FMB92216

Farmers’ Market Box 9-22-16

This weeks local produce and featured farms:
Pink Lady ApplesFair Hill Apple Farm
Asprargus – Life’s A Choke Farm
Green Bell PeppersBlack Sheep Produce
Red Swiss ChardBlack Sheep Produce
Sweet Scarlet GrapesKen’s Top Notch Produce
Mizuna GreensBe Wise Ranch
French Butter Lettuce – The Garden Of….
Shinko Asian PearsPenryn Orchard
German Butterball PotatoesWeiser Family Farm
French Breakfast RadishesBe Wise Ranch

Organic Juicing Bag:
Strawberries – A & A Organics
Carrots – Cal Organics
Cucumbers – Lakeside Organic Gardens
Black Kale – Babe Farms
Mango – Corona College Heights

Farmer’s Choice:
Brussels Sprouts – Life’s A Choke Farm
Ambrosia Melon – Munak Ranch
SunchokesWeiser Family Farm

Feature:

Comice PearsPenryn Orchard

Check out our YouTube Video highlighting all the produce in this weeks FMB:

Click here to Watch Video on YouTube

Post your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #specialtyproduceFMB or share them with the FMB community on our facebook page http://facebook.com/specialtyproduce!

When it’s about food…#specialtyproduce

Click the links above & search for products on our website with recipes attached

Below are some great recipes for you to try out with the produce from your box/bag. Let us know on our Facebook Page or through twitter if you tried any of them with the hastag #SpecialtyProduceFMB!

Juice Recipes
Courtesy of Drew Canole of Fitlife.tv

Mango Paradise
2 carrots
1 mango
2 lemons

Delicious Strawberry
1 cup of strawberries
2 cucumber

Spicy Kale
Handful of black kale
1 cucumber
1inch of ginger

Specialty Produce Recipe Suggestions
courtesy of Diane Phillips (Cucina Divina)

Roasted French Breakfast Radishes
Serves 4

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch French breakfast radishes, scrubbed, and cut in half
Fleur de sel for garnish
Chopped chives for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a 9-inch pie plate, combine the oil, salt, pepper, and radishes.
2. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until the radishes are tender.
3. Sprinkle the radishes with Fleur de sel and chopped chives before serving.

In France, French breakfast radishes are served at breakfast, hence the name.
The procedure is pretty simple, slice a baguette into 1/2-inch slices, spread each slice with unsalted butter, and top with thinly sliced radishes. Garnish with Fleur de Sel.

Mizuna Pesto
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 bunch mizuna, tough stems trimmed, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup chopped almonds
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil, add the mizuna, and turn off the heat. When the mizuna is wilted, drain and press out any excess moisture.
2. Put the mizuna, almonds, red pepper flakes, Parmigiano, zest, and garlic into a food processor or blender. Pulse on and off a few times, to break up the garlic and nuts.
3. With the machine running, add the oil, until the mixture begins to come together.
4. Season with salt and pepper, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Use the pesto in pasta, or rice, mix in a bit more oil, and drizzle over grilled poultry, fish or meat.

Warm Mizuna and Potato Salad
Serves 4

One pound German butterball potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch mizuna, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper

1. Put the potatoes in water to cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain and cool slightly.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat 3 tablespoons of oil, and saute the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, until it begins to turn translucent. Add the mizuna and saute until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Cut the potatoes into bite size pieces while still warm, and put into a bowl. Add the warm mizuna, remaining oil, lemon zest and a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Toss to coat the potatoes.
4. Taste for seasoning adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice. Serve the salad warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Asparagus Parmigiano
Serves 2 to 4

1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment or silicone.
2. Put the asparagus onto the baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using your hands, roll the asparagus on the baking sheet until it is evenly coated.
3. Roast for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with the cheese. The heat from the asparagus will melt the cheese.

