Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Stand Out Sides: Momma's Tomato Pie

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I'll be honest, 2017 hasn't been the best year.  There's been plenty of good things (see earlier post - HOUSE).  But, there's also been some tough stuff.  John was working in Europe for 3 weeks and I proceeded to lose my mind.  Seriously - the alarm kept going off, our back fence fell DOWN, the dishwasher stopped working, and the light on our front porch went out.  All in 3 weeks.  By the time John got home, I was convinced someone was casing the house.  Phew, glad that's over!
And then there's been other challenges too at work and at home.  Back in the spring, we learned my mom was sick.  Like scary sick.  Like my mom and dad were scared sick.  Growing up (and heck even today), I run to my parents for love, support, guidance.  To see them scared, scared me.  But my mom raised 3 daughters who are all fighters so we knew she would be strong too.  And she was; she is.  Surgery and radiation and napping and positive thoughts later, my momma has come out of the other side.

One of the best things was seeing my dad cater to my mom - by her side through everything - and never once complaining.  Their love is such a great example to me and John, to my sisters and their husbands, to anyone who knows them!  Mom is not out of the woods yet, but she certainly is seeing the light shining through those trees.  And when you're confronted with the possibility of losing one of the 8 people who make your life complete, your priorities change.  You change.  Mom and Dad gave us a "family cookbook" a while back. I can't stop cooking from it...they aren't gourmet, chef-driven recipes, but they're the tastes of my childhood, of my family.  I never want those tastes to leave me.  Here's to you mom and dad.  I love you; I love you; I love you.

Momma's Tomato Pie
Serves:  8
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt*
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
4 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons parmigiano-reggiano
1/3 cup italian breadcrumbs or panko

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Make the bottom crust (or substitute for store-bought pie dough like my momma does!).  Combine butter, flour, sugar, and salt until a soft dough forms.  Pour the dough into a 9-inch greased pan.  Press the dough down and up the sides.  Bake 5-6 minutes.

Meanwhile, add olive oil to a saute pan and heat over medium-low heat.  Add red onion and garlic, cooking until red onion is softened and garlic is fragrant.  Add oregano and basil and stir until herbs are fragrant.  Transfer to a bowl.  Wipe out the saute pan and then brown the breadcrumbs 1-2 minutes.  Set aside.

Layer the pie.  First, add half of the red onion mixture to the bottom.  Then, add half of each cheese.  Top with tomato slices, covering the whole pie twice.  Then, add the remaining red onion mixture, remaining cheeses, and breadcrumbs on top.  Bake 25-35 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked through and bubbly.

Sit at least 5 minutes, but no more than an hour before serving.  Serve hot or at room temperature (I prefer hot!).



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