Archive | Recipes

Cast-Iron Skillet Fried Trout with Herbs

Trout-RecipeCooking a whole trout is simple, with delicious results. This recipe can easily be adapted to any similar-size fish available at your seafood market.

Serves 1–2

1 whole trout (1½ to 2 pounds each), scaled, gutted and gills removed
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for fish
1 bunch fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano

Open fish like a book. Season cavity with salt and pepper, and drizzle with some oil. Stuff with herbs. Close fish, and rub both sides of fish with oil. Transfer prepared fish to a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Grill until the fish is browned and crisp, flipping fish halfway through, about 14 minutes each side.

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Cousin Sue’s Cast-Iron Skillet Pizza

bharrewyn_skillet_pizza_300dpi-2This recipe is written for a large, 12-inch skillet and requires a 16-ounce ball of pizza dough (readily available at local grocery stores). If your skillet is smaller, simply use a bit less dough. No specific sauces or toppings are listed; those choices are entirely up to you.

Preheat the oven to 475° with the skillet inside.

On a floured work surface, roll and stretch a 16-ounce ball of pizza dough (at room temperature) into about an 11- or 12-inch circle. Place the dough circle on a piece of parchment paper lightly coated with nonstick spray that is wider than the skillet by 4–6 inches on each side. Using a fork, poke the dough with holes every few inches. Dress the pizza with sauce, desired toppings and a blend of shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and place on the stovetop. With help from a friend, lift the parchment from all four corners and place the pizza (still on the parchment) carefully into the pan, seating the edges lightly with a fork if necessary.

Bake the pizza for about 4 minutes, then carefully remove the skillet from the oven. With help from a friend, lift the pizza from the skillet using the four corners of the parchment and place it on a large cutting board. Carefully slide the pizza off the parchment. Gently slide the pizza off the cutting board and back into the skillet. Return the skillet to the oven to finish cooking, about another 4–5 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Carefully slide the pizza from the skillet back onto the cutting board, letting it rest for a few minutes before cutting into slices.


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Rhubarb-Lemon Squares



By Laura Sorkin

This is my all-time favorite rhubarb recipe. It is a springtime tweak on the traditional lemon square. One may think that the acidity of rhubarb would be too much with the acidity of lemon but put them in a curd with plenty of sugar and they play very well together. The result is a beautiful rose-pink color and the flavor is addictive. You can use any type of shortbread underneath, adding flavors such as candied ginger or a touch of anise. I have included a fairly basic shortbread recipe that has a little cornmeal added for texture.

¾ cup butter, diced
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornmeal
⅓ cup sugar

Rhubarb-Lemon Filling
¾ pound rhubarb, washed and diced
¼ cup maple syrup
4 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter, diced

For the shortbread: Preheat oven to 350° and butter a small gratin dish (any variation on the 8- by 8-inch size will do). Place all of the ingredients for the shortbread in a bowl and knead the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers. When it has the consistency of moist breadcrumbs and all the butter is incorporated, pour into the gratin dish and press down into the bottom. Put in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until it just begins to brown. Remove from the oven.

For the filling: Put the rhubarb in a saucepan with the maple syrup and place over medium heat. Let the mixture simmer and break down until the rhubarb has “melted” into a purée and most of the liquid is boiled off. Set aside.

In a medium-sized pot put the yolks, sugar, zest, juice and butter. Stir with a whisk over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved and it starts to thicken (about 5 minutes). Add the rhubarb purée and cook an additional 3 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly, being careful not to let it scorch. Pour the mixture over the shortbread and return to the oven for 8 minutes. Remove when the rhubarb purée has just begun to set.

Let cool, cut into squares and dust with some confectioner’s sugar if you wish.


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Ramp and Pea Pesto



Makes approximately 2 cups

This pesto is delicious brushed on grilled corn on the cob, as a crostini topping, served over vegetables or fish or spread across pizza dough.

1 tablespoon plus ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste, divided
2½ cups ramps, root ends trimmed, bulbs, slender stems and leaves cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas, cooked according to package, or fresh, blanched briefly in boiling water
½ cup coarsely chopped Marcona almonds
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To make the ramps: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook ramps, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, as the ramps are cooling, cook the peas. Remove from heat, drain and set aside to cool.

To make the pesto: Process the ramps, peas, remaining ⅓ cup oil, almonds and lemon juice in a food processor until desired texture is achieved. Spoon the pesto into a decorative bowl and fold in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings with additional oil, and lemon juice, if desired.

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Vermont Red Wine and Goat Stew

The stew’s cooking time will vary depending upon the age of the goat. Meat from older goats (called chevon) is juicy and has more flavor than younger meat (kid or cabrito); however, chevron is darker and less tender and will need a longer cooking time. Does or nannies (female goats) are better for recipes using steaks and chops.

Makes 6 servings

2 strips thick-cut bacon, coarsely chopped
2 pounds boneless goat meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
⅓ cup all-purpose flour, or as needed
3 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
½ tablespoon smoked sweet paprika*
½ tablespoon salt
½ tablespoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, thinly sliced
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
2½ cups dry Vermont red wine, such Boyden Valley’s Riverbend Red
bharrewyn_goatstew-crop1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
¾ cup low-sodium beef stock, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 pound new potatoes, unpeeled, cut into ½-inch-wide wedges
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
Crusty bread

Preheat the oven to 300°.

