Posts Tagged ‘wye mill’

At Market: Apple Sausage Skillet Cornbread

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you it’s officially apple season at the markets. Honeycrisps, gala, rambo, winesap, mutsu, braeburn, pink lady… — you may not find these names at the grocery store, but our local farmers markets offer an amazing variety of vintage varieties. And of course, we’ve been to orchards — picking at Crooked Run (Purcellville, Va.) and to the pumpkin patch at Butler’s Orchard (Germantown, Md.), where we picked up our most recent batch of honeycrisps.

Now that the weather is officially cold, there are few more comforting side dishes than skillet cornbread. Fortify it with (not-so-local) sausage and some of those apples, and it becomes practically a meal in itself. The base for this comes from a recipe recommended by Kristina at Tennessee Locavore. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my time living “in the South,” it’s to trust a Southerner when it comes to cornbread. The recipe comes from Crescent Dragonwagon, who has authored an entire cookbook on cornbread — so if you’re looking for more ways to play with cornmeal, you might find inspiration there.

Recipe: Apple Sausage Skillet Cornbread
Adapted from Dairy Hollow House Skillet-Sizzled Cornbread in Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon

Ingredients:

2 links sausage,* such as Italian or chorizo
1 cup apple, diced
1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, break the egg and add buttermilk and oil, whisking to combine. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until the dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in apples. Set batter aside.

Heat skillet over medium high heat and cook sausage, breaking apart with your spoon, until browned. Spread cooked sausage evenly around the pan, and pour batter into the hot pan over the sausage. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until top is golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings. Top with a little butter and maple syrup, and enjoy!

* Note: I actually used a chunk of Soppressata di Calabria from Boccalone in San Francisco, diced small — but the husband thought the chunks were a little too chewy after being double-cooked. Next time I’ll stick with the fresh sausage.

What have you made with apples lately? Be sure to join in for Kids Cook Book Soup if you’ve made something apple-licious with your kids!

At Market: Squash Blossom Succotash (and get ready for Farmers Market Week!)

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

July at the Markets: Summer harvest is in full stride now at the Alexandria/DC markets, with sweet corn, summer squash, and the first heirloom tomatoes making their debut. Blueberries and raspberries will soon be gone, and early varieties of apples are already turning up.

I intended to make Oyamel’s squash blossom soup with my recent market bounty, but instead decided to make a succotash to fill some buckwheat crepes. Sort of a repeat of last summer’s Chesapeake Crepes, with the addition of okra and the blossoms. I picked up okra and multicolored jalapeños at Sunday’s West End Alexandria Market, and the squash blossoms I scored two-for-one from Westmoreland Berry Farm as it was getting close to closing time. The bicolor sweet corn came from Long Meadow Farm at last Wednesday’s King Street Market.

Cooking with squash blossoms: Sure squash blossoms look pretty and have a heady sweet fragrance that screams summer, but are you wondering what to actually do with them? They have a mild flavor that benefits from a simple preparation – stuffed with goat cheese or ricotta and quickly fried is a classic Italian dish, but you can also use them in soups or other dishes more like an herb. The blossoms are very delicate and are best used the day of purchase. If you don’t get to them that day, be sure to put them in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook them, pull the flower open gently to avoid ripping and be on the lookout for little, uh, critters (the downside of buying organic) while you pinch and gently remove the stamen. Then carefully fill and fry or bake for stuffed blossoms, or slice them up for this recipe.

Recipe: Squash Blossom Succotash

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ears corn, kernels removed
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pint okra, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 4 squash blossoms, thinly sliced
  • 4 leaves basil, torn
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions: Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add corn and jalapeño and cook several minutes. Increase heat to medium high and add okra. Cook 3-4 minutes until corn is beginning to brown and okra is just tender. Stir in tomato, squash blossoms and basil and cook 1 additional minute, then remove from heat. Sprinkle with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.

To make crepes: prepare buckwheat crepe batter and cook crepes on one side. Flip and sprinkle cooked side with grated cheddar cheese and a large spoonful of succotash. Cook about a minute and fold, then remove from heat. I folded the toddler’s in half like a quesadilla. He doesn’t usually eat tomatoes and had never eaten okra, but he devoured this and asked for more. I have to give credit to Mr. Tom’s cheese, it makes everything go down easier. Enjoy!

More squash blossom recipes:

Farmers Market Week is coming! National Farmers Market Week begins Sunday, August 2. Visit a farmers market near you and let me know what’s new! See something unusual? Ask here and I’ll tell you what to do with it.

Bourbon Cherry Cobbler

Friday, July 10th, 2009

old wye mill mdA Southern Cherry Cobbler Recipe: The sour cherries we bought from Toigo last weekend went into a July 4th cobbler. I started with a recipe from 101 Cookbooks, the wonderful blog whose author is also responsible for the “Super Natural Recipe Search” button you may have noticed over on my left sidebar. I made a few additions — bourbon and corn meal — for a Southern twist. And the boy gets the credit for the blueberry polka dots, his contribution to create the requisite red, white and blue color scheme.

The corn meal, which is actual organic, local corn meal grown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and milled once a month at the Historic Wye Mill, is a fairly course grind so I pulsed it in a food processor with a pinch of tapioca starch to make more of a corn flour. I found the bourbon flavor more pronounced the next day, and you can certainly omit the bourbon for a more sober dessert.

Recipe: Bourbon Cherry Cobbler
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

toigo sour cherries

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups sour cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or organic corn starch)
  • 1/3 cup corn meal, finely ground
  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup organic buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon fair-trade bourbon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons organic butter, melted and cooled

Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie pan and set aside. Gently toss together cherries, bourbon, starch and sugar in a bowl and set aside. Whisk together remaining dry ingredients. Separately, gently beat egg and combine with vanilla, buttermilk and butter. Stir into dry ingredients until just combined. Pour cherries into pie pan and dot with dollops of batter by the tablespoon, leaving a few gaps in between. (Optional, dot topping with blueberries or additional cherries.) Bake 20-22 minutes, until cherry liquid bubbles up and topping is lightly golden. Enjoy!

foodietot makes cherry cobbler

Farms of Origin: Toigo Orchard, PA (cherries), Westmoreland Berry Farms, VA (blueberries, hand-picked), Wye Mill, MD (organic corn meal), and a local egg from Tom the Cheese Guy, PA.