Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes
Cut out the middle of the tomatoes so there is adequate room to stuff them. Layer cheese, herbs and a splash of balsamic in the middle. Finish with salt and pepper. Grill on a medium heat grill (350 degrees +) until the cheese is melted and the tomatoes have begun to slightly char on the bottom, about 5 minutes. (Keep the grill cover closed while grilling to retain heat). Add additional cheese and herbs if you like before serving. Pair with your favorite main course for a nice colorful presentation! Serves 4.
The All American Burger
For the house-made buns:
Slowly heat the milk in a small pot over low heat until it is lukewarm. Stir in the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes to activate. Butter a large bowl. Combine half of the flour with the yeast/milk mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed, then slowly add the rest of the flour, sugar, salt, butter and egg. Increase the speed and mix until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Switch to a dough hook. Continue mixing, raising the speed for a few minutes, until the dough becomes slightly elastic. If it’s super runny, add a little bit more flour and continue to knead (it will be sticky). Pour the dough into your prepared bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for about an hour (until it is doubled in size).
Put the dough onto a floured work surface and divide it into 6 or 7 balls. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rest for another 10 minutes. Next, place the buns on a lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into a loose plastic bag and let the buns rise for another 30-40 minutes (until doubled in size). Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the baking sheet from the bag. Brush the buns with a little bit of water and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds (or both). Bake for 20-25 minutes (until golden brown). Let cool before slicing.
For the burger:
Preheat your outdoor grill or indoor grill pan. Divide the meat into patties. Generously season the patties with salt and pepper on both sides. When your coals are red-hot (or your grill pan is heated to medium), place the patties down. Let them cook for several minutes without moving them or touching them. Flip and continue cooking until the burgers move easily at your touch. Top with a slice or two of aged cheddar. The outside of the patties should be caramelized, while the juices will be trapped inside. We prefer our burgers on the rare side.
Split open your buns and put one cheese-topped patty on top of each bottom slice. Top with a slice or two of heirloom tomato and a few greens. Serve with ketchup. Pickles, optional.
Mixed Berry Cobbler
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With a pastry brush, coat the bottom of a 13 x 9 or large oval dish with melted butter. Evenly spread mixed berries on the bottom. Place dish on a lined baking sheet. In a medium bowl, mix butter, sugar, flour, milk, baking powder, salt and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Spoon batter over fruit and spread evenly. Mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup warm water. Pour evenly over dish. (This creates a golden brown crust and makes the fruit more soft and sweet). Bake for 50-55 minutes, until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm as is, or with vanilla whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Serves 8.