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Barbara Damrosch's recipe for Fried Rice with Pork and Vegetables

6:49 PM, Mar 7, 2013   |    comments
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BARBARA DAMROSCH AND THE PORTLAND FLOWER SHOW

Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman operate Four Star Farm in Harborside, Maine., where they live off the land year-round. They have just published "The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook."

For more information on Barbara Damrosch and her cookbook click here: FOUR SEASON FARM

Barbara Damrosch will be taking part in the Portland Flower Show on Thursday, March 7th. She'll be presenting a lecture at noon, followed by a book signing. The Portland Flower Show is taking place at the Portland Company Complex on Fore Street through Sunday, March 10th.

For more information on the Portland Flower Show click here: PORTLAND FLOWER SHOW

Fried Rice with Pork and Vegetables

Serves 2 to 4 as a main course, 4 to 6 as a side dish

4 large fresh Swiss chard leaves, preferably yellow- or gold-stemmed
1 pound boneless pork
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 medium-size carrots, scrubbed but not peeled, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground dried ginger
6 golf-ball-size white Japanese turnips, unpeeled, cut in half (see Notes)
2 tablespoons fermented black soybeans (optional; see Note)
4 cups cooked brown rice (from 1½ cups uncooked), cooled to room temperature
6 scallions (green and white parts), cut into 1-inch pieces
Soy sauce, for serving
Tabasco or your favorite hot pepper sauce, for serving

Making fried rice is a great way to use whatever vegetables you have at hand, whether in the garden or from storage. It can be meatless or, as here, it can include a small amount of meat for extra protein and flavor. The pork can be an inexpensive cut such as shoulder chops or country-style ribs. With or without meat, this can be a meal in itself.
This particular recipe uses fall vegetables. Yellow-stemmed chard makes a colorful addition after the bright colors of summer vegetables are gone. Small Japanese turnips are so sweet and tender in the fall that they need almost no cooking, and their crunch is a wonderful substitute for water chestnuts in any Asian dish. Both the pork and the rice can be left over from another meal-in fact I will often make extra rice one day, knowing that it might form the basis for fried rice the next.

1. Cut along the sides of the center ribs of the chard leaves to separate them from the green part of the leaves. Slice the ribs and the stems diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Cut the greens into roughly 2-inch squares.
2. Cut the meat into 1/2-inch cubes, and blot them with a paper towel to dry the surfaces.
3. Heat the sesame and peanut oils together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add half of the meat. Sauté, stirring or flipping the pieces with tongs so they brown uniformly, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining meat. Leave the oil in the skillet.
4. Put the chard ribs and stems in the skillet, and add the carrots, garlic, and ginger. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the carrots have started to soften, 5 minutes.
5. Add the turnips and soybeans, and cook for 2 minutes.
6. Add the rice, scallions, chard greens, and the reserved pork. Cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula to keep the rice from sticking, until the rice is heated through and the greens are slightly wilted, about 5 minutes.
7. Serve right away, passing the soy sauce and Tabasco at the table.

Notes: Regular turnips do not make a good substitute for the tender white Asian kind. If you don't have these, use radishes or broccoli stems instead.
Fermented black soybeans are small and soft, with a pungent, salty flavor like that of soy sauce. Adding just a few will give a dish a unique zing. They can be found in Asian groceries or ordered online, and will last at least a year in the refrigerator.

CUSTARD STUFFED TOMATOES

Serves 6 as a side dish, 3 as the main attraction

 

6 medium-size tomatoes

2 large eggs

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Dash of salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh chervil or other soft fresh herbs such as tarragon, parsley, or basil

There is more than one way to stuff a tomato, but this is our favorite. The simplicity of the custard filling-just cream and egg-makes it very smooth and tender. We like these for brunch, perhaps on a plate with grilled sausage, steamed kale, and warm crusty bread. A platter of these tomatoes, sitting on lettuce leaves, looks great at a lunch buffet table, but they are not finger food. Eat them sitting down, with knife and fork in hand.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Hollow out each tomato from the stem end, leaving a generous opening at the top. You'll need a small, sharp knife to cut along the ribs, and a small spoon to scoop out all the pulp, leaving as much of the wall as possible. A serrated grapefruit spoon works beautifully for this. Turn the tomatoes upside down to let the juice drain away.

3. To make the filling, combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a medium-size bowl, and beat lightly with an eggbeater or whisk. The mixture should be uniform but not foamy.

4. Smear the olive oil over the bottom of a small baking dish that is just large enough to hold the tomatoes upright. Set them in the dish and, using a spouted pitcher or measuring cup, pour the filling into the cavities so it reaches to within
1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top.

5. Bake until the filling is set and no longer jiggles when you gently shake the dish, or until a knife inserted in the center of the custard comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

6. Sprinkle with the chervil and serve warm.

 

SPINACH QUICHE WITH BUCKWHEAT CRUST

Serves 4 as a hearty meal, 6 to 8 in combination with other dishes

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup buckwheat groats, also called kasha (see page 352)

6 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (about 4 cups)

6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)

I used to consider quiche a time-consuming dish, reserved for special occasions because of the need to prepare a pastry crust. The crust in this recipe takes about one minute to make! A healthy layer of raw buckwheat groats cooks along with the filling, which contains enough moisture to make the groats soften and swell while they retain a pleasant crunch. Pop the quiche in the oven and while it is cooking you have time to make a salad and a fruit dish for dessert.

