Photo Credit: Courtesy Chef Shaul

One of the most comforting of fruits in the winter is the humble tomato. It is sweet and warmly acidic, and comforting. Therefore, I am featuring two recipes incorporating tomatoes.

One is a roasted pepper and tomato dip which I kept working at until I got to the point where I felt it was worthy of sharing with you. The other is a home-style appetizer, stuffed breakfast tomato, which is great for breakfast or brunch!

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Still in all, I wanted to present a meal that although light would be complete. On that note, I include a hearty zucchini soup and a decadent dessert.

That dessert was complete luck (aka Divine Providence). We made a large Shabbos meal and had lots of leftover challah. That Sunday I chanced upon an old (pretty standard) custard recipe. I tweaked it up a bit and, using the described technique, developed the attached bread pudding recipe.

I really hope you enjoy!

 

Creamed Coconut and Zucchini Soup

Ingredients

1 tbsp Canola oil
3 medium zucchini, sliced thin
1 large Spanish onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk, thick part from can (don’t use clear liquid)
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tsp salt
Pepper, for taste

 

Preparation Steps

  1. Coat bottom of pot with oil and heat.
  2. Add onion and salt to pot.
  3. Sauté onion until translucent.
  4. And garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  5. Add zucchini and parsley.
  6. Sauté for additional 2 minutes while stirring.
  7. Add vegetable broth.
  8. Bring to boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes.
  9. Transfer contents to food processor and add coconut milk.
  10. Process until smooth.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Reheat if needed and enjoy.

 

 

Breakfast Stuffed Tomato

Ingredients

1 Beefsteak tomato, firm
1 large egg
Salt and pepper
¼ cup shredded pizza cheese, optional
¼ tsp balsamic vinegar
½ tbsp chopped basil

 

Preparation Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice off top third inch of tomato (to include tomato eye – the hard part at the top of the tomato.
  3. Hollow out a hole inside the tomato, large enough to fit in one egg.
  4. Lightly scrape out juice and seeds.
  5. Sprinkle some salt and pepper as well as basil all around tomato cavity.
  6. Drizzle balsamic vinegar in cavity while turning to coat entire cavity.
  7. Insert egg into hollowed hole.
  8. Sprinkle egg with a bit more salt and pepper on top of egg.
  9. Cover with removed slice of tomato.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes on lined sheet, until egg becomes white. Yellow should still be runny. (If you desire a hard egg, remove tomato top and bake for another 20 minutes, uncovered or until firm.)
  11. If you want to add cheese (as shown), remove tomato top, and sprinkle the desired amount of cheese and bake (uncovered) till melted.

 

 

Roasted Pepper And Tomato Dip

Ingredients

6 oz can tomato paste
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ lb button mushrooms
2 roasted skinned peppers
1 tbsp lemon juice/vinegar
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and julienned
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt, preferably kosher salt
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp capers

 

Preparation Steps

  1. Sauté onion until translucent and then add garlic and mushrooms and cook until well caramelized.
  2. Shut heat, add jalapeño to pan.
  3. Place all remaining ingredients, beside the oil in the food processor, and process till well combined (1-3 minutes).
  4. While processor is running, add oil in a thin steady stream.
  5. Turn on heat to medium.
  6. Add pepper mixture into the warmed pan, and stir all ingredients until well incorporated.
  7. Turn off heat and enjoy.

 

 

Decadent Bread/ Challah Pudding

Ingredients

1 large challah
1½ cups sugar
9 large eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups milk
1 bag chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice

 

Preparation Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix all liquid ingredients together with sugar and salt.
  3. Cube bread into (approximately) ¾ inch pieces.
  4. Pour well mixed liquid mixture on bread. Squeeze bread down, allowing it to absorb all the liquid.
  5. Mix entire mixture so all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  6. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
  7. Pour entire mixture into lined pan.
  8. Bake for approximately 1 hour, until nicely browned on top.
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ChefShaul was classically trained at the CKCA in Brooklyn, NY and has experience at some of NY's finest food establishments. Though ChefShaul has an affection for all types of cuisine he has a special soft spot for French and Mediterranean cuisine. Currently, he concentrates on recipe development, including public demos and restaurant consultations. Follow him on Instagram @ChefShaul or Twitter @ChefShaul. You can email him at chefshaul@gmail.com.