Tomato Head’s chorizo and onion quesadilla with guacamole

Today’s recipe for Tomato Head’s chorizo and onion quesadilla with guacamole can be an easy meal or snack, especially when the guacamole is prepped. More importantly we’re sharing a delicious recipe for guacamole, which really should speak for itself.

But for those of you who don’t know, guacamole is a perfect snack or addition to any meal in the summer time, especially by the water with a beer….I’ll stop dreaming now and get back to work. While this is a Mexican inspired dish, there is certainly room to be creative and bring in different elements.

Begin by making the guacamole, which will keep for a few days as long as you cover it directly with saran wrap, meaning no air between the wrap and the guacamole. This will slow down oxidation. This recipe for guacamole serves 4-6 people. For this part of the recipe, you’ll need:

4 ripe avacados

Juice of 1 lime

1 cup tomato, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1 Tbl cilantro

¾ tsp salt

2 Tbl onion, chopped

2 tsp jalapeno, chopped

Cut the avocados in half, removing the seed and scooping the flesh into a medium sized bowl. This is easier done with a spoon (click the photo below to see video of Mahasti using this life hack). Mash the avocados with a potato masher or pastry cutter, then squeeze lime juice over the avocados. This will add to the taste and help the dish keep. Next, add tomato, garlic, cilantro, salt, onion, and jalapeno. Mix well and serve immediately. If not serving immediately, cover with saran wrap as previously directed.

The quesadillas are the next step of the recipe. For these you’ll need:

12 inch tortillas

½ cup cooked chorizo

½-¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese

sliced onion

Place tortillas on a work surface. Cover the half closest to you with chorizo, cheese, and onion. Fold the top half of the tortilla over the bottom and place the tortilla on a heated griddle or a large cast iron skillet. When the quesadilla has browned on one side, flip it over and brown the other side while allowing the cheese to melt. Serve with the guacamole, and enjoy!

Video of Mahasti's WBIR cooking segment

Video of Mahasti’s WBIR cooking segment

Chicken Enchiladas in Tomatillo Mole

Do you ever wonder what chefs who actually know how to cook throw together for a last minute dinner?

Here’s an idea of what Mahasti does when she doesn’t have time to cook. This recipe for chicken enchiladas in tomatillo mole has quite a few perks. Once you’ve made the mole, you can keep it in stock, which makes this recipe, and many more, quick and easy. Mole can be thrown on top of a long list of things. Many of the ingredients for this tomatillo mole, such as the peppers, onion, and maybe even tomatillos if under the proper conditions, can be grown in your own garden which makes the mole the freshest it can be, and thusly taste even better. Also this recipe is easy, delicious, and fairly more interesting than making lasagna for the third week in a row.

To make the mole, you’ll need:

8 cups husked tomatillos (about 16-17 tomatillos)

1 large poblano pepper, destemmed and deseeded

1 large onion, peeled and quartered

½ cup cilantro

½ cup sour cream

1½ tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 400°. Place the tomatillos, poblano, jalapeno, and onion in a large baking dish and bake for 50 minutes. Look for the tomatillos to have black spots on them, then take them out and allow to cool. Place the mixture into the bowl of your blender, then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

The mole is really the bulk of the recipe in terms of time commitment. It is easy to store and keeps well, so keep it in stock.

To assemble the enchiladas, you’ll need:

One corn tortilla

1-1½ Tbl Mole

Scant ¼ cup chicken

Scant ¼ cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Shaved cabbage

Keep your oven at 400°. Place the corn tortillas in one layer on your work surface. Spread each tortilla with Mole, covering the tortilla almost entirely.  Place chicken and cheese on top of tortilla and roll the tortilla up into a tube.  Place tortillas seam side down in a baking dish or cast iron skillet.  Cover the tortillas entirely with more Mole; about 1/4 cup per enchilada.  Sprinkle tops with a little more cheese.  Place the dish in the oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve immediately with corn chips or beans and rice.

Tomatillo Mole

Put away those winter blues with a sweet snack in the sunshine​

Oatmeal has all of these really great health benefits, like being good for your heart and lowering cholesterol. This must mean that oatmeal cookies aren’t bad for you, or at the very least draw even, like celery with peanut butter*.

Lucky for you, this weekend at the Tomato Head we are featuring two different recipes for oatmeal cookies. We’ll be pitting our Flour Head Bakery oatmeal spice cookie against Patti’s infamous oatmeal cookie recipe.

Which one is better? You be the judge by visiting our Facebook page to vote.

I tell you this, you’re going to get to try some top notch baking. Bust out your inner cookie connoisseur and come on down to the Tomato Head this Saturday and Sunday to enjoy an oatmeal cookie-off in the sunshine.