French Butter Lettuce Salad with Roasted Grapes and Crumbled Blue Cheese
Serves 4

One head French Butter Lettuce, washed, spun dry and separated into leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups red grapes, cut in half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1. Arrange the lettuce leaves on salad plates and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, silicone or parchment paper.
3. In a bowl, combine the oil, grapes, thyme, salt and pepper. Spread onto the baking sheet, and roast for 30 minutes, until the grapes have split and the juices are jam like.
4. Transfer the grapes to a bowl, and stir in the vinegar.
5. Arrange some grapes on the lettuce leaves, and garnish with blue cheese.
6. Cook’s Note: If you prefer another cheese, feta, or crumbled goat cheese are good substitutions.
7. Cook’s Note: The roasted grapes are also amazing on a cheese platter as a condiment.

Pear and Ginger Condiment
Makes about 2 cups
I am currently in the North of Italy near Asti and Alba, wine tasting, and gathering recipes. This condiment was served with a cheese selection, but it would be delicious spread on toast or scones.

2 Asian pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1/4 cup pear nectar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Put the ingredients into a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes until the pears are tender, and the mixture has thickened.
2. Mash any large pieces of pear.
3. Cool the mixture and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Torta di Mele
Serves 8
This apple cake is served all over Italy as a breakfast cake with strong coffee. I think it would be a terrific dessert, too.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon Amaretto
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 Pink Lady Apples, peeled, cored and cut ½-inch thick
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of a 10-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add the zest, Amaretto and vanilla paste, and beat until blended.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
5. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt blending until smooth.
6. Cut 2 of the apples into a small dice.
7. Fold the small pieces into the batter, and transfer the batter to prepared pan and smooth the top.
8. Arrange the cut apples core side down, on the top of the batter in circles over the entire surface with an arrangement like a sun. The apples should be close together.
9. Brush the apples and batter with the melted butter.
10. Generously sprinkle the apples and batter with the 3 tablespoons sugar.
11. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and the cake is golden brown. A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean.
12. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, remove the sides of the pan, and cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desires.
13. The cake keeps covered, at room temperature overnight. Refrigerate any leftover cake.

Bacon and Chard Saute
Serves 4

4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 garlic clove, sliced
One bunch chard, tough stems removed, and leaves cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper

1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of drippings, and saute the garlic for 1 minute.
2. Add the chard, toss with the bacon and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and saute until the leaves are wilted.
3. Season with salt and pepper, and serve warm.

Jambalaya
Serves 6 to 8
Feel free to substitute your favorite protein here, I’ve used sausage (traditional), and shrimp (sometimes traditional) in this one—this is a party dish, and it’s simple to put together and then add the rice before you are ready to serve.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound andouille or Polish-style sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup seeded and chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
One 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with their juice
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 14 cups long-grain rice
3/4 pounds medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped scallions (white and tender green parts) for garnish

1. In an 8-quart stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat, then cook the sausage until it begins to render some of its fat, about 5 minutes.
2. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, thyme, oregano, basil, black pepper, cayenne, and bay leaf.
3. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are translucent, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until some of the liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes.
5. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
6. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Gently reheat before continuing.
7. Stir in the rice and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink, another 3 to 5 minutes.
8. Remove the bay leaf, and serve immediately or turn off the heat, cover, and let stand for up to 30 minutes before serving.
9. Garnish the jambalaya with chopped scallions and serve with an assortment of hot sauces.

Basque Chicken
Serves 6
The original recipe for this chicken varies from cook to cook, some use Spanish chorizo to begin, while others use ham. For this version, I am using diced Soppressata, an Italian salami that works well in the recipe.

One 2 1/2 pound chicken cut into serving pieces (or equivalent of chicken parts)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
One half inch thick slice of Soppressata, diced
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 green peppers, cored, and thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes in their juice
Salt and pepper

1. The night before, wash the chicken in cold water pat dry, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cover with paper towels, and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 45 minutes before cooking.
2. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, and brown the chicken a few pieces at a time, removing the chicken when it is browned to a plate.
3. When the chicken is browned, add the remaining oil, and saute the Soppressata, onion, garlic and red pepper for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent.
4. Add the peppers, and cook down for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the paprika, thyme, bay leaf and tomatoes, bringing to a boil.
6. Nestle the chicken in the tomato sauce, and spoon the sauce over the top of the chicken.
7. Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, registering 165 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer.
8. Remove the bay leaf, season the sauce with salt and pepper, and serve the chicken over rice, polenta, or pasta.

