The Perfect Biscuit

Last week, Mahasti enjoyed breakfast at what folks in these parts call “a country cookin’ place.” The establishment served up a bready and spongy biscuit, which got Mahasti to thinking – how does a biscuit get that texture? Was the biscuit homemade or commercially manufactured? What, really, makes the perfect biscuit?

Always experimenting and looking for new recipes and approaches, Mahasti wonders if you might help her on this quest for the best biscuit. When you think of your favorite biscuit, do you think back to a recipe from your Aunt Libby or your Granny? Is that perfect biscuit recipe one your mother made, or maybe even your uncle’s cousin’s nephew whose name you can’t remember now?

If you have one of those old recipes from a relative or friend that you think makes the perfect biscuit, would you be willing to share? Mahasti would love to give the recipe a test run and see if it gets her any closer on her quest for the perfect biscuit. Willing to help? Send your recipe to: talktous@thetomatohead.com and she’ll be chomping at the bit to get her hands in the flour.

The Tomato Head’s Peach Turnovers

What to do with the abundance of peaches available at farmers’ markets right now (besides eating them straight from the peck)? Try our recipe for peach turnovers (as demonstrated by Mahasti on WBIR earlier today) for another delicious way to put summer on your plate.

Tomato Head’s Peach Turnovers

6 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and diced
1.5 cups sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp cold water
1 package frozen puff pasty

Two hours before assembling the turnovers, remove puff pastry from freezer. Remove the puff pastry from the box – leave puff pastry wrapped in the paper packaging until thawed.

Fill a medium pot with water and bring to boil. With a small knife make an “X” on the bottom of the peach. Fill a medium bowl with ice and water. Gently drop the peaches in the boiling water. Allow peaches to sit for one minute, then with a slotted spoon remove from boiling water and immerse in ice water. Remove peaches one at a time from the water and remove the skins. Cut the peaches along the seam and remove the pit. Chop peaches into ½ inch pieces.

Place peaches and sugar in a small pot, over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook peaches 10 – 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water, add to peaches. Stir constantly until mixture loses its murkiness. Remove from heat and cool completely. (You can speed up cooling by placing peaches in a bowl and setting the bowl over another bowl of ice.)

To assemble turnovers:

For egg wash:

1 egg
¼ cup water

Beat egg and water in a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove puff pastry from packaging. Unfold one piece at a time. Cut each sheet of pastry into 4 equal squares. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of 2 sides of each square with egg wash. Place 1 tablespoon of peach filling in the middle of each square. Fold the puff pastry over the peach filling to make a triangle. Seal the triangle by pushing down on the edges with the tines of a fork.

Cut a small hole on top of each triangle – brush each with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Place turnovers on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

Makes 8 turnovers with a little extra filling leftover to eat with vanilla ice cream.

Tomato Head’s Mini-Cheesecakes with Local Black Raspberries

Cool and sweet, these mini-cheesecakes take advantage of the berries plentiful this season at local farmers’ markets. They’re also easy to prepare ahead of time, making them an ideal, refreshing dessert for dinner with friends.

19 lemon snap cookies (2-inch in diameter)
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, soft
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 pint black raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line 2 cupcake pans with 19 cupcake liners (If you do not have 2 cupcake pans you can bake the cheesecakes in 2 batches). Place one lemon snap in the bottom of each cupcake liner and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat softened cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth. Add sour cream, beat until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk, beat until smooth. Scrape the bowl down well. Beat once again until mixture is lump free. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until incorporated.

Pour batter into a measuring cup for easier pouring. Fill each cupcake liner with batter, leaving ¼ inch of space before the top of the liner.

Place cheesecakes in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight, before serving.

To serve: gently wash black raspberries with cold water. Lay black raspberries flat on paper towels and gently pat dry. Mound tops of cheesecakes with fresh black raspberries.

VIDEO: Mahasti Presents Tomato Head’s Mini-Cheesecakes on WBIR

Tomato Head’s Cole Slaw for a Crowd

Mahasti appeared on WBIR yesterday morning, sharing The Tomato Head’s “Cole Slaw for a Crowd,” just in time for Memorial Day cookouts and parties. This quick-to-make recipe is ideal for topping a barbecue sandwich and also serves as an excellent side dish for everyday summertime meals.

Tomato Head’s Cole Slaw for a Crowd

4 cups red cabbage, sliced thin
1.5 cups carrots, peeled and shredded
.5 cup red onion, sliced thin
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp red wine or cider vinegar
1.5 tsp cumin
.5 tsp salt

Place cabbage, carrots, and onions in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.

Serves 8 – 10.

Makes a great side for fried chicken, fried or grilled fish, grilled steaks and barbecue.

Tomato Head’s Onion Pan Pizza

Mahasti shared this recipe on WBIR this morning and the video clip is available for viewing here. Recipes for both the pan pizza dough and the onion version are presented below. This really is a treat both to make and to eat.

Tomato Head’s Onion Pan Pizza

One recipe pan pizza dough (see below)
6 cups onion, thinly sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Shredded parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves – chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare pizza dough according to recipe (see below). Press the dough into a 13 x 18 greased cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 3-4 minutes – or until top of crust becomes dry to the touch. Remove the dough from the oven and set aside while preparing the topping.

In a large bowl mix the onions, heavy cream, salt and pepper until the onions are well coated. Pour onion mixture on top of pizza dough and spread the onions out evenly.

Place back in the oven and bake 20 – 25 minutes longer until crust has browned and onions are soft.

Remove from oven – sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Cut into 8 – 10 pieces. Serve with a salad.

Serves 8 – 10 people.

Can be cooled and refrigerated. To serve, reheat in a 425 degree oven for 7-8 minutes.

