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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Ricotta Toast with Dried Turkish Figs and Carlisle Spring Blossom Honey

Ricotta Toast with Dried Figs and Carlisle Spring Blossom Honey

Ever since making B&G Oyster’s inspired arugula, blood orange and ricotta salad, I have been on a bit of a ricotta kick – incorporating it into salads, dolloping it on strawberries and, more recently, experimenting with it on bruschetta-like toasts. Quick and easy to put together, they are effectively a kind of open-faced sandwich. Ideal as appetizers, I find that in this heat they can also be ample for a light dinner. (more…)

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Nikolaihof Elderflower SyrupJust in time for the steamy weather – our shipment of Nikolaihof elderflower syrup has arrived from Austria. Many of you have seen this syrup on our shelves before and, I hope, have had a chance to try it. Nikolaihof makes stunning Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings but now is the time for a taste of their heavenly hollerblüten or elderflower syrup.

Nikolaihof, in the beautiful Wachau region along the Danube, is the oldest wine estate in Austria and is now run by the Saahs family. The earliest known reference to winemaking on the estate dates back to 470 AD, and the Saahs still use a wine cellar built by the Romans. The entire estate is run according to biodynamic principles. As a result, the Saahs plant and harvest according to the moon calendar and use only homeopathic treatments for the grapevines and other plants. (more…)

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Ricotta, Arugula + Orange Salad

Recently, I shared a recipe for Toasted Orzo Mac & Cheese, cobbled together after inspiration struck in the form of a couple of visits to B&G Oysters, a restaurant in Boston’s South End. For that side dish, the B&G team used Parmigiano Reggiano. At the opposite end of the cheese aging scale, however, they offered another delicious dish on their menu: arugula salad paired with citrus and their house-made ricotta – a fresh, young, milky cheese. (more…)

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Toasted Orzo Parmigiano Reggiano Mac and Cheese

A couple of months ago, I had the good fortune to have a late afternoon lunch at B&G Oysters in the South End. With a natural affinity for all things dairy and, in particular, for a good mac and cheese, I ordered the orzo from their list of “sides” to go with my lobster roll.

It arrived in a small ceramic dish, hot from the oven. I pierced the crumb topping with my spoon and scooped up a bite. A little puzzled because there were some darker colored bits in amongst the cheesy creaminess, I thought that there was a little prosciutto surprise in there. (more…)

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This week we’re highlighting one of our favorite French liqueurs, the inky black currant flavored Crème de Cassis de Dijon. These sweet little bottles of crème de cassis are made in Burgundy by Briottet, a company run by the Briottet family in the town of Dijon since 1836.

Briottet Crème de CassisBriottet makes their crème de cassis with only “Noir de Bourgogne” black currants. The word “crème” signifies that the liqueur is made from macerated, real fruit rather than flavorings and, the addition of the name Dijon means that the currants (“cassis”) used were grown only in the commune of Dijon. These currants are picked quickly at their peak ripeness and are immediately immersed in alcohol where they macerate for 3 months. Sugar is then added to balance out the tart flavor of the currants – it also makes the liqueur syrupy. Upon completion, crème de cassis has about the same alcohol content as port. (more…)

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Beltane Farm - Goat Milk and Yogurt

On weekends, we often have 12-16 people over for dinner. Since neither Ihsan nor I are big dessert eaters, someone else usually brings dessert. A couple of weeks ago, our good friend, John “Doc” Willoughby, brought a gingerbread cake and homemade goat milk caramel sauce. I have long been a big fan of anything made with goat milk, so I was thrilled with the dessert. Suffice it to say, we ate everything. (more…)

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Grilled Cheese: Comté and Fieschi's Confettura di Cipolline Borretane

Grilled Cheese: Comté and Fieschi’s Confettura di Cipolline Borretane

Grilled cheese sandwiches are classic American fare. Many of us associate this archetypal melty sandwich with childhood and/or with camping trips. I recall one particularly memorable camping trip when, after a hard day of canoeing, we finally reached our camp site. Situated on a beautiful Maine lake, the spot was picturesque and well-poised for swimming. We were hungry when we arrived but absolutely famished by the time we got camp set up. First thing on the agenda? Dinner. We made grilled cheese and tomato soup and, boy, did it taste like the best thing ever! That was the day when I became a firm believer in the saying, “hunger is the best sauce.” However, our enjoyment was also, undoubtedly, due to the inherent deliciousness of grilled cheese itself and the classic pairing with tomato soup. (more…)

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