Posts Tagged ‘Fruit’

From Dish Amelia:

Late summer into fall is as exciting to me as early spring. Spring’s bleak odorless stage features the easily spotted first-time life sprouting pale crisp colors into the air. The transition to fall gives us robust summer bounty which is almost bittersweet, and there is a pressure to make the most of it. Honeycrisp apples appear, and the first yearning to make cozy dishes, like oatmeal, pumpkin soup, and mushrooms on polenta. You can make anything in the fall and spring, just like you can wear anything you like, flip-flops or boots, jackets for chilliness or fashion. You can make light bright food with huge basil, heirloom tomatoes, and shaved vegetables galore. It’s a toss-up whether I’ll go for hot coffee or iced. On a recent shorts-and-sweatshirt clad trip to the farmers market, I discovered piles of oval Italian plums. Not seeing a ton of other fruits I figured I would just cook with these somehow and I went on my way. Once home I washed and split the plums and tasted them to see what I would do. Six or seven plums later I had to act so as not to make myself sick, and so I would cook with them as I had told myself I would. Man they were SO good. Luckily I made an excellent plum chutney which lasted longer than the fresh fruit, but not by much.

Adapted from Susan Spungen from Bon Appetit/Epicurious

6-7 plums (Italian or otherwise) pitted and chopped (I did not peel them)
1 small red onion, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled into thin strips and finely diced.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 T chopped garlic
scant 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1 T mustard seeds
a few liberal shakes and grinds of cumin, cardamom, coriander and black pepper
1 bay leaf
kosher salt
1/4 cup water

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan. Cook the onion and the carrot until they begin to soften, and add brown sugar, water, vinegar, spices, garlic, mustard, leaf, and salt. Cook until this becomes very fragrant, then add plums, cover and simmer gently for 8 minutes. Uncover, stir and cool until thickened, about 20-25 min. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cool.

Apply to anything and everything. I ate this several times on a tortilla with scrambled eggs and arugula. Revel in the sun and clouds of the season, before they slip away.

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From Dish Danielle:

I have been enjoying the heck out of this summer’s bounty of luscious peaches. So much so that I almost forgot about the other late summer gem…the heirloom tomato… Duh Florio! To make up for lost time I set out to make a salad, with both of these precious items— and decided to add corn too—for good late summer measure.

I intend to enjoy these fabulous amorphous fruits in the coming weeks as summer exhausts its final days. I highly encourage you to grab your nearest (saucy little) salad dish, and do the same…

Serves 4, entrée salad portions

medium loaf of crusty rustic bread, cut into 1’’ cubes, about 4c worth (I used a ‘peasant’ loaf)
2 ripe heirloom tomatoes, sliced however you’d like
1 white peach, sliced
½ regular peach, sliced
2 ears of corn, kernels sliced off raw
4 shallots, sliced THIN
½ a hot house cucumber, sliced thin
handful of fresh basil, minced
handful of fresh parsley, minced
3 c or so arugula
1/3c pine nuts
¼ c red wine vinegar
tsp lemon zest
1 scant tbsp lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, grated
1 ½ tsp dijon mustard
few squirts agave nectar
¼-1/3 c high quality extra virgin olive oil
1 c grated parmesan, to finish.

the fruits of the season

Set oven to 300. Toss bread cubes with a few healthy dashes of olive oil and S&P. Toss onto baking sheet and toast for 5-7 minutes. You want them to crisp, but not solid. Remove and set aside.
bread & evoo

Mix heirlooms, peaches, corn, shallots, cucumber & fresh herbs together in bowl. Place the arugula in bottom of salad bowl you intend to serve from. (use wide/ shallow one if you have). Layer bread cubes over arugula. Layer tomato/peach/corn mixture atop bread. Sprinkle pine nuts over salad.

Now compose your salad’s dress: In a mug combine vinegar, zest, lemon juice, grated garlic, mustard, agave, olive oil and S&P. Whisk vigorously with fork. Add generous pinch of parmesan. Whisk again. Taste. Add more of any ingredient as you see fit. If it’s too acidic—hit it with agave. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently. Top with the grated parm.

Let the dressing sit for a few minutes before serving, allowing the breadcrumbs to absorb the deliciousness of late summer. Then it’s your turn.

