Friday, June 5, 2020

Piadina Margherita + Bucci Piceno Pongelli 2014 #ItalianFWT


This month the Italian Food Wine Travel bloggers are exploring Sangiovese Around Italy with Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. You can read her invitation here. If you are reading this early enough, feel free to join our live Twitter chat on June 6th at 8am Pacific time. Follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and be sure to add that to anything you tweet so we can see it. In the meantime, here are the Sangiovese posts; they will be going live between Friday, June 5th and early morning Saturday, June 6th. Cin cin!
 In the Glass

When I think of Sangiovese in Italy, Chianti comes to mind. Then Wendy challenged us to look at the same varietal from different parts of Italy. Or that's how I interpreted her theme when I first read it. But let's take a look at Chianti...

Like most other Old World wines, Chianti derives its name from its region of production and not from the varietal used to make the wine though there are some requirements that it be mostly Sangiovese grapes.

A wide range of wine styles comes from the Chianti region. But from basic Chianti to the finest Riservas, elements of the wines remain consistent.  For a Chianti to be a Chianti, it must be produced in the Chianti region - in Tuscany - and be comprised of at least 80% Sangiovese grapes which typically produces a medium-bodied wine with strong fruit tones that are accented by delicate notes of herbs, leather, and spice, depending on the winemaker.

Traditional grape varietals such as Mammolo, Colorino, and Canaiolo are sometimes blended with the Sangiovese to add some complexity to Chianti. Today, many producers now blend in some Merlot for fruit or Cabernet Sauvignon for richness. Whatever the grape composition, you can expect the wine to be rustic and earthy. And the high tannins make it very food-friendly.

While I could have poured a Chianti for this event, I wanted to try to find a Sangiovese that was made outside of Tuscany. I tracked down a bottle of 2014 Bucci Piceno Pongelli, from the Rosso Piceno appellation in the Marche which lies along the eastern coast of Italy.

wikipedia.com

Rosso Piceno is the largest DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata or Denomination of Controlled Origin) in the Marche with most of the vineyards over 2000 feet in elevation. Rosso Piceno wines must contain between 30% and 60% Sangiovese and between 35% and 70% Montepulciano. Other indigenous red grape varietals can comprise up to 15% of the blend.

The Bucci family has owned vineyards and made wine since the 18th century. In 2002, Ampelio Bucci and enologist Giorgio Grai succeeded in getting the winery officially certified as organic. 

Made with Sangiovese and Montepulciano grapes, this wine poured a deep garnet color. With intense fruity aromas, the savory palate was surprising and fresh with light tannins. This wine had a delicious suppleness with a silky texture.

On the Plate

I decided to pour this with a slight twist on a traditional pizza. In the Romagna part of the Emilia-Romagna, the flatbread - piadina - is ubiquitous. It can look like a pizza, as mine does, but there are a few differences to note. Pizza dough is made with yeast; piadina is not leavened. Pizza dough contains no fat; piadina is traditionally tenderized with the addition of lard though I use olive oil.

Ingredients makes 6
Piadina 

  • 3¾ cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cups olive oil (traditionally this would be lard)
  • ¾ cups lukewarm water

Toppings
  • tomato sauce
  • grated parmesan
  • fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda with a fork. Mix the oil and water together, then drizzle in and toss with a fork until the dough begins to clump together in a shaggy dough.  Turn the dough out onto a cutting board or counter and knead until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl and let rest for at least 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into six piece and preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Toppings and Assembly
Roll the dough out into 9" rounds on a pizza stone. Smear tomato sauce over the crust and top on grated parmesan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as needed and place in the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The crust should be browned but will not rise at all.

To Serve
Remove the piadina to a cutting board and slice into wedges. Add fresh basil to the top and serve immediately. For a more traditional piadina-look, keep the rounds whole and just fold in half life a gyro or a taco.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Oil-Cured Fromage Blanc-Stuffed Nasturtium Leaves to Soothe the Soul


The world has gone completely mad. Seriously. It has. Between going into our third month of being sheltered in place and the civil unrest due to protests against institutionalized and rampant racism, I needed a little love last night. I walked in the door from work and grabbed Jake for an evening walk. We barely made it to the end of our driveway before I burst into tears, lamenting the world into which we were releasing our brand-new adult; R's 18th birthday was the day before.

