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Friday, February 3, 2012

50 Women Game Changers in Food - #33 Christopher Hirscheimer and Melissa Hamilton - Canal House Roasted Tomatoes Studded with Garlic







From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Canal House Cooking is a series of seasonal cookbooks created for the home cook by the food writing and photography team of Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton. In 2006, the two women opened Canal House as a photo and design studio for cookbooks and magazines. They had known each other for years before forming the partnership. Melissa Hamilton, a chef, had been the director of the test kitchen at Saveur magazine where Christopher Hirsheimer was a founding editor and photographer. Their food is a fusion of European country classics and American regional favorites which, while easy enough to do, is designed to be interesting and capture the eye and imaginations of their readers. Their recipes reflect Hamilton's French heritage and Hirsheimer's California background. Both women have traveled extensively and have impressive culinary backgrounds. Their vision includes three publications a year and they have been able to make their self-published concept work by doing most of the work themselves. Each of their publications contains about 75 recipes which they develop, test and photograph on their own. That has helped preserve the homespun but edgy quality they wanted their magazines to have. Together they share position 33 on the Gourmet Live list of 50 Women Game Changers in Food.

I selected a really simple recipe to highlight the type of cooking that the women do. As you scan through the recipe, you'll see a fairly standard list of ingredients for a simple pasta sauce. What is different, however, is the way the dish is prepared and presented. The idea here is to give everyone a flavorful roasted tomato that can be mashed over a serving of pasta, effectively creating a sauce meant for one. It works fairly well, especially when first served and piping hot. I thought the crumbs became gummy and less pleasant as the sauce cooled. The recipe is novel, at least to me, and I think those of you who enjoy something different for a change, might really like this. Here's the recipe.

Canal House Roasted Tomatoes Studded with Garlic on a Bed of Pasta


Ingredients:

1/2 cup diced pancetta
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pasta
2 anchovy fillets
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
4 tomatoes, tops sliced off, seeds scooped out (use your fingers)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Small handful fresh thyme, parsley, or basil leaves, chopped (I used a combination of all 3)
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound spaghetti

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fry pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp around edges. Use a slotted spatula to lift pancetta out of skillet to a plate. Leave rendered fat in skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and anchovies to skillet. Use a wooden spoon to mash anchovies until they dissolve. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring often,until they are golden.
2) Put tomatoes, cut side up, in a baking dish and slip some garlic into each tomato. Mound some bread crumbs into each tomato and scatter pancetta and herbs on top. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle remaining 4 tablespoons of oil over all. Roast tomatoes in the oven until they have browned a bit and interior is supple but tomatoes have not collapsed, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
3) Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain. Return pasta to pot and stir in some olive oil and some of the oily tomato juices from the bottom of the tomato roasting dish.
4) Serve spaghetti with roasted tomatoes and their juices spooned on top. Yield: 4 servings.

The following bloggers are also featuring the recipes of Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton today. I hope you'll pay them all a visit. They are great cooks who have wonderful blogs.

Val - More Than Burnt Toast, Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan - The Spice Garden, Heather - girlichef, Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney, Jeanette - Healthy Living
Mary - One Perfect Bite, Kathleen - Bake Away with Me, Sue - The View from Great Island Barbara - Movable Feasts , Linda A - There and Back Again, Nancy - Picadillo
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits, Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen
Annie - Most Lovely Things, Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook, Alyce - More Time at the Table, Amrita - Beetles Kitchen Escapades

Next week we will highlight the career and recipes of Ella Brennan. It will be really interesting to see what everyone comes up with. If you'd like to join us please email me for additional information no later than Monday, February 6th.

37 comments :

Skye (Skye Loves...) said...

Scrumptious. And love the idea of adding pasta. Yum.

Top Cuisine avec Lavi said...

Mary, this looks delicious!

Sabienne said...

another great recipe I can use in many different ways:-)

bellini said...

I love this concept of cooking for one with each individual tomato. This is a fun dish.

Kathy said...

Mary, These look absolutely wonderful! Love that they're served on a bed of spaghetti! I made a tomato tart! It was also simple and delicious!!

