This is one course of an exquisite lunch at Hauner Winery, on the Aeolian island of Salina off the Northern coast of Sicily. We had just eaten little spreads that included one made with capers; the little buds thrive on the land (the winery preserves them in sea salt and packages them for sale). We were dining on a patio overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The little fried bits are fresh sardines and another fresh fish indigenous to that region. The salad is made with potatoes, tomatoes, capers, and olive oil (a combination we saw several times on the island). Dessert was homemade cannoli.
The meal was simple but perfect in a magnificent setting. "Making wine is an excuse to live here," the winemaker told us.
It was one stop on a whirlwind time through Sicily with a dozen Boston Globe subscribers, crossing from one coast to the other, with several other stops on the Aeolian islands. Cultural Crossroads made the arrangements and found our guides on land. Stephen Meuse and I tweeted our experiences (@stephen_meuse and @sheryljulian on Twitter).
I'm writing a story about the food that will run in the Travel section this summer. In the meantime, where do I get fresh sardines and fresh anchovies caught that morning?
On Sunday, I'm leaving for Sicily to meet a dozen Boston Globe subscribers. We're on a whirlwind tour that looks, from the itinerary, like we'll sleep standing up. Follow me on twitter @sheryljulian, using the hashtag globeciao (ciao is pronounced chow). Lots of good food to report on.
Chicken tikka masala
During the lockdown in and around Boston on Apr. 19, blogger Kathryn Nulf made this spicy chicken dish, which she posted on her blog www.litfromwithinwellness.com. The recipe originally comes from The Chicago Tribune, who published it on Apr. 17, 2002 (almost 11 years to the day when Kathryn made it). She found it on food.com and likes to make it with coconut milk and/or coconut milk yogurt, she writes, and add vegetables to the sauce. Serve it in bowls over rice.
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, chopped
1. Soak 6 bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.
2. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, red and black pepper, cinnamon, salt, and ginger. Add the chicken pieces. Thread the chicken on the skewers and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Discard marinade.
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno or other small chili pepper, cored and chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala (available at specialty markets)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. In a flameproof casserole over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and jalapeno or other chili pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala, and salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
2. Stir in the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Stir in the cream or coconut milk and simmer 5 minutes.
4. Light a grill or turn on the broiler. Grill or broil the chicken skewers, turning occasionally, for 8 minutes or until cooked through. Slide the chicken off the skewers and add it to the sauce. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
5. Serve over rice, sprinkled with cilantro. Adapted from The Chicago Tribune
Makes 4 dozen
Maury Rubin of The City Bakery taught cookbook author and baker Tracey Zabar how to make tarts, she writes in "One Sweet Cookie: Celebrated Chefs Share Favorite Recipes." The version in her book uses organic flour and oats. When I made these cookies during the lockdown in Watertown after the Marathon Bombings, in what I call The Stress Kitchen, I used all chips, instead of a combination of raisins and chips. Allow at least 6 hours for the dough to sit before shaping cookies.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups old-fashioned oats
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup raisins
1. In a bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, salt, and oats to blend them.
2. In an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the granulated and brown sugars and blend well. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add half the flour mixture, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the other half.
3. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Use a large metal spoon to stir in the chips and raisins. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface, then cover the bowl with another sheet of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.
4. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour so it is soft enough to scoop.
5. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the dough for each cookie, and place on the prepared pans, spacing them 1 inch apart. Press slightly to flatten the balls.
7. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown, turning the position of the baking sheets from back to front halfway through baking. Cool on wire racks; store in an airtight container. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from “One Sweet Cookie”
By winning Munch Madness for its third consecutive year, Hungry Mother successfully completed a "turkey," a bowling term for three strikes in a row. As part of the playful trash-talking that the tournament tends to incite -- a tradition that the Southern-style restaurant has helped cultivate over the last four years -- Hungry Mother and Oleana exchanged barbs during the championship round.
Hungry Mother took the first shot over the weekend, sending Oleana a Butterball turkey with a mock Boston Globe headline that read, "Hungry Mother scores a turkey in Boston.com's Munch Madness. Oleana continues to cook food from turkey." Oleana responded, though the first-time finalists might not have been familiar with the bowling lingo, as they sent back a different bird and a confused note, "We have no idea what's going on, but here's a quail … and we're gonna kick your ass!" Hungry Mother countered by tweeting a photo of the quail cooked up next to its much larger chicken, saying "go big or go home!"