Farmers Choice:

Sunchoke and Potato Soup
Serves 6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek split lengthwise, rinsed, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 pound sunchokes, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 German Butterball potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter with the oil, and sauté the leek and garlic for 2 minutes.
2. Add the sunchokes, and potatoes, and toss in the mixture.
3. Add the broth, and simmer the soup for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes and sunchokes are tender.
4. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, taste for salt and pepper, add the chives, and cream.

Sunchoke “Hummus”
Serves 6 to 8
Try this delicious change of pace spread on pita, or toasted bread, or serve with crisp vegetables.

3/4 pound sunchokes, peeled
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves
Grated zest of one lemon
One 14.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
Finely chopped spring onion for garnish

1. Put the sunchokes into water to cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer the sunchokes for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are tender. Drain thoroughly, and put into a blender or food processor.
2. In a skillet, heat the oil, and add the pepper flakes, garlic, and lemon zest, sautéing for 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the chicken peas, and lemon juice, and toss to coat.
3. Transfer the mixture to the blender/food processor, and puree. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley.
4. Serve the “hummus” garnished with chopped spring onions, and surround with pita wedges, toasted bread, and vegetables.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Grapes
Serves 4 to 6

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound Brussels Sprouts, cut in half or quarters if large
2 cup red grapes
1 teaspoons dried thyme
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment or silicone.
2. Combine the ingredients in a bowl, and spread onto the prepared baking sheet.
3. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until the sprouts have a bit of char on them, and the grapes have split.
4. Transfer the contents of the baking sheet into a serving bowl, and serve hot.

Shaved Brussels Sprout and Pancetta Pizza
Serves 6 as an appetizer

One pound pizza dough, either store bought or home made
Cook’s note, if you buy pizza dough, make sure to leave it at room temperature for at least 40 minutes before rolling it out
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
One 1/2-inch piece pancetta, cut into small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cups shaved Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 cups shredded Asiago cheese (or Parmigiano Reggiano)
Aged balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush the foil with some olive oil, and roll out the dough to fit the pan, it should be pretty thin. Set aside.
2. In a skillet, heat the remaining oil, and saute the pancetta until crispy.
3. Add the garlic and onions, and saute 2 to 3 minutes, until the onions are softened.
4. Add the sprouts, and toss in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and spread onto the pizza dough.
5. Cover the pizza with the cheese, and bake for 10 minutes, turn the pizza and bake another 5 minutes, until the crust is crisp and the cheese is bubbling.
6. Remove from the oven, and allow to rest for 5 minutes, before cutting into pieces.
7. Drizzle the pizza with aged balsamic vinegar if desired.

Melon and Prosciutto Salad
Serves 6

One Ambrosia Melon, peeled, pitted and cut into thin slices, then cut into quarters
1/4 pound thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma, cut into julienne
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Arrange the melon on a platter, and sprinkle with the prosciutto
2. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with the mint. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper

Feature:

Chicken and Sautéed Pears
Serves 6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 chicken breasts, skin and bones removed
Salt and pepper
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 Comice pears, cored, and cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

1. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and saute the chicken, until browned on both sides.
2. Remove to a plate, add the remaining butter, and oil, and saute the onion, pears, garlic and thyme, saute until the pears begin to get some color.
3. Add the broth, mustard and cream, stirring to combine.
4. Add the chicken back to the pan, and simmer, covered, for 5 to 8 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and registers 165 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer.
5. Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust using salt and pepper. Serve over rice, potatoes, or pasta.

