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Shaker Lemon Tart

Shaker Lemon Tart

It’s no surprise that Siew-Chinn Chin appreciates this tart, which originates from the 19th-century Ohio Shaker community, where cooks were well known and respected for their baking skills. Shaker beliefs dictated that nothing be wasted, and indeed, every part of the lemon is used in the pie. This West Coast version uses Meyer lemons.

4 Meyer lemons

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted

4 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling

One recipe for Chez Panisse Crunch Tart Dough (below)

 

Wash and slice lemons paper thin. Place them in a bowl and mix with the 2 cups sugar. Cover and let macerate for at least four hours, preferably overnight.

Beat eggs thoroughly with a pinch of salt and set aside.

Prepare dough and line tart pan as described in the dough recipe below. Spread macerated lemon slices evenly with the syrupy juice on top of the dough. Pour beaten eggs onto the lemon filling and stir gently so that the eggs are mixed in with the syrup, but without disturbing the lemon slices on the bottom.

Wet the edges of the dough in the pan and top with the second circle of dough, trimming to leave some overhang, which you can fold under the edge of the lower shell, sealing and fluting the edges together.… Read More

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Candied Citrus Peel

Siew-Chinn’s Candied Citrus Peels

Siew-Chinn would never let a fruit peel go to waste. Fortunately, most citrus peels can be candied and kept in the fridge for a long time for future use.

To prepare, first cut the citrus in half crosswise and juice the fruit with a reamer or juicer, reserving the juice for another use. The peels (or cups) are then blanched by placing in a saucepan with cold water to cover, bringing to a boil, and then simmering 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the water and repeat the blanching as needed until the peels are tender but not mushy. Meyer lemons need to be blanched 2 times. Most oranges (any type, including Mandarins or tangerines) need to be blanched 3 or 4 times until tender. Grapefruit peels are the most bitter of all the citrus peels, hence they must be blanched 5 or 6 times.

When the peels are tender, drain completely and let cool. Then scoop out most of the white inner pith with a spoon, leaving a thin layer of pith to absorb the sugar in the syrup. This is what makes the resulting candied peels soft and delicious!

At this point the peels can be refrigerated or candied whole or cut into long strips (⅛-inch to ¼-inch in width).… Read More

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Grilled Potimarron with Salsa Verde

This Italian style salsa verde can be made with any combination of herbs. “Don’t be afraid to experiment.” —AP

1 fully mature potimarron, cut into wedges
1 medium shallot, minced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only (about 2
cups), finely chopped
½ bunch mint, leaves only (about ½ cup), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 anchovy fillets, minced
1 tablespoon capers, drained and minced
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

To make the salsa verde, combine the minced shallot and vinegar in a small bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. In a food processor, combine the parsley, mint, garlic, anchovies, and capers and process until combined. Add the shallot-and-vinegar mixture. With the machine on, slowly pour in the olive oil until incorporated. Season with salt.

Grill the squash until soft and serve topped with the salsa verde. Serves 4.

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Potimarron with Almonds, Garlic, and Aleppo Pepper

A good way to use semi-mature potimarron. Even at full maturity, potimarron has a tender skin that does not need to be pared away.

1 potimarron, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups slivered almonds
1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
Pinch salt
Pinch Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 lemon, sliced
Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 350°. Toss potimarron with olive oil, place on a baking sheet, and roast until the wedges have softened and started to brown (about 40 minutes). Toss almonds and garlic in
the canola or grapeseed oil, place over parchment on a baking sheet, and roast until lightly toasted.

Remove from oven and toss in a bowl with the salt and Aleppo pepper. When the squash is fully roasted, place on a serving dish and top with the toasted almond mix, a pinch of parsley, and a slice of lemon. Grate some Parmigiano over the top. Serves 4.

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Potimarron Jeune in Tomato Sauce

“The possibilities on this riff are endless. Try it with any summer squash variety.” —AP

Several potimarron jeune (or summer squash), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large Italian eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces of an oily type fish, such as yellowtail,
tuna, sardines, or mackerel
2 cups tomato sauce (arrabiata, puttanesca, or with herbes de Provence)
3 ounces oil-cured olives or a really garlicky aioli

Preheat oven to 350°. Toss the potimarron and eggplant cubes in olive oil, place on a baking sheet, and roast until the cubes have softened and started to brown (about 40 minutes). When they
are nearly done, start grilling the fish. Place the tomato sauce in a sauté pan and add the roasted squash and eggplant cubes, stewing them all “à la minute.” Divide the mixture onto 4 serving plates and top each with a piece of grilled fish. Garnish with the olives or aioli. Serves 4.

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Black Futsu in Green Curry Sauce

At Sea Salt, they love black futsu for the “fudge-like” texture of its golden flesh, which has a rich taste resembling hazelnuts, and for the edible skin that gets somewhat crisp when roasted.

