Plum Torte

Rejoice. Italian plums are in season.

  • In mixer, cream 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter and 3/4 cup sugar.
  • Add 2 eggs,  1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, and beat until smooth.
  • Spoon into 9 inch springform pan.
  • Halve and pit 12 plums, and press halves skin side up, into batter.
  • Bake 50 minutes at 350 degrees F.
torte

Salmorejo

We spent late June in Spain. We visited Bilbao, Salamanca, and Madrid. In each city we ate Salmorejo. Each recipe was subtly different, but all were amazing. Comparisons to gazpacho are unavoidable, but Salmorejo is, hands down, the best cold soup on earth. It is simplicity itself as the only ingredients are tomatoes, bread, olive oil, and a touch of vinegar, along with toppings, which may vary.  The key to success is that the ingredients, especially the tomatoes and olive oil, must be of superb quality. The hard boiled egg topping in this recipe is not entirely typical, but some version of the Serrano ham is entirely typical. I have tried replacing the Serrano ham with crisply fried smoked bacon. That works fabulously well.

Antonia’s Salorejo recipe

Fig Baklava Tarts

Fig Baklava Tart

We have a bumper crop of fresh white figs.  They shine in this recipe.

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 strip lemon peel
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 6 fresh figs (quartered lengthwise (about 5 ounces))
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)
  • 6 sheets phyllo dough
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Combine the water, honey, lemon peel, lemon juice and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the mixture begins bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the figs. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until they are until tender but still retain their shape. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the figs to a bowl.
  2. Remove the cinnamon stick and lemon peel from the saucepan and discard. Increase the heat to medium-high; cook the remaining liquid for about 2 minutes, or until it has reduced to a syrupy 1/2 cup. Let cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Combine the walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves, if using, in a small bowl. Combine the oil and melted butter in a separate bowl.
  5. Set the stack of phyllo dough on a clean work surface and cover with damp paper towels, keeping the stack covered as much as possible as you work. Transfer one sheet of the phyllo to a large cutting board, and brush the top with the oil-butter mixture. Lay another sheet directly on top of that one and brush it with the oil mixture. Repeat with the remaining sheets of phyllo.
  6. Use a sharp knife to cut the phyllo stack into 6 4″ squares. Press one stack of the squares into each well of 2 6-well muffin pans.  Fill each cup with equal amounts of the walnut mixture, then bake (middle rack) for 13 to 15 minutes, until the phyllo is crisped and golden.
  7. While the phyllo is still hot, drizzle the cooled syrup into each of the phyllo-walnut cups (in the muffin pan). Top each with 2 pieces of fig; cool to room temperature before serving.

Modified from Ellie Krieger recipe, published in Washington Post , 8/9/2017

Basil smells like summer

Basil in the garden is coming on beautifully. I pinched off some tips that were threatening to form flower buds and the leaves from these, pictured here, made beautiful pesto.

Basil Pesto

  • 200 grams basil leaves
  • 70 grams walnuts (or pine nuts if you are wealthy)
  • 70 grams Parmesan cheese
  • 30 grams garlic
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Process walnuts, cheese and garlic briefly in a food processor.  Add salt and black pepper to taste, then add basil leaves and process until finely chopped. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil.

    Pesto freezes well, so you may wish to place a portion of this in a small Tupperware type container for freezing.

Cocktails by the pond on a summer evening

20160625_175039

Our custom for summer weekends is to finish the day sipping a cocktail on the bank of our pond. Yesterday we enjoyed a version of the classic Jockey Club Cocktail, which replaced the usual Amaretto with a homemade version, created by steeping vodka with cherry pits for two weeks.  I recall this fondly as I sit, bleary-eyed over coffee, on a Monday morning, before departing for work.
Here is the recipe for the down on the farm version of the Jockey Club Cocktail.

Jockey Club Cocktail a la High & Dry Farm

  • Two parts gin
  • 2/3 parts lemon juice
  • 2/3 parts cherry pit infusion
  • 1/3 part triple sec
  • dash angostura bitters

Shake with crushed ice, garnish with a twist of orange peel and a tart cherry, serve with ice.

