My Midwest Kitchen

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad

One of my favorite indulgences is a bit of burrata. If you have never had this creamy, magnificent cheese, please run to your local store (I get mine at Trader Joe’s) and grab a tub right away. Burrata is mozzarella with cream in the middle (some versions have cream and more mozzarella inside). It is delicate and decadent simultaneously due to the creamy center.

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Today, I wanted something fast and simple. Plus, when you have such great, fresh ingredients, sometimes there just is no need to over complicate things. I had the most amazing mini, heirloom tomatoes that I needed to use up. Did you know that “heirloom” tomatoes are very much what they sound like? They are indeed varieties of tomatoes whose seeds have been passed down. These commercial heirlooms were colorful and firm. I always find that heirloom tomatoes taste what I think a tomato should taste like. They smell tomato-y, they look tomato-y, and they taste tomato-y.  To not take away from the tomato-i-ness of my heirlooms, I just reduced some balsamic vinegar and tossed it with my tomatoes, some olive oil, and a basil chiffonade. How many times did I just type “tomato” in some form?

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Taking a small piece of the burrata in combination with the bite of the slightly sweet balsamic and acidic tomatoes is truly a moment of bliss. Close your eyes and be swept away by the gloriousness of this relationship.

And I always say, a bit of burrata makes everything better!

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Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 oz of burrata (2 balls)
  2. 20 mini heirloom tomatoes (can sub any tomato)
  3. 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  4. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 8 large basil leaves
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 cup of balsamic vinegar on medium high heat. Once it simmers, reduce to medium and simmer until reduced, about 15 minutes.
  2. While vinegar is reducing, halve the tomatoes. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Add in half the basil and toss.
  3. Cool vinegar. Toss 3/4 of the vinegar with the tomatoes and top the burrata with the remaining. Plate burrata and tomatoes side by side, sprinkling the remaining basil on top.
  4. Serve immediately.
My Midwest Kitchen Blog http://mymidwestkitchenblog.com/

Double Truffle Popcorn

Truffle. It is one of those flavors that is so unique that it is detectable almost immediately. Its one of a kind savory and earthy aroma induces watery mouths and sometimes even the shakes. Finding and then being able to afford real truffles in rare in these parts, so I am perfectly content using truffle infused ingredients like olive oil and salt. 

Then you have popcorn. Popcorn is a true addiction of mine. I have attempted popcorn addiction treatment, but this “ailment” is incurable. I even stalked one of my students who was selling popcorn for the Lacrosse team fundraiser and made sure I got my name on that order form (Chicago Style Blazing Popcorn, I am awaiting your arrival). 

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So, combining these two favorites of mine ends up becoming a love affair in my mouth.

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My double truffle popcorn is doubly delicious with the combination of truffle infused olive oil and truffle salt. I like Colavita Truffolio and Casina Rossa Truffle Salt. Add in some fresh, chopped parsley and you have a movie time treat or any time snack that is quite special!

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Double Truffle Popcorn
Serves 5
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Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  2. 2 tbsp canola or coconut oil
  3. 2 tbsp truffle infused olive oil
  4. 3 tbsp fresh, chopped parsley
  5. Truffle salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat canola or coconut oil in heavy bottomed pot for 3-4 minutes. Be sure to use a large pot as this recipe yield 10, 1 cup servings of popped corn.
  2. Add in kernels. Cover pot with lid and swirl kernels occasional. Once kernels start popping, allow to sit on stove until 1-2 seconds are left between pops. Turn off stove and remove lid to release steam.
  3. Pour 1/3 of the popped corn into a large serving bowl. Swirl 1/3 of the olive oil, 1/3 of the parsley and truffle salt to taste (a little goes a long way so I suggest starting with a couple of light pinches). Toss to combine. Repeat two more times with the rest of the popped corn.
  4. Serve immediately.
My Midwest Kitchen Blog http://mymidwestkitchenblog.com/

 

Patatas Bravas

These patatas bravas are inspired by one of my favorite tapas restaurants in Chicago, Cafe Babareeba. Their version is both savory and addictive and I consider these to be a hard to quit type, too. These go great with your favorite scramble or even alongside my spanish frittata.  Below are the ingredients and directions for this scrumptious morning dish.

Enjoy!

Patatas Bravas
Serves 8
Crispy, bite sized potatoes with a spicy, Spanish aioli
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. SAUCE
  2. 2 tomatoes (I like roma tomatoes. If you use another variety, make sure the size is equivalent)
  3. Β½ red bell pepper
  4. Β½ red onion
  5. 1 shallot
  6. 6 cloves of garlic
  7. 2 tbs sweet paprika
  8. 2 tbs smoked paprika
  9. 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  10. 1 1/3 cups mayo
  11. 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  12. Wedge of lemon
  13. Fresh chopped parsley
  14. Salt and pepper to taste
  15. POTATOES
  16. 6 large Idaho potatoes (choose starchy potatoes over waxy)
  17. Olive oil
  18. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash the tomatoes. Cut in half and seed them. Spray with cooking spray or lightly coat with olive oil Roast at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, skin side up.
  2. Fill large pot with cold water. Wash potatoes thoroughly and scrub skins well. Dice potatoes into bite size pieces and place directly into the cold water to prevent any oxidation (you know, the ugly browning).
  3. Parboil the potatoes until tender, but still gives you a little resistance (7-10 minutes). Strain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Let stand for a few minutes to drain any excess water.
  4. While the tomatoes are roasting and potatoes are on the stove, dice the red onion, shallot, and red bell pepper. In a pan set on medium heat, put 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute vegetables 3-4 minutes. Add 6 cloves of chopped garlic. Cook until soft – another 2-3 minutes. Add in paprika.
  5. Toss potatoes in olive oil and spread on two baking sheets to achieve a single layer. Place in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, tossing half way through.
  6. As the potatoes cook, combine the onion mixture, tomatoes (peel them first), vinegar, mayo, and cayenne pepper in a food processor (a blender doesn’t work too well). Add salt, pepper and lemon to taste. Puree. I like a little texture in my sauce, so feel free to stop pureeing when you see fit. *This sauce is best made a few hours in advance or even the day before.
  7. Take potatoes out of the oven and salt to taste. Serve potatoes with sauce atop or on the side. Top with freshly chopped parsley.
My Midwest Kitchen Blog http://mymidwestkitchenblog.com/