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Entries in Farmer's Market (18)

Friday
Nov152013

Good Eggs

Good Eggs is a website and delivery service that gives you the opportunity to order food from local farmers and artisanal food markets.  I read about it in the New York Times this week - what a great idea!  Good Eggs opened in February and currently operates in San Francisco and has pilot programs running in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and New Orleans.  

Once you select a city, you choose a delivery date and then begin shopping!  You can select from different sellers in various categories - dairy/eggs, fruits and veggies, baked goods and sweets, meat and fish, etc.  You can pick up your order or have it delivered for just $3.99.

The products aren't cheap, but they are comparable to what you'd pay at a farmer's market or artisanal bakery.  In San Francisco, they are currently taking pre-orders for Thanksgiving turkeys, pies, and side dishes that look divine.  Has anyone tried Good Eggs?  I'd love to hear how it actually works.  The New York Times article suggest there are still a few glitches (including some really early delivery windows), but that the products were worth it.

Sunday
Sep082013

Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Cherry Compote

All week I've been reading about how summer is over.  It doesn't help that football season started and swimming pools have closed... but it was 96°F in Denver today and it certainly seems to me that it's still the season for shorts and swimsuits, sunglasses and flip-flops, and corn on the cob and ice cream.

Why not combine the two?  

When I read Melissa Clark's article about sweet corn ice cream, I was immediately intrigued.  I love corn in all forms, but for dessert?  In ice cream?  

Well, I'm very glad that I gave this recipe a chance.  The flavor of the ice cream is intensely corn-y in a really delightful way.  It's sweet, but not overly so, and while its refreshing on its own, I think the corn flavor is best cut with another flavor, hence the cherry compote.  I think blueberries or blackberries would compliment the ice cream as well.  Give this recipe a try before the farm stands close for the year!

Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Recipe from the NY Times
Yield = 1 1/2 pints
Time = 40 minutes, plus at least 5 hours' standing, chilling and freezing

Ingredients
4 ears fresh corn, shucked
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup sour cream 

Preparation
1.  Using a large knife, slice the kernels off the corn cobs and place in a large saucepan. Break cobs in half and add to pot along with milk, cream and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring, then remove from heat. Let stand to infuse for 1 hour, then discard corn cobs.

2.  Using an immersion or regular blender, purée kernel mixture. Return mixture to a simmer, then turn off heat. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, 1/8 teaspoon salt and another 1/4 cup of sugar.  Add a cup of hot cream mixture to yolks, stirring constantly so they don’t curdle.  Add yolk mixture to saucepan, stirring.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens enough to coat the spoon, about 10 minutes.

3.  Pass custard through a fine sieve, pressing down hard on the solids.  This took quite a bit of "elbow grease."  I ended up using a plastic scraper and pushing the solids against the sieve in a circular motion.  I've included photos above that illustrate the quantity of custard before and after that might be helpful.  Discard solids.  For reference, I was left with about 5 cups of liquid and about 1 1/2 cups of solids.  Whisk in sour cream until smooth.  Let custard cool in an ice bath, then cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

4.  Freeze corn mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve with cherry compote (recipe below) on top.

Cherry Compote
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
Yield = approximately 3/4 cup

Ingredients
1 cup pitted fresh cherries
1/4 cup Leopold Brothers Tart Cherry Liqueur (you can substitute another cherry liqueur, brandy, or orange juice)
1/8 cup sugar

Preparation
1.  Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large heavy saucepan; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cherries are softened and start to release juices, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cherries to a medium heatproof bowl.

2. Simmer juices until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 15–20 minutes. Pour reduced syrup over cherries. Serve warm.

 
Monday
Oct222012

Apple Cranberry Crumble

Ironman training seriously infringed upon my time at the farmer's market this summer.  The last time I went to the Boulder Farmer's Market, it was at the end of a six-hour bike ride.  My motivation through the last hour was that the market closes at 2 PM, so the faster I rode, the more time I'd have to peruse.  Hey, everyone is motivated in a different way!

We made it to the market that day, but with only 30 minutes to look around... and I was seriously distracted by wanting to eat everything in sight.  Thankfully, the Boulder Farmer's Market runs through the 3rd Saturday in November.  Last Saturday, I leisurely strolled through the market, scoped out the radishes, sunchokes, apples, and squash, and sampled some local goodies.  We've already had snowfall on the Front Range, but the farms are still going strong.   

Afterward, we went mountain biking, something we hadn't done at all this summer but have been doing fairly regularly the last few weeks.  Fall might just be my new favorite season.

