THE END OF THE TOMATO SEASON IS NEAR

The End Of The Season
The End Of The Season

It is getting to the end of the local tomato, bean, pepper, cucumber and other locally grown produce season. Soon we will see pumpkins, squash of all kinds and other cool weather produce, but the soft flesh produce will soon be a fleeting memory until next year. I hope you have had time to put up a goodly store, either canning or feeling as many as possible. There just isn’t anything like it in the cold winter months.

I was fortunate enough to have stopped at a great local meat market, McGonigle’s, at 1307 W. 79th, a couple weeks ago and to my absolute delight, there was a produce stand set up in their parking lot selling some of the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes I have ever seen. While talking to the grower I was so impressed with his commitment to his product and the way he grows his plants. Check them out on Facebook, COBINSTEINZ FARM and from what I understand they will still be around for a few more weeks with some great looking produce for your eating pleasure.

For you RESTAURANT OWNERS you can contact them direct to place large orders. The number is on FB or contact me for the phone number. What a great way to show your customers you have the best to offer them.

 

It’s Apple Time

Wow. I just came back from the Farmers Market and the apple harvest is definitely in full swing. Reminds me of climbing Mr. Huntley’s tree when I was a kid and getting first pick of anything I was brave enough to reach for.

But that also reminds me of another tree I just HAD to climb, got to the very top of and then froze in panic and couldn’t climb down. I am not sure how long I was in that tree before my father found me (actually probably heard me) and talked me down, but at the time it felt like light years. And to make matters worse the best trees were always in someone else’s yard. So when one did get stuck it required a decibel level approaching a storm warning siren before help arrived. Well needless to say I found other past times on the ground.

But back to apples. There are so many varieties to choose from. We eat a lot fresh from the store, preferably chilled in the refrigerator. I do have a favorite easy quick recipe I will share with you if you want a dessert.

It begins with one of my old friends “puff pastry”. I truly don’t know what I would do without puff pastry and phyllo dough. They both are miracle ingredients in the kitchen. If you haven’t used puff pastry before you will find it in the freezer section of your market. There are usually two sheets in a box. Thaw one in the bag it comes in and return the other to the freezer.

When it is pliable enough to unfold without breaking, lay it out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Gently roll it with a floured rolling pin just to cover any crease marks. Sprinkle with a mix of cinnamon and sugar mixed together. Using your fingers roll an edge all the way around the pie crust. With a fork or a pastry docker prick the dough all over the surface.

Peel and core 6 or 7 of your favorite crisp apple. Slice into thin slices and place into water that has lemon juice squeezed into it. Meanwhile, crush 2 cups of Italian style almond cookies.
Drain the apples and pat them dry. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar according to the tartness of the apples. Loosely pile the apples in the tart shell, sprinkle with almond cookie crumbs and dot with 4 Tbsp. butter pinched into small pieces. Place in preheated 375 degree oven about 30-40 minutes or until apples are soft and puff pastry is cooked on the bottom and edges are brown. If you have a pizza stone preheat it and bake you apple creation on it. They work beautifully and the crust will be flaky and golden brown.
A large dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream will top this off perfectly.

It’s a simply recipe but it works and it showcases falls great apple harvest.