Elegant, yet Simple Blueberry Jam

brunch-44

Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

We are oh so sweet on this Blueberry Jam…here at Modern.

This simple but elegant spread is bursting with tiny little gems of goodness and has the perfect balance of sugar, juicy lemons and a touch of brightness from the zest.  We topped and stuffed it into rich and mouth watering french toast, dressed and layered it on lemon mascarpone pancakes for a lovely weekend brunch, and even used it as a component for a rich and fruit forward pan sauce with pork for a farm to table gathering.  Channel you inner canner,  and with a little help from a good season,  try this humble and unassuming little jar of jam.   It will be sure to liven up any summer time soiree.

brunch-35

Simple Blueberry Jam

2  1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1 pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring often.
  2. Smash berries (I use a potato masher)
  3. Simmer on medium high heat (as foam forms skim it from the top) for about 12 minutes, until thickened.
  4. Chill in an ice bath.  Once completely cooled you may store in fridge.

brunch-40

Modern Day Forager

Glazed Blueberry Stuffed French Toast with Bacon & Orange Sunshine Bitters

brunch-49

Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

 

A sweet and savory french toast like no other.  One of the most decadent recipes we have styled and ever tasted.  We saw this combination of flavors on a menu in NYC and always wanted to recreate the flavor profile.  We chose to use challah bread as our vehicle, plus the addition of crispy thick cut bacon and citrus bitters to mix things up, so here it is.  Waking up to this..is really not hard to do.

brunch-50

Glazed Blueberry Stuffed French Toast with Bacon & Orange Sunshine Bitters

Ingredients:

1 loaf challah bread, sliced into 2 ½ to 3 inch slices (recipe makes 6 to 8 slices)

8 oz. ricotta cheese

12 to 16 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and chopped (retain pan drippings)

1/4 cup blueberry jam

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1 cup whole milk

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbl unsalted butter (melted)

2 Tbl unsalted butter

1 Tbl brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp orange bitters (we used AZ Bitters Lab Orange Sunshine)

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3 Lg eggs

maple syrup (for serving)

Directions:

  1. Place sliced bacon on a rack in a sheet pan and bake until crispy, drain on a paper towel.  Retain pan drippings to cook French toast.
  2. With a small sharp knife, make a horizontal slice in bottom crust of bread creating the pocket you will pipe filling into.
  3. In a bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, blueberry jam, and lemon zest. Place mixture in a Ziploc bag and when you are ready to fill bread pockets, slice corner off bag and pipe.
  4. In a bowl whisk together milk, syrup, salt. Tablespoon of melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, bitters, cinnamon, and eggs.
  5. In a large (preferably cast iron) skillet heat bacon drippings on medium heat. You will need about 2 tablespoons, you can add butter if you need more fat.
  6. Using your piping bag, fill each bread pocket with approximately 2 tablespoons of filling.  Push bacon into filled pocket of bread, pushing out to edges as much as possible.
  7. Once slices are stuffed soak each slice in egg mixture for about 10 seconds per side, then place in hot skillet.  Cook until both sides are caramelized.

Serve warm topped with extra jam, fresh berries, lemon zest and maple syrup.

brunch-47

Modern Day Forager

Glazed Grapefruit with Ruby Red Grapefruit & Hibiscus Sugar

brunch-26

Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

brunch-23

From perk up to pucker up this is a great start for any morning ritual.  Turn on the broiler if you want a break from the ordinary.  Grapefruit halves are a busy morning classic, but take a few extra minutes and broiling will caramelize the fruit itself and the sugars you choose will compliment the fruits inherent bitterness and bring a unique sweet-smoky flavor to your morning…Hello Sunshine!

Glazed Grapefruit with Ruby Red Grapefruit & Hibiscus Sugar

3 grapefruit

6 teaspoons honey

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon Ruby Pink Grapefruit and Hibiscus Sugar (we used La Bella Terre sugar)

Preheat the broiler

  1. Cut each grapefruit in half and loosen sections from the membrane with a small paring knife.
  2. Place the grapefruit halves cut side up on a baking sheet or a muffin pan.  Drizzle 1 teaspoon of honey over each half and sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar and grapefruit hibiscus sugar.
  3. Place grapefruit under broiler and brown well, about 3 minutes.  Remove grapefruit and serve warm.

brunch-19

brunch-18

Modern Day Forager

Cold Brew Coffee

brunch-33

Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

brunch-30

It may not be summer yet, but it sure feels like it here in the southwest! You’ll be wooed by this perfect chilled perk up.

As a hot coffee drinker for decades I understand the trepidation. I looked at my Grandmothers glass of iced coffee with bewilderment and later in life turned my nose up at the iced coffee drinkers at my local coffee house. I love my hot coffee, the process of brewing it, the smell and oh my and the flavor!  However, what I don’t love is sweat on my brow, the acidity in my stomach, the bitterness of burnt beans or even the luke warm temperature it inevitably becomes.