Don’t worry, we’ve got milk too.

In case you’re interested, Patti’s Infamous Oatmeal Cookie recipe looks like this:

1 cup Oats

½ cup Walnuts, Chopped

½ cup Dried Cranberry

¾ cup Flour

½ tsp Salt

½ tsp Baking Soda

½ cup Shortening

½ cup Dark Brown Sugar

¼ cup Sugar

1 Egg

½ tsp Vanilla

In a medium bowl mix together the Oats, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, Flour, Slat, and Baking Soda.

In a medium bow, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat shortening with sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until egg is incorporated. Gradually mix in the flour and oat mixture until all the oats and nuts are mixed into the butter.

Drop by the spoonful onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in a 375-degree oven for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Makes 25 small cookies.

*this claim is not backed by any actual fact, it’s just here to help you feel better about sweets if you need the justification, because we care.

Click the video to watch Mahasti’s appearance on WBIR Channel 10.

TomatoHead's Infamous Patti Oatmeal Cookie WBIR

Tomato Head’s Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Roasted Cauliflower

When I listen closely, I can hear it. Maybe you can too. It sounds like a small crack, then a shuffle of a shelf. It sounds like water dripping steadily from the roof onto the speckled ground outside of my bedroom window.

It is the sound of freedom from the ice storm that has encased us since the tail end of Valentine’s Day madness.

As you thaw, perhaps still feeling somewhat lethargic from the snow days and freezing temperatures, you can quickly make this simple sundried tomato pesto pasta before returning to Netflix and a cozy bed. Of course, Tomato Head’s sundried tomato pesto pasta is a versatile meal that can be used on several occasions such as cooking for friends or family, or especially for a date.

The important thing is that this dish is delicious to eat and fun to make because there is room for creativity.

Pesto will keep well for approximately two weeks, and making it in advance means that it is ready on hand for an even quicker meal. Plus pesto goes well with many other dishes or snacks as well, so having a batch on hand can be really helpful. Mahasti likes to add cauliflower and spinach to this recipe, but it can be eaten plain with just the bread crumbs. It would serve well as a side dish for chicken, fish, or steak. You can even substitute kale for the spinach and leave off the cauliflower. Really, the possibilities are endless!

Here’s what you’ll need for the pesto:

1 cup of sundried tomatoes in oil

⅓ cup of slivered almonds

½ cup of olive oil

2 small cloves of garlic

1¼ cups of water

2½ Tbl of fresh lemon juice

¾ tsp of salt

Place all of the ingredients into the jar of your blender and blend until smooth. Please note that this pesto is vegan. If you don’t have a blender, that’s okay. You can stop by either of the Tomato Head locations and pick up an 8 oz container of vegan or non-vegan pesto, then be well on your way with the rest of the dish.

Now it’s time for the roasted cauliflower. You’ll need:

2 cups of sliced cauliflower

1 Tbl of olive oil

¼ tsp of salt

¼ tsp of black pepper

Toss the cauliflower with your oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the cauliflower flat onto a cookie sheet and place under the broiler until golden. Remove from the oven, flip the cauliflower, and broil until the other side is golden as well. This usually takes about 4-5 minutes per side, but timing depends on your oven.

Now, for the bread crumbs. You’ll need:

½ cup of Panko bread crumbs

2 Tbl of butter

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until the breadcrumbs are completely coated and begin to brown slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.

Now it is time for the pasta. To assemble the pasta, you will need:

Spaghetti Noodles

1 cup of chopped fresh spinach

Roasted Cauliflower (see above)

Panko bread crumbs (see above)

Measure out enough dry spaghetti noodles to reach the approximate diameter of a quarter. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Before draining the pasta, remove ½ cup of the paste water and set it aside.

While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet on the stove. Just before draining the pasta turn the eye under the skillet to medium. Now drain the pasta. Next, add the drained pasta, ½ cup of sundried tomato pesto, and the ½ cup of reserved pasta water. Toss the noodles with the pesto until the noodles are completely coated with pesto.

Turn off the heat and add 1 cup of chopped spinach. Toss well until the spinach is evenly distributed. Divide the pasta between two bowls and top with breadcrumbs and roasted cauliflower.

Choosing the right wine for a dish with pesto can be tricky. Ultimately, you want a white wine bold enough to cut through the taste of the pesto. I would suggest pairing Tomato Head’s sundried tomato pesto pasta with a crisp, fruity Sauvignon Blanc, or a dry white from the region of Genoa in Italy, depending on your preference for fruity or dry wine. Wines from this region of Italy tend to be quite bold for the purpose of pairing with sauces such as pesto.

Now the best part, enjoy your pasta.

