Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stone Fruit and Blackberry Cobbler with Cornmeal Drop Biscuits

*Awkwardly clears throat...*

Oh goodness.  Where should we even begin?  Do we need to re-introduce ourselves?

I'm Emilie.  And I'm a blog neglecter, deserter, sideliner, shunner....It's horrible.  But true.

The first step is admittance right?

As some of you will know, I've been away from this sweet little blog for almost seven months now. Good lord.  As I counted the months (on my fingers) just then, I realized I've surpassed the 6 month mark.  And that's just no good.  But today is my birthday and I decided that finally publishing a post would be the best present I could give myself!

So let's catch up a little bit shall we?

Last you heard, I had made the (tearful) move out of Boston and was on my way to Nashville via a little trip to Missouri.  Fast forward half a year and I have fully settled into Nashville and I'm soaking up every wonderful moment of it.

I must admit, this move to Nashville has turned out to be more than I could've ever hoped for.  Upon arriving I was immediately surrounded by a community of amazing people.  I don't just mean cheerful hospitable southerners.  I mean a mind blowing community of artists, musicians, foodies...you name it Nashville has it.  And I know, I know.  Those people are everywhere.  But there is something about Nashville and its attitude to come together, collaborate, and create amazing things that has me reveling.

In the five short months of being here, quite a few wonderful things have happened with thanks to the aforementioned community.  1) I've landed a job at two fantastic restaurants. 2) We've created a house venue at our home called The Mad Valley Lodge (We're going to have to talk more about this later.  It's my shining star at the moment.  I'm so so proud of it's creation.)  3) I've built a garden, which I've been daydreaming about for nearly 3 years.  After that amount of time cooped up in a 450 square foot apartment my hands were dying to play in some dirt. 4) I've finally started to make some (preliminary) food truck plans.  (I'm sure we will also talk about this later.)  And most importantly 5) I've finally settled in and gotten my schedule under enough control that I can slowly immerse myself back into this whole blogging thing.

It's a huge relief.  This blog has been sitting at the back of my mind constantly poking and begging me to get back to it.

So here I am.  Here you are.  It's time to talk about food.

This past Sunday, after a bloody mary (or two) I decided I needed to bake.  After a few suggestions/requests shouted from the backseat, the first being cornbread and the second being cobbler, I decided a combination of the two would fit the bill.

And what a good decision I made.  After a failed attempt to find rhubarb, I set out for some peaches.  As I was grabbing a peach, my hands started darting around on their own and I ended up throwing a of couple apricots and plums into the bag.  And at that point I thought "Why stop now?"  So...I picked up some blackberries.  And thus the Stone Fruit and Blackberry Cobbler was created.

The combination of a sweet fruit cobbler under some big cornbread "biscuits" is just what you need.  It's basically a cure all.  Or a you're the new favorite at the BBQ type thing.

It's still a little early for mouth watering fruit...but if it was this good this early in the year?  I can only imagine the deliciousness that will come from this cobbler in the coming months.

I think I'll just make one every few weeks in order to test my hypothesis.

Oh, and remember when I was talking about collaboration?  Well, all of these beautiful pictures you see below are the work of a sweet friend.  She made this post possible and made me excited to finally do it.  So thank you Molly!  I hope you're content with food as payment.

























Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes: 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
for the fruit-
4 cups stone fruit (I used peaches, plums, and apricots) pitted and cut into slices
2 cups (1 pint) blackberries, rinsed and dried
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minute tapioca
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, sliced thin

for the biscuit topping-
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.  Toss the stone fruit with the blackberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, tapioca, cinnamon and salt.  Pour into the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Spread 2 tablespoons of thinly sliced butter over the top of the fruit.
  2. Make the biscuit couch by stirring together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut 6 tablespoons of the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers or a pastry blender.  Stir in buttermilk with a rubber spatula until a wet tacky dough comes together.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of the biscuit dough over the filling until evenly covered.
  4. Bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until the cobbler is bubbly and the biscuit tops are golden brown.
  5. Scoop into bowls and serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Goodbye to Boston and Tuna Tartare

Deep breath.

It's official.  I physically and emotionally survived (part) of the big move.

And life feels almost back to normal.  No more packing.  Or boxes.  For now anyway.

Last Saturday after so many tearful goodbyes we packed the u-haul and the car to the brim and set out for Nashville.  And I have to admit...watching Boston fade away was one of the most heart wrenching things I've ever had to do.  The city of Boston I love, but it's the friends and people that I'll miss the most.  It's hard to find the right words to tell you how wonderful those people are.  Mainly because I'm not good at that, but also because I still feel like I'm on a short vacation and I'm going back to them really soon.  So Boston friends, just know that I adore you all and miss you like crazy.  Okay?  Okay.

