Strawberry and Tomato Gazpacho

April 22, 2015  /   /   //  27 Comments

strawberry-tomato-gazpacho Strawberry and Tomato Gazpacho ingredients Goat Cheese garnish for Strawberry and Tomato Gazpacho
Strawberry and Tomato Gazpacho recipe
Hey all! So we posted this lil’ recipe about a year and a half ago, but we thought we’d bring it back because so many farmer’s markets are bursting with gorgeous, organic strawberries and we have a huge hankering! Seriously though, how do you not buy at least 3 pints of strawberries, every time you walk by one of those vendors; the aroma alone is intoxicating, isn’t it?!

Anyway, it’s been a little cool and breezy in LA these past few days, but the upcoming forecast tells me it’s going to be hot and sunny come this weekend, perfect for this super simple, delicious and ultra refreshing strawberry and tomato gazpacho. It’s the little things, like yummy gazpacho, that keep the week feeling light and easy…for us at least! Enjoy!

Lets get honest about gazpacho. When I first learned there was such a thing as cold soup I thought that idea was really disgusting. Soup is meant to hot, and filling, and so comforting that you should feel so good about yourself that you forget about all of your insecurities. Then you realize what gazpacho really is. Gazpacho is essentially a smoothie with the addition of tomatoes. That is if you don’t normally put tomatoes in your smoothies, and if you do that’s weird and I would then tell you its gazpacho. So learning that gazpacho is essentially a smoothie I looked at it a whole lot differently. I like smoothies. I bought a really expensive vitamix so I could make smoothies all the time. The thing about gazpacho is that you can add fun stuff like goat cheese and it’s totally ok. Adding goat cheese to a smoothie would again, be really gross. This recipe for Strawberry and Tomato Gazpacho is so light and refreshing. It’s one of those dishes you eat when it’s a million degrees out and you need something other than a snow cone. I wonder if you all have or have had the same feelings about gazpacho as me. Please share!
♥ Teri

Strawberry and Tomato Gazpacho
Makes 3 cups

Ingredients:
16 large strawberries, cleaned and hulled
5 small vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/3 hothouse cucumber, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1/2 bunch mint, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste
garnish:
2 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 limes, zested
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. (Strain if desired,
but not necessary)
2. Pour soup into a large bowl and set into an ice bath. Chill soup for 1 hour.
3. Stir and adjust seasonings.
4. Place goat cheese, lime zest and pepper into a small bowl and stir together
until fully combined.
5. To serve: Ladle soup into each bowl and top with a small dollop of prepared
goat cheese and snips of fresh mint leaves.

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Nice to meet you! Lindsay Emery of Suite One Studio

April 21, 2015  /   /   //  1 Comment

suite_one_studio Hi! So today we are introducing a new column here on Spoon Fork Bacon, where we do a quick interview of people who inspire us, and people that we just generally like. You will see anyone from chefs to makers on our Nice To Meet You series and we are really excited to share with you some truly inspiring people. Our first guest on our new series is Lindsay Emery of Suite One Studios. We own and use a lot of her ceramics in our work, and we love her. :)

NAME: Lindsay Emery
WEBSITE: www.suiteonestudio.com
LOCATION: Greensboro, NC
CURRENT STATE OF MIND: Content (it is the most beautiful spring day and I’m enjoying my sunny, Southern screen porch).
ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Aquarius
FAVORITE COLOR: Purple
FAVORITE ARTIST: Cindy Sherman (she is fascinating!)
FAVORITE TOOL: My hands.
FAVORITE SNACK: Dark chocolate anything.
FAVORITE MEAL: At home we make a really good black bean and corn grilled wrap that I can’t get enough of this time of year.
MORNING OR NIGHT PERSON: I lean a little more to the night side, but I’m not a late night person at all. Is afternoon person an option?
OCEANS OR MOUNTAINS: Mountains.
SWEET OR SAVORY: Sweet.
BIGGEST PET PEEVE: Condescension and meanness.
MOST TREASURED POSSESSION: My new large kiln!
DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY? Be kind, find your passion, work tirelessly towards a fulfilled life, and remember that sometimes enough is as good as a feast.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP? An artist!
WHATS YOUR PERSONAL SOUNDTRACK RIGHT NOW? Oddly, I seldom listen to music. Weird, right? In my studio now that it’s warming up, I have the windows open during the day listening to the birds, people walking by, and the city streets. I guess you could say that my environment is my current soundtrack.
CATS OR DOGS? Dogs, but don’t tell my cats.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF? Worry less.
ANY ADIVCE YOU WANT TO GIVE TO PEOPLE STARTING OUT? Determine what you like and do more of that. Perhaps more importantly, determine what you don’t like and do less of that. Participating in your own life is so important. Actively shape your own life instead of passively reacting to it. That’s simple advice I give myself daily, and it’s helped me grow my life and livelihood in a really natural way that feels good and authentic.

slide-image-1 1. How did you first get into ceramics, and what drew you to that medium?