Our MDF solution… COLD BREW… No bitterness, no acidity, all the flavor, and you can make the concentrate (as technically as any coffee engineer would want) ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Refreshing, full flavored and incredibly rich and smooth!  Start sipping…

Cold Brew Coffee

12 oz coarsely ground coffee

7 cups water (we used filtered)

milk or half & half (this is to taste)

simple syrup (also to taste)

  1. Place ground coffee in a large container.
  2. Gradually add 7 cups of cold water.
  3. Stir gently to ensure all grounds are wet.
  4. Cover with a layer of cheesecloth or plastic wrap.
  5. Let stand for 15 to 24 hours at room temperature.
  6. Remove covering.  In a fine mesh sieve (lined with cheesecloth that you used to cover or a coffee filter.  Pour coffee through into another container. Do not stir grounds as it produces a cloudy end result.
  7. Cover jar and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Will keep for up to 2 weeks.

To serve fill a tall glass with ice and mix 1 part coffee with 1 part milk or half & half.  You could substitute filtered water for the milk.  Sweeten with simple syrup or add a pinch of salt for a real treat.

brunch-29

We have a jar of this waiting in the cooler for us to cool down on with the hot days ahead.  We hope your Monday is going well.  See you tomorrow.  We would love to hear from you.  Connect with us here in the comments or on our Facebook page.

doubleshotModern Day Forager

Modern Cocktail Week Wrap Up

herbs

Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

So what did you think of Modern Cocktail week?  We had so much fun coming up with the recipes and photographing details.  Oh and tasting everything too!  That was the most fun!  If you weren’t able to join us for the whole week here is a recap of what we did this week.

ModernDrinks-19Violet Prosecco Cocktail

ModernDrinks-76

Watermelon Cucumber Cocktail

ModernDrinks-56

The Paloma

ModernDrinks-71

The Crazy Jane

ModernDrinks-43

Jack Sour with Chocolate Covered Bacon

ModernDrinks-10

Sweet & Salty Nuts

ModernDrinks-32

Olive Tepanade

ModernDrinks-70

Stilton-Pear Crostini

When we started working on the theme for this week we thought about a party we might like to have or at least be invited to.  We imaged this as a lovely party with drinks and appetizers being served on a lovely patio overlooking a lovely sunset.  Yes, that is a fantasy but we can dream.  With a bit of prep time, not much, you could have this party with your friends over the weekend.  Most of what we gave you can be made ahead of time so you will only need to do last minute details like the crostini, but really just assembly.

We love bringing you our stories of food but we want to hear from you.  What are some of the theme you would like to see from us?  Please connect with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.  Have a wonderful weekend.  We will be back next week with another theme.

Modern Day Forager

FOUND…Modern Cocktail Week

Behind the Bar…

ModernDrinks-9

Made in Brooklyn, these all-natural syrups pair so well in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.  A perfect alternative to the everyday mass-produced, soda has gone artisanal.   Take matters into your own hands and make your own fresh and seasonal soda with your favorite home carbonating kit, bottled seltzer or sparkling water

Soda Syrup 12.7 oz Bottle  $10.00

There is a 2-bottle minimum for shipping. (Does not include  Shipping)

http://pandhsodaco.com

P&H Soda may also be purchased at the urban table larder 

6938 E. 1st. Street

Scottsdale, AZ. 85251

images

Join in on the liquid love rival; Jack Rudy is a small batch tonic handcrafted in Charleston, SC.   It stands alone, because of its interesting ingredients of lemongrass, white pepper, allspice and orange peel, and none of that citric acid and high fructose corn syrup stuff.  Bar none this is the best tonic around. 

Orders are sold in packs of (2) 17 ounce bottles

$32.00 (does not include shipping)

http://www.jackrudycocktailco.com

atwestendWallBar

This modern raw metal mounted wine bar, with great design is perfect for showcasing your favorite wine, spirits, glassware, and vintage linens.   A space saving piece for small space living.

At West End – round metal wall bar $299

www.atwestend.com/round-metal-wall-wine-bar.html

glassware_large

This kitchy poster from The Boys Club Mixology 101 series, is a fun addition to any bar and highlights types of glassware, their name and what drinks they are used for.  Your walls will never look better with good information and a little educational too. 

 Bar poster – glassware poster $18-24

www.thesweettooth.co/products/glassware-poster

woodenmuddlers

Mix your drinks in  true Mad Men style with these hand-carved sheesham wood muddlers.  Sheesham (also known as Indian Rosewood) is a fast-growing hardwood, sourced from sustainable managed plantations.  Three styles to choose from.

