Asian Pear Salad. Have you heard of Asian Pears? Have you tried an Asian Pear? As you know by now The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast serves a fruit course each morning and when serving a savory entrée we sometimes serve a salad. This month’s recipe is just one of those salads. Pictured above is the Asian Pear Salad served with Canadian bacon and our wamlet (an omelet made in our Belgium waffle maker.
But first, let me tell you about the Asian Pear. It is also known as the “apple pear” as it is crunchy, juicy and round like an apple, but it has an unmistakable pear flavor. Even when ripe they’re crunchy so hold up well in a salad or when baking. Originally from East Asia, they are now grown in California, Oregon, and Washington in the United States.
When purchasing an Asian Pear choose one that is the most fragrant and with little to no brown spots. When ripe they are hard and do not soften (unlike a traditional pear.) They are ready to eat when purchased. You can store them for up to a week at room temperature or up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
Now let’s get cooking!
- 3/4 cups pecan halves, cut into thirds lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small head radicchio, cored, leaves separated and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 4 lightly packed cups)
- 3 oz. frisée, trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 4 lightly packed cups)
- 1 medium Asian Pear, quartered lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise ( about 1 cup)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees.
Put the pecans on a small, rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant and pale golden on the cut sides, 6-8 minutes. Add the butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss with 2 heatproof spatulas until the butter is melted and absorbed by the nuts. Set the nuts aside (they can be added to the salad warm or at room temperature.)
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oils until well combined.
Combine the radicchio, frisée and pear in a large bowl and toss with just enough vinaigrette to coat. Add the nuts, toss and serve.
It’s September again and you know what that means in Lynchburg and Central Virginia? Apples are found in abundance at farm stands, in the Community Market in downtown Lynchburg and in the local grocery stores. It’s one of the times of year we can buy local fruits in our grocery stores. This months recipe is one we serve as a fruit dish during September and October at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast. I have also made this as a dessert for a family dinner or when having friends over for just coffee and dessert. Anyway, you serve it, it is delicious!
- 1 refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 pounds McIntosh or Empire apples
- 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.
- For the filling, peel, core and cut the apples into 8 wedges, which are then cut into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the crostata dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to partially enclose the dough and apples, pleating it to make a circle.
- Bake the crostata for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- You can use a blender to make the crumb topping, just watch carefully not to pulse it too finely.
- We serve this with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream when serving as a dessert.
The breakfast bake is an easy recipe that involves only one pan (baking sheet) for a complete breakfast. This makes clean up real easy. Follow the directions below. Everything is cooked in the oven, including the egg! It makes the ideal breakfast when you have a bunch of people over for breakfast. The egg holds everything together. Enjoy the breakfast bake. Above we used diced potatoes. You could use hashbrown potatoes instead.
- 8 slices of thick cut bacon
- 2 medium red potatoes, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 6 eggs
- 18 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 475°.
- Place diced potatoes, olive oil and garlic in a plastic bag. Shake until fully coated. Pour potatoes onto one side of a large rimmed baking sheet (they should be bunched together on about 1/4 of the pan.)
- Fill the other side of the same baking sheet with bacon. Bake in oven 10-12 minutes until bacon is fully cooked.
- Place bacon and potatoes onto a paper towel to absorb excess grease. Discard grease from baking sheet, but do not wipe clean. There should be a thin layer of grease remaining.
- Line the same baking sheet with the asparagus and tomatoes. Top gently with eggs and bake for 6-7 minutes or just until the whites are set.
- Spread the potatoes and bacon back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 2 minutes.
- Once out of the oven sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper.
Serve and enjoy. Serves 6.
A smoothie is a great way to get some needed nutrients at breakfast, lunch or as a snack during the day. At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we oftentimes serve a “smoothie shot” as our first course when serving a sweet breakfast entreé. Guests love them and it’s a nice way to begin your breakfast.
