Blackberry-Chipotle Cornbread

Old fashioned, locally ground yellow cornmeal, pastured dairy, seasonal berries, raw honey and smoky chipotle are combined in this variation of traditional skillet cornbread..

Blackberry-Chipotle Cornbread

1 1/4 cups stone-ground cornmeal
1 1/4 cups unbleached, organic all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 aluminum-free teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 large pastured egg
1 3/4 cups fresh buttermilk
3 tablespoons cultured butter

1/2 pint fresh blackberries
1/2 cup filtered water
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons raw honey, more or less to taste
1-2 chiles chipotle morita

Remove the stem, seeds and ribs from one or two small chiles chipotle morita and grind into a fine powder.  Place the blackberries in a non-reactive pan with the lemon juice, water and chile powder and simmer over medium-low until reduced and thickened.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to about 100 degrees then stir in honey to taste.  Allow to cool completely.

Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the egg and buttermilk.  Slowly stir the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture until just combined.  Don’t over-mix.

Allow the batter to stand while you melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet in a 400 degree oven.

Swirl the cooled blackberry-chipotle sauce into the cornbread batter, leaving it streaky.  Remove the skillet from the over and swirl to coat the sides with the hot butter.  Pour the batter into the skillet and bake uncovered until just set in the middle, about 25 minutes.

Brush the top of the cornbread with a little more blackberry-chipotle sauce if you think it needs it, then allow  to stand 5 minutes before serving.

Elote Particular

This variation of Mexico’s popular street food elote (roasted corn on the cob) uses freshly-ground chili powder,  pastured butter, lime, sea salt and homemade crema Mexicana with toasted cumin and cilantro..

Elote Particular

For the Chile Powder (all amounts may be adjusted according to taste)

2 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and split
2 arbol chiles, stemmed, seeded and split
1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon cacao powder

Toast the chiles on a dry comal over medium heat until fragrant, about 45 seconds per side. Take care not to let the chiles burn, or they will be bitter.

Once cooled, add the chiles and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse into a fine powder.  Store in an airtight container up to 3 months.

For the Cumin Crema

1/2 cup fresh heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/3 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

Toast the cumin in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Allow to cool, then crush in a mortar or spice grinder and set aside.  Freshly-toasted cumin tastes nothing like that jar of powdered stuff that’s been in the back of your cabinet for 2 years..

Using an instant read thermometer, warm the cream on the stove to 98 degrees then remove from heat, cover and allow to stand overnight at room temperature.  Transfer the now  somewhat thickened cream to the refrigerator and chill 4 or more hours.  Stir in cumin, salt, cilantro and lime 20 minutes before serving.

For the Corn

Pull back the husks and remove the silk.  Put the husks back in place and tie closed with kitchen string.  Plunge into a pot of lightly-salted boiling water, cover and parboil 5 minutes.  Transfer the corn to a wood-fired grill and cook turning often until tender, about10-15 minutes depending on size, etc.

Peel back the husks and slather the corn with butter, chili powder and crema. Use the husks as a handle to eat the corn popsicle-style, offering cotija cheese and lime wedges on the side if desired.

This post is part of the Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday!

Olive Oil Cake with Lemon, Rosemary and Mascarpone

Tart and savory with just a hint of sweetness, this luscious cake gains body and complexity from extra virgin olive oil combined with cultured butter, pastured eggs, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, rosemary and raw honey.  Try it topped with homemade mascarpone or a simple lemon glaze..

 

Olive Oil Cake with Lemon, Rosemary and Mascarpone

 

For the Mascarpone

1 pint raw, fresh cream (ultra-pasteurized cream will not work)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon filtered water

Heat the cream in a double-boiler until it reaches 185 degrees. Mix water and lemon juice and add to the cream; it should thicken right away. Keep mixture at 185 degree for a full 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer to a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a clean bowl, refrigerate allow allow to separate 12-24 hours.  Mascarpone will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

For the Cake (adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten)

1 cup organic AP flour
1/2 cup sprouted spelt flour
4 oz cultured butter at room temperature
1/4 cup raw honey
2 large pastured eggs at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup preserved lemon peel, minced

Cream the butter and honey together in a bowl until fluffy.  Beat in the lemon peel and eggs, one at a time.

