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.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Welcome, A Way to Garden-ers!

I've noticed a fair number of new, albeit invisible, faces around here, thanks to my dear friend Margaret Roach, she of the incredible gardening blog A Way to Garden. So, to you all, welcome! Though gardening is not my strong suit (just ask Margaret--she'll tell you!) I do raise some lovely chickens (see the fruits of their labor on the left.) And I'm pretty good at helping you figure out what to do with your lovely garden haul (or if you're like me, your farm share.) So look around, say hello,and do tell me what your recipe needs are--even as we head into fall, the harvest and the creative ways to enjoy it in the kitchen are still bountiful.