Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Chef Christo Gonzalez

Friday, January 25, 2013

Apple Pecan Cobbler

If I told you that  I had 25 pounds of apples would you believe me?  Of course you would.  If you have been reading this blog long enough, you know that I have a love affair with seizing opportunities to  purchase fresh seasonal bounty in bulk.  My problem is always after that peak experience of buying, and my romantic notions of the possibilities, not to mention a few eye rolls from my husband, is the reality that I have 25 pounds of apples.

With my apples, and new fire red apple peeler in hand, I managed to preserve several quarts of homemade apple sauce and apple butter, and lastly apple pecan cobbler.

This is only an illusion my friends.  The first piece was done politely, the rest I ate handily right out of the pan. 

Apple Pecan Cobbler
Serves 8
Recipe from

4 cups thinly sliced apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).  

2.  Generously grease a 2-quart baking dish.

3.  Arrange apple slices in an even layer in the baking dish.  In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup pecans.  Sprinkle mixture over apples.

4.  In a medium bowl, mix together flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In separate bowl whisk together egg, evaporated milk, and melted butter.  Pour milk mixture into flour mixture all at once, and stir until smooth.  Pour mixture over apples, and sprinkle top with 1/4 cup pecans.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Heather Conn

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dirt to Table Experience: Savoy, Lime And Cilantro Coleslaw

In North Florida cabbage grows abundantly in our mild winter growing season.   There is no possibility that it could survive the Florida heat and make it to the summer picnic table.  In the winter one of our main salads is coleslaw and in the summer, we turn our attention to other salads that reflect our growing season.

This time of year the varieties of cabbage growing in our garden is a beautiful assortment of savoy, green and red cabbages.  This also includes tatsoi and bok choy, which are a variety of Asian cabbages that have a mild flavor and are easy to work with in salads, soups, stews and main meal dishes.

There are endless varieties of cabbages available to the home cook, that allows us to create a spectacular array of dishes which are contemporary, healthy and delicious.

This coleslaw has an incredibly fresh taste-no doubt using fresh cabbage straight from the garden dirt helps this salad shine but, fresh simple flavors, and the lime really kick-up this slightly off the grid traditional coleslaw.

Savoy, Lime And Cilantro Coleslaw
Serves 4-6
Recipe from Fine Cooking

1 head Savoy cabbage
4 scallions
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, torn
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 limes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1.  Shave the cabbage with a sharp nice or mandolin so you have thin ribbons.  Cut the scallions long and on the bias so you have pieces similar in shape to the cabbage.  Toss the cabbage, scallions and cilantro in a large salad bowl.

2.  Make the dressing by combining the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar and the zest of limes in a medium bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.  Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Chris Grove

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dirt to Table Experience: Asian Cabbage Rolls

My random thoughts are endless, and to prove it, I was recently pondering cabbage rolls.  How did I come to love stuffed cabbage rolls?  Where did I learn to make them ?  Scary stuff isn't it?

In my late teens, I worked at a popular retail department store along side a much older woman named Alice.  Alice was a feisty Polish-American woman who never forgave her husband for passing away before their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  I adored her.  Every potluck event she provided stuffed cabbage rolls, and each  time she reminded me that the best cabbage rolls were made with tomato juice, not tomato sauce, and raisins, not brown sugar.  At the time it meant absolutely nothing to me. Turn the clock forward, and I realize that I have been making Alice's stuffed cabbage recipe for close to thirty-years.  I am always struck by the influences which at the time seem uneventful, with no meaning that somehow later in life have real meaning and influence.

This year I took a walk on the wild side. I was inspired to make a new style of cabbage rolls.  With that mind, I took a boldly flavored pork filling using a host of Chinese flavors including, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, cilantro, chili garlic sauce and baked the cabbage rolls, tightly foiled,  in a savory broth. What I got was a nutritionally dense cabbage roll, that had the Asian flavors of a spring egg roll that had been steamed and dipped into the sweet chili garlic sauce.

Definitely not your mothers cabbage rolls but, still delicious.  If you are looking for something a little different with a little more pizzaz but not more comfort, then I encourage you to go for it.

Asian Cabbage Rolls
Makes 4 servings (12 rolls)
Recipe from Cuisine at Home

For the cabbage rolls, combine:
12 oz. ground pork
2 pkg. shitake mushrooms, stemmed and chopped (3.5 oz. each)
3/4 cup cooked white or brown rice
3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. each minced garlic and fresh ginger
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

12 large outer napa cabbage leaves

For the sauce, whisk:
3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup each rice vinegar and low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the cabbage rolls, combine:
Pork, mushrooms, 3/4 cup rice, edamame, cilantro, scallions, carrot, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. oil, garlic, 1 Tbsp. ginger, salt and pepper flakes.

Roll cabbage leaves with a rolling pin until the stem side is flat, smooth, and pliable.

Scoop 1/3 cup cup pork mixture onto the stem of each flattened leaf.  Starting at the stem end, roll up each leaf, folding in the sides as you roll.  Arrange each roll, seam side down, in a 3-quart baking dish.

For the sauce, whisk: 
Together broth, vinegar, 1/4 sup soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, 1 Tbsp. ginger, 1 Tbsp oil, brown sugar, and cornstarch; pour over cabbage rolls in dish.  Tightly cover dish with foil.

Bake cabbage rolls until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the roll registers 160 degrees F, 30-35 minutes.  Serve rolls with additional rice and drizzled with sauce.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Maureen Johnson

Friday, January 4, 2013

Easy to Make Apple - Blackberry Tart

I am partial to fruit cobblers, tarts, and crumbles.  Crust and the topping are my weaknesses.  If it is warm, it will bring me to my knees.

This is a simple tart using store bought puff pastry and fresh or frozen fruit. You could use almost any combination of fruit to make this happen.

Whip up fresh cream and you can serve it up to friends as dessert, or just stand over the sink and enjoy it.  I am known to do that frequently.

Apple- Blackberry Tart
Serves 6
Recipe from Everyday Food

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment
3/4 cup (4-ounces) fresh or frozen blackberries (or other berries)
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 small firm apples peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place puff pastry on a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet and gently stretch into a 9-1/2 inch square. With a paring knife, score pastry 3/4-inch from edges, creating a border.  Freeze 10 minutes.

2.  Stir together blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, flour and salt.  Lightly mash some berries to release juices and let stand 5 minutes.  Very gently stir in apples.  Spread evenly within border of pastry.  Brush border with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

3.  Bake 15 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 375 Degrees F and bake until juices are bubbling and crust is a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes more (tent crust with foil if over browning).  Dip a pastry brush in juices and glaze fruit.  Let cool 15 minutes before serving  (or let sit at room temperature, up to 8 hours).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Photo by Tomatoes on the Vine