Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Party Apple Crisp

We picked Northern Spy apples three weeks ago, at Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, with the intention of baking a pie. But it never happened so today I use one of my favorite recipes to make apple crisp. We chose Northern Spy because the farm's handy listing of available apples, of which there are many at Cider Hill, described them as tart, sweet and great for baking, i.e., they don't turn to mush. The recipe is from my friend Sarah, it is super easy. I always add more apples. Today I used eight, in fact I think I bumped everything in the recipe up a little, except for the sugar, I like pie to taste tart. You can even squeeze a little lemon in there, if that's how you like it too.

Apple filling:
6-8 apples, peeled cored and sliced
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients above, and toss around together and set aside to work on the topping. Filling will get nice and juicy.

Yummy topping:
3/4 cup sugar (I use 1/2 white and 1/4 brown)
3/4 old fashioned oats
3/4 cup flour (white and wheat mixed)
1 stick of butter all chopped up
1-2 tablespoons molasses

Use a pastry cutter or fork to mix topping ingredients all together. Butter a pie plate (8"-10"). Spoon filling into the pan, press in a little. Spoon and spread topping mixture over the apple filling. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Enjoy!...get some ice cream while it is baking. We will pick up some Richardson's since it is so good, fresh, local and hormone free.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Mexicana

I have been striving to make pizza at home as good as my favorite pizza joints. And this Mexicana pizza made is the closest I have ever come.

The most important part of the equation is the dough. I have experimented with many recipes and finally found something I like. Follow this link. Make the pizza dough. It was great. I used the food processor, and also used one cup each of wheat, semolina, and all purpose flour.

Calling the above pizza the Mexicana is a tribute to Antonio's Pizza in Amherst Massachusetts. It has a layer of salsa, rice, black beans, spicy chicken, and cheddar cheese. Give it a try. Top when some creme fraiche if you got it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I owe y'all a recipe for squash soup

Now that fall/winter is in full effect, here is my favorite squash soup recipe. It comes courtesy of Alton Brown. Usually we can't go wrong following Alton's recipes. He's one of my favorite Food TV chefs.

Squash Soup


* 6 cups (about 2 large squash) seeded 2-inch wide chunks butternut squash
* Melted butter, for brushing
* 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
* 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
* 4 tablespoons honey
* 1 teaspoon minced ginger
* 4 ounces heavy cream
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper. On a sheet pan lay the squash flesh side up. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is nice and soft.

Scoop the flesh from the skin into a pot and add the stock, honey, and ginger. Bring to a simmer and puree using a stick blender. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Marketing Haiku

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Potato and Leek Soup

I promised - so here it is. Simple yet delicious potato and leek soup. I left the skin on the potatoes. But do what you want.

Potato and Leek Soup

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 leeks, thinly sliced and rinsed well
3 cloves garlic, smashed
5 medium russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1. In a large heavy-based stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until softened.

2. Add the potatoes, 4 cups of the stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

3. In a blender, puree soup in batches until smooth. Return it to pot. Bring to a simmer. Add the cream and parsley, and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. If the soup is too thick, add remaining stock in 1/4-cup increments until it is the consistency you prefer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

If it is in a pot covered with chicken stock, it's a soup!

Fall is the time of year where I make a lot of soups. From the farm today I will be getting leeks and potatoes for sure. I'll put up a recipe for potato and leek soup later on. I wanted to share a recipe for something I made the other night. I thought it was pretty good. Somebody looked in my pot and said "That doesn't look like soup." I might have looked funny at the beginning, but it turned out pretty delicious.

Aaron's Tortellini Soup

4 cups chicken stock
12 oz Tortellini
chopped onion
1 clove of garlic
halved cherry tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 green chili pepper
olive oil

Swirl the EVOO in your pot. Saute the garlic and onions until soft (don't forget to layer in your salt and pepper). Add the chopped peppers and cook until you think it is ready. Add the halved tomaotes, chicken stock, and oregano. Bring to a boil.

When the pot is boiling rapidly, add the carrots and tortellini. Those should cook at the same rate. If you have fresh tortellini, add the carrots first and wait about ten minutes before adding the tortellini. When stirring, attempt to crush up the tomatoes.

As soon as everything is cooked - the soup's done.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Greek Food

My friend's grandma makes the best Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) I have ever had. Numerous attempts to recreate what Yia Yia does has gone unsuccessful. I think I just don't use enough butter. But combining phyllo, butter, spinach and feta is a "can't lose" situation, and however you make it, the results will be delicious.

Farmy Spanakopita (Greek Kale Pockets)

2 Bunches of Kale (stems discarded and finely chopped)
1 garlic glove
1 onion
feta cheese
sheets of phyllo dough
olive oil
1 beaten egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 1/2 - 1 stick of butter and get your pastry brush handy.

Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil and add the kale when the onions are soft. When the kale is cooked put the greens aside in a bowl. Once cool, mix in the egg, feta, orgeano, and thyme in the kale.

Take a sheet of phyllo, brush with butter, and fold in half. Imagine taking the far left corner and folding a triangle. Where the corner would fall on itself, put a nice sized dollop of kale mixture. coat dry phyllo in butter, and fold the triangle on to itself, brushing the dry phyllo in butter. Repeat until you have a nice tetrahedron.

Bake for 30 minutes or so or until the phyllo is golden brown.

This is not my photo but use it as a goal.