As usual, Jake listened to me blubber, he talked, then he listened some more...and I calmed down while we walked around the neighborhood and strategized about how to talk to the boys over dinner about the state of our country. We wanted to convey that they have a voice - as well as an obligation to be agents of change and goodness - but that they can't cross the line into being wrong themselves. We asked if they knew the difference between protestors and looters. They looked at us as if we had three heads, then they succinctly defined the two. Great.

I shared a few protest stories of my own. I did live in Berkeley for five years, after all, and protesting is part of the culture at Cal! Often, I felt, that we were protesting just to protest, not because we felt particularly passionate about a cause. So, we talked to the boys about choosing their protests carefully. And we cautioned them about reading the crowds and looking for red flags if the mood were turning from peaceful to destructive and, ultimately, illegal.

Parenting is tough and emotionally draining at times. I'll leave it at that and move on to the recipe I'm sharing today.


Back in April, my friend and culinary maven Jenn Erickson of Jennuine posted photos of her nasturtium experiment to social media. Her caption - and photos - have been haunting me ever since: "The blanched leaves were filled with #chevre and cured in olive oil with lemon zest and black peppercorns overnight. We enjoyed them for brunch on garlic toast points. Absolutely blissful!! #foraging #edibleflowers #breakfast #brunch #appetizer" Her recipe appears on her blog - Goat Cheese Cigarillos with Olive-Oil Cured Nasturium Leaves. Jenn and I have been friends since college, but I don't think we ever protested together. But we did cook and eat together. Many times.

So, when she messaged me and asked if I wanted to come over and pick some elderflowers, I didn't hesitate. And, as D and I were getting ready to leave, she asked if I wanted any nasturtium flowers or leaves. Ummm...yes! We grabbed just a few and I knew I wanted to attempt my version of her cigarillos with what I had on-hand which was fromage blanc instead of chevre.

Ingredients serves 4

  • 6 to 8 nasturtium leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons nasturtium petals
  • 1/3 cups fromage blanc (feel free to substitute cream cheese or any other spreadable cheese you like)
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • lemon zest or curls
  • olive oil, as needed
  • water
  • Also needed: toasted bread for serving


Procedure

Destem your nasturium leaves. Fill a saucepan with water and heat until it is beginning to steam. Quickly plunge one leaf at a time into the water. I use tongs to hold the leaf, release it so it float flat on top, then I grab it again with the tongs and place it flat on a plate. Repeat until all of the leaves are blanched.


Place the fromage blanc, petals, and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Add a few grinds of salt and pepper. Then use a spoon to combine the ingredients.


Place a leaf on your workspace or cutting board. Add 1 to 2 T filling to the leaf. And roll into a tight cylinder.


Place the rolled leaves into a container and pour enough olive oil over them to be mostly submerged. Add your lemon zest or curls. Cover and refrigerate. Leave the rolls to cure overnight.

Before serving remove them from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. 


Slice the rolls in half and serve them on toasted bread. I used some homemade sourdough rye. Garnish with lemon curls and reserve the oil for another use.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Umami Egg Salad on Homemade Sourdough #FoodieExtravaganza


This month, the Foodie Extravaganza celebration is all about eggs, hosted by Karen's Kitchen Stories.  We celebrate various food holidays and, this month, we are celebrating eggs because June 3rd is National Egg Day. Check out everyone's recipes with eggs...


Umami Egg Salad on Homemade Sourdough

Years ago I attended an event that featured Nancy Silverton, Ruth Reichl, and Evan Kleiman called The Foodie Edition. Silverton talked about her views of a dinner party and shared one of the recipes she would put out on the table: Egg Salad with Anchovy Toasts. Once I finally got around to making it, I understood why it was a staple on her table; it quickly became a standard on mine. This version of my umami egg salad was part of my Mothers' Day brunch on the patio. Yum.


