Archive for September, 2018

FMB 9-27-18

Farmers’ Market Box 9-27-18

This week’s local produce and featured farms:
Golden Delicious Apple - Fair Hills Apple Farm
Dragon Tongue Beans - Two Peas in a Pod
Dino Kale - Terra Madre Gardens
Salanova Salad Mix - Terra Madre Gardens
Valencia Oranges - Polito Family Farms
Pomegranate - Murray Family Farm
Russian Fingerling Potatoes - Weiser Family Farms
Honeynut Squash - Weiser Family Farms

Juicing Bag:

Blueberries - Homegrown Organic Farms
Carrots - Kern Ridge
Cucumbers – Oceanside Organic
Kale - Coastal Valley Farms
Italian Parsley - Foxy Organic
Baby Spinach - Classic Salads

Farmer’s Choice:
Warren Pears - Frog Hollow Farm
Sunchokes - Weiser Family Farm

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 hashtag #SpecialtyProduceFMB!

Juice Recipes

Lively Boost

2 Handfuls Kale

3 Carrots

1 Handful Blueberries

1 Cucumber

Splendid Spinach

2 Handfuls Kale

1 Handful Parsley

1 C. Spinach

2 Apples (not included)

Berry Good Smoothie

1 Handful Blueberries

1 1/2 C Spinach

1/2 c. Almond Milk (not included)

1 Banana (not included)

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes

Since it’s Fall, I’ve included recipes to use in your Slow Cooker or Insta-Pot, making dinner ahead is the way to a stress free time after work.

Cider Braised Pork with Apples
Serves 6

2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 4-pound rolled boneless pork loin roast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large sweet onions cut in half and thinly sliced into half-moons
4 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter mixed with 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sprinkle the pork roast evenly with the salt and pepper. Brown on all sides in the hot oil and remove to a plate.
2. Melt the butter in the same pan, add the onions, apples, nutmeg, ginger, and thyme, and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, and the apples begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the brown sugar, cider, and both broths, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
3. Return the pork to the pan, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the pork is tender, 3 to 4 hours.
4. Remove the pork from the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Using a slotted spoon, remove the apples and onions from the sauce, reserving them, and bring the sauce to a boil.
5. Stir in the butter-and-flour mixture a bit at a time until the sauce is thickened to your taste. Taste the sauce and correct with salt and pepper, if necessary.
6. Add the apples and onions back to the sauce.
7. Carve the pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve garnished with some of the sauce and apples.
Slow Cooker Savvy: Prepare the pork on stovetop through step 2, then transfer everything to a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 9 hours.

Apple Pecan Cake
Serves 6 to 8
This is a great snack cake, but you can dress it up with cream cheese frosting, or you can bake it in a 1/2 sheet pan (same amount of time) then cut into squares serve warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 medium-size golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat 13 by 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. (or a 1/2 sheet pan)
2. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until blended. Add the flour, baking soda, and spices and beat until just incorporated. Stir in the apples, nuts, and vanilla. Scrape into the prepared pan.
3. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached to it, 40 to 50 minutes.
4. Set the pan on a rack to cool.

Slow Cooker Portuguese Kale and Sausage Soup with Dragon Tongue Beans
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound smoked Linguica, chorizo, or andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch rounds
2 medium onions finely chopped
4 medium carrots finely chopped
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 pound Russian fingerling potatoes, scrubbed, peeled if desired, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound dragon tongue beans shelled
6 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley (optional for garnish)

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, and sauté the sausage, onion, and carrots, until the onion is translucent, and transfer the mixture to the insert of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker.
2. Add the kale, potatoes, beans, chicken broth, and bay leaf stirring to combine the ingredients.
3. Cook the soup for 5 to 6 hours on low until the potatoes are tender. Remove the bay leaf, sprinkle the soup with the cilantro or parsley and serve.