I'm guessing that, regardless of where you live, there is an abundance of apples in your area.  I sampled about five varieties on Saturday before settling on Jonagolds.  We've been in between stone fruit and apple season here and I haven't made much dessert in the last month.  I found myself day dreaming of baked apples and cinnamon and wondered if I could meld my favorite dessert (Plum Crumble) into one containing apples?  It turns out that the crumble topping is just as delicious and crunchy and buttery with apples underneath as it is with plums.

What I love most about this crumble is that when you pour melted butter over the topping, it creates a crisp outer shell around the delicious fruit filling.  The apple and cranberry combination held together much better than the plum crumble and it was the perfect ending to a crisp fall weekend.

Apple Cranberry Crumble
Adapted from a Plum Crumble in the NY Times 
Total time: 50 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings 

Note - I've been asked for an apple pie recipe a few times.  I'll confess that I never follow a recipe for apple pie filling. I slice up a few apples and toss them with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little bit of sugar and either flour or cornstarch.  So, while I measured the ingredients below, use your own judgment when it comes to the spices - add more cinnamon or nutmeg or sugar or even more cranberries!  All spice would also be a nice addition.  

Ingredients
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 plus ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
7-8 medium apples, cored and sliced (I used Jonagold because they tasted the best at the farmer's market, but Jonathan, Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady are all good choices) (approximately 9 heaping cups when sliced)
1 cup fresh cranberries (these add a bit of color and a little bit of flavor - feel free to omit if you don't have them or to add more if you want a stronger cranberry flavor)
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 well beaten egg
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Preparation
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in center.

2. Thoroughly mix brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to apples and mix well. Add cranberries and place mixture in ungreased, deep 9-inch pie plate.  Be sure to scrape any of the sugar combination left in the bowl onto the apples.

3. Combine remaining sugar, baking powder, flour, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix well.  Stir in egg.  Then, using hands or a metal whisk, mix thoroughly to produce little particles (pictured above if you'd like a visual).  Sprinkle over apples.

4. Slowly drizzle butter evenly over crumb mixture.  The butter has a tendency to roll down the topping and over the rim of the pie dish, so do this step carefully.  Bake the crumble on a rimmed baking sheet for 30 to 35 minutes, covering with tin foil if the top is browning too quickly (the baking sheet is for the butter that may bubble over the rim of your pie dish).  The crumble is done when top is browned and apples yield easily when pricked with a fork or knife.  Remove from oven and cool.

5. Serve warm or refrigerate for up to two days.  If reheating, bring to room temperature then warm at 300 degrees.  Enjoy with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday
Sep042012

Palisades Peach Pie

I know my recent cooking posts have all been about peaches (and I promise this will be the last).  First it was our own peaches, which we enjoyed grilled with ricotta, sliced in our morning cereal or yogurt, and in a Raspberry Peach buckle

Now it is the massive box of peaches I purchased at a roadside stand on my way home from Waterton Canyon last weekend.  I'll blame the long trail run and dehydration for my desire to purchase pounds and pounds of the fruit.  I ate three peaches before I even got home. 

Palisades is a town nestled along the Colorado River on the western slope of Colorado that is known for its peaches.  Random aside - we drove all the way to Palisades for a soccer game in high school and I swear their team name was the Peaches... the school website says they are the Bulldogs, but maybe they realized a few years ago that a peach is not very intimidating?!  Anyway - the peaches from the western slope are famous throughout the state (there is even a Peach Festival that I hope to attend next summer) and I look forward to their arrival at the farmer's market each year.

It seemed to me that the obvious peach dessert I had yet to make was a pie.  Because peaches are easily overwhelmed by other flavors, I stuck to using only peaches.  I've made a Peach Blueberry Crumble that was absolutely delicious - but it might as well have been a Blueberry Crumble.  The same was true of the Raspberry Peach Buckle.  It was awesome and we gobbled it up, but the raspberries dominated the peaches.  These peaches are fragrant and juicy and taste of summer... they don't need to be masked by anything else!

Palisades Peach Pie
Crust Recipe from Cook's Illustrated 
Filling adapted from the Farmer's Market Desserts Cookbook 

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup cold vodka
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Filling Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ripe but not squishy peaches (about 12 medium peaches), halved, pitted and sliced
  • 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch (or quick-cooking tapioca if you prefer)

Make the crust:
1.  Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour).  Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade.  Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses.  Empty mixture into medium bowl.