 

Tomato Head Pan Pizza Dough

2.25 cups bread flour
1.5 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
7 – 8 oz water, room temperature

In a medium bowl mix together flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add water and stir with a spoon until dough comes together. Place mixture on a floured work surface and gently knead until a smooth ball forms. Place dough in a greased medium bowl, cover and let stand at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours or until dough has doubled in volume.

Lightly grease a 13 x 18 inch cookie sheet. Scrape dough onto the pan. Gently pull and stretch the dough to fit the pan. If dough is slipping sprinkle a light dusting of flour under the dough.

Tomato Head Pan Pizza Dough

Last Saturday, during Mahasti’s appearance on WBIR, she demonstrated how to prepare a Pan Pizza Dough. As promised, the recipe is below for anyone who may have missed the show. Enjoy!

Tomato Head Pan Pizza Dough

2.25 cups bread flour
1.5 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
7 – 8 oz water, room temperature

In a medium bowl mix together flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add water and stir with a spoon until dough comes together. Place mixture on a floured work surface and gently knead until a smooth ball forms. Place dough in a greased medium bowl, cover and let stand at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours or until dough has doubled in volume.

Lightly grease a 13 by 18 inch cookie sheet. Scrape dough onto the pan. Gently pull and stretch the dough to fit the pan. If dough is slipping sprinkle a light dusting of flour under the dough.

Tomato Head’s Ham, Scrambled Egg and Roasted Asparagus Sandwich with Artichoke Tapenade

It’s the first Saturday of the month, which means Mahasti will be on WBIR sharing some recipes for the new spring season. Tune in around 8:15am to watch as she prepares Tomato Head’s Ham, Scrambled Egg and Roasted Asparagus Sandwich with Artichoke Tapenade.

Both the Maryville and Knoxville locations will be serving this special on Saturday (while it lasts).

And for those who want to serve this special for an Easter brunch, or to take care of ham leftovers after Easter festivities, here are the recipes. Enjoy!

Tomato Head’s Ham, Scrambled Egg and Roasted Asparagus Sandwiches with Artichoke Tapenade

For the Artichoke Tapenade

2 cups artichoke hearts
½ cup green olive
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 – 2 cloves garlic
2 anchovies
¼ cup olive oil

If using a food processor, place everything in the bowl of the food processor and process until smooth. If you do not have a food processor, chop everything finely. Place in a bowl and mix well.

To roast asparagus:

Trim the bottom ends off the asparagus, rinse and cut in half. Place the asparagus in a mixing bowl drizzle with enough vegetable oil to lightly coat the asparagus. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, toss to coat and place on a cookie sheet. Cook the asparagus in a preheated 450 degree oven for 8 – 10 minutes.

To make 4 sandwiches:

Scramble 4 eggs
4 oz of ham
4 slices of swiss cheese
8 – 10 sprigs of roasted asparagus
4 rolls or 8 slices of bread

If using rolls cut the rolls in half. Spread the bottom piece of bread you are using with artichoke tapenade. Divide the scrambled eggs between the sandwiches. Top with approximately 1 oz of ham per sandwich. Place the roasted asparagus and swiss cheese on the top piece of bread. Place the sandwich in the preheated oven and bake just until the cheese has melted. Remove the sandwiches from the oven. Flip the top piece of bread onto the bottom piece. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

Tomato Head’s Strawberry Brownie Sundae

Mahasti appeared on WBIR this morning (March 6) and introduced how to make a delicious Strawberry Brownie Sundae. Step-by-step below:

Tomato Head’s Strawberry Brownie Sundae

For the brownie:
½ lb butter
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1.5 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder

Line the bottom of a 8 x 11 baking dish with parchment paper. Grease the sides of the dish with butter.

On a double boiler melt butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Sift together the flour and cocoa powder and set aside.

Beat the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer for 4 – 5 minutes on high speed until pale yellow. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla. Gradually add the melted chocolate. Gradually add the flour and mix just until all the flour is incorporated. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is shiny and the brownie is puffed up.

Allow brownie to cool for 1 hour. Remove from pan.

To assemble sundaes:

2 cups sliced strawberries
¼ cup sugar
Hershey’s Chocolate syrup
Whipped cream

In a medium bowl toss strawberries with sugar and set aside until the strawberries begin to give off some juice.

Cut 4 pieces out of the brownies you just made. Place each brownie on a plate or in a bowl. Divide the strawberries evenly amongst the brownies. Top with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. Top with whipped cream and nuts.

Tomato Head’s Super Bowl Sunday 7 Layer Dip

Mahasti was up early this morning (heck, she’s up early every morning), sharing this recipe for 7-Layer Dip on WBIR. If you didn’t catch her on air, you can check out the recipe below. Plus, we’ll be serving it at the restaurant all day today.

Tomato Head’s Super Bowl Sunday 7-Layer Dip

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup oil
1.5 Tbs ground cumin
¾ tsp. Salt
1 cup water

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add ground cumin and salt. Sauté one minute longer. Add water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher until 50% of beans have broken up.

Can be made up to this point one day ahead.

To assemble dip:

1 cup shredded mozzarella or Monterey jack cheese

Place beans in a 1.5 to 2 quart baking dish. Cover with 1 cup of shredded cheese. Place the dish in a 350 degree oven just until cheese has melted. If you made your beans a day ahead leave the beans in the oven longer until they heat up and cheese melts.

1 cup shredded lettuce
½ cup diced onion
½ cup sliced black olives
½ cup diced tomatoes
½ cup sour cream
Your favorite hot sauce

Remove beans from oven – top with shredded lettuce, onion, tomatoes, black olives, sour cream and hot sauce. Serve with corn chips

Serves 4.

If you are expecting more of a crowd you can double the recipe.

© 2016 The Tomato Head Site by: Robin Easter Design