Apple Tart with Maple Walnut Crust

The traditional flavor combination of apples, walnuts, and maple syrup are nestled into a crunchy, crumbly cookie crust. It is easier to make than regular pie pastry, and fun to model as it has the consistency of “play dough.” Since there is no top crust, the apples will not steam but retain much of their crispness. The firm texture of the apples set against the fine grain of the crust pairs well with creamy vanilla ice cream. Continue reading

Grilled Salmon Fillets with Fresh Tarragon Sauce, Swiss Chard and Raisins

This fresh tarragon sauce includes the same flavoring agents as classic Béarnaise, but uses olive oil as the medium. In this case it serves as both the marinade and sauce. Fresh tarragon tastes of licorice and is a natural partner to the rich, gamey character of salmon. Serve this with rice or boiled potatoes tossed with butter and chopped parsley. Pour a young Viognier with its floral and fruity aromatics, or a plumy Pinot Noir if you prefer a red. A crisp pilsner is a nice brew to compliment the flavors from the grill. Continue reading

Farls: Irish Potato Bread

Potatoes played a leading role in the meals of my childhood. My father’s ancestors were almost exclusively from the English Midlands, Wales, and Ireland, save only his grandmother who was German. My mother traced her roots to Malcolm III, King of Scotland, who died in 1094. Given the significance of potatoes in this part of the world it’s easy to see why we hardly ever saw anything but potatoes served with a meal. It seemed odd when rice was served. Continue reading

Turkey Meatballs Braised in Apple Barbecue Sauce with Corn Pudding

Seek out meat from free-range turkeys to make these tender meatballs. Organic, naturally raised birds are generally available at food co-ops, independent grocers, through your local CSA, natural foods stores, and at farmers markets. I used coarsely ground turkey from Misty Knoll Farm located in New Haven Vermont. Birds grown in the open air, and allowed to forage on bugs in open pastures grow more slowly, but are more flavorful and healthier to eat. The richer texture and taste of these turkeys stands up to the spice-laden barbecue sauce. A traditional pudding of toothsome whole corn kernels and sharp cheddar balances the texture and deep flavor of these meatballs. Serve with a leafy green vegetable such as Swiss chard sautéed with garlic. Continue reading