Category Archives: autumn

Pear Cheddar Chowder

december 4, 2015

pear cheddar chowder

 

Some of the best meals are eaten with a spoon. Pureed soups are great, and thick chunky chowders are even better. I make so many soups that I rarely order them in restaurants, but if a well populated chowder presented itself, I would reconsider. Especially if it contains cheese.

Continue reading

Almond Apple Tart

november 13, 2015

almond apple tart

 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the dreaded pumpkin shortage trumpeted in the news recently has not affected supplies in local grocery stores.Yet. I planned this dessert as an antidote to said shortage, but if you are like me, you enjoy an array of desserts at the holiday table, and having your pumpkin pie in addition to a creamy apple dessert is not considered a conflict of interest.

Continue reading

Roasted Radish and Arugula Salad

june 13, 2015

roasted radish and arugula salad

Farmer Teal Brooks of Pine Fork Farm told me she likes her French breakfast radishes roasted. Hmmm….never made them like that and sounds delicious, I said. When I tasted them for the first time, I was most pleasantly surprised at their sweetness and texture. They lost their radish “bite” and transformed into something close to young turnips.

roasted radish and arugula salad

French breakfast radishes from Pine Fork Farm and the Sunday Carytown Farmers Market

 

With a deconstructed vinaigrette of fresh lemon, dijon mustard and brilliantly hued extra virgin olive oil, this salad is art on a plate,roasted radish and arugula salad and can be a starter or entree with the addition of roasted (as long as you have the oven hot) or grilled meats and seafood. The addition of poached farm fresh eggs would make this a light brunch entree.

We have all tried the common red globe radish found in grocery aisles (called Cherry Belle), packed in cellophane bags, but the other beauties will blow your mind with flavor, especially if locally grown. French breakfast radishes have a nice peppery bite raw in salads, and an even stronger zing can be had with black radish . Area farmer’s markets deliver all types each spring and then again in fall.

roasted radish and arugula salad

roasted French breakfast radishes

Loving their crunch in salads will not keep me from enjoying their incarnation as roasted vegetables, now that I have been awakened. Thanks, Teal.

Roasted Radish and Arugula Salad

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

serves four

ingredients

two bunches French breakfast radishes, cleaned and trimmed*
best quality extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
four cups baby arugula
strained juice of one large lemon
one level tablespoon Dijon mustard
one half cup shaved pecorino romano cheese
coarse ground black pepper
flaky sea salt (I like Maldon)
*save greens for another salad if desired

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. On large heavy sheet pan, toss radishes with one half tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt.
  3. Roast for 15 minutes and cool to room temperature.
  4. In small bowl, whisk lemon juice with mustard.
  5. To plate, arugula is scattered on serving dishes, then topped with radishes.
  6. Drizzle the lemon mustard mixture, then olive oil in drops, then flaky salt and black pepper.
  7. Scatter shavings of cheese atop salad and serve immediately.

Broccoli Apple Ale Soup

march 20, 2015

broccoli apple ale soup

 

During this week’s Saint Patrick celebration (why just one day?), some folks enjoyed green beer. Here is a recipe for broccoli apple ale soup that provides your serving of greens in a more natural manner, with locally brewed beer for good measure.

Continue reading

Sweet Potato Custard

december 5, 2014

sweet potato custard

There are good reasons to covet pie fillings without the fuss of crust.  The making of a good, flaky pie crust is time consuming and, if you’re like me, you may find premade pie crusts lacking in quality and flavor.  Lots of folks are foregoing extra carbs in grains, making a homemade grain free  crust (made with ground nuts) attractive, but also time consuming.

Continue reading

Flounder with Balsamic Fall Vegetables

november 7, 2014

flounder with balsamic fall vegetables

Living close to the Chesapeake Bay means access to fresh seafood all year long and when the flounder are running, go with the flow and thank your lucky stars.

Continue reading

Tuscan Kale and Goat Cheese Salad

…and a visit to Sullivan’s Pond Farm

october 24, 2014

tuscan kale and goat cheese saladWhen lifelong Virginians Rona and Tim Sullivan left city life behind in 1998, their goal was to live close to the land and enjoy a natural existence farming goats and chickens. Relocating to Virginia’s bucolic Middle Peninsula, an historic area rimmed with picturesque creek and river views, they eventually settled on a farm in Wake with rolling hills and big sky.