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup with Dragon’s Tongue Beans
Soup is great fuel in the fall; this “wedding soup” is simple to make and hearty enough to be a whole meal.
Serves 6

For the Soup
8 cups chicken broth
One bunch dino kale, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 pound dragon’s tongue beans shelled
Parmigiano Reggianno cheese for garnish

1. Place the broth, beans and kale into the insert of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low while preparing the meat balls.

Meat Balls
Makes about 16 to 20 1-inch meatballs

1 pound ground turkey
2 slices soft crusted Italian bread
¼ cup milk
1 medium shallot chopped finely
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggianno cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper

1. In a large mixing bowl, pour the milk over the bread, and allow it to soak in.
2. Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl, and stir together until the mixture is combined, being careful not to compact it.
3. Using a small portion scoop, form the meat balls into 1-inch balls, and drop into the slow cooker containing the broth and vegetables.
4. Cover the slow cooker and cook the soup for 5 hours on low, until the meatballs float on the surface.
5. Remove any foam that may have formed on the top of the soup, season with salt and pepper and serve the soup garnished with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggianno cheese.

Salanova Salad with Orange Vinaigrette and Pomegranates
Serves 4

1 head Salanova washed, and spun dry, separated into leaves
2 Valencia oranges, peel and pith removed, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 shallot finely chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup pomegranate arils for garnish

1. Plate the lettuce onto salad plates. Top each salad with a few slices of orange.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, rice vinegar, shallot, honey, and vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Drizzle the dressing over the salads, and top with pomegranate arils.

Baked Brie with Pomegranate and Walnuts
Serves 6
This is a great appetizer and can be made ahead of time, then popped into the oven.

One 6- to 8-inch wheel Brie (leave the rind on)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry defrosted and rolled out into a 15-inch square
1 cup pomegranate arils
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk, heavy cream, or water
Baguette slices for serving

1. Place the Brie in the center of the puff pastry.
2. Pack the pomegranate arils and the walnuts on top of the brie.
3. Bring the opposite corners of the puff pastry towards the center of the Brie and twist together into a decorative knot.
4. Do-Ahead: At this point, cover or slip into a 2-gallon zipper-top plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so the puff pastry will relax and up to 24 hours or freeze for up to 6 weeks. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before continuing.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the Brie on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone liner, parchment paper, or aluminum foil.
6. Bake until the crust is golden, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving with baguette slices.

Honeynut Squash Kale Gratin
Serves 6

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves minced
1 bunch kale, tough stems discarded and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 cups peeled Honeynut squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and 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 onion and garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion softens.
3. Add the kale, and season with the salt and pepper. Saute until the kale is wilted, and there is no longer any residual liquid in the pan. Add the nutmeg, milk and cream, stirring until blended.
4. Add the squash and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until the squash is almost tender.
5. In a bowl, combine the Gruyere and Parmigiano.
6. Transfer half the squash and spinach to the prepared pan. Sprinkle with some of the gruyere mixture.
7. Top with the remaining squash mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
8. Bake the gratin for 35 to 45 minutes until the squash is tender, and the cheese is golden brown.
9. Allow the gratin to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Sausage Stuffed Honey Nut Squash
Serves 4

2 Honey Nut Squash, cut in half lengthwise, and seeds removed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, parchment or aluminum foil.
2. Drizzle the inside of the squash with a bit of the oil, and roast the squash for 30 minutes, until tender.
3. When the squash is cool enough to handle scrape out the flesh leaving a 1/2-inch shell. Chop the flesh and set aside. The flesh should be very soft, and it may not cut well; it will melt into the sauce with the sausage.
4. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over high heat, until the sausage is no longer pink.
5. Remove the sausage in the pan, and add the flour, whisking to cook it for 2 minutes.
6. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
7. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Return the sausage and squash flesh to the pan, remove from the heat, and add 1/2 of the cheese. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust.
8. Fill the squash shell with the squash and sausage mixture and top with the remaining cheese.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until the mixture is bubbling, and the cheese is golden brown.
10. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving (this will be molten hot, so wait to serve it)

Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Serves 4
I keep this rosemary garlic oil in my fridge; it is great to use on meats, pork and poultry as well as vegetables like winter squash.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 pound Russian fingerling potatoes scrubbed and cut in half

1. In a blender, combine the oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and puree. Pour into a glass jar and allow to mellow at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment or silicone.
3. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with the rosemary garlic oil, until coated.
4. Spread onto the baking sheet in one layer.
5. Roast for 30 minutes, turn the potatoes, and roast another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
6. Anoint with any leftover rosemary garlic oil and serve.

