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Friday, June 28, 2019

Strawberry-Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal

I love baked oatmeal but admit that it's a cool weather love. This recipe extends the oatmeal season for me. Rhubarb lends a pleasant tartness to a sweet background and since you likely won't find it in the supermarket again until next spring, frozen will work fine. (That said, keep an eye out for fresh rhubarb; I saw some 2 days ago in my local co-op.)


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Strawberry-Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal


Serves 6-8

Next time I bake this, I'm going to add a half teaspoon grated orange zest and top it with a handful of slivered almonds. I haven't tested it, but I believe you could substitute an equal amount of strawberries for the rhubarb if it's out of season.

3 c old fashioned rolled oats
1/3-1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 teas baking powder (at 4000-5000 ft. elevation, 2 teas. at lower elevations)
1/4 teas salt
1 teas vanilla
1/4 c vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 c milk, any kind
1/4 c yogurt
3/4 c chopped strawberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 c chopped rhubarb, fresh or frozen (red varieties are prettier, but not necessary) about half-inch dice
3-4 T cinnamon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, milk, yogurt, and vanilla. Mix the oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Pour the milk mixture over the oat mixture and stir well to combine. Stir in the strawberries and rhubarb. Pour into a pie plate, a 9-inch round cake pan, or an 8-inch square pan. Sprinkle the top generously with cinnamon sugar.

Place in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes at my elevation, at lower elevations start checking at 40 minutes. When it is done, it will be fairly firm to the touch and crispy on the edges.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Chicken, Bacon, Avocado, and Tomato Wrap

This wrap feels summery to me, pairing nicely with corn on the cob and/or sliced watermelon.



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Chicken, Bacon, Avocado, and Tomato Wraps


Adapted from How to Cook Everything Fast by Mark Bittman

bacon and some hot, rendered bacon fat
rotisserie chicken
cherry tomatoes
avocado
lime
tortillas or sandwich wraps

Cook 1-2 slices of bacon per wrap in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. While bacon is cooking, halve some cherry tomatoes and slice some avocado. I like about a quarter of a large avocado in my wrap. Tear chicken into pieces with your fingers. Prepare tortillas if necessary.

Construct the wraps. Place chicken pieces in the wrap first, then top with bacon slice(s), tomatoes, and avocado. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Squeeze some lime juice over the top, then drizzle some hot bacon fat over all of it. Wrap it up like a burrito and enjoy.

The lime juice and bacon fat is key to this recipe. Don't leave it out!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Sour Cherry Cobbler (with adjustments for altitude)

For the last few summers a friend has generously shared the harvest from her sour cherry tree with me. This is one of the joys of the season.


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Sour Cherry Cobbler (with adjustments for altitude)


Source: Cook's Illustrated
Serves: 12--however I halved the recipe and cooked enough for 6

For altitudes of around 4000-5800 feet I suggest the following adjustments to the biscuits:

add 2 T flour
subtract 1 teas sugar
use a scant teas baking soda

For the biscuits:

2 c unbleached flour
6 T granulated sugar
1/2 teas baking powder
1/2 teas baking soda
1/2 teas table salt
6 T unsalted butter (cold), cut into half-inch cubes
2 T granulated sugar for sprinkling
1 c buttermilk

For the fruit filling:

4 pds sour cherries, (about 8 cups)
1 1/4 c granulated sugar
3 1/2 T cornstarch
pinch table salt
1 c dry red wine
cranberry juice (if needed)
1 3-in cinnamon stick
1/4 teas almond extract


Prepare cherries:

Pit the cherries and reserve the juices. Stir sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl; add the cherries and stir again until well combined. Pour the red wine over the cherries and allow to stand for 30 minutes at least.

Par cook the biscuits:

Preheat the oven to 425F with the rack in the middle position. Use a silicone baking pad or parchment paper to line a baking sheet.

In a food processor place flour, 6 T sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and pulse until combined. Add the butter cubes evenly over the top and pulse about 15 times until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Place this mixture into a bowl and pour the buttermilk over. Toss with a rubber spatula until combined. Divide the dough into 12 equal biscuits on the baking sheet. This is easiest using a 1 1/2 inch spring-loaded ice cream scoop but can be achieved using a couple of serving spoons. Space them 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart on the baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with the 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until lightly browned on top and bottom. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave oven on.

Make the cobbler:

Pour cherry mixture into a colander set over another medium-sized bowl and drain. Measure the drained and reserved juices; you should have collected 3 cups. If the combined juices don't equal that amount add cranberry juice. (I used some raspberry juice and think you could also use grape juice in a pinch.) Place the juices into a saucepan, add the cinnamon stick, and heat over medium-high and cook until mixture thickens, whisking frequently. When thickened remove cinnamon stick, add the almond extract.

Spread the drained cherries into a  9X13 pan. Pour the hot, thickened juices over the cherries in the pan and use a spatula to even it out. Place the biscuits on top of the cherries and filling in 3 rows of 4 each. Place the cobbler in the oven and bake until biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Notes:

If you are going to use frozen, pitted cherries you need less than 4 pounds, closer to 3 1/2 pounds.

It was late one night when I first started this recipe and I hadn't realized the resting time for the cherries so I mixed the cherries and sauce and and rested them in the refrigerator not for 30 minutes but overnight. This worked fine.

My food processor bowl has to be washed by hand so I get lazy about using it sometimes. I have found that I can grate well chilled or frozen butter into the dry ingredients of this biscuit and mix all together with a fork. I think it works just as well and the bowl and grater can go into the dishwasher.

Cook's Illustrated suggests using a glass baking pan. I can't see why it's necessary and found my metal pan worked fine.