Ginger Pear Bread Pudding
Serves 6 to 8

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 Comice pears, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons brandy
6 to 7 cups torn egg bread

1. Coat the inside of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, add 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and the ginger, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the ginger becomes fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add the pears, coating them with the butter mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and some of their juices have evaporated, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, granulated sugar, remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar, the nutmeg, and brandy until well combined. Add the bread to the custard mixture, pressing it down into the mixture to saturate the bread.
5. Stir in the sautéed pears and blend together until the pears are evenly distributed in the pudding. Turn into the prepared dish.
6. Do-Ahead: At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 36 hours. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
7. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the pudding until puffed, golden brown and bubbling, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipes Provided By:
Diane Phillips www.dianephillips.com and www.cucinadivina.blogspot.com

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FMB91516

Farmers’ Market Box 9-15-16

This weeks local produce and featured farms:
Gala ApplesFair Hill Apple Farm
Rainbow CarrotsBlack Sheep Produce
Cauliflower – Life’s A Choke Farm
Pickling CucumbersBlack Sheep Produce
Red Dandelion GreensBlack Sheep Produce
Italian ParsleyBe Wise Ranch
Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – The Garden Of….
Yellow OnionsTutti Frutti Farms
Bartlett PearsPenryn Orchard
Flavorino TomatoesDassi Family Farm

Organic Juicing Bag:
Turmeric – A & A Organics
Carrots – Cal Organics
Cucumbers – Lakeside Organic Gardens
Black Kale – Babe Farms
Red Beets – A & A Organics

Farmer’s Choice:
Honey Dates – Dates by DaVall
Key LimesRancho Del Sol
Shinko Asian PearsKen’s Top Notch Produce

Feature:

Early Wonderful PomegranatesKen’s Top Notch Produce

Check out our YouTube Video highlighting all the produce in this weeks FMB:

Click here to Watch Video on YouTube

Post your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #specialtyproduceFMB or share them with the FMB community on our facebook page http://facebook.com/specialtyproduce!

When it’s about food…#specialtyproduce

Click the links above & search for products on our website with recipes attached

Below are some great recipes for you to try out with the produce from your box/bag. Let us know on our Facebook Page or through twitter if you tried any of them with the hastag #SpecialtyProduceFMB!

Juice Recipes
Courtesy of Drew Canole of Fitlife.tv

Carrot-licious
2 carrots
1 cucumber
1 inch turmeric

Spicy Beets
1 red beet
1 romaine lettuce
1 inch of ginger

Morning Greens
1 cucumber
Handfuls of back kale
Pinch of salt

Specialty Produce Recipe Suggestions
courtesy of Diane Phillips (Cucina Divina)

Roasted Plum Tomatoes
Makes about 2 cups
This simple recipe is a great way to preserve the flavor of the tomatoes for use later in the year. Roasting them intensifies their flavor.

1 pint plum tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 cup chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan with a silicone liner, parchment paper, or aluminum foil.
2. Put the tomatoes in a large glass bowl. Stir in the olive oil, basil, rosemary, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, being careful not to tear the tomatoes.
3. Pour onto the prepared pan, spreading it out in a single layer. Bake until the tomato liquid is absorbed and the tomatoes have firmed up and turn a deep red color, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, checking to make sure that the tomatoes and garlic don’t brown.
4. Transfer the tomato mixture to a clean glass bowl and let it mellow at room temperature for about 6 hours.
5. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature before continuing.
6. Chop the tomatoes to make a great winter bruschetta just spread on crostini and top with chopped fresh mozzarella, stir chopped tomatoes into risotto, use as a topping for grilled steak or chicken, and as a sauce for pasta.

Roasted Plum Tomato Soup with Parsley Pesto
Serves 4

One recipe roasted Plum tomatoes (see preceding recipe)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Put the roasted tomatoes into a Dutch oven over medium high heat, and sprinkle with the flour, cooking the flour for 2 minutes.
2. Gradually add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or cool and puree in a counter-top blender) leaving some bits of tomato.
4. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper, and bring to serving temperature before serving with a dollop of Italian parsley pesto.

