…is for sharing!
Gentle Readers, do you have a spouse who is an IG Junkie? Steve must send me at least 4 “reels” a day… and most of them are about food… specifically IG Recipes.
Some weeks ago he sent me a recipe for baked feta, and I was so curious as to why he would send it to me… a main ingredient was fresh cherry tomatoes (which he hates!) Now I don’t know about the flavor of cherry tomatoes in February in your area, but in my neck of the woods… they are flavorless things. But I thought the idea of the recipe had some merit, if I could somehow figure out a tomato work around.
Enter a group I am in on Facebook… I know… but while FB by itself has no redeeming qualities, that is not necessarily true of some of the FB Groups! LOL… Anyways, in the Milk Street Community Group someone shared that Mutti Ciliegini Tomatoes were crazy delicious straight from the can. And so I began my search… no grocers near me stock these babies, but Amazon does but they seemed pricey to me. So began The Great Mutti Tomato Price Watch… and when the price fell to what I felt was reasonable, I nabbed a case of them!
And… Oh.My.Gosh. Really, it is summer perfectly preserved in a can. Cherry tomato flavor bombs picked at the peak of ripeness and snuggled in a silky, rich sauce. Now I had everything I needed to make the Baked Feta… and so I did. It is super easy… and I am so happy to share my tweaks that pushed this utterly simple dish to perfection.
I present my take on…
Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Chickpeas:
- 1 can of Mutti Ciliegini Tomatoes
- 1 can of TJ’s Greek Chickpeas, drained but not rinsed (you can do this with a can of regular chickpeas, but you absolute need to drain and rinse the chickpeas and then get those skins off… I rub them between a couple of layers of paper towels, but golly is this tremendously fiddly and time consuming. Thankfully, Steve found the Chickpeas at TJs! They are so good and no zero fiddly-ness)
- 8 ounces of Sheep’s milk feta in brine (the best I have found to date is Trader Joe’s Israeli Feta… it is the least salty and bakes beautifully)
- One (or two?) baguette, sliced and toasted… or Pita Chips… whatever your preference!
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
While the oven is pre-heating, drain and gently pat dry your feta. (If you are using the block of Feta from TJ’s, I recommend cutting it in half.) Place the feta in a baking dish and pour around it the canned tomatoes, including every bit of the sauce, and the drained chickpeas. If you are using regular chickpeas, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over the entire dish. Sprinkle some freshly ground pepper over the feta and bake in the oven for 25 minutes (or until the tomatoes are beginning to pop open and the sauce is bubbling)
Then turn the broiler on high and broil for 5-8 minutes until the cheese begins to brown a bit and the tomatoes start to blister.
Remove from the oven and serve with a crusty bread or pita chips. I baked this Olive Bread this weekend and served it with that… delish!
This is my new favorite for Friday Happy Hour… it is so good! Don’t like chickpeas? I have tried it with olives (Kalamata and Sicilian Olives are both excellent choices) and it is amazing. I even think canned artichoke hearts would be a great addition!
Oh…and if you should happen to have any leftovers… never fear! It reheats beautifully… or even better, toss everything in the food processor and puree it. Yes, any leftover feta, chickpeas, and tomatoes/sauce… oh my gosh. So Good! We had this last night with the rest of that Olive Bread but it would be great with fresh veggies… carrots, peppers, cucumbers, etc.
And there you have my take on a truly delicious Baked Feta!
Happy Monday everyone!
The Happiest of Hours
Corned Beef Cooking
Really delicious baking!
and lots of reading!
Notes on a weekend: I do not consider myself a pie baker, but this recipe intrigued me and 8 cups of frozen raspberries from our garden that I had done absolutely nothing with glaring at me every time I opened the freezer. So, out came the raspberries to thaw a bit while I put mixed the pie crust ingredients together on Sunday morning. My raspberry modifications: 4 C raspberries – slightly thawed. 3 Tbsp corn starch (next time I will only use 2 Tbsp), 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla paste, the juice and zest of one lemon. I needed to bake it about 8 minutes longer than the recipe called for.
Oh, and that corned beef… omgosh, it was hands down the best corned beef I have ever made – or eaten! If you have always felt sort of ho-hum about corned beef… try Andrew Z’s recipe. It will turn you into a corned beef fan!!
