Peach Souffle + Lemon Verbena Cream + Blackberries

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So light and tasty and not too sweet and just exciting on the tongue is how I’d describe this dessert. The only hard part is making sure you have all the parts ready to go together, so doing a bit of prep beforehand pays off. I, for example, made the lemon verbena cream while the souffle was about to go into the oven and so I was running out to the garden to get more verbana to make the infusion, while watching the souffle cook, while trying to whip the cream. Just make the cream first and save yourself some trouble. These are to be served right out of the oven, piping hot with the cool, light, lemony cream just dripping a bit down the sides. Using coconut palm sugar gives the souffle a delicate caramel taste, but its not traditional and it effects the way the whites fluff up a bit. That said it was still excellent and I would use coconut palm again next time.

Peach Souffle (Recipe adapted from here)
2 large peaches
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 meyer lemon juice
sea salt
7 egg whites
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or granulated sugar)
1 tbsp butter, room temperature

Oven 400. Generously butter 8 ramekins ( I only had 4 small ones and one huge one, so use what you got).

In a food processor, or by hand, chop the peaches, or pulse until they are just about bite size pieces. Scoop a heaping spoonful of the peach mix into the bottom of each ramekin.

Add the vanilla, lemon juice and salt to the remaining peach and process/blend until smooth.

In another bowl, whip the egg whites until they are slightly frothy, and then add a touch of salt, and gradually, over about 5-10 minutes, add the 3/4 sugar. Blend until the egg whites start to hold their shape and form peaks. Again, they will behave a little differently than your used to if you use coconut palm sugar-they won’t form such high peaks.

Incorporate about two cups of so of the eggs yolks into the peach mix, stir well, then add the peach/egg mix back into the beaten eggs. Stir until just combined

Spoon the souffle mix into the ramekins all the way to the top. Bake in a rimmed pan for about 10 minutes.

Lemon Verbena Cream (make before souffle)
4-5 small springs lemon verbena
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup  coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup water

In a small saucepan heat the water + sugar. Chop the lemon verbena and bruise a bit with your hands, then add it to the saucepan. Whisk on low heat for a few minutes, until quite fragrant. Remove from heat, and pour into a glass jar. Cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes

When the verbena simple syrup has cooled, whip the cream for a few minutes, then add the vanilla. Spoon in about 1/4 cup of the simple syrup, but not too much. Add it to the cream slowly so the cream doesn’t lose its shape.

Serve the souffles piping hot with cream on top, blackberries and any other garnishes you wish. Enjoy!

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Japanese Sweet Potatoes, Rosemary, Sage and Pluots

IMG_2669This is one of my favorite meals. It takes 30 minutes to put together and then cooks for a few hours in the oven and becomes this perfect meal. We happen to still have quite a few ribs in the freezer from our cows, and each time we’ve had them this summer its been a memorable meal. It is important to use a good red wine for this dish, in fact I usually use the same wine that I end up drinking with the meal. If you can make your own beef stock that is the best bet, but I would recommend using water in place of stock if you don’t, I don’t particularly like using chicken stock in place of beef and have found that water works wonderfully.

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Japanese Sweet Potatoes, Rosemary, Sage and Pluots
5-8 short ribs, defrosted, at room temperature
1 medium red onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1 tbsp sprouted flour
2 cups good red wine
2 cups beef broth
salt & pepper
1 1/2 tbsp butter
3 sprigs rosemary & sage
salt & pepper
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Pluots, diced

Oven 350. Coat the ribs in salt & pepper, and a thin layer of flour.
Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a deep, hot skillet. Brown the ribs on all sides for about a minute each side, then remove from the skillet. Add the chopped onion & carrot to the skillet, and turn the heat way down to low-medium.
Cover and stir occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, but not browned. Take your time with this step, at least 15 minutes, if not more. You get so much more flavor when you’re patient with your onions.

Add the red wine, bring to a gentle rolling boil, then add the beef broth.
Place the ribs in the braising liquid, add 2 sprigs of rosemary & sage (saving some of each) place the lid on the skillet (or use aluminum foil to cover) and leave in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours.

At the same time place the potatoes in the oven. After about two hours, pull the potatoes out, place the remaining sage & rosemary on them, drizzle with oil, salt & pepper, and a little lemon juice and place back in the oven until the herbs are crisped.

Serve the braised ribs with potatoes and a handful of diced pluot and finish with a grind of salt if needed. Enjoy with the same wine you cooked with and a vibrant, farm fresh side salad.
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Herbed Meatballs in Ginger Curry Broth with Shishito Peppers, Arugula, Apricot, Summer Squash + Cracklings

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My favorite time to cook is often when I think I have nothing left to work with in my fridge. It forces me to be creative, to leave behind my go-tos and come up with new ways to enjoy ingredients that I often use. As I was cooking this meal my mom brought me some pig cracklings she made from the pigs we raised on our family ranch. They are the perfect topping, savory with a crunch and melt in your mouth ending. This meal may seem like many steps but it is uncomplicated and adjustable depending on what you have left in your fridge, just read through the recipe before starting so you have all of your ingredients ready.

Ginger Curry Broth
11/2 inch ginger, peeled & finely chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1 can coconut milk + 1/2 can water
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder or paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil

Add the coconut oil to a skillet, melt and then add onions. Cook at medium heat, covered, until softened, then add the ginger. Cook for a few minutes-10 or so- until the onions are translucent, but not browned or burning. Add the can of coconut milk, water and the spices to taste. I keep the curry seasonings light so that the ginger isn’t overpowered. Pour the mix into a small saucepan and turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Shishito Peppers, Arugula, Apricot, Summer Squash + Cracklings
1/2 lb shishito peppers
1/2 lemon juiced
2-3 small yellow summer squash, chopped
2 handfuls arugula
1 apricot, halved and quartered
cracklings
1 tbsp coconut oil
sea salt & pepper

In a medium-high skillet, add the coconut oil and shishito peppers. Coat in lemon juice, salt & pepper. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or so, stirring every so often. During this time, start the herbed meatballs. When the shishito’s are browned well, add the summer squash. Cover and cook for another 6-8 minutes, then add the arugula and apricots. Make a little space in the pan to heat the cracklings, or fry them in another skillet. Season to taste, this will serve on top of the meatballs and curry.

Herbed Meatballs
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 tsp sea salt & pepper
3 sprigs of fresh oregano
1 egg
1/8 cup of coconut flour
1 tbsp coconut oil

Using your hands, mix the ground beef with the salt & pepper, oregano, egg and coconut flour. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, shape the meatballs, and add them to the pan. Cook until crisp and browned, then flip.

To serve: Add the meatballs to a bowl, spoon curry over and then add the vegetables and cracklings.