Recently, I've delved into making my own sourdough bread. It's one good thing to come out of the shelter-in-place orders to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic. I'll share this particular sourdough recipe soon, but for now, this post will be about the egg salad, this deliciously savory, umami-rich salad.


A couple of things to note. Silverton said the best way to cook eggs is to boil them for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat completely and let the eggs cool in the cooking water. Reichl chimed in that you can also steam eggs for about 25 minutes instead of boiling them. That was a new one for me; I'll give it a try one of these days. But the 5 minute boil-cool method works well for me.


Silverton tears her cooled eggs instead of chopping them. I gave it a shot. She was very specific - the whites into six pieces and the yolk into three pieces. I definitely wasn't that precise.


What really makes this recipe outstanding is the bagna cauda. Bagna cauda, literally translated as "hot bath," this dipping sauce appears in many Italian homes as part of the Christmas feast. Traditionally it's served with cardoons (you can read a little bit about cardoons in this post), but any vegetables will do. Diners dip the cardoons into the sauce and eaten with a slice of bread held to catch the drippings. When the bread is soaked with sauce, they eat it, too. And you start all over again. It's delicious and wonderful. So, I love that Silverton's recipe gives the toast a healthy drizzle of bagna cauda.

Ingredients

Bagna Cauda
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 20 anchovy filets (I used a 2 oz can of oil-packed anchovies)
  • 10 to 12 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
Egg Salad
  • 12 large, hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/2 C garlic mayonnaise (recipe below)
  • freshly ground pepper for serving
Garlic Mayonnaise
  • 2 t vinegar (I used a white wine vinegar)
  • 2 t freshly lemon juice
  • 3/4 C canola oil
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and pressed
  • 1 t salt
Serving
  • homemade sourdough bread
  • freshly ground black pepper

Procedure

Bagna Cauda
Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the anchovies dissolve and the garlic is soft and fragrant, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Keep stirring so the garlic Remove from the heat and let the bagna cauda rest in the pan. Before serving, stir to recombine the ingredients.

Garlic Mayonnaise
Whisk the canola and olive oils together. Whisk together the vinegar and lemon juice. Place egg yolk in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the garlic and salt and blend until the yolk is pale yellow, approximately 30 seconds. Add a few drops of the oil and pulse to incorporate the oil into the egg mixture. With the machine running, drizzle in the 1/4 C oil slowly until the egg and oil are emulsified. Turn off the food processor, remove the lid, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and pour in one-third of the vinegar-lemon juice mixture. Return the lid and pulse to combine. Repeat, adding 1/4 C oil at a time and 1/3 of the acid until you have used them all. You will end up with a thickened garlic mayonnaise.


Egg Salad
Tear the eggs in half to separate the whites from the yolks. Break the yolks in thirds and the whites into sixths. Place all of the pieces into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the eggs with salt. Add the garlic mayonnaise and stir aggressively with a rubber spatula until combined. 

To Serve
Give the bagna cauda a stir and spoon 1 T on each piece of bread. Spoon egg salad onto the toasts and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve with more bagna cauda for diners to drizzle on as needed.

My Favorite Sandwich: The Reuben #HerbsandSpicesDay


I am not big on sandwiches, but I do have a favorite: the Reuben. And while we are still on shelter-in-place orders, headed towards the middle of our third month, I decided to make my own version that included slow-roasted brisket and homemade sourdough rye bread.

I had invited my foodie pals to join me to celebrate National Herbs and Spices Day, which is June 10th, with a new recipe and spice swap. I wrote: "National Herbs and Spices Day is 10 June 2020, so I figured we would post a week ahead of that on June 3rd. I will pair you with a blogger for whom you will select a spice ($10 limit) and ship for receipt by May 15th. Then, on June 3rd, we all post recipes using the spice we received."

Here are the posts for #HerbsandSpicesDay...


This recipe was inspired by the package I received from fellow blogger and good friend Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm.  Wendy sent me a canister of Montreal Steak Seasoning. That was not a spice blend with which I was familiar, but the ingredients on the packaging read: "Garlic, Crushed Black Pepper, Coriander Seed, Dried Chili Peppers, Sea Salt, and Paprika." So, I did some reading.