Orange Chipotle Chicken Wings
Serves 6

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
One medium red onion finely chopped
6 chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cups orange juice
½ cup honey
½ cup ketchup
3 pounds chicken wing drummettes
½ cup finely chopped cilantro

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, line baking sheets with aluminum foil, parchment or silicone. Arrange a rack in each baking sheet.
2. In a saucepan, heat the oil, saute the onion, chipotles, cumin, orange zest and garlic for 2 minutes until the onion is softened.
3. Add the orange juice, honey, ketchup, and cilantro, simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Cool the sauce.
5. Put the drummettes into a bowl. Toss with the cooled sauce and arrange on the racks on the baking sheets.
6. Roast for 25 minutes, turn the wings, and roast another 20 to 25 minutes until cooked through.
7. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Orange Cheesecake Squares
Makes 20 squares

1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Three 8-ounce cream cheese softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla paste, or vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a small mixing bowl beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Add flour, beating until combined (mixture will be crumbly). Press mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes.
3. For the filling, in a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs, cream, zest, juice, and vanilla until combined. Pour filling over crust.
4. Bake about 30 minutes more or just until filling is set.
5. Cut the squares while still warm, then let cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Bring the squares to room temperature before serving.

Sunchoke Bisque
Serves 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
3/4 pound sunchokes, scrubbed, and chopped
1 pound fingerling potatoes scrubbed and chopped
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped chives

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter, saute the onion and thyme, until the onion is softened.
2. Add the sunchokes, potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sunchokes and potatoes are tender.
3. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add cream, season with salt and pepper.
4. If not using the cream, add a bit more broth if needed to thin the soup.
5. Serve the soup garnished with chives.

Sunchoke ‘Hummus’
Serves 4 to 6

1 pound sunchokes scrubbed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
4 garlic cloves sliced
Salt and pepper

1. Put the sunchokes into water to cover and bring to a boil. Boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain thorough and put into a food processor.
2. While the sunchokes are simmering, in a large skillet, heat the oil, add the rosemary and garlic, and saute until the garlic is translucent and fragrant. Cool a bit.
3. Pulse the sunchokes on and off in the food processor to break them up.
4. With the machine running, pour in all but about 2 tablespoons of the garlic rosemary oil, until the sunchokes are pureed. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Transfer to a serving bowl, and drizzle with the remaining oil. Serve with vegetables, pita chips, baguette slices or crackers.

Salad with Roasted Pears, and Port Wine Vinaigrette
Serves 4

2 firm pears, cored, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
Raw sugar
One head Salanova lettuce, washed, spun dry and chopped
2 to 3 thin slices of red onion
1/4 cup port wine
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons pear nectar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment of silicone. Dip the cut sides of the pears into the raw sugar and lay onto the baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.
2. In a salad bowl, combine the lettuce, and onion.
3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the wine, vinegar, honey, pear nectar and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Pour over the salad greens and toss to coat.
5. Plate the salad, arrange some of the roasted pears over the salad greens, and sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese.
6. The roasted pears can be roasted the day before, bring to room temperature before serving.
7. The salad dressing is a great marinade for pork or chicken, the dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Pear Upside Down Cake
Serves 6 to 8

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 medium firm-ripe pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, coat the inside of a 9-inch round baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a skillet, melt the butter, add the sugar, and cook until the sugar is dissolved, and bubbling.
3. Pour the butter mixture into the prepared pan and arrange the pears in a decorative pattern over the butter. Set aside while making the batter.

