Saturday, August 5, 2017

Farm to Table at Highfield Hall and Gardens

 There have been some requests for the recipes from the Farm to Table class I was asked to teach at Highfield Hall and Gardens*, the restored mansion and gardens that was once a summer retreat for the illustrious Beebe family.  It's former gardens now thriving and original stunning home welcomes visitors to to view art, listen to music and taste delectable foods as well as many other forms of entertainment and education.  Gail Blakely, Culinary Director and longtime food columnist for our local Falmouth paper, The Falmouth Enterprise, invited me to join in the fun for two classes featuring seasonal produce where I got to also answer lots of questions about growing up in Falmouth, specifically at 540 Old Meeting House road where I learned pretty much everything that shows up on this blog thanks to Val and Dick.  You may know these two as my parents as they are featured prominently in all my stories.
  Some of these recipes have been adapted from famous cooks and bloggers.  Some are my own and some are from Val's recipe file.  All of them are easy and delicious crowd pleasers.  This is the perfect time to make them as the summer bounty of zucchini, green beans, cucumbers and fresh berries is upon us now in the middle of July and August here on Cape Cod.


Notes from Val’s Kitchen Recipes

Minty Peach Sangria
Makes about 10 cups

1 (750 milliliter) bottle rose wine
¾ cup vodka
¾ cup peach nectar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 ripe peaches
1 small package fresh raspberries
2 cups club soda or seltzer, chilled
1 pint peach or raspberry sorbet
Fresh mint leaves (about 2-3 full stems) for garnish

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large pitcher.  Add peaches and raspberries.  Cover and chill for 3 hours.
To serve: stir in club soda or seltzer.  Add a small scoop of sorbet to each glass.  Pour sangria over sorbet.  Rub mint leaves between your fingers to release oils.  Add a few leaves to each glass for garnish. 

**Garden Fresh Herb Sauce
Serves 6-8

1 large bunch fresh herbs such as parsley, basil or cilantro or a combination
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 pinch red pepper flakes
pinch of salt and black pepper, to taste

For Serving:
Greek Yougurt (about 10 0z.)
Salt and Pepper Kettle Chips (or any sturdy chip)

Remove all stems from herbs and place leaves in a Cuisinart with blade or small chopper.  Add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.  Puree mixture.  If leaves are not moving around, add more olive oil to loosen so that the mixture moves around in the chopper.  Once, leaves are pureed into fine pieces, adjust for taste.  Mixture can be saved in an airtight container in refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Spread Greek yougurt on a plate leaving 2” border.  Create a well in the middle of the yogurt leaving 1” border of yogurt.  Dollop the Herb Sauce into the well in the center of the yogurt.  Scatter the chips around the edge of the plate and serve.

Summer Vegetable and Herb Goat Cheese Tart
(Adapted from Ina Garten, “Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart”
Makes 2 tarts

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
½ teaspoon cider vinegar
5 tablespoons ice cold water
1 ½ pounds zucchini, sliced 1/8 inch thick (small zucchini are best for this)
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces plain, creamy goat cheese (room temperature)
1 teaspoon thyme leaves (or other fresh herbs)
Zest from ½ lemon

Place the flour, ½ teaspoon salt and the butter in a bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse 12-14 times, until the butter is the size of peas.  With the processor running, pour the vinegar and cold water through the feed tube and continue to process just until the dough comes together.  Dump dough out on a floured board, form 2 disks and wrap in plastic, individually.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the sliced zucchini in a colander and set over a plate.  Toss it with 2 teaspoons of salt and set aside for 30 minutes.  Spread the zucchini out on a clean dish towel, roll it up and squeeze gently to remove some of the liquid.  Put the zucchini slices in a bowl and toss with olive oil.  Using a fork, mash together the goat cheese, herbs, lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Set aside.

Roll out the dough on a floured board to an 11-12 inch circle.  Place each rolled out piece of dough on a separate sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Spread the dough with the goat cheese mixture leaving ½ inch border.  Lay the zucchini slices in tightly overlapping circles, starting over the edge of the goat cheese (the zucchini will shrink as it bakes).  Continue overlapping circles of zucchini until the whole tart is covered.  Sprinkle with pepper. Turn up edges of tart to slightly overlap outer edge of zucchini and goat cheese. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the dough is golden brown.  Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Substitute full fat ricotta cheese for goat cheese, mix in 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped oregano along with lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Top with 12 oz roasted red pepper (jarred) cut into ribbons.

Spread tart dough with 6 oz. spreadable herb cheese such as Allouette.  Top cheese with 1 cup ricotta cheese mixed with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs and zest from ½ lemon, salt and pepper. 

**Crisp Streusel
(Adapted from “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, by Jeni Britton Bauer)
Makes about 3 cups

2 sticks butter, cubed and chilled
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put all ingredients except oats into a bowl and blend by rubbing the dry ingredients into the butter with your fingertips.  Work quickly so that the butter does not melt.  When the mixture looks like coarse sand, add the oats and mix well.  Spread on an ungreased baking sheet.  Break up any large chunks into crumbs, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch size.  
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until toasted and browned, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, especially in the corners and to turn over the unbaked portions.  Let cool completely, use right away or freeze until ready to use.  The streusel can be frozen up to one month.

(Serve with vanilla ice cream and fresh berries)

Cucmber Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing
Serves 8

4 medium to large cucumbers
1 small red onion
¾ cup Hellman’s Manyonaise
¼ cup buttermilk
1 large garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Slice cucumbers into  quarters then, into ½” size pieces.  Cut red onion in quarters and slice each quarter thinly.  Add both to a large serving bowl.  In a small bowl, mix mayonaise and buttermilk.  Grate garlic into mixture.  Add salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Pour over cucumbers and onion.  Chill and serve cold.

Quick Pickled Cucumber and Red Onion
Makes about 2 cups

1-2 pickling cucumbers, sliced (about 1 ½ cups)
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon pickling spice
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 dried bay leaf
1 cup cider or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt

Place cucumbers and red onion in a heat proof bowl (plastic or glass).  Place pickling spice through salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Heat until sugar and salt dissolve.  Strain mixture over cucumbers and onion.   Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Refrigerate in liquid for up to 2 weeks.

**Warm Chicken Salad with Green Beans
Makes 4-6 servings

2 large boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
1/2 pound fresh green beans
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon dried onion
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons light vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Use spray oil to grease a small baking dish.
Place chicken in dish and sprinkle with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Cove dish with foil.  Bake 25-35 minutes until chicken is cooked but still very moist.  Cool chicken enough to slice.
  Meanwhile, wash and pick green beans by removing the stems. If they are long, snap them in half.  Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.  Blanch beans in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until they turn bright green.  Drain immediately and plunge beans into the ice water bath to stop the cooking process.  Let rest for 5 minutes and drain thoroughly.
  Mix the dressing: combine celery seed through vinegar.  Add honey and whisk to combine.  Slowly add oil while whisking.  Add sesame seeds and mix thoroughly.  Place sliced chicken and green beans in a large shallow bowl or baking dish.  Pour dressing over ingredients and toss to coat.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

**Basil Rouille
Makes one bowl of dip

2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise (Hellman’s)
1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
Zest from 1/2 lemon
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Mince garlic cloves and transfer to blender.  Add basil and olive oil.  Puree, stopping to scrape down sides, if needed.  Add mayonnaise, anchovy paste, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Puree until combined.  Store in refrigerator for up to one week.

(Serve with assorted fresh vegetables for dipping.)

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