A delicatessen in Montreal - Schwartz's - is credited with creating Montreal steak seasoning. Legend has it that during the 1940s and 50s, a Schwartz's broilerman named Morris "The Shadow" Sherman began adding the deli's smoked meat pickling spices to his ribs and steaks. Quickly popularity rose and it became the standard recipe there and at other delis and steakhouses. So what traditionally was used for pastrami branched out to all sorts of meat rubs.


After trying this twice, to great success, it has been requested at least once a week. Thankfully, it's simple. I have had to reorder more Montreal Steak Seasoning. Wendy, the boys thank you for the inspiration every single time this hits our table. We love it!


The main element to a great Reuben - in my opinion - is balance. You want to get a blend of toasted bread, spiced meat, tangy sauerkraut, and oozy cheese in every single bite. And great ingredients are key. For this version, I rubbed the brisket with the Montreal Steak Seasoning and slow roasted overnight. I baked a sourdough loaf with 40% rye flour and added homemade lacto-fermented cabbage from the garden. My Russian dressing uses fresh-made mayonnaise with eggs that I received in a trade from a friend; she got a jar of my homemade strawberry jam in return.

Ingredients

Slow-Roasted Montreal Steak Seasoning Brisket
  • one 4 to 5 pound brisket
  • 4 to 5 T Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • also needed: roasting pan fitted with a rack, foil



Reuben makes one sandwich
  • 2 slices sourdough rye bread
  • 2 t butter, softened
  • 2 T Russian dressing (recipe below)
  • ¼ C well-drained, fresh-style sauerkraut (my recipe for Simple Sauerkraut, you need at least 3 days' lead time)
  • 2 ounces Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced
  • ¼ pound roasted brisket, thinly sliced (it is easiest to slice this cooled and reheat the slices)

Russian Dressing
  • ½ C mayonnaise (my Homemade Mayonnaise)
  • ¼ C pickle relish, (I think traditionally this is sweet relish, we prefer dill)
  • 3 T ketchup (my Homemade Vanilla Ketchup, leave out the vanilla if you prefer)
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used a Meyer lemon because we have access to a tree)
  • 1 T prepared horseradish
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • freshly ground salt, to taste



Procedure

Russian Dressing
Whisk everything together in a small mixing bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Slow-Roasted Montreal Steak Seasoning Brisket
Rub the Montreal Steak Seasoning into the meat and let stand for at least 30 minutes on the counter. Preheat the oven to 265 degrees F.

Place the brisket, fatty side up, on roasting rack in the pan. Cover the pan with foil and place the pan in the oven. Roast for 7 to 8  hours. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool.

I found it easier to slice the brisket while cold for the cleanest cuts.


Reuben
Butter each slice of bread and place, buttered side down, on skillet or griddle. I like to build the sandwich in the skillet you'll grill it in.


Spoon and spread 1 T of Russian dressing on the face-up, dry side of the bread. Then spread the sauerkraut evenly over the dressing.

Arrange the cheese in an even layer over the sauerkraut, then add a layer of sliced brisket. I like to add one more layer of cheese that will stick it all together in the end.


Heat the skillet over medium-low heat and grill the sandwich slowly. Cook until the bread is browned and crisped. Then serve the sandwich open-face so diners can add more dressing if they like before closing it.


Serve immediately. Thanks, again, to Wendy, for sending me the Montreal Steak Seasoning that inspired me to actually make my own brisket for this sandwich. We love it.


So, that's my favorite sandwich. What's yours??

Monday, June 1, 2020

Pork Wonton Soup with Chives + Kitchen Chinese #CooktheBooks


Here we are the June-July 2020 edition of Cook the Books. Claudia of Honey from Rock picked Kitchen Chinese: A Novel About Food, Family, and Finding Yourself by Ann Mah.* You can read her invitation: here.