For the Parsley Pesto:
1 cup packed parsley leaves
1 cup walnuts
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients except the oil, pulsing to break up the nuts, and parsley.
2. With the machine running at 1/2 cup of the oil, and add more if needed. This should be a paste, not a runny pesto. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
3. Remove from the machine and pour into an airtight container, spooning 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil over the top of the pesto, to preserve its green color.
4. Refrigerate for up to 1 week, freeze for up to 3 months.
5. Cooks’ Note: The pesto is terrific on baguette slices, or tossed into pasta, or pasta salad, or potato salad. It’s also delicious as a crust on fish, or chicken, or add a bit more oil to it for a sauce for grilled steak.

Bistro Chicken with Apples
Serves 4

4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 chicken breasts, skin and bones removed
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup heavy cream mixed with 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Salt and pepper

1. In a Dutch oven cook the bacon until crisp and remove from the pan. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings, add the butter to the pan. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt and pepper, and brown on each side. Remove from the pan, and add the onion sautéing until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the apples, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until the apples begin to get some color.
2. Stir in the cider, broth and mustard, bring to a boil, and return the chicken to the pan.
3. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
4. Add the Cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil, stirring until the sauce thickens. Add the bacon back to the pan, and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve the chicken over rice, potatoes, or buttered noodles.

Red Oak Lettuce and Candied Pear Salad
Serve 4 to 6

2 Bartlett pears, cored, and thinly sliced
Raw sugar
One head red oak lettuce, washed, spun dry and chopped
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup pear nectar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (you can use another blue cheese, or goat cheese in the recipe, if you would like)
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment. Dip the sliced pears into the raw sugar and lay on the baking sheet. Roast the pears for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
2. Put the lettuce into a salad bowl.
3. In another bowl whisk together the vinegar, pear nectar, mustard and vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Pour some of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
5. Plate the salad, garnish with the pears, crumbled cheese, and pecans.
6. Drizzle a bit more dressing over the pears, and serve.
7. Cook’s Note: The candied pear trick can be used with apples as well-they may take 5 to 10 minutes longer to cook–if you make a vinaigrette, sub in apple juice/cider for the pear nectar.

Autumn Stuffed French Toast
Serves 6
Great for Sunday morning brunch, this stuffed French toast sure beats flipping endless flapjacks, or waffles, and you can make it ahead of time.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and chopped
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups apple cider or juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups mascarpone cheese
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
One 1-pound loaf sturdy white bread like Pepperidge Farm House white or Hawaiian Sweet Egg Bread torn
1/4 cup cinnamon sugar

1. Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large skillet, heat the butter, add the pears, apples, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and cook stirring until the fruit begins to soften. Add the juice, and continue to cook the mixture for 5 to 7 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with a bit of the sauce, and stir into the sauce, bringing it to a boil. Cool the mixture, and remove 3/4 cup including some of the fruit from the pan.
3. Stir the apple, pear mixture (and sauce) into the mascarpone and set aside.
4. In a shallow mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, and maple syrup.
5. Pour over the bread, and push down on the mixture to help the bread absorb the custard.
6. Spread half the mixture into the prepared pan.
7. Spread the mascarpone mixture over the bread, top with the remaining bread soaked custard and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
8. Do-Ahead: Cover the French toast and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 36 hours.
9. Remove the French toast from the refrigerator 45 minutes before baking to bring the pan to room temperature. Cook’s Note: I usually put this on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or silicone, to catch any drips.
10. Bake the French toast until golden brown and bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes.
11. While the French toast is cooking reheat the remaining sauce.
12. Remove the casserole from the oven; allow to rest for 10 minutes, before cutting into squares and garnish each serving with some of the warm sauce.