"We're not sure if anyone gets quite as into it as we do, but we're proud of our fighting spirit," Hungry Mother co-owner Rachel Miller Munzer told us, shortly before edging Oleana by 311 votes.
Indeed they do get into it. Last year, the restaurant sent its opposition Craigie on Main a sympathy card for coming in second – during the middle of Craigie's Saturday-night service (voting ended the next day). The previous year, they picketed East Coast Grill, while the Cambridge seafood spot hired a witchdoctor to hex them in retribution. In 2010, when East Coast Grill won our inaugural competition, they received an anonymous threatening note while competing with Hungry Mother that read, "To ECG: Drop out of the contest now or you will really know what Hell Night is!"
Obviously, at this point Hungry Mother is an old pro at psyche-outs, but kudos to Oleana for getting into the spirit of the competition and digging into the dark side of Munch Madness. The Inman Square spot remained classy in defeat and Hungry Mother showed the love, too.
Congratulations to all the restaurants on another great year.
Hungry Mother has three-peated as Munch Madness champion. In a matchup of Cambridge heavyweights, the southern-style favorite held off Oleana, which specializes in North African and Mediterranean cuisine, by 311 votes to claim its third consecutive title in our annual tournament of 64 local restaurants modeled after the NCAA March Madness basketball bracket.
It was the fourth straight trip to the final round for chef Barry Maiden’s Hungry Mother, which has only lost once – in 2010 to East Coast Grill. In one of the biggest surprises of this year’s competition, that former champion was knocked off in the opening round by the Kenmore Square mainstay Eastern Standard. However, Hungry Mother and the only other previous finalist, Craigie on Main, were paired against each other in the Final Four. In that rematch of last year’s finals, Hungry Mother edged chef Tony Maws’ restaurant by a little more than 300 votes to advance.
On the opposite side of the bracket, Oleana made its first championship appearance. To get there, chef and owner Ana Sortun’s Mediterranean spot had to sneak by the French-inspired Gaslight, defeating the South End brasserie by a razor-thin margin of 211 votes. The right side of the bracket was guaranteed to provide a fresh finalist, since all previous visitors to the championship round were placed on the left this year.
Boston.com readers cast more than 176,000 total votes in this year’s competition. In crowning Hungry Mother yet again, they merely cemented the Cambridge restaurant’s status as a local food titan.
Check out the bracket to see the results of each round.
Which Boston-area restaurant serves the best burger? Vote in our poll and make your voice heard.
from Katherine Hysmith, who is at the opening of Shake Shack:
Inside the burger zone. I overhear that the delicious custard contains about 20 percent eggs, which justifies eating it this close to breakfast. A lady in Shack Shake gear answers questions for patrons queuing up in front of a giant green, grey, and white peg board menu on the wall.
Due to our excitement (eyes bigger than stomachs), we order more than we need: a single Shack burger (standard comes cooked medium), a chicken dog made with apple-chicken sausage, a side of crinkle fries, the lobstah shell concrete, tea, and housemade lemonade. Leaving the counter we wonder if we should have ordered more, just in case. Now we wait for the glorious hum of our little green buzzer.
Recycled wood and other building materials make up the interior of the shack, yet everything is sleek and stylish with green and brushed chrome accents. Workers attired in all black ensembles with shake shack monogrammed Patagonia jackets to keep them warm.
The Shake Shack concrete (like a frozen custard ice cream), creates a whole new medium. You have to eat it with a spoon. The lobstah shell concrete has vanilla custard, strawberry puree, and pieces of lobster shell pastry (think cream puffs) from the North End. The burger, deceivingly plain in its paper wrapper, is perfectly juicy and layered with fresh veg and the secret sauce. Fries are also plain, hot, and crispy, but not as outstanding as the other things. And there's something incredibly comforting about a plain grilled dog -- pork, beef, or chicken. We leave the burger joint full, wiping mustard from our mouths so as not to taunt those waiting in line.
