Stone Fruit Week Wrap up…

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Stone Fruit Week Wrap up…

I want to start this week’s wrap up off by giving you a glimpse behind the curtain at MDF and no I am not the wizard, that job falls squarely on the shoulders of Traci and Heather. There is a whole lotta love,  I mean thought, at least one meeting, (yes there’s food) several days of planning, recipe writing, recipe testing and then at least one, usually two days of food styling and photography.

When it came to the planning meeting for this week, stone fruit as our subject matter was a no brainer. Summer and stone fruit go hand in hand, for that matter stone fruit is summer in your hand.  If you never make a single one of these recipes, please at the very least take a bite out of as many of these drupes as you can get your hands/mouth on.

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We started the week off with an intro to stone fruit and then on Tuesday we featured Nectarine Salsa, I am incredibly proud of this recipe, not only does it taste great, it highlights the nectarine and is a wonderful representation of how I like to cook. (Let the ingredients shine, equal balance of sweet and savory, presence of heat and several textures.)

Next we took a journey down south with a totally different take on the crumble… Our Peach and Cardamom Crumble takes advantage of a white peaches less acidic and sweeter taste paired with the herbal and citrus characteristics of cardamom to create a truly memorable dessert.

On Thursday we brought you Roasted Chicken with Pickled Cherries and Radish Sprouts… a sample of what happens when Traci and I start freethinking about a flavors.

“What does it pair with, what can we do to enhance its core qualities, what sounds wrong but tastes so right?”

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Friday brings another dessert inspired by the south but with our MDF name all over it. The Caramelized Plum Tartlets are a great example of how to incorporate several textures into a dish thats featured ingredient is high on flavor but low on crunch.

For those of you wondering where the cocktail is, let me refer you back to cocktail week for the Crazy Jane … ok, ok I can’t help myself. A classic is begging to make an appearance here:

Apricot Bellini

Add 2 tablespoons of *apricot puree to a glass of chilled sparkling wine (Those of you that follow us, know we prefer Prosecco)

*Apricot Puree

4 apricots, pitted

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

1 teaspoon sugar

Place all the ingredients into your food processor and process until smooth. Force mixture through a sieve with a spoon then store in an air tight container in your refrigerator.

Caramelized Plum Tartlets

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Recipes by Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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What better way to celebrate the summer and the end of our week than with an old fashion caramelized plum tartlet!

These deep purple and burgundy drupes are filled with a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C.  A real summer time treat.

Here is our take on how to use them.

Caramelized Plum Tartlets

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ lb. unsalted butter, room temp

2 large egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon hibiscus extract (we love lc finn’s extract)

1 teaspoon lemon zest

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 plums pitted and sliced

½ cup turbinado sugar (you may substitute light brown sugar)

Powdered sugar as garnish

Directions:

  • Six 4 inch ramekins
  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Butter ramekins and place on baking sheet.
  • In medium sized mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt.
  • In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter on medium high for 2 min.  Add yolks, sugar, hibiscus extract, lemon zest and cinnamon then beat until incorporated.  Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture, do not over mix.
  • Divide dough evenly between ramekins.  Fan plum slices over top of dough pressing them in lightly.  Sprinkle tops with turbinado sugar.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 min until tartlets look set and the tops are bubbly and caramelized to a golden brown.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.

***Serving suggestion lots of ice cream (MDF favorite, homemade black peppered goat cheese)***

We are just over the moon to share with you one of our knock out recipes.  The buttery crust is what makes this…something truly special and the graham cracker crumb like texture…is my favorite part of this rustic tart.  Out of this world!!!

Then when the sweet juicy plums are added, bubble to the top, the sugar caramelizes, turns golden brown, and the hibiscus extracts comes into play, the tart becomes so flavorful and intensifies everything in sight.   Once you make this tried and true recipe you will be sure to add it to your recipe collection.

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Roasted Ginger Chicken w/ Pickled Cherries and Radish Sprouts

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Recipes by Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction of Heather Gill Photography

Ahhh, roasted chicken, an all star staple in the MDF kitchen.  Simple, juicy, crispy and succulent, it just doesn’t get better.   Starting with this tried and true classic, we created a pan sauce from the pan drippings and added fresh grated ginger and a nub of butter.

These all American true blue crimson lil orbs are bursting with unbeatable flavor, packed with antioxidants and credited with anti-inflammatory benefits and are the new super fruit.  We had a blast working with cherries.  They are not just for pies anymore.  So we decided to go outside the box and pickle cherries.  Yes, pickled.  We added a few sprigs of rosemary that imparted a rich fragrant earthy evergreen like flavor and then pink peppercorns that added a note of heat with a touch of fruitiness.  We are pleased as punch with this recipe.

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Roasted Ginger Chicken w/ Pickled Cherries and Radish Sprouts

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, softened but not melted

1/2 teaspoon, ground cardamom

1 lemon, zested

1 Tablespoon grated ginger + 1 Tablespoon for pan sauce

Salt and fresh ground pepper

One 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken

Olive oil

3/4 cup dry white wine, (if you wouldn’t drink it don’t cook with it)

2 Tablespoon butter

Directions:

If roasting immediately preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, ground cardamom, lemon zest, ginger, salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir together with a spoon until well mixed.

