Adapted from www.washingtonpost.com.
This irresistible cordial has just three ingredients, and was famously one of George Washington’s favorite treats. The leftover boozy cherries can be served on ice cream or over pound cake for a decadent dessert.
1 lb. tart cherries, stems removed
2 3/4 c. sugar
4 c. bourbon
Directions: Pierce each cherry a couple of times with the tip of a knife.
Pour the sugar into a half-gallon jar, and add 1 cup of the bourbon. Shake to dissolve the sugar. Add the cherries and gently shake again, and pour in the last 3 cups of bourbon.
Seal the jar and set in a sunny spot inside for 1 week. Move the jar to a dark area and let rest for an additional 40 days. When you’re ready to enjoy it, strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Cover and let sit for 3-4 hours, then pour the bounce into a clean 1-quart jar, leaving any sediment in the bowl.
Stored in a well-sealed jar at a moderate temperature, the bounce will keep indefinitely. Makes 1 quart.
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Cherry Almond Tart
Adapted from www.theseasidebaker.com.
This is the kind of tart that you might see at a fancy European pastryshop—it’s definitely a special way to treat yourself to summer cherries.
1 c. butter, cold, cubed, plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 c. powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cream
2 1/2 c. pitted cherries
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 tsp. water
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
2 c. almond paste
Directions: In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the powdered sugar and flour until combined. Add 1 cup of the butter, 1 cube at a time, pulsing to combine. Add the cream and pulse until the mixture forms into a ball. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and cover tightly, pressing the dough into a thick disk. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325ºF. On a clean, floured surface, roll the dough out and carefully transfer to a pie dish or tart pan. Prick the crust all over with a fork, then parbake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 350ºF.
In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water. Set aside.
Combine the cherries, remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the cherries begin to release their juices, about 10 minutes. Stir the cornstarch slurry into the cherry mixture, and continue to cook until the cherry mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
While the cherry filling cools, make small, 1/2-inch balls of the almond paste and arrange on a cutting board or plate.
Pour the cooled cherry filling into the par-baked tart shell. Top the cherries with the almond paste balls, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Serve dusted with more powdered sugar. Makes 8 servings.
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Chard Salad with Lemon, Parmesan, and Breadcrumbs
Adapted from www.alexandracooks.com.
Have you ever tried eating Swiss chard raw? This light, lemony salad might make you a convert. It’s got some crunch from garlicky breadcrumbs and is tossed with an easy dressing. Transform it into a hearty meal by topping it with chickpeas or a poached egg.
1/2 c. olive oil, divided
1 1/2 c. fresh breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed (saved for another use), leaves shredded into thin 1/8-inch ribbons
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3/4 c. grated Parmesan (or Grana Padano, or Pecorino)
Directions: Pour 1/4 cup of the olive oil into a small skillet and warm over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Stir in the garlic, a pinch of salt and crushed red pepper. Continue to cook, stirring, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the chard in a large bowl and sprinkle with the lemon zest. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice with a generous pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Drizzle the chard with about 2/3 of the lemon dressing and the grated Parmesan. Toss to coat, adding more dressing if needed. Top the chard with the toasted breadcrumbs, and serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.
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Spaghetti with Sausage, Swiss Chard, and Heirloom Tomatoes
Adapted from www.chowhound.com.
Heirloom tomatoes and fresh leafy greens make this pasta dish great for a summer evening.
12 oz. spaghetti
1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 bunches Swiss chard, washed, trimmed, ribs finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
2 Tbs. butter
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3/4 lb. heirloom tomatoes, cored, chopped
freshly ground pepper
grated Parmesan, or serving
Directions: Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Drain, set aside. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the sausages until browned. Transfer to a plate, and discard the fat in the skillet.
Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the chard stems and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Fold in the chard leaves, and cook another 2 minutes, until wilted. Add the butter, lemon zest and juice and stir until it forms a velvety sauce. Reduce the heat to low, then fold in the chopped tomatoes. Transfer the cooked spaghetti to the skillet and toss to combine. Cook 2-3 minutes until warmed, then transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper and Parmesan cheese and serve. Serves 4.
Star Recommends: Ampeleia Unlitro Rosso Toscana—“Crushed flowers, dried cherries, licorice and spice give the 2015 Unlitro much of its lifted, airy personality. This mid-weight blend of Alicante Nero, Carignano and Alicante Bouschet is best enjoyed over the next 2-3 years, as the flavors are already a bit forward.”
Grilled Chicken with Swiss Chard
Adapted from www.marlameredith.com.
This is a grain- and gluten-free meal that cooks up really quickly on the grill. Serve with a big green salad, preferably outside.
1 lb. chicken breasts, boneless
1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed, ribs removed, leaves torn, ribs sliced
1 shallot, diced
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Directions: Heat a grill to medium high. Toss the chicken with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and some smoked paprika. Grill 5-6 minutes per side, flipping just once, until it reaches an internal temperature of 160-165ºF. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the chopped shallot and cook3-4 minutes until almost tender. Add the chopped chard stems and cook, stirring, for 6-7 minutes, until tender. Fold in the chard leaves and toss to coat in oil. Cook until the leaves are wilted and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the chard and the grilled chicken sprinkled with some Parmesan cheese.
Star Recommends: Crowley Willamette Valley Chardonnay—Assertive, mineral-tinged pear and quince scents; lemon zest and floral nuances add complexity and lift. Sappy and penetrating on the palate, offering refreshingly bitter citrus zest and pear skin flavors that deepen and turn sweeter on the back half.
Scrambled Egg and Swiss Chard Tacos
Adapted from www.foodandwine.com.
For a serious power breakfast (or lunch or dinner!), stuff corn tortillas with creamy scrambled eggs and rainbow chard.