Orecchiette with Red Dandelion Greens and Sausage

Serves 4 to 6

One package Orecchiette, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente saving some pasta water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage removed from its casing
One bunch red dandelion greens, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper
1 cup grated Pecorino Roman cheese

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, saute the garlic for 30 to 45 seconds, and add the sausage, breaking up any large pieces, and cooking until the sausage loses its pink color.
2. Add the dandelion greens to the pan, and saute until the greens are wilted, season with salt and pepper.
3. When the pasta is cooked, add it to the pan, with 1/2 cup cheese, and some of the pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Season the pasta with salt and pepper and serve garnished with the remaining cheese.

Loaded Smashed Cauliflower
Serves 4 to 6
This recipe uses everything the cauliflower has to offer, and mashes it with Greek yogurt, a bit of butter, cheese, scallions, and bacon, like a stuffed baked potato.

One head cauliflower, separated into florets, and the core cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup Greek yogurt (see note)
1 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions, using the white and tender green parts
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Cook the cauliflower in boiling salted water for 5 minutes until crisp/tender. Drain thoroughly and put into a large bowl and smash with a potato masher.
3. Add the butter, /2 cup yogurt (Note: this will depend on how big the cauliflower is, how much you will need) and one cup cheese. Add more yogurt a few tablespoons at a time if the mixture appears dry, stirring until the mixture comes together.
4. Add the bacon, and scallions, and mix until blended. Taste for seasoning and correct with salt and pepper.
5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.
7. Allow the casserole to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions
Serves 4

For the Caramelized Onions:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1. In a large skillet, melt the butter with the oil; add the onions, sugar, salt, pepper and thyme.
2. Toss the onions in the mixture, and sauté for 15 to 20 minutes until the onions begin to turn golden brown. Cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

For the Horseradish Crème Fraiche:
Makes 2 1/2 cups
2 cups crème fraiche
1/4 cup preserved horseradish (not horseradish crème—preserved in vinegar, the horseradish is found in the fresh pickle section)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients.
2. Store covered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days.
3. The sauce will increase in intensity the longer it sits.

To Assemble the Sandwiches:
8 Croissants, toasted
One pound thinly sliced roast beef or leftover beef tenderloin, thinly sliced (Boar’s Head Brand is a good one)—please don’t buy the on sale already sliced supermarket brand, many have been known to contain high levels of nitrates.
Caramelized onions (preceding recipe)
Horseradish Crème (preceding recipe)

1. To toast the croissants, split them, preheat the broiler, and brush each side with a bit of melted butter. Run under the broiler to warm the croissants, and have them get a bit of color—this should take 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
2. With a split croissant on a plate, layer about 4 to 5 slices of roast beef onto the croissant; top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of onions and some of the crème.
3. Place the top on the croissant, and cut the croissant in half and serve. Offer additional onions and crème on the side.

South of the Border Pickled Carrots
Makes 2 pint jars
Great for snacking, I find they don’t last long in the refrigerator, but they are simple to make and carrots are available all year round. You can vary the jalapeno, using only half or using several.

1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons kosher or sea salt (not iodized)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
5 black peppercorns, smashed, or coarsely ground
1 bay leaf
8 medium carrots cut 1/4-inch thick
1 jalapeno, stemmed, and sliced into rounds (keep the seeds if you like heat)
1/2 onion, sliced 1/4-invch thick

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the vinegar, water, garlic, salt, sugar, oregano, peppercorns, and bay leaf until simmering, and the salt and sugar are dissolved.
2. Add the jalapeños, carrots, and onions. Let cook in the pan for 1 minute, then cover, remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.
3. Ladle the mixture into jars, seal them, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or up to 1 month. Drain and serve.

Lamb Meatballs in Pita with Tzatziki Sauce

Serves 6

For the Meatballs:
1 pound lean ground lamb
1 pound lean ground beef
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed in the palm of your hand
2 slices bread, crust removed, torn into pieces
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Grated zest of one lemon
½ cup finely chopped parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, parchment or aluminum foil.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients. Form into 2-inch balls, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the meatballs register 150 on a meat thermometer. Remove from the oven, and keep warm.

