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Archive for June, 2010

Farm to Fork

To kick off our new cooking blog, Kat and I decided to each tackle a recipe or two from Emeril’s latest, and truly delightful, cookbook, Farm to Fork. We both liked the ethos of the cookbook — the idea that we should be eating seasonally, with fresh ingredients and using local resources. There are a lot of really delicious recipes in the book (wait until you see what Kat has cooked) but I wanted to try and stay true to the message of the book: use fresh, local ingredients. So, I picked “Lettuce Soup.”

Yes, I put lettuce in a soup.

Lettuce from my garden

The recipe calls for 2 heads of Boston lettuce, but I used the green leaf lettuce and some baby romaine that I had growing in my garden. The fresh herbs Emeril lists are: parsley, chives, mint and tarragon. Again, I substituted for what I had growing in my garden: parsley, mint, sage and thyme. Next, I used some of the stock (he calls for chicken) from our Christmas turkey (it’s organic, free-range, and from The Healthy Butcher) that we made back in December (it was in the freezer and I wanted to use it up). The last substitution I made (sue me!) was to add some fresh new potatoes from the farm where we had picked 8 quarts of strawberries the day before instead of the heavy cream (I’m not such a fan of cream in soups although I did add a drop of half & half just for the colour).

Lettuce Soup on the Stove

The rest of the ingredients: olive oil, garlic, onion (also from the farm), salt and white pepper, we had at the cottage (bought from the grocery store).

Lettuce Soup: The Finished Product

Overall, I really enjoyed the soup. It was hearty and perfect for the rainy Saturday afternoon we spent up north. I enjoy blended soups and like that potatoes add the necessary bulk to cream them up without using so much dairy. But I especially felt proud and, I’ll admit, a little self-righteous using ingredients that were beyond local — that I had literally grown myself. Also, I would have never imagined that putting lettuce in soup would turn out to be so tasty.

The leftovers are in the freezer for a second lunch we’ll have this upcoming weekend.

All in all the soup turned out, in my mind, to be quite tasty.

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Having determined with Deanna that we would cook from Emeril’s Farm to Fork the weekend before last, I decided that Father’s Day would be the perfect opportunity to make some of Emeril’s recipes. Initially, I was slightly concerned because my dad is a very health-conscious vegetarian, which is a nice way of saying he only eats partially-boiled vegetables. Luckily as Deanna pointed out in her post, Farm to Fork is very much focused on fresh and local produce which was a pleasant surprise because there are loads of recipes that don’t involve meat.

Dough with flakes of rosemary and orange zest

I decided to tackle a few of Emeril’s recipes and I must say that I was pretty impressed with how all of them turned out. They were very quick and easy and I got to spend more time with my dad than I did in the kitchen which was a great treat! His favourite dish, however, and the one that turned out the tastiest was Emeril’s Rosemary Buttermilk Scones. I was slightly trepidations about trying this recipe because I don’t consider myself a baker — images of rock-hard breads come to mind. But how could I resist rosemary and buttermilk and scones, it all sounded too good. Plus I decided that if all else failed, I could pass them off as paperweights — consider it a small Father’s Day gift.

Finished Scone

I bought all the ingredients, the rosemary, the buttermilk, the flour, and I followed the recipe to a tee. The only thing I forgot was to brush them with buttermilk before baking so technically they should look shiny and golden. The recipe was one of the easiest baking recipes I have attempted! And the smell, and the texture — fresh and crumbly straight out of the oven — was really a wonderful treat. Not to mention the fragrant rosemary (and orange zest) smell that filled my apartment while they were baking. Which thank goodness, only takes about 13 minutes because it’s hard to resist pulling them out of the oven before they are ready.

The fragrant scones are perfectly complimented by the salad and wine

All in all, the recipes I made from Farm to Fork were very easy and quick and are definitely the type of recipes I would fall back on when desperate for something quick and delicious.

Since no meal, just like no blog post is complete without dessert. I will throw in my dad’s personal favourite: Don Pedro. Ice cream blended with whiskey, what more could you ask for?

Happy Father's Day

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For your chance to win one of seven galley copies of Emeril’s Farm to Fork, send your answers to the questions below to katerina.ortakova@harpercollins.com. And why not leave a comment on one of our posts or vote and let us know which recipe you are going to try at home!

Questions:

1) Who does Emeril dedicate Farm to Fork to?

2) What is your favourite Farm to Fork recipe?

3) Name another of Emeril’s cookbooks?

(Hint: Take a look here)

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