Boston Globe Food contributor Katherine Hysmith joined other eager Shake Shack customers this morning to stand in line for their famous burgers. Here is her initial report (more to come).
Today is the first day of spring and there's snow on the ground and the scent of grilled angus in the air. Here amidst the nearby construction and the late morning traffic, the well-praised shake shack is opening its first Massachusetts location in Chestnut Hill, near the movie theatre on Route 9.
Maybe it's chance or maybe the burger gods have sent their blessings, but the line moves quickly. Plastic menus in hand we plan our attack. Workers walk along the line offering samples of custard and strawberry lemonade. The crowd is quiet and perhaps a bit pensive about their orders. But true to New England fashion, everything is orderly and the customers on their best behaviors despite the sizzle of french fries just feet away.
For three years, we’ve held Munch Madness, our annual restaurants tournament modeled after the NCAA March Madness basketball bracket, and in each of those years, one establishment has always appeared in the championship round: Hungry Mother in Kendall Square.
In 2010, the first year, the Southern-style staple was knocked off by the seafood and spice of Inman Square’s East Coast Grill. Both restaurants climbed back to the finals the following year, with Hungry Mother exacting revenge and winning.
Last year, our readers crowned Hungry Mother the champion once again, voting out its nearby neighbor Craigie on Main. Three years, three finalists from Cambridge. As we set the field for this year’s tournament, will there be a new challenger to stick a fork in the competition?
Check out our bracket of 64 restaurants, divided roughly between contestants from the previous year and new entrants. Make your picks, then log on to www.boston.com/munchmadness to cast your vote. You’ll find information about each restaurant to help you decide, and a chance to sound off on why your favorites deserve to move on.
Voting for Round 1 starts Wednesday, March 20, and goes through March 21. For Round 2, vote March 22-23. Round 3 takes place March 24-25, and Round 4 on March 26-27. That leads us to the Final Four, March 28-29. Voting for the championship will be March 30-31. We’ll tally the results and announce them online April 1.
This year, the restaurants that previously have made the finals are all on the same side of the bracket, ensuring some fresh blood in the championship round.
The 11th annual Taste of South Boston will be held Sunday, March 24, from 6-9 p.m. at the Seaport Hotel. Always one of the biggest neighborhood food fests of the year, this year's event will have 30 local restaurants and live music, and for $50 it's usually a bargain and a fun night, to boot.
Here is the full announcement from the South Boston Neighborhood Development Corp.
The South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation (South Boston NDC) will hold its 11th Annual Taste of South Boston on Sunday, March 24, 2013, from 6 - 9 p.m. at the Seaport Hotel. This event has become one of the city's premier food events enjoyed by over 500 attendees. For an entrance fee of $50, attendees can sample food and beverage offerings from 30 local restaurants while enjoying live music.
This year's event boasts the largest number of participating restaurants, from the traditional South Boston neighborhood, the South Boston Waterfront and the Fort Point areas. As of press date, 28 local restaurants have committed to providing tastings including: 75 on Liberty Wharf, American Provisions, Aura Restaurant, Café Porto Bello, Cranberry Café, Empire, Franklin Southie, Jerry Remy's Seaport, Larry J's BBQ Cafe, Lincoln, Local 149, LTK, Lucky's Lounge, Papagayo, The Paramount, Rosa Mexicano, Salsa's, Salvatore's, Sportello, Strega Waterfront, Sweet Tooth Boston, Tamo Lounge, Temazcal Cantina, Trade, Water Cafe at the ICA, and The Whiskey Priest. Al's Liquors will be sampling select wines, and Harpoon Brewery will be pouring samples of their latest brews.
South Boston NDC is a recognized 501c(3) that has successfully developed over 180 units of affordable housing in the community. The Taste of South Boston is South Boston NDC's annual fundraiser. Proceeds from this event support the South Boston NDC's mission to provide affordable housing for working people, families, elderly and Veterans in our community. This spring, South Boston NDC and its partner Caritas Communities, will begin construction of Patriot Homes, 24 affordable apartments for Veterans.
Tickets can be purchased online at: www.tasteofsouthboston.com or at the office of South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation located at 365 West Broadway, South Boston. For general inquiries, email us at: email@example.com or call 617-268-9610.
