Author Archive for brunosdream

Persimmon Gelato w/ Lebkuchen Chunks

persimmon-gelato1

A seasonal treat for a perfect ending to your holiday feast. My taste testers seemed to like it, so this recipe is a keeper!

I always see persimmons in the grocery stores this time of year and have wanted to try making a gelato flavored w/ them. I used the Fuyu variety. If you decide to try this recipe, make sure you select ripe persimmons, otherwise they will be astringent.

Lebkuchen are a German holiday cookie that originated in Nuremberg over 600 years ago. They’re soft gingerbread w/ additional nuts and spices. I found the ones I used in this recipe at Trader Joe’s. You could easily substitute the Lebkuchen w/ ordinary soft gingerbread, or leave them out if you’re not a fan of the gingerbread flavor. Personally, I love gingerbread, not only because of the flavor, but also because it brings back fond childhood memories of Christmastime!

Persimmon Gelato w/ Lebkuchen Chunks

Ingredients:

4 Fuyu persimmons (peeled and pureed in food processor)

1 cup sugar

6 egg yolks

1 quart half & half

3/4 cup sugar iced Lebkuchen (cut into 1/2 inch chunks)

Procedure:

1) In a metal bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes smooth and pale yellow.

2) Place half & half in a heavy pot and heat until scalded.

3) Very slowly whisk half & half into egg/sugar mixture so as not to curdle the mixture.

4) Place bowl w/ mixture over a pot of simmering water, stirring continuously w/ a heat resistant spatula until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon (do not let mixture exceed 170 degrees F to prevent curdling), then quickly place bowl in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and promote rapid cooling.

5) In a food processor puree the persimmons, then pulse in some of  the gelato mixture to thin. Stir puree into the remaining gelato mixture, blending well, and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

6) Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the Lebkuchen chunks when mixture starts to freeze.

7) Pour gelato into a 2 quart plastic container, stir to evenly distribute the Lebkuchen chunks, then place a piece of parchment paper cut to size on the surface of gelato (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of the gelato). Seal container and freeze until firm.

Yield: Approx. 1 1/2 quarts 

Happy and delicious Holidays!!

Bruno

 

Garlicky Fermented Serrano/Jalapeno Hot Sauce

My garden produced so many hot peppers this year I had to think of new ways to use them all! In addition to making several batches of pepper jam, I decided to give this recipe a try. I fermented the peppers and garlic for 7 days before straining and pureeing. The flavor of the sauce is nice, however next time I will save some of the puree I strained out to thicken the sauce a bit more.

fermented-hot-sauce1 Day 1

fermented-hot-sauce2 Day 7

fermented-hot-sauce3 Finished product

Garlicky Fermented Serrano/Jalapeno Hot Sauce (recipe from Feast Magazine)

Ingredients:

4 cups serrano and jalapeno peppers – remove stems and halve lengthwise

10 cloves garlic – remove skins and smash slightly

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups water

Procedure:

1) Fill a 32 ounce jar w/ peppers and garlic

2) In a large bowl, dissolve salt in water. Pour just enough brine into jar to cover peppers and garlic.

3) Place fermentation weights over top of mixture to weigh it down.

4) Cover jar w/ a piece of cloth and secure w/ a rubber band. Allow mixture to ferment for 7 to 10 days. (the brine will become cloudy; this is a normal part of the process)

5) Once fermentation is complete, drain peppers and garlic, reserving brine.

6) In a food processor, puree peppers and garlic until a smooth paste forms. Add 1 tablespoon of brine at a time until hot sauce reaches desired consistency.

7) Run puree through a fine mesh strainer and store in a 12 ounce glass jar or bottle in refrigerator.

Yield: Approx, 12 ounces

Spice up your life!!

Bruno

Lamb Ribs w/ Pepper Jam Glaze; Charred Broccolini w/ Crimini Mushrooms and Agrodolce Sauce; Baby Potato Salad w/ Chives, Tarragon, Basil and Gherkin Vinaigrette

I had a few friends over the other night and served the following menu in honor of one of the friend’s birthday (recipes furnished upon request):

lamb-ribs-dinner1 Lamb Ribs w/ Pepper Jam Glaze

lamb-ribs-dinner3 Charred Broccolini w/ Crimini Mushrooms and Agrodolce Sauce

lamb-ribs-dinner2 Baby Potato Salad w/ Chives, Tarragon, Basil and Gherkin Vinaigrette

Bon Appetit!

