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Callaloo / An Island Delicacy Comes To Maine


What I know about Beth’s Farm Market is that they employ many Jamaican farm workers. Having spent ample time in Jamaica, I know that it’s a culture that eats well and their diet is very vegetable forward.

I was delighted to learn that the good people at Beth’s have begun to grow this delicious leafy green, a member of the Amaranth family. I look for it every July. The entire plant is good to eat, although the larger stems may need to be peeled and chopped smaller than the leaves. A high fiber vegetable, Callaloo helps to prevent obesity,control blood sugar and lower the risk of heart disease. Being high in vitamin C is another bonus and the reason it should be cooked lightly, until a jewel-like green.

Below is my favorite treatment for this nourishing vegetable, taught to me by an Ital chef, Dice:

Serves four, as a side dish. Prep time 30 minutes.

One large bunch callaloo, the larger stems peeled and chopped fine, leave chopped larger

Coconut oil

Fresh thyme springs

One peeled chopped carrot and 1 chopped white onion

Four chopped Roma tomato, half a Scotch bonnet pepper

1 TB chopped garlic. Salt and peter to taste

Begin by heating 3 TB oil in a heavy bottom pot, add the onion,carrot, garlic, thyme,tomato, S and P. Cook until the carrot is tender.

Add the Callaloo stems first, salt lightly and toss to coat, when half cooked add the leaves and toss again, cover the pot, stir once or twice as it finishes cooking.

Take the dish off the flame while the colors are still vibrant, remove hot pepper and serve immediately.

Using July’s Garlic Scapes / Green Goddess Dressing

If you’re a garlic lover, it’s nice to know how to use the super pungent shoot, or scape of the garlic. Typically they’re cut off before they form a flower, so as not to allow the garlic’s energy to move upward…but to focus the plants energy down to the head or bulb that’s trying to form.

Scapes are often made into pesto or a compound butter, but my favorite use for garlic scapes is a tasty Green Goddess dressing. Her’s my favorite recipe, terrific on the garden salad greens so prevalent right now in gardens everywhere:

3/4 cup either mayo or full fat Greek yoghurt

1 cup flat, leaf parsley, leaves only

1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves only

4 garlic scapes, tender parts only, rough chop

1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted

1 tbsp. White wine vinegar

Juice of one lemon

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all and mix by hand until desired consistency

Toss with your favorite lineup of summer salad greens….Bibb lettuce for me!

Enjoy!

Minted Pea Soup – A June recipe

I love this recipe for the present moment, because I have so many of these ingredients coming along in my garden in mid-June….chives, mint, peas…..sounds just as refreshing as it tastes. Give this easy recipe a try….it’s good enough for company!

Ingredients

3 tb. salted farm butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 qt. vegetable broth
6 cups fresh or frozen, thawed green peas
1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves stemmed
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, stemmed
1/4 cup creme fraiche or a non dairy substitute.
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives for garnish

Preparation

Melt butter in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring until translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add half the broth and bring to a boil. Add the peas and simmer until just cooked through, if fresh just about 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and add herbs, seasonings and add remaining broth to pot.

Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender, correcting the seasonings and amount of liquid until you get to a perfectly smooth consistency.

This soup may be served warm or cool and topped with creme fraiche and chives or left dairy free and Vegan.

Meyer Lemon Lobster Salad with Spring Greens

This recipe feeds four.

2 pounds of picked whole lobster body meat, tail, knuckle and claw

Homemade mayo …or Hellman’s with a touch of grated Meyer lemon zest mixed into the mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Two Meyer lemons, which are less tart than the usual lemon…still in the market in late spring

The freshest spicy blend of farmers market greens you can find, 1/2 pound

Cut the lobster meat into manageable chunks.

Dress very lightly with the lemony mayo and season to taste. Add a squeeze of Meyer lemon juice and mix lightly.

Arrange your seasonal greens on an attractive plates and add 1/2 pound dollop of lobster salad on top. Garnish with a Meyer lemon wedge.

A dusting of paprika and a wedge of baguette is all that’s needed, and maybe a glass of Rose. Couldn’t be easier or more luxurious….and that’s what summer entertaining is all about. Luxuriate.

Easy Five Ingredient Mayonnaise

Ingredients:
1 large egg, room temperature
1-1/4 c light olive or avocado oil
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt and a grind of white pepper
2 tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice, in this case use Meyer lemon

1) Put 1/4 cup oil in food processor or blender, add egg, mustard and salt

2) Process for about 30 seconds, until light yellow in color

3) With blender on low, slowly add remaining oil very slowly until the mixture is emulsified and thickened

4) Finally add the lemon juice until incorporated

Your homemade mayo is good for a week under refrigeration. This is a great way to layer the Meyer lemon flavor into this recipe.

Claytonia, a little something about summer farm stand greens:

My favorite grower often adds claytonia, sometimes called miner’s lettuce in the west, into her mix. It’s said that this humble little green saved the early gold miners from scurvy back in the Gold Rush days. It’s one of my favorite addiotns because of it’s great look, with a flower in the middle (See lobster salad image) and for the fact that it’s loaded with vitamin C.

Soft, buttery and with unmistakable good looks, look for claytonia in your mid season farmer’s market.

