Unlike her last stay, this year’s Visitation found us at home for much of the time. The only exceptions were a trip to our good friend’s farm south of the city and a brief visit with Zia’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren before she left for Michigan with her son, The Max Whisperer, and his wife. With so little touring to do, we did what we Bartolini do best: we cooked, we ate, and then we talked about how we cooked what we ate. Here’s much of what we talked about.
(Links for the recipes will be found after the gallery or may be shared in the weeks to come.)
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- Ground Cherry-Kiwi Salsa (served with grilled ocean trout)- Much like my Ground Cherry Salsa, this version consisted of ground cherries (cape gooseberries), kiwi fruit, red onion, red bell pepper, jalapeño, hand-torn basil leaves, and the zest of 1 lime. The juice of 2 limes was used to dress the salsa.
- Blueberry Muffins
- Tart Cherry Muffins
- Oatmeal Cookies with Two Chocolates, Dried Cherries, and Almonds
- Smothered Pork Chops (served with mashed potatoes and pole beans with bacon) – Recipe to come.
- Cacioni (filled with Spinach and Swiss Chard)
- Zuppa di Pasta e Fagioli
- Grilled Lamb Chops (served with broccolini and parmigiano-roasted potatoes)
- Paglia e Fieno
- Cappelletti in Brodo
- Slow-Cooked Beef Cheeks (served with panzanella and garlic-mashed potatoes)
- Sausages, Peppers, and Onions. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan before sautéing together sliced onion, sliced bell pepper, diced garlic, and your favorite Italian sausage. Add a couple ounces of dry white wine. Serve when the sausage is fully cooked.
- Baked Apple Puffs (served with vanilla ice cream) – Recipe follows
- Sepia e Calamari in Umido – Recipe to come
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All told, the Visitation of 2015 was a resounding success, one that ended far too soon. We all know, however, that next year will get here before we know it. Come to think of it, I had better get started on that menu.
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Apple Puffs Recipe
- Make cinnamon sugar by combining 1 tbs cinnamon with 1/4 cup sugar.
- Make an egg wash by combining 2 tbs water with 1 slightly beaten egg.
- 1 apple that has been peeled, cored, and chopped into a 1/2 inch dice. (I use Granny Smiths,)
- A scant tsp butter, divided into fourths.
- Smooth one thawed sheet of puff pastry. Cut into four equal-sized squares. (See Notes)
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- Pre-heat oven to 350˚ F (175˚ C).
- Combine the diced apple with cinnamon sugar to taste. Add a pinch of salt and mix well.
- Place 1 to 2 tbs of the apple mixture into the center of each of the 4 pieces of puff pastry.
- Place a piece of butter atop the apple filling.
- Use a pastry brush to dab a bit of the egg wash on the 4 corners of each piece of puff pastry.
- Attach opposite corners of each piece of puff pastry, bringing all 4 to the center of the puff.
- Use a pastry brush to coat the outside of each puff with the egg wash.
- Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon sugar.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.
- Serve warm as-is or accompanied with your favorite ice cream.
Puffs may be assembled — do not coat with egg wash nor dust with cinnamon sugar — and frozen until needed. Do not thaw. Just coat with egg wash, dust with cinnamon sugar, and place on a baking sheet on the center rack of a pre-heated 350˚ F (175˚ C) oven. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Puffs may be made whatever size you want. Cutting the pastry sheets into eighths, for example, will create puffs that are closer to bite-sized.
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Coming soon to a monitor near you …
A Fresh Pickle (Served with Grilled Pork Chops)
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