Ceramics was a required course for my college fine art studies in painting and art history. I was nineteen, and I had some pretty inflexible ideas about what art was, ceramics didn’t fit into that. I was certain the class would be a complete waste of my time. All of the things I initially hated about ceramics became the same things I love about it now: it’s immediately responsive, selectively forgiving, deceptively challenging, and oh so rewarding when you get it right!

With clay there are endless variables in the making, drying, glazing, and firing processes. Because of that you learn a special kind of patience and acceptance. You get to become a bit of an alchemist-chemist when it comes to making your own glazes, and that still gets me going!

I instantly had much less control over my new materials in the ceramic studio, compared to my painting and drawing classes, where pencils and paintbrushes were perfectly familiar. I’d always been good at any art I tried, but I was terrible at ceramics. That led to a profound frustration and then that led to insatiable determination. After a few long, dirty days in the ceramics studio I knew my whole life was changing.

2. What inspires and motivates you during your creative process?

I’m inspired and motivated by food and my ceramic materials. My family owned restaurants when I was growing up and I basically lived in kitchens as a kid. My ceramics are designed around my understanding of food, and what it needs to shine. After working with porcelain for a decade, I’ve learned to understand it on a similarly deep level. I know how my clay will bend and how it will collapse. I work up until these limits to make pieces that appear substantial and organic, yet feminine and delicate. It’s the same thing with my glazes. I’ve worked on the formula for years and after a tremendous amount of trial and error I now understand the range of my glazes and how they can be used successfully to achieve my goals.

3. One of our favorite things about your ceramics are the simple depth you give your pieces with texture and overlapping swoops of color. You say on your website that you’re inspired by watercolor, when did that start to really influence your designs? Do you also paint with watercolor?

I don’t paint as often as I once did. Before that dreaded first ceramics class I would have said I was a painter, and that’s really what I thought I would do after college. I love the way paint moves, especially watercolors. I had a difficult time finding this same sort of fluid movement with my glazes in the beginning. Either they were too controlled and flat, or just a big melty, drippy mess. As my glaze chemistry understanding improved I was able to work in some of the painterly movement my ceramic work was missing. I’ve done brushstrokes, and bold gestural marks on my pots since I first started working in clay, but the results have become more refined over time. Experimenting and finally developing a glaze that has subtle, natural variation that I could manipulate, now that was a big moment.

4. It’s obvious you have a great talent for high gloss ceramics. what initially drew you into high gloss and how did that effect your decision to start getting into handmade glazes?

I’ve made my own glazes since my first ceramics class. Looking back I’m really impressed that my professor took the time to work this into the curriculum so early on. Having the opportunity to make glazes from scratch and to learn how glazes have been made over the centuries has tremendously impacted my glaze formulas. All of my glossy glazes at their most basic are influenced by celadon glazes, specifically those from the Song Dynasty. I fire in a completely different kiln atmosphere, and for that reason the formulas themselves are hugely different, but the fundamental inspiration for the translucent, high gloss, cool-hued glazes I make is drawn from pottery made a thousand years ago on the other side of the world.

5. Some of your platters use an imprint of lace. How did you come up with that idea, and what drew you to utilizing that kind texture?

Being inspired by food and all things kitchen and dining, I have a big weakness when it comes to vintage kitchenware and serveware. The lace texture I use is from an antique table-runner I found at a consignment shop years ago. Adding textiles to clay is a pretty popular ceramic technique that I picked up in my early ceramics education. Once I found that table-runner I knew I’d found a textile that would translate well to food related pottery, and I loved the idea of giving an old table linen the opportunity to grace a table again in a new modern way.

6. We have been long time fans, and so when we knew you had started using gold in your pieces we immediately loved it. Why did you decide to start doing that?

This one goes back to ancient and traditional pottery as well. Potters have been adding gold to their pots for over a thousand years and I wanted to find a way to add a little bling to my ceramics in a way that hinted at nostalgia but that also read as totally chic and of the moment.

7. What plates do you have in your house that you use everyday?

My cupboards are filled with blue and white vintage pieces I’ve collected piecemeal and flawed dishes from my firings. Remember all of those firing and glazing variables I mentioned earlier? Well, they happen, a lot. And they fill my cupboards with wonky, though well loved pots.

