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AUGUST 24, 2010 3:46 PM

I've had a few slips, but mostly have stuck to local or locally prepared.

Here are some of the highlights coming out of my kitchen:

1. Omelet with eggs, cherry tomatoes, sweet onion, goat cheese.
2. Sautéed pattypan squash, cherry tomatoes, and swiss chard with a fried egg.

1. Homemade french boule with goat cheese and strawberry jam (my sister made it with Michigan strawberries)
2. Fresh salsa with Milwaukee made tortilla chips (the chipotle sour cream ones)

1. Bloody mary with heirloom tomatoes, steamed and juiced, bucky badger horse(horsh)radish, milwaukee kosher pickles, and other non-local hot stuff and liquor.

1. Black Earth steak, hot cabbage slaw with bacon, cucumber salad with tomato, onion, and balsamic vinegar dressing
2. Roasted tomato soup with eggplant (see recipe below--Thanks Mal!), fried zucchini, steamed sweet corn, and fresh bread with goat cheese and jam.

Roasted Tomato and Vegetable Soup With Tasso Ham
Serves 4-6

2 pounds fresh tomatoes
2 small zebra eggplants or one medium regular eggplant
1 head of garlic, cut in half
4 small vidalia onions, cut in half
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil
olive oil or tea seed oil, avocado, walnut or pumpkin (optional) (I used sunflower oil from Driftless Organics)
1/2 cup diced tasso ham or thick cut/slab bacon, cooked and drained (omitted)

Preheat the oven to 450F. Slice the tomatoes and eggplants and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Place the garlic and onions on a separate baking sheet and drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil (if you have room left in the first pan, skip that step and add the garlic and onion to the tomatoes and eggplant). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast the veggies until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.Peel the garlic off its skins and place with the rest of the vegetables, saving a few tomato slices for garnish, in a food processor. Add about 1 to 2 cups of water and puree until smooth. Add enough water to reach your preferred consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved tomato slices, drizzle of your favorite oil and some basil. Add some tasso ham as desired and serve.


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