HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Amanda Hesser. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amanda Hesser. Show all posts

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Leftover Lessons: "Greek" Lamb with Orzo or Orecchiette

"Greek" Lamb with Orzo
"Greek" Lamb with Oricchiette
        
Amanda (l.) and Merrill (r.)
Food 52 is a food ‘community’ headed by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs.  Amanda is likely most famous from having edited the Essential New York Times Cookbook, the 2010 revision of the original New York Times Cookbook.  Since she was following in the footsteps of none other than Craig Clairborne, it was some task.  I personally was very pleased to see that Ms. Hesser included the recipe for Monte’s Ham, which first appeared in the Times in 1998.  Food52 has a vibrant on-line recipe share to which bloggers and home cooks from all over contribute.         

Some months ago, I was intrigued by a post for a Lamb dish which topped a bed of lemon-flavored Orzo.  The dish came from a Food52 contributer who signs herself ‘Fiveandspice’ (www.fiveandspice.com).  Along with the recipe came the story of its origins. Fiveandspice’s Mother had seen it in a magazine and incorporated it into her family’s bill of fare.  Since the family was good solid Norwegian stock living in Minnesota, the original "Greek" Lamb with Orzo provided quite a contrast to their usual Norwegian meatballs and fish cakes. I'm not sure my friend Phillip, whose background and cooking is authentically Greek, would attach a Greek flag to the original recipe, but in Minnesota it was positively Pelopponesian. And remained so until Fiveandspice encountered April Bloomfield’s recipe for lamb meatballs in a spicy sauce.  I can always endorse anything Chef Bloomfield does with lamb—see http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2010/04/visit-to-april-bloomfields-breslin-and.html.  What Fiveandspice did was to revisit her Mother’s recipe incorporating both Chef Bloomfield’s techniques and, I would say, ingredients.  I’d been waiting for the weather to call for heartier dishes and this winter has over delivered on cold, snow, ice and the overwhelming desire to stay indoors until, say, April.  So I set out to make Fiveandspice’s Lamb with Orzo.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Braised Chicken with Garlic Scape Puree




Garlic Scapes
         My friend June, an avid reader of Chewing the Fat, sent me a message recently because she simply could not find an ingredient in one of our recipes. She went to four different stores looking for something I could have bought at four different places in my neighborhood.  In hers, however, Cremini Mushrooms were a no go.  Her request was that I inform my readers of a substitute—which in the case of the missing mushrooms was “white button mushrooms”.  So today, while I introduce you to an incredibly delicious combination of tender chicken, light as air potatoes flavored with garlic and topped with fresh green garlic scapes, I’ll tell you straight from the start: If you can’t find garlic scapes, use a bunch of Scallions instead.  But, if you can find the scapes, by all means use them.  They’re another reason to welcome Spring and the return of fresh produce to the Farmer’s Market.
60,000 shoppers visit the Farmer's Market
at Union Square every Saturday in season.
            Garlic itself is no stranger to most kitchens.  The bulb can be used in dozens of dishes.  But in earliest Spring, the stalk of the plant , the scape, contains a wonderfully mild garlic flavor, never as pungent as the full grown bulb. The garlic scape serves as the stem from which the seed head of the garlic bulb is formed. As the bulb begins to grow and mature, garlic scapes begin to lengthen and curve. Early in the growing cycle, the garlic scape is relatively tender, making it ideal for use as an ingredient to cook with.  As the plant continues to grow, the scape gradually begins to straighten, creating more support for the bulb. And it becomes far too tough to be usable.  And last week at the Union Square Farmer’s Market in New York, the short-lived scape was at its peak.  I couldn’t’ wait to take them home.  But I had no idea what to do with them.