8. Do you have any personal ‘favorites’ among your collections, both old and new?

I’m a little obsessed with the Rose and Gold Dessert Plates in my current collection. Whenever those don’t fire properly in the kiln I’m secretly kind of happy because I can add to my own collection! I also love my Pour Bowls, and Serving Bowls. What really excites me about my work both old and new is the way the rims of multiple pieces work together when they’re stacked and nested. There’s something about the organic edges that challenges expectations of how plates are supposed to stack, or how bowls are supposed to nest. The spaces between the pots aren’t predictably even, and those small gaps and wavering edges completely captivate me.

Thank you so much Lindsay! Please visit her website and shop, new stuff is added to her shop every Tuesday at 7PM EST. :) suite_one_instagram
All images courtesy of Suite one Studio. Images directly above from Suite One Studio’s instagram. 

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Elote Baked Mac and Cheese

April 20, 2015  /   /   //  6 Comments

elote_mac_cheese elote_mac_and_cheese baked_elote_mac_and_Cheese I love making mac and cheese. It’s a really good thing to make for two people, because the leftovers are awesome. It re-heats so well. Mac and cheese is one of those versatile things you can add lots of stuff to, left over this or that, and it’s pretty much always good. Today we have a Baked Elote Mac and Cheese recipe for you and its so freaking good. Like so so good. Elote is one of our favorite dishes, and you may remember a long time ago we posted this recipe for Elote Fritters (which is a very addicting appetizer, consider just making it your meal cause you wont be able to stop!). Anyway, I love the corn in the mac and cheese, it’s such a nice texture to pair with the cheesy pasta, and the chili powder gives it a nice kick. Hope you all will make this recipe and enjoy it as much as I did!

Elote Baked Mac and Cheese
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
2 ears sweet corn kernels
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
12 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1 pound cavatelli pasta, cooked al dente and drained
6 ounces crumbled cotija cheese, divided
1 lime, juiced

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Lightly grease a 13”x9” baking dish and set aside.
2. Place first 6 ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together until well blended together. Set aside.
3. Place 2 tablespoons butter into a medium pot and melt over medium-high heat. Add corn and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour corn out into a small mixing bowl and set aside.
4. Place pot back onto the stove and lower heat to medium. Add remaining butter and melt.
5. Add flour and stir together to create a roux. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in milk and continue to stir until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and no lumps remain.
6. Stir in cheese, 2 ounces at a time until fully incorporated and mixture is smooth. Add all but 1 1/2 teaspoons of the spice mixture to the cheese sauce and stir in 2 tablespoons of cilantro.
7. Place cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl and pour cheese sauce over. Stir together until all the pasta is well coated. Fold in the corn, 2 ounces of cotija cheese and lime juice into the pasta mixture until well combined. Adjust seasonings.
8. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with remaining cotija cheese, spice blend and finally cilantro.
9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and slightly browned on top.
10. Cool for about 10 minutes, scoop and serve.

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Castelvetrano Olive Lemon and Parmesan Capellini

April 19, 2015  /   /   //  5 Comments

olive_lemon_parmesan_Capellini olive_pasta_recipe dinner_pasta_recipe The weather in LA has been so nice lately, super sunny yet also a lovely 65-75˚F. Not too hot and not too cold, it’s heaven. I’m not the type of person to drop carbs the second the weather gets warm, mostly because I’m not capable of dropping carbs, but I do like to lighten things up. In this case I’m using capellini and there isn’t a real sauce happening here. I love sauceless pastas that are still packed with flavor.

This particular pasta is one of my favorites because I love the balance between the briny olives and the nutty, savory Parmesan. The lemon also adds a bright touch to the dish which I really like. This is such a simple and quick dish that it’s great for weeknights. I like making extras of this pasta because I love tossing it with some mixed greens or arugula along with some cherry tomatoes the following day, for a tasty pasta salad lunch the next day. If you’re into olives and pasta I think you’ll totally dig this dish! Enjoy! xx, Jenny

 

Castelvetrano Olive, Lemon + Parmesan Capellini
Serves 5 to 7

Ingredients:
1 pound capellini pasta (angel hair)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups pitted and chopped Castelvetrano olives
1 lemon, juiced
4 ounces grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
garnish:
2 ounces shaved Parmesan cheese
zest from 1 lemon

Directions:
1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
2. Add the pasta, followed by a handful of salt and stir. Cook pasta until al dente, stirring frequently, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water, set aside until ready to use.
4. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt butter and oil together.
5. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add olives and continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the lemon juice and pasta water and simmer until 2/3 of the liquid has evaporated.
6. Add the pasta and toss mixture together. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and continue to toss together until well combined. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Top with freshly shaved Parmesan and finish with lemon zest. Serve.

 

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