Archive for July, 2009

restorative baking

Is there anything better than butter & sugar?  My mother said she knew I would have a good week since I was going to spend it baking – although someone baking in the middle of humid summer days should probably have her head examined…

chocolate chip

My uncle is having triple-bypass heart surgery, so I decided he needed a little love from this chocolate master – no Nestle poison for him this time.

 lemon cheesecake

A very cute 3-year-old is having a birthday and her parents asked for the lemon cheesecake that I’ve been making lately – it will make parents and kid(s) alike happy and fat.

ling cookies

Just in case, I made these cookies spelling out the birthday girl’s name…

gooseberry tart

And just for me – my OH bought me gooseberries this week remembering that I was curious about them but had never really eaten them.  I made this gooseberry tart – such an easy summer dessert (especially if you have a food processor), and I love the sweet / tart balance of the gooseberries.  The recipe is from The Tenth Muse; My Life in Food from Judith Jones.

Gooseberry Tart - adapted from Judith Jones

  • 1 sweet Tart Dough (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup gooseberry jam or currant jelly
  • 2 cups gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • 2/3 cup sugar (use slightly less)

Roll the dough out into a circle approximately 9 or 10 inches in diameter.  If the dough is very cold before rolling out, let it warm up slighltly at room temperature.  Transfer the dough to an 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom, tucking it into the inside rim firmly.  Trim the dough all around, leaving enough on the rim so you can fold it over inward, then crimp it all around.   Paint the bottom of the dough with the gooseberry jam (currant jelly). Arrange the gooseberries on top., and sprinkle the sugar over them.  (Extremely important – put tart pan on baking sheet with rim to catch overflow of fruit juices – unless you like cleaning your oven). Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 45 minutes.

Tart Dough – adapted from Judith Jones

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (only for a sweet tart)
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

Mix the flour, salt, and sugar, if using, in the bowl of a food processor.  Cut the butter into small pieces, drop them through the tube of the processor, and pulse long enough to say “alligator” fifteen times. Pour in the ice water and process long enough to say “alligator” ten times.  Transfer the dough to a work surface, preferably marble, and smear it out in small increments with the heel of your hand, then gather the dough together into a round.  Sprinkle with flour, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate at least 20 minutes or until ready to use. (I didn’t say alligator though she says it’s a fool proof method. And I don’t have a marble work surface.  Someday.)

I’ve managed to give most of this away – except for the gooseberry tart which I’ve eaten almost all of…

eating & drinking while out & about

I realize that food happenings are all around us this time of year  – the annual blueberry festival in Austerlitz came & went before I’d realized it.  Others that are coming up:

Bounty of the Hudson Wine Festival - in Millbrook NY Saturday August  1 – Sunday August 2, noon – 5pm (scroll down)

Taste of Columbia County Bounty- at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham NY – Monday August 3, 5 – 9 pm 

Farm to Table, a Celebration of the 100 Mile Menu – at Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook NY – Saturday August 8, 5pm

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest- at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck NY – Saturday September 12 – Sunday September 13, hours ?

If your budget permits, these are worth a visit – for local food efforts and your taste-buds!

local?

Just what is considered local?  I received the weekly ad from Price Chopper which advertised: “See inside for… The best in Fresh from Local Farms”.  Right under that was an ad for Fresh Sweet California Driscoll’s Strawberries.

Last I checked, California is on the West Coast.  And we’re not.

 

Perhaps I’m just a little aware at the moment having just finished Barbara Kingsolver et al’s Animal Vegetable Miracle. This is a book that I avoided for some reason, then it was given to me as a gift and I devoured it.  It’s a good easy read for anyone even slightly interested in the locavore movement, though if you don’t have a farm (or a very big yard) it might be a little frustrating.  

