Friday, July 10, 2020

Cuisine & Screen: Home Edition, Part 14

Hi everyone! I was grateful to be able to take a few days off work last week. Even working at home during these crazy times, it's important to remember to take care of yourself and unplug every now and then. Since my annual summer beach trip is currently on hold, I decided to take a few fun day trips and it was much needed and appreciated. The best day trip of all, was the one to Chapel Hill. 
The Old Well

The Bell Tower

CUISINE
This week, I wanted to share one of my favorite summer dishes: Tomato Tart. The dish was originally inspired by this recipe, but I've added a lot of shortcuts that I've found make it easier.

Crust
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
10 TB cold butter (I always use salted), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 egg yolk
3 TB cold water

Combine the flour, cornmeal and S&P in a food processor. Add the cubed butter and pulse until it starts to form small pieces and slightly come together. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and water. Add this to the dough and pulse until it comes together, like a cookie dough. Take this mixture out of the food processor and knead it on a floured surface a few times, then shape into a flat disk. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or you can do this in advance and chill overnight.

Filling
2 TB butter
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kernels from 1 ear of corn
Any miscellaneous veggies you have - zucchini, squash, okra (optional)
2 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled 
6oz. flavored cream cheese (like Garlic & Herb or Chive & Onion)
Any miscellaneous herbs you have - thyme, basil, cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 375. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and a bit of salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and corn kernels (and any additional veggies you like!) and continue cooking for 3 or so more minutes, then remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, slice your tomatoes about ¼ inch thick. Salt them and put them on a paper towel to absorb some of their water.

Grab your dough from the fridge and place on a floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll it out until it's 1/8" thick or about 12” in diameter. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the cream cheese on the dough, leaving a 1 inch border around the edge. Layer the tomatoes on the cream cheese, then top with the corn mixture. Carefully fold the edge of the dough up, to cover the edge of the tomatoes, then brush the crust with the beaten egg. Bake for about 45-50 minutes (check to make sure the crust isn't getting too dark!) and then let it cool before you slice it. Sprinkle any miscellaneous herbs you have on top as a garnish!

The tart in all its glory.

Summer goodness at its absolute finest.


SCREEN
The King Of Staten Island - A Pete Davidson/Judd Apatow collabo. Need I say more? It's definitely a tour de force by Davidson - love him or hate him, he does a great job in this film. It's based very loosely on his life as a young adult, struggling to come to terms with his firefighter father's death. Marisa Tomei, wonderful as always, plays his mother, trying to do what's best for herself and her troubled son. This film is more in the vein of Apatow's "Funny People", as opposed to the more slapstick "Knocked Up" or "The 40 Year Old Virgin", though there are some comedic moments. Great supporting cast. 

Irresistible - A Steve Carrell/Jon Stewart collabo. Need I say more? Carrell is brilliant (no surprise) as a strategist for the Democratic party, who seeks out a rural activist (Chris Cooper) and molds him to run for office. Rose Byrne is fabulous as the foe, and always hits a home run when she plays an ice queen. This film is timely, and combines comedy with political drama. If you're into "The West Wing" or "House of Cards", give this a watch.

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