Tag Archives: cranberries

I’m Back with a Tasty Snack

cashew snackRunning a company is hard work and filled with both  frustrations and delights. Watching something you have created and nurtured grow is an exhilarating feeling. Building a team of talented, fun people is rewarding. Doves and Figs has brought me much joy along with tired feet and berry stained, dish pan hands. One thing it has not given me is much time to blog. Even though I am still squeezing in hours for cooking, baking, and pickling; I have not been writing much and I have missed it.

So I am back-with a super simple snack and I hope to steal a bit more time over the days to come to share all the delicious things coming from my little jam (and  other treats) kitchen. No matter how busy you are-tonight take a few minutes to pour yourself your favorite craft beer or a glass of local wine, put your feet up, and nibble some of this quick and easy snack mix. You deserve it!

Robin

Herb Roasted Cashews with Dried Cranberries, and Dried Cherries
3 cups of cashews
1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/3 cup dried cherries
several sprigs of fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and a few sage leaves
kosher salt

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the cashews on an ungreased cookie sheet. Distributed the herbs on top of the nuts and roast for about 10 minutes until hot and fragrant but not too brown. Toss in a pretty bowl with the dried fruit and sprinkle with kosher salt. Snack Away!

 

 

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Jam Kitchen Marmalade Cake

marmalade cakeThe mid Winter jam kitchen crew is juicing, peeling, zesting, and simmering as fast as we can. The season for Seville oranges is a special time that is over in the blink of an eye. Even though we were making a traditional style marmalade, we had to add our own New England twist by blending in dried cranberries.
Once all of those bitter oranges and tart cranberries were cooked into tangy/sweet marmalade and poured into jars, it was time for a reward.  It would seem to some that after weeks of making marmalade, we would be sick of it but instead we were longing to delight in the fruits of our labors. A cup of Earl Grey tea (yes even more citrus) and a slice of sticky marmalade cake was just the thing to enjoy during a break from all that hard work.

Marmalade Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flourmarmalade cake and custard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
pinch of cinnamon

1 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup marmalade (we used our Garnets in the Grove-orange cranberry)
4 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/4 cup buttermilk (or whole milk)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice

Topping
1/3 cup marmalade
2 Tablespoons orange juice

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a round 8″ glass pie dish or square pan generously. Toss the dry ingredients (except sugar)
and orange zest together in a bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar by hand or in a mixer. Add eggs, juice, marmalade and milk and blend well. Stir in the dry ingredients and blend until combined but not over mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes. When the cake is done, stir 2 Tablespoons of orange juice into 1/3 cup marmalade and warm in a small saucepan or in microwave. Pour over cake and enjoy warm or room temp with ice cream, yogurt, or traditional custard.

Carrots All Day

Munching carrots all day longcarrots
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Sunny colored, tasty sweet
That veggie is a winner

The hazard of selling your wares at a farmers market is that you are often too busy serving customers to shop and when you are not selling, a visit to a market is not always the first choice of activity. I miss the days of strolling through the market and laying carefully selected fresh produce into my big red shopping basket.  Now my shopping trips are more of a grab and run affair. At a market recently, I saw my friend from Winter Moon Farm and his rainbow array of root vegetables.  With only a few minutes to spare, I said a quick hello and filled a bag about to the bursting point with yellow, pale orange, bright orange, and red carrots and one ridiculously large daikon radish and rushed back to my booth.  My hubby saw the bag and reminded me that I had just bought several pounds of carrots at the supermarket. Not to worry I assured him; I had a plan that would use a lot of carrots. Now all I had to do was figure out what that plan was…
With a bit of creative thinking, I made a new recipe for low-fat carrot bread, a carrot and daikon salad, and I used the carrots for a “nest” under a roasted chicken. We also ate carrots with homemade white bean dip, carrots in chicken salad, and a few carrots found their way into meatloaf. Suddenly, the worry about what to do with all those carrots was replaced with counting the days until the next market when I can get more!

Low-Fat Carrot and Cranberry Bread carrot bread
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
1/3 cup orange juice
zest of one medium orange
1/2 cup dried cranberries
(Loaf pan and cooking spray for pan)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites, orange juice and zest and mix until combined. Add carrots and cranberries and stir until blended together. Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes until well browned and cooked in the center.

Carrot and Daikon Salad with Dried Cranberriescarrot salad
3 1/2 cups of shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded daikon
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine carrots, daikon, and cranberries in a bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the carrot mixture. Chill in refrigerator in a covered bowl or jar for at least two hours (overnight is better).

 

Autumn American Lamb Supper

lamb jam winUPDATE-We won! Teamed up with Chef Michael Scelfo of Russell House Tavern, my lamb roast was transformed into a roulade of lamb belly stuffed with lamb sausage and sous vide overnide until it was meltingly tender.  It was served with a dollop of Doves and Figs Winter Carnival conserve, a brush of cranberry mustard and a sprinkle of micro greens.

