Saturday, September 4, 2010

Grilled Heirloom Tomato & Hatchenade Sandwiches

I entered my first recipe contest last week. The recipe I came up with incorporated some of my favorite things: goat cheese, olive tapenade, heirloom tomatoes and (of course) carbs! I was shocked when I received an email this week notifying me that I was selected as a finalist. Turns out there were six finalists at the Houston Central Market location and they chose us out of over 300 entries. Pretty cool considering this was my first contest!

I was up against some tough competition in today's contest and my favorites were (can't remember the name) a salad of spinach, heirloom tomatoes, and red onions topped with prosciutto wrapped figs stuffed with hatch chile goat cheese & Crabby Hatch. Crabby Hatch was the contestant's version of Chiles Rellenos but was a hatch chile stuffed with crabmeat and topped with a creamy corn sauce and salsa. It was delicious and was picked as the winner! She won a $100 Central Market gift card and 75 pounds of hatch chiles. 75 pounds! That's a lot of hatch.

I still can't believe my sandwich was picked but I'm glad I was selected as a finalist. It was a lot of fun and the finalists were given Central Market gift bags which included: Central Market hatch tortilla chips, hatch biscuits, a jar of Austin Slow Burn Green Chile Jam, a jar of Native Texan Hatch Queso, Redstone's Chipotle Dark Chocolate Bar, Anderson Trail Hatch Chile Chocolate Granola and a 15th anniversary Central Market Hatch Chile Festival tshirt. We were also told that if Central Market decides to print another Hatch Chile recipe book that all finalist's recipes will be included in the book.

Grilled Heirloom Tomato & Hatchenade Sandwiches
Serves 4

Sourdough bread (preferably Central Market hatch sourdough), 8 slices
Heirloom tomatoes, sliced, 2 medium-large
Goat cheese, room temperature, 4 ounces (optional: mix chopped, roasted hatch chiles to softened goat cheese)
Arugula, 2 cups
Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
Hatchenade, 4 tablespoons
Kalamata olives, pitted, 8 ounces
Anchovies, roughly chopped, 2
Garlic, roughly chopped, 1 clove
Capers, 1 tbsp
Lemon juice, 1 tbsp
Hatch chile, roasted, peeled, seeded & chopped, 1 large
Olive oil, 2 tbsp
Salt, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Combine first six ingredients of hatchenade in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. With motor running, slowly add olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Pre-heat grill or panini press on medium-high heat. Lightly oil both sides of bread and grill both sides until lightly toasted, about 1 minute each side. Remove from grill and spread goat cheese on four pieces of bread, dividing evenly. Top goat cheese with about 1 tablespoon hatchenade each. Add tomatoes and arugula, dividing evenly. Place the top piece on each sandwich. Cut into halves and serve.
Remaining hatchenade can be stored in the refrigerator. It can be served with crackers and cheese or as a topping for grilled meats.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fusilli with Arugula, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese

Hi friends! Sorry it's been so long since my last post. I found a new recipe that I love and I'm excited to share it with you! It is based off of this recipe from Giada de Laurentiis: Orecchiette with Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese. I tweaked it a bit and used fusilli instead of orecchiette for the pasta since I couldn't find any whole wheat orecchiette. I used arugula instead of the Mediterranean-style mixed greens only because I love arugula and have been using it a lot lately. I also only used about half of the pasta water than it called for because I found it to be too runny for my taste if I used all of it. And lastly, I drizzled a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil on the salad along with the parmesan garnish. I served this with grilled shrimp on the side that I topped with a little bit of pesto. It made for a great, light meal. If you are looking for something that is quick and easy to make, especially during the week, then this recipe is for you!

Fusilli with Arugula, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese
Serves 2

Whole wheat fusilli pasta, 2 cups
Arugula, 4 cups
Sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil), 4 tablespoons, chopped
Goat cheese, 2 tablespoons, crumbled
Parmesan, 2 tablespoons plus more for garnish, grated
Salt, pinch
Black pepper, pinch, freshly ground
Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al-dente, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.

In a medium bowl, mix the arugula with the sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and parmesan. Top with warm pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to combine and wilt the arugula. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, or to taste. Garnish with additional parmesan and extra virgin olive oil, if desired, and serve.