Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tequila Mojito

Check out my recipe for a Tequila Mojito on

Thursday, July 15, 2010

YIKES! Greens, greens, and yet more greens

I love this time of year, but some weeks it feels a little overwhelming as our Community Supported Agriculture share from JenEhr Family Farm is bursting with fresh summer goodies. Our refrigerator was packed full of veggies today before I picked up a very full cooler more. So, after working all day at Sub-Zero and then all night at Delaney's I came home and used the new electric pressure cooker--a godsend--to make up some spicy pork and greens with Cottage Bacon from Willow Creek Farm and beet greens and swiss chard. I sauteed some onions with the smoky bacon in a little canola oil, then added some white wine, Frank's hot sauce, water, salt and the greens until it filled the pressure cooker. I cooked them down on warm until they were safely below the Fill line then steamed them for 5 minutes, tasted them, added more hot sauce, stirred and steamed for 5 more minutes. Voila, fini.

Next I sliced up several huge scallions and froze them because they're coming out our ears. Over the winter I'll add them to stir fry, soups, stews etc.

Then I steamed sugar snap peas, the last asparagus of the season and the first broccoli.

I've still got a huge bunch of carrots, a gigantic napa cabbage, the first yellow beans of the season and some kohlrabi and radishes to deal with, but I think I can now fit the rest into the fridge.

Tomorrow I'll make pesto with sorrel, mizuna and basil along with about a dozen scapes still waiting to be used. I'll freeze the pesto for use on pizzas in salads or on pasta over the winter.

I wish there was a way to save all the awesome salad greens for the sparse time during January and February, but since there isn't we'll just have to eat a few more salads this week or make some wraps with shrimp, rice and chilis. Yum!

What I love best about the CSA is I never know what's coming until we get it each week and then I get to be creative about what to use now, what to save for later and how to use the things I've never seen before.

A rarity for Wisconsin, the tomatoes are starting to ripen, so we'll be having lots of tomato salads with balsamic vinegar, mozzarella and basil, or with quinoa, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro and feta, or Margherita pizzas for dinner with fresh green salad. I can't wait to make salsa. We ran out way too early last winter because of the poor year for tomatoes so this year I'll be making loads and enjoying every sweaty minute while they process knowing we'll enjoy the heat of local salsa in the cold months of winter.

Besides, when I'm done processing I can go jump in the neighbors pool to cool off :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fresh Peach Galette

It's time for Michigan Peaches, chin drippin' and just begging to be turned into something scrumptious.  Michigan peaches are one of the few things we eat that go beyond our 100 mile locavore diet.  I'm not sure why they grow so many there and almost none here, but I'm sure glad they're in season.  The first one I enjoyed just ripe and juicy all by itself.  I could have sat down and eaten all the rest, one right after the other, but my father always warned me about Gluttony.  So I thought about something that Tim could enjoy for breakfast and decided on a peach galette with a new "Blitz Puff Pastry" recipe I came across on a podcast on Culinary Media Network from Chef Mark Tafoya (6/25/10 podcast).  It's a super fast and easy way to make puff pastry and turned out some beautious galette in addition to some other savory treats I'll save for a later post.  The galette sounds fancy and difficult, but it's really more of a county style pastry that doesn't have to be perfect looking to be pleasing to the eye and the taste buds as well.

Blitz Puff Pastry Ingredients:
1 lb all purpose flour
1/2 lb pastry flour and 1/2 lb bread flour
1 lb unsalted butter
1/4 oz kosher salt or sea salt
1 cup ice water

In a mixing bowl for your electric mixer place flour and salt.  Cut butter into tablespoon sized chunks and place in bowl with flour mixture.  Place bowl and paddle in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes
Mix on low speed until butter is incorporated into flour and about the size of a walnut.
Add the icewater and mix no more than 1 minute more, just until dough comes together.
Place dough onto floured work surface and shape into a rectange.  Roll out until about the size of a 1/2 sheet pan. 
Fold into thirds like a letter (single fold).
Turn 90°
Roll out again until the size of a 1/2 sheet pan.
Make a double fold this time, folding both ends to the center and then folding together. 
Turn 90°
Roll out twice more, once in a single fold and the second time in a double fold, turning 90° between.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before use.
Can be refrigerated for 2-3 days or frozen.
When ready to use, it is best to cut into quarters and roll out 1/4 at a time, keeping the remainder refrigerated so the butter doesn't soften too much.
Roll out on a floured surface to about 1/8" thickness and cut into desired shapes to fill.
For the galette I cut them into squares, put a tablespoon or so of filling in the center, wet the edges and then folded together from the points to the center. 

Bake at 400° for 15-30 minutes, depending upon the size of the pastry and the amount of filling.

For Peach Galette Filling:
8 fresh peaches
1/2  cup sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp corn starch
3 tbsp port wine (optional, but not necessary)

Place in saucepan and cook until thickened and peaches are soft and pliable.  Filling may be made ahead and stored in refrigerator until ready to use.

This recipe could be done with any fresh fruit that is in season.  In fact...I just picked some raspberries today and I'm thinking maybe some balsamic vinegar and rosemary might be a fun combination for those.

If you try either the pastry or the fruit filling, let me know how they go and how you used them.

Happy eating!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Squash Blossoms and berries, berries and cherries!

At market this week expect to find squash blossoms, more than just pretty flowers...edible and delicious too!  You'll also find the end of most of the strawberries, loads of raspberries, maybe some blueberries and the beginning of Door County Cherries. 
I became enamoured with squash blossoms a few years ago when a friend described how deliciously they are prepared in Italy and now I eagerly await squash blossom season. 

Here's a simple recipe to try:
While you're at the market be sure to pick up some of the last of the main season strawberries and fresh raspberries and maybe even blueberries for a great summer crumble.  I've heard the sweet Door County Cherries will be showing up shortly as well.  The pie cherries are still a couple of weeks away.  It's supposed to be gorgeous on Saturday so get out to your favorite market and pick up some treats for the holiday weekend!
OOH, I almost forgot...I tried something new this year....strawberry infused vodka.  It's only been marinating for a couple of weeks, but I snuck a taste the other night and it is scrumptious....slightly sweet, definitely pink and seems like it will go well with sparkling water and lime or maybe mint when the time comes.