For the Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla paste or extract

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar, until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and gradually add the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.
2. Stir in the milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
3. Carefully pour over the pears in the baking dish.
4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to rest for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan.
5. Turn a cake plate upside down on top of the cake pan and, using pot holders, carefully invert the cake pan onto the plate. Serve the cake warm with vanilla ice cream, or unsweetened whipped cream.

Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding
Serves 8 to 10

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 to 3 ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons brandy
5 cups torn challah or egg bread

1. Coat a 10-inch round 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. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and arrange the pears over the butter mixture.
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. Turn into the prepared dish.
5. Do-Ahead: At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 36 hours. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. put the baking dish onto a baking sheet to protect the oven from drips. Bake the pudding until puffed, golden brown and bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

@Diane Phillips  www.dianephillips.com   Blog:  www.cucinadivina.blogspot.comFollow me on Facebook (professional page) Twitter, and Pinterest

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fmb 9-20-18

Farmers’ Market Box 9-20-18

This week’s local produce and featured farms:
Honey Crisp Apple - Fair Hills Apple Farm
Red Dandelion Greens - Terra Madre Gardens
Lemon Cucumbers - Tutti Frutti Farms
Chocolate Mint - Terra Madre Gardens
Valencia Oranges - Polito Family Farms
Barlett Pears - Wynola Farms
Pomegranate - Murray Family Farm
Japanese Sweet Potato - Milliken Family Farms
Sweet Dumpling Squash - Tutti Frutti Farms

Juicing Bag:

Strawberries - California Giant Inc
Carrots - Kern Ridge
Ruby Red Grapefruit – Better Life Produce
Kale - Foxy Organic
Valencia Oranges - Stehly Farms

Farmer’s Choice:
Barhi Dates - Dates by Davall
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes - Munak Ranch

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 hashtag #SpecialtyProduceFMB!

Juice Recipes

Kalelicious

3 Carrots

1 Bunch Kale

1/2 lb Strawberries

Sunset

1 Grapefruit

2 Carrots

1 Valencia Orange

1 Bunch Kale

Citrus Squeeze

1/2 lb Strawberries

1 Grapefruit

2 Valencia Oranges

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes

Red Dandelion Salad with Roasted Dumpling Squash
Serves 4

1 dumpling squash
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
One bunch red dandelion, tough stems removed, washed, spun dry and chopped
1 scallion, thinly sliced into rounds, using the white and tender green part
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment or silicone.
2. Cut the squash in half from the stem to the root end. Scoop out the seeds and slice the squash into 1/2-inch half-moons. Transfer to a bowl, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread onto the baking sheet in one layer. Roast for 15 minutes, turning once until the squash is tender, and beginning to crisp on the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
3. When ready to serve, put the dandelions and scallion into a salad bowl.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the orange juice, rice vinegar, mustard and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the dandelions with some of the dressing and plate the salad.
5. Lay slices of squash over the salad, and drizzle with some of the dressing.

Dumpling Squash Risotto
Serves 4 to 6
To dice the dumpling squash, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut into 1/2-inch 1/2 moons. Remove the skin and dice the 1/2 moons.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 cup finely diced dumpling squash (see note)
1/4 cup white wine (sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio or dry vermouth)
1 cup Carnaroli, Vialone, or arborio rice
3 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth kept simmering on the stove
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper

1. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter with the oil, add the shallot and squash, sautéing until the shallot is softened, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the wine and bring to a boil.
3. Add the rice and stir to coat the rice.
4. Add 1/2 cup broth and stir until the liquid is almost absorbed.
5. Add another 1/2 cup broth. Continue adding broth, until the rice is just al dente.
6. Remove from the heat, add the butter and Parmigiano, taste for seasoning and adjust using salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Lemon Cucumber Pickles
Makes about 1 quart
Lemon cucumbers have lots of seeds, I prefer to remove them when I make pickles, it’s a personal choice.