A number of years ago at Passover, I arrived at my parent’s new home in Floridalamb supper to find out some terrible news.  My mom had decided that since it was a much smaller holiday crowd then in the past, she would just make a nice roast chicken or
perhaps a small brisket.  “No lamb?” I asked, concern rising in my voice.  As my  mother explained how she was simplifying many things now, tears started to run down my face.  My feelings were sparked in part by longing for my favorite dish, by losing a holiday tradition, and perhaps mostly by the realization that my parents and I were growing older.   Five minutes later Mom and I  were in the car heading to the store to buy a leg of lamb and a big head of garlic and the holiday was restored for me.  The miracles of parting the sea and freeing the slaves from Egypt paled in comparison to the wonders of that lamb dinner.

When I was invited by Boston Chefs, to participate in the American Lamb ProAm, (information and a chance to vote for this recipe) I jumped at the chance.  My first thought was to make the typical spring lamb dinner that I enjoyed so much as a child.  The beautiful crimson-tipped trees and the bounty of fall fruits and vegetables at the farmers market convinced me instead to give my lamb a local autumn flavor.  I have also been following the adventures of  a group learning blog founded by Cathy Barrow called Charcutepalooza which inspired me (and provided excellent help technical advice) to make sausage as part of my dish.

With the exception of salt, sugar, and a few spices, I used all New England local and farm-grown ingredients in my dish.  The lamb that was generously supplied by the American Lamb folks came from Superior Farms I was pleased to read that they are  committed to sustainable farming and their website states that “All lamb livestock are raised outdoors with healthy diets of natural grasses, crops and grains.”

The local ingredients featured in my dish include:
Corn meal grown and ground by Mainstone Farm, Wayland MA
Roxbury and Cortland apples, Bosc Pears-Kimball Fruit Farm, Pepperell MA
Eggs-Golden Egg Farm, Hardwick MA
Cranberries-PJs Cranberries, Sandwich MA
Brussells Sprouts-Grateful Farm, Franklin, MA
White Wine-Hardwick Winery in Hardwick MA
Harpoon Hard Apple Cider from Boston, MA and Vermont
Cabot Sharp Cheddar from Vermont
Kate’s Buttermilk from Maine
King Arthur Flour from Vermont

I hope you will enjoy this delicious fall lamb supper and please vote for my dish starting on Monday at www.bostonchefs.com and show your love of lamb and local farm-grown food!

Autumn American Lamb Roast Stuffed with Lamb Apple Sausage lamb roastBoneless leg of  lamb
Lamb Apple sausage (recipe below) or store-bought lamb sausage
Cape Cod Cranberry Marinade (recipe below)

Prepare the marinade
Place the boneless lamb leg in a large plastic bag and pour in marinade
Refrigerate the lamb for two hours, turning several times to make sure the marinade covers the meat fully
After two hours remove the meat from the bag and discard the marinade
Roll open the leg of lamb gently
Cut part way through meat from the inside, if needed, to
make the roast lay as flat as possible-be careful to not cut too deeply
Spread the sausage mixture over the inside of the lamb leg
leaving a small border around the edges
Roll the roast from the short end like a jelly roll
Truss the roll with butcher’s twine
Roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then at 325 degrees until meat reaches desired doneness.
For a medium rare roast, cook about 25 minutes per pound to 145 degrees.
Let roast rest for about ten minutes before slicing

Lamb Apple Sausagelamb sausage meat
1 ¾ lb pounds of lamb meat (leg or shoulder)
1/3 lb lamb fat
2 cups peeled, cored, chopped firm baking apples
½ cup fine ground cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tsp black pepper
2 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice

Equipment needed-food processor or meat grinder and large bowl
of ice

Cut meat and fat into cubes and place in freezer for 30 minutes
Meanwhile peel, core, and chop apples finely in food
processor or with a knife and set aside
After the meat has chilled, grind in three batches in food
processor fitted with steel blade or run through meat grinder
Place the ground meat in a bowl over the ice bowl to keep it
chilled through the process
When all the meat has been ground, mix the cornmeal, spices
and apples into the meat with your clean hands, blending well
The stuffed lamb roast will need about half of the sausage, you can shape the remaining sausage into patties to freeze and cook later.

Cape Cod Cranberry Marinade
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup cranberries (chopped in food processor)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cracked brown mustard seed (whole seeds can
be cracked in a coffee grinder)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3-4 garlic cloves crushed
1 sprig of fresh rosemary

Place all  ingredients in a large bowl
Stir well to combine

Side Dishes

apple cranberry conserveApple Pear Cranberry Conserve
6 cups apples (measure after peeling, coring, and cutting into ½ inch chunks)
2 cups of pears (measure after peeling, coring, and cutting into ½ inch chunks)
3 cups cranberries
3 1/2 cups water
5 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick

Cook cranberries in sugar, water, and spices until cranberries begin to soften
slightly and pop (about 10 minutes)
Add apples and pears
Cook gently until apples and pears soften and mixture begins to thicken
Boil until mixture gels (will be a softer spread than a traditional jam)
Remove cinnamon sticks and refrigerate, can, or freeze

Cheddar Lamb Fat Cornbread
1 cup stone-ground corn meal
1 cup flour
4 tablespoons lamb fat saved from roasting pan and chilled
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2/3 cup cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon baking powder

