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May 24, 2012

RECIPE: garlic scape pesto with fusili

Hey, did you hear? I'm a farmer. An organic farmer. Still! I'm officially ten days in and I have never been in more pain and more bliss all at the same time. This week, I've probably learned more about food and good 'ol fashion hard work than any over-priced culinary school could ever teach me. Since Monday we took to harvesting radishes, scallions, and garlic scapes. The latter, I have never seen or heard of before coming to work at this here farm. Its amazing the variety of edible plants we have in this world, and the supermarkets do nothing to enlighten us to them. But no worries, I'm here to your rescue as always (or maybe you're a bit more ahead of the times than I....already in the know about this finicky curly garlic plant). 

After harvesting yesterday, we threw around a few ideas. Soup came to mind, but it is a hot spring here in the northern country. So pesto seemed like a fitting spring cum summer option. And let me just say, if you love garlic as much as I have come to love garlic, you will die for this pesto. No wait, you would kill for this pesto. It's so good that it became addictive. To the point where I was seeking any way to get my fix; spreading it on apple slices as early as 10am. Yeah, my breath was poppin. But no more words. Let's cook! Ohhh, right. See, about the pasta. Did I mention how insanely delicious this pesto is? So yeah, the whole taking pictures of the garlicky pasta versus eating it like there was no tomorrow...hmm, well clearly you can see where I am going with this. Don't fret, this will surely be made again soon.
GARLIC PESTO & FUSILI
made by my fellow farming gourmand, Jeff Lord


INGREDIENTS

  • 8 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 tbs Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Put everything in food processor and pulse until creamy.
  2. To use for dinner, cook fusili pasta according to package directions. Drain. Mix with desired amount of pesto until liberally coated (don't worry, it won't be too garlicky!). We actually quadrupled this recipe, so we made the whole pound package of pasta and mixed in one cup. Do you what you like.
  3. Enjoy!
1 comment

May 16, 2012

my first morning as an organic farmer

Is this not the most serene way to wake up? My only disappointment is that you miss the magic through the lens, because in person it was a sunrise a thousand times more spectacular. I haven't actually seen fog in years. It was a chilly yet pleasant surprise. Well, I'll be back later after a long day of more weeding, but for now, enjoy this quick breakfast of champions. Here's the deal though. You know how skinny bitches always say their green smoothie is downright delicious? Yeah, well they're downright lying. I've spent hundreds of dollars over the years on green juices, green smoothies, and green diet this and that. They all taste like dirty socks lodged in someone's stinky butt. My green smoothie on the other hand, is the must try for those who have never ventured on the green side or those who have and never looked back. I promise, girl scout's honor, that this is going to be your new staple recipe. It was my first try doing a green smoothie from scratch, and it was shockingly a unanimous winner (see, I even test on a panel of house judges before boasting my abilities to wow you with my culinary genius.) Go forth and conquer the day skinny one!

GREEN BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup organic spinach (greens of choice, but mixed spinach is subtle and sweet)
  • 2 organic bananas
  • 2 organic apples
  • 1/2 organic lemon, juiced
  • 1 tb organic wildflower honey
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (any nut milk will do)
  • ice, optional

METHOD
  1. Blend all until smooth. Taste and add additional milk or ice as needed.
  2. Enjoy and carpe diem!
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May 2, 2012

RECIPE: blackberry farm pineapple upside down cake

It was the party of the year. The tasteful kitchen remodel complete. The living room decked out in antiques from their trip to Greece. The guest list like the who's who of NY Housewives. And a 24 karat, golden encrusted, porcelain cake platter topped with a three-tier beauty baked from box mix and frosted with Betty Crocker.

Those were the good 'ol days wasn't it? When Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker were always welcome to the after-dinner party in our mouth. Ahh the silky texture of high fructose corn syrup and natural color #14c. Of course key lime icing should be bright green. That just means the cows who made the butter had green spots on them! What's that? Duncan Hines doesn't list butter as an ingredient in their buttercream? Hmm. Ignorance is bliss. These days, the only thing better than using fresh brown speckled eggs from a happily roaming hen and unashamedly fatty butter or milk from a healthy grazing cow, is getting to see those chickens and holsters up close and thank them in person. Little did they know they'd be taking part in one of the most deliciously divine cakes of all time.

Wait. Listen. Let me see if I can adequately confer how mind blowing this cake is. Because I know you. You'll just sit there, reading, clearly drooling all over your keyboard and never once get off your derriere to make this cake. What a disservice to your belly. This cake is sinfully good. In fact I said a prayer by the time I took a third heaping slice in one night. "God,..." I cooed innocently, "please watch over me, and don't let this go to my ass. Amen." What! World peace as a prayer rarely works.

