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Recipe: Late Summer Farm Risotto

One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Jenn So, director of programs at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

This Late Summer Risotto is the perfect recipe for those cool summer evenings that transition us into fall. The warm and creamy risotto is punctuated with crunchy bits of peppers and zucchini, while the fresh tomatoes add a bright, acidic contrast to the Parmesan. It is truly a beautiful dish that highlights the bounty of late summer or early autumn. The consistency of the finished dish should be “all’onda” or “wavy,” which speaks to the ripples that the risotto should evoke when you tilt your plate.

Late Summer Farm Risotto
Serves 4-6

3 tablespoon olive oil
6+ cups vegetable stock
1 onion (small dice)
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 medium zucchini (small dice)
1 bell pepper (small dice)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt
Pepper
3 tablespoons fresh chives and basil (chopped)

1. Heat stock.
2. In a pan sauté tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini.
3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in large saucepan. Sweat onion until tender (about 5 minutes).
4. Add rice and sauté until grains are coated with oil. Add two ladles of stock and a pinch of salt and pepper.
5. Continue to add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring frequently. Allow stock to absorb into rice each time, before adding more.
6. After cooking rice for 15 minutes, add sautéed vegetables and tomatoes.  Continue to cook until rice is cooked through, but still al dente (about 18 min).
7. Remove from heat and fold in butter, cheese, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Consistency should be “all’onda” or wavy, and it speaks to the perfect risotto soft and loose texture, so if you tilt the plate the risotto ripples in waves.

 

 

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/25/16 at 11:29 AM • Permalink

Recipe: Orecchiette With Broccoli And Sausage

One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Julie Cerny, farm education director and garden manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

Never have I tasted a finer combination of broccoli and pasta than in this dish. The sweet and salty of the Italian sausage and the spiciness of the chili make it full of flavor and give it a nice kick too. As a bonus, it’s incredibly quick and easy to prepare and clean up. One might be tempted to add some fresh tomatoes, which we won’t totally discourage. However, the recipe stands alone so nicely, that we would instead encourage you to prepare a side dish of tomato salad or bruschetta made with heirloom tomatoes like Brandywine, Cherokee Purple or Upstate Oxheart, along with fresh mozzarella and Genovese basil. Enjoy September’s harvest!

Orecchiette With Broccoli And Sausage
Serves 5-6

1 lb. orecchiette
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves
1 pound broccoli florets
1 teaspoon salt
1 chili pepper
2 anchovies (optional)
1 cup Pecorino Romano (or Parmigiano Reggiano)

Directions:
1. Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling salted water until tender and reserve the water for boiling the pasta.
2. In a large skillet heat the olive oil, add the anchovies, and cook the sausage that has been removed from its casing until nicely browned. Degrease if necessary.
3. Add the garlic, the diced chili pepper, the blanched broccoli and heat for about 5 minutes.
4. Cook the orecchiette according to the box directions.
5. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet along with ½ cup of the pasta water.
6. Add Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmigiano) and serve.

 

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/12/16 at 02:35 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Rosemary Garlic Focaccia Bread

If you’re in the Berkshires and need to meet with someone, in a place where you can get a nice pastry and coffee or a local/organic/homemade meal in a convivial (and wired) setting, where do you go? Very likely, it’ll be one of the two Haven Café and Bakery locations (Lenox and Great Barrington, Mass.), which are favorites on just about everyone’s list. The cafes’ motto is “Taste the Love,” and you really can. Executive Chef Matt Schweitzer shares the recipes of some of Haven’s tastiest offerings with Rural Intelligence readers.

It’s been a long, hot summer, and we at Haven have been winding down from a successful first season of “Haven at the Pillow,” (Jacob’s Pillow, that is). All summer, we had our ovens full of delicious new recipes and our bakery case packed with luscious desserts. This recipe is the first of many wonderful new creations Chef Matt had on the menu. We served the focaccia with fresh greens and fish, alongside garden-picked heirloom tomatoes and, last but not least, as a favorite “family meal” treat for staff at the end of the night. Drizzled with olive oil, it’s a treat anytime on its own. Enjoy!

