Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Raspberry-Lemon Shrub

Summer is coming to an end. Well, supposedly. It was over 90 degrees today, so it doesn't really feel like it. Soon enough, though, all those tasty fruits of summer will be less abundant. Let's get at them while they're still everywhere and so so good.

Shrubs are awesome. They're fermented fruit, vinegar, and sugar. So easy to make and great with sparkling water – or in cocktails, if you're in the mood.
Go enjoy the last bits of summer! Sit on a porch and sip this.

Raspberry-Lemon Shrub via Reclaiming Provinical:

Yield: approx. 2 cups syrup

2 c. raspberries
Zest of 1 lemon
10 black peppercorns, slightly crushed
1½ c. sugar
1 c. white wine vinegar
1 c. apple cider vinegar

Combine raspberries, lemon zest, peppercorns, and sugar in a bowl or jar, stirring to evenly coat the fruit. Allow mixture to sit for around 1 hour, then crush until everything is nice and broken up. I used a potato masher. Cover and let sit for 24 hours. At room temperature is fine, but feel free to stick it in the fridge too.

After 24 hours, mash the mixture again, trying to crush the fruit as much as possible. Let it sit for another 24 hours.

Add the vinegars and stir well. Store at room temperature for 7–9 days, giving it a good stir each day. When finished, pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, then transfer to a clean jar or container. Store syrup in the fridge.
For drinks, add 1 part syrup to 2.5–3 parts sparkling water or mix it in with your favorite cocktail. I think this would make for a killer Moscow mule.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tomato Scallion Shortcakes with Whipped Goat Cheese

I don't really need to get into how many times I've referenced Smitten Kitchen on this blog (I'm too lazy to link them all. That's why.). It's a lot. This is the perfect summer recipe because a) your oven isn't on for very long and b) it involves summer's best fruit masquerading as a vegetable – the perfect summer tomato.

Just go make these.

Tomato Scallion Shortcakes with Whipped Goat Cheese from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook:

Makes 6-8 short

For the scallion biscuits -
2 c. plus 2 Tb. all-purpose flour
2 Tb. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
5 Tb. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 c. buttermilk

For the tomato salad -
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ Tb. red wine vinegar
⅛ tsp. salt
Pinch of sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
½ lb. (approximately 1⅓ c.) cherry or grape tomatoes

For the topping -
3 Tb. heavy or whipping cream
4 oz. goat cheese, softened
2 scallions, thinly sliced

To make the biscuits, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the scallion, then add the buttermilk and stir until the dough just comes together.
On a floured surface, pat or roll dough to ¾-to-1-inch thickness and cut into 3-inch rounds, reforming scraps as needed. You will get about six to eight biscuits. Arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared sheet. Bake about 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Meanwhile, make the tomato salad. In a bowl, whisk together everything except the tomatoes. Halve or quarter the tomatoes, then add them to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine.

And now the best part – making the whipped goat cheese.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream until peaks form. Add the goat cheese and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Split each warm biscuit in half. Generously spoon each half with the tomato salad and dressing. Dollop with whipped goat cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Serve immediately. Or keep them disassembled, transport them to a big mom and baby picnic, and then assemble them and eat far too many. But hey, it's summer and tomatoes will only be this delicious for a short while.

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