1 pound lemon cucumbers scrubbed
1 red onion, cut in half, then cut into 1/2 moons
2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon mustard seed
½ cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar

1. Cut the cucumbers in half, and scoop out the seeds, then slice into 1/2-inch thick slices.
2. In a glass bowl, combine the cucumbers, red onion and garlic. Sprinkle with the salt, celery seed and mustard seed, and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
3. In a saucepan, heat the sugar and vinegar, until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the vegetables, cool to room temperature.
4. Pack the vegetables and brine into an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Roasted Stuffed Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4
These are a great side dish to serve with pork or poultry.

1 pound Japanese sweet potatoes scrubbed
1/4 pound bulk sage flavored breakfast sausage
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions, using the white and tender green parts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, prick the potatoes with the sharp end of a paring knife, and roast for 35 to 45 minutes until tender. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
2. While the potatoes are roasting, in a skillet, cook the sausage until it is no longer pink, breaking up any large pieces. Add the scallions, and saute for 2 minutes. Drain and put into a mixing bowl.
3. Using an oven mitt, remove the potatoes from the oven and split in half lengthwise. Carefully remove the flesh and add to the bowl with the sausage. Set the skins aside.
4. Add the butter and mash the potatoes with the sausage and scallions. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Re-stuff the skins with the sausage mixture, and place on a baking sheet lined with foil, parchment or silicone. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the potatoes and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Chocolate Mint Brownies
Serves 6 to 8

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed chocolate mint washed and spun dry
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
1 1/3 all-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a blender or food processor, process the sugar and mint until the mint is pulverized.
3. In a large saucepan, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring until the chocolate is melted.
4. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate mint sugar mixtures, and the remaining ingredients, stirring to blend.
5. Pour into the prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Cool on a wire rack before cutting.

For the Glaze
8 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate in the butter and stir until the chocolate is melted.
2. Cool slightly and pour over the brownies in the pan. Cool completely before cutting.

Pear and Apple Crumble Bars
Serves 6 to 8

For the Crumble
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter softened

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients, and blend together until it forms crumbs.
3. Press half of the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

For the Apple and Pear Mixture
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Honey crisp apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 Warren pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup chopped pecans

1. While the crust is baking, combine the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, apples, and pears in a mixing bowl.
2. Pour over the hot crust, sprinkle the mixture with the remaining crumble and the pecans.
3. Bake another 20 to 25 minutes until the crust is golden, and the filling is bubbling. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Praline Apple Bread Pudding
Serves 6 to 8

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups pecan halves
4 Honey Crisp apples
7 cups torn egg bread or good quality white bread
6 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra (optional) for sprinkling
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus extra (optional) for sprinkling
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Stir together the melted butter and both sugars in a medium-size bowl. Pour into the prepared dish so it coats the bottom evenly, then arrange the pecans on top.
3. Peel and core one or two apples (depending on the size) and slice 1/2-inch thick. Arrange the apple slices on the butter mixture in a decorative pattern. Set aside.
4. Peel and core the remaining apples and cut into 1/2-inch dice.
5. Combine the bread and chopped apples in a large bowl. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
6. In another large bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, cinnamon sugar, and vanilla. Pour over the bread and apples and mix well with your hands.
7. Pour into the prepared pan, being careful not to disturb the sliced apples and pecans. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and sugar if desired.
8. Do-Ahead: At this point, cover and refrigerate at for least 12 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
9. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the bread pudding for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake until puffed and golden brown, another 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
10. Run a knife around the inside of the pan and turn out the pudding onto a serving platter.

Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza
Serves 4

3 medium-size almost ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 pizza crust, homemade or store-bought
1 1/2 cups crumbled Gorgonzola
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or a silicone liner.
2. Arrange the pears on the baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the pears over the pizza crust, then sprinkle the Gorgonzola evenly over the pears. Drizzle with the olive oil and bake until the crust is crisp, and the cheese is melted and beginning to bubble and turn golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Roasted Salmon with Hoisin Orange BBQ Sauce
Serves 6
Use this BBQ sauce with seafood, pork or poultry.

