I was in the mood for a change, so here’s what popped up! For the recipe, follow this link: Eight Grain Boule
“Make sure to save room for dessert.”
The 2013 growing season is winding down. It has been a pleasure walking out to my garden this year to check the progress of my babies!
I snapped a few photos on September 7th, the day that most fruit was ripening nicely. The photo of this year’s bounty was taken on September 16th. In that photo there is Swiss chard to the left, ancho, New Mexican and jalapeno peppers in the center and the lone butternut squash on the right. In the background are Speckled Roman, Marvel Stripe, Black Krim and Gold Medal tomatoes.
Still to come are more tomatoes, jalapeno and habanero peppers, and hopefully another butternut squash. I planted more spicy lettuce mix a couple of days ago now that the weather here is cooling off. Looking forward to munching on more garden bounty in a couple of weeks!!
Here are the photos:
Hoping your garden is growing awesomely too!
These beauties are called Speckled Roman tomatoes (harvested on 7/29). Here’s the description of them from the pack of seeds – “Intriguing paste tomato with orange & yellow stripes! Yummy flavor, very meaty, excellent for sauce, canning and freezing.” I found them to be slightly sweet w/ a light acidity. Pineapple tomatoes are sweeter but they take much longer to ripen. I definitely will be growing these again next year! The prettiest tomatoes I’ve ever grown!! As you can see in the last photo, the interior has a lot of meat and very little juice and seeds. I’m sure they would be great for a sauce, but I prefer just slicing my homegrowns and making a tomato salad or putting them in a sandwich!
Lovin’ this year’s crop!
Last night’s dinner w/ friends. Recipe furnished upon request…
May your stomach always be happy!
The lettuce mix I’m growing this year is so beautiful I had to share a couple of close up photos!
(click photos to enlarge for a better view)
Loving the greens!
*click photo to enlarge
Made this appetizer w/ some friends and thought I’d share the photo that one of my friends snapped that evening. This dish used to be on the menu at Remy’s back when Ben Davis and Ivy Magruder were the chefs there. It’s a delicious way to start off a great meal! We had red wine braised swordfish w/ roasted fingerling potatoes and sautéed Swiss chard for our main course. Dessert was fresh berries w/ cookies. Wines of evening were a 1986 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac w/ dinner and a Mount Pleasant port w/ dessert. Thank you Paul and Laurie for bringing these great wines!!
This post is in memory of my dad who loved pistachio gelato. I remember being in Venice w/ him at a gelateria, and even w/ so many flavors to choose from, he of course picked pistachio! So here you go papa. With love, your son.
This recipe is based on one from Martha Stewart w/ a few variations. The main variations are: 1) I used six egg yolks, compared to Martha’s five, to give my gelato additional richness; and 2) My version leaves in the ground pistachios for a boost of flavor and a nice textural element. I’m guessing that Martha strained out the pistachios to get a smoother, more elegant finished product, much like many French sauce recipes require removing bits of shallots or mushrooms prior to serving for that very reason.
I made the pistachio brittle to use as a garnish because I think it’s fun to eat and delicious too! The brittle reminded me of a funny and true story: My childhood dentist would sometimes have a bowl of peanut brittle sitting on the table in her waiting room. I don’t know if she was just being nice to her sugar loving clients, or guaranteeing return business to fill all the cavities this created!
Pistachio Gelato (recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)
1/2 pound pistachios (unsalted and shelled)
1 quart half & half
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1) Coarsely chop pistachios in food processor.
2) Place pistachios in a heavy pot w/ the half & half and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover w/ lid and let mixture steep for 2 hours.
3) Strain pistachios from mixture using a fine mesh sieve, pressing down firmly on solids. Reserve pistachios.
4) Return half & half to pot and scald, then remove from heat.
5) In a metal bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes smooth and pale yellow.
6) Very slowly whisk half & half into egg/sugar mixture so as not to curdle the mixture.
7) 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.
