Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Low Carb and Light Wednesday.

I'm going rogue!  Today is just too darn hot to cook much of anything.  Our house doesn't have air conditioning, and right now it's about 85 degrees inside.  We keep the windows shut tight until about 7 o'clock when a slight breeze picks up and the air is a little cooler.  In the meantime, pug and I suffer the wrath of a sweltering 90 year old house made out of redwood.  I'm glad I chose tonight's meal just by chance- it's easy, delicious and relatively quick to prepare with very few ingredients.

Around these parts we love tomatoes.  We really, really LOVE tomatoes.  So I decided to whip up a batch of good old fashioned farm-style tomato stew with pesto drizzle.  I don't have a set way of making this dish because I usually toss in whatever I have available in my fridge the day of.  I'll try to make sense of it all for you guys, here it goes- my very own recipe...

*Fontaine Farmstead Tomato Stew*
10 vine ripe organic tomatoes, chopped into quarters
10 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
1 can San Marzano tomatoes (28oz)
2 cups chicken broth
1 small bunch fresh basil, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup of fresh cream
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

In a large stock-pot, pour your chicken stock in and place on medium heat.  Add all ingredients except the San Marzano tomatoes and cream (reserve).  Boil stew on low-medium heat until liquefied- the skins will separate, remove if you prefer- we leave them in.  Once mixture has reached a generally liquefied state, add your San Marzano tomatoes and let simmer for 20 minutes on low.  Add cream at the last minute and stir vigorously.  Add sea salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately with pesto drizzle on top.  

*Pesto Drizzle*
(You will need a blender, small chopping appliance or garden pixies to puree this mixture for you.)
1 large bunch of basil, stemmed and chopped
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp pine nuts
Parmesan cheese (if preferred, I keep the cheese out to taste the pure flavor of the basil.)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

This one is easy.  Basically combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Add oil as needed.  The consistency should be that of thick but viscous sand.  If you like a little more bite, add more garlic according to your tastes.  Drizzle on tomato stew and serve.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it can be served hot OR cold.  It's a very refreshing treat as a cold soup, especially on these hot summer nights.  During the winter, it makes for a hearty, wholesome meal- perhaps paired with white cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches and a nice glass of wine? 

Ok, I'm going to go open up some windows and chow down on this stew.  Man, it smells absolutely insane.  The hubbs came home and smiled ear to ear- he loves homemade soup. 



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