Modern’s take on Mustarda and Chimichurri

Spicy Mustarda by Modern Day Forager

This cherished (Sicilian) Italian condiment has many faces, made with fruit, (fresh, dried or candied) sugary syrup, wine and the essence of mustard, it is quite versatile.  The specialty dish, Bollito Mistro in northern Italy, traditionally served mustarda along side this hearty stew (similar to the French Pot-au-feu) as a celebration dish in the fall and winter.  It has gained popularity and made its way as an accompaniment on charcuterie, crusty breads, cheese boards, spooned over creamy polenta and it is equally delicious, crowned on poultry, game and fish.  It even adds a depth of savory piquancy and sweet flavor as a quick pan sauce or poured over ice cream.  Our favorite way to enjoy mostarda is to add it to a grilled salami and gruyere cheese sandwich, the mostarda just adds a richness and a spicy-sugary balance to the saltiness of the cheese and salami.  Yum!

 Spicy Mostarda

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup dried apricots
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 1/2 cup dried figs
• 1/2 cup dried cherries
• 1 shallot, minced
• 1 1/2 teaspoons minced crystallized ginger
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1/4 cup honey
• 2  firm Bartlett pears, cubed
• 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard seeds
• 1 tablespoon mustard powder
• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1.  Place the dried fruits, shallot, ginger, wine and honey in a medium saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.
2.  Add pears, mustard seed and mustard powder and continue simmering for another 10 minutes.  (pears should soften but still hold shape)
3.  Season with red pepper flake, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4.  We like our mustarda chunky here at MDF but if you prefer a thinner consistency you can puree part half the mixture and then mix for a medium chunk or puree the entire batch for a jam like consistency.
5.  Let the mustarda cool, place in a sealed container and store in the refrigerator.

Chimichurri Sauce by Modern Day Forager

This acclaimed quintessential Argentinean sauce, chimichurri compliments grilled meats perfectly and is a crowd pleaser you should try for your next summertime gathering.  This fairly spicy sauce is bright, fresh and herbaceous with a garlicky, tangy punch.  Made of parsley, oregano,  garlic, shallots, vinegar, fresh lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and olive oil, this sauce really needs time to meld all of the flavors together, so make a day or two ahead of time, before you serve it.  Not only can you present this table side but if you don’t have the extra time to make it ahead, it also makes a easy and quick (that day) marinade for vegetable kabobs, beef, lamb, poultry,  fish and will really pop and heighten the flavor.

 Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients:

• 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
• 5 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
• 1 shallot
• 3/4 cup olive oil
• 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

1.  Place all chimichurri sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until well chopped, but not pureed.
2.   Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Plus it makes an incredible cheeseburger topping.  Try adding it to soups, stews and rice dishes, as well.

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table
Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

MODERN DAY FORAGER

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An ode to ketchup and mustard…

We all know that ketchup and mustard are the king and queen reigning the condiment world, while we know there is something nostalgic about commercial brands, don’t leave it in the hands of Heinz and French’s.  Embrace making your own handcrafted customized concoctions.
Ketchup by Modern Day Forager


Making ketchup is really quiet simple, and the flavor combinations are endless.  So why not?  If you have an abundance of tomatoes from your garden this summer, why not use these juicy orbs of goodness and build a better ketchup?

MDF FARM FRESH KETCHUP

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 small bulb fennel, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds fresh tomatoes (experiment with your favorites)
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar (3/4 cup if you don’t want ketchup tangy)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Place the first 12 ingredients in a large pot over a medium-low heat for 15 minutes stirring often.
  2. Add the tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of water.  Turn heat to medium-high stirring often, until liquid is reduced by half.
  3. Pour mixture into a food processor and process until smooth, then pour mixture through a mesh sieve into a clean pot.
  4. Over medium heat stir in red wine vinegar and brown sugar, and reduce to the thickness you desire.
  5. Cool and then store in refrigerator.

If you prefer a chunky style, just omit the sieve step.

Stout Mustard by Modern Day Forager

Don’t hold the mustard or cut the mustard, make mustard!  This top dog condiment is surprisingly a cinch to make.  However, there are a few basics you need to understand about the process for making really good quality mustard.  First, the seeds need a good crushing and grind, and the key here is to add cold liquid (cold stout in this recipe) to add moisture to the mustard seeds.  Mustard gets its bite when the cracked seeds release volatile oils, much like capsaicin, the “hot” in chile peppers and when mixed with the liquid, the result is pungent and spicy.

Second, heat will temper the chemical reaction (much like cutting a onion) so, hot mustard, cold liquid, warmer liquid a more mellow mustard.  Also, in addition of the cold liquid remember that adding an acid is crucial to the recipe.  If you don’t add the acid, the mustard will lose its bite over time.  Adding vinegar, for instance, will stop and set the chemical reaction in place.

Mustard is extremely versatile, with many variations, it livens up and pairs well with sandwiches, cold meats, cheese, greens, burgers and hotdogs.  Rj and I are from Chicago and the only way to eat a dog is with mustard, sorry ketchup.  It also is a great emulsifying agent/stablizer for salad dressings, marinades, dips, sauces and spreads.  By making your own, you avoid all the goop of artificial flavors, fillers, colors and homemade just tastes better. 