I make quiche fillings with a ratio of 1 egg to 1/2 cup of cream. The flavor and texture when the filling is made with cream are so much better than with milk, cottage cheese, or other substitutes that a few extra calories are worth it, especially since the lighter crust more than compensates. To make a larger quiche, you can move up to a 10-inch pie plate and use 4 eggs, adjusting other ingredients proportionately. To serve two people, use a 7-inch dish and 2 eggs.

These quiches are a quick solution when I foresee a motley crowd swarming in for lunch. I might make two or three different ones, with one, like this, a vegetarian option.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Combine the eggs, cream, nutmeg, thyme, and pepper in a bowl, and set the bowl aside. It is best, but not essential, that the mixture reach room temperature.

3. Using your fingers, smear 1 tablespoon of the butter over the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate or round baking dish-preferably ovenproof glass or ceramic, not metal. Pour the buckwheat groats into the pie plate, and turn it while holding it at a tilt to coat the sides and bottom with the groats. Then hold the pie plate flat and shake it to distribute the remaining loose groats over the bottom.

4. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium-size skillet over medium-low heat. Add the spinach and sauté, stirring, until it has wilted, about 5 minutes.

5. Gently distribute the spinach over the bottom of the pie plate without disturbing the buckwheat. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese over the spinach.

6. Beat the egg mixture thoroughly with a whisk or eggbeater until it is uniform but not foamy. Carefully pour the mixture into the pie plate, and top it with the rest of the cheese.

7. Bake until the center is firm and the top is rounded and golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. The quiche is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cooked quiche sit for 5 minutes or so. It will sink slightly as it cools.

8. Cut the quiche into wedges and serve while it is still warm.

Try this too . . .

Over the years I have varied this recipe in endless ways (the Garden Pea Quiche on page 338 is one example). Selecting whatever vegetables are in season is a good way to begin, but I don't recommend watery ones such as zucchini and tomatoes that will dilute the filling. Broccoli, Swiss chard, and leeks are good choices, and a bit of ham or cooked bacon is a welcome addition. In winter, when tiny Maine shrimp are in season, we might add a small handful of those, sautéed briefly in butter.

HAZELNUT TORTE WITH BERRIES

Serves 6 to 8

 

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

4 large eggs

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, preferably turbinado or raw sugar

1 cup hazelnuts

1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream

2 tablespoons Kirsch (see Note), or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, either mixed or singly, depending on availability

Tortes are cakes, usually constructed in layers, that rely more on nuts than on flour for their substance. This one has been a favorite special-occasion dessert for three generations of my family. I like to vary it with seasonal fruits, and for summer family get-togethers this means berries from the garden. The torte's popularity has a lot to do with its light texture, its rich nutty taste, and its adaptability, but truth be told, it is also a snap to make. Most of the work is done by the food processor or blender, and the frosting is simply flavored whipped cream. Other nuts might well be substituted, but hazelnuts are often favored for tortes, and are even a crop we have raised successfully at home.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Smear the bottoms and sides of two 8-inch, 11/2-inch-deep layer cake pans with the butter. Line the bottoms with rounds of wax paper cut to size.

3. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a cup or small bowl, and
set it aside.

4. Combine the eggs and the 3/4 cup sugar in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the hazelnuts and continue processing until the nuts are finely grated, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and process until just mixed, about 2 seconds.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, dividing it equally. Bake until the layers are light tan in color and no longer jiggle when shaken, about 20 minutes.

6. Let the layers cool in the pans on a wire rack. They will deflate slightly.

7. To make the frosting, whip the cream, gradually adding the Kirsch and the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, until soft peaks form.

8. Gently rap the edge of one of the cake pans on the counter to jar the cake loose, and invert the layer onto a flat serving dish. The wax paper will likely stay in the pan, but if not, just peel it off.

9. Spread a third of the whipped cream over the top of the layer, and then add half of the berries.

10. Holding the second cake pan upside-down, and gently rapping the edge of the pan on the counter if needed, catch the cake with your hand (easy to do with an 8-inch layer) and carefully place it on top of the first layer, topside down. Remove the wax paper if needed.

11. Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top of the cake, and then decorate with the remaining berries.

12. Keep refrigerated until just before serving.

Note: Kirsch, or Kirschwasser, is a cherry-flavored liqueur that is highly suitable for flavoring fruit desserts.

try this too . . .

F Peaches make an excellent substitute for berries, or may be combined with them.

F In winter, when there are no fresh soft fruits, I use fruit jam between the layers. Or I warm 11/2 cups orange marmalade with 1/4 cup Grand Marnier to make a thin syrup and drizzle that on, then spread the whipped cream. You could also use the Blueberry Lemon Sauce on page 449.

 

 

 

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