On the Page

While being annoyingly predictable and about one hundred pages too long, this novel - that is firmly rooted in the chick-lit genre - was a breezy read and an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. The title, Kitchen Chinese, refers to Isabelle's characterization of her fluency in Chinese: Just basic conversation, she explained to her friends. "Simple words I picked up in the kitchen, spending time with my mom. I hardly have the Chinese vocabulary to work as a journalist" (pg. 9).

Isabelle ‘Iz’ Lee is of Chinese origin, but she is an American. After being fired from her job in New York for doing a shoddy job at fact-checking a story, Iz ends up moving to Beijing to live with her older sister, Claire, who is a successful attorney there. 

The two women hardly know each other. "My sister and I are six years apart, but there is a greater gap between us. As children, we were allies against a steady stream of dried black mushrooms and crunchy wood eat fungi, thousand-year-old-eggs that wobbled like jelly and endless, countless bowls of white rice. ...For my sister and me, both born with a second-generation horror of being different, nightly Chinese feasts assured a craving for Taco Bell and tuna noodle casserole, or anything that our friends wouldn't think of as weird. It was one of the few things we ever agreed upon. Once we grew up to have kitchens of our own, we banished bok choy and chicken feet from our diet" (pg 25).

Iz lands a position at a small English-language magazine for the expat community, Beijing NOW, as a food critic. And, at the first meal, she has an epiphany about her identity, "I stand by an empty table, awkward and unsure. For the first time, I realize how difficult it will be to live in China, a foreigner by nature with the appearance of a local" (pg. 42). Eventually, her standard explanation becomes "I'm Chinese but I have an American passport" (pg. 63).

Things I didn't enjoy: the romantic storylines. I know this is chick lit, but even for its genre, the relationship between Iz and her pop-star faux beau Jeff was shallow and unbelievable, the one between Iz and diplomat Charlie was unlikely and unsatisfying. I mean, it might have been interesting if the conclusion were even slightly probable.

Things I did enjoy: seeing Iz adapt to life in China, including the convoluted identity crisis of a Chinese-American living in China; the relationship between Iz and Claire because siblings are complicated; the food - I found myself running to my computer to search for recipes she had just mentioned; and the writing. Mah has a delightful way with words and her prose moves at an easy, constant pace. 

Based on the writing alone, I enjoyed the book. But it had a lot more potential that Mah squanders.


In the Bowl

Because Iz is a food critic, there is no dearth of food in the book. The first paragraph of the novel has her eating kaoya, roasted duck. "Glossy and brown, with crisp skin and meltingly moist flesh, the bird is cut into over one hundred pieces, in the traditional way. We silently fill our pancakes, dipping meat and skin into the dark, salty-sweet sauce, adding slivers of scallion and cucumber, and rolling the packages up like cigars" (pg. 3).

We read about street food when she encounters jianbing, a crepe from Tianjin. "I admire the artful twist of his wrist as he spreads the batter into a large, paper-thin crepe, the flick of his spatula as he turns it over, the meditative sprinkle of sesame seeds" (pg. 63).

Claire's story about guo qiao mixian, crossing the bridge noodles, embodies a wife's unebbing dedication to her husband. "According to legend, in ancient times, a scholar was so desperate to pass the imperial exams, he isolated himself on an island to study. Every day his wife would cross the bridge to bring him a bowl of noodles. But the journey from the kitchen to the island was too long and his lunch kept getting cold. The wife was so devoted to her husband, she finally devised a way to keep the noodles hot during her walk. She poured a thin layer of smoking oil on top to seal in the heat. ...'Can you imagine being so dedicated to your husband you'd invent a new dish for him?'" the sisters joke. (pg. 283).

But I was mostly inspired by Iz's disastrous dinner (date) with Dwayne, Claire, and Dwayne's mom at Empress Impressions, "'Oh, we eat everything,' says Mrs. Keeg breezily. 'Except shellfish. Dwayne's allergic. Or peanuts. I'm allergic. That goes for peanut oil too. I just blow up like a balloon! And no MSG" (pg. 163). Iz orders an impressive feast of cold chicken in sesame sauce, cabbage in mustard sauce, flat mung bean noodles tossed with cilantro and shredded pork, pan-fried cod fillets with chili Mandarin sauce, and more.

