of chocolate pairings I usually go with strawberries, orange, mint and perhaps bourbon. Tomato, I think not.

A colleague recently told me how she substitutes water with canned tomato as the wet ingredient for her chocolate cake mix. Yes, you read that right. Tomato in a chocolate cake. As I’m not the baker in my household, it was nice to know that this little experiment would consist only of a box of chocolate cake mix and a can of diced tomatoes.

Following the instructions on the back of the box, an Organic Chocolate Cake Mix from Arrowhead Mills, I added just short of a whole can of Whole Foods 365 brand of no salt added, plain diced tomatoes, pureed.

Read on to see how this crazy combination turned out.

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

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– Wow. Ya’ll mofos have some crazy ideas for how to make a peanut butter sandwich. And we like ’em. Thresher:

It sounds nasty, but try mixing a little mayo (or veganaise!) into the peanut butter. If your PB is on the sweet side, remedy that by adding in a little extra salt. If you’re fancy, do all this in a food processor so the PBayo is fully blended. Totally delicious by itself or with jellies.

Slawhead:

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Safe at Home

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You won’t believe this, but I returned to Southern California this past weekend. Yes, two trips to SoCal in two weeks. And on both those trips, I avoided eggs, which is something that offends and prolongs my hangovers, and generally makes me unhappy. Oh how I craved the Huevos Rancheros in La Jolla!

I haven’t fully investigated where the bad eggs could have landed (but holy shit, the people behind this recall are awful, and I’m ashamed to say, Democratic donors), and therefore I have avoided anything but eggs I buy directly from a farmer.

Last week I fulfilled my craving with a roasted tomato egg salad, but after a weekend yearning for greasy egg sandwiches, I knew what had to be made for lunch upon my return.

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Burns My Bacon: Where’s My Tomato?

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There’s no denying it. When I come across a burger on a restaurant menu I’m tempted: a big fat juicy slab of meat always makes for a great dinner. I’m so tempted that even when I’m in no particular mood I always make sure that whichever restaurant I choose there is a good burger available. We all have our downfalls. I’m still seeking a gym buddy.

A nice fresh tomato and onions along with a little ketchup are what I look forward to on my burger, but you know what Burns My Bacon? A crappy tomato that’s what. I get it, tomatoes are expensive, always have been and always will be, but don’t skimp on the tomato on my burger or any other dish for that matter, slice it off and throw it out, just don’t ever serve it. If there are any other uses for ends of tomato then let us know in the comments.

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Infinito Sobbollire: Anticipating Rome

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Ladies and gents, I’m in dire need of a vacation and, as luck would have it, that’s just what I’ll be doing at the end of this month.  My last two trips to Europe, which took me to Hamburg and London, certainly left me with a few good food memories, but that’s going to pale in comparison after Mrs. TVFF and I head to Rome.  She’s been there a few times (and studied for a summer during college), but it’s my first trip.  We’ll be looking at tons of artwork, visiting important churches and ancient ruins and gorging ourselves on every type of food we can put our hands on.

It’s funny…I plan on walking something like ten miles a day while I’m there, yet I completely expect to gain 5+ pounds. What, exactly, am I looking forward to most?  I’ve got a shortlist of dishes that have my mouth watering already.
5. Gelato – Yeah, I know you’re probably thinking that this should be a bit higher on the list.  And it would be, except for the fact that (a) I’m going to be there at the end of February and it’s not exactly frozen-desert season and (b)  I work about a block away from what I think is the best gelato this side of the Atlantic, so it won’t likely be the kind of revelation it typically is for Americans raised on bland ice cream.  Still, eating a cup of pistachio while walking through the Campo de’ Fiori will be pretty sweet.

Check out the rest…and help me find the best spots…after the jump.

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