[Rebecca Mastoris is a chef/teacher at Bauman College, and a partner in Vibrant Foods Catering along with Karen Haralson. Both Karen and Rebecca teach cooking classes at the farm and in town locally - see our Calendar, below. If you have any feedback on the recipes below, or recipes of your own to share, Rebecca would
love to hear from you. You can email her at email@example.com]
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Makes 2 1/2 dozen
This recipe comes from an OLD Sunset "cookie" book. These are more like a "cakey" bar than a cookie though. But I love this recipe; it is popular with friends and family, and is so easy!
1 cup persimmon puree (directions follow) from Hachiya persimmons
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil of choice
1 package (8 ounces) pitted dates, about 1 1/2 cups, finely chopped (sometimes it's eaiser to snip them with kitchen scissors)
1 3/4 cups flour of choice
1 teaspoon each: sea salt, ground cinnamon, and freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Lemon Glaze (recipe follows) To make persimmon puree
: You will need fully ripened persimmons. About 2 to 3 medium persimmons will yield 1 cup of puree. Persimmon puree freezes beautifully, so if you find yourself with lots of them ripening all at once, prepare puree as described here and freeze in one-cup increments. Then thaw as needed and use in any recipe calling for persimmon puree.
Cut fruits in half and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. Discard the skin, seeds, and stem. In a blender or food processor, whirl pulp (if doing large quantities, do this a portion at a time) until smooth. For each cup puree, throughly stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice. To store, freeze in 1-cup containers; thaw covered, at room temperature.To make bars
1. Measure out 1 cup of puree and stir in baking soda. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, lightly beat egg, then stir in sugar, oil and dates.
3. In another bowl, stir together flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; add the date mixture alternating with persimmon mixture, stirring until just blended.
4. Stir in chopped nuts. Spread batter evenly in a lightly greased, flour-dusted 10 by 15 inch rimmed baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until top is browned and a pick inserted comes out clean.
5. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Prepare lemon glaze and spread over the bars. Let cool completely, then cut into 2-by-2 1/2-inch bars. PERSIMMON PUDDING CAKE
Makes 1 cake
This recipe was in the new Edible Monterey Bay magazine and I just had to share it with you -- it is soooo GOOD! Hope you enjoy it; it is worth the work!
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons brandy
2 cups persimmon pulp (see above recipe for making puree)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 - 1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 pinch cloves
1 pinch fresh grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1/4 cup egg whites (whites from two separated eggs)
1 handful sugar (about 1/4 cup)Brandy Sauce
1 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup cream
1/2 cup brandy
pinch of sea salt
1. In a small glass or ceramic bowl, combine the raisins with the brandy, making sure all the raisins are submerged. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 3 hours or (preferably) overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a bundt pan; set aside.
3. Puree the persimmon pulp in a blender, then strain into a large bowl, using a ladle to force as much through as possible.
4. Add the sugar, vanilla, cloves and nutmeg, stirring well until blended.
5. Stir in walnuts and the raisin-brandy mixture.
6. Combine the baking soda and salt, and gradually add the persimmon mixture, stirring until well mixed. Stir in the milk, blending well, then set aside.
7. Place egg whites in a small mixing bowl. With an electric mixture set at low speed, beat the whites for 30 seconds, then increase speed and add sugar a little bit at a time every 30 seconds or so, until sugar is incorporated and stiff peaks form.
8. Carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the persimmon mixture until just barely blended.
9. Gently spoon the batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake in the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until done (i.e. just starting to brown and no longer "jiggling". You can test for doneness by inserting a toothpick or bamboo skewer; if it comes out clean, it's done). Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
10. While cake cools, make the brandy sauce: Whisk brown sugar into the butter. Boil for 1 minute then turn off heat. Add brandy, salt, and cream, whisking until smooth.
11. Turn cake out of bundt pan onto a serving plate. To serve, cut into slices, spooning brandy sauce over slices and then sprinkling with a little nutmeg.
12. Serve immediately.SWEET and SOUR COLE SLAW
Yes, another cole slaw! I am particularly fond of this one, so I am sharing...
Makes 8 or more servings
1 large head cabbage, quartered, cored, and shredded
2 cups yellow onions, peeled and sliced paper-thin
1/4 cup sweetener (or to your taste)
1/4 cup mild honey
2 teaspoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2/3 cup bland oil (such as grapeseed)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1. Place cabbage in a very large bowl and arrange the onion slices on top of the cabbage.
2. Sprinkle with the sweetener and drizzle with the honey, without stirring.
3. Combine the brown sugar, salt, dry mustard, oil, vinegar, and celery seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over the cabbage and onions. Stir everything together and let sit at least 4 hours.
