Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Emeril's Farm to Fork Recipe Roundup
Emeril Lagasse's new book, Farm to Fork, is all about supporting your local farms and farmer's markets. In the introduction, Emeril talks about how he remembers his Dad taking him to farmer's markets as a child and how he continued to do so throughout his life and career as a chef. The book is broken down into fifteen chapters: The Herb Garden; Milk, Eggs, and Cheese; Leafy Greens; The Three Sisters: Corn, Beans, and Squash; Nightshades; Berries, Figs and Melons; The Orchard; Cole Crops: Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower; Thistles, Stalks and Pods; Roots, Shoots, Tubers, and Bulbs; Winter Fruits; From the Mill; Fresh Off The Dock; Out on the Range; and finally Home Economics: Preserving the Harvest.
Farm to Fork is a gorgeous new book and I love the way it is organized. The very first recipe that really got it's hooks into me was from the Home Economics chapter, Emeril's Peach Freezer Jam. I love, love, love peaches and I couldn't wait to make this one. I made a special trip to the Farmer's Market to get those delicious fresh Georgia Peaches that are brought in each weekend.
The peach freezer jam was flavored with almond extract and vanilla bean and I love that you can see all those gorgeous flecks of vanilla bean running through the jam. The peach jam was delicious on a homemade biscuit and I can't wait to try it over ice cream, pancakes, or anything else for that matter. The recipe made 8 half-pint jars which I will be really happy to have this winter.
For my Dad, who loves hot sauce, I made Emeril's Homemade Hot Sauce, also from the Home Economics chapter. I used a mix of Fresno chiles, Jalapenos and Serrano peppers all grown from my Mom's garden. The chiles are cooked until they blister or blacken and then mixed with garlic, thinly sliced onions, carrots, cilantro and white vinegar. The final product was not a very appealing color, BUT man oh man was it hot! My Dad loved it!
As an appetizer for our Sunday Dinner, I made Emeril's Garden Celery with Homemade Pimento Cheese, from the Thistles, Stalks and Pods Chapter. Holy cow was this stuff good! I think it is my favorite recipe for pimento cheese ever! Sharp cheddar cheese is grated and allowed to come to room temperature. Homemade mayo, minced roasted red pepper, grated red onion, cayenne pepper, and Louisiana hot sauce are mixed into the cheese to create the tastiest cheese dip ever. Nobody wanted to quit eating it. It had a wonderful spicy flavor and paired well with both the celery and crackers. This is going to be my new go-to recipe. I highly recommend it and will list the recipe at the bottom of this post.
Also from the Thistles, Stalks and Pods Chapter, I made Emeril's Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp. The crisp was fragrant with cinnamon and nutmeg and smelled heavenly while baking. It was the perfect dessert to celebrate fresh summer produce and everyone loved it.
With chives from my garden I made Emeril's Chive Oil. This was my first attempt at making any flavored oil and it was a very sensory experience. The scent of chives and the gorgeous green color of the oil....who knew making herb oils was so much fun?
From the Milk, Eggs and Cheese Chapter, I made Emeril's Shirred Eggs. A slice of ham is placed inside a ramekin, topped with two eggs and baked for ten minutes. The eggs are then sprinkled with swiss cheese and herbs and baked again until the desired doneness. I really like that the ramekin remains hot, which keeps the eggs hot while serving. This would be a great breakfast/brunch to serve to company.
I'm not a fan of runny eggs, so I baked mine until the yolks were cooked through. I enjoyed my shirred eggs with a drizzle of the chive oil. Delicious!
This is a wonderful book with lots of great recipes highlighting the use of local and fresh produce.
Recipes still bookmarked are:
Spiced Zucchini Bread
Spiced Blackberry Soup with Caramelized Peaches and Candied Almonds
Curry-Scented Roasted Cauliflower
Fried Chicken and Buttermilk Waffles with Black Pepper Maple Syrup and Whipped Vanilla Butter
..........and Homemade Mustard
If you like cheese at all, please make this Pimento Cheese. Enjoy it with veggies and crackers, make a sandwich with it, or top a burger with it. It is heavenly!!
Garden Celery with Homemade Pimento Cheese
Makes about 1-1/2 cups pimento cheese
6 appetizer servings (can be doubled easily)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated, at room temp (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup Emeril's Homemade Mayo (use any mayo)
1/2 cup minced roasted red bell pepper (about 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and minced)
2 teaspoons grated red onion
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste (be careful not to add too much salt)
1/4 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 celery stalks, ends trimmed and any fibrous strings removed, cut into thin batons for dipping, chilled
Combine all the ingredients except the celery in a medium bowl, and stir to blend well. Refrigerate until slightly chilled. (The pimento cheese can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; allow it to warm up slightly before serving).
Serve the pimento cheese in small bowls, garnished with the celery batons for dipping.
Note: Never eat pimento cheese while it is cold!! It is no good when it still has a chill to it.
I am submitting this to my friend girlichef who is a co-host for the wonderful Two for Tuesdays event.