Ariane Daguin of D'Artagnan, the company that first distributed foie gras and now sends high-end organic meats and poultry to restaurants around the country, is in Boston this week for the aptly named Blizzard Bash, to be held tomorrow night, even if the storm is bad.
She is the daughter of famed French two-star chef Andre Daguin of Hotel de France in Auch, Gascony, which he ran for almost 40 years, and where he was known for his foie gras. When I first heard about him from Paula Wolfert ("The Cooking of SouthWest France"), I asked a friend if she wanted to go to France on an eating tour.
We drove from Paris to Auch, with an overnight stay in the charming Medieval town of Sarlat in the Dordogne, and didn't allow enough time to get to the restaurant. We were way past our lunch reservation and the hostess didn't want to let us in, even though I pleaded in my horrid French. Chef Daguin came out of the kitchen, insisted we sit down, and cooked us foie gras in so many variations we were dizzy, all accompanied by armagnac in round-bottomed glasses (you couldn't set them on the table till they were empty).
I always wanted to tell M. Daguin what a wonderful moment that was. So I told Ariane instead last night over dinner at Oleana.
She and former partner George Faison began D'Artagnan in 1984, shipping foie gras to restaurants. Today, D'Artagnan sends out 32 trucks with pork, beef, lamb, and chicken deliveries from Southern Maine to Washington, D.C.; there are more trucks in the Midwest. She says, "I was extrememly lucky" about the timing of the business. Young chefs from the CIA and the International Culinary Center, known then as the French Culinary Institute, along with trainees from the late Peter Kump's cooking school, were changing the landscape of cooking with their trendy ideas.
She travels around the country talking to farmers who want to raise organic meat to her specifications. Animal husbandry isn't a huge stretch from what she grew up with, she says. Her grandmother regularly made confit from duck breast (a cut we now see seared and served rare). When someone brought an animal into the restaurant, she would go in to help break it down into cuts.
Her meats and poultry cost more ("double the price of commodity meat," she says), because they're fed better, and growers pay real attention to the words "free range." Pork comes from Berkshire pigs in the foothills of the Ozarks, Waygu beef from a female rancher in Texas, lamb from Colorado, rabbits and chickens from Amish in Pennsylvania and Indiana. "They think like we do," says Daguin about the Amish farmers. " 'My father gave me this soil, I will give it to my children in better shape.' They have respect for animals."
When she sees what passes for organic chickens in some markets, she is very surprised. Commodity chickens are 35 days old when slaughtered. D'Artagnan chickens are 80 days. The famous French Poulet de Bresse, raised to government standards, are 120 days, she says. "When you look at chicken in dollar signs, it's what it ate. Labor, transportation are nothing compared to the food costs."
She's grateful to today's restaurateurs, who seek out good products. "The priorities of chefs is to have the best possible ingredients on the plate," says Daguin. "That's what's allowed me to have a business all these years."
Food section contributor Debra Samuels wrote "Close to the Hearth" in mid-January, then signed up for the day-long Hardcore Hearth Cooking workshop run by Kathleen Wall at Plimoth Plantion. Here is her report.
Dress code: Layers and no loose clothing. At 7 a.m., I bundled up and in a glorious sunny day, drove to my date with 17th century New England.
At our orientation we sipped and nibbled on the traditional Colonial snack of coffee and Dunkin' Donuts. Among the participants in the workshop were a professional baker, a Revolutionary War re-enacter, and a Civil War re-enactor (and anthropologist). We set out for the single-room house with a thatched roof, dirt floor, and very small windows (below).
The fire in the open hearth had already been started by Kathleen's 2 able assistants, Malka and Kathy, living history interpreters at Plimoth during the year. It was dark and very cold and we all gravitated to the warmth of the fire.
Whole sweet potatoes were heating in a cast iron pot and turkey parts simmering in another; both hanging from long poles over the fire. The turkey stock would become the base for a pottage with maize, and the sweet potatoes would be sliced, set into a pastry, and turn into sweet potato pie. But we were hours away from that.
