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

Tomato Head’s Apple Chutney and Cheddar Grilled Cheese on Flour Head Bakery Cranberry Almond Bread

For Apple Chutney:

½ cup Oil

1 cup onion, diced

3 medium Granny Smith Apples (about 4 cups), sliced

1 Tbl Jalapeno, minced

2 Tbl cilantro, chopped

¼ cup sugar

2 cup Orange Juice

1 cup Raisins

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Cumin, ground

2 tsp Curry Powder

½ tsp Ginger, ground

½ tsp Coriander, ground

1/8 tsp cinnamon, ground

¼ cup vinegar

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add apples, jalapeno, and cilantro and saute 1-2 minutes longer. Add orange juice. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce heat to medium low.

Add remaining ingredients.  drop heat to low and stir frequently for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until mixture thickens.

To Assemble Grilled Cheese:

Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium heat.

Generously butter an even number of slices of bread. Place the slices butter down on a parchment lined baking pan. Top ½ of the slices of bread with a generous portion of chutney, some thinly sliced green apples, one slice of Monterey Jack cheese, and one slice or a generous sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese. Place a piece of buttered bread, butter side up (facing you) on top of each of the assembled pieces of bread.

Grill the sandwiches in the preheated cast iron skillet. 1 or 2 at a time until lightly browned, flipping as necessary, on both sides until cheese has melted.

Tomato Head’s Tex Mex Featherbed Eggs

6 cups cooked cornbread from your favorite cornbread recipe

4 Green Onions, sliced

1 Poblano Pepper, cored and diced

1 ½ cups Andouille Sausage, sliced

2 cups Shredded Cheddar

2.25 cups Milk

3 Large Eggs

1 tsp Salt

And additional 1.5 cups of shredded Cheddar for topping

Dice or tear the cornbread into 1 inch pieces and place in a large bowl.  In another small bowl mix the milk with the eggs and salt.

Add sliced green onions, diced poblano, Andouille sausage and cheddar to the cornbread and toss well to mix. Pour the milk mixture over the cornbread mixture and toss until all the cornbread is covered and absorbing some of the milk.

Pour the cornbread mixture into a 2 quart greased baking dish or cast iron skillet. Top with another 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar. Place a piece of Saran wrap directly on top of the cheese and then place a pan the same size as the one you used on top of the saran wrap, and weight it down ( you can place a few cans or some items from your fridge on top). Leave the eggs refrigerated overnight.

The next morning, remove the weights and the Saran wrap. Place the eggs in a 350 degree oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until top is browning and an instant read thermometer register 160 degrees.

Let the eggs cool down for about 5 minutes before serving.

Flour Head Bakery’s Appalachian Trail Mix Cookies

Each week in Metro Pulse, contributor Benjamin Pounds explores often overlooked trails located outside of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Quite a few are around an hour’s drive from Knoxville making sure you spend more time on foot exploring abandoned farmlands or admiring mountain views than being trapped in the gridlock that sometimes overwhelms a trip to the Smokies.

Whether headed west to the Black Mountain section of the Cumberland Trail or north on I-75 to Cove Lake State Park in Cumberland County, it’s important to bring food that travels well and doesn’t add too much weight to your pack.

While out on the trail, Mahasti’s Appalachian Trail Mix Cookies are the added sweetness (white chocolate chips!) and crunchiness (Flour Head Bakery Honey Almond Granola!) your hike needs.

Take these cookies on your next outdoor adventure and share photos of your gang on Instagram with us. We’d love to see the satisfied faces after a few hours in the woods.

FHB Honey Almond Granola is available at both Tomato Head locations as well as Butler and Bailey Market, Kroger Bearden, and Three Rivers Market.

1 stick unsalted butter

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 ¼ cup all purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

2  cups Flour Head Bakery Honey Almond Granola *

1 cup dried cranberries

½ cup white chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.

In another bowl mix together the flour with cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and mix well until everything is well combined.

Add the granola, dried cranberries and the white chocolate chips. Mix the batter until the ingredients are mixed in well.

Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving 1-½ inches between each ball.

Bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 12 – 14 minutes or until they are golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool.

Tomato Head’s Summer Zucchini and Poblano Soup

If you’ve spent anytime at the Market Square Farmers’ Market over the past few weekends, you’ve noticed an abundance of summer squash. This simple recipe for Mahasti’s Summer Zucchini & Poblano Soup is a great alternative to preparing zucchini the traditional summer way – standing over a hot grill.

Incorporating poblano peppers adds a slightly sweet and earthy flavorful without overwhelming your taste buds with lots of heat. In case you missed her cooking segment on WBIR last Saturday, we’ve shared Mahasti’s on our blog so grab some local homegrown squash on your next shopping trip and give this recipe a spin in the comfort of your kitchen.

Enjoy!

¼ cup olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and diced

2 large garlic cloves

1 large poblano pepper, cored, seeded and sliced

5 medium zucchini, ends removed

4 cups water

1 bunch cilantro

2 tsp salt

Peel and dice onion and set aside. Peel garlic, roughly chop and set aside. Rinse pepper, cut down the middle, remove stem and seeds, and cut into 1inch strips and set aside. Remove the ends off all of the zucchini. Cut 4 of the zucchini into 1inch rounds and set aside. Shred the remaining zucchini and set aside separately.