Sift together the flours, baking powder & soda and salt in a bowl. Combine the olive oil and lemon juice in another bowl and alternately add the flour and oil mixtures to the honey butter mixture.

Lightly grease an 8×8 glass dish with olive oil, then pour in the batter and smooth with a spatula. Bake in a 350-degree oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Let cake cool at least 15 minutes, then serve topped with mascarpone and garnished with slivered lemon peel and a sprig of rosemary.

Pretty Good Cheese for Most Normal People

Pretty Good Cheese for Most Normal People” is the first line on the website of the Laurel Valley Creamery, a small, family-run operation in America’s heartland.  “This farm became part of our family in 1947 when Nick’s grandparents moved here from Boone County, West Virginia.  Betty and Fuzzy raised their four children, Rodney, Richard, Cathy and Christi here on the farm.  They   milked cows and raised food for both the cows and the family.  Fuzzy and Betty made their living here on the farm; to say they worked hard is an understatement. Nick grew up on the farm working with his grandparents, parents, aunt and uncles. Fuzzy passed away in 1994 and the farm began to decline soon after. In 2001 we moved onto the farm in a care taking capacity and began hobby farming.   In 2003 we purchased the farm from granny and in 2005 we began dairy farming, and in 2009 we began cheese making. We have in no way returned the farm to its former glory, but I hope we are well on the way.”

The Nolans are hoping to produce a feature-length documentary about what its like to try to carry on their family’s farming tradition and to help people renew their relationship with food production.

“From Grass to Cheese is a feature documentary that chronicles the ups and downs of a family-run dairy farm in Ohio during it’s first year of cheese production. From Grass to Cheese will tell the story of Nick and Celeste Nolan, their five children, and what it’s like to start up a family farm in the age of industrial agriculture..

..The current goal is to raise $28,000.00 to complete a feature-length documentary in 2011. This estimated budget would allow the filmmakers 1 to 2 trips per season to the farm (6-8 trips over a year), roughly 5 days per visit, during the first year of cheese production. The estimated budget for the film will help to cover costs including: rental gear, equipment purchases, gas, and in part, post production expenses such as editing, legal, promotions, and film festivals. Upon completion, the film will be sent to festivals and the filmmakers will seek DVD distribution. The film will also be distributed to farming/food advocates in order to spread the philosophies of community based farming..”


Stinging Nettle and Porcini Quiche with Green Garlic, Cipollini and Pecorino

In this crust-less quiche, stinging nettles are briefly blanched in salted boiling water, then shocked, chopped and combined in a rich custard with buttered green garlic, browned cipollini onions & porcini mushrooms, fresh oregano and shredded pecorino cheese..

Stinging Nettle and Porcini Quiche with Green Garlic, Cipollini and Pecorino

For the Custard (adapted from a recipe by Michael Ruhlman)

2 cups fresh whole milk
1 cup fresh heavy cream
6 pastured eggs (about 10 oz)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Whisk the eggs until frothy then stir in the remaining ingredients.

For the Filling

1 cup fresh stinging needles
1 tablespoon pastured butter
2 tablespoons green garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup porcini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cipollini onions, coarsley chopped
1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, coarsley chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh Italian oregano, coarsely chopped

Plunge the nettles into a pot a lightly salted boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes (the leaves will turn bright green). Immediately drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and chop as you would spinach.

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the green garlic, mushrooms and onions and cook until light golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To Assemble

Lightly butter a casserole or glass pie pan then add a layer of sautéed vegetables. Top with half of the cheese and herbs, then add 1/2 of the custard mixture. Repeat with a second layer. Bake in a 350 degree oven until browned and set, about 30 minutes depending on the depth of your dish.  Allow to cool 15 minutes before serving.

Stinging Nettle on FoodistaStinging Nettle