Flour Head Bakery’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake: a story of unlikely friends in the cupboard.

You might find yourself asking, “Who would think of mixing chocolate and mayonnaise together?” Truth is, we didn’t invent this odd pairing. Recipes for chocolate mayonnaise cakes dates back to the World War I, a time when ingredients such as eggs, butter, and milk were scarce. Bakers discovered that mayonnaise served as a suitable substitute, as the oils kept cakes moist and created a brownie-like texture. This trend continued into the Great Depression and has lasted to this day.

Today, mayonnaise is replacing butter in our recipe for Chocolate Mayonnaise cake to create a velvety-smooth texture that will keep well for days. Don’t let the name scare you off. Think of this as a chance to broaden your knowledge of the cake world—plus there is still chocolate.

Before this you can experience this tasteful enlightenment, you’ll need to pick up ingredients for both the cake and the frosting. The list of ingredients for the cake looks like this:

2 oz bittersweet chocolate

⅔ cup cocoa powder

1 ¾ cup boiling water

2 ¾ cups all purpose flour

1 ¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp baking powder

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 ¼ cup mayonnaise

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

Once you’ve gathered these, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two 9 inch cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper and greasing the sides. Break or chop the bittersweet chocolate into small pieces, then place in a bowl along with the cocoa powder. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate melts. Set the bowl aside.

Fill in a medium sized bowl with the baking soda, flour, and baking powder. Whisk until mixture is lump-free.

In yet another bowl, mix the two sugars with the mayonnaise. Whisk until all of the ingredients have blended together well.

Next, add 1/3 of the flour mix to the sugar mixture. Whisk together until the flour is incorporated, add 1/2 of the cocoa mixture, and whisk again until well mixed. Repeat this step, adding another 1/3 of flour with 1/2 (the rest) of the cocoa mixture. Then add the remaining flour. Whisk until the batter is smooth, then distribute the batter evenly between the two cake pans.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. You can test the center of the cake by poking it with a toothpick; if it comes out clean then the cake is ready. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans. Once cooled, flip them so that the side that had been on the bottom of the pan is now facing up, and remove the parchment paper. Keep in mind that the end result is going to be something like a double-decker cake. Place the first layer on a large platter and cover with 1-1 ½ cups of frosting. Spread and smooth the frosting, then add the second layer on top of the first and continue icing. Serve this timeless recipe at room temperature.

It’s not a finished cake without the perfect frosting, and it’s not a finished recipe without the notes for the perfect frosting to pair.  Here are the ingredients:

10 oz bittersweet chocolate

2 oz white chocolate

3 sticks of butter (at room temperature)

3 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1 Tbl vanilla

Place a pot of water on the stove over medium heat. Fill a small bowl with the bittersweet chocolate, then place the bowl over the pot of boiling water so that the bottom of the chocolate bowl is not touching the boiling water. Keep the chocolate there until it melts completely. Next, remove the bowl and add the white chocolate. Whisk the chocolates together until the white chocolate has melted. Try to resist eating this delicious mix of warm chocolate during this step.

If you own a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment for the next step. If not, a hand mixer will do. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add one cup of the confectioner’s sugar at a time and beat well after each addition. Throw in the vanilla, and while the mixer is running, steadily add the melted chocolate. Beat well until the mix is smooth. Scrape down at least once to make sure the butter is completely mixed with the chocolate.

Finally, the best step: enjoy your cake.

Click the photo to watch Mahasti’s WBIR cooking segment from last weekend.

Flour Head Bakery Chocolate Mayonnaise

Tomato Head’s Cauliflower Soup

¼ cup Oil

1 cup Onion

2 Celery Stalks, about 2 cups

1 Cauliflower

3.5 cups Water

2 tsp Salt

¼ tsp Black Pepper

Chopped spinach

To prepare the Cauliflower: Remove the leaves, and rinse under cold water. Cut Cauliflower in ½ and cut small florets off one half, and set aside. Cut the remaining cauliflower into medium chunks and set aside.

For the Soup:

Heat the oil in a medium pot, over high heat. Add the onions and saute for 1 -2 minutes. Add Celery, medium chunk Cauliflower, Water, Salt and Pepper. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer soup covered for 40 minutes or until cauliflower is soft.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender, or allow soup to cool if using a standard blender (see note), and puree for 2 minutes or until soup is very smooth. Add Cauliflower florets, return the pot to low heat and simmer until florets are soft, about 10 minutes or longer depending on your taste.

Serve immediately topped with chopped spinach.

Serves 4

Note: be very careful – hot liquids will splash out of a standard blender

Flour Head Bakery’s Chocolate Cream Cheese Cranberry Pie

For the Crust:

20 Oreo cookies

1 Tbl melted butter

Or 1 prepared chocolate crust

Place the Oreos in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the cookies until fine. Add the melted butter and process until the cookie crumbs are evenly coated.

