HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ina Garten's Ode to Marcella Hazan: Sicillian Grilled Swordfish and Ina's recipe for Confetti Corn

        
Victor and Marcella Hazan
There is a sad anniversary this week.  It’s been a year since the world lost Marcella Hazan, that wonderfully giving Italian food prophet with whom I struck up a friendship over the internet.  Fortunately, when you are as good as Marcella, your presence in the kitchen will not go with you.  And fortunately too, Marcella’s partner in life and in the kitchen, Victor Hazan, has kept Marcella's memory most alive for fans and friends on her Facebook
page. By complete coincidence, when I was poking around for a recipe for swordfish, what should appear before me but Ina Garten’s Sicillian Grilled Swordfish recipe which Ina said was inspired by Marcella. I found it in Ina’s “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof” (Clarkson Potter 2012).  This recipe certainly keeps up with the title of the book. It’s one of the easiest things I have cooked all summer.   It might take all of 15 minutes to put together.  And it delivers such fresh and full flavor that I wanted to share it with you.  And since we may be heading into the end of corn season, I wanted to also share an Ina recipe for Confetti Corn.  It’s appeared here before. But it is perfect with this dish.        

Monday, September 15, 2014

Three Great Additions to your Fall Cheese Boards: Sweet and Savory Bacon Jam, Fromage Fort and Toasted Walnuts and Raisins

 Top Left: Sweet and Savory Bacon Jam.  Center: Toasted Walnuts and Raisins
Right: Fromage Fort 
        
Simplicity itself: Toasted Walnuts and Raisins
Fromage Fort with Garlic and Pepper 
I am always on the look-out for ways to freshen the tried and true.   And as the temperature drops in the East, and entertaining moves indoors, Andrew and I love to put out a big platter of cheese and grapes, crackers and biscuits for our guests.  If you do it right, it not only stems those pre-dinner pangs of hunger, it looks gorgeous on your table.  But our cheese platters inevitably leave us with bits and pieces of various cheeses.  There’s leftover Brie, a morsel of hard cheese like Manchego and, if I fish around in the cheese drawer, I can usually come up with some mozzarella that’s too big to throw away or some gruyere that’s too good to do so.  I remembered reading about what the French do with the odds and ends and so I went on a quick and found the recipe for Fromage Fort. It’s so thrifty, I could practically hear my mother applauding from heaven.  And what a way to meld all these flavors together and get something completely new:  A wonderful spreadable cheese, rich in garlic and pepper.   So I had a new anchor for our cheese selection. At a recent cocktail party, my clever host, Huey, had simply combined some really good raisins with some toasted walnuts.  Nothing could be simpler or more satisfying. But my new discoveries didn’t end there.   I was confronted with a recipe I’d been wanting to try since forever.   It was for Sweet and Savory Bacon Jam.