UNLESS you plant a truck farm.

migliorelli farm in hudson ny – year round

Migliorelli shop

Just yesterday I wished that there was somewhere to buy a vegetable for my dinner without having to get in my car.  While wandering around, I found that Migliorelli Farm (located in Tivoli) has opened a shop on the corner of Warren and 3rd Street which will be open year round!  The walls are colorful and covered in recipes and lists of available produce.  They are very newly opened and still bringing in product – at the moment they have fresh produce from the farm, as well as some pastries, bagels, and apple cider.  I am hoping that we will soon see their apple cider donuts.

Migliorelli shop 2

completely different worlds of indian food in hudson

Saffron 

This summer a new food option came to town: Saffron at Taste within the Hudson Supermarket.  How yummy.  Available for lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, this is fresh Indian food made with organic and sometimes local ingredients.  There is a long table at the back of the store where you can eat or you can take it to go. Drinks include mango lassi and fruity iced tea as well as Harney & Sons iced tea.  The daily desserts the day I was there included coconut cupcakes and a fruit tart.  I love how they wrap the organic naan in paper and tie it with brown string. 

saffron 2 

The very dangerous part is that while you wait for your food you wander around Hudson Supermarket which is filled with all sorts of gorgeous things that would look really great in your home… 

Just around the corner from Saffron is Sohan American Indian Food Market located at North 3rd and State Street. 

Sohan Food MarketWhile I have driven past this deli for years, I decided to try it when I heard about the wares in the back from a neighbor who bought bulk cayenne powder to sprinkle all over her garden in her anti-woodchuck efforts.  Walk past the normal deli fare, past the ready to heat individually packaged hamburgers and the freezer filled with whole fish (giant and small) to the very back and a little to the right.  There you will find an eclectic mix of bulk spices, rice flour, ghee, mango pulp, etc.  It’s an odd mix to say the least but potentially useful.  I walked out with this: 

FRESH TASTY & CRISPY

FRESH TASTY & CRISPY

 

  • Saffron at Taste – inside Hudson Supermarket at 310-312 Warren Street
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • 11am –  5pm
  • UPDATE June 2010 – Saffron is no longer at Hudson Supermarket but she is still catering.  And facing off with Bobby Flay!!!

  

  • Sohan Food Market – North 3rd Street & State
  • daily
  • 6am – midnight

cherries & berries

 cherries and berries

I’ve been in Hudson for just minutes over the last month, just enough to check the garden (still growing and no blight(yet)) and hear the local news. 

Though I haven’t been able to pick my own, I have been eating as usual and I am loving all the fresh fruit.  I’ve been obsessed by cherries and blueberries although soon it will be time to switch to plums, apricots and peaches.  How to choose?!?  My new favorite recipe is clafouti – a traditional french dessert that I’ve always been curious about but had never attempted.  Why did I waste so much time?  Clafouti is a lovely custard-y – cake loaded with fruit that is insanely easy and de-lish. 

Cherry Clafouti – adapted from Gourmet  (recipe can easily be halved)

  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh sour cherries (I didn’t have enough this time so also threw in some blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk (2% milk worked fine)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch (I couldn’t find so threw in some cassis)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

Toss cherries with 1 tablespoon sugar and spread evenly in baking dish.

clafouti step 1

Combine eggs, milk, flour, salt, butter, kirsch, extracts, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour batter over cherries.

clafouti step 2

Bake clafouti until puffed and golden, 35 to 45 minutes.

a little blurry but you get the idea

a little blurry but you get the idea

Cool slightly on a rack (clafouti will sink as it cools) and serve warm, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.  

We forgot the confectioners’ sugar and scarfed it down.  I’m trying this recipe with plums next.

 

cherry jam

I also made cherry jam for the first time.  I’m afraid of canning, pressure cookers, etc. but have been making refrigerator jams and pickled thingies…  I was directed to a recipe from David Leibowitz (an American in Paris writing about sweet things) via City Cook.  Using sour cherries gave it a great candy color and a little bit of tang to balance out the sweet.  I love how he wrote this recipe since he gives you all the little tips/hints that make it much less intimidating; read it here: No-Recipe Cherry Jam.

philmont has a farmers market

In case you miss Hudson’s on Saturdays… More info on what’s happening in Philmont here.

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