"'Did you order any dumplings?' asks Dwayne, licking his thin lips."

"'Oh no, I didn't. I thought you were avoiding carbs -'"

"'We're in China. Gotta having dumplings,' declares Dwayne. His mother nods vigorously. 'Oh yes, she says. 'We just love dumplings" (pg. 164). Iz orders pork and chive jiaozi to satisfy the Keegs.

So, I realize that jiaozi are pan-fried dumplings, but I decided to make an easy dumpling soup. Dumplings are simply pieces of dough wrapped around a filling; I figured that wontons fit the bill. These are filled with spiced pork and the soup is topped with chives.

Ingredients serves 4

Dumplings makes 20 to 24
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 t chili garlic paste
  • 1" knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 2 t soy sauce
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 1/2 t ground Chinese five-spice (my recipe here)
  • 20 to 24 wonton wrappers
  • water, as needed

Soup
  • 6 C liquid (I used 4 C chicken broth and 2 C water)
  • 1" knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
  • 2 t soy sauce
  • 1 t chili garlic paste
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • chives for garnish


Procedure

Dumplings 
In a large mixing bowl, place all of the ingredients - up to the Chinese five-spice. Using your hands, blend all of the ingredients together until well-combined. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors mend. In the meantime, set up your workstation for making the dumplings.


Place a wonton wrapper flat and spoon 1-1/2 t of filling into the center. Dip your finger into the water and moisten the edge of the wrapper. Fold wonton in half diagonally to create a triangle. Press the edges gently to seal. Then, bring the two lower corners together and press to seal. Repeat until all of the wrappers are filled.

Soup
Bring all soup ingredients to a boil in a souppot. Reduce heat to a simmer and let the soup cook until the wontons are ready.

In another pot, preferably one with a built-in colander, bring water to boil for cooking the wontons. Lower the wontons into the water and cook for 10 minutes. Do this in batches, depending on the size of your pot.


Once the wontons are cooked, drop them into the soup broth. To serve, place four or five wontons into an individual serving bowl. Ladle broth over the wontons. Garnish with snipped chives. Serve immediately.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

Click to see what everyone else read in June 2020: here.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

You're Invited: Take a (Virtual) Hawaiian Holiday with #FoodNFlix

Fall Break, Oahu, October 2017
For June, I am hosting Food'N'Flix, the movie-watching, food-making group rallied by Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen.

This week, my older son was supposed to graduate from high school and we were supposed to leave on a family vacation to the Big Island. But, as enter our eleventh week of being sheltered in place to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, all of our summer plans were canceled, including this long-planned graduation trip to Hawaii.

Boo. I understand the need to self-isolate. And we are abiding by the social distancing guidelines put in place by our state. But, boo, nonetheless.

Oahu, October 2017

So for this month's Food'N'Flix, I chose to open up the field and let all of the food bloggers take a (virtual) Hawaiian holiday.  My boys have been to Oahu several times with my parents in recent years as my dad grew up there and wanted to spend some time on the island with his grandsons.

Ke'e Beach, Kauai, July 2003
Jake and I honeymooned on Kauai in 2000. Sadly, we haven't been back since 2003 when we traveled to the islands with a toddler (the one who just graduated from high school!), my pregnant belly, and both of our families. It was such a great time. But it's been far too long. I was really looking forward to browsing the sunshine markets and relaxing on island-time this month. Oh, well...

Thankfully, the airline gave us vouchers for the full amount that I had paid for our non-refundable tickets. And our rental let us cancel with no penalties. So, when the world opens back up, we'll try to get to Hawaii sooner rather than later.

How to Participate
For now, I hope you'll join me for a virtual trip to the Hawaiian islands. I've done some research to give you a bit of direction, but this is really wide open to your interpretation on the month's theme. Watch a movie about Hawaii...or one that's just filmed in Hawaii. I'll even open it up to television series. I'm thinking of rewatching LOST or maybe even the revamped Hawaii Five-O! Or I might dig out the kids' DVDs and revisit Finding Nemo or Lilo and Stitch.