Cook bacon in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp and browned, about 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Reserve bacon fat in pot.

Pat the goat meat dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, dredge the meat in flour and season with paprika, salt and pepper.

In the same pot used to cook the bacon, heat the reserved bacon fat and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, cook the meat until browned on all sides, adding additional oil if needed, about 6 minutes. Remove meat from the pot and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and onion and sauté, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

In the same pot, stir in the wine, tomatoes and juice (breaking up the tomatoes with a fork), beef stock, tomato paste, cinnamon, pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Return the meat to the pot and cook in the oven, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender, about 3 hours for chevon meat. After 2 hours of cooking add the carrots, potatoes and reserved bacon.

Whisk in butter until melted. Stir in the parsley. Discard bay leaf and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread, if desired.

*Note: You can turn up the heat by substituting smoked hot paprika.

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Rabbit in Mustard Sauce

1 rabbit, cut into 6 pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed with the side of a knife
4 sprigs thyme
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 375°. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Dip 1 piece at time into the flour, coating well and shaking off any excess flour.

In a large, heavy, ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, add the rabbit pieces and sauté until well browned, turning them only once.
Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the rabbit to a plate while you make the sauce.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat and return the pan to the stove. Add the onion and stir until softened. Add the wine and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. When the wine is reduced by half, add the chicken broth, garlic and thyme and reduce until the consistency is that of syrup. Stir in the cream and mustards. Bring to a boil; then taste and adjust seasoning.

Add the rabbit pieces back to the pan and turn once or twice to coat well with the sauce. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the rabbit and sauce onto a serving platter and garnish with fresh parsley.

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Bourbon-Fig Jam

A jar of bourbon-fig jam ready to complement any cheese platter. Photo by Jullianne Plunkette

A jar of bourbon-fig jam ready to complement any cheese platter.
Photo by Jullianne Plunkette

With dried rather than fresh figs, this sweet jam can be made in any season. If available, use dried Turkish figs instead of Mission figs for a jam that is nearly identical in color to the bourbon added to the recipe. Darker Mission figs will make the jam not only darker but also sweeter, so reduce the amount of sugar you add if Mission figs are your only option.

Yield: Approximately 1½ cups

6 ounces dried figs (preferably Turkish)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ cup straight bourbon
Combine all ingredients except the bourbon in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer about 10–12 minutes or until the mixture thickens and turns rosy-gold in color, roughly the same color as the straight bourbon. Remove from the heat, cool slightly and blend until smooth using either a stick blender or food processor. Spoon into glass jars and refrigerate. The jam will keep for several weeks.

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Green Mountain Mule

Photo by Brett Harrewyn

Photo by Brett Harrewyn

You’ll want to use a good-quality ginger beer rather than ginger ale, whose sugariness will overpower the subtle maple flavor. Think spicy winter tang, not summery sweetness.

Yield: 1 serving

1½ ounces straight bourbon
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
4½ ounces ginger beer

In a highball glass, combine the bourbon, lime juice and maple syrup, stirring gently to dissolve the syrup. Add the ginger beer and some ice, then garnish with a slice of lime.

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Squash, Leek and Vinegar Soup

Photo by Brent Harrewyn

Photo by Brent Harrewyn

This sweet and spicy soup will accelerate the metabolism with apple cider vinegar, enhance circulation with chile flakes, boost immunity with leeks and soothe the nerves with winter squash.

2 tablespoons local sunflower oil (I like Rainville Farms.)
2 leeks, chopped and rinsed
3 ribs celery, rinsed and chopped
1 acorn squash
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon each: coriander and chile flakes
½ teaspoon each: cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg and salt
4 cups water

Preheat oven to 375°.Place the whole acorn squash in a baking dish and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven, cut open and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Scoop out seeds, remove skin and set aside.

Heat oil in a soup pot. Add rinsed and chopped leeks and celery and cook on medium heat until translucent—about 5 minutes.

Add baked squash, vinegar and spices. Stir well. Add water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes or more. Leave the lid slightly askew so that some of the steam escapes and the soup reduces to a thicker stew.

Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and unsweetened yogurt if you like.

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Daily Tonic and Hot Toddy

Daily Tonic

This invigorating beverage gives the body a gentle wake-up call. Try it either first thing in the morning or during the post-prandial afternoon dip in energy. It will stimulate lymphatic circulation, helping to cleanse the fluids of the body and reduce sinus congestion.

½ cup freshly pressed apple cider (I like Shelburne Orchards Ginger Jack for its warming, digestive kick.)
1 cup water
3 tablespoons unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
Juice of 1 lime

Combine in a 16-ounce glass container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Hot Toddy

A lovely, relaxing beverage to enjoy around the fire, you can customize this warming concoction to delight your guests.

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons raw honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon
Optional: ½ ounce whiskey (Might I suggest Vermont’s own WhistlePig Rye.)

Mix these well in a small pot. Heat gently and drink to your health.


Photo by Brent Harrewyn

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