Priya said...

Seriously cant take my eyes from ur irresistible click,super tempting roasted tomatoes.

Rosemary said...

Love your pick of recipes, simple but a quick scan of the ingredients tells you it's bound to be tasty. It's what for dinner tonight! Love the insight into these two.

Rita said...

Wonderful! I am sure these must be as good as they look.
Rita

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

More ladies I'm no familiar with. This has been very educational for me Mary and I'm sure for others too. Bless you for doing this valuable series.
Sam

Heather @girlichef.com said...

Mmm...simply fabulous! I love these women and this plate of food :D

Kim said...

I love the idea of this cooked tomatoe become the pasta sauce! It looks good! Have a nice week end Mary!

Jeanette said...

Wonderful recipe to highlight these two gifted women by. I have enjoyed looking at the pictures of their simple, rustic yet beautiful foods this week, all using fresh whole ingredients.

Barbara said...

Simple ingredient list, Mary, and a lovely dish. Fun the way you've presented it and then cut it into the pasta to eat.
I had not heard of these two women...which seems to be my mantra right now with our list. Have I been living under a rock??!!

Jenn said...

What a thing of beauty!! I have some tomatoes I need to use.. think I will make this tonight!

Sue/the view from great island said...

This looks so delicious and so unexpected...thank goodness for greenhouses, I'm going out for some tomatoes right now!

Audra @ Once a Mom Always a Cook said...

This looks delish! Thank you for sharing :)

Reid said...

Hi Mary! Thank you for the kind words on my blog! I became a follower of yours today...
Have a great day-

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I love stuffed tomatoes and have not made them for ages. This recipe looks good so guess what we will be eating in the next couple of days. Keep well. Diane

lostpastremembered said...

As I told Barbara, I got their first season's books and know the town they are in... I think they are great ladies. Most of their recipes are simple and good.. this is no exception.

Judy@SavoringToday said...

I like how the tomatoes broke down and integrate into the pasta--looks fresh and flavorful.

Alyce said...

This looks fun!

From the Kitchen said...

I'm bookmarking these recipes for summer and tomatoes straight from the vine.

I hope Bob is improving nicely and that you both have a delicious weekend.

Best,
Bonnie

Purabi Naha said...

This is right up my alley! The picture is making me drool as well!
http://cosmopolitancurrymania.blogspot.com

Claudia said...

I just love the idea of everyone having one fabulous tomato to smash around on their pasta dish however they like. It's not just tasty - it's dinnertime fun!

Sofia.Lopez said...

Hello Mary :)
This meal looks very tasty...i loved it! :)
Have a nice weekend
Beijinhos :)

Angie's Recipes said...

These stuffed tomatoes look really delightful and the photos are mouthwatering.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Angie

Mireya Merritt said...

These tomatoes do sound a notch above the standard roasted tomatoes. The addition of pancetta and anchovies sounds like great flavor boosters.

Joanne said...

I love how you serve the tomato OVER the sauce and then everyone gets to deconstruct it!

Veronica Gantley said...

I love tomatoes and this is a great way to use them up.You pared it very well with the pasta. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

Au and Target said...

Love the way this looks but in my experience it usually turns out too mushy to be really enjoyable.

Norma Chang said...

Love the presentation, what a delightful and elegant way to serve pasta with tomato.

annie said...

Mary,
Looks delicious...I have so enjoyed learning about these women and canal House. So glad I joined you and your group! Thank you!
xo
annie

Platanos, Mangoes and Me! said...

This is right up my alley. Flavors and simplicity...great post.

What's Baking?? said...

Hi mary, I wish you are my neighbor..these look yummy.

Amrita said...

Yummy, lovely dish, Mary! I love tomatoes and the ingredients that go in as the stuffing are amazing! I'm loving this series! :)

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Having to catch up on the past few days and I'm sure the poppers and these tomatoes are keepers! Thank you, Mary for always sharing such wonderful recipes (and stories!). blessings ~ Tanna

Davina said...

I love this post.Thanks for doing this.
http://all4payday.com

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