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Friday, January 17, 2014

Sour Cherry Fruit Slump


It's Friday....I'm off pasta...Time to indulge my sweet tooth! I must admit...until I read about this in Food and Wine...I didn't know what a slump was...

It turns out..A slump (sometimes called a grunt) is reminiscent of a very simple cobbler. However, the dough is dropped over the fruit and it cooks on the stovetop instead of being baked. The method results in very light, puffy steamed dumplings on top rather than the crisp, browned biscuit dough that typically adorns a cobbler. The recipe calls for various berries or plums (or a combination) in addition to the tart pie cherries to round out the flavor and brighten the sour cherry color.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup(s) cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly grated lemon zest
  • 4 cup(s) fresh, frozen (thawed) or canned (drained) pitted sour cherries
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) blueberries
  • 1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup(s) whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon(s) canola oil
  • 3/4 cup(s) nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
DIRECTIONS:
  1. To prepare fruit: Stir together 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a 9- to 10-inch non-reactive deep-sided skillet or 3-quart wide-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Stir in cranberry (or orange) juice and lemon zest, then the cherries and other fruit. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring. Simmer, stirring, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, taste and add up to 2 tablespoons more sugar if desired.
  2. To prepare dough: Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add butter and oil. Using a pastry blender, two knives or a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk, mixing with a fork just until incorporated. The dough should be very soft and slightly wet; if necessary, stir in a little more buttermilk. Let the dough stand for 3 to 4 minutes to firm up slightly.
  3. To finish: Use lightly oiled soup spoons to scoop up the dough, dropping it in 8 portions onto the fruit, spacing them evenly over the surface. Return the slump to the stovetop and adjust the heat so it simmers very gently. Cover the pot tightly, and continue simmering until the dumplings are very puffy and cooked through, 17 to 20 minutes. Cut into the center dumpling with a paring knife to check for doneness. Let the slump cool on a wire rack, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dumplings. Serve warm.
A tall cold glass of milk is warranted for this...
 Enjoy!  Eat well my friends!

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Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.


1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov






Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household