This week I am enthusiastically preparing to feed the masses of Caravan 2014, once again. After spending the last year traveling across the States cooking, it’s surreal to finally be placing my food order, after fantasying about this menu since I left. As long as I have been cooking at Caravan, I have taken my responsibility to feed the hungry campers three nutritious meals for three days very seriously. So, in my fourth year I am pleased to be working nearly exclusively with Maine Farmers with the help of Crown O' Maine Organic Co-Op, as well as my infamous Pig Man, Davis Archer. This year Eclectik Domestic is offering a premium food ticket for an additional $20 which will feature a spit roasted local beer fed pig, raised just 40 miles from Belgrade. I will also be featuring a American Inspired Breakfast series, secret treats from my girl Ellie the Baker and much much more. Caravan has taught me so much about cooking and its people will always hold a very special place in my heart. I hope this year will be the most delicious and efficient year yet.
This Galette was a fourth of July inspired pastry. Once again we had a tremendous amount of Santa Rosa Plums at Camp Joy just screaming to be used. Galettes are simple and surprising easy to prepare. The crust that hugs the ricotta and plum filling can be used in both sweet and savory galettes; tomatoes, peaches, spinach and cheese are all excellent choices!
Plum + Ricotta Galette
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Zest of half a lemon
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup ricotta, yogurt or sour cream
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
Combine flour, salt, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add butter pieces and work into a coarse meal, so the butter turn into roughly the size of a pea. Add water to ricotta and knead into dough. Make a ball and wrap in plastic. Flatten into a disc. Chill for at least an hour.
3-5 plums, sliced
1 sprig licorice basil, minced
Pinch of salt
1 cup ricotta
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On parchment paper roll out dough until about a 1/4 of an inch thick. Cut into pentagon shape. Lay ricotta in center and lay plums atop in a spiral pattern and sprinkle with basil. Gently fold dough around filling.
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water
coarse sugar, for sprinkling
With a pastry brush, brush yolk mixture on outside of pastry and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool & enjoy!
Goats Milk Ricotta
4 cups goats milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons distilled vinegar, fresh lemon or lime juice
In a non reactive pot, simmer milk until 185 degrees. Remove from heat and add salt and vinegar. Strain through butter muslin for 10 minutes.
I live for good bread. For as long as I can remember I have had an affinity for gluten, my body accepts it as fuel, an in-between meals sort of pick me up. My first affair with bread probably started when I used to work at the chic faux-French cafe Parc on the even chicer Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. The enormous sprawling restaurant could seat up to 400 people at once, and would do 1000 for brunch on Sunday without batting an eye. It was, to say the least, intense. My first day, I waltzed in through the staff entrance which led through the expansive bakery that baked bread for a majority of the restaurant group. The bakers were just finishing unloading the gorgeous baguettes and boules onto the cooling racks, the smell permeating through the kitchen. They all smiled as I walked through aimlessly trying to figure out where I belonged, whistling and chatting but I was too mesmerized by their bread to converse. Parc was a hard machine to work in but any place that has a whole drawer full of room temperature whipped salted butter and unlimited bread whenever I want, will forever hold a special place in my heart. Tea sandwiches or crostini or whatever you want to call them are simple and perfect for snacking on at picnics or when hosting unexpected company. Its a surefire way of impressing with no effort but as always, good ingredients are the key to this treat so be sure to find a quality baker or if you're desperate enough, make it yourself. Anything tastes decent onto of some baguette or a nice loaf of sour dough and works toasted, grilled, or plain. A nice cheese is a great idea, snacking veggies like cucumber work wonderfully as well as canned sardines, pickled peppers or pesto.
Cucumber Tea Sandwich
1 piece good bread, sliced how you please
1 heaping spoon full chèvre
slices of cucumber
salt & pepper + olive oil, to taste
Assemble all ingredients atop toasted bread. Enjoy!