Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sunny Weekend, Good Food

What a difference a week makes.  One weekend snow, followed by a positively balmy one.   The most recent weekend started on Friday with what has become a habit - a stop at Lick the Market.   Among the items that I purchased were 4 gorgeous, golden delicious apples  (Michael's recommendation for baking).  I couldn't wait to get home and get them in the oven.  No special occasion- I just like to have them hanging around in the refrigerator at the ready for a simple dessert, or afternoon pick-me-up.  These apples were so huge that I ate them one half at a time. sometimes with that mind-blowingly delicious ricotta - also purchased at Lick.

I scooped out the core of each apple and made a neat hole to which I added a few raisins, some chopped walnuts, grade B, dark maple syrup, a dab of butter, some crumbled amaretti cookies (completely unnecessary - but I couldn't resist) and a shower of ground cinnamon.  I moistened the apples, and the pan with some port wine and water.  They baked at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I like to cook the apples until the split a bit so I can spoon the pan juices over them and it'll sink through.  As a matter of fact I basted the apples every 20 minutes or so as they baked.

Saturday morning - Allegra and I were happy to be outside on the sunny day and strolled up Warren Street, in Hudson, to 7th Street where we turned left and walked one more block to the retail space of the newly created Acres Co-op Market.  The Co-op is dedicated to showcasing the food of the Hudson Valley - especially for the producers closest to the city of Hudson.  Among the huge variety food that you will find at the Co-op is fresh organic produce, tamales made with local produce and a sumptuous pesto made with lacinato kale.

Steaming tamales from Block Factory Tamales.   The tamales are truly authentic.  I tasted one made with barbecued pork.  Owner, Lisa Krivacka, makes them with squash, chicken and beef as well.  Check her site for options.

The lacinato pesto from Oliva Provisions has become the talk of the town.   Most people don't want to wait to cook up some pasta to serve with it - they just smear it on crackers or toast and enjoy the pesto canapes with a cocktail.  It's also a great addition to a tuna fish sandwich.

The granola from Platte Clove Naturals uses pecans as its base.  It's sweetened with Catskill Mountain maple syrup.   It may never make it to your breakfast if you dip into to the bag too often - just for a taste.

After making sure that I'd seen everything at the co-op I released Allegra from the parking meter and headed back down Warren Street and stopped at Olde Hudson for a piece of fresh salmon - they receive fresh fish every Thursday.     I covered the fillet with a mixture of Dijon mustard, dry white vermouth, freshly ground black and white pepper, some fresh thyme leaves (because I had them around - I usually use fresh dill- but the thyme turned out to be very good too), and some capers.    I let the fillet sit with its topping for about an hour before loosely closing up the packet and cooking it at 450 degrees F. for 4 to 5 to minutes (depending on how you like your salmon cooked).  Had the piece been heavier than 1/2 pound I would have cooked it for a few more minutes.

SUSANSIMONSAYS   OOPS , I pressed PUBLISH by mistake - I hope that you're reading this version and not the previous, mistake-ridden one.     There's lots of delicious food in Hudson so the next time you're visiting the antique shops - check out all the good food as well.

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