- 1 cup chopped ripe strawberries (about 5 large)
- 1 cup chopped seeded watermelon
- 1 cup chopped peach
- 1 cup raspberry sorbet
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Place the strawberries, watermelon, peach, sorbet and orange juice in a blender. Puree until smooth and creamy. Add more orange juice if you like it a little less thick. Serve immediately in tall glasses with straws.
Makes 2 servings.
**we serve our smoothies in shot glasses, so we dilute the mixture a bit to make it easier to get out of a small glass.
We’re celebrating Cinco De Mayo this month at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast, in Lynchburg, Virginia. As most of you know by now, we alternate a savory and a sweet entrée each morning for our guests. This month we will be serving this egg scramble as our savory entrée. Come stay with us and experience a slightly different take on scrambled eggs.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 1 red jalapeño pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
- ½ cup fresh corn kernels
- kosher salt
- 8 large eggs
- 4 cups corn tortilla chips, slightly crushed
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, torn, plus more for topping
- diced avocado, sour cream and pico de gallo, for topping
- Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the poblano, scallions and jalepeño; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly softened, 1-2 minutes. Add the corn and ¾ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 2 more minutes.
- Whisk the eggs with ¼ cup water and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the eggs to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula to form large curds, until the eggs are softly scrambled, about 2 minutes. Add the tortilla chips, ¾ cup cheese and the cilantro to the skillet; cook, stirring, until well combined, 1-2 more minutes.
- Sprinkle the scramble with the remaining ¼ cup cheese and top with avocado, sour cream, pico de gallo and more cilantro.
- It is suggested you have all of your ingredients prepped, measured and ready to go before you start the actual cooking process. This recipe moves rather quickly once you start cooking.
- All peppers “heat” are found in their ribs and seeds. You can adjust the spiciness of the peppers in this recipe if it sounds too spicy.
- We used 1 fresh ear of corn to produce ½ cup corn kernels. We added a bit more than the suggested measurement.
- We added about 1/2 cup of browned mild Italian sausage. It adds a bit more flavor plus a meat protein to the dish. You can use Spicy Italian sausage if you’d like.
- We serve this savory breakfast entrée with warm corn tortillas, fresh from the garden sliced tomatoes and a combination of warm black beans and corn.
- Go crazy and serve a Margarita!
As our blog followers know, last month I posted an entry entitled “Food To Die For” which was a synopsis of Jessica Bemis Ward’s first cookbook for Lynchburg’s Old City Cemetery. Today I want to expose you to her second book, Food To Live For We’re Alive and Cooking.
It took Jessica almost ten years to compile and write her second cookbook. After the huge success of her first she and the wonderful staff and volunteers at Old City Cemetery knew she needed to write a follow-up.
Food To Live For concentrates on the foods prepared for gatherings of family and friends, as did Food To Die For. The recipes in Food To Live For celebrate daily meals as well as celebrations, birthdays, holidays, dinner parties and spur of the moment suppers among neighbors and friends. Just reading the table of contents to review the categories of recipes included will make your mouth water. Appetizers, soups and chowders, salads-including main dish salads, main courses and of course desserts. Speaking of desserts, there are six recipes for all things chocolate!
As before, sprinkled throughout the book are helpful hints, tips, sayings, musings and wonderful pictures from various members of the Old City Cemetery staff and volunteers. Some of these will make you chuckle. Others will remind you of your mother or grandmother. Others still will prod you into action. The pictures throughout the book add to the stories of the gravegarden, the people who reside there and there lives before. Several pages speak of “cooks in the gravegarden.” Personally I find it interesting to know more about some of the people who are buried at Old City Cemetery.
Food To Live For is available for purchase at Old City Cemetery, 401 Taylor Street, Lynchburg, VA 24501. 434.847.1465. www.gravegarden.org. Proceeds from this book also benefit the cemetery and it’s education programs, tours, maintenance and growth. Old City Cemetery is always an interesting place to visit, no matter the month, season or weather. If you haven’t visited this special place yo are long overdue.
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