Rosemary Garlic Focaccia Bread

3/4 tbs. active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup garlic, chopped
3/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
6 cups organic bread flour
3 tbs. organic honey
3 tbs. kosher salt, more for finish
2 tbs. olive oil, more for rising bowl and finish
4-6 cups water

1. Place warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water and set aside.

2. In a small skillet, sauté the garlic and rosemary just until the garlic starts to brown. Set aside to cool.

3. In a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, combine flour, honey, olive oil, salt and enough water for the dough to be pliable but not watery. Add the garlic, rosemary and yeast mixture.

4. Prepare a medium-sized deep plastic bucket or bowl with a thin coating of oil.

5. Mix the dough for 11 minutes. Remove from mixer and place into the bucket. Cover, and allow to rise in a warm spot for one hour. 

6. Fold the dough into itself and place back into the bucket. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator overnight.

7. In the morning, place the dough on an oiled baking sheet and roll out flat. Let rest and rise at room temperature for one hour.

8. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350. Using a fork, poke holes in the top of the dough. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.

9.  Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Drizzle with additional olive oil and salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/05/16 at 02:11 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Pasta With Cherry Tomato Sauce

One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Julie Cerny, farm education director and garden manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

Sometimes, if I listen very very closely, I feel like I can hear tomatoes ripening. During late summer, the amount ready to be harvested and gobbled up in the garden can be tremendous…and overwhelming. So sometimes, we need to get back to basics. This simple tomato sauce is transformative — it allows the tomatoes to do the talking, and you can taste each ray of sunshine they absorbed coating your pasta of choice. We chose farfalle pasta for several reasons, the preeminent being the immediate giggle that arrives from our students after saying it, followed closely by how the sauce nestles into its nooks, and lastly, how the shape reminds us of the butterflies fluttering across blooming meadows. If you’re still dazed with the onslaught of unremitting zucchini, whip out a spiralizer or mandolin and this sauce will pair perfectly with zoodles too. Make it your own, but always make sure you let the tomatoes talk—they’ve got a lot to say.

Pasta with Cherry Tomato Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients for the pasta:
4 cups farfalle or rotini pasta
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Ingredients for the sauce:
Yield: About 4 cups sauce
4 pounds tomatoes (cherry, heirloom, whatever you or your farmer has!)
¼ cup olive oil
Small onion
2 to 3 small cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
Slivers of fresh basil, to finish

1. Chop onion in small dice and mince garlic.

2. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic. Add the tomatoes split in half and simmer for about 15 minutes.

3. Add the basil and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

4. Cook your favorite shape of pasta in salted water (1 lb of pasta in 1 gal of water) to an al dente consistency and toss in the pan with a desired amount of sauce. Coat well adding some of the boiling water if too dry. Top with Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/29/16 at 10:57 AM • Permalink

Recipe: Egg In A Cornhole Muffin

This is a recipe I used to make at the bakery/coffee shop I was baking for in Brooklyn just before my husband and I left to move up to the beautiful northwest corner. I tried it a couple of times in the bakery once we took over, but I think it was a little too wacky for us back then — we were still transitioning from old owners, and I don’t think it quite fit in with what we’re doing. Now I bake corn muffins every morning and people absolutely love them, and I’ve been toying with the idea of trying this out again — it’s such a great all-in-one breakfast, and people are always wowed by the concept the first time they see them. This is a different cornbread recipe than the one I make every day — it’s a little thicker so that it will hold its own against the boiled eggs.  —Audrey Leary, Blackberry River Baking Co.

Egg in a Cornhole Muffins
Makes 6-8 large muffins

2 cups flour
2 cups cornmeal (I prefer to use a stone-ground one for some texture, but anything will work.)
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups sour cream
1 cup browned butter (I put butter in a cake pan and stick it in a pre-heating oven, then pull it out once it’s browned and fragrant.)
4 eggs
6-8 boiled eggs (I like to aim for soft boiled so the yolk is still a little runny, but cook to your preference), cooled and peeled
paprika, mustard powder, grated cheese and sea salt flakes (optional, to garnish)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Separately, mix together sour cream, browned butter and eggs — if the butter is still hot, mix it with the sour cream first so that the eggs don’t scramble when you whisk them in. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, stopping as soon as combined.

