Hello October Pear, Ricotta, Honey and Almond Toast E.A.T #39

 

Weather Report – Nashville Tennessee, October 1, 2019, 5:33pm, 100 degrees.

This very quick fall pear treat, unless you call using a toaster cooking, could just as easily be eaten for breakfast, lunch or a snack. It’s just so good and uses very little energy.  You will no doubt come up with your own variations using other fruit without breaking a sweat.

A loaf of good crusty bread, sliced and toasted. Topped with a smear of ricotta cheese or mascarpone and  thin pear slices, a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of sea salt or sugar and almonds are all you need.

Stay cool in all ways.

Parmesan Roasted Fresh Summer Okra

I am crazy about okra when it roasted in this manner. Simple and easy. Freshly picked okra pods, olive oil, sea salt and hand-ground black pepper and a very generous scattering of shredded Parmigiano Reggiano.

As a young person I was not a particularly picky eater, but I was pretty horrified by bowls of slimy okra on the dinner table. I just could not eat it. No way.  My reaction was met with a cross look by my Mother while mumbling once again about the starving children somewhere. For many years I avoided okra. Only in various Cajun dishes did it make edible sense to me.

Roasted or grilled? By the platefuls…handfuls…delicious. Crisp on the outside, moist on the inside. Summer okra.

Parmesan Roasted Fresh Summer Okra

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of fresh okra pods, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup good quality olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a sheet pan (or two) with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl toss okra with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Spread out on parchment lined sheet tray(s).
  4. Roast for about 12-15 minutes just until slightly softened and crispy. Add more parmesan to serve.

Teresa Blackburn   www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Desirable Avocado Toast with French Breakfast Radishes – A 5 minute Meal

I am always cooking. Almost every day. I, at times, have a love-hate relationship with cooking. Some days I chose not to cook, but we still have to eat…no? Yes. This is what we might have on those days. I realize there are at least one million, at least, Pinterest Boards dedicated to avocados and toast…I haven’t counted but I’m pretty sure this is somewhat true. Avocado on toasted bread is de regueur for all modern minded folks from coast to coast.

There is no recipe, but desire. There is no one way to make it except the way you like it with a just right-ripe avocado and the best bread you can get your hands on. It takes 5 minutes at most.

A sprinkling of thinly sliced Spring/French Garden radishes from the Nashville Farmer’s Market for a bit of crunch topped off lightly with sea salt. You’re good to go.

Eat Well…eat healthy.

Desirable Avocado Toast with French Breakfast Radishes

Ingredients for this “not real” recipe:

  • very good crusty loaf of bread…homemade or store-bought
  • just ripe avocados that are “smush-able
  • french breakfast radishes or other locally grown radishes or from grocery
  • crunchy seal salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • arugula leaves

Directions for this “not real” recipe”:

  1. Toast bread.
  2. “Smush” ripe avocados onto bread.
  3. Top with thinly sliced radishes.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
  5. Top with arugula leaves.
  6. Eat. Enjoy.

Teresa Blackburn    http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

 

Orange, Garlic and Thyme Roasted Turkey Breasts

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“An empty stomach is not a good political advisor.” Albert Einstein

Eating well takes a bit of time and thought. Usually, for me, more thought than time. These “Orange, Garlic and Thyme Roasted Turkey Breasts” are easy and quick to prepare and cook.  Lots of juicy oranges full of vitamin c, plump garlic cloves, a bit of olive oil, thyme leaves and a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper…basics that I keep on hand all the time…made this dish all the more easy.

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These are organic turkey breasts which are a bit more expensive, but there is definitely enough for leftovers for lunch sandwiches or a pot of soup the next day. Two meals out of one.

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I thinly sliced garlic cloves,  rubbed the skin with olive oil and added a generous dusting of dried thyme leave to both sides all nestled into a roasting pan with freshly squeezed orange halves left in the pan for more flavor.

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Roasted and sliced orange roasted turkey breasts, along with a salad and crusty baguette (from Dozens Bakery if you live in Nashville) and a glass of your favorite wine is a good dinner to ease into fall.  This could be good for Thanksgiving Dinner for a small gathering of family and friends. Just double or triple the recipe.

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Serve sliced with all the juices and cooked oranges.

Orange, Garlic and Thyme Roasted Turkey Breasts

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients:

  • 2 organic turkey breasts
  • olive oil
  • a few small oranges like Little Cuties,  or tangerines will work
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • a generous tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Wash turkey breasts and pat dry. Rub skin all over with olive oil. Place skin side up in a roasting pan.
  2. Squeeze the juice from about 3 oranges into pan. Cut another 2 or 3 in half and snuggle around turkey breasts to bake along side.
  3. Generously scatter dried thyme leaves over each breast. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Add thinly sliced garlic cloves over top of each breast. Roast for about 1 hour, at 350 degrees,  or until a meat thermometer inserted into the breast reads 160-165 degrees.
  5. Serve in a deep dish or pan sliced with all the juices and cooked oranges.