2 Tbs. olive oil
3/4 c. finely minced white onion, divided
2 serrano chiles, seeded, minced
1 1/4 lbs. rainbow chard, trimmed, leaves and stems thinly sliced
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded, chopped
3 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
warm corn tortillas
Directions: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1/2 cup of the onion, the chiles and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the onions begin to turn golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the chard and gently combine to coat in oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and cook, stirring, until the eggs are barely set, about 5 minutes. Fold in the last of the onion and the cilantro, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, in warm tortillas. Make 6 servings.
Star Recommends: Chateau Grand Cassagne Rose—Raspberry in color, with a ripe cherry, underbrush and mineral nose. Shows tangy cherry and blood orange notes with hints of spice.
Cherry Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins
Adapted from www.minimalistbaker.com.
These muffins are packed with fruit and enough chocolate to make them feel indulgent. The muffins are made with oat and whole wheat flours, just a touch of brown sugar, and without dairy or eggs. They bake up perfectly light and moist.
1/3 heaping c. oat flour (see note)
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. melted coconut oil
3/4 c. almond milk
1 tsp. almond extract
1 1/4 c. fresh cherries, pitted, roughly chopped
1/4 c. chopped dark chocolate
Directions: Preheat oven to 375F. Line or grease 9 muffin cups. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Combine the almond milk, coconut oil and almond extract in a measuring cup. (If the coconut oil solidifies when it makes contact with the almond milk, microwave in 5-second increments until melted again, but not hot.) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the cherries and chocolate.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins (they will be full). Bake 23-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
Note: To make oat flour, place 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until they are ground into a powder-like consistency, stirring once or twice to ensure that all the oats have been finely ground. Store in an airtight container. (This will yield 1 cup of oat flour.) Makes 9 muffins.
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Scallion and Coconut Rice with Pork
Adapted from www.food52.com.
Here’s a fragrant, satisfying one-pot meal that’s great for a weeknight.
4 scallions, trimmed just above the root
3 Tbs. canola oil, divided
3/4 lb. ground pork
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. minced ginger
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/4 c. short grain rice
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
1 head baby bok choy, end trimmed, leaves separated, washed, and sliced crosswise
1 lime, sliced into wedges, for serving
Directions: Thinly slice the scallions and set aside 1/3 cup of the white and light green parts. Set aside 3/4 cup of the dark green parts.
In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium heat. Add the ground pork, 1 tablespoon of the minced ginger and 1 tablespoon of the minced garlic. Use a wooden spoon to break up the pork, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is no longer pink. Stir in the fish sauce and cook an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the pork to a bowl and cover.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil in the pot. Add remaining 1 teaspoon of garlic and 1 teaspoon of ginger with the white and light green scallions. Cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the rice and stir to coat in oil. Pour in the chicken stock and coconut milk, and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a low boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover, and cook undisturbed for 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked and plump. Remove cover, and stir. Fold in the pork and set aside.
Heat the last 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add about 2/3 of the dark green scallions, and cook, stirring frequently, until the begin to turn crispy (keep an eye on them, because they burn very quickly!). Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.
Add the baby bok choy to the skillet you just used for the scallions. Cook, stirring, until the leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Fold the bok choy, crisped scallions and remaining uncooked dark green scallions into the rice. Transfer to a serving bowl, and serve with lime wedges. Makes 4 servings.
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Adapted from www.isachandra.com
Grilling season is here! Made with homemade seitan, these grilled teriyaki rolls are stuffed with bright green scallions, and would be great served alongside a simple pot of steamed rice or with a cold gingery noodle dish. Much of this recipe could be done ahead of time - make the seitan, assemble the rolls, then grill when you’re ready to eat.
1 1/4 c. vital wheat gluten
3 Tbs. nutritional yeast flakes
3/4 c. cold water, plus 3 tablespoons, divided
1/4 c. soy sauce
8 c. vegetable broth
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 c. sliced fresh ginger, plus 1 teaspoon minced, divided
1/3 c. hoisin sauce
1/4 c. mirin
2 tsp. Sriracha
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 bunches scallions, green parts only, sliced into 3-inch segments
3 Tbs. sesame seeds
Directions: In a large mixing bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten with the nutritional yeast. Add the 3/4 cup of water and the soy sauce. Knead until it forms a stiff dough, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and shape the dough into a flat log about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. Set aside.
Combine the vegetable broth, garlic and 1/4 cup sliced ginger in a large pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a very gentle simmer, and submerge the seitan in the broth. Simmer for 30 minutes, partially covered to allow steam to escape. Leave the seitan to cool completely in the broth.
In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the hoisin, mirin, remaining 3 tablespoons of water, Sriracha, teaspoon of minced ginger and sesame oil. Set aside.
When the seitan has cooled, remove from broth. Carefully slice off 16 slices about 1/8-inch thick (you’ll have extra seitan). Transfer the slices to the bowl of marinade, and marinate for 1 hour, flipping occasionally. After 1 hour, use a wooden spoon to push the seitan to one side of the bowl. Add the scallions to the marinade, keeping them separate from the seitan.
Place some toothpicks in a small bowl of water to soak.
Assemble the rolls. Place 1 slice of seitan on a plate. Arrange 4-5 scallions on the seitan, and roll the seitan up, with the ends of the scallions poking out on both sides. Use a toothpick to secure the rolls and complete with the remaining seitan and scallions.
Heat a grill to medium. Brush the grate with oil, then set the rolls on the grill and cook 2-3 minutes per side, flipping once, until grill marks appear. Transfer to a serving dish as they cook. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds. Makes 16 rolls.
Star Recommends: Darting Riesling Kabinett: Durkheimer Hochbenn Kabinett Riesling is a rich and sultry wine. There’s a slight surmise of botrytis, and a few nubby tannins, but the overall effect is sold and firm.