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Tomato-y Pie & Hopes for Summer

April 19, 2011

I guess this rain is never going to stop.

At the least, it keeps me productive for the last few weeks of the semester. But man how great it would be for just a few sunny, warmish days to happen in a row. Oh, hi spring in Charm City, I guess you are destined to be a flooded deluge of storm drains and floating pink blossoms. At least it’s not windy and snowy, so I have less to complain about.

Which brings me to dinner tonight, which shall be the harbinger of summer harvests, with small hopes for summer to show its face sooner rather than later.

Tomato Pie! Semi-invented in the kitchen of yours truly, because obviously I can’t just follow a recipe, even though that might be a little bit easier. But where is the fun in that, right?

Anyways, this is loosely based off of the recipe I got from MySoCalledLife, who references Gourmet Magazine as the original. Thus, I suppose I’ve shunned the best of the best, I have dissected a masterpiece. But a little deviation is needed when we want to feel daring. And because I took the liberty to make a little more Southwest-ish, we’re just going to call it Tomato-y Pie. That’s right.

Tomato-y Pie:

For the crust:

1 cup flour (I used 1/3 cup WW and 2/3 cup AP)

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

6 Tbsp butter

1/3 cup milk

Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter either with a pastry cutter, two knives, or just use your hands until its pretty coarsely mixed. Stir in milk. Roll out between two pieces of parchment paper until it will fit in a 9×9 pie pan, and go up the sides a bit. Place into a greased pie pan and set aside while you prep the filling.

For the filling:

1.5 pound of tomatoes (about 5-6 medium sized tomatoes), sliced

1 can corn, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup cheese (I used cheddar and pepper jack)

cayenne pepper

black pepper

basil

garlic powder

1 egg, ¼ cup olive oil and 1 tsp lemon juice (you COULD used 1/3 cup mayonnaise)

breadcrumbs (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F

Get everything out, make your egg/oil mayo, slice your tomatoes and drain your beans and corn. If you have it all sitting there ready, the assembly is extra smooth and easy. Layer half of the tomatoes, slightly overlapping, in the bottom of the pie pan, add half the corn, half the beans, and half the cheese. Toss on a little bit of pepper, cayenne, basil and garlic powder. I really just eyeballed that. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients. Then, pour the egg/oil mixture pretty evenly over the entire thing and toss some breadcrumbs on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Serves 5-6.

Hello sweet summer! Let me first highly suggest that you make your own mayo mixture. Its really not that hard and the olive oil is seriously great flavor. The versatility of this recipe is nice, too. It can..and should, be made spicier I think. It can also be “flipped” and you could make it upside down, more like a casserole topped with biscuit dough. I took the top and bottom biscuit layer off the original recipe and just made it a bottom crust because I wanted more vegetables and also to make it a little healthier. On the crust, I really loved rustic flavor that comes with the ratio of whole-wheat flour I used, and the crust has a nice crunchy biscuit-like texture. Hello, yum.  I will be making this again, probably with fresh corn and tomatoes from the farmers market once those get into season and maybe some jalepenos…. Plus, it was easy! The prep probably took 15 minutes. With baking, you have dinner in less than an hour.

On the music front, its time for the April Kitchen Play List. This month is weird, because I think I finally accepted the fact that I like country music. Whew, I guess it is about time for the Southern girl to come around. Maybe it’s my recent obsession with Pat Conroy’s novels and thus a severe homesickness for the Carolina Lowcountry and everything that comes with being there. I don’t think you can forget the smell of the ocean on a humid summer evening. Plus, there are a few oldies in there, for good measure.

Oh anyways, here it is-

1. The Wind- Cat Stevens

2. Bowl of Oranges- Bright Eyes

3. Maddening Shroud- FrouFrou

4. I Don’t Need to Know- City and Colour

5. You Left Me- The Maine

6. Life and Life Only- The Influents

7. Moving Out- Billy Joel

8. Watch, Wait, Never Change- Olin and the Moon

9. It Should’ve Been Me- Ray Charles

10. Time Ago ’92- Black Lab

And as promised,  update on my farmers market lettuces, which seem to be happy in their transplanted environment and growing strong!

Enjoy!

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