Random Weekly Favorites

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The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. A person cooking is a person giving: Even the simplest food is a gift.
Laurie Colwin

Once a year my local favorite store carries fresh fava beans and I manage to come away with a few pounds to enjoy with a simple dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper…perfect with a wedge of Romano or parmesan cheese and a bottle of red wine.   There is a bit of work involved in prepping fresh favas and if you get a few people together you can make a party of it to celebrate the harvest with a simple al fresco feast of wine, cheeses and charcuterie.  Dinner with friends tonight will have my appetizer contribution of fava beans, Salsa di parmigiano and a bottle of Pinot Grigio or Sangiovese wine.

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 Last weekend we celebrated a friend’s birthday, I prepared a baked ricotta cheesecake which sounds time-consuming, but actually was pretty easy with the ingredients whirred in a food processor and baked for 40 minutes or so in a mini springform pan…serve with fresh fruit, thin slices of French bread or an assortment of plain and savory crackers.  Along with that I made a favorite pickled shrimp recipe by Hugh Acheson…

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Finally that lonely rack of lamb in the freezer was treated to a herby sear and finish in the oven then adorned with the most luscious grape and blueberry sauce…

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Grape and Blackberry Sauce

Fine Cooking has a sauce calling for Concord grapes, but I wasn’t able to find them so a good purplish black grape was worked into my recipe along with a small container of fresh blackberries.  Perhaps the recipe would have benefited somewhat had I followed the ingredient sauté instructions, but I was lazy and simply tossed all of the ingredients into a saucepan and continued until the grapes broke down which by the way was longer than 4 minutes as was suggested in the recipe.  The sauce was delicious and I could well imagine it going with pork so I froze the leftover sauce.  Link to Fine Cooking below…

http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/lamb-chops-with-concord-grape-sauce.aspx