HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

David Lebovitz' Summer Frangipane Fruit Tart


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        Picture your favorite summer stone fruit—cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, fresh apricots, pluots*-- sumptuously emerging from a rich almond cream, their colors a promise of their juicy interiors, a perfect summer pleasure in a perfect buttery crust and there you have it: A great dessert for a dinner party.  You can make the pastry crust the day before, refrigerate it and then use it at will.  And the Frangipane can also be made ahead of time.  So with minimal effort, the day of your party you can present your guests with a freshly made tart.   That’s David Lebovitz’ Summer Frangipane Fruit Tart. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Thomas Keller's Ratatouille

Chef Thomas Keller
         With the farm stands near us barely able to contain the bumper harvest from this glorious sunny summer in the Hamptons, it seems highly appropriate to bring you a great recipe for a vegetable feast.  And what says summer more than this Provençal classic, Ratatouille.  I first published this three years ago and it is so popular, I thought I'd share with you again. So here goes:             
          Thomas Keller, arguably the most influential chef in the country, recently wrote about Ratatouille in the Los Angeles Times.  He wasn’t talking about the 2008 movie of the same name, a fanciful food fable that won the Oscar that year for best Animated Feature.  He was referring to that summer classic that incorporates so many fresh vegetables your kitchen looks like you’ve robbed a farm stand.  What Chef Keller pointed out was how adaptable the dish is.  It starts out as a vegetable stew that’s an incomparable side dish or a vegetarian meal all by itself.
It is quite labor intensive so there’s no point in making a tiny batch of the stuff. Instead Chef Keller encourages making a recipe that yields 16 1 cup portions.  This, he points out, gives you the basis for any number of pasta sauces, a perfect soup base-- even a sandwich spread.  The one thing the dish requires, besides a cornucopia of fresh produce, is time.  The start to finish on the dish is 4 hours.  I’d say that actually errs on the short side. But a lot of that time is spent while the ratatouille sits in the oven reducing the liquid away until you’re left with beautifully tender vegetables in a thick, silken sauce.  So you can sit back and stir occasionally.  All that time is a perfect opportunity to re-view “Ratatouille”, the movie.  If you’re uninitiated to its charms, it’s the story of an ambitious young chef and, yes, a Rat who cook away in a Parisian restaurant.  And what foodie doesn’t want to revisit Paris?