Grounds For Sculpture‘s Southern Chef is Cooking up a Mess o’ Crawfish
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton has started to offer more populist (in a good way) activities – artistic, cultural, performing, and culinary. If you haven’t been there in a while you should check out the complete calendar of activities here.
Of course, I’m always most tuned into the culinary end of things, so I am particularly excited about the Bayou Crawfish Boil being mounted by executive chef Shane Cash – a distant relation of Johnny Cash – on Friday, July 12. There are 2 seatings, at 6 & 8:15 pm, on the terrace outside Rat’s Restaurant. Fresh Louisiana crawfish, BBQ, shrimp ‘n grits, gumbo, & lots more. Plus beers and moonshine cocktails and music by Sidewalk Zydeco. Food: $59. For info & reservations, click here.
Gluten-free Recipes from Wildflour in Lawrenceville
I posted about Marilyn Besner’s new cafe/bakery here a few weeks ago. More about it is in my story in the July 5th edition of The Princeton Packet, as well as the following recipes from Marilyn and her baker Matt Andresen for coconut macaroons, quinoa tabbouleh, and a delicious green smoothie.
WILDFLOUR’S COCONUT MACAROONS
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon potato starch
12 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl set over boiling water, use an electric mixer to whip the egg whites, sugar, and potato starch until whites are stiff. Remove from heat, stir in the coconut and a pinch of salt.
- Drop small mounds onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 12 to15 minutes, until peaks turn brown.
Makes 30 cookies.
WILDFLOUR’S QUINOA TABOULLEH
3 cups quinoa
1 bunch scallions
1 English cucumber or Persian cucumber
1 bunch parsley
For the dressing:
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons sumac (see note)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse quinoa well and place in large saucepan with 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to simmer, and simmer until circles start to separate from the seed and the quinoa is tender (10 to15 minutes).
- Meanwhile chop the scallions, cucumber, and parsley. Make the dressing: whisk together all ingredients.
- Drain the quinoa and let it come to room temperature. Mix with the vegetables and toss with dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 8 to 12.
Note: Sumac is a dark-red, dried and ground spice with a tart, lemony flavor. It can be found at Middle Eastern markets and at Savory Spice shop in Princeton.
WILDFLOUR’S GREEN SMOOTHIE
For the green juice:
1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
2 apples, unpeeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1 cucumber, unpeeled and cut into chunks
1 lime, peeled
1/4 cup almond milk
Ice (about 1 cup)
Honey or agave syrup
- Place green juice ingredients in a juicer or heavy-duty blender and process until smooth. Set aside or refrigerate.
- Place the banana, avocado, date, almond milk, and ice in a blender. Pour in 1/2 cup green juice and blend. Sweeten to taste with honey or agave.
Makes 1 12-ounce smoothie.
Just in time for Jersey Tomato Season: 2 Outstanding Panzanellas
Back in 2004, chef/owner Jim Weaver of Tre Piani won the NJ Seafood Challenge with his Seafood Panzanella, adding Jersey seafood to the traditional Italian tomato-bread-olive oil salad. It’s as good now as it was then. Here’s the recipe (and photo, below) immortalized on the Department of Agriculture’s website.
Another ingenious take on panzanella recently came into my inbox by way of North Jersey chef Jesse Jones. Replacing Italian bread with cornbread and using apple cider vinaigrette is pure genius in my book. Here’s the recipe:
CHEF JESSE’S SOUTHERN INSPIRED PANZANELLA
For the cornbread:
1-1/3 cup pastry flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup corn flour
2/3 cup sugar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
For the salad:
Prepared cornbread (above)
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced 1/2- inch thick
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 pound baby kale, washed and dried
3 tablespoon capers, drained and roughly chopped, if large
Salt & pepper to taste
For the apple cider vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon, finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- Make the cornbread: Grease or butter a 13- by 9-inch baking pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. In another bowl combine buttermilk, butter, and lightly beaten egg. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix just to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool.
- Make the salad: Cut the cooled cornbread into 1-inch pieces, spread on a cookie sheet and toast in 350-degree oven until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. (Note: works especially well if cornbread is made a day or two in advance.)
- Assemble: Make the vinaigrette by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, baby kale, and capers. Add the toasted cornbread cubes, season with salt and pepper, pour in the vinaigrette, and fold gently, being careful not to break up the cornbread too much. Serve on a nice white platter.
Serves 6 to 8.