We cooked sliced onions in a cast-iron skillet with 3 legs set above glowing coals. They would eventually be made into a delicious dish called onion sop, sort of an onion soup with poached eggs served over thick slices of toast. The toaster was a cast iron fanlike contraption with glowing coals underneath.
We took turns feeding the fire, adjusting the height and position of the pots and pans all day. We were working constantly. As the sun rose higher, a bit more light came into the cottage, but not much. The room had a bed at one end, a table near the hearth, and benches here and there. The entire family and any servants all lived in one room. Kathleen guided our chores, gave us historical tidbits about food, life, and the origins of Colonial words.
While lifting a heavy pot brimming with the turkey and maize soup, I was very aware that if I dropped that pot there would be no food to replace it. It's also physically exhausting to lean over the fire all day. We had assistants. Colonial wives were probably cooking alone.
We snacked on pancakes we made with whole spices we had pounded into powder to perfume the batter. As the meal was coming together, Kathleen told us that the Pilgrims consumed 4,000 calories a day. It makes sense considering the amount of activity the women did and the chores the men had outside. On the coldest days, they could warm their feet on this little contraption.
We hauled the feast up to the activity center and the 21st century. The food was delicious. I expected bland English fare, but this was filled with good seasonings and interesting flavors. We left full, smiling, and smelling like we had bathed in smoke.
I woke up the next morning really happy to have been born in the 20th century with a new appreciation of all that we have and the long road getting here. I'm not sure I could have nursed an open fire seven days a week, depending on it for my food, hot water, and other necessities.
This is Olivia, daughter of Food section writer, photographer, recipe developer and tester Karoline Boehm Goodnick, at her first birthday party. Karoline made two cakes, one for Olivia to feast on (wearing a bib and diaper only), the other a cow cake for the crowd (both below). Party theme was farm life.
Karoline wrote on her blog, Karoline's Kitchen: "The giant cow (too often mistaken as a pig. boo.) was cut from 2 layers of devil’s food cake, filled with homemade raspberry jam and frosted with buttercream. O’s barn smash cake came together from some vanilla scraps leftover in my freezer. Don’t even ask how much red food coloring I used in that little number!"
Guests took home cookies, which Karoline made as baby chicks, and tucked into egg crates.
Former employee Jennifer Galatis and a group are re-opening Mike & Patty's in Bay Village, a popular breakfast and sandwich spot. Original owner Michael Fitzhenry sold it to Galatis and the others.
Husby and oenophile Stephen Meuse and I are taking a group of Boston Globe subscribers to Sicily in May, so we're studying the food and wine of the region (which we know a little about already).
Don't worry: it's not just us. Travelers are accompanied by a Sicilian food critic and professional tour guide. They visit Palermo, Agrigento, Segesta, and the Aeolian Islands, and the trip includes wine tastings, a cooking class with a Sicilian chef, and more.
The first dish I started making is a simple garlicky tomato sauce in which you poach eggs. This dish, known in the Middle East and North Africa as shakshuka , is part of the Arabic influence in the area, which you see in many other preparations.
But join us and let's discover all this together.
Yes, we should all be debating more serious matters, like the Fiscal Cliff and the troubles in the Middle East and whether Mick Jagger should just retire already. But apparently there is another storm brewing:
Is "foodie" a word?
Before you choke on your vegan veggie chips, here is why this question is even being asked. Sam Sifton, the former New York Times restaurant critic, now national news editor, sent out a tweet recently that said: "Foodie is not a word."
Okay, fine, no big deal, right? Grammatically, he's correct. Except, well, a whole lot of people say foodie, are foodies, have friends who are foodies, like foodies, and even like the word foodie.
Sifton inspired a writer in Milwaukee who, naturally, calls himself the Wisconsin Foodie, to fire back with a lengthy blog post that included this dig:
What troubled me was not the latently New York-centric, snobbish subtext, which I have come to expect from Sifton, but that the comment was aimed and fired, like an unexpected spit ball in a high school hallway, at people like me.
Sifton answered with this tweet today: "If it is "New York-centric" to not want to sound like a 5 year-old, then I am clearly a New Yorker. Detest the word."
He may detest it, but as another tweet on the subject said: "Only a pretentious nincompoop would pretend "foodie" ain't a word." It was only lacking a nyah-na-na-na-nyah at the end.
