Saturday, November 28, 2015

Cherry Pie Filling from Frozen Cherries

I have always made cherry and berry pies with frozen fruit, not precooked, and they always come out runny. This year I decided I would try cooking the cherry filling ahead of time. It was a bit of extra work, but since I had time, it was totally worth it. This resulted the best cherry pie I have ever made.

3 lbs frozen sour cherries, pitted and thawed (retain the juice)
3/4 cup sugar (more if desired)
1/3 cup corn starch

Allow the cherries to thaw completely. Drain off the juice and reserve it.

In a Dutch oven, combine the cherry juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring well, until the sugar and cornstarch are totally dissolved and the mixture reduces and thickens substantially. Stir in the cherries and remove from heat.

To make pie, fill pie shell with the mixture and top as desired; bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees followed by 40-50 more minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes enough for one relatively deep 9-inch pie.

Parmesan Thyme Roasted Cauliflower

I'm not usually a cauliflower person, but this is excellent. Roasting makes cauliflower deeply flavorful, and the Parmesan and thyme add additional savory layers. (Note that the cauliflower in the photo looks quite dark because I used purple cauliflower. If you use the white kind, it should be nicely browned in places but not dark.)

1 lb cauliflower, cut up
3 Tbsp walnut oil
Salt and pepper
2-3 Tbsp grated Parmesan
A sprinkling of dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the cauliflower in a bowl with the other ingredients and make sure it is well coated. Spread it out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork. Serve hot.

Serves 3-4.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Grilled Scallions

Grilling in November - what? But here we are, it was over 70 today and the rest of the week is supposed to be beautiful as well. So, grilling. The biggest challenge was seeing the grill in the dark...

As for scallions, well, they are one of the few fresh vegetables left in the garden - though local shiitakes still seem to be available as well and are always excellent on the grill. In the spring I made grilled ramps and loved them so much that I had been meaning to try scallions. I finally got around to it. I served these with Romesco Sauce (which I have a stash of in the freezer), but pesto (which I also have a stash of) would also be great.

5-6 large scallions per person
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Romesco sauce, pesto, or other topping of your choice

Cut the roots of the scallions and trim the green part so they end up around 12 inches (shorter is okay if you have smaller scallions).

Spread the trimmed scallions in a single layer in a baking dish or large plate. Brush or spray all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill over medium-high heat for about 1 minute per side (check after 30 seconds if you have thin-ish scallions). When browned nicely in places and floppy, they are done.

Serve hot. Pass sauce at the table.