26 June 2010

sour cherries!

Sour cherries were something I had only heard about — I assumed you needed to live in France, Hungary or California to even imagine finding them local. I was wrong.

I found these local sour cherries with a "try me" sign at a family market in town. They are, hands down, the most delicious cherries I have ever eaten. In a perfect world, I'd have had a duck to roast and would have made Canneton Montmorecy.

What I did make was a cherry shortcake of sorts. I made biscuits from Jennifer McLagan's Fat cookbook — I baked her suet biscuits for cobbler on a sheet pan and they turned out amazing! I soaked pitted cherries in Luxardo Maraschino Originale (which, as far as I know, is the only true maraschino liqueur produced) and some sugar, split the biscuits, placed the mascerated cherries and juice on the biscuits and topped with cream whipped with more Luxardo (no additional sugar needed).

The biscuits hold up to the tartness of the cherries while having a savory lightness that only comes with suet (I figured I needed a no-hold-barred biscuits for the cherries and maraschino) and the combination is truly stellar. We didn't even pause for a photo.

08 June 2010

ume boshi noodles

I bought some incredible, pink ume boshi noodles at Uwajimaya in Seattle and was waiting for the perfect use for them (my beau and I love those pickled plums). I boiled them as I would soba, tossed them with sesame oil, (freshly!) toasted sesame seeds, garlic-infused rice vinegar (leftover from garlic tsukeomono), ginger pickled with shiso, mirin and finely julienned asparagus (save those tips, though!).

This I served with the reserved asparagus tips, quartered harukei turnips, halved radishes and a spread made from tahini, homemade miso and leeks (puree in a 3-2-1 ratio or so, to taste).

eggs florentine

Go in to work late today so I made myself a nice breakfast — a version of eggs florentine.

...with a side of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon (I bought an uncut piece and sliced ¼-inch slices.)

Between sautéed spinach from a local farm (I can't remember their name at the moment) and the hollandaise sauce (with cute, small eggs from the same folks, and using Julia Child's formula in Mastering the Art...), I probably consumed a half-stick of butter.

But it was well worth it. Skipping english muffins and having toasted ciabbatine rolls was most definitely a great idea.