Tomato Pie

Summer is all about fresh tomatoes! When we were in lockdown earlier in the year, I joined this wonderful group of professional and home chefs on Facebook – ‘Quarantine Cuisine’. A couple of weeks ago Richard Tang did a live cooking class with a tomato pie that looked delicious.

Tested it out tonight, with a couple of tweaks for my personal taste. To peel the tomatoes, slice an x into the bottom of each one and drop them into boiling water for 30-45 seconds. When the skins start to come off at the x, take them out and put them directly into an ice water bath. The skins then very easily slide off.

Tomato Pie

4 large tomatoes, peeled
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon zest
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp grated pecorino romano cheese
1 9-inch deep dish piecrust
Salt and pepper
Maldon’s smoked sea salt flakes, for finishing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tomatoes and place them in a colander over a large bowl. Sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for 15 minutes to draw moisture out.

Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon zest, and garlic; salt and pepper to taste. Add the mozzarella, cheddar, and pecorino and fold until well mixed. Set aside.

Line the pie plate with the piecrust and use a fork to poke holes on the bottom of the crust. Layer the tomatoes and then top with the onions and chopped basil.

Spread the cheese mixture on top. Garnish with basil leaves and cherry tomatoes.

Bake in the oven until lightly browned, about 35-40 minutes. Check the bottom crust and if it needs a few more minutes, put it back in on the lower rack. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve slices warm, finished with a sprinkle of smoked sea salt flakes.

Weeknight Taco Chili

Fall is my favorite season. A noticeable chill in the air, the leaves start to turn, it’s incredibly beautiful. It’s also the beginning of comfort food season! One of my top comfort foods is chili. Typically, this is a weekend effort for me – low, slow cooking for hours, and no beans!

However, I was looking for a weeknight chili that I could whip up with pantry ingredients that most of us have on hand. This came together in 20 minutes and simmered for an additional 30, spreading its wonderful aroma throughout the house. The chili has a bit of a taco flair with the addition of black olives, tomatoes with green chilies, and taco seasoning. I topped mine with tortilla chips, cheese, a dollop of sour cream, scallions and onions. Delicious!!

The seasoning I used for this is The Spice House’s Taco Seasoning. I usually buy most of my spices from Savory Spices, and they have a new Chicharron Salt that I’m going to pick up to try this week. However, The Spice House has some neat spice mixes. In addition to the Taco Seasoning, my other favorites are the Lake Shore Drive Seasoning and their powdered Porcini “Extra AA” Dried Mushrooms.


Let’s cook! 😊


  • 1 lb grass-fed, ground sirloin
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilis
  • 8 oz can sliced black olives, drained
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp taco seasoning (or a taco seasoning packet)

Recommended Toppings

  • shredded cheese
  • green onions
  • fresh cilantro
  • tortilla chips
  • or serve over cooked rice

Directions – so simple!

Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and onion; and sauté until cooked through, breaking the sirloin up as it cooks. Add remaining ingredients (except toppings), turn heat up to high to bring to a boil. Cover the pot and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste, adjust seasonings if desired, and serve with toppings.