For the Tzatziki Sauce:
Makes about 2 cups

1 pound Persian cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups Greek style yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1. Put the cucumber in a colander and toss with the salt. Drain for 30 minutes.
2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, dill, feta, vinegar, oil, and pepper until blended.
3. Fold the cucumber into the yogurt mixture.
4. Do-Ahead: At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 days.
5. Stir before serving cold.

To Assemble:
Six 6-inch round pita, cut in half and toasted
Chopped tomatoes

1. Stuff 1 or two meatballs into each half of the pita, top with Tzatziki sauce and chopped tomatoes before serving.

Asian Cucumber Pickles
Makes about 3 cups

1 pound Pickling cucumbers, scrubbed
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1. Thinly slice the cucumbers, and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, and toss to distribute the salt. Set aside for 5 minutes. Rinse off the salt and drain the cucumbers.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl, add the cucumbers, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
3. The cucumbers will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Eat them plain or serve them with grilled chicken, meat, or pork.

Italian Parsley Notes

Italian parsley is what the Mediterranean’s use as a neutralizer; it will give a fresh taste to many dishes, tone down acid in tomato and citrus sauce, and brighten up the flavor of dressings, and sauces. Don’t throw out the stems! Chop them and use them when starting sauces and soups for added flavor.
A few ways to store:
• Wash and spin dry the bunch of parsley, remove the stems. Chop in the food processor, put into a zip-lock bag with a paper towel and freeze. Use it straight from the bag. It will retain its bright green color. (no other herbs do this; I’ve tried)
• Wash, spin dry and put into a tall glass 1/2 filled with cold water. Wrap a plastic bag around the parsley, secure with a rubber band, and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. I’ve had some in my fridge here in Italy for 2 weeks and it’s still green and gorgeous.
• Wash, spin dry and chop. Blend 1/3 cup of chopped parsley and 1/2 cup unsalted softened butter for parsley butter to spoon over chicken, steak, or vegetables. Add your favorite flavors to the butter, dill, crushed red pepper flakes, shallot, garlic, citrus like lemon, lime or orange. Form the butter into a log, wrap in plastic and freeze. It will keep frozen for up to 6 months.

Farmers Choice:

Classic Margarita
Makes 2

1 lime, cut into wedges
Coarse salt
4 ounces Tequila
2 ounces triple sec
2 ounces lime juice

1. Run the lime around the rim of 2 glasses. Dip the rim of the glass into the coarse salt and set aside.
2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, triple sec and lime juice. Strain into the prepared glasses and serve.

Margaritaville Grilled Chicken
Serves 6
This chicken is great to grill, then cool and freeze for Taco Tuesday, or for a tailgate, just warm them up and you are good to go. Otherwise, serve with refried beans, and rice with an orange and oregano salad on the side.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup gold tequila
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro or Italian parsley, plus extra for garnish
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, tenders removed (use for another purpose)
2 limes, thinly sliced, for garnish
1 or 2 oranges, thinly sliced and any seeds removed, for garnish

1. In a food processor or blender, combine the oil, juices, tequila, cumin, chipotle, and cilantro and process until smooth.
2. Put the chicken in a zipper-top plastic bag, pour in the marinade, seal the bag, and turn the chicken to coat.
1. Do-Ahead: At this point, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
2. Build a hot charcoal fire preheat a gas grill, or grill pan, or the broiler for 10 minutes. Drain the chicken and pat dry. Grill or broil on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a silicone liner until cooked through and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
3. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
4. Serve, hot, warm, cold, or at room temperature, garnished with chopped cilantro and lime and orange slices.
5. Cook’s note: if you aren’t a fan of cilantro, Italian parsley is a great substitute, although it doesn’t have the same flavor it works in most dishes.

Key Lime Pie
Serves 6

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and coat the inside of a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and salt. Press the cracker crumbs into the pie plate, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool, while making the filling.
3. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees.

