Best of 2010.
I figured I should provide a 'best of' list for 2010... why not? Magazines do, websites do, television, families, bloggers, stores. People/companies give you Top Ten and This Year's Highlights wherever you turn---and this year, Talk of Tomatoes is no different. So I looked through my 2010 archives and hand-picked my favorite recipe from each month; then added a quick little note to explain what I chose each recipe.
Here is my Best of 2010 list:
January 2010: Tuna & Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze. I picked this one because I make it all the time. Its a straight shot to a healthy lunch. Easier than making a sandwich, this salad is quick to assemble and good-for-you. It's the New Year: eat more greens! And tuna!
February 2010: Ribollita. AKA Italian bread soup. When we lived abroad in Italy for a year (2009/2010), this dish was one I was determined to 'learn.' This soup makes the best of yesterday's bread, an old Parmesan rind, winter kale and whatever bits and pieces of leftover vegetables are hanging out in the back of your fridge. I adore great ideas for using up remnants in my fridge!
March 2010: Tiramisu. Just six ingredients later, you will have a tub of tiramisu sitting in your fridge. This tiramisu is extra special: I learned it from a friend who owns and runs an agriturismo in Southern Tuscany. Cooking with Erika was one of the highlights of my year abroad. This tiramisu is a tasty reminder.
April 2010: Gorgonzola Ravioli. More cooking with my friend Erika in Italy. I had been meaning to make pasta... but never made the time. I loved watching Erika make it---hers was rustic, simple and approachable. In Italy they really DO keep it simple and use good ingredients.
May 2010: Ragu. I made ragu quite often in Italy, falling in love with their inclusion of milk and wine, long simmers and wafting smells from my kitchen. An easy, satisfying entree midweek, ragu appears regularly on our table (and in my freezer!).
June 2010: Mario's Meatloaf. I love making 'better than good food' ahead of time, enjoying some that same day---and tucking some in my freezer for later. Making meatloaf, with just-blanched vegetables lining the middle, is a satisfying dish worthy of guests.
July 2010: Part of my site is about following my food curiosities, and aiming to educate myself about ingredients, methods and the like. I dove into flour with my sleeves rolled up: and wrote a post called FLOUR 101. There are different types of flour, that behave differently when mixed with moisture or introduced to heat and/or friction. I decided to figure it all out.
August 2010: and that's all I have to say about that.
September 2010: Ancho-Seared Swordfish with Sweet Potato Mash. Because of this recipe, I now have sweet potatoes on my menu. OH and this recipe reflects my new affection for cooking Mexican food. What fun! Recently, I have been making enchiladas and homemade salsas, chipolte sauces, tamales and tortillas...
October 2010: Spicy Red Pepper Jelly. I started canning this year! It was on my culinary short list of 'things-to-master,' and this easy recipe will likely be in my pantry every year for the rest of my life. Its too fun, delish, unusual and better homemade. I often serve it with goat cheese and crackers.
November 2010: Fish cakes. I started making these a few months ago, and now they are a regular visitor to our family table. This particular time, I made the fish cakes and served them with chipolte aioli and pomegranate corn relish. Fish cakes now qualify as a 'family favorite' and on Talk of Tomatoes I refer to that special family fave list as 'default dinners.'
December 2010: this is probably cheating... it is a post on three confections I made, wrapped and gifted to neighbors this year. But they are all new faves: chipolte candied pecans, wedding cookies (pecan butter balls---the ones rolled in confectioner's sugar) and peppermint bark.