Pride of Maui posted their Top 20 Movies Filmed in Hawaii, suggesting...both Point Break movies, Elvis' Blue Hawaii, two Jurassic movies, and more. Hawaii.com has a list of Hollywood’s Tropical Backlot: Movies You May Not Know Were Filmed in Hawaii, including Jumanji: The Next Level and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and more.

I'm sure there are a ton that I missed, but here's a list with movie titles and movie release dates to get you going...

The White Flower – 1923
Bird of Paradise – 1932
From Here to Eternity – 1953
The Enemy Below – 1957
The Old Man and the Sea – 1958
South Pacific – 1958
Wackiest Ship in the Army – 1960
Blue Hawaii – 1961
Gidget Goes Hawaiian – 1961
Girls, Girls, Girls! – 1962
Donovan’s Reef – 1963
Ride the Wild Surf – 1964
In Harm’s Way – 1965
Hawaii – 1966
Paradise Hawaiian Style – 1966
Blue Hawaii – 1967
Tora! Tora! Tora! 1970
The Hawaiians – 1970
Man With The Golden Gun – 1974
Islands in the Stream – 1977
Death Moon – 1978
Raiders of the Lost Ark – 1981
Uncommon Valor – 1983
Black Widow – 1985
Karate Kid, Part 2 – 1986
North Shore – 1987
Throw Momma From the Train – 1987
Lord of the Flies – 1990
Honeymoon in Vegas – 1991
Point Break – 1991
Jurassic Park – 1993
Waterworld – 1995
Outbreak – 1995
Picture Bride – 1995
Race the Sun – 1995
A Very Brady Sequel – 1996
The Lost World – Jurassic Park II – 1997
George of the Jungle – 1997
6 Days, 7 Nights – 1997
Beyond Paradise – 1998
Lani Loa – 1998
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien – 1999
Johnny Tsunami – 1999
Paniolo O Hawaii: Cowboys of the Far West – 2000
Rip Girls – 2000
Pearl Harbor – 2001
Planet of the Apes – 2001
Blue Crush – 2002
Lilo & Stitch – 2002
Tears of the Sun 2003
The Ride – 2003
Punch-Drunk Love – 2003
The Rundown – 2003
Finding Nemo – 2003
The Big Bounce – 2004
Along Came Polly – 2004
50 First Dates – 2004
Pipeline – 2006
10.5 Apocalypse – 2006
Superbad – 2007
Tropic Thunder – 2008
Forgetting Sarah Marshall – 2008
Avatar – 2009
Princess Kaiulani – 2009
A Perfect Getaway – 2009
2012 – 2009
Soul Surfer – 2011
Just Go With It – 2011
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – 2011
The Descendants – 2011
Battleship – 2012
Catching Fire – 2013
Big Eyes – 2014
Godzilla – 2014
Aloha – 2015
Point Break – 2015
Jurassic World – 2015
Finding Dory – 2016
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates – 2016
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – 2017
Kong: Skull Island – 2017
Snatched – 2017
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – 2018
Jumanji: The Next Level – 2019

Join the fun. Watch something or multiple some things, then post about it on your blog with a link back to this post and to Food'N'Flix. Use of the logo is optional.

Your post must be current (during month of the event). And of course we don't mind if your post is linked to other events...the more the merrier. Have fun with it!

Email your entries to me at: constantmotioncamilla [at] gmail [dot] com and include...

  • Your name
  • Your blog's name and URL
  • The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you're submitting
  • Attach a photo of any size (or just give me permission to "pull" one from your post)
  • Indicate "Food 'n Flix Submission" in the subject line

Deadline for submission: June 28th. 
I will have the round-up posted by the 30th.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Spiced Blueberry Tart + Blue Jasmine Tea Ice Cream #TheJaneAustenSocietyParty #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of author Natalie Jenner and publisher St. Martin's Press.
I received a complimentary book for the purpose of review, but all opinions are honest and they are my own.
No additional compensation for this post was provided; this page may contain affiliate links.