My quilt top is almost done! As is the back of Deschain – so you know that means I simply had to cast on a new project, lol. This will be the shawl I am donating to and Close to You won the great pattern debate. I wound the yarn while I watched the NCAA selection show (there were cheers for Michigan pulling a #2 seed despite losing the Big Ten Tournament to Michigan State) and the winding continued while we watched the Circus. But, cast on was achieved before I finally turned off the lights and headed to bed.
And, with that – the weekend is just a warm memory and the mundanity of Monday awaits me! How about you? How was your weekend?
Are for making.
My list today includes more Cherry Tomato Jam, some Peach Jam, and a Plum tart.
Also, that Basil infused cocktail from Friday got very high marks! I based it on this recipe. It was bright and refreshing. Changes I made: I used regular vodka (not citrus flavored) and no tonic water. Served with a twist, it was the perfect start to the weekend!
Oh, and this will be done today! Well, at least the knitting will be done! Up next, steeks and a zipper!
How was your weekend?
Except, I am not at all wishing it was Sunday again! Yes, it’s that time of the year when it seems the weekend is almost all work! Take this weekend for example:
After picking 5 lbs. of cherry tomatoes over 2 days, I knew Tomato Jam time had arrived. And, yes, that meant a good chunk of Sunday was spent in the kitchen cooking… but I do have some jam to show for it!
I also made another plum crostata – this time with more tart plums. It was delicious, but we thought the earlier plums were better. But, alas… they are done for the year.
Sunday afternoon we had these crazy pop-up storms complete with several large cracks of thunder that sounded ominously close! And, close it was! Our neighbor’s tree was struck by lightning and we had a bit of a fire show until the fire department arrived to take control of the situation. Nothing says neighborhood bonding like something on fire, amirite? Yes, we all stood in the rain watching the firemen do what they do best – spray water on things. I wonder if they do gardens?
There was lots of laundry because why not right?
We watched Ready Player One, which caused me to change my review of the book. All in all, even though the effects were incredible, I was very disappointed in the movie. Special effects do not trump reading…ever. Pro-tip: read the book and skip the movie!
I also finished the mystery shawl! OH.MY.GOSH!! It still needs a good soak and the tiniest bit of blocking but stay tuned for the big reveal later this week!
I have a bad case of “I want to cast on all the things” but I am trying hard to ignore it. I pulled out this and knit sleeve two while watching Ready Player One and I made good progress (read, I have said sleeve done!) It is going to stay out until I have it finished. This should tell you that I am losing steam with my Vodka Lemonade, but I only have about 14 rows to the sleeve divide when I know things go faster. My focus word for the week is persevere! Ha!
And, with that… let’s get this Monday started! How was your weekend?
It was one of those perfect “height of summer” weekends that started with a laid-back Friday Happy Hour that included Whipped Feta Dip… mmmm so good! This will be in the rotation again!
The farmer’s market on Saturday was full of all the good things! Peaches, Plums, and Sweet Corn all made their way home with us. Plus, we had a bit of a bonus at a local grocer who had some elusive but oh so delicious Michigan blueberries in stock! This meant lots of cooking over the weekend… I am not a pie baker, and while I have an aunt who would crank out pie crusts in volume, this is my least favorite thing to do. But, “cheater” pie crusts, FTW! Unroll, fill, and bake made it so easy! I made Plum, Blueberry, and Peach Crostatas. And, really… they were all so easy!
Saturday was also Genevieve’s third birthday! The day was extra special because Christian was in port and not too far away so it made for the perfect little family celebration for them!
I picked an almost overflowing bowl of tomatoes and a couple handfuls of beans.
Plus, there was an entire meal of Sweet Corn. Ahhhh, summer! How good you taste!
Lest you think all we did was eat and drink and sing Happy Birthday all weekend, there was plenty of other stuff accomplished too! And, today Steve is home and will soon be in “internet heaven” when FIOS comes to install giga-bit internet here. Be still my heart, lol.
BUT, drum roll please…I even have an almost completed Beekeeper Cardigan! The knitting is done, I just have the seaming of the sleeves to do! Just the thing to occupy myself and stay out of the way today! Ha!
There was even some much-needed rain… all in all, the perfect weekend!
I hope your weekend was full of as many good things! Happy Monday!