So take my word for it and please make this long awaited pineapple upside down cake. I really have been on a roll lately. I don't know what's going on, everything I touch lately turns into gold. Or rather, golden roasted pineapples. Its sweet. Its dense. Oh and it has vitamin c, magnesium, and helps prevent cancer. Thanks to the pineapple, cheers to the chicken and cows.
ROASTED PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
I never realized this cake is traditionally made in a cast-iron skillet. You can grease the sides to make flip and release easier. And don't let the long ingredient list fool you, this cake is extremely easy. Get your 'mis en place', read through the steps, then knock this out of the park like I did!
 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pineapple, peeled
  • 4 tbs (1/2) stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1 ts organic cinnamon
  • 1/4 ts organic cloves
  • 1/8 ts organic fine sea salt
  • 6 tbs (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup organic packed light brown sugar 

  • 1 1/2 cup organic flour
  • 2 ts baking powder
  • 1 ts organic cinnamon
  • 1/4 ts organic fine sea salt
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out (or 1 tbs extract)
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 2 organic free range eggs, room temp
  • 1/2 cup organic heavy cream

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Position rack to center of oven.
  2. To make the topping, chop the pineapple into chunks. Pour the melted butter into a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Dip each pineapple chunk in the melted butter then lightly coat in the sugar mixture.
  3. Arrange the pineapple wedges in the bottom of a 10-inch cast iron skillet, making sure they are very close together, overlapping if necessary.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until the pineapple begins to brown on the edges. In the meantime combine the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan; cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture becomes smooth. Pour the warm butter mixture over the roasted pineapple and set aside.
  5. To make the cake, in a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and creamy.
  6. To the butter, add the vanilla and sugar, beating until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides between additions. Beat in the flour mixture in three additions, taking turns with the cream. Spread the batter over the pineapple topping and smooth with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test. Let the cake cool in the skillet on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
  8. With oven mitts on, place a dinner plate over the skillet and carefully flip the cake. Pieces will be stuck, so scrape off and add to the cake. Serve warm!
6 comments

May 1, 2012

RECIPE: best ever crusted buffalo macaroni and cheese

I have a love hate relationship with dairy. On the one hand, I'm completely lactose intolerant with a newly discovered understanding that humans aren't meant to drink milk after infancy, much less the milk from boobs that aren't our mama's boobs. On the other hand...well, I'm still lactose intolerant, but I love milk, cream, butter, and cheese uncontrollably. Gluttonous I know. What can I say, I'm only human.

It may come as no surprise then, that when it was raining free buffalo sauce samples outside my local Kroger grocery last week, the only thing that made sense was to trickle a couple bottles of it from the door to the kitchen, cleverly staging a fake homicide scene. Well, that and flooding a baking dish with a curious amount of smoky buffalo sauce, pungent cheeses, and delightfully fatty cream in what I like to call the world's best buffalo macaroni and cheese. The thing about dairy that gets me excited like a schoolgirl is that its so sinfully rich, unashamedly fatty, and full of body in any of its many forms, from dense and luscious European cultured butters to velvety lava-like buttermilk and fresh creams. Is there anything better than a slice of artisanal cheese drizzled in wildflower honey paired with a glass of full bodied wine? Sex maybe, but my take on this orgasmic baked macaroni with a crumbly golden crust will have you saying KY who!

I'm no Mario Batali, and I doubt you claim to be either, so let this recipe be a canvas for you to experiment with hand crafted cheeses from your travels, revered creamery butters touted about in gourmet magazines, or any of your favorite milks and creams at your local market, (so long as any and everything is organic, you want milk not antibiotics with a side of dairy). What happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen. Except of course when it ends up in the bedroom. A girl's gotta have her bowl of after-hour dark chocolate ice cream.

BAKED BUFFALO MACARONI & CHEESE   
adapted from Food Network 
serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS


  • 7 tbs organic unsalted butter, plus more fro the dish
  • salt
  • 1 pound organic elbow macaroni
  • 1 small organic onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s because they were free!)
  • 2 tbs organic flour
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups organic half-and-half (or mix equal parts milk and cream like I did)
  • 16 oz organic sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz organic pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 2/3 cup organic sour cream
  • 1 cup panko crumbs (I used Parmesan herb, but you can use plain and add two tb of fresh parsley)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add two more tablespoons butter in the saucepan and stir in the flour and mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half, hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth.
  4. Spread macaroni in the prepared baking dish and pour the cheese sauce evenly on top.
  5. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
image via Gilt Taste Dairy

2 comments
© Beconing Lola • by Maira G.