A Soup to Celebrate Spring

You can’t deny the crocus, daffodils, Bradford pears, rain and robins. Spring is here. And with spring comes a new season in the kitchen. As your cravings begin to seek out new seasonal flavors, this soup, Carrot Orange topped with cranberry mint crema, may be just the thing to celebrate these early days of spring.

Mahasti presented the recipe on WBIR this morning, but if you missed the show, now worries. We’ll be serving it at both restaurants today. Enjoy!

Tomato Head’s Carrot Orange Soup topped with Cranberry Mint Crema

For the Soup:
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
½ cup onion, diced
4 cups carrots, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 -3 inch strip of orange zest
3.25 cups water
½ cup orange juice
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
½ cup sour cream
½ cup heavy cream

Heat the oil in a medium sauce over medium heat. Add ginger, carrots, orange zest, water and orange juice to pan. Bring the mixture to boil, then reduce heat, and simmer 15 – 20 minutes or until carrots are soft. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients.

If using an immersion blender – blend soup till smooth. Serve immediately topped with cranberry mint crema. If using an upright blender – allow soup to cool (see note). Blend soup in 2 batches – heat before serving.

Note: blending hot ingredients in a traditional upright blender can cause severe burns. Make sure your soup is at room temperature before blending.

For the Cranberry Mint Crema:
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

The Tomato Head’s Super Bowl Chicken Taquitos

In preparation for the big game tomorrow, Mahasti presented the recipe and method for making The Tomato Head’s Chicken Taquitos on WBIR this morning. What is a taquito? It’s basically a fried burrito, and they are basically delicious.

If you know you’re going to be in a rush you can shave some time by purchasing a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken yourself. Mahasti also discovered that Frontera brand  enchilada sauce was a good match for this recipe, which can be another time saver. For salsa, buy your store favorite, make your favorite from scratch or purchase some of Tomato Head’s salsa to go.

Both restaurants will be serving these special taquitos today and a vegetarian version will also be available.

Remember last year’s recipe for Super Bowl Sunday 7-Layer Dip? It’s another classic addition to any super-snacking event. No time to cook and want something really special to serve? Check out the Tomato Head’s Super Bowl Snacks to-go.

The Tomato Head’s Chicken Taquitos

4 cups of cooked chicken, diced or shredded
3/4 cup Frontera brand enchilada sauce, or enchilada sauce of your choice
1/2 cup sour cream
Shredded Monterey jack cheese
10 – 12 (8 inch) flour tortillas
Vegetable oil for frying

Mix cooked chicken, enchilada sauce and sour cream together well. Place one flour tortilla on your
work surface – fill with 1/3 cup of chicken mixture and ¼ cup of shredded cheese. Roll tortilla up while
tucking in the ends and secure the tortilla with toothpicks. Repeat this process until all tortillas are
filled.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, heat ¼ inch of oil. Dip one tortilla into the oil, if it sizzles you are ready to fry. Using tongs, place the taquitos seam side down in the oil and fry, turning them
periodically, until they are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain cooked taquitos on paper towel and
place in oven while you continue frying the rest of the tquitos.

Remove the toothpicks and serve hot with your favorite salsa.

Yields 10 – 12 taquitos

Tomato Head’s Curried Lentil Soup

Whenever the restaurant makes its Curried Lentil Soup, a customer will come asking, “can I have the recipe?” It’s an ideal soup for this season and Mahasti is excited about sharing the recipe. She’ll be presenting it this morning, Saturday, November 6th, on WBIR around 8:15-ish.

Also, both Knoxville and Maryville restaurants will be featuring the soup today. So…tune in and taste up!

Tomato Head’s Curried Lentil Soup

½ cup onion, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 lb dried lentils, looked over for rocks
1.5 cups carrot, peeled and sliced
1.5 cup fresh spinach, chopped
8 cups water
1.5 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté one minute longer. Add carrots, lentils, spinach, and water. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce heat and allow soup to simmer for 35 – 40 minutes or until lentils are soft. Add curry powder, salt, and cayenne pepper.

Serve hot with fresh bread.

Yields 8 cups of soup.
Serves 6 – 8

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.

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.

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