6 tablespoons canola oil
2 1/2 pound salmon filet
2 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
6 scallions (white and tender green parts), thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish
1/2 cup sesame seeds for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put 4 tablespoons of oil into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and lay the salmon on the oil.
2. In a wide-bottomed saucepan or wok, heat the remaining canola oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and orange zest and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the hoisin, soy sauce, orange juice, ketchup, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Stir in the sesame oil and keep warm. Pour some of the sauce over the salmon in the baking dish and roast for 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
4. When the salmon is done, (registering 150 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer) allow to rest for 5 minutes, serve the salmon with warmed sauce on the side.

Fruited Farro Pilaf
Serves 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups pearlized farro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 oranges, peel and pith removed, cut into segments and chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil, and saute the onion for 2 minutes, until it is softened.
2. Add the farro and toss in the oil. Add the salt, orange juice, and broth, cover, and simmer, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the farro is almost tender.
3. Add the raisins and simmer another 5 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat, add the oranges, and parsley, and serve.

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Parmigiano Reggiano
Serves 10 to 12

12 strips bacon cut in half crosswise
24 pitted dates
1/4 pound Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese cut into small pieces

1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it has rendered some fat and begins to turn translucent; 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 on a rack 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 1 month.
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.

Slow Cooker Lamb Tagine
Serves 6

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds lamb shoulder meat, excess fat removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup olive oil
3 large onions coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of saffron threads
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
1 cup pitted dates quartered
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

1. In a zipper-top plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper, and add the meat, coating with the flour, shaking off any excess.
2. Heat the ¼ cup of oil in a large skillet and brown the meat a few pieces at a time, transferring the browned meat to the insert of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker.
3. Add the remaining oil and sauté the onions, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and saffron, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
4. Pour in the chicken broth and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
5. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker, add the beef broth and dates, cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, until the lamb is tender.
6. Skim off any excess fat from the top of the sauce, stir in the cilantro, and serve on the warm setting with couscous.

Maple Date Granola
Makes about 4 cups

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup chopped pecans
3 1/2 cup rolled oats
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 1/3 cup dates pitted and roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment, aluminum foil or silicone.
2. Stir the butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt in a saucepan, over a low heat until the butter has completely melted, then set aside.
3. Put the chopped nuts in a large mixing bowl along with the oats and orange zest, then pour the liquid ingredients over the top. Mix until everything has been coated well.
4. Spread out the granola in one layer and bake for 30 minutes, breaking up the granola pieces.
5. Stir in the dates, then bake for a final 10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets, and store in airtight containers.

Pasta with Sungold Sauce
Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove sliced
1 basket Sungold tomatoes, washed, stems removed, and quartered
Salt and pepper
1 pound linguine, spaghetti or farfalle, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente saving some pasta water
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano

1. In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the garlic until it is translucent. Remove from the pan.
2. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and saute until the tomatoes are softened, and saucy. Season again with salt and pepper if necessary.
3. Add the pasta to the skillet, and toss to coat, adding pasta water to create a creamy sauce.
4. Serve garnished with grated cheese.

Sungold Pasta Salad
Serves 6 to 8
You can easily add protein to this salad, 2 cups of cooked chicken or cooked seafood cut into bite sized pieces.

One pound farfalle, shell or penne pasta, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente
1 basket Sungold tomatoes, washed, dried, stemmed, and cut in half
3 ribs celery finely chopped
3 scallions finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped oregano
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
2 pickling cucumbers finely chopped
1 red bell pepper finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese

1. In a large salad bowl, cool the pasta (do not toss with any oil).
2. When the pasta is cooled, add the tomatoes, celery, scallions, oregano, parsley, cucumbers, red pepper, and season with salt and pepper.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, mustard oregano and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Pour over the salad and toss to coat. Add the cheese and toss again.
5. Refrigerate the salad if not using right away. Remove from the refrigerator at least 90 minutes before serving.

@Diane Phillips  www.dianephillips.com   Blog:  www.cucinadivina.blogspot.comFollow me on Facebook (professional page) Twitter, and Pinterest

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