1 large black futsu squash, cut into 1-inch-thick half moons
6 tablespoons butter
Salt
½ medium-sized onion, chopped
1 two-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
2 stalks lemongrass (Cut away and discard the green portions and then bruise the remaining portion with the back of a knife before slicing thinly.)
3 green apples, peeled and diced
Zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons green curry paste
2 cans coconut milk
½ cup cream (optional)
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
(Reserve a few whole sprigs for garnish.)

Preheat oven to 350°. Clarify 2 tablespoons butter and use it to coat the squash segments. Lay them on a baking sheet, salt lightly, and roast until the squash is soft and its skin is crisp. Meanwhile, melt the rest of the butter in a saucepan and sauté onion, ginger, lemongrass, and apple until soft. Allow to cool and then pureé in a blender or food processor along with the lime zest, curry paste, coconut milk, cream, and cilantro. Just before serving, gently heat the curry sauce while arranging the roasted squash slices onto plates.… Read More

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Mostaccioli con Mandorle

Honey Cookies Filled with Almonds, Cocoa, and Anisette From My Calabria: Rustic Cooking from Italy’s Undiscovered South (Norton, 2010), by Rosetta Costantino with Janet Fletcher, © 2010 by Rosetta Costantino and Janet Fletcher.

Used with permission.

In a discussion about her book, Rosetta mentioned that there were quite a few recipes, especially in the dolci (desserts) chapter, that her editor wanted omitted because they were deemed too esoteric. Indeed, most of the recipes that made the cut will be highly accessible to most people who enjoy spending quality time in the kitchen. But Rosetta seems to have found various ways to give readers a nibble here and there of the esoterica. In the headnote to this recipe, she explains that mostaccioli,

“Calabria’s most beloved holiday cookies” might also be “among the region’s oldest sweets, judging from their primitive nature.” She goes on to describe the most traditional version as being made with nothing but flour and honey that’s mixed into a stiff dough, rolled flat, and cut into whimsical shapes before being baked. “Calabrian children learn to suck slowly on these jaw-breaking cookies until they soften.”

As she describes the traditional decorating techniques, one starts to understand the degree to which Calabrians go in their hand crafting of food:

“Mostaccioli are never frosted but are charmingly decorated with hatch marks and tiny squares of shiny colored tinfoil that you remove before eating.Read More

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Molly’s Chèvre

Adapted from Goats Produce Too! The Udder Real Thing, written and published by Mary Jane Toth.

If you’ve never made cheese before, go to the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company website, cheesemaking.com, where there are tutorials on every part of the process described here.

5 quarts goat milk
¼ cup fresh cultured
buttermilk
⅓ cup cold water
3 drops liquid rennet
Optional flavorings:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Sterilize all tools and pots.

Heat the goat milk to 90°. Add the buttermilk, stir, and let the pot sit for 15 minutes off the heat.

In a separate bowl, combine the cold water and rennet. Add 3 tablespoons of the water-rennet mixture to the goat milk. Stir for 3 minutes, cover, and let rest for 12 hours at room
temperature.

Cut the resulting curds into ½-inch cubes and stir gently for 10 minutes to release the whey.

Let rest for another 12 hours at room temperature.

Drain in a hanging sack of cheesecloth until volume of curds is ⅓ of original size.

Mix in salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, or experiment with your own flavorings.

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Blueberry Pickled Fish

Any meat or fat that is stored in blueberries will become pickled, developing a unique color and flavor within a few days to a week.  Clean and gut some fat trout or whitefish and then hang it to dry for three days. Hanging and drying are necessary to toughen the fish so it won’t fall apart.

Cut the fish into 2- by 4-inch pieces, removing any bloody or spoiled pieces. Mix this into a large bowl or jar filled with blueberry juice or juicy blueberries (fresh, or stored from last year). You’ll need enough juice so that the fish is completely submerged and can be easily stirred.

Keep cold and stir gently each day. It will be ready to eat when the color goes all the way through the fish. To check, cut a piece and see if the center is purple.

Eat the berries, juice, and fish all together as pickles with a meal, or with sugar for dessert.

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Blackberry Vinegar

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s The Art of Preserving: Sweet & savory recipes to enjoy seasonal produce year-round.

½ cup fresh mint leaves (optional), thoroughly rinsed, patted dry, and roughly chopped

4 cups white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
3 cups blackberries, crushed
Equipment:
A large, clean, nonreactive bowl
A nonreactive saucepan
2 one-pint bottles, sterilized just before using

In the saucepan, warm the vinegar over low heat until hot but not yet simmering; do not let it boil. Remove from the heat. Place the blackberries and the mint, if using, in the bowl. Pour in the hot
vinegar and stir to combine. Set aside to cool. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2–4 weeks; the longer the vinegar stands, the stronger the flavor will be. Gently stir the vinegar
every few days to blend the flavors.

Strain the vinegar through a fine-mesh sieve and then through a coffee filter. Using a funnel, pour the filtered vinegar into hot, sterilized bottles. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 months.

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