Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gotta love those Italians!

When your husband says that something you made tastes like something in a restaurant, you must then go & blog about it.

I had the "creativity itch" & wanted to try out 3 new items in one dinner with 1 hr. to cook, not the best idea. But as I tend to think, hurried cooking is usually the best.

So, here’s what we had:

Courgettes & carrots “a scapece
Italian tomato & egg torta
Iced tomato & bell pepper soup with salsa verde

I really want to expound on two of these so lets just get the first one over with & say it was “maa-maa”. I was never a zuchinni fan and would’ve never bought these if they hadn’t been on SUPER sale And what I thought would be reeeallly great was just “so-so” (I’d like to know how you say that in Italiano” BTW) of course I didn’t have any fresh mint so it really wasn’t the “real deal” anyway.

Thinly sliced & sauteed courgettes & carrots
Seasoned w/ S&P, & tossed with a wine vinegar & mint dressing with capers. (mine was mintless) I imagined a bright beautiful dish but it was dull in color & I think that seemed to brainwash my palate too & I just felt it was not that great. Though I must say that the caramelized courgettes were pretty darn good. Unfortunately I seemed to be the only one would was even gracious enough to give it an “OK” review. Husband & kids were not fans! Oh, well!

The Popular Torta:
It was a pretty simple dish and lovely of lovelies it can be served hot or cold. Though again, I had to stray pretty far from the recipe as I (unlike some) do NOT have a wheel of Parmesan & Romano cheese in my cellar (if you do, please let me be your friend?) I substituted with the fake Parma & a token amount of Monterrey Jack/Cheddar mix (from Costco). It was fun to make & just as fun to eat.

Basically layering, a little Parmesan, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, (I ended up cutting the tomatoes in halves)Pouring on the blended egg/cream/cheese/basil/salt & pepper mixture. Bake at 200 for 20-25
TA-DA!!! It was pretty good actually & I will be making it again, esp since my husband raved about it.
The SOUP & Salsa Verde:

Oh Joy, this soup made me happy on so many levels. Something about the redness of it & the ice just made me happy-happy-happy. As expected Josh & I were the only true fans, though the kids drank a token bit & tried to be kind about it. (Sweeties!) It tastes better with time (1 or 2 days). Not only that but we had some ice cold at the pool the next day. Then I made a Bloody Mary with it that night, I used the left over for pasta sauce the next day & then for chili sauce the day after.

This was not difficult but the salsa was a bit more time consuming. For the soup: Peeling the tomatoes, chopping red peppers, garlic & chili pepper.
Blending Adding olive oil & tomato juice. Boy, it don't get more red than that.Then the salsa (which will keep for a month) was a blend of: pounded garlic & salt (till it was creamy) chopped anchovy, capers, fresh parsley/basil (again no mint) olive oil, lemon & black pepper.

So you serve the soup with ice & top it with the salsa. Good Lord God Almighty, if you want a good summer soup, this is it. BROTHER, this is THE soup! And I tell you it wasn’t too bad with some vodka & a little xtra crushed pepper after a long day of playing Mommy.
We even brought some with us to the pool, something about sipping on something as gormet as that in plastic cups.

This soup & consequent left-over inventions drew some caveman-like grunts of approval from my tomato loving husband (I believe this is the highest form of appreciation man can give you, it shows his brain has shut down completely to enjoy the food, thus the pre-historic complements) & I have to say I wasn’t terribly disappointed with the pasta sauce it produced when I threw about ½ a cup in with some sautéed garlic & chili with ingen & basil & heated on high for a few min. Or the chilli it produced when I dumped the last of it in a pot with another can of tomatoes & added ground beef & other “chili” flavorings.

Can we just all move to Italy or something?


Junior said...

Looks good. It's not something that I would make but I would love eat a manly portion of it.

Joan said...

whoah, thats one radical salsa!!

babylove said...

yeah, apparently salsa verde is a parsley based sauce with salty ingr. like capers or anchovies. I LOOOOOVE anchovies.

Jr: I actually thought this meal seemed kinda petite-looking but that's cute & I can't imagine you eating anything other than manly portions of it! :)

The Princesses said...

Anchovies! Ewww... although they do come in handy and taste pretty good in various tomato sauce dishes, just please don't put 'em on a pizza. X-|
Gosh that looks good enough to eat.

babylove said...

awww, really Kari? I love anchovies on Pizza! It's just like a shot of salt & fishy-business to give your pizza some life. ha ha! I guess I know a lot of people who can't stand it.

nina said...

What? Lan doesn't like cooked carrots anymore?

I'm not a real tomato juice fan, but I thought the cherry tomato tart thing was pretty & sounded delightful!