2. Get some jumbo muffin cups and a jumbo cupcake tin, or alternately (as we do at the bakery) some small pannetone molds. Drop a heaping spoonful of the corn batter in, about 1/3 of the way up the cup, and then place a hard-boiled egg on top, right in the middle. It helps if the egg has been toweled off so that it’s very dry on the outside. Take another heaping spoonful of the cornbread batter and place it on top, using your fingers to push it down the sides of the egg and carefully covering the top of the egg. Repeat, then top all of the muffins with your choice of garnish (I use mustard powder and paprika for a little spice and color, grated Parmesan for a cheesy crunch and salt because, you know, salt.)

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until the muffins have risen, browned and feel firm to the touch. Cut them in half while still hot and enjoy! I served these with sriracha butter. They’re also great for the next couple of days, grilled and buttered, and make an awesome breakfast on-the-go.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/22/16 at 04:30 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Summer Herb Tabbouleh

One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Julie Cerny, farm education director and garden manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

It has been hot. We’re all feeling it. Tabbouleh is a great recipe for hot days, requiring only minimal time near the stove while also employing the cooling effects of cucumbers and parsley. Add in some diced red onion to build on the bite of the green onions if you want more of a kick. Or, if you want to toss in more herbs, we suggest purple basil; both the flavor and color are complimentary.

Summer Herb Tabbouleh
Serves 4 to 6

2 cups bulgur wheat
4 cups water
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs. lemon juice
1½ tbs. honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup chives chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup diced fresh tomatoes
¼ cup diced cucumbers

1. Add 2 cups bulgur to 4 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 12—15 minutes or until tender. Drain off excess liquid. Makes 4 to 5 cups cooked bulgur.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey and ½ tsp. salt until the honey and salt dissolve. Whisk in the olive oil. Add minced garlic.

3. Pour the oil mixture over the bulgur. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, chives, green onions and parsley, and toss well. Season with pepper, then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and serve.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/16/16 at 10:08 AM • Permalink

Recipe: Spicy Scallop Ceviche

Customers often ask me what I like to bake at home, and the answer, truthfully, is nothing; I love to bake, but I certainly get my fill at the bakery (and it’s so much more enjoyable when there’s someone else to do your dishes!). I do, however, love to cook, and cook dinner for my husband and myself nearly every night.

This is more of an appetizer than an entree, but served with a salad or another side it makes a great dinner, and it’s perfect for these dog days of summer. It’s bright tasting and cool, and there’s no need to turn on your oven. Scallops can be subbed out for shrimp or ahi tuna if you prefer. —Audrey Leary, Blackberry River Baking Co.

Spicy Scallop Ceviche

3/4 lb fresh bay scallops
1 peach
1 jalepeño
1 red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 avocado
1 lime
Salt to taste
Tortilla or plantain chips, for serving

Dice all fruit and veggies into small cubes; reserve the lime. (Scrape the cherry tomatoes of their seeds and juice, as much as possible.)

Place them in a bowl and cut the lime in half and squeeze all its juice over the diced veggies.

Cut the scallops into small cubes and add to the mixture; mix well, ensuring that the scallops are covered with lime juice. Add salt and cover; refrigerate for at least two hours. The scallops will go from being a kind of translucent beige to a very opaque white when ready. Serve with chips.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/08/16 at 06:02 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Summer Squash And Scallion Quesadillas

One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Julie Cerny, farm education director and garden manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

I like keeping some tortillas in the house – it means I’m never far away from a quesadilla. In July and August, when you’re swimming in summer squash, this recipe is an excellent outlet. Take advantage of grilling season by slicing the squash long and about ¼” thick, rubbing a little olive oil, salt and pepper on it, and carefully firing it on the grill until a few spots start to blacken. If you love that grilled vegetable flavor as much as I do, you’ll want to grill the scallions too. After grilling, go ahead and cut the veggies into quesadilla appropriate sizes.