Roasted Pheasant

I am new to the world of Hank Shaw and his James Beard award- winning blog, “Hunter Angler Gardener Cook”. But I’m resonating like a long lost lover with his take on simple roast pheasant. My recipe differed only in that I started the bird at a low temperature after a robust seasoning with good salt and freshly ground pepper. I trussed and oiled my 3-4 pound bird, tented it with foil over the breast and let it go, low and slow for 2 hours without opening the oven.
 
I then removed the bird’s foil tent, jacked up the oven to 450 degrees and oiled the bird once again. Into a hot oven it went for another 20 minutes. I was mindful of Hank’s warning not to dry it out, so pulled it just as soon as the skin crisped.
 
It important to let almost anything rest, to keep the meat juicy, so I cover my little bird up with parchment for 20 minutes while I prepared a pan gravy, enriched with a bit of red current jelly. Hank’s suggestion of a root vegetable melange seemed perfect for winter, but I used up my green beans instead. View Hank’s recipe here.

Spring Chive Goddess Dressing

chivesIt won’t be long now before we have lovely fresh chives in abundance, and baby lettuces too! Here’s the perfect dressing for these tender young treats.

3/4 cup full fat sour cream
3/4 cup olive oil mayo
2 large cloves, minced fresh garlic
1 cup minced fresh chives
1 tsp. fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp. of lemon zest
1TB. fresh lemon juice
2 anchovy filets, white or regular

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all but the chives in a blender until creamy. Transfer to a bowl. Add the chives by hand and fold in. Season to your taste, cover and refrigerate for an hour or so before serving.

You can use this as a dip or spread. Thin with a little cream to make a steelllar salad dressing. Top you salad with chive blossoms for the best effect.

Argentinian Beef Empanadas

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 4.31.26 PMThis recipe fits the bill for hearty winter dining!

Ingredients
1/2 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
14 pitted green olives, such as Manzanilla, finely chopped
3 tablespoons raisins
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (17.5 ounce) packages frozen puff pastry (each with 2 sheets), thawed
1 raw egg, lightly beaten

Directions
Set racks in upper and lower thirds of oven, and preheat to 450 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cook beef in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up lumps, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer beef to a small bowl with a slotted spoon, and pour off grease from skillet. Melt butter in skillet and saute onions and green onion, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Return beef to skillet and stir in hard-boiled eggs, olives, raisins, cumin, salt, and pepper. Transfer mixture to a shallow bowl and chill until cooled, 10 to 20 minutes.

Unfold 1 pastry sheet, keeping remaining chilled, onto a lightly floured surface, dust lightly with flour, and roll out into a 12-inch square. Cut 4 (5 1/2-inch) rounds from pastry. Brush a 1/2-inch border around edges of 1 round with water, using a small brush or fingertip. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of filling onto half of round. Fold other half over filling and press edges together firmly. Crimp edges with a fork and transfer to one of prepared baking sheets. Repeat with 3 remaining rounds. Form 12 more empanadas in same manner with remaining pastry and filling, arranging them about 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets.

Brush tops of empanadas with beaten egg. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Lady Apples For The Holidays

photoGet to know the lady apple for the holiday season. She’s the friend to have in your corner for both the delights of the table and for decorating. It’s bright red and green coloring have earned it the title of the Christmas apple. Long used in wreath making in England, the lady apple tastes sweet/tart when eaten raw and is a lovely addition to holiday stuffings or as a chutney to accompany roasted meats or poultry. This distinctive lady is know in France as the Pomme d’ Api and happens to be the oldest recognized apple variety in the world.

For making a holiday chutney to go with my Lady Apple wreath, I favor Ina Garten’s recipe.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do here at Laura Cabot Catering!

Ingredients
6 Lady Apples, peeled, cored and half-inch diced
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
3/4 cup good cider vinegar
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon whole dried mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup raisins

Directions
Combine the apples, onion, ginger, orange juice, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, pepper flakes and salt and in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Take off the heat and add the raisins.

Set aside to cool and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Tomato Cake

TOMATO CAKE – Born of the depression this cake is delicious and can be made with either red or green tomatoes. It’s vegetarian and Vegan, yummy and an excellent way to use up the late summer’s tomato bounty, serves four

WET
11/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 TSP each baking powder and soda
pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

DRY
1 cup of fresh tomato pulp, blanched, skinned, seeded , chopped and drained well.
1/3 cup virgin olive oil
2 TB apple cider vinegar

Mix wet and dry ingredients, do not overmix.

Place in a baking pan, 91/2 inches works well. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Eat this yummy treat right out of the oven to enjoy a crisp top crust.

Spring Greens with a Yogurt Mayonnaise

greensAllium tricoccum — also known as the ramp, spring onion, ramson, wild leek, wild garlic, and, in French, ail sauvage and ail des bois — is an early spring vegetable with a strong garlicky odor and a pronounced onion flavor.[1]  Wikipedia

Directions
Steam the fiddleheads over boiling water for 5 minutes or until they are crisp-tender. Drain, then chill in a bowl of ice and cold water to stop the cooking. When they have cooled, transfer to colander to drain.

In a small bowl whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, wild ramp greens. Add salt and pepper to taste, whisking until the sauce is smooth. Serve the Fiddleheads topped with the sauce.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Fiddleheads cleaned
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped Wild Ramps greens