Minus the 7 hours of picking and pitting, making brandied cherries are easier than pie!
Start by pitting and stemming ‘em. Eat some.
Place about 4 lbs of cherries in a big ole saucepan and cover with 1 1/2-2 cups sugar. Cook just until the sugar melts and gets glossy—do not overcook or bring to boil.
Strain the cherries and reserve the liquid (now a delicious cherry syrup). Divide the cherries amongst clean pint jars, filling them about 3/4 of the way.
Reduce your syrup over med-high heat for about 5 mins until it looks more delicious than you can stand. While the syrup is reducing, pour about 1/4c booze of your choice over the cherries in the jars—don’t be shy, try different boozy flavors! Jackie used Cointreau, I like bourbon!
Fill jars to top with the reduced syrup, lid, and seal in a water bath for about 10 mins.
Shelf-stable jars will keep for a long time, but if you are doing things right and making enough Manhattans, the cherries shouldn’t last too long…or there’s always vanilla ice cream… Refrigerate after opening, and remember to follow all those tips for safe canning and keep all of your containers and lids squeaky clean!
Nobody does lamb quite like Lola, but with a little help, you will probably do a pretty darn good job…
Lola’s Cumin Scented Lamb; Makes 8 to 10 Servings
One 6 to 8 pound bone-in leg of lamb
6 tablespoons cumin seed, toasted and ground in a spice grinder or electric coffee bean grinder
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
¼ bunch rosemary, chopped
10 whole garlic cloves
Kosher salt or fleur de sel
Tzadziki (see recipe)
Trim and bone the lamb, removing the hip bones and leaving the shank bone in place. After the hip bone is removed, you can open up the lamb. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the cumin, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, the rosemary and garlic cloves. Sprinkle this mixture evenly all over the inside of the lamb. Roll up the flaps of lamb and tie with butcher string. In a small bowl, combine the remaining cumin, salt, and pepper. Rub this mixture evenly over the outside of the lamb. If time permits, season the lamb a day ahead and refrigerate.
Roast the lamb slowly on a charcoal grill over indirect heat for about 2½ hours, to an internal temperature of about 125°for medium rare. Or you can place the lamb over a rack in a roasting pan and roast in a preheated 325° F oven for about 2 to 2½ hours. Remove the lamb and allow to rest in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes, then carve. Serve the sliced lamb with a sprinkle of salt and tzadziki.
Okay, folks, the elusive unicorn, the seasonal narwhal, the one-who-shall-not-be-named, SUMMER IN SEATTLE is officially upon us. Now, granted, we all know better than to call this spade a spade before July 5th, but the soil in Prosser is hot enough to burn your paws, and rose consumption is officially up by 375% according to our very scientific surveys of patios all over town. So, let’s just roll with it.
At Tom Douglas Restaurants, summers mean the kickoff to a series of events that are very near and dear to our heart—Salmon-Chanted Evenings in Victor Steinbrueck Park. This series of dinners is an effort to raise funds for Seattle parks and Recreation, in hopes of maintaining beautiful, safe, downtown community spaces. In its third year, this series is gradually becoming a downtown tradition, and we would love to see you there.
For anyone who cares about our city parks, who wants to show our best side to visitors, or just wants to get a plateful of beautiful food, including whole grilled salmon, Tom’s green beans and potato and collard salad, and Dahlia Bakery blueberry crisp, we want to extend the invitation to join us in support of this wonderful cause.
Tickets are available here: http://tomdouglas.com/calendar.php?calendar_id=20
We hope to see you down at the waterfront!
Hey Dev, what was the first thing you thought of when you looked outside this morning?
“Ugh, I should have been up a half hour ago (it was 6am)…but then I got really excited about it being a delivery day…the sun shimmering over the river…all dawny looking, it’s just pleasant to be here…and then, ‘How am I going to sell 12 totes of beet greens, and 18 totes of shanghai pac choy in the next two deliveries?’ Let the phone calls begin! This all went threw my head in a matter of seconds—good morning to me!”
We are looking forward to seeing Dev swimming in his sea of beet greens this afternoon, unloading at our back doors…and of course, even more so, looking forward to seeing those beet greens on the menus immediately! Brian Besse, over at Serious Biscuit http://seriouspiewestlake.com/index.php?page=dahllia-workshop is going to be pickling them and piling them on top of a pulled pork biscuit sandwich…need we say more?
I got a 7am text of the above treasures from Dev the other day. Yes, that’s right, he had already driven into the woods from the farm, foraged around, and come out with his goods before I had even made coffee. I had a few questions about his inspiration (and his sanity):
So, Dev, in your spare time, you wake up at 4am and go looking for breakfast, huh? What’s the deal with that?
I’m obsessed with edibles that come out of the forest, it’s exhilarating to forage for ingredients while hiking. It makes me feel like I am treasure hunting, you know that feeling…
Maybe…like The Goonies? Why were you excited enough about fiddleheads to bushwhack for them?
Well my excitement for fiddleheads comes because, just like green garlic, it is the first thing the forest offers to eat as we come out of winter/spring. Plus, it is whole lot more rewarding to find compared to the ever so elusive morel mushroom, which can often leave a forager empty-handed and hungry.
How would you describe a fiddlehead to someone who has never had them?
First of all they are TERRIBLE raw…don’t do it! And they make you sick. Once cooked, they have a very earthy and green flavor. When freshly picked and cooked, you can taste the pine smell of the northwest forest. What i like the best about fiddleheads is that they are open to accepting other flavors. Think of them like mellow asparagus, with a similar texture, and much less astringent bite.
When is the season and what do you look forward to doing with them?
The season for fiddleheads is early spring, right after the snow begins to melt. I look forward to a fiddlehead pickle…and then there is my favorite way: blanched and shocked, then into a hot pan add oil and fennel seeds, then your fiddleheads, and give them a nice sear. pull them off the heat and add some garlic paste, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Serve em up with some spring lamb or a good ol’ roast chicken. man, I want that right now…
Did you find anything else edible on your trek?
Yes, i sure did! A very juniper-berry-tasting treat called devil’s club buds—they have a super short window of harvest and you gotta get them before their leaves open up and the 1/2 inch spike on the leaves starts poking you (beware the devil’s club!). Also, I came across some wild ginger—no real edible value, but American Indians of the PNW used the dried roots and leaves for tea—man, it’s the best thing and it smells awesome…also the flowers look really cool, kinda orchid-like.
Stay tuned for more walks in the woods with Dev!