Heat oven to 400 degrees
Mix together flour, corn meal, and baking powder in a bowl
Stir in cold lamb fat
Whisk buttermilk and egg together
Blend buttermilk and egg into flour mixture
Stir in cheese gently
Grease  9″ cast iron pan or muffin tin
Place in oven to heat for about 5 minutes
Scoop batter into hot pan
Bake 20 minutes for pan and 15 minutes for muffin tin

Brussels Sprouts  Braised in Hard Cider
Clean sprouts and trim stems as needed
Pan sear sprouts in a small amount of olive oil
Add a generous amount of salt and pepper and cover part way
with hard apple cider
Cook on medium heat until sprouts become just tender

Sunshine on a Snowy Day

orange chicken w couscousLast week was filled with snow and ice and mittens and boots.  The food blogs and magazines shared ideas for hearty winter dishes but I was craving beach weather and sunshine and no root vegetable stew or squash soup was going to fit the bill.

I was at Whole Foods when some Cara Cara oranges caught my eye and I brought them home for a snack along with chicken breasts, local greenhouse tomatoes, and a box of couscous for dinner.  As I unpacked my groceries it struck me that the oranges would make a delicious addition to my dinner.  I squeezed the juice of one of the oranges and cut the other in sections.  I coated the chicken breasts in seasoned flour and sautéed them in olive oil.  When both sides were seared, I threw some capers into the pan along with a splash of white wine and the sweet and tart Cara Cara juice.  While the chicken finished cooking inside, a lovely glaze formed and at the last minute of cooking I added the orange sections and a touch of butter.

Meanwhile the couscous was cooked simply in chicken broth and was going to look rather of plain next to the bright splash of the orange chicken.  I quickly toasted some walnuts and mixed them with a handful of dried cranberries into my couscous.

I made a salad of fresh greenhouse grown greens and tomatoes and set the table with a basket of colorful primeroses and lemon yellow placemats.  Suddenly, it was summer, well, at least until we looked out the window.

Cape Cod Cranberry Walnut Tart

Bright red cranberries and crunchy walnuts make this festive tart perfect for dessert or cut into thin wedges, it can be served as a cocktail party appetizer.  It is rich and full of butter, eggs, and sour cream but not very sweet so it complements other more sugary desserts.   The recipe makes two 6″ tarts but can also be used to make individual tiny tarts using a mini muffin tin. 

Cape Cod Cranberry Walnut Tart
Crust
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons sour cream

Filling
2/3 cup sour cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
candied cranberries (see below) or dried sweetened cranberries

  1. Heat the oven to 350°
  2. Place flour in a bowl, stand mixer, or food processor.
  3. Chop cold butter into pieces and mix into the flour until you have bits of four coated butter the size of small peas. Don’t over mix.
  4. Blend in sour cream and mix just until the dough comes together loosely
  5. Gather the ball of dough together in your hands gently and divide into two even pieces
  6. Roll each dough ball on a floured board to about a 7″ circle
  7. Lay the dough into the tart pan.  Fix any tears by patting the dough into shape
  8. Press the dough evenly on the bottom of the pan and against the sides
    Filling
  9. In a medium bowl whisk eggs and sour cream and milk
  10. Add flour, sugar, cinnamon and whisk to combine
  11. Scatter the cranberries and nuts evenly in the tart crusts
  12. Pour the sour cream/egg mixture over cranberries & nuts
  13. Bake for about 30 minutes
  14. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tart pan placed on a rack

Cranberry Syrup and Candied Cranberries
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
3 cups water
1 cup sugar

  1. Simmer all the ingredients for 20 minutes or until cranberries get soft and release their juices
  2. Strain the syrup and chill (great for making cocktails or cranberry soda)
  3. Use the cooked cranberries  in Cape Cod Cranberry Walnut Tart above

Glistening jewels among the cabbages

A few weeks ago on Cape Cod, I stood at the edge of a magnificent sea of red fruit and blue water.  I watched, fascinated, as waves of cranberries were nudged from the cool flooded bog and sent rolling up a huge conveyor belt and then cascading down in a shower of red, pink, and white into a waiting open trailer truck.   I read that Massachusetts was the second largest producer of cranberries in the world and it appeared even from this one bog that we have plenty to share!  Naturally, I could not end my visit without taking home a taste of this bounty so my freezer is now filled with gallon bags of bright red berries.

Tonight we raided the cranberry stash to grace a dish of Brussels sprouts and apples.  We bought the firm and bright green Brussels sprouts from E.L. Silvia Farms at the Winchester Farmers Market this morning and the nice tart apples were from a picking expedition at Kimball Fruit Farms.  We gave them a quick steaming and then Mark pan roasted the baby cabbages until slightly charred and still crunchy.  He then added the cranberries , the apples, a splash of apple cider ,and a sprinkling of salt and cracked pepper.  The dish swirled with fall colors and each taste was distinct and yet the flavors blended together beautifully. 

We plan to make this dish again for Thanksgiving as long as one of the farmers still has good Brussels sprouts available.  If we can’t get sprouts some shredded cabbage would also work well.