For the Filling:
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup Key lime juice
1 teaspoon Key lime zest
1 cup heavy cream, whipped until stiff

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the milk, egg yolks, juice, and zest until combined.
2. Pour into the crust, and bake for 15 minutes, until set. Cool completely.
3. Refrigerate the pie for at least 6 hours before serving garnished with unsweetened whipped cream.

Red Leaf Lettuce Salad with Warm Honey Date Vinaigrette
Serves 4

One head red leaf lettuce, (or your favorite leaf lettuce), washed, spun dry and chopped
6 strips bacon, cut into 1/2 dice
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
10 pitted honey dates
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Put the lettuce into a salad bowl, and set aside.
In a skillet, heat the bacon, and cook until crisp.
Add the onion and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
Put the dates, mustard, vinegar, and oil into a blender, and blend until smooth.
Add to the bacon and onion in the pan and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for seasoning and adjust using salt or pepper.
Toss the lettuce with some of the vinaigrette, and plate the salad. Garnish the salad with blue cheese and serve.

5-Spice Poached Asian Pears
Serves 2 to 4
Terrific as a desert, these pears are also a beautiful garnish served around roasted pork or poultry. The syrup is delicious over ice cream or cake; any leftover syrup can be frozen for future use.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon 5 spice powder
1/2 cup pear nectar
2 firm Asian pears, cored and cut in half

1. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter, add the sugar, sherry 5 spice powder, and pear nectar.
2. Add the pears, spooning the mixture over the pears.
3. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pears are softened.
4. Cool the pears, and serve with crème fraiche, or ice cream and drizzle with some of the sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Parmigiano Reggiano
Serves 12
These have been published in the FMB before, but they are terrific snack and they freeze really well, for unexpected company.

12 strips bacon, cut in half crosswise
24 pitted dates
1/4 pound Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, chopped (the cheese needs to be cut for each date, since they are all different sizes)

1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it has rendered some fat and begins to turn translucent and is still pliable; don’t let it brown at all. Remove from the pan and drain thoroughly on paper towels.
2. Make a slit in each date and stuff with a small piece of cheese. Wrap the date in a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick if needed. Place the wrapped dates in a baking dish.
3. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 36 hours or freeze for up to 6 months.
4. Preheat the oven to 375° F and bake the dates until the bacon is crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, drain the dates on paper towels, and set on a platter for serving. Thin shreds of any leftover Parmesan would make an awesome garnish.

Feature:

Pomegranate Farro and Apple Salad
Serves 6
If you prefer to use a different grain, try barley, quinoa, couscous, or wild rice, they all work well in this recipe.

2 cups farro
2 scallions, finely chopped using the white and tender green parts
2 ribs celery, finely chopped using the leaves, too
2 Gala apples, cored, and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
1/2 cup diced Asiago cheese
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
Salt and pepper

1. Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil, add the farro, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until barely tender—think al dente pasta with a bit of a bite (see note)
2. Drain the farro and put into a large bowl to cool.
3. Add the scallions, celery, apples, parsley, mint and cheese.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, orange juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Pour over the salad, add the pomegranates and toss to coat. Season the salad with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature. The salad can be refrigerated for up to 12 hours, bring it to room temperature about 1 hour before serving.
6. Cooks’ Note: When making a grain or pasta salad, always undercook the pasta or grain by about 2 to 3 minutes. When the grain or pasta is dressed with the acidic salad dressing, it will begin to ‘cook’ again—like ceviche (raw fish in lime juice) The salad will become gummy, and soft if you cook the pasta or grain too long.

Roasted Carrots with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese
Serves 4 to 6

1 pound carrots, scraped, and cut in half (if large cut into 4-inch lengths)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped oregano
1/2 cup pomegranate arils

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, silicone or parchment.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oil, cumin, zest, juice and honey, add the carrots, and mix, until the carrots are coated.
3. Tip onto the baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until just tender.
4. Arrange the carrots on a serving platter, scatter with the goat cheese, parsley, oregano and pomegranate and serve warm.

Recipes Provided By:
Diane Phillips www.dianephillips.com and www.cucinadivina.blogspot.com

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