Heirloom Tomato Pie

Last summer, I was OBSESSED with A Chef’s Life. Every night I would fall asleep to an episode and by summer’s end, I had watched every season at least twice. Through all of my watching and re-watching, there was one recipe that I still haven’t thought about. Enter the heirloom tomato pie. Heirlooms have exploded in popularity and were once those weird looking tomatoes at the farmers market, but are now what everyone crowds around. Get this—some heirloom tomatoes are actual family heirlooms with seeds being passed down through generations. Payne family, where are our tomatoes?

Heirloom Tomato Pie 

1 lb. of heirloom tomatoes, sliced
6 oz. goat cheese
Cracked black pepper
Shredded parmesan cheese
Kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, grated

For the pie crust:
1 cup flour
8 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup ice water

1. Slice your tomatoes and allow them to drain for 30-40 minutes—you don’t want your tomato pie to be soggy! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine the flour, butter and spices in a food processor and pulse until the dough mixture resembles a lot of small peas. Gradually mix in ice water, then transfer to a large bowl to hand knead. Cover in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

3. Once the dough has chilled, hand knead into a pie tin, a cast iron pan or a tarte dish and coat the bottom with goat cheese and cracked black pepper.

4. Layer on your heirloom tomatoes and grate a bit of garlic over each layer. Once you’ve used all of your tomatoes, grate parmesan cheese over the top and more cracked black pepper. If you’re feeling like it, put a few sprigs of thyme on top.

5. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown! Slice and serve like a piece of cake, minus the frosting or the candles. Enjoy!

Oven and Foil Shrimp Boil

Oven and Foil Shrimp Boil

Before the year started I set a goal for myself to travel to one new domestic city this year and one international country. So far, so bad. BUT it’s only July (depending on how you look at it), so there’s still some time left. For my next domestic trip, I’m #dying to head to New Orleans for a weekend to eat, tour the cemeteries, eat beignets, and hold an alligator. That’s right, when I dream, I DREAM BIG. So, as my mother would say, I “got a wild hair” this week and decided to make some shrimp boil filled with plenty of garlic, cayenne, black pepper and buttah. But, since city-living means that you don’t have a barbecue or a pit of sand to bury a shrimp boil in, I settled for my oven and probably four feet worth of foil to cook this shrimp boil.

Oven and Foil Shrimp Boil 
Ingredients (serves 2) 

1 lb. large shrimp, deveined
2 ears of corn, cut into six pieces
3 spicy sausages (pork or chicken, up to you)
1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 red potatoes, sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 lemons, sliced
3 sprigs, fresh thyme

Oven and Foil Shrimp Boil

1. Preheat your oven to 420 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and cayenne together—this will be your spice rub for your shrimp.

2. In a non-reactive bowl, pour in your olive oil, minced garlic, spices and shrimp together. Cover and let marinate for an hour unrefrigerated or up to 3 hours in the fridge.

3. Meanwhile, rip off four sheets of foil to make two foil packets. Drop in the butter, thyme and potatoes and pop into the oven for 15 minutes. Once your shrimp is done marinating, put everything else into the foil packets and cook for 20 minutes or until the shrimp is bright pink.

4. Drizzle with hot honey, more butter and enjoy!

Cast Iron Summer Vegetable Tian


This weekend marks the second weekend (in a row!) where I’ve gotten a sunburn. Thanks to my first off the shoulder top, c/o Anthropologie, my shoulders are bright red, I have a pale 4-inch gap on my arm and then everything from my elbows down is bright red. I couldn’t help but stay in the sun this weekend though, so I hit up two farmers markets to get the best fresh veggies for this summer vegetable tian. What’s a tian? I don’t even know, but I do know that you need plenty of summer squash, some tomatoes and potatoes. And an hour and a half on your hands. Most tians, however, are baked in those beautiful ceramic dishes, but I relied on my beloved cast iron instead.

Cast Iron Summer Vegetable Tian
1 tomato, sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
3 summer squash, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, also sliced
3 garlic cloves, diced
2-3 small potatoes (I found purple ones)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. dried oregano
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Cheese (for grating over)

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In your cast iron pan on medium heat, sauté the tomatoes, onions and garlic in olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper. Sauté for roughly 3-4 minutes, but don’t let the onions turn translucent —they’re going to cook down in the oven.

2. In a separate pan, also on medium heat, cook the tomatoes and tomatoes paste together for about 4-5 minutes. They’ll be ready once they resemble the texture of canned and crushed tomatoes. Once done, spread your tomato mixture over your onions in the cast iron pan and let them sit.

3. As your tomatoes and onion rest,  start slicing your vegetables including your squash, mushrooms and potatoes into small circles. They should all be roughly the same thickness.


4. Layer all of the vegetables over each other so that they fan out. Start from the outside and work your way in towards the center.


5. Grate some cheese over your veggies, top with the dried oregano and cover with a heatproof lid. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for 30 more minutes. Eat with pasta, rice or just on it’s own and enjoy!

Crispy Sesame Brussel Sprouts & Habanero Aioli


My apartment is full of boxes and therefore in shambles, I watched too much Sons of Anarchy and by Sunday night, I felt like that the bike club anger had rubbed off on me. I had to make something hot, crispy and slightly messy to complement my mood. Enter, these Crispy Sesame Brussel Sprouts and Habanero Aioli dish that Jax Teller would probably never eat. But I definitely did as I finished seasons five and six of the series.

Crispy Sesame Brussel Sprouts
1 lb. brussel sprouts (I love the small ones)
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 tbsp. olive oil
Chili oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Rinse and dry your brussel sprouts and set them aside. Meanwhile, heat a pan on medium-high.

2. Place your olive oil in the pan and toss in your brussel sprouts. Sauté for 5 minutes with salt, pepper, and sesame seeds. Dash in a bit of chili oil and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

3. Once they’re cooked and crispy, remove from heat and season with more salt and pepper and top with sliced chives.

Habanero Aioli
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. Habanero hot sauce (or more)
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
1 bunch chives, chopped

1. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, hot sauce, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper. When you’re ready to serve, top with the remainder of your sliced chives. Enjoy!

Cold & Spicy Korean Noodles


Here we go again with the ultimate lazy girl meals. MONDAYS, amirite? Half of my apartment is packed up for an impending move to the cit-ay, and I feel immense pressure to eat everything that’s left in my cabinets so I don’t have to drag it across the bridge. My half-Korean side came out in full force this weekend when I started having immense cravings for naengmyeon — cold noodle soup. But, instead of grocery shopping for seven ingredients that I wouldn’t use before week’s end, I looked at what I had and whipped this up. Easier to transport than actual naengmyeon, and therefore much more lunchable at work.

Cold & Spicy Korean Noodles
1 fuji apple, peeled and cored
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. gochujang (red pepper paste)
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 cups pasta (I used rice noodles)

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Once blended, pour into a small bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.

2. Bring water to a boil and cook pasta to your liking (I cook until soft, which takes about nine minutes). Rinse and drain your pasta and place a few ice cubes in a strainer. Allow to sit and cool for about 30 minutes.

3. When your sauce has chilled and your noodles have cooled, mix together, top with a hardboiled egg and enjoy!