Posts made in June, 2013

Herding Apricots

Posted by on Jun 28, 2013 in Desserts | 2 comments

Herding Apricots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have an apricot tree.  It is planted on a side yard next to our lovely Meyer lemon tree surrounded by fragrant lavender and blooming gardenias.

 

Apple Tree with Red Fruit Modern Asian Landscape Tapestry Throw

--Delectably Yours, Home Interiors and Decor

Adjacent to the apricot and lemon trees stands a Fuji apple espaliered against a wall like a Japanese tapestry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most years MP thins out the emerging fruit to secure more space on each branch.  This spring he skipped the thinning; and boy-oh-boy do we have apricots—lots of apricots.  Even after sharing fruit with birds, thieves, and neighbors we are on hourly apricot watch.

MP picked fruit every morning all week and has pounds blanched and vacuum packed before I open my eyes.

I know the most likely answer to this dilemma is to make jam but I don’t have the patience to boil jars and pack them.

Oh but wait…

Apricot Crostata is my kind of dish of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

The recipe for the pastry is on this post from last year.

http://cococooks.net/the-perfect-pie-crust/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of placing the pastry in a pie dish; roll it out on a parchment lined sheet pan.  

Seal the crust with egg wash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quarter the apricots and mix with sugar, cornstarch, salt,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lemon zest, and a squeeze of juice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pile the fruit into the center of the pastry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lift the border and pleat the pastry around the fruit; brush it with remaining egg wash; dot with butter.  For extra crunch you may sprinkle the top with raw sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pray

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

On my way out to herd apricots--wouldn't mini apricot crostata's be too, too divine?

Apricot Crostata

Ingredients

  • Pastry for a single pie
  • 1-1/2 pounds fresh apricots, pitted and quartered
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg yolk lightly beaten with a teaspoon of water
  • 1 Tablespoon Turbinado sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Roll pastry into a 12 inch circle. Brush the crust with egg wash.
  3. Combine apricots with sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pile the apricots into the center of the crust leaving a 2 inch border.
  4. Gently fold the border over the apricots pleating it to enclose the filling.
  5. Dot the top with butter, turbinado sugar, and brush the border with remaining egg wash.
  6. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. and bake an additional 15 minutes or until crust is golden and the fruit is bubbling.
  7. Allow to cool or serve at room temperature.
  8. Serves 6
  9. © Copyright 2013 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  10. All Rights Reserved
  11. http://cococooks.net/
http://cococooks.net/herding-apricots/

 

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White Peach Ballet

Posted by on Jun 26, 2013 in Side Dishes | 3 comments

White Peach Ballet

 

Let’s talk peaches.  Specifically; white peaches.

When I was a child my sister, Nancy and I spent a whole summer with my mother’s extended family in Shelby, Ohio.

Memories of that trip are countless and stay floating around; to go off suddenly in a splendid split second.

 

 

One favorite pastime for Grandpa Wilkinson, Aunt Wanda or Tom and Rosemary was to pile us in the car to “take a ride”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took enchanted road trips without a map; how sane is that?  Who knew what u-pick family farm might jut out around the big water tower outside a small town--way beyond the cornfields.

With the car windows open we wandered; slowed and lugged to the right.  I pulled myself to my knees, stretched, and turned. On the edge of the road; parked in dry dirt was the truck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was this the destination?

Etched in my remembrance is the first white peach I had ever seen. Piled high in a big box; the peaches lovingly sat in the summer sun on the tailgate.

 

 

twisted the embedded freestone from the unblemished creamy white and rosy Ohio peach.

 

 

 

Time stopped for a childhood millennium.  The honey-like peach melted away in my mouth while the juice ran down my chin.

More than 50 years later; the white peach legacy inspired me to grill the long remembered perfect blushing fruit with spring onions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled White Peach and Basil Salsa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy beginnings (the red pepper was fashionably late).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brush the olive oil over the entire surface and the skin side of the peach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set the peaches on the hot grill pan.  Don't be tempted to move them or they will stick.  When they release; turn them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the peaches grill; prep the other salsa ingredients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the skin side of the peach grills add the onions too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will adore the smoky sweetness in your kitchen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try really hard... really hard not to eat this.  Instead cube it up; slice the onion; chiffonade the basil and gently toss it with the red pepper mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you marry the sweet charred peaches with the aromatics in the bowl, the syrup is released.  It leaves another time and space where it ascends to a new dimension with oodles of layers.

Nancy and  I returned home from that summer adventure with chlorine induced fried green hair; outgrown dresses, and a bushel of untapped peach possibilities.

Do--try this.

--countryside photos from our Alpenglow walk last month.

