Monday, October 04, 2004

Cold Weather and Nut Breads 

With the start of colder weather, it's easier to test out new stew and bread recipes.

Fall produce is naturally less expensive in the fall.

One of what we hope will be a seasonal specialty is our Root Stew: potatoes (mealy and waxy), carrots, onions, rutabagas, celeriac, kohlrabi, turnips, parsnips, and jerusalem artichokes in a thick creamy base, tarted up with a squeeze of beet puree. Beets, of course, would be overwhelming in the Root Stew, but essential if we want to capture the essence of rootiness. Beet puree is astonishingly purple and looks well against the creaminess of the Root Stew, whose pale green is relieved only by the dotted orange of the carrots. A squiggle of beet puree adds flavor, color, and interest to an otherwise sweet and dichrome stew.

I think a dollop of creme fraiche with a squiggle of beet puree over it would look and taste fabulous.

But it's not just stews that absorb us - it's the nut breads.

Pumpkin bread with raisins. Pumpkin bread with pecans. Pumpkin bread with blueberries. Pecan cranberry nut bread. Orange walnut bread. Dried cranberry cherry and apple bread. Banana nut bread.

The variations are as endless as our imagination. Lemon blueberry bread.

Orange cherry pineapple with macadamias.

Chocolate hazelnut cherry.

Baked as individual loaves, as bite sized nibblers, as rings and crowns, as standard substantial tea loaves, with the coming of cold weather, nut breads come into their own.

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