And so, as Michael Buffer likes to say, Let's get ready to rumbbbbbbbble!
Any thoughts on this? And then we can all get back to what really matters these days. Mick.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
The recent social-media spat between a Pigalle customer and chef Marc Orfaly left us wondering: Just what could be in that pumpkin pie? Here is a recipe inspired by the event. Definitely one to clip for your next Thanksgiving! If you have any questions on how to proceed, please call me.
'You must enjoy vomit' pumpkin pie
Makes one 9-inch pie
1 pre-baked pie shell
1 raw chicken breast
1 3-pound sugar pumpkin or kabocha
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 can (13.5 ounces) spinach
2 containers pork lo mein from sketchy Chinese place on the corner (note: doesn't matter which corner), at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream
1 pair testicles (can be purchased frozen at specialty markets)
1. 1-2 weeks before serving, unwrap pie shell and set on shelf in refrigerator. Unwrap raw chicken and chill beside it until flavors have mingled. Reserve chicken.
2. Take sugar pumpkin or kabocha and find a tall building with roof access. Take elevator to roof (if there is no elevator, it is fine to take the stairs; this step will simply take a bit longer). Drop pumpkin from edge of roof.
3. Return to ground level and scrape pumpkin chunks from street, storing in compost bucket, bed pan, garbage bag lifted from city trash can, or other handy receptacle. Return to kitchen and simmer chunks in pot of water until tender. Drain.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor with metal blade, beat together pumpkin chunks, reserved raw chicken, sugar, cornstarch, spices, salt, eggs, evaporated milk, and canned spinach.
5. Throw chunks mixture into pie shell and bake until filling is set, 20-30 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.
6. Eat 2 containers pork lo mein.
7. Wait for chills to set in. You are almost there! The next part won't be pretty, but judging by how fat your face looks, you most Likely shouldn't be eating anymore greasy Chinese food anyway, Sweet pea. xo.
8. Vomit into heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Pour heavy cream into pan and simmer until cream is infused. Strain through a fine strainer. (Some prefer to wrap vomit in cheesecloth, but we find this unnecessarily fussy.) Chill cream.
9. Whip cream until it almost holds peaks but remains runny. Cut pie in slices and serve with dollops of the whipped cream.
10. Oh yeah, the testicles. If you had any clue about eating out, or balls, you would know what to do with them.
11. Apologize to your angry, ranting guests, then friend them on Facebook.
Not adapted in any way, shape, or form from the actual Pigalle
This recipe for an open-faced farmhouse apple cream pie was sent to The Recipe Box Project (firstname.lastname@example.org) last year by Melinda Kessler Spratlan of Amherst. We had our doubts. Instructions called for whisking sugar, flour, and cream until smooth. We worried that this mixture, which contains 1/4 cup flour and 1 cup light cream, wouldn't set. Well it does set and turns into a pretty terrific, easy pie. You can arrange sliced apples in concentric circles or use chunks, which we prefer; they make a homier pie.
Kessler wrote, "My mother, Nelle McFarland Kessler, was raised on a farm in east central Indiana. She and her mother, Bessie, often baked pies for the farm hands when they came in from the early morning chores." Her mother also made the pie for Thanksgiving, a tradition that Kessler continues with her own family.
If you have a favorite recipe to add to The Recipe Box Project, please forward it to us. We'd love to hear from you.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers. We hope your table is full of good food and laughter.
Farmhouse apple cream pie
Makes one 9-inch open-faced pie
One 9-inch unbaked pie shell, chilled
3 or 4 large tart cooking apples (such as Cortland or Mutsu), peeled, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup flour
1 cup light cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
Ground cinnamon (for sprinkling)
1. Set the oven at 400 degrees.
2. Pile the apples into the pie shell.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, and flour. Add the cream and vanilla and mix until smooth. Pour the mixture over the apples. Dot the top with butter and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
4. Bake the pie on the lowest rack of the oven for 15 minutes.
5. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for 45 minutes or until the filling sets. Total baking time is 1 hour. Adapted from Melinda Kessler Spratlan
What's cooking in the world of food.
ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.