Grilled Peach Salsa with Basil

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe but firm unblemished freestone peaches
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 spring onions, white and tender green parts
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ medium red pepper, ribs removed and minced
  • Juice of one lime
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • Jalapeno pepper, to taste (see note)

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill pan until very hot.
  2. Halve the peaches and discard the stone. Liberally oil the peach halves with olive oil; add salt and pepper. Place the peaches fruit side down and grill without moving until they release easily. Turn; reduce heat and add spring onions to grill alongside peaches. When fruit has softened and onions are tender remove to a plate.
  3. Meanwhile, combine red pepper with garlic, and jalapeno. Squeeze the lime juice over the mixture. Chop the peaches into ½ inch pieces; slice the onions and pile on top of the red pepper mixture. Stir to combine. Gently add the basil chiffonade and adjust seasonings.
  4. Makes about 2 cups
  5. Note:
  6. I often use pickled jalapeno slices. I found the heat to be predictable.
  7. © Copyright 2013 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  8. All Rights Reserved
  9. http://cococooks.net/
http://cococooks.net/white-peach-ballet/

 

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Stir Fry Methodology

Posted by on Jun 24, 2013 in Asian and Vegetarian | 2 comments

Stir Fry Methodology

MP and I are enjoying fresh creative tactics when buying Asian vegetables at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am learning how to rein myself in from buying too much!  Perhaps a new line of attack is for me to do the heavy lifting while he carries the coin purse.

Regardless, one year has passed; a full year of shopping locally (mostly) and seasonally.

We now know our favorite farmers and sweep the market accordingly.

Here is my basic method—having a good wok, sharp knives and a few key ingredients makes it a sure bet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I always begin with fresh garlic, ginger, green onions, and Sichuan peppercorns. The peppercorns are light and lemony with a unique bite that I have become quite fond of—a little goes a long way.

How much?  Begin with aromatics and add the vegetables you love.

If you want to add tofu, chicken, or meat; cook them first and set aside to add at the end.

Shrimp can be tumbled in at the end-to cook through.

 

4-5 scallions

2-3 cloves of garlic

2 inches of peeled chopped garlic

½ teaspoon crushed Sichuan peppercorns

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 big carrots sliced diagonally add sweetness and color.  Cook them adding a little water or broth until almost tender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I  picked up baby bok choy, Chinese and Japanese broccoli.

If the greens you have selected have thick stems; chop or slice the stem parts and add them to the carrots--saving the tender leaves to add in in a minute or two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the harder vegetables are tender crisp begin layering the vegetables into the wok.

 

 

It helps to cover the vegetables now and again to allow them to steam briefly.  That way the aromatics don’t get scorched and the bit of water or broth does the work; not more oil.

 

 

Sliced bok choy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the chopped leaves are stir fried together adding water or broth to allow the leaves to wilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost done.  Have  you set the table?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My stand-by mushroom of choice is the Shiitake.  When the more exotic and seasonal varieties arrive I buy trumpet or clusters of Oyster mushrooms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oyster mushrooms are large and need only a quick brushing.  I left them in fairly large chunks because they were so pretty!

The vegetables will give off liquid as they cook but keep the water or broth handily by your side. When the vegetables are tender and the mushrooms are cooked; make a well in the center where you will add a 1/2-3/4 cup of water or broth and the soy sauce factor.

To make the sauce combine;

 

2 Tablespoons each light soy sauce and rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

and a spicy element of choice. I use a big squirt of Sriracha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stir well; add cooked meats if you like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...with tofu and fresh buckwheat noodles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

...with scallops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or shrimp.

This blog post might be helpful too!

http://cococooks.net/choy-joy/

Try it and send me photos!

 

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Wood-fired Pizza and Karaoke on the Lake

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in New | 1 comment

Wood-fired Pizza and Karaoke on the Lake

Finley Point Grill, on the East Shore of Flathead Lake hosts Karaoke every Wednesday night.  Folks show up in the bitter cold of long Montana winters and now-- when the big doors open to the late summer nights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After devouring wood fired pizzas from my brother’s outdoor oven that Wednesday; we headed to mile marker 6-- zip line distance from his home above the lake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Locals arrive early to choose and rehearse tunes, work the crowd, gossip, and quietly bounce ideas around like deliberating dissidents’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One by one the regulars swaggered and sang through the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

Out from behind the bar; two talented girls took a break from serving up liquid courage specials to perform a duet of sorts.

I climbed out from under my rock to see these darlings sing, slap, and clap a duet of  The Cup Song adapted from the film, Pitch Perfect.

What a hoot and what an accomplishment!

 

 

Lunde girl power swept over me again—

I see them.

Uh-huh, Uh huh.

 

 

Two days later MP and I were home.

The swirl of end of school; summer’s comin’ parties and swim practice left the little Lunde’s scattered.  Izzy needed a place to land from 5:30 to 8 pm.

In the car

“Izzy, I asked with amazement, Have you heard of the Cup Song?”

She began clapping her hands; slapping her thighs and tossing her pony-tail.

“I got my ticket for the long way round

Two bottles of whiskey for the way

And I sure would like some sweet company

And I’m leaving tomorrow, what  do you say”

5:30 til' 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy your summer!

Click on the youtube link below and laugh with us...

bloopers included

MP edited

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kuw6T8be34I

xo coco

 

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Another June

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in New | 0 comments

Some days are driven by faith and persistence.

 

After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years;

he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.

Job 42:16 NIV

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