Wooden Muddlers – Task $16

http://shop.tasknewyork.com/product/wooden-muddlers

Modern Day Forager

Jack Sour with Chocolate Covered Bacon

ModernDrinks-14Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

ModernDrinks-45

Do you like our Jack Daniels stir sticks?  We love them!  Yes, we said bacon!  We might have saved the best for last.  We thought of this as a man’s drink but really ladies, feel free to drink up!  On to the recipe.

Jack Sour with Chocolate Covered Bacon

2 oz Jack Daniels

1 large egg white

3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

3/4 oz rich simple syrup (2:1 ratio not 1:1 ratio, sugar:water)

1 dash bitters

1 piece of chocolate covered bacon (you can dip yourself, which is fun, or purchase already done.)

  1. Fill cocktail shaker half way with ice.
  2. Add Jack, egg white, lemon juice and simple syrup.
  3. Shake for 15-20 seconds.
  4. Pour over ice in a rocks glass and top with chocolate covered bacon.

ModernDrinks-47

For chocolate covered bacon:

Melt a dark chocolate bar in the microwave, 15 seconds at a time.  And stirring in between to avoid burning the chocolate.  Pour over crispy bacon and let cool.

ModernDrinks-48

You might want to make a lot of the bacon because if you are anything like us you had to make sure that it was safe to share with others by tasting as you go.  Happy Friday!!!  We will be back to talk about our FOUND for this week and a wrap up of the week.

ModernDrinks-49

Modern Day Forager

Stilton-Pear Crostini

ModernDrinks-67Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

moderndrinks-81

These little bites are really fantastic.  We are sure you will love these as much as we do.  The brioche is much softer then a baguette even when toasted so it won’t take away from the cheese and grilled pear.  Yes, we said grilled pear.

Stilton-Pear Crostini

Loaf of brioche

1/3 cup walnut oil

6 oz Stilton Cheese

3 Anjou pears (grilled)

1/2 cup fresh rosemary walnuts (recipe below)

honey for drizzling

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and set the grill to high.
  2. Brush pear slices with walnut oil and grill until softened.  Make a turn half way through so you can get the nice cross hatch grill marks.
  3. Slice brioche into 1/2 inch think slices.
  4. Brush with remaining walnut oil and bake until golden brown.
  5. While still warm top with cheese then pear. (We did 2 layers of this.)  Then sprinkle with rosemary walnuts and drizzle with honey.

ModernDrinks-65

Rosemary Walnuts

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 springs fresh chopped rosemary

olive oil (for frying)

salt to taste

  1. In a skillet set on medium high heat, heat the oil.
  2. Fry walnuts until they float and remove from oil.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and chopped rosemary.

You might want to make more of these because they are lovely on their own or on salads to add a bit of crunch.

Well, we are almost done for the week!  What do you think is up for Friday?  Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Modern Day Forager

The Crazy Jane

ModernDrinks-72Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

ModernDrinks-71

This cocktail is currently the most popular drink at Home Restaurant in New York City.  People love the earthy rosemary juxtaposed with fresh, fragrant apricots.  Here is our interpretation.

The Crazy Jane

1 1/2 oz rosemary-infused vodka (recipe below)

1/2 oz apricot puree (recipe below)

1/2 oz simple syrup (2:1 ratio not standard 1:1, sugar to water)

1/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

Lime wedge for garnish

  1. Combine all ingredients, expect for lime wedge, in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously.
  2. Serve in a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and garnish with the lime wedge.

ModernDrinks-74

Apricot Puree

8 apricots, pitted and diced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons sugar

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Pass through a sieve or other straining device to remove the coarser elements.

ModernDrinks-75

Rosemary-Infused Vodka

2 cups vodka (we used Smirnoff)

2 bunches fresh rosemary

  1. Place the rosemary in a quart sized jar or other container.  Add vodka and seal.  Store in a cool, dry place and allow to infuse for 3 days.
  2. Strain the mixture and discard rosemary.  Use right away or you can store it in a sealed jar for up to 3 weeks.

Modern Day Forager

Olive Tapenade

ModernDrinks-32

Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

ModernDrinks-27

This is a lovely addition to any party.  Just thin slice a baguette and toast or grill after brushing with olive oil and serve.

Olive Tapenade

1 cup kalamata olives, pitted

1 cup large green olives, pitted

1 cup black olives, pitted

1 red bell pepper, roasted, seeded and chopped

4-5 cloves of garlic

1/2 oz parsley, chopped

1/2 oz basil, chopped

3 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons capers

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Lemon Zest (as garnish)

Italian Flat Leaf Parsley (as garnish)

  1. Put the olives (all 3), capers, garlic and bell pepper into a food processor.
  2. Pulse in 1-second intervals about 8-10 times.
  3. Add the herbs, lemon juice and olive oil.
  4. Pulse another 8-10 times.  Be careful not to over process.
  5. Garnish with lemon zest and parsley.

ModernDrinks-26

Modern Day Foragers