*You might not need the whole mug of dressing—especially if you’ve modified and made a smaller salad. Pour half on and see if you’d like to add more. *

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From Dish Erin:

Though it’s mid-May, a time of year in NYC that should be marked by balmy temps, it looks and feels more like October in London. No matter, I refuse to pay any attention to the crappy weather. I choose Spring and some of the best fruits the season has to offer. Rhubarb is a quirky and ephemeral fruit. There’s a very quick window of opportunity to try it, in fact it’s usually only available for a few weeks in May/June, so I’m happy if I manage to get my hands on some once per season. If you get the chance to grab some (it looks like smooth, pink celery stalks), it’s got a distinct, tangy flavor that pairs really nicely with strawberries (another herald of Springtime) and makes a delicious crumble, which just so happens to be my-go dessert. I’m a cook, not a baker. Crumble manages to skirt past the technicalities and laboriousness of baking. Score! Plus, because it’s fruit based, it’s relatively healthy.

3 cups diced rhubarb
3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, and halved
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest + juice of 1/2 orange
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces + 1 extra tablespoon
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1 cup plain oats
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Pinch salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar, orange zest, cornstarch, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange juice, and toss to thoroughly combine. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with +1 extra tablespoon of the butter and pour the fruit mixture in the dish.

3. In another mixing bowl, combine the stick of butter, flour, remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, oats, the brown sugar and salt and cut together with fork or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit and bake until the topping is golden brown and crispy and fruit is bubbly, about 45 minutes.

4. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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From Dish Danielle:

Beignets have always been something I was afraid of tackling, especially when there were going to be 25 hungry dinner guests in my living room. I’ve ‘helped’ make them once before—i.e.: my friend pretty much took over the whole shebang as I simply taste tested and watched with awe and delight. That was about a year ago…

As we were planning our menu for the last Whisk & Ladle supper, I decided I was ready to face the challenge myself this year. As a dessert without ice cream (a W&L dessert course standby), and one that cannot be completely readied in advance, it was a serious undertaking.

Making them on the fly is imperative; the scent of frying dough wafting through your home, permeating the air and providing the anticipation of their delivery on pretty dessert plates… Half the fun of making beignets is making them fresh. Frying them off live, rushing to get them to just the perfect golden brown crispiness, hurriedly dusting them with confectioners sugar, and quickly running them out to the guests before they cool completely. They’re gone in a fraction of the time it takes to make them, but they’ll definitely stand out as a bold finish to any dinner party gathering.

To tackle this endeavor, I called in some reinforcements: Mantra, the Rules of Indulgence, a wonderfully inspiring dessert cookbook by Jahangir Mahta, as well as fellow dish and dessert compatriot, Amelia. (Okay shoot. Perhaps I didn’t really do it myself this year…) I pretty much stuck right to Mehta’s recipe, though I composed the dessert with the addition of a simple pear compote* for the doughnuts to sit upon, and a caramel whipped cream** to quenelle on the side.

This recipe will serve 6, as opposed to the 24 that I served for the W&L supper.
Beignet Ingredients:
1 tbsp baking powder
1 ½ c bread flour
pinch kosher salt
1 medium egg
1 cup Guinness stout
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp cardamom
1 qt grapeseed oil, for frying
5 Pears, peeled and diced small

Sift baking powder, flour, salt, and cardamom into large bowl. In medium bowl, whisk egg, stout, and orange zest. (I did this part ahead of time to save myself some trouble during the dinner…) Slowly pour the liquid into the flour mixture and whisk until it forms a smooth paste. Fold in the diced pears and await fryin’ time…

In deep heavy pot, (I recommend a cast iron if you have one), heat the grapeseed oil over medium flame until the oil reaches about 350 degrees. Use a spoon to scoop up the batter and drop them into hot oil. I didn’t attempt trying to make them all perfectly round and uniform, rather, I preferred the free-form look and just let the gooey clumps take on lives of their own. Continue to fry them off in batches until they reach a medium golden brown. Allow to drain on paper towels.

Once you’re all set to serve dust them liberally with confectioners sugar (add a dash cinnamon and ginger if you’re feeling it).

Serve and indulge!

Bonus garnishes:

*To make pear compote: peel and dice a handful or two of pears and toss into pan with a bit of melted butter over medium flame. Cook down, stirring frequently, adding small handfuls of sugar one at a time; taste as you go. Continue for about 20 minutes and you’ll have a nice gooey pile of compote to poise your beautiful beignets on.

**To make caramel whipped cream: either A) ask dish Amelia to take care of it (which was what I did…), or B) melt ½ c sugar in a pan nice n’ slow. Simultaneously heat 3 cups of cream until warm. Once sugar is melted and doing magical caramel thing, slowly add warmed milk. Whisk to incorporate. The caramel may seize up. Keep at it with a gentle heat– it’ll eventually come together. Cool with ice bath and set in fridge until just before service. Whip with a stand or hand mixer once cooled and serve aside your delectable dessert!

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