8) Stir in reserved pistachios and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
9) Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
10) Pour gelato into a 2 quart plastic container 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
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pistachios (shelled and unsalted)
3 1/2 tablespoons water
1) Put sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pot and boil until light amber in color (333 – 335 degrees F on a candy thermometer), brushing inside of pot w/ water occasionally to prevent crystals from forming; stir in pistachios.
2) Quickly pour onto a baking sheet lined w/ parchment paper and let cool.
3) Break brittle into large pieces and store in an airtight plastic container, placing a piece of parchment paper between each layer.
I was able to kill 2 birds w/ one stone… I’ve been wanting to try a new dessert recipe and at the same time try out some unusual vanilla beans that I received as a Christmas gift. I had a few friends over for dinner recently, so for dessert we had poached pears w/ a creme anglaise made w/ some of these unique vanilla beans. It was a great combination and a delicious finish to a fun evening! Next I will have to try another dish using the vanilla beans from Reunion Island. Stay tuned…
*Pears Poached in Red Wine w/ New Caledonian Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise
*pear recipe adapted from one developed by Beatrice Peltre
Ingredients (for the pears):
6 Bosc pears
1 cup sugar
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 bottle dry red wine
1) In a large bowl, combine the water and lime juice. Peel the pears, keeping the stems intact. Cut a small slice from the base of each pear so the fruits sit without toppling. Drop each one into the water; set aside.
2) In a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears, combine the wine, sugar, anise, vanilla, clove, and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
3) Add the pears and additional water to cover the pears. To keep the pears submerged in the poaching liquid, cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the saucepan and set it on the surface of the liquid. Place a small plate on top of the paper so it presses the pears into the liquid.
4) Simmer the pears for 25 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a skewer. They may need 5 to 10 minutes longer if they were not ripe.
5) Remove the saucepan from the heat. Leave the fruit to cool completely in the poaching liquid.
6) Transfer the pears and their liquid to a large container. Refrigerate for at least several hours and as long as 3 days (the longer they steep in the liquid the darker and fuller flavored they will get).
Ingredients (for the creme anglaise):
4 New Caledonian vanilla beans (mine were small but for normal size beans use less)
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 pint half & half
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) Put the creme in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Yield: 6 servings
This was a delicious and light dessert. I hope you enjoy it. We sure did!
Here are a few photos from Christmas dinner at a friend’s house. The lighting was low so the color and sharpness aren’t very good (except the salad photo which was taken in the kitchen), but at least you can see what we feasted on. There was butternut squash soup, Boursin potato gratin, roasted veggies, a salad w/ candied walnuts, pears and gorganzola cheese, pecan pie and chocolate truffles! I brought the boneless leg of lamb stuffed w/ crimini mushrooms, fresh chestnuts, garlic, rosemary, thyme and apricots soaked in Calvados. I also made a merlot sauce w/ porcini mushrooms. Everything was delicious and the evening was a lot of fun!!
Hoping your 2013 is filled w/ peace, joy, health and happiness!
Thinking of bringing something to your friends’ holiday party but not sure what? Well, here’s a treat that is sure to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth and is fairly easy to whip up. The color is kind of Christmasy too! I made this gelato for Thanksgiving, but I’m sure your friends wouldn’t frown upon you if you showed up at their holiday meal w/ this in hand…
Cranberry Gelato w/ Roasted Hazelnuts
Ingredients: (for cranberry sauce)
12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lime juice
Procedure: (for cranberry sauce)
1) Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; maintain at a slow boil for 5 minutes
2) Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes until sauce thickens
3) Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes; refrigerate overnight
Ingredients: (for gelato)
1/2 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 quart half & half
1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts (roughly chopped)
1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce
Procedure: (for gelato)
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, blend together cranberry sauce and gelato mixture, then chill in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight
6) Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the hazelnuts when mixture starts to freeze
7) Pour gelato into a 2 quart plastic container, stir to evenly distribute hazelnuts, 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