Remove about 1/2 inch off the bottom of the cilantro stems. Place the cilantro in a large bowl of cold water, swish around, and then lift the cilantro out of the water. Repeat the wash process with fresh water until there is no dirt left in the bottom of your bowl when you remove the cilantro. Roughly chop the cilantro and set aside.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. Add zucchini, pepper and water. Bring the soup to boil, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cilantro and salt and blend with an immersion blender until soup is smooth. If using an upright blender, wait for soup to come to room temperature before blending to avoid burning yourself.

After soup is blended add the shredded zucchini. If you used an immersion blender soup will be ready to serve immediately. If you cooled your soup in order to use an upright blender, the soup can be re-heated after you add the shredded zucchini.

Serve with Flour Head Bakery bread and enjoy.

Serves 8- 10

WBIR Tomato Head Summer Zucchini Pablano Soup Recipe

Celebrate National Strawberry Parfait Day!

June 25 is National Strawberry Parfait Day and Mahasti wants you to cool off with her version of this classic, summer treat. She recently shared this recipe on her WBIR cooking segment, where you can catch Mahasti every first and third Saturday of the month. You can also find all of those special recipes right here on our blog. bon appetit!

Tomato Head’s Strawberry Parfait

1 quart strawberries, washed, stemmed and quartered

1.5 cup sour cream

1.5 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbl powdered sugar

Your favorite Sugar cookie dough

Make your favorite sugar cookie dough. Scoop the cookies out into small balls onto a cookie sheet and bake the cookies for 10 – 12 minutes or until done. Ideally the cookies will bake up to the size of a half dollar. You will need 3 cookies per parfait. Allow cookies to cool.

While the cookies are baking, wash, stem and quarter the strawberries and set aside. In a medium bowl mix the sour cream, heavy cream, and powdered sugar together with a whisk or hand mixer, until smooth.

To assemble the parfaits:

Place 1 small cookie in the bottom of a glass or bowl. Top with about ¼ cup of sliced strawberries followed by ¼ cup of the sour cream mixture. Place another cookie on top of the sour cream mixture and repeat the process.  Place one more cookie on top and top with ¼ cup more of the sour cream mixture. Parfaits can be assembled up to 6 hours before, or can be eaten immediately.

Strawberry Parfait from The Tomato Head

International Biscuit Festival People’s Choice Award Winner!

25,000 people attended the fifth ever-expanding International Biscuit Festival and their taste buds voted our Ms. Pearl Buttermilk Biscuit the People’s Choice Award Winner ahead of 20 other signature biscuit creations. Mahasti shared her biscuit recipe on WBIR recently. In case you missed it, here it is in all its first place glory.

For the biscuit:

2.75 cups all purpose flour

1 tbl sugar

3/4 tsp. Salt

1 Tbl plus 1 tsp baking powder

½ stick unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup buttermilk

In a medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. Cut butter into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or 2 knives. Stir in buttermilk until a soft dough forms.

Pat dough down into a greased 12 inch pie dish or cast iron skillet. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

For the topping:

3/4 cup Mayonnaise

3 Tbl lemon juice

one 16 oz package frozen corn kernels

1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Black Pepper

1 cup Cooked Bacon chopped (In her version, Mahasti used Benton’s bacon.)

6-8 Roma Tomatoes

Salt

Fresh Basil – julienned

Slice tomatoes into ¼ inch slices. Set aside. Combine mayonnaise with lemon juice. Pour mayonnaise mixture over biscuit, spread around with spatula to cover completely. Sprinkle the cheese over the mayo layer, and sprinkle lightly with black pepper. Sprinkle corn over mayonnaise mixture, followed by cooked bacon pieces.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until cheese has melted and starting to brown. Remove the biscuit from the oven and overlap tomatoes on top of biscuit. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, sprinkle with fresh basil before serving.

Serves 8 – 10

Ms Pearl International Biscuit Festival People's Choice Award Winner

Tomato Head’s Easy Cinco De Mayo Tacos

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo includes more than just deciding between frozen or on the rocks. Our blog is chock full of great recipes of your favorite Mexican dishes like pambazos, ancho and coffee roasted pork torta, sopes with chorizo and pickled onions, and chicken enchildas.

Enjoy this fun, easy to follow, flavor-packed recipe featuring chorizo sausage during tonight’s festivities.

1 can prepared refried beans

Pickled jalapeno

Chorizo sausage, sliced

Cheddar cheese

Shredded Cabbage

Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Soft Corn Tortillas

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spread corn tortillas out onto a cookie sheet. Spread each tortilla with the equivalent of 1 tablespoon of refried beans.  Top with chorizo, cheese and jalapenos. Place tacos in the oven until cheese has melted and ingredients are hot, but tortillas are still soft – 5-7 minutes. Remove tacos from oven and top each taco with shredded cabbage and chipotle ranch dressing.

Serve immediately.

Cinco de Mayo Taco recipe

© 2016 The Tomato Head Site by: Robin Easter Design