Tag Archives: tomatoes

Crab and Roasted Cherry Tomato Sandwich

4 Aug

I don’t wear shorts. I either wear jeans or skirts in the summer. I don’t know why, I just hate shorts. In high school I’d buy shorts from the boy’s section of the store, but now that I’m in my mid-twenties that doesn’t seem like a viable option. I know they make longer shorts for women, and I always try them on, hopeful, but they never look good. My opposition to shorts can be a problem. Especially when it’s 107 degrees out.

I went to the Nat’s game last Friday, and it was somewhere upwards of 100 degrees. There was just no way I could wear jeans. And none of my skirts really go very well with a red Nat’s t-shirt. So, I dug deep, both psychologically and into my dresser. I pulled out the one pair of shorts I own. The pair I bought at Target because I thought this might be the year I start wearing shorts. It wasn’t. I would occasionally put them on, look in the mirror, and promptly change into a pair of jeans. I’d also like to add that this has nothing to do with body image. I just hate shorts.

But I decided this had to be done. So I bypassed the mirror and headed to the ballpark.

As my friend and I were walking in, a guy with a camera pulled me aside and asked if I wanted to be in the Fan of the Game Contest. I waffled, knowing that this would involve me making a fool of myself on the jumbo tron. But really, how can you say no?

They pre-tape the contest. So they choose three fans, have them act like an idiot in front of the camera for what feels like 4 hours (they cameraman kept saying “ten more seconds” ….. “ten more seconds” …. “ten more seconds”) Sometime after the third “ten more seconds” I stopped believing him that this was almost over. Then some producer chooses your best 5 seconds of embarrassing yourself, and they play it on the jumbo tron in the 6th inning. The crowd cheers for the fan they want to win. Sadly, I was beaten out by the guy who painted his entire torso white and then painted on a Nat’s jersey, complete with name and number on the back. In the end, he really committed more than I did.

I did provide a catalog of awkward dance moves. This one looks like some snaps with a head bob. I also busted out the “crazy white girl” (jump around in a circle while waving your arms over your head. A real classic) and the Liz Lemon “spinning a basketball on your finger” (as seen in the Dealbreakers episode of 30 Rock).

I also specifically asked if they were going to match me up against some cute kid so there was no way I’d win. He assured me they wouldn’t. They did. Luckily, I still got more applause than the little sucker. Yeah, take that, cute kid.

Anyway. The rest of the night was a lot less eventful. I devoured a plate of chili cheese fries faster than should be humanly possible. To atone, I went to the farmers market the next morning and bought tons of fruits and veggies. The sweet corn right now is out of this world. And the peaches are so juicy you don’t really eat them so much as drink them. And sun gold cherry tomatoes. Ah, the light of my life. They are so sweet when you roast them, it’s like candy.

So, hit your local farmers market and grab some this weekend. And then make this sandwich. You can sub out anything for the crab. Maybe tuna? That’s easier to come by. Salmon? Chicken? Or keep it veggie.

Crab and Roasted Cherry Tomato Sandwich

Serves 1
6 inch baguette
10 cherry tomatoes (sun gold is the best!)
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt
3 slices fresh mozzarella (or whatever cheese you prefer)
1/2 cup fresh lump crab
handful of fresh baby spinach
1 Tbsp mayo
1 Tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat cherry tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, or until skin breaks and they look wrinkled.
Slice bread in half lengthwise. On one side, spread mayo, on the other spread pesto (or whatever tasty spread you have on hand). Add roasted cherry tomatoes to the side of the sandwich with the pesto, smooshing them down a little. Top with crab and slices of mozzarella. Stick back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, keeping the sandwich open-faced (so that the mayo side gets all nice and toasty and cheese gets melty. Remove from oven and add spinach. Close sandwich, slice in half, and enjoy!

Pasta with Vodka Sauce

25 Mar

I realized today that I’m getting way too used to being unemployed. It doesn’t feel weird anymore to not be going to work every day. It felt normal to head to the grocery store at 10am on a weekday. That kind of freaks me out. It means I’ve been unemployed so long I’ve adjusted. And it means it will be even harder to switch back once I do find a job.

I had this realization while I was walking to Whole Foods this morning to get the makings for a picnic lunch. Immdiately after I had this realization, I almost got hit in the head with a squirrel.

No. Seriously.

I was just walking along, when all of a sudden there is a blur of grey fur directly in front of my face. I look over to my left, and a squirrel is perched on the side of the tree I’m standing next to. For some reason, he decided to leap from the fence on my right side to the tree on my left side at the exact moment I was walking between these two things.

