basil & besos: comfort food, pt. 2

Roasted Cherry Tomato Clafoutis

Rain is returning to the Puget Sound and it is time to get cozy.  Inspired by Aran Goyoaga, the woman behind the beautiful blog Cannelle et Vanille, and her recent appearance in Whole Living, we started our descent into dusky autumn days and heartwarming comfort food by making a version of her Roasted Cherry Tomato Clafoutis based on what we had in the pantry.

We roasted cherry tomatoes from the garden of a sweet and generous neighbor, then whisked together fresh eggs from our chickens, whole milk, white Aussie cheddar and clippings of fresh basil, green onion and parsley herbs from the back porch and poured it carefully over the now caramelized tomatoes and slid it all into the oven.

An intoxicating aroma akin to a rich, deep-dish pizza filled the house as the clafoutis puffed and turned golden-brown.  Less than an hour later, we eagerly waited for the dish to cool. Upon slicing into it, we realized that even with the substitutions, we had stumbled upon a recipe calibrated to provide perfection and flexibility.

With a not-too-eggy texture and flavor that appealed to a one and a half year old and a husband who is not a fan of tomatoes, Roasted Cherry Tomato Clafoutis was a hit in our house and we are eager to try more recipes from Aran Goyoaga, especially from her new book, Small Plates & Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking.  Hopefully you get a chance to enjoy this dish while tomatoes are still in season!

Happy Noshing! – Wild Wren

basil & besos: comfort food, pt. 1

amid the first signs of the approaching autumn, we felt inspired to recreate some delectable comfort foods from our early years.

this week we decided to lay out the steps for our first project: breaded eggplant slices. this craving takes us back to the days of beings teenage vegetarians, when we excitedly devoured delicious eggplant parmigana subs, with that perfectly crispy coating of bread crumbs, a rich layer of red tomato sauce, gooey mozzarella cheese. back to present-day life – no longer vegetarians but now gluten-free cooks – this can present a glitch in the plans, but thankfully, the local stores have stocked shelves that help our GF recipes succeed.

with a shopping bag full of ingredients and a pantry full of supplies, we find ourselves gathered in Wild’s kitchen. as the oil heats up in the cast iron pan we set up the three bright green bowls that will contain GF flour, eggs, and panko GF bread crumbs.

simple gluten free breaded eggplant slices

GF panko or rice bread crumbs (add garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, paprika, and other spices desired, to taste)
GF all-purpose flour
eggplant (sliced into 1/4-inch to 1/2 inch rounds, depending on preference)
eggs (lightly whisked with a teaspoon of salt)
vegetable oil (for frying)

1) dredge eggplant in GF flour, then egg, then bread crumbs

2) let the eggplant slices dry/rest on a wire rack for a few minutes

3) heat oil in pan (min 1/2″ oil in pan) until shimmering

4) fry a few slices at a time (depending on size of pan), 1 min on each side or until coating turns golden brown

5) remove slices from hot oil with tongs, allow slices to drain on paper towel

6) sprinkle with a touch of salt

7) procede with noshing

for a 1st try, it only needs to be minimally tweaked, much to our delight.

instead of eggplant parmigiana subs, we made it mature – a hearty corn pasta with red sauce and breaded eggplant slices atop the steaming dish.

basil & besos: moments in the kitchen creating food to feed our loved ones. and to satisfy our own culinary cravings. – Wild Wren