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Persimmons and other Farmer's Market Bounty

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REPOSTED FROM MY WEBSITE-www.lemonsandbeans.com-

The persimmons are here. Also green eggplant, mustard greens, young spinach and black-eyed peas. And Thanksgiving is coming, so I have some experimenting to do before called upon to produce holiday dishes. Bellow are few recipes I tried out for a half-time meal during last weeks squeaker between LSU and Alabama. I am thinking of serving the Muscadine and Cane Vinegar Drumsticks (tentatively renamed More Better Chicken or Fourth Quarter Yardbird) with the Persimmon and Habanero Chutney that is simmering on the stove. I am also taking a swing at Gumbo Z’Herbes using Tasso from Ronnie’s #2 on Florida and lots of fresh mustard greens. If all goes well I will be serving that to some friends (with whom I spent 6 weeks in China) this Wednesday along with Chevre Soufflés and a yet to be determined main course involving Crab and Catfish. The goat cheese is from a local produces and is exceptional. Most of the other ingredients are from the Farmer’s Market as well.

So, that is my Saturday. Gumbo Z’Herbes and Persimmon Chutney simmering on the stove as airplanes wheel crazy turns in the clear air, practicing for a flyover of tonight’s Homecoming football game. The Persimmons taste like sugar cane and sky-writing.

<b>Persimmon and Habanero Chutney</b>

6 Persimmon, quarter in cut, most of the skin discarded
1 Lemon, juiced and 1 inch of peel retained
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
½ c Onion, ½ inch chop
6 Whole Cloves
8 Pepper Corns
1 Habanero, fine mince
4T Malt Vinegar
1t Salt
½ c Cane Sugar
¼ c Water
1 t Cumin Seeds, toasted

Simmer the Cumin Seeds, Cloves, Pepper Corns, Habanero, Salt and Sugar in the Vinegar, Lemon Juice and Water until the Sugar dissolves of the spices have steeped, about 15 minutes. Add the Onion, Garlic and Lemon Peel and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Add the Persimmon and cook, over low heat for about 45 minutes. The Chutney should thicken and look like, well… a Chutney.

<b>Muscadine and Cane Vinegar Marinade</b>

¼ c Olive Oil
¼ c Cane Vinegar
2T Southern Comfort
2T Garlic, minced
3T Muscadine Jelly
1T Lemon Juice
2t Coarse Mustard
¼ t Cayenne Pepper
1t Salt
Dash Green Pepper Tabasco

Use this as a marinade for dark chicken meat. It makes enough for about a pound of boneless chicken thighs or maybe 18 legs. 2 to 4 hours, no more. Not much less.

<b>Mirliton Gratin</b>

4-5 Mirliton, seed removed, flesh chopped
2c Fresh Bread Crumbs
1c Onion, minced
1T Garlic, minced
3T Butter
3T Bacon Fat
2t Thyme
1t Paprika
¼ t Cayenne Pepper
1½ t Salt
¼ c Tokaji, Malaga or Vin Santo; any good desert wine
2 oz Pernod
1½ c Cheddar Cheese, grated
½ c Romano Cheese
¼ c Cream
1 Egg

Preheat your oven to 375F. Grease a balking dish/casserole thingy. Heat the Butter and Bacon Fat. Sauté the Onion and Garlic in the hot fat in a large, high-sided pot. Think Dutch Oven. Add the Thyme, Paprika, Salt and Cayenne. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the Desert Wine as well as the Pernod and cook for another 10 minutes or until the Mirlitons begins to become transparent. Stir in all but a handful of the Bread Crumbs. Most of the moisture should be absorbed by the Crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the Cheeses. Whip the Egg and Cream together and fold into the Mirliton and Cheese mixture. Pour into the baking dish and cover with the remaining Bread Crumbs. Bake for about 55 minutes.

<b>Chipotle and Rum Rubbed Pork Butt</b>

5lb Bone-In, Pork Butt
4-6 Chipotle Peppers, with Adobo
2T Coriander Seed, toasted and ground
2T Cumin Seed, toasted and ground
½ T Mexican Oregano
½ T Mustard Seed, ground
1T Black Pepper, ground
½ T Whole Allspice, ground
5 cloves Garlic, sliced
1½ oz Rum, not white
1½ T Salt
2T Corn Oil

Toast the Coriander and Cumin Seeds then grind them with the Mustard Seed, Black Pepper, Allspice and Oregano (MEXICAN!) in a spice grinder. Add the spice mixture to the Garlic, Chipotle, Rum and Salt. Process in an um… food processor. Add the Corn Oil as the paste processes. Wash and dry the Pork Butt then slather the Butt with the spice/rum paste. Wrap loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 or so hours. Preheat your oven to 325F. Unwrap the Pork Butt and place in a roasting pan. Cook covered with tin foil for 3 hours then another 3 hours or so hours with out the foil. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Pull the pork butt; let it know who’s boss. Serve while still warm on tortillas with good sour cream, pickled red onions and cucumber. A little avocado would probably be a good idea, maybe a squirt of lime juice.

<b>Pickled Red Onions</b>

2 Red Onions, cut in half and sliced thin
½ c White Vinegar
½ c Apple Cider Vinegar
3c Water
½ c Cane Sugar
2t Salt
¼ t Cayenne Pepper
1 pod Star Anise
¼ t Ground Ginger
½ t Thyme
1 t Pepper Corn Mélange

Combine all of the ingredients except for the Onion in a pot. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the Salt and Sugar. Add the Red Onion slices and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes then take off of the heat. Put into a clean and sterile container and refrigerate. Serve with pretty much anything, but the Chipotle and Rum Rubbed Pork Butt would be a good place to start.

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