Friday, June 17, 2011

In the Bag

This mornings Farmer's Market Bag was awesome! Clockwise from the top, white corn, Portabella mushrooms, black kale, Pirat lettuce, English peas (in the center blackberries) yellow nectarines, purple potatoes, and pencil thin asparagus. Teaching the dishes for this bag was so much fun, and if you didn't make the class, but got a bag, or shopped for some of these items at Specialty Produce, I've got a few other recipes to share for the weekend. 
Today we made blackberry shortcakes but another great dessert would be a blackberry and nectarine cobbler with vanilla ice cream---think Father's Day dessert, simple, make ahead and de-lish!

Blackberry and Nectarine Cobbler
Serves 8 to 10

For the Fruit

2 cups blackberries
4 medium nectarines, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. In a large bowl, combine the fruits, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice and set aside while making the cobbler topping. 

For the cobbler topping

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, and sugars by pulsing on and off 4 to 5 times.  
  3. Drop the butter cubes onto the flour mixture, and pulse the mixture on and off until it begins to come together. 
  4. Break up any large pieces, and sprinkle evenly over the fruit in the prepared pan. 
  5. Bake the crumble for 35 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the peaches are bubbling.  Serve the cobbler warm, or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, or gelato. 

We made a sweet pea, asparagus, and white corn risotto, and I have a recipe for an asparagus risotto in the pressure cooker that is awesome.  Pressure coooker measurements are different than other stove top measurements, so make sure to follow the recipe as stated.  7 minutes without stirring----I'll drink to that!  

Asparagus Risotto for the Pressure Cooker
Serves 6 as a first course

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 pound pencil thin asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths, separate the tips from the stalks
1 1/2 cups medium-grain rice, such as Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, or dry vermouth
3 1/2 cups simmering chicken broth
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)

1.      Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the oil in the pressure cooker over medium high heat.
2.      Add the shallot and saut√© for 1 minute, until fragrant.
3.      Add the rice and toss to coat. Pour in the wine, asparagus stalks and broth and lock the lid in place. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes.
4.      Quick release the pressure and remove the lid, tilting the pot away from you to allow the steam to escape.
5.      Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, asparagus tips and the cheese.
6.      Taste the rice for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary.
7.      Allow the rice to stand for 2 minutes and stir again. If the risotto is not quite cooked, give it another minute, uncovered over medium high heat. Serve in shallow bowls, garnished with additional Parmigiano cheese. 

This colorful melange was made with purple potatoes, yellow potatoes, black kale, cherry tomatoes and pancetta.  The kale becomes crispy in the oven.  If you would like to make kale chips, here's a way to do it.

Kale Chips
Serves 4

One bunch black kale, washed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or a silicone baking liner and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  .  Arrange the kale on the baking sheet, and toss with the oil, salt and pepper.  Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until the ale is crispy.  Sprinkle the kale with additional salt and serve.

 English peas are a treat, and only available for a short period of time.  This classic French dish is called Petit Pois; basically butter lettuce, scallions, and butter sauteed with English peas, and finished off with a bit more butter----it's French, what can I say??? It's also amazing!

English Peas and Butter Lettuce Saute
Serves 4

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 scallions, finely sliced
1 head butter lettuce, finely sliced
2 cups English peas
1/2 cup hot chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

  1.   Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the oil in a large skillet.
  2. Stir in the scallions, and shredded lettuce, cooking over medium high heat, until the lettuce begins to wilt. 
  3. Add the peas and stock, and cook over medium high heat, for 4 to 5 minutes, until the peas are tender. Stir in the remaining butter, and season with salt and pepper if needed. 
As we go into to the weekend, I hope you get to a Farmer's Market and buy your fresh veggies and fruits to serve this week.  Buona notte from San Diego. 

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