Bruno

 

Pollinator’s Paradise

pollinator's paradise1

pollinator's paradise2

This year’s zinnia patch…

Be the first to spot the Monarch butterfly and hummingbird (hint- they’re in the same photo right next to each other). Click on photos for a better view!

Colorfully yours,

Bruno

Garden 2016 – Update #2

This post is bittersweet… a few short weeks ago I was thrilled w/ how well my garden was thriving, however now it’s doing so-so. Two of my tomato plants have died (Moneymaker and Gold Medal) and two more (Cherokee Purple) are on the verge of kicking the bucket. On the bright side, the remainder of the plants are producing. Soon I’ll have my first ripe tomatoes and peppers of the season. The basil is coming in nicely and my chard and kale will be ready for a second harvest in the near future if I can continue to keep the leaf munching caterpillars away. Not sure if the 5 days of heavy rain last week was too much for some of the tomato plants. I’ll have to do some research to figure out the cause of the damage. So far the good outweighs the bad and I hope it stays that way!

 Photos snapped at 8 o’clock this morning:

garden1 7-10-16

garden2 7-10-16

garden3 7-10-16 Peppers

garden4 7-10-16 Black Krim

garden5 7-10-16 Speckled Roman and San Marzano

garden6 7-10-16 Cherokee Purple

garden7 7-10-16 Basil

garden8 7-10-16

garden9 7-10-16

garden10 7-10-16

garden11 7-10-16

Hoping for greener thumbs…

Bruno

 

Garden 2016 – Update #1

Wow, it’s only been a couple of weeks since my last post, but I’m very impressed by the progress of the garden and had to share how well it growing! The plants have doubled in size, the tomatoes are flowering and this morning I spotted the first baby tomato of the season. This week I harvested 2 big bags of lettuce, 1 big bag of kale/chard and a large quantity of oregano which is now drying in my kitchen. Lots of fresh greens for lunches and dinners!

The following photos were shot on June 7th:

garden1 june 7 '16

garden2 june 7 '16

garden3 june 7 '16

garden4 june 7 '16

garden5 june 7 '16

garden6 june 7 '16

Doin’ the happy gardener dance…

Bruno

Garden 2016

Well, it’s that time of year again to dust off the gardening tools and get growing! So far this season is starting off w/ plenty of rain. Fortunately there was a 2 day window of opportunity on May 14th and 15th to get everything in the ground. All the seedlings were started on April 3rd and were ready to go into their permanent new home. The basil (Italian Large Leaf and Italian Genovese), zinnias and marigolds were direct seeded on April 16th. The butternut squash had to be reseeded yesterday because the seeds I planted on May 14th were old and didn’t sprout. So far, all the seedlings have survived the transplant and are doing well in the ground. This year I put in 4 Swiss chard (two Bright Lights and two 5 Color Silverbeet), 4 kale (two Nero Toscana and two Red Winter), 2 Early Jalapeno, 5 Serrano Tampiqueno, and 12 tomato plants (one Gold Medal, one Crimson Carmello, one Speckled Roman, one Moneymaker, one San Marzano, three Cherokee Purple and four Black Krim). The Serrano peppers, Moneymaker and San Marzano tomatoes are new to the mix to see how well they’ll grow in my yard.

The following photos were taken on May 23rd:

garden2 May 23, '16 Zinnias (in foreground)

garden1 May 23, '16 The enclosure w/ basil and marigolds in pots

garden3 May 23, '16 Hummingbird and butterfly flowers

garden4 May 23, '16 Wildflowers

garden5 May 23 '16 Herbs

garden6 May 23 '16 Exterior of enclosure

So far it’s green thumbs up!

Bruno

 

Lettuces

lettuces1 2016

lettuces2 2016

This year’s lettuce crop is coming in nicely (along w/ some weeds!). I’m trying out some new varieties: micro greens (spicy mix), mesclun (chef’s gourmet spicy mix) and two types of arugula (regular and wild). The wild arugula is called Dragon’s Tongue and it grows very slowly… probably won’t put this in again next year for this reason.

Happiness is a green garden!

Bruno

 

Morel Envy

My brother sent me this photo that he snapped at his local farmers market. I wish I had some of these beauties. They would be great in a mushroom cream sauce w/ pasta!

morels 2016

Happy Foraging!

Bruno

New Bread

I made this bread using Pastaria’s pizza dough recipe. The oven spring was amazing! It went from 2 1/2 inches in height to almost 4 1/2 inches while baking. The crust is crisp and chewy, with a crumb that is tender and airy. And yes, it makes delicious pizza too!

New bread 1

New bread 2

Thanks Gerard and Ashley for sharing the recipe!

Warm wishes,

Bruno