MDF Extra Stout Mustard

 Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds, crushed
  • 1/3 cup Cold Guinness Extra Stout
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mason jar, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Pour the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until the seeds are broken down and you reach your desired consistency, it will thicken the more you process. (You may also use an immersion blender right in jar)
  3. Store in your refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks.
Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table
Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography
Modern Day Forager

Peach Cardamom Crumble

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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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We are pretty sure that you have had crumbles and cobblers before but we are guessing that you haven’t had anything like this!  We have added basil, balsamic vinegar and cardamomnot your grandma’s summertime crumble!

Peach Cardamom Crumble

Ingredients:

Base

6 white peaches, pealed and diced

2 Tablespoons loosely packed brown sugar

1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1/8 teaspoon cardamom extract (we used lc finn’s cardamom extract)

1 teaspoon fresh chiffonade of basil

Crumble

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cardamom

1/2  teaspoon citric acid

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place peaches in a greased 9 X 13 baking dish or 6 greased ramekins. (If using ramekins place on a baking sheet) Sprinkle with brown sugar, white balsamic, cardamom extract, salt, pepper and basil. Toss to coat, set aside.

In a large bowl combine oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, citric acid, salt and pepper then mix until combined. Now add softened butter and mash with a fork until crumble is formed then sprinkle over peaches.

Bake 15 minutes then rotate and bake an additional 15 minutes or until crumble is nicely browned.

You can serve immediately or at room temperature.

We love it with ice cream or a dollop of crème fraiche.

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Modern Day Forager

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

Fried Green Tomatoes

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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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Fried Green Tomatoes

4 medium sized green tomatoes

kosher salt

1 quart buttermilk

1 teaspoon hot sauce (we used Tabasco sauce)

2 1/2  cups all-purpose flour

 1 cup cornmeal

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper

5 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons lard (you can use a vegetable oil if you are averse to lard)

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and refrigerate for 1 hour. Wash off salt in cold water.
  2. Lay tomatoes out in a container and cover with buttermilk and hot sauce.  Soak for about 8 hours.
  3. Combine flour, cornmeal, black pepper and salt in a shallow dish. (We use a pie plate)
  4. Heat lard in a cast iron skillet.
  5. Dredge tomato slices in flour mixture then back in buttermilk mixture then again in flour, shake off excess and place in hot oil.
  6. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and then drain on a paper towel.

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Simple Remoulade Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Creole whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon horseradish

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, flavor will get better the longer it sits.

Another simple classic sauce for Fried Green Tomatoes

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup ketchup

1 minced clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

fresh ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, flavor will get better with time.

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Classic Remoulade

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup chopped celery

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

3 tablespoons Creole whole-grain mustard

3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard

3 tablespoons ketchup

3 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for about 30 seconds.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, flavor gets better with time and can be made ahead of time.

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Modern Day Forager

Golden and Red Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

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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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Incredibly versatile and refreshing, this zesty dressing is very satisfying.   Try tossing into a pasta, add as a topper for a tasty cheese tartin or on a piece of fresh salmon for a quick and easy weeknight supper.

Golden  and  Red Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

1 minced shallot

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pint halved golden and red cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (we prefer Zinfandel)

2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  1. Sweat shallots in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato halves stirring and crushing for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Refrigerate before serving to let flavors come together.
  5. Bring vinaigrette to room temperature and topped with  fresh chives before serving.

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Modern Day Forager

Glazed Grapefruit with Ruby Red Grapefruit & Hibiscus Sugar

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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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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.

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Modern Day Forager

Olive Tapenade

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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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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.

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Modern Day Foragers

Sweet & Salty Nuts

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Food Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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So we have a second recipe for you today.  We thought you might need something to eat with all the cocktails we are giving you.  So how about some fancy nuts!  Okay so they aren’t super fancy but they are super easy.

Sweet & Salty Nuts

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 cups of nuts – unsalted & raw, we used cashews, pistachios, pecans, almonds and walnuts

4 tablespoons butter – unsalted as well

5 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  1. In a large skillet pan, on medium high heat, dry roast the nuts.  Stir frequently so they don’t burn, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add butter and continue cooking until the nuts start to darken, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar.  Add a tablespoon of water and continue stirring to coat all the nuts with sugar and spices.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer to a parchment lined pan.  Spread them out in a single layer and allow them to cool and harden, about 10-12 minutes.
  5. When cool transfer to an airtight container.

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Modern Day Forager

 

 

Chilled Zucchini Soup

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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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I love soup but really who wants to eat hot soup on a 100+ degree day?  Not me!  This is a chilled soup and it is so refreshing and not heavy at all.  Perfect for the summer.

Chilled Zucchini Soup

5 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped

2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped

4 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 quart organic chicken broth

1 cup cream (light, medium or heavy – your choice)

salt & pepper

1 medium zucchini, julienned and blanched for 1 minute (for garnish)

  1. Over low heat, in a large sauce pan, melt the butter and add the chopped onions and chopped zucchini.  Stir, then cover and sweat for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove lid, add 1 tablespoon curry powder and cook for about 2 minutes while stirring to avoid scorching the curry powder.  Then slowly pour in the chicken broth, stirring as you go.  Bring to a boil then back down to a gentle simmer.  Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the zucchini and onions are very soft.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  4. Pour the cooled mixture into a blender and puree until smooth.  Add the cream and blend to combine.  Wait to do the final seasoning until serving.  Curry intensifies when cold so let the soup rest a bit before adding more.
  5. Chill further before serving.  Have chilled serving bowls ready.  Add julienned and blanched zucchini for garnish on top.

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Happy Wednesday!  Thank you for joining us.  We would love to connect with you and hear if you made the recipe.  Please connect with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Modern Day Forager