Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Bountiful Harvest has MOVED

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

My love is like a red, red...

Beet? Apparently. Check out my latest piece for Rural Intelligence, right here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pear and Ginger Crisp, courtesy of Bobby Flay

It's anything goes on the weekly recipe round-up over at A Way to Garden and Dinner Tonight, and since lovely Margaret said she was going for pears, I'm going for copycat. (Hey, imitation, flattery, and all that, right?)

This is a recipe I've been making forever (really) based on one that was first published in New York magazine nearly 20 years ago (see? Forever.) It came from Bobby Flay, long before the Food Network was even a glimmer in a media exec's eye, back in the days when Martha was still catering weddings in Connecticut.

This is a great dessert for a party buffet this time of year. It's lovely straight from the oven, but equally good at room temperature or cold from the fridge for breakfast the next morning. Alongside, serve some sweetened whipped cream into which you've stirred a pinch of cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg and ground (dried) ginger.

I was in charge of desserts for a fundraising dinner for a local arts organization earlier this fall, and this is what I chose for the event's harvest theme. It was devoured. You'll thank me (and Bobby, too.)

Pear and Ginger Crisp
serves 10-12

Don't think of substituting anything for the grated fresh ginger: neither the jarred stuff nor the dried will achieve the same flavor. I find it easiest to grate the ginger on a Microplane.

3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 T sugar
pinch cinnamon
kosher salt
9 T unsalted butter, room temperature (softened)
2 T fresh ginger, peeled and grated--about a four inch long piece, give or take
juice of 2 lemons
10 medium pears, peeled, cored and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Make topping: toast pecans in a small saute pan over medium heat until they become fragrant--just a few minutes. Don't let them burn! Mix flour, brown sugar, 2 T sugar, the cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl. Using a spoon, slowly stir in butter--the mixture will be crumbly and bumpy--and then stir in pecans.

In another larger bowl, gently stir together ginger, lemon juice, 3 T sugar, another pinch of salt and the sliced pears. Turn the fruit into a baking dish, and cover with the topping mixture. Bake until topping is crisp, about 50 minutes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Welcome, EverydayFoodDeb fans!

Lovely Deb Puchalla of Everyday Food was kind enough to single out my recent article about pressure-cooker comfort food (via her Twitter identity, everydayfooddeb,) and I see by my many new visitors that others are inclined, as I am, to follow her (excellent) advice.

So, welcome to The Bountiful Harvest--while the focus is on eating seasonally and well in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley, I have recipes and ideas that work no matter where you live--hope you'll be back for more seasonal deliciousness to up, butternut squash risotto (and yes, I'll be making in my pressure cooker.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Apple of my eye

This is one of my favorite desserts for this time of year: super simple, gently flavored, every bit as good as what you put into it. (In other words, a strong, sweet-tart apple with no mealiness or mush.) And how can you resist something with the French name Gateau aux Pommes de la Reine des Pommes? (in French, the Apple Lady is promoted to the Queen of Apples--good for her!) It's almost a cross between cake and clafoutis, with an eggy batter just enveloping sliced and peeled apples. You could dress it up with a homemade caramel sauce and some whipped cream, or enjoy it warm from the oven a la mode; it's great cold, too.

Patricia Wells' "The Apple Lady's Apple Cake" from The Paris Cookbook

1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 T baking powder
1/8 t fine sea salt
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 T vegetable oil (I use canola or grapeseed)
1/2 cup whole milk (if you only have lowfat around, that's fine)
4 large or 6 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges (about 2 lbs. total)

The topping:

1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Butter a 9 inch springform pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and sea salt, and stir to blend. Add the vanilla, eggs, oil and milk and stir until well blended. Add the apples and toss to coat thoroughly with the butter.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven until fairly firm and golden, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping by combining all ingredients in a small bowl, and stirring to blend. Set aside.

When you remove the cake from the oven, pour the topping mixture over it and return to the oven for another ten minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown. The cake should feel quite firm when pressed with a finger.

Cool in pan on a rack for ten minutes. Then run a knife around the edge of the pan, and release and remove the springform side, leaving the cake on the pan base. Serve warm (not hot) or at room temperature in thin wedges.

Week Who the Heck Knows--Bountiful indeed

This week's haul: 2 huge butternut squash, 2 bunches arugula, onions, potatoes, kale, field greens, and braising greens, too, plus my absolute favorite: rapini, or broccoli rabe. Tonight I'm going to try making risotto with some of that squash in my new pressure cooker. Maybe I've been watching too much Mad Men and I'm going all retro? Entirely possible. Stay tuned for the recipe and the results. And tomorrow, it's apple madness with A Way to Garden and Dinner Tonight,
so watch for a couple of pomme-y favorites.

A chicken in every pot?

Check out my latest post on Rural Intelligence--thanks to the divine Mark Bittman, a wonderful, comforting, Chinese take on poached chicken.