Posted on August 31, 2014
Kyoho grapes are softer than your average supermarket grape that is available year round, and more prone to damage. At best they will last a week before fermentation sets in. They are a Concord cross and have a wonderful, heady, jammy aroma. While they have seeds and I normally shy away from seeded grapes, when I first sampled the kyoho this week at my favorite farmer’s market I was so smitten I bought some, not caring that I would spend a bit of time slicing and seeding them.
These kyoho grapes are from Ha’s Apple Farm in Tehachapi, California, and are in markets for about a month a year, in the latest weeks of summer. Ha’s sells the grapes in 2 lb cartons, as well as a wonderful jam made from the grapes. Since I just last week made a fig/grape pie, I decided to go savory with these grapes and prepare a relish. I thought the flavor would pair well with the crunchy japanese cucumbers I had on hand, brightened with a little vinegar and lemon juice, and made earthy and nutty with walnut oil. I served the relish with some bratwurst, seared baby romaine lettuce, and red cabbage. Fantastic!
*This recipe is submitted to Simple and in Season, a monthly blog event I just discovered from Ren Behan’s fabulous food blog; this month her friend Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary is graciously hosting.
- 1 bunch Kyoho or Concord Grapes, halved and seeded
- 2 small seedless cucumbers
- Generous pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbps red wine vinegar
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tbps walnut or other rich nut oil
- Add grapes to cucumbers and season with salt and pepper. (You can prepare to this point and sprinkle with a little lemon juice and let sit for several hours if you need to).
- Add vinegar, lemon juice and walnut oil. Toss with a spoon and allow flavors to marinate for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour. Serve with meat, poultry or other main dish as a relish. Enjoy!
Posted on August 29, 2014
The french sandwich Croque Monsieur becomes a Madame when adorned with a fried egg. It is a very sensual and decadent sandwich, also quite messy to eat. I have turned the Madame into a Madame Crostini, making it somewhat easier to eat and a little less filling. While fried eggs with their runny yolk really make the crostini, for ease of preparation and if you are entertaining, you can adapt the recipe by preparing “soft” hard boiled eggs in advance and simply slicing them in half and placing them atop the bread slices. The béchamel sauce can be made in advance and kept at room temperature for a good while, too. For a french brunch, serve atop a frisee salad and pour over a warm bacon/vinegar/mustard shallot dressing!
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 sprig each thyme and tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 4 slices thick sourdough bread
- 4 slices canadian bacon or black forest ham
- 6 ounces Gruyere cheese (or 4 slices, diced), grated, divided
- Clarified butter, bacon fat, olive oil or nonstick spray
- 8 large eggs
- Preheat broiler.
- To make béchamel, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, but don’t let it turn brown. Add the milk and herbs and cook, stirring from time to time, about 10 minutes. Fish out the herb sprigs and transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Top each slice of bread with a slice of ham. Mix together 1/4 of the Gruyere cheese and the bechamel sauce. Taste for seasoning. Spread a little of the sauce on top of the ham and repeat with the other slices of bread.
- Heat two large cast iron or nonstick skillets and crack 4 eggs into each skillet. While the eggs cook, place the crostini under the broiler and broil until the top becomes golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Season the eggs with salt and top each crostini with 2 fried eggs. Enjoy!
Posted on August 29, 2014
This post has helped me organize my thoughts and goals for Sofia (at Papaya Pieces) and Patty‘s (Patty Nguyen) visit in September. I’m so excited! We’re packing a lot in, but since we’ll put Sofia on a plane right away to Europe, she can sleep off her exhaustion; Patty has to go back to a schoolroom full of . . . highschoolers, so I’m not so sure what we’ll do with her for her recovery. Read More
Posted on August 27, 2014
It wouldn’t be hard for you to guess the first meal I cooked for us upon our return from Oregon and countless meals of baked goods, berries, and hazelnuts, would it? No. A burger. Except I’m calling it Bifteck Haché, a name I quite like, thanks to a suggestion from Fitz. Indeed this was the perfect homecoming dish after a day that began by (1) Being rudely awakened to the sound of police helicopters for 2 hours; (2) the neighborhood cacophony of leaf blowers; (3) then what turned out to be a 2 hour trip to the post office to gather up our held mail, in which the elusive postal window man would periodically disappear and simply, smugly close his door to the line full of increasingly rageful customers, one of whom was yours truly. Read More
Posted on August 25, 2014
Fresh corn is truly one of summer’s treasures, and when it’s good, it needs little embellishment. Read More