Press the cookie crumbs evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan. Refrigerate the crust while making the filling.

For the Filling:

2 (8 oz ) packs of Cream Cheese

2/3 cup Sugar

2 Large Eggs

½ cup Heavy Cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat well until smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl a few times. Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add heavy cream and mix until smooth and creamy.

Pour mixture into prepared crust and bake at 350 degrees 45- 50 minutes or until the cream cheese mixture puffs up and the center no longer jiggles (you will see some cracks in the cream cheese). Remove from oven and allow the pie to come to room temperature.

For the Cranberry Topping:

3 cups Fresh Cranberries

½ cup Water

½ cup Sugar

Look through cranberries for stems and bad pieces. Rinse Cranberries. Place cranberries, water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, and cook stirring occasionally until cranberries have popped and the mixture has thickened slightly. Puree cranberries with an immersion blender or for a chunkier sauce, mash with a potato masher. Allow mixture to come to room temperature. Spread mixture over the pie.

Refrigerate pie overnight. Serve Chilled.

WBIR Chocolate Cream Cheese Cranberry Pie

Tomato Head’s Spinach Salad with Fennel, Candied Walnuts and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

For Candied Walnuts:

1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed

¼ cup water

2 Tbl butter

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp allspice

1 ½ cups Walnuts

Place brown sugar, water, butter, salt and spices in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to boil and boil for 1 minute. Add walnuts, and reduce heat to medium. Cook the walnuts in the syrup, stirring, for about 3 minutes until the walnuts are heavily coated. Pour the walnut mixture onto a greased paper lined cookie sheet. Divide the walnuts up with a fork and allow to cool.

For the Dressing:

2 cups Pomegranate Juice

1 cup Cranberry Juice – preferably Knudsen Just Cranberry

1/3 cup Sugar

1 cup Balsamic Vinegar

2 Cups Oil

1 Tbl Dijon Mustard

1 tsp salt

Place the Pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a stainless saucepan. Bring the mixture to boil and boil until the liquid has reduced by ½ . Remove from heat, pour juice mixture into a small bowl, add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Dressing can be kept refrigerated for 7  – 10 days.

For Salad:

fresh spinach

fennel bulb, thinly sliced

granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced

candied walnuts

onion, thinly sliced

dried cranberry

blue cheese crumbles

Place the spinach, fennel, apples, and onion in a large bowl. Pour dressing, according to your taste, over the spinach and toss well. Divide the salad up between bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with blue cheese crumbles and dried cranberries.

If you missed Mahasti’s cooking segment, click the photo below to watch her appearance on WBIR.

WBIR Fennel Recipe

 

Flour Head Bakery’s Sweet Potato Pie

The snow this morning was, as snow goes in the south, beautiful and disappointing. Regardless, even the smallest of a flurry shower can bring a stillness to the morning; one that I would love to fill with a cup of hot tea and a sweet bite for breakfast by the window. The early winter months can be so dreary with grey skies, biting wind, and early sunsets. I am no doctor, but I think having a healthy dose of sweets at any time of the day is good for one’s health this time of year. Which is why I’m going to share one of my favorite Tomato Head recipes with you: Flour Head Bakery’s Sweet Potato Pie.

First of all, you’ll need the ingredients:

1 ¼ cup sweet potato, baked, peeled and mashed

¾ cup sour cream

1/3 cup whole milk

3 egg yolk

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp salt

1 – 9inch prepared pie crust

Next, you need to prepare the crust. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using the tines of a fork, prick the bottom of the pie shell. Then line the shell with parchment paper and place pie weights inside of the shell. Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take the crust out of the oven and set it aside to cool. Wait to remove the weights until the crust has cooled. Reduce the temperature of your oven to 325 degrees.

Now place the mashed sweet potatoes in a bowl large enough to mix in. Add the sour cream along with the milk and whisk until smoothly even. Add the yolks and whisk again so that everything comes together. Add the remaining ingredients in any order you choose, then whisk until everything is well mixed.

Pour your concoction into the pie crust and bake at 325 degrees for approximately 45-50 minutes. Look for the center to seem set. If you have a temperature measuring device, make sure the filling reaches 170 degrees. That will be your sign that it is ready to come out of the oven. Remove the pie from the oven, and allow it to cool. Warning: it will be difficult to refrain from diving right into the pie, but for your taste buds’ sake, wait for the pie to not be piping hot.

Sweet potato pie is best served at room temperature, and in my humble opinion, by a window in the morning or with friends in the evening.

Sweet Potato Pie

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