Archive for ‘Apples’

October 5, 2011

Local Foods Week | Rabbit


Sometimes dinner is completely off the grid.  Tonight’s rabbit was an example of that.  Not purchased at a store or farmer’s market, simply gifted to me from generous friends who have local farmer friends.  The dinners, over two nights, could not have embodied the essence of local more than that.

Spot the backyard bunny. No, this was not dinner.

For the squeamish, let me tell you that a beautifully raised, local rabbit might strike you as tasting a whole lot like turkey.  For the more adventurous, it is light, meaty and absolutely delicious.  It is a protein entirely worth hunting down (albeit grocery shopping or the actual in-the-woods kind) to find responsibly-raised meat.

I wasn’t home last night and Hades took it upon himself to braise our rabbit with leeks and carrots and some decidedly non-local French vermouth.  He served it with warm red cabbage, beet and apple salad and a butternut puree.

I cannot begin to express my bitter disappointment at not being home for this meal.

Freakishly, there were leftovers. 

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December 21, 2010

Locavore Dessert | Caramelized Apple Cranachan

It’s snowy and cold here in Ohio.   Perfect Christmas weather.

But don’t let that weather preclude you from making something deliciously local and in season.  At the Greener Grocer in North Market, you can pick up the three or four ingredients you need for this simple, luscious dessert.  In fact, it makes a fantastic Christmas pudding because it’s dead simple.

This is a Scottish dessert.  And Scots know that when it’s cold, a wee bit of whisky will warm you up.  This cranachan is essentially whipped Snowville Cream mixed with local honey and a bit of good bourbon whiskey.  Do your level best not to eat the whole bowl straight.  Instead, this time of year, top with a sliced local apple  that’s been caramelized in a bit of butter and a sprinkling of toasted rolled oats or spelt.

Ohio River Valley Cranachan, Serves 4

2 apples, cored and thinly sliced (I used ones from Hirsch Farm)

2 T butter (you can make your own with Snowville)

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December 2, 2010

Chrismukkah Fare | Latkes and Bubbly

I know I’m biased, but food has always been, and remains, the keystone of every culture.  It brings people together, allowing families to share, to bond, and to pay homage those that came before them.  Many of the recipes I share here, from pub food, to Spanish stews, to Asian noodles or vegetarian Indian curries are designed to bring people together around the table. 

This effect is even more profound during times of celebration.  Today, I honored the Hanukkah holiday, and in traditional PK fashion, made it my own.  Dinner was a simple supper of really delicious (almost bordering on miraculous) potato latkes, given a twist with a coating of grated parsley root, carrot and onion, and a quick charred cinnamon applesauce, from one of the Kitchen’s chef crushes, Sam Mason.  Served with a crispy Cava from Spain, the meal was festive, without being too heavy.

Anthony Bourdain has said that American cooking is whatever food is being made in American kitchens.  I think if we embrace that variety in our own kitchens, food can help us learn.     

Parsley Root Latkes and Charred Cinnamon Applesauce

1 potato, peeled and cubed

2 T butter

splash of milk

2 parsley roots, peeled

1 carrot, peeled

1/2 onion

2 heaping tablespoons flour

1 egg

salt, pepper, olive oil (both for its symbolic importance and its flavor)

In a small pot, cover the potatoes with heavily salted water and boil until soft.  Drain, and mash with the butter and a bit of milk. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.  (This is a perfect time to use leftover mashed potatoes.)

While the potatoes are cooking, with a box grater or using the shredding blade of a food processor, shred the parsley roots, carrots and onion.  Place grated vegetables in a colander and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt.  Mix with your hands to incorporate the salt.  Allow to sit for five or ten minutes.  In a clean kitchen towel, spread shredded vegetables evenly.  Roll up the towel and twist to squeeze out excess liquid.  Place vegetables in a small bowl, sprinkle with the flour, another generous pinch of salt, and add in the egg.  Mix to coat the vegetables evenly. 

In the palm of your hand, place a heaping tablespoon of the grated vegetable mixture and flatten to make a thin round.  On top of the round, place a heaping teaspoon of mashed potatoes, spreading to almost the edge of the vegetable round.  Place another heaping tablespoon of the grated vegetable mixture to cover the potato and finish the latke.

In a large nonstick pan, heat enough olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan over medium low heat.  Add the latkes, taking care not to crowd the pan.  Allow to brown before turning, approximately 8 to 10 minutes on each side.  

Serve with sour cream and apple sauce.

Playlist included A Lack of Color, by Death Cab for Cutie.  Seth Cohen once attempted to write a Chrismukkah song to this tune with the lyrics “Moses and Jesus, they both had beards.”

October 19, 2010

Cocktails at the Rossi with Maia

Maia and I enjoyed cocktails and dinner at The Rossi tonight.  Maia is rather worldly and has been just about everywhere in this fair city of ours.  I love that about her.  She can order with the pros.

I started with a Ohio Apple Pie cocktail with some Brothers Drake mead because I just recently tasted all their fall releases.  The Rossi is one of the swanky places that carries this fine stuff.  Nicolene, the creative barkeep at Rossi, pairs Brothers Drake Apple Pie mead with another local libation, OYO vodka, and finishes it off with a garnish of cinnamon and sugar.  Really nice pairing.

Maia had the Fletcher and Bligh with Ten Cane rum, key lime juice, some maraschino liqueur.  The beautifully presented martini glass is kissed with vanilla bean sugar and looks like a frosted winter present, albeit one of delicious alcohol.

Being from Texas, I can’t pass up an opportunity to try an enchilada in any form, and

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October 4, 2010

Weekday Apple Salad

I couldn’t help myself.  In light of Saturday’s article in the WSJ, saying bacon is singing its swan song, I defiantly made a tasty fall salad with bacon ends from Curly Tail Farm.  I can’t help it if it goes so well with fall apples from Gillogly Orchards and sharp cheddar from Ohio Farm Direct and a few spicy mustard greens from Honeyrun Farm.  I. just. can’t. help it.

Combine those ingredients in the quantities you like (I like lots of greens, lots of apples, a little bit of cheddar and a little bit more bacon).  Then dress it in a vinaigrette made from apple cider vinegar, Hays apple cider, olive oil, salt, pepper, and just a drop or two of sriracha.

Cherub ate a local version of mac and cheese: some of the leftover Mrs. Miller’s Homemade noodles from last night’s chicken, along with a quick bechamel (equal parts flour and butter in a small saucepan, heated until bubbly for a minute or two, then whisk in Snowville milk to make a sauce) then add in a few ounces of cheese mixing to melt.  Add noodles to sauce and voila!  Scratch mac and cheese in under ten minutes.

See the Farms and Producers page for complete sourcing.

October 4, 2010

Apple-licious Breakfast

Cherub likes a good breakfast. 

This morning, since it’s gotten a little chilly, I served her some hot cereal.  I couldn’t find local oatmeal, so rolled spelt, from Stutzman Farm made an even exchange.   You can find Stutzman products at the Greener Grocer.  It cooks pretty much like oatmeal, two parts liquid (milk, local apple cider, water, etc.) to one part spelt.  I topped it with carmelized apples (sliced apple from Gillogly Orchard, sautéed in butter from Snowville, with a drizzle of local honey from John E. Egleston and a sprinkling of non-local cinnamon) and a further drizzle of honey. 

The great thing about it, too, is that there’s enough for leftovers.  So before school tomorrow, her healthy local breakfast  is already made.

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