If you can get your hands on some garlic chives (a very easy to grow and delicious perennial, by the way), add them to your mix of chopped herbs. Make a couple of extra quesadillas to throw in the fridge for your next snack attack. They reheat very nicely in a toaster oven or a cast-iron skillet.

Summer Squash And Scallion Quesadillas
Makes four 9” quesadillas

2 medium summer squash, julienned or grated
1 medium scallion, julienned
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
¼ cup basil, oregano, chives chopped
½ cup arugula
(8) 9” flour tortillas
Extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium-high and add a drizzle of oil. Add scallion and cook for 2 minutes, or until translucent. Add summer squash and arugula and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until just tender. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Heat another large non-stick skillet to medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. Place one flour tortilla into pan and sprinkle with ¼ cup of cheese, ¼ of the onion and squash mixture, and a sprinkle of the chopped herbs. Place another flour tortilla on top. When the bottom tortilla is crispy and golden brown and the cheese has melted, use a spatula to flip the quesadilla over. Cook until this side is also golden brown and crispy.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/31/16 at 11:48 AM • Permalink

Recipe: Savory Scones

These are something I make occasionally on weekends, as inspiration strikes; they are a fun way to make a favorite dish into a portable, handheld form. I’ve made red flannel hash, green eggs and ham, bacon and cheddar, and biscuits and gravy versions of these scones, and they are all delicious! They are definitely best warm from the oven, but they’ll keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two — just pop them in a warm oven for a few minutes and they’ll be as good as new. —Audrey Leary, Blackberry River Baking Co.

Savory Scones
Yields 9 scones

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 T bread flour
1 T baking powder
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
2 oz. butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1 cup fillings of your choice — chopped, cooked veggies; cheese; cooked meats; etc.
Enough cream to bring it together as a dough (approximately two cups, depending on the fillings you use)
1 egg, beaten with salt
Cream
Salt and pepper (or whatever you care to top them with)

Dump the flours, powder, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor; pulse, then add the butter and pulse until the chunks are pea-sized throughout the mixture. Transfer to a big mixing bowl, then add the fillings and use your hands to coat them all in the dough. Add cream, and gently mix with your hands just until it comes together as a biscuity dough.

Dust a bit of flour on your work surface, and dump the dough out; pat it into a large square, about an inch high, and cut it into 9 pieces. Place on a sheet pan, brush with the egg/cream mixture and top with salt and pepper, an herb, a small veggie, or whatever you care to. (Hint: I try to use an item in the scone to help identify it.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or so, until golden brown and a tester inserted comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

Have fun with the fillings. Just pay attention to the dough, and be careful not to add too much butter or cream. If I use a lot of bacon, for example, and use the rendered fat in the scones, I cut back on the butter.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/23/16 at 01:58 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Vegetable Fried Rice

One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Julie Cerny, farm education director and garden manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

Every season is the perfect season for Vegetable Fried Rice. It’s a great way to “upcycle” miscellaneous types, as well as odd portions, of veggies. And it happens to be a recipe that kids, as well as adults, almost always enjoy — you can choose whichever vegetables you like best. You can also modify the recipe and use quinoa instead of rice if you feel like mixing things up a bit, and feel free to adjust the soy sauce and sesame oil to your liking.

Vegetable Fried Rice
Serves 4-6

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
½ cup scallions
5 cups assorted vegetables, washed and chopped, herbs
1 cup frozen baby peas
5 cups cold cooked rice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
5 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup soy sauce
Salt and pepper

1. In a large heavy bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook for 30 seconds. 

2. Add all of the vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes, until done but still a little crisp. Add the peas, rice and sesame oil, and stir to combine. 

3. When the rice is hot, add eggs and soy sauce, cooking until the eggs are dry. 

4. Season with salt and pepper.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/18/16 at 06:54 PM • Permalink