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Roasted Tomatoes with Crumbled Feta

We were invited early Monday eve to sit on the beach while watching the sun go down with a glass of wine by new friends out on the island, Don & Betty. They also walked us around their abundant gardens and filled up bags of vegetables for us to take home. The above tomatoes part of the bounty of goodness and extreme generosity. We came back to WW and roasted them up super simply by dousing with extra virgin olive oil and a generous amount of sea salt in the oven at 400 just until they started releasing their juices, which becomes the sauce when combined with the oil. When done, toss with your favorite just cooked pasta and crumble feta over the top of it all. Truly could not be easier but it is just so darn good when tomatoes are falling off the vine fresh and plentiful. You could certainly add minced garlic to the tomatoes before they go into the oven. Chopped basil too. Fresh corn would be amazing, as well. But this supper we wanted the freshness of the tomatoes to be the star so they took center stage.



 

 

JuneBaby

What a treat! We finally found time to dine at the much acclaimed JuneBaby here in Seattle. It was everything we had hoped it would be. Chef/owner Edouardo Jordan took home the James Beard award for ‘Best New Restaurant in the Country’ and ‘Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest’ this year. Needless to say, snagging a table has become quite a feat. The restaurant does not take reservations, so it can mean quite a wait. But we love a challenge! We thought a week-day arriving early would be the plan. We arrived at 4:30 and were third in line for seating at 5 when they open. We were dining with our niece Haley who is a bread baker at Sea Wolf and gets up at 4 in the morning for her early start time so we thought an early supper would be easiest for her and it clearly helped getting a table easily. Once in, then the fun began. Jordan’s family and Southern roots dictate the menu, and man oh man is it all tasty. We decided to order a bunch of things and share, so we could experience lots of flavors.

Buttermilk biscuits with pure cane syrup. Pimento cheese, pickles and house made saltine crackers. Gumbo. Nashville hot chicken liver, Nancy Lee roll, pickles & coleslaw. Fried green tomato with herbed shrimp salad and romaine lettuce. Chicken fried steak with a lima bean purée, peaches, cucumbers and tomato jam. Catfish with Geechie Boy yellow grits, spinach, pickled corn with a red sauce. Along with a bowl of Southern rice. Yes, we were quite full. But…

The dessert menu just looked crazy good so we shared, pecan toffee bread pudding with cinnamon bourbon anglaise and a piece of hummingbird cake with pecans, coconut, banana & pineapple.

Heaven. All of it. Every good word written about this place and every award received is incredibly deserved. A must if you live in Seattle or are visiting. Tell them the Teds sent you…

A walk around Gas Works Park after the meal to stretch our legs and enjoy the stunning soon ending Summer evening was the cherry on the cake. Actually, make that hummingbird cake!



 

 

A Wine & Dine Beach-y Summer Vignette

As we head into Labor Day week-end a little Wine & Dine Wednesday vignette of some new goods that have arrived recently. Just in time for the holiday. I picked up the last 3 jumbo vintage hotel silver bowls from my English picker while in New York. This bowl would be awesome holding ice for bubbles or fill it with water and float flowers. Anything in this vessel will look amazing. The whale serving board whimsical and beach-y. Oyster plates are always a hit for us. The shell-encrusted candlestick a beauty. Our assortment of vintage French Baccarat coupes continues to grow. These pictured have an optic strip throughout. And lastly but certainly not least, the Palm Beach wicker tote. Use it like a purse or have it be a small picnic basket. As chic as all get out. The seasonal purist in me holds my ground in the belief that Summer ends the 22nd of September. I so often see reference to people saying it ends the day after Labor Day. Don’t believe them. Insert big smile. We are going to hold on to this glorious season for dear life and enjoy every last moment of it…



 

 

Corn Dutch Baby

This Wine & Dine Wednesday brings a savory fresh corn right off the cob Dutch baby. I have written in the past about making a sweet version of this with blueberries and syrup. The corn has been crazy good and plentiful this Hudson Valley stay so I thought, why not? I studded it with a few spoonful dollops of a soft cheese right when it came out of the oven to make it even more savory, but is not necessary as it is pretty darn tasty just as it is. Sauté the corn after you take it off the cob in butter with a good deal of salt so it is nicely seasoned.

A black cast iron pan/skillet from 8 to 12 inches is best, but I have also make one in a non-stick pan and it worked swell. Turn on the oven to heat up to a hot 425 degrees while you mix up this batter. In a good sized bowl add a half of a cup of flour, half of a cup of whole milk, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and an 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt. Mix all together. Don’t worry, fine if a tad lumpy. Set aside.

Then add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the pan/skillet which is on the stovetop on medium high heat. Let the butter melt being sure it is covering the entire interior surface of the bottom of the skillet. Then add the mixture to that. Working quickly, scatter the fresh sautéed corn to the mixture. It is now ready to go into the now quite hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Check at 15 and if it not inflated and brown edged, cook a bit longer. It is the prettiest, puffiest darn thing right when it comes out of the oven (which makes it soufflé like) but will deflated quite quickly (which makes it pancake like) while still so yummy looking. Cut in half or quarters and serve immediately. Enjoy!



 

 

A Tomato Sandwich and a Glass of Rosé

That time of year again, and oh what a grand time of year it is. Tomato season! I can eat them daily and many times we do in so many ways. But the simplest is a tomato sandwich, on toasted bread, slathered in mayo with a heavy hand when salting the tomato. Heaven. Add a glass of rosé and a good book, and it might be one of my favorite August activities without breaking a sweat.



