Emily, produce buyer and home chef extraordinaire, brought the apples: 10 different kinds, most of them heirloom varieties. I represented for the bakery and turned each variety into an individual mini-crisp and sliced extras for a “raw” tasting. Our goal? To find out which were the best baking and which were the best eating apples.
What better time than the dog days of summer to whip up some fresh guacamole. It pairs well with beer, doesn’t involve any slaving away over the stove and is a great pre-BBQ snack!
Recently, I have been on a bit of a ricotta kick – incorporating it into salads, dolloping it on strawberries and, more recently, experimenting with it on bruschetta-like toasts. Quick and easy to put together, they are a kind of open faced sandwich. Made with a sprinkling of dried Turkish figs and spring blossom honey, they are very more-ish!
The months of January through early April in New England signify a time of rest and re-growth on the farm. While fields are quiet and covered with snow, farmers are offered a brief respite from harvesting. This time is used to select seeds and finish crop plans for spring. Naturally, this also means a lull in local produce available here at the shop, as many crops are out-of-season or grown in limited quantities at this time of the year.
Negus was my drink for a stressful holiday season, when its comforting, calming sips hit the spot. However, the less taxing months of January and February mark the arrival of Seville oranges and allows one to graduate from negus, to the more grown-up Smoking Bishop. Smoking Bishop is also made with port and sugar but, instead of water, it calls for dry red wine and tasty Seville oranges replace the lemons.
Recently, a fellow monger, Mike, and I decided to have a leisurely pizza night at home. The weather outside was frightful, a movie was so delightful, and since there was no place to go, we made pizza.
We had the opportunity to try two French fondues. They were both delicious but the one Claude, the Chef du Cave at Marcel Petite, made for us was hands down the best fondue I have ever had.
Last weekend, Kurt and I taught a class on mountain cheeses, featuring classics like Gruyère and Comté. We also talked about Reblochon, the pungent, creamy cheese traditionally used to make tartiflette, a hearty Savoyard dish of potatoes, bacon and cheese that we also served at the class.