Continue reading

Sour Cream Apple Crumble

october 10, 2014

sour cream apple crumble

 

Fondest memories of shopping roadside stands involve apples that grace markets with their myriad colors, aromas and levels of crisp-crunch.  Apple season in Virginia starts tentatively, with Ginger Gold and Piney River Gold fruits making their debut, followed by Honey Crisp and then the endless palettes of the reds.  Rome Beauty, Stayman Winesap, Red Delicious (nothing like the uber-polished tasteless pretties at the grocery stores), Empire and York, among others.

My favorite apple is any type one can incorporate into desserts.  So, really, any apple will do, although I profess a fondness for super crisp and slightly tart apples for eating out of hand.

The reds have arrived and I say let the dessert making begin in earnest, and continue for as long as there are apples at the stands.

stayman apples at Berry's Produce

Stayman apples at Berry’s Produce in Hanover, Virginia

This crumble is like an upside down pie, with a cinnamon scented buttery crisp topping serving as our convoluted crust, and a sour cream custard, not too sweet, binding thin slices of twice cooked apples.  Cooking the apple slices with butter, sugar and cinnamon until tender before baking avoids the problem of apple pileup, wherein your stack of fruit lies so high in the pan you can’t avoid overflow and there’s no room for custard or topping.  I like walnuts in the crumble topping, but you can substitute pecans or almonds, or eliminate nuts altogether.

sour cream apple crumble ingredients

This dessert is easy, feeds a small crowd and may be enjoyed chilled, at room temperature (best, I think) or lightly warmed.  Crowning with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream or cinnamon dusted whipped cream will elevate it from homey simplicity to elegant comfort food.

 

sour cream apple crumblesour cream apple crumble

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes ten to twelve servings

ingredients

2 ½ pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut in thin slices
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups sour cream, preferably full fat
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
crumble topping
1 cup all purpose or gluten free flour (see apple  cake with caramel glaze for my favorite homemade mix)
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup chopped walnuts
one stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

directions

  1. Melt butter in heavy large wide skillet over medium heat, add apples and stir gently to coat.
  2. Add one half cup sugar and stir to coat all slices  with sugar.
  3. Cover skillet, turn heat to medium low and cook, stirring gently once, until apples are softened but still hold their shape, about 7 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, turn heat to high and evaporate most of the liquid, until a light syrup coats apples, about 5 minutes; turn heat lower if needed to avoid scorching.
  5. Add one teaspoon cinnamon and stir gently to coat.
  6. Allow mixture to cool completely.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. For sour cream custard, gently whisk eggs, sour cream, heavy cream, 3 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in small mixing bowl until blended.
  9. In larger mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar until combined, add walnuts and then work in butter bits with fingers until crumbly but some butter remains in tiny pieces.
  10. Butter 2 quart baking dish, add cooled apples, pour sour cream custard over apples and then top evenly with crumble topping.
  11. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until crumble appears puffed at edges and center no longer appears wobbly.
  12. Let settle at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving to allow custard to set.
  13. Serve at room temperature, chilled or lightly warmed.
  14. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
heirloom bean soup with parmesan and thyme

Heirloom Bean Soup with Parmesan and Thyme

march 21, 2014

heirloom bean soup with parmesan and thymeComfort has always been a pot of beans simmering on the stove.  It’s a favorite childhood memory – my mom’s white beans cooked simply, with or without meat for seasoning.  Gloriously overcooked so that beans and broth melded into a creamy slurry of bean goodness, and accompanied by a biscuit fresh from the oven.

Continue reading

Ginger Scallion Sweet Potatoes

november 16, 2013

Ginger Scallion Sweet Potatoes

At Thanksgiving many of us take the literal approach to preparing sweet potatoes by making them even more sweet.  Candied yams, sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows…nothing inherently wrong with these dishes, except that some folks simply do not care for treacly sweetness alongside their savory foods.

Continue reading