As slaw marinates, its apparent volume will shrink by at least half. Transfer to a glass dish and store in refrigerator, covered and use as needed. It will keep 2 weeks.CHICKEN, CHARD, and RICE SOUP
There is no chicken meat in this soup, only chicken stock. You can use vegetable stock instead if you like. You can also substitute kale for the chard; just remember that kale requires longer cooking times. In this recipe, the Lacinato kale would work better than the Red Russian.
2 bunches chard (about 1 1/2 pounds) (can substitute kale)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
6-8 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup Basmati or short-grained rice (I use brown Basmati or short-grained brown rice -- so much better!)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
sea salt and pepper to taste
More Parmesan cheese for garnishing
1. Wash chard well and cut leaves into strips and chop stems. (If using kale, omit stems.)
2. In a 4-5 quart pot, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until softened.
3. Add the chard and stir to coat with the butter. Cover the pot and heat for 4-5 minutes to wilt the chard.
4. Add 6 cups stock; bring to a boil and add the rice. Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
5. If soup becomes too thick, add more stock.
6. When the rice is done, add fresh Parmesan and parsley. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.
7. Serve piping hot sprinkled with more cheese.ROMANESCO CAULIFLOWER SOUP with RED PEPPER GINGER SAUCE
This soup can be served cold, or both soup and sauce can be reheated and served hot.For the soup
3 pints vegetable stock (6 cups)
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of ground coriander
1 head Romanesco cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1 pint creamFor the red pepper sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 red peppers, deseeded, trimmed and chopped
1 red chili pepper, de-seeded chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and grated
1. Bring the stock to a boil in a large pot. Add the nutmeg, coriander, and seasoning.
2. Add the chopped cauliflower and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool, blend to a smooth puree, then add the cream.
3. While cauliflower is cooling, make the red pepper sauce. Heat the oil in a pan, add the red peppers, chili, ginger, and some salt. Cover, and cook over a very low heat for 20 minutes.
4. Let cool and then blend to a thin sauce which will emulsify a little.
5. To serve, pour the soup into individual bowls. Carefully pour the red pepper sauce into the soup, starting in the center and making a thin spiral. Serve at once.WILTED CHARD OR KALE SALAD
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 red chili pepper, de-seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon each: crushed cumin seeds, crushed cardamom seeds and crushed coriander.
1 bunch chard or kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (if using chard, cut the stems into bite size-pieces and use as well)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon sweetener
1. Heart oil in a pan and add the ginger, garlic, chili, spices, and chopped chard stems. Stir-fry until the spices darken and the garlic browns; by then the stems should be softened. If you are using kale just stir fry the spices.
2. Now add the torn leaves of chard or kale and stir-fry rapidly for about 1 minute (2-4 minutes longer for the kale).
3. Add the salt and sugar, stirring again to season. When the greens are wilted to your liking, place them in a serving dish and serve immediately.BUTTERNUT SQUASH TAMALES
Makes 16 tamales
This is from an old Rick Bayless cookbook called "One Plate at a Time." Equipment
Bowl to soak corn husks
Measuring cups and spoons
Bowls for mixingIngredients
1 8-oz package of corn husks (or a package that contains at least 16 husks!)...for dough
2 cups diced butternut squash
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup diced scallions (white and green) (from about 6 scallions)
1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilies
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups masa harina
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil...for filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small bunch scallions
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup Spanish olives with pimentos, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup capers
1 cup vegetable stock
1 scant teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
hot sauce for servingPrep Work
First immerse husks in a bowl with hot tap water and weight down with a plate to keep submerged. Soak for at least 30 minutes. (It's okay to just leave them in the water until you're ready to use them.)For the dough
1. Put butternut squash in a pot with broth, scallions, adobo sauce, garlic, salt, and cumin. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Remove squash with a slotted spoon, reserve broth. Set aside half the squash for the filling, then mash the remaining squash in a large bowl.
3. Mix in the masa with a fork. Slowly pour the reserved broth over the dough, mixing with a fork (or hands) until smooth. Stir in oils, a little at a time until dough is soft and moist. Cover and set aside.For the filling
4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions, garlic, chiles, cumin, and salt and cook until soft, about 1 minute.
5. Add reserved squash, plus the olives, raisins and capers and cook, stirring gently, until well combined. Add broth and orange zest and cook, stirring occasionally, until broth is slightly absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Remove from heat.Assembly Instructions
1. Cut 16 strings 8 inches long.
2. One at a time, spread out a soaked husk and place about 1/4 cup of dough in center of each husk, leaving enough husk free to enclose tamale. Pat down. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons filling on top, then cover filling with 2-3 tablespoons more dough, gently patting to cover filling.
3. Wrap husks around the filling and twist and tie ends with reserved string.
4. Lay tamales in a steamer basket, cover and steam until husks get slightly transparent, about 50 minutes.
5. Remove tamales from steamer, let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.