**Chokes back any feelings of sadness.**  Because now I'm in Missouri enjoying time with my family and friends before all of the new adventures begin in Nashville!  Whew.  I made it to the other side.



Since it's been so darn long since I've posted a recipe I figured that now would be a good time to post the last true meal I made in Boston.  And I couldn't have asked for a better one.  While the dish itself was to die for, I think that the best part is that it was photographed by one of my good friends.  The pictures are amazing and so is he.  So thank you Evan!

**Make sure you check out all of Evan's other amazing pictures on his tumblr!**

Fish lovers.  Prepare yourself.  It's possible that this dish is the easiest, most delicious, beautiful thing that was produced from my Boston kitchen.  Seriously though.  That presentation?  Gorgeous.  And easy as pie.  Oh and guess what?  It's DELICIOUS.  The smooth, melt in your mouth tuna.  The crispy shallots and crunchy red onion.  The sauce.  Just a wonderfully harmonious dish all around.

These would make for a great dinner party dish.  Or a random Wednesday dish.  Whatever makes you happy.



Adapted from the James Beard Foundation

Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: None 
Total Time: 20 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

Ingredients:
1 lb fresh sushi grade tuna, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 avocado, pitted and diced,
1 small red onion, diced
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 shallot, diced
several sprigs of cilantro
salt and pepper

Directions:
  1. In a small pan heat one tablespoon of olive oil.  Drop in the shallots and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy.  Using a slotted spoon remove them from the pan and place on a paper towel.  Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, peanut oil, and sugar until sugar dissolves and set aside.
  3. In another small bowl combine the avocado, red onion, and juice of one lime.  Set aside.
  4. In the final small bowl combine the diced tuna, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper.
  5. Place a circular mold or a biscuit cutter (which I used) onto a small plate (I used a saucer) or wide bowl.  Press several spoonfuls of the avocado/onion mixture into the bottom of the mold and press down.  Then top with the tuna mixture until the mold is full.  Carefully remove the mold so that the tartare keeps its shape.  Top with crispy shallots and a bit of fresh cilantro and then pour the sauce around the tartare.  Serve immediately.









Thursday, August 22, 2013

That little trip to Maine: Part 2

As promised, I have another Maine restaurant to share with you!

Unlike the months of planning that went behind our trip to Salt Water Farm, the trip to this one happened completely by accident.

After gorging ourselves at dinner the night before (and again at the Whitehall Inn's breakfast) we decided that we were going to head back down the coast of Maine stopping and shopping around in the little towns until we made it back to Boston that night.  That plan came to a halt about 15 minutes after jumping in the car as we came upon our first winery, Cellardoor Winery.  After our eighth tasting of their delicious wine (my favorites were the Petite Sirah and the Prince Valiant) we realized we weren't heading back to Boston, we were going on a wine tour!



As we were heading to the next winery, a sign popped up on my right further solidifying our choice not to head back to Boston.  That sign was for Primo.  Distant memories of an Anthony Bourdain episode came at me like a ton of bricks and I suddenly realized what we had just discovered.

We immediately called while crossing our fingers and hoping that we could get in that night.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that downstairs is for reservation only but upstairs is a free for all.  So we moved along to our next winery with far bigger smiles on our faces.

As we arrived for dinner the upstairs host told us there was a 30 minute wait but that we should grab a drink and head out back for a stroll around the farm.  And that we did.

We aren't talking an herb garden out back.  We are talking a FARM.  Complete with every vegetable, edible flower, and fruit you can imagine as well as pigs, chickens, and ducks.

After a long day of wine tours and not a lot of food, we decided appetizers were much needed to go along with our deliciously crafted cocktails.  We ordered a cheese board that included an incredibly pungent and delicious blue cheese served with honeycomb, fruit, and nut and fruit crackers.  We also ordered a Mediterranean plate with beet hummus, olives, flatbread, and several other bowls of goodness.

The entrees are below captured by some horribly lit iPhone pictures that obviously do not do the dishes a bit of justice.  Just read the captions.  And drool.

Our second night in Maine proved to be just as wonderful as the first.  Incredibly fresh and delicious food, beautiful and rustic decor, and of course great company.













Within the next couple of days I'll be posting a recipe for something that has been on my bucket list for quite a long time now...Fresh Maine Lobsters!
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