 

 

A Big Bowl of Cherries

As cherry season begins to wind down, enjoy them every chance you can. Simple can be best, as a big bowl presented as dessert with small bowls alongside for stems & pits, can be the perfect finish to a meal. I am often reminded of the simplicity and sublimeness of the bowl of tangerines and dates served at Chez Panisse with my friend Mimi. Beautiful perfectly ripe in season fruit served just as it is can be one of the very best desserts.



 

 

Pappardelle with Sardines, Romanesco & English Peas

This Wine & Dine Wednesday post is a quick supper I whipped up a few weeks ago out on the island. We often keep cans of tuna and sardines there for an easy meal. They are super versatile, convenient and hugely flavorful to anything you mix them with. This is really about assembling as much as cooking as it is a one bowl meal that comes together quite quickly.

Cut the Romanesco into bite sized pieces, laying them on a sheet pan sprinkling with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast in 400 degree oven until some of the edges turn brown. Set aside. Salt a big pot of water and cook the pappardelle according to the package instructions. While that cooks away, shell the peas. Crack open a tin of sardines packed in olive oil, straining out most of the oil. Grate a few handfuls of Parm. Once the pasta is done, drain, put it all back in the hot pot that it cooked in. Add the peas. The heat from the warm pasta will cook them ever so slightly. Add the sardines, the Romanesco and the cheese. Toss. The sardines will break up and coat the strands of pasta. Add a bit more cheese if needed. Finish with a heavy hand with the pepper and taste to see if salt is needed. Enjoy!



 

 

Pasta Mélange

Mister Sive is at the helm this fine morning for our Wine & Dine Wednesday post, whipping up a family favorite.

Readers of my husband’s blog know our love of barbeque. This dish captures that char and smokiness, here from veggies and sausages, and melds it with pasta and cheese. Yum! Like many of Ted’s and my favorite things, you can vary what you put in to capture whatever looks good at the market or strikes your fancy. This version highlights the local sugar snap peas which are so phenomenal this time of year—they take well to the BBQ, holding up to the heat and developing a wonderful caramelization.

Prepare your barbeque. You’ll want a full bed of coals, to fit a mixture of different foods cooking at the same time. Hot, but not super-hot. Don’t worry about a little bit of black char on the veggies; when mixed in it just adds to the BBQ lusciousness. As your foods finish cooking, wrap well in aluminum foil so they stay warm.

1 head of Romanesco, leaves trimmed, the large florets cut off the main stem, well brushed with olive oil.

1 head of Cauliflower, prepped the same.

1 pound of Sugar Snap Peas, with ends trimmed and the center string removed.

2 medium to large Sweet Onions, cut into 6ths, through the hard core (so the slices in each chunk stay together while cooking), rubbed with olive oil.

4 cobs of fresh Corn, shucked, and rubbed with butter.

10 links of good Sausage (these were Ulis from the Pike Place Market); we like a mixture with both some sweet and spicy Italian.

As you’re finishing the last phase of grilling, put your pasta pot on. When the water is boiling and before you add the pasta, dip 1 pound of English Peas, shelled, into the water for just a minute. Drain, put aside, and cover. Cook 1 pound of pasta; we like Farfalle, as it catches the bits and pieces so well. When the pasta is cooked and drained, add a couple good glugs of EVOO, and half of a 1/2 pound of grated hard sharp cheese, such as Asiago or Romano.

Uncover your veggies one at a time, and chop the larger pieces up a bit—you want big chunks, but nothing that needs a knife. Add to the pasta mix, covering the pasta mix between batches of mixing in veggies to keep it all warm. Cut the corn off of the cob and add. Slice the sausage and add. Add the second 1/2 of the grated cheese, along with 1/3 cup of finely chopped fresh herbs (I used used thyme and oregano from the WestWard herb pots). Lastly, top with the quick cooked English Peas.

We served this with a simple arugula salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette and a caprese salad. Partnered with a glass of chilled rosé, you’re now ready for Summer!



 

 

Brie, Ham & Fig Jam

Combinations of flavors can make a memorable stellar sandwich. I had one recently that sparked me making these the other day. They are our Wine & Dine Wednesday pick of the week–Brie, ham and fig jam. The pungent soft cheese mixing with the salty ham with the tart, yet sweet fig jam is really quite something. I initially had it on a croissant, which added a flaky, buttery goodness. I was not finding any to my liking at the grocery store the other day so opted for rolls that were made in the bakery on the premises. Rolls of this sort always take me back to my childhood visits to my grandparents in Wisconsin, where rolls were served at almost every meal. A crusty baguette would be divine, as would a seeded bread. You are only limited by your imagination. We stock this most extraordinary black mission fig jam by INNA jam that is out of this world that I am always looking for ways to incorporate into meals. Though any good quality fig jam would do. Just be generous in your spreading of it, as you want the flavor in each bite. I did the top and the bottom of the roll so both the ham and the cheese were in contact with the fig jam. The Brie, make sure you leave it out for a bit first, so it gets a tad soft and runny, making it easier to spread. Plus, that is when the complexity of the cheese really comes through. The Black Forest ham looked best at the grocery store, so I opted for that. Choose any ham to your liking. Then prepare to be transported for a short while as you enjoy one heck of a tasty concoction.



 

 

Our Spring/Summer Order of Mariage Frères Has Arrived!

Always a happy day when our shipment of Mariage Frères tea arrives from Paris. To have the shelves nice and full and freshly restocked makes our tea drinking customers quite happy. We carry the iconic black tins filled with loose tea, as well as the boxes of muslin tea bags. With over 16 varieties, there is always one to please. We ship this daily, so please give the shop a ring to place an order at 206.652.8350. You may also shoot us an e-mail at purveyor@watsonkennedy.com with questions on our stock or to place an order.