Saturday, December 13, 2008
Produce Stories Best Of 2008
So the ballots are in, and I've finally tabulated the scores in the first annual Produce Stories Best Of The Year...
Okay, nobody is voting but me, so "tabulating" means "remembering" and "typing stuff." Also, I know that I used a tacky font for the Best of 2008 header. I happen to enjoy "groovy '70s" font and have no other outlet in my life for it. Okay?
Best Vegetable (Overall): Brussels Sprouts
Runners-up: Green Beans, Kale
Best Leafy Green: Fancy Italian Kale whose name I don't remember (from Northshire Farms)
Runners-up: Collard Greens, Red Oak Lettuce
Most Overrated Kale: Lacinato
Best Root Vegetable: Carrots
Runners-up: Shallots, Beets
Best Vegetable Dish: Quiche with Caramelized Shallots and Thyme (recipe below)
Best Fruit (Overall): Nectarines
Runners-up: Blackberries, Tristar Strawberries
Best Apple: Macoun
Favorite Fruit Dessert: Applesauce (recipe below)
Fresh Herb Of The Year: Thyme
Runner-up: Italian Parsley
Favorite New Culinary Skill Acquired This Year: Canning
Favorite Food I Stopped Hating This Year: Mushrooms
Quiche with Caramelized Shallots & Thyme:
Makes 6-8 servings
1 single pie crust
2 cups shallots, cut into 1/8" sauté slices
4 large eggs, well-beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
Freshly grated black pepper
3 oz. colby cheese, grated
3 oz. parmigiano-reggiano, grated
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and blind-bake pie crust with weights 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Turn oven down to 350.
Make caramelized shallots: Soften shallots with a pinch of salt over medium-low heat in small amount of olive oil (cover pan to speed softening); turn up heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are evenly brown. This will take about 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, milk, thyme, and a generous amount of freshly-ground black pepper.
Distribute shallots evenly around bottom of pie crust; then add cheeses, distributing each in an even layer. Pour egg mixture over cheese.
Bake quiche on the middle oven rack for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and set all the way through. Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.
Makes about 8 servings
4-5 lbs. apples
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (optional; or use 1/4 tsp. each nutmeg and allspice)
Was, quarter, and core apples, and place them in a large pot with a lid. Add spices and fill pot with water to cover by at least 1". Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat; reduce heat to low and cook until apples are completely soft but not falling apart.
Drain apples and let sit in colander until cool enough to handle. run apples through food mill using largest- or second-largest-holed screen. Serve hot or cold.