Friday, July 15, 2011

It's In the Bag!

Once again, the crew at Specialty Produce put together another amazing bag of produce for me to play with in the kitchen at Great News.  From the front left, rainbow micro greens, grape tomatoes, freckles lettuce, okra, concord grapes, rainbow Swiss chard, French melon (to die for) and white peaches.  A terrific assortment of the freshest produce from local farms.  I've got a few more recipes to share with you to use some of this enjoy!

Harvest Grape Focaccia
Makes one 13-by-9-inch pan

Rosemary, Lemon Zest Oil for Focaccia

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
Grated zest of one Sorrento Lemon

1. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the rosemary and lemon zest.
2. Swirl in the pan one minute, and remove from the heat. Allow to cool and steep for at least 1 hour.
3. Pour into a bottle and seal, refrigerate until needed, or proceed. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

For the Focaccia

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup rosemary, lemon zest oil (above)
1 cup Concord seedless grapes, halved or quartered if large
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon fleur de sel for finishing

Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons Rosemary Lemon zest oil in the bottom.
Combine the water, salt, flour, yeast, and 2 tablespoons oil, beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 60 seconds.
Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes, till it becomes puffy.
While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger creating dimples and arrange the grapes and raisins over the top, drizzle with more oil and sprinkle with some fleur de sel.

Bake the bread till it's golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove it from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chilled French Melon Soup with Key Lime Crème Fraiche
Serves 4

1 cup water
1/2 cup packed mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 pounds French melon, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup Reisling or Gewurztraminer
1/2 cup crème fraiche

In a small saucepan combine the water, mint, 2 tablespoons lime juice and sugar.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Let stand for 15 minutes, then strain through a fine mesh sieve, and cool. 
Puree the cantaloupe with some of the syrup in a food processor or blender, in two batches, and stir into a large bowl after it is pureed. 
Stir in the wine and chill for at least 2 hours. 
Stir the remaining lime juice into the creme fraiche.  Serve the soup with a small dollop of crème fraiche in the center, and garnish with any extra mint leaves. 
Wishing you a weekend filled with surprises and great food. 

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