Just for a minute, let’s imagine the hilarity that would have ensued if I had been a half a second faster. A squirrel, leaping from the fence, would have landed ON MY HEAD. I’m picturing tiny claws in my face and a lot of jumping around on both our parts.

But after a moment of standing there staring at the squirrel in shock, I was able to continue on my way. I picked up some food to make a picnic lunch tomorrow. Some friends and I are planning a hike and I wanted to make a nice lunch. We’re going to have chicken and prosciutto sandwiches on ciabatta with olive tapenade spread, a side salad of carrots and pears with a curry vinaigrette, and some chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Yum yum.

But first let’s talk pasta. Pasta and I had a brief falling out. My last boyfriend reeeeally liked eating pasta and at some point I just got sick of it. But then I discovered Pioneer Woman’s tomato cream sauce. It’s so easy, and so incredibly delicious. One time I added pancetta to it and almost died it was so good.

I was suffering from a lack of kitchen inspiration earlier this week, and decided that tomato cream sauce was just the comfort food I needed to get me through it. I was going to stick with the old standby, but then I saw the link to her vodka sauce. And I thought, hey, I have a lot of vodka in my cabinet, let’s do this.

Don’t ever buy vodka sauce in a jar from the store. It’s so easy to make it yourself, and it just tastes one million times better. I promise. You’ll never go back.

Just some onions, garlic, vodka, tomato sauce and heavy cream. Easy. You’ve probably got most of that in your kitchen already.

This was before I spilled tomato sauce all over my stove top.


Pasta with Vodka Sauce
Adapted from Pioneer Woman

Makes 6 servings

1 pound pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup vodka
1 14 oz can of tomato puree (or tomato sauce)
1 cup heavy cream
¼ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, as much as you want

Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.

While pasta cooks, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil. Add diced onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add vodka and allow to cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the tomato puree (or sauce), and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add the heavy cream, being careful not to overheat. Add salt and pepper and stir.

Drain pasta and add sauce, topping with a generous helping of Parmesan cheese.

Because I was only serving myself, I didn’t cook up a whole pound of pasta, I just cooked the amount I wanted to eat, poured some of the sauce on it, and put the rest of the sauce in a Tupperware container in the fridge. Now I can cook up more pasta, reheat some of the sauce, and have a quick dinner.

Braised Short Ribs over Penne

1 Mar

There are a few things you should know before starting this dish:

1. It’s sounds kind of fancy, but it’s ridiculously easy. The dutch oven does most of the work.

2. Despite the fancy name, it’s not very pretty when served. In fact, I think it kind of looks like someone spewed on my penne. But believe me, it is so delicious, you won’t care.

3. If you make this dish for a boy, he will probably fall in love with you. I think I fell in love with myself after I made it. There may have been a proposal. Then I remembered I can’t marry myself.

4. The meat is so tender. SO TENDER. You might end up yelling at your roommate until she comes downstairs and then shoving a forkful of meat in her face while saying “OMG YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS. I AM A MEAT GENIUS.”

5. I am not a meat genius. My dutch oven is a meat genius.

I bought myself this beauty last week during a President’s Day sale at Macy’s. And I bought it specifically because I wanted to make this recipe.

So, if you are making dinner for a dreamy gentleman, definitely try this one out, just dim the lights so he doesn’t notice that it isn’t very pretty. (Now that I think about it, guys probably don’t even care if their food looks pretty. He’s probably just thinking about how hot you look. You go girl.)

And if you are not making dinner for a dreamy gentleman, it’s for the best, because honestly, you aren’t going to want to share this.

Braised Short Ribs with Penne

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Serves 2

2 pounds beef short ribs
Freshly ground pepper
1/8 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, cut into eighths
½ cup red wine
1 cup low sodium beef broth
½ pound penne pasta
1/8 cup freshly grated parmesan

Place oven rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Season the ribs with salt and pepper. In a medium (I used a 5.5 quart) dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ribs and brown for a few minutes on each side.

Using tongs, remove ribs and set aside. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all those tasty brown bits up.

Return the ribs to the pan and add the beef broth, making sure the ribs are nestled down in the liquid. Cover the pan and place in the oven for 2 ½ hours until the meat is fork tender and falls easily from the bone.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat, add penne and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta and place in a serving bowl.

Remove the ribs from the cooking liquid. Using a spoon, try to remove any of the excess fat floating on the surface. Then transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

Remove the meat from the bone, and using two forks, shred the meat. Add meat back into sauce and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add meat and sauce to the penne and toss well. Top with Parmesan before serving.