2.  Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture.  With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.  Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk.  Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.  Let dough soften at room temperature prior to rolling.

Make the filling:
1.  Remove the disks of dough from the refrigerator.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place the oven rack in the middle.

2. To make the filling, put about half of the peach slices into a heavy saucepan and the other half in a large bowl.  Grate 1/2 teaspoon zest from the lemon and add to the peaches in the pan, along with the granulated sugar, salt, and cornstarch.  Place the pan over medium heat and stir gently until the sugar, salt, and cornstarch are completely dissolved and the peaches begin to give off a little juice, about 2 minutes.  When the juices just begin to bubble and thicken, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the contents to the bowl holding the remaining peach slices.  Halves the lemon, squeeze 2 teaspoons juice from it, and add to the peaches.  Toss to coat evenly.  Set aside to cool while you roll out the pastry.

3.  Roll out one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle.  Flip the dough into a pie dish, fitting it gently into the pan without stretching or pressing the dough.  Trim the edges to leave a 1/2 inch overhang.  Refrigerate while you roll out the top crust.

4.  Roll the remaining dish into a 10-inch circle.  Distribute the peaches evenly on the bottom crust.  Cover the peaches with the top crust as you see fit - crimp the edges, use cut-out shapes (pictured in this post), or make a lattice crust.  If you leave the crust as a solid sheet of dough, be sure to take a paring knife and cut a few decorative vents near the center of the top crust.  If you'd like, brush the top crust with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

5.  Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet (very important - mine bubbled over considerably) and transfer to the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake until the crust is a rich, golden brown, about 50 additional minutes.  Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least an hour prior to serving (if you can wait!).

6.  Refrigerate leftover pie, tightly covered, and reheat the pie at 350 degrees.  

Tuesday
Aug142012

Grilled Peach & Ricotta Salad

I've finally settled into a bit of a routine where the new house is concerned.  I am now the proud owner of a commuter bike that I ride to the office, and I've started riding different routes home so I can check out new streets or pick up something for dinner at In Season Market.  When I pull up to the house, I immediately walk to the peach tree to check for ripeness.  A gentle squeeze typically reminds me that patience is a virtue and they will be ready soon... but last night a few were ripe!  

Confession - last night was the first time I have ever used a grill!  We have lived in so many apartments where we didn't have a yard (and thus no grill)... and truthfully grilling always seems to be delegated to men at barbeques.  After one use, I am converted.  And last night was also my first time grilling fruit.  It was delicious.  To me, it embodies what summer cooking is all about - simplicity, natural flavors, and easy preparation.  As we ate this salad, Rob and I discussed which fruit we'd grill next.  Pineapple, perhaps?  I have to admit that I did need to call Rob to figure out how to turn on the grill... I believe the pause before his response was when he questioned how smart his wife really is... 

In the meantime, I see more grilled peaches in my future.  I ate a few slices last night while I was cleaning up from dinner, I had one for breakfast this morning, and I was tempted to eat them served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or topped with whipped cream.  We ate ours last night in a simple salad.

Grilled Peach & Ricotta Salad

I'm a bit hesitant to even call this a "recipe" because there is a great deal of flexibility with this dish.  I have used homemade ricotta, but I think it would be equally as good with buratta.  I also garnished the salad with a 12-year Aged Balsamic Vinegar we received as a housewarming gift.  It takes just a drizzle of this vinegar to complement the peaches and the cheese.  You can, of course, substitute any balsamic vinegar you have.

Ingredients
Arugula (I prefer arugula because of its sharp flavor)
3-4 peaches (depending on salad size you may want to increase the number of peaches... you won't have any problem consuming any leftover grilled peaches, I promise)
Homemade Ricotta (or substitute buratta or fresh mozzarella)
Oil for grilling (canola, vegetale or olive oil)
Balsamic Vinegar (I recommend using the highest quality vinegar that you have)

Preparation
1.  Slice the peaches in half and remove the pit.  Brush the flesh side of the peaches with a neutral olive such as canola or grapeseed oil.  If you don't have either of those, use olive oil.  Peeling the peaches isn't necessary.

2.  Cook the peaches over a medium fire on all cut sides until grill marks show and the peaches are tender but not falling apart.

3.  Place the arugula on a serving dish and set the grilled peaches on top of the arugula.  Garnish with dollops of ricotta and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  If desired, sprinkle with sea salt.  Serve immediately.  You can also dice the peaches once they are grilled if you prefer more of a tossed salad.

These three peaches were our first "harvest."  I love that one of them came off in my hands with the leaves attached.