Hold chicken over sink and drain then pat dry inside and out with paper towels.  Poke a small opening in the clear membrane between the skin and the flesh of the over the breast and thighs gliding your index finger through the opening, loosening the skin from the flesh, without removing it completely.  You’re creating a big pocket for the butter.  Once the skin is loose, rub about three quarters of the ginger butter mixture under the skin, over the breast and thighs. Rub the rest inside the cavity.  You can now refrigerate for up to 2 days or cook immediately.  We like to refrigerate ours over night.  When you are ready to roast chicken smear the surface all over with about 1-teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken, (we like to use a shallow roasting pan that we can then use on the stove top for our pan sauce) after 30 min pour wine over chicken.  Roast and baste for an additional 30 to 60 minutes, until the juices run clear with only a trace of pink when you prick the thigh and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 170 degrees F.

Remove from oven and allow to rest, while you make a quick pan sauce.

In your roasting pan or a skillet, over a medium-high, heat the liquid remaining from roasting the chicken, plus the remaining tablespoon of grated ginger, salt and pepper.  Reduce liquid by half then whisk in butter and check seasoning, adjust if necessary.

  Pickled Cherries

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup filtered water

3/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted

1 large rosemary sprig

Directions:

Boil first 6 ingredients in a medium pan, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Use a sieve to strain into a medium bowl then return liquid to pan.  Add cherries and rosemary to saucepan.  Simmer until cherries are tender, about 7 minutes.  Store cherries and rosemary in a re-sealable container and store in refrigerator for up to a month.

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Radish Sprout Salad Vinaigrette

 


Ingredients:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Add lemon juice, minced garlic and lemon zest to a mixing bowl and slowly whisk in extra virgin olive oil until combined.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Dress radish sprouts and top roasted chicken.

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Nectarine Salsa

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Recipes by Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Eating a freshly picked Nectarine, right off the tree and the juice running down your arm, ahhh it just doesn’t get any better!!!

The dog days of summer are here, so get your hands on these juicy lil gems and try our MDF recipe of the day.

Nectarine Salsa

2 cups diced nectarines

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup diced red onion

2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño or Serrano pepper

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup diced peeled avocado

In a medium size bowl combine nectarine, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and salt.  Mix to combine and gently stir in avocado.

This salsa works well on fish, chicken or pork and it is very versatile.  We made a big bowl of it over the weekend and just enjoyed it with tortilla chips.   As with almost all stone fruit recipes this would work with peaches, mangos or cherries.  If you plan on making ahead, we suggest you combine the avocado and a bit more lime juice at the last-minute to serve.

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Clean:

We try to use fruits and vegetables when ever possible that are 100% organic so we don’t have to worry about trying to wash off harmful pesticides.  With organic,  just a good rinse and rub under cold running water to remove any dirt, will do the trick.

Select:

Peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and other stone fruits that are not purchased local tend to be shipped to the grocery store unripened.  To determine if your fruit needs to ripen a little longer just press gently near the stem of the fruit, it should dent if its ripe.  If you get a few hard ones just store them uncovered on the counter for a couple of days.  My Grandmother used the kitchen windowsill, that always seemed to speed up the process.

Store:

If you choose to keep them around for a few more days, they are best stored uncovered in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer, here they can usually last for up to a week.

Cook:

Stone fruit is delicious by itself, these incredibly versatile drupes interchange beautifully, a recipe for one is a recipe for all!

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Those of you that are familiar with urban table’s line of products know we make several chutneys and mostardas.  For most of the year we use dried fruits, however, whenever we can jump on the FRESH bandwagon, we do so!   Here are two simple recipes from The New York Times that will add freshness and liven up your backyard bashes.

chutney:   Combine 1 1/2 pounds chopped fruit, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup water in a skillet and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until just tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste; add 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, 1-teaspoon curry powder, a pinch of ground cloves, more sugar if needed and fresh orange juice to taste.  Simmer, reducing mixture to desired thickness. Partly cool, then stir in 1⁄4 cup each raisins and toasted nuts (like macadamia), and serve.

mostarda:  Combine 3/4 pound dried fruit, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a skillet and bring to a boil.  Add 1 minced shallot, 1 tablespoon minced candied ginger, 3⁄4 cup white wine, 4 1/2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar and 2 to 3 teaspoons each Dijon mustard and butter.  Simmer until jam-like, 15 minutes or more. Taste; add more sugar if needed.  Cool and serve.

Modern Day Forager

Related Article:

Spicy Nectarines

Celebrating Stone/Summer Fruits

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Summer and stone fruit go hand-in hand, so we decide to take to advantage and celebrate these fruits brimming at our farm stands and markets.  So what is a stone fruit?   Well, simply put, it is a indehiscent fruit with flesh or pulp that surrounds the stone or pit.   Indehiscent what?   Simply put, ha!  Indehiscent means that the fruit does not open or split at maturity to release seeds when ripe.   Some unusual suspects that you would not think would be in the stone fruit family are almonds, elderberries and olives.
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In preparing for all of this merry making, we carefully picked, grilled, roasted, sauteed, macerated, dried, poached, churned and pickled all of  these ripe blush pink peaches, succulent nectarines, golden rich apricots, deep tart plums and plump burgundy cherries.  We look forward to sharing some of our favorite savory and sweet recipes, along with how to select and store them.

So roll up your sleeves, get your hands on some of these mouthwatering fine drupes with all of their diversity and appeal and let the merriment begin.  Please share with us what you doing with your aromatic and fragrant beauties, we would love to hear!

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

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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.

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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.

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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