Tomato Head’s Roasted Glazed Apple & Ham Monte Cristo Sandwich

Recognizing the addition of Saturday brunch to The Tomato Head’s offerings, Mahasti presented a recipe for a most memorable brunch sandwich while on WBIR this morning. And the best news…you can order this special, seasonal sandwich at both the Knoxville and Maryville locations of The Tomato Head today. Happy Fall, and Happy Brunch!


Tomato Head’s Roasted Glazed Apple & Ham Monte Cristo Sandwich

For apples:
3.5 – 4 cups thinly sliced apples
¼ cup thinly sliced onion
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup apple juice
½ cup brown sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice

Toss apples and onions with oil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile in a medium skillet, over medium heat, mix together apple juice, brown sugar and spices. Bring mixture to boil and allow mixture to boil rapidly for 2-3 minutes. Mixture should bubble and thicken slightly. Toss apples with 1/8 of a cup of glaze. Refrigerate and save remaining glaze for future use.

For Monte Cristo:

4 eggs

¼ cup milk
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 Tbsp brown sugar
8 slices of white bread
4 oz of thinly sliced ham
8 slices of Monterey jack cheese

In a medium bowl beat the eggs with the milk, heavy cream and brown sugar. Dip the slices of bread in the egg mixture until soaked through but not soggy – place dipped bread slices on a cookie sheet or large plate. Place 1 piece of cheese on 4 of the slices of dipped bread, followed by approximately 1 oz of ham. Divide the apples between the 4 slices of ham topped dipped bread. Place a piece of cheese on top of the apples then cover with another piece of dipped bread.

in a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter per sandwich. Place 1 -2 sandwiches in the skillet – fry the sandwiches until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip the sandwiches over and fry the other side until they are golden brown. Repeat until all the sandwiches have been fried.

Cut sandwiches in ½ sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately with a side of maple syrup.

Serves 4.

Mahasti on WBIR: The Best Biscuits

Several weeks ago, Mahasti put out a call for biscuit recipes, and ever since she’s been testing and refining batch after batch of biscuits. This morning she’s presenting “The Best Biscuits” on WBIR, around 8:15am, and promises to share more info (in the next few days) about the entire process.

The Best Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
5 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup chilled buttermilk

Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a medium bowl. Add chilled butter and work into flour with fingertips or a pastry cutter until the butter resembles small beads. Add buttermilk and work flour into buttermilk until you have a soft dough. Turn dough no more than 10 times. Gather into a ball. flatten the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1 inch. Either trim the edges and use a knife cut the biscuits into squares or use a traditional round biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits. Gather up any remaining dough into a ball and repeat flattening and cutting the biscuits. Place the cut biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet (placing the biscuits in the freezer at this point for 30 mintues will yield a fluffier biscuit). Bake in a 425 degree oven for 8 – 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve hot.

Makes 6-8 biscuits depending on the size of your cutter.

Tomato Head’s Sour Apple Bread Pudding

After a few weeks off from her appearances on WBIR, Mahasti started today by presenting a seasonally-scrumptious sweet to viewers. This recipe offers a wonderful way to use good bread that has just passed its prime and breaks away from the predictable apple pie dessert.


Tomato Head’s Sour Apple Bread Pudding

6 cups stale bread, cubed
3 cups granny smith apples, cored and diced
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl whisk together cream, milk, eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Add cubed bread and diced apples and toss well. Allow mixture to sit for about 3-4 minutes so bread can absorb cream mixture.

Meanwhile, lightly grease an 8 x 11 Pyrex dish. Pour bread mixture into prepared dish. Place baking dish on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in oven and fill to rim with water. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 – 1.5 hours. Remove Pyrex dish from oven and allow pudding to sit for about 5 minutes. Serve hot with ice cream.

Leave cookie sheet in oven, until water cools before removing and pouring out water.

Serves 6 -8 people.

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: 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.

© 2016 The Tomato Head Site by: Robin Easter Design