Home-made Amaretto

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This year we had a bumper crop of pie cherries. I saved the pits and covered them with vodka. Two weeks later, the vodka infusion was decanted and filtered. The result is amazing. The liquor has a strong Amaretto-like almond flavor with a touch of tartness and complex underlying cherry notes.

Cocktails by the pond on a summer evening

 

20160625_175039

Our custom for summer weekends is to finish the day sipping a cocktail on the bank of our pond. Yesterday we enjoyed a version of the classic Jockey Club Cocktail, which replaced the usual Amaretto with a homemade version, created by steeping vodka with cherry pits for two weeks. I recall this fondly as I sit, bleary-eyed over coffee, on a Monday morning, before departing for work.

Here is the recipe for the down on the farm version of the Jockey Club Cocktail.

Jockey Club Cocktail a la High & Dry Farm

Print
Two parts gin
2/3 parts lemon juice
2/3 parts cherry pit infusion
1/3 part triple sec
dash angostura bitters
Shake with crushed ice, garnish with a twist of orange peel and a tart cherry, serve with ice.

Potato salad in a Basque style

 

The harvest of the first new potatoes of the season has inspired me to make potato salad.  I chose a flavor profile dominated by homemade paprika, which I made last year by pulverizing dried home-grown Basque Piquillo Lodosa peppers.  My pepper seeds came from the famous town of Guernica.

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[yumprint-recipe id=’1′] 

 

Raspberry/rhubarb jam

Raspberry Rhubarb Jam
Cuisine: American
Author: Mark Bothwell
This time of year my garden invariably produces an excess of red raspberries and rhubarb. Raspberry rhubarb jam is the obvious solution to the problem. This recipe is a slightly modified version of the recipe provided by MCP.
Ingredients
  • 9 cups fresh raspberries
  • 3 cups minced rhubarb
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 1 package pectin (Sure-jell or MCP)
  • 1 tsp butter
Instructions
  1. Mash the berries thoroughly.
  2. Force one half of the berries through a sieve to remove seeds.
  3. Combine minced rhubarb, sieved raspberry pulp and mashed raspberries in a 6-8 quart pot.
  4. Mix fruit with pectin
  5. Add butter
  6. Bring to a boil, with frequent stirring and when boiling, add sugar.
  7. Bring to a boil again, with frequent stirring.
  8. After 4 minutes at a full rolling boil, ladle into jars, cool and refrigerate.
  9. If you wish to keep the jars for long periods without refrigeration, use canning jars and process in a boiling water bath as described here – http://www.canning-food-recipes.com/canningfruits.htm.

jam

Leg of Lamb

A rare December sunny day let me do some work cleaning up the veg garden.  Fortunately, X-mas dinner featured a roast leg of lamb.  I had a free 1 1/2 hour while it was in the oven. My garden’s Brussel sprouts survived our recent -15 F freeze, so they were tossed with olive oil and baked as well, along with russet Burbank potatoes and delicate squash, all from the garden.

Leg of Lamb
Author: Mark Bothwell
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 55 mins
Ingredients
  • 1 leg of lamb, bone in (6 lbs)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • For sauce –
  • 1 cup chopped fresh rosemary and parsley
  • One medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup red wine
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Sprinkle the lamb with the lemon juice.
  3. Combine minced garlic, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper.
  4. Pat the mixture evenly all over the surface of the meat.
  5. Season the meat with the salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan.
  6. Roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to cook for about 1 1/2 hours longer for medium-rare.
  7. Meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast should register 146 degrees. Remove lamb from pan and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare sauce.
  9. Position the roasting pan over stove burners.
  10. Add mixed herbs and onions to pan, and stir to combine with pan drippings.
  11. Add chicken stock and wine to deglaze the pan.
  12. Reduce over high heat until to thicken. Strain before serving.
  13. Slice lamb and serve with sauce drizzled over the top.

roast