Today I am excited to be taking part in a virtual book release party for The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner* hosted by The Book Club Cookbook. You can see the blog party information:  here. You may also search for the hashtag #TheJaneAustenSocietyParty on social media to find the posts. But to make it easy, I'm also linking to my fellow bloggers' direct posts. Please take a look...

The Jane Austen Society Party Bloggers 
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Lemon Ice Box Cake
All Roads Lead to the Kitchen: Lemon Glazed Cake
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Spiced Blueberry Tart + Blue Jasmine Tea Ice Cream
 The Book Club Cookbook: Natalie Jenner's Victoria Sandwich Cake

On the Page

The Jane Austen Society tells the story of a group of unlikely cohorts - including a widowed village doctor, a school teacher, a reclusive spinster, and a Hollywood starlet - who band together to preserve the legacy of author Jane Austen. They aim to create a museum in her honor by saving the books and relics from the family estate. The novel's premise is that despite their differing backgrounds and disparate life situations, what they share in a love of books, particularly Austen's books, bridges the gaps and unifies the characters.

The relationships are intertwined as lives in a small village would be; we see their poignant struggles with life, death, grief, unrequited love, rejection, acceptance, and fear. And this new mission of theirs offers them the stage for healing and reconciliation.

That being said, I felt Jenner does a fine job of depicting the characters and their conflicts, but she seems to rush through the resolutions. However her research and love of Austen are evident and her deliberate imitation of Austen's writing style is admirable. Still I will say that while I enjoyed the book, I didn't love it.

On the Plate

While there were some mentions of food and drinks throughout the novel, I was inspired by Frances' meeting with Jack Leonard and Mimi Harrison. "Frances made her way down the hanging oak staircase.... Afternoon tea had been set out on the sideboard near the row of large mullioned windows, with two different types of cake on display: coffee and walnut, and Victoria sponge filled with preserves made from strawberries from the walled garden and honey from the estate's own apiary" (pg. 159).


I decided to make a treat worthy of an elegant tea tray and settled on a spiced blueberry tart. And in honor of British tea time, I served it à la mode with one of my favorite ice creams of the moment: Blue Jasmine Tea by a localish-to-me company called Tin Pot.


Ingredients makes one 9" tart
Crust
  • 100 g organic granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 80 g oil (I used canola oil)
  • zest of 1 organic lemon, approximately 1 t
  • 280 g flour (I used all-purpose flour)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t lemon extract
  • Also needed: 9" tart pan with removable bottom, parchment paper, rolling pin


Filling
  • 3 C organic blueberries, divided
  • 1/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 t spice blend*

*I used the "We're Not Gonna Bake It" Apple Pie Spice from the Book Club Cookbook collection. You can read a little bit more about their spices in this post: Buggies and Red Wine Cocoa-Mo Brownies. If you don't have that spice, use a mixture of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom in whatever proportions you prefer!



Procedure
Crust
In the bowl of a food processor, place all of the ingredients for the crust. Pulse a few times until the mixture comes together. You should have pea-sized crumbles. Turn the mixture onto a parchment paper-lined work surface. Knead until you have an elastic dough that doesn't stick to your hands.

Roll the dough ball into a circle and transfer it to the tart pan. Prick the bottom with a fork. Place the crust into the freezer to chill while the oven reaches temperature. Preheat oven to 350° F.

Filling
Place 2 C blueberries in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the berries. You don't want a puree; you just want the berries split open a bit. Turn the berries out into a mixing bowl.

Stir in the sugar, flour, and spice blend. Stir until well combined, then spoon the filling into the frozen tart crust.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 C of blueberries over the top and press them gently into the filling. Place tart into the preheated oven and bake for one hour. The crust should be golden brown and the filling bubbling.


Let cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from the tart pan. Slice warm and serve with ice cream on the side.

Many Thanks...

To the Publisher, St. Martin's Press, on Twitter
To the Author, Natalie Jenner, on Instagram, on Twitter
To the Book Club Cookbook on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, on Pinterest

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

I have also added this to #FoodieReads.
Click to see what everyone else read in May 2020: here.

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