Note: double or triple this recipe for a larger group…this is a great buffet entree for the Holidays.

Teresa Blackburn     teresablackburnfoodstyling.com   www.foodonfifth.com

 

All-American Baked French Fries with Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Although originally from Belgium, Thomas Jefferson was thought to have first served this American favorite in 1802 at the White House. He called them, “Potatoes in the French manner”.

Recently for a photo shoot at my house French Fries were the subject,  but I decided there was no way I was actually going to “fry” them. I don’t like to fry in my house…the smell lingers and I always seem to splatter myself with hot oil. Baking is friendlier and  healthier.  It’s so easy to cut up a few Russet potatoes into long, thin sticks.  A few sheet pans of hand cut potatoes tossed in olive oil and dusted with sea salt and a very generous grinding of cracked black pepper and eating them hot out of the oven, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is a pleasure.

Listen to this wake-up classic version of “Star Spangled Banner” while you work, Jimmy Hendrix playing “Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock, https://vimeo.com/90907436   

No peeling necessary…..

…lined up side-by-side ready for the oven. After they are baked, turn off the oven and leave them in to keep warm unless you are eating immediately, which I recommend.

Try dipping then in ketchup and mayo all smeared together on a platter. This is how we do it. Wouter likes mayo, I like both.

All-American Baked French Fries with Sea Salt and Black Pepper

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

  • 4 large baking potatoes, Russet potatoes, rinsed and patted dry
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • one lemon, cut into quarters
  • ketchup and mayo if you like

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut unpeeled potatoes into sticks. They will all end up being odd shapes and not uniform for the most part, but that’s how hand-cut fries are.
  3. In a large bowl toss together a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt and a generous grind of black pepper. (at this point you could also add other herbs or garlic, etc if you like).
  4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with olive oil or vegetable spray.
  5. Spread cut potatoes out flat on parchment lined pans. Do not overlap.
  6. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Turn pans around in oven and bake for another 12-15 minutes or until crisped and browned. Serve immediately or keep in turned-off warm oven until ready.
  7. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon and your favorite condiments…we like ketchup and mayonnaise together.

Teresa Blackburn     http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com      www.foodonfifth.com

 

 

A Short Story with Salted Radishes

I found these images among so many others I had forgotten about the other day. They are from our last trip to Amsterdam to visit Wouter’s mother together.  Soon after this visit Elizabeth died. but I saw these photos and remembered going to the market and returning to her house overlooking a beautiful canal right in the city with a bag of  great cheeses, bread and these fresh, crisp radishes.

The three of us ate them as they are best eaten….very cold with a dusting of sea salt. Biting into a salted radish is a delight to the palate. Crunchy, a bit peppery and salty, they are the perfect, simple appetizer to serve on a warm early summer day with a glass of cold wine or beer. A good aged Gouda and bread round it all out.

It is funny how food can be such a memorable part of our personal histories.  Recalling what you eat, with whom, where you enjoyed it and when is a fine thing indeed. So these salted radish images reminded me of this and what a fine early summer afternoon Wouter, Elizabeth and I had just sitting and talking, sipping our drinks and enjoying each others company laughing and telling stories while every so often biting into a radish.

Bon Appetit.

A September of Turbulent Times, Simple Servings, Hunger Action

These past few weeks have been unsettling. There is hardly an hour of any day that goes by that there is not another story of worldwide familial sadness confronting us. The Syrian diaspora alone is mind and heart wrenching. The details grim and unnerving.

While following these international events my mind always turns to practical matters. Food and water. Very simple and practical. I ponder the overabundance that is so unevenly distributed. I ponder how much I have and wonder how much I need. These are turbulent times and times for questionings…personal assessments of what is good for the most and how my actions affect everything else I come into contact with.

I received an invitation recently to an upcoming food event where for $500 I can have the privilege of hobnobbing with well-known chefs and food glitterati. I also received another invitation a few days later to make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank to take action against hunger in Middle Tennessee. I have made my choice…I will not be hobnobbing, not that I am against it if that is your thing, but will at the same time encourage you to perhaps hobnob one day and consider Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee for another. If you choose here is where to make a donation.

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My recipe offering is a simple serving using three ingredients, locally grown okra, sea salt & olive oil. Roasted Okra Pods can be cooked in an oven, in a heavy stove-top cast iron skillet or on the grill. When roasted the okra becomes a bit crisp  and has none of the so-called sliminess that is often associated with okra cooked by other methods.

Roasted Okra Pods

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb firm, fresh whole okra pods, rinsed & patted dry
  • Olive oil
  • Crunch sea salt or kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put dry okra pods on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Drizzle somewhat generously with olive oil. Toss to coat with your hands. Spread okra out on sheet pan in a single layer. Scatter sea salt over okra.
  3. Roast okra for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven to cool a few minutes and serve.

Teresa Blackburn    http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

http://www.foodonfifth.com

 Think, Cook, Share.