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Blueberries

July 7, 2015 - Radio Kitchen - Blueberries

One of my favorite fruits is showing up in the market these days.  Those wonderful little blueberries are here, and that puts a smile on my face. A lot of Maryland farms have pick-your-own programs that translate into a wonderful family day in the country.  And one of the first things we come to realize is that there is an enormous number of varieties.  Whichever you discover, the opportunities for delightful summer dishes are the same.

Here's some recipes Jerry came up with.

Blueberry Muffins With Nutmeg Topping
Yield: 16 Muffins

Ingredients

½ cup unsalted butter, room temp
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup powdered sugar
1 ½ Tablespoons vanilla
 2 eggs
1 cup  buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon  salt
2 1/3 cups  cake flour
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
 -stirred into
¼ cup granulated sugar

Instructions

In large mixing bowl cream butter with both sugars until very light in color. Scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Add vanilla, eggs and buttermilk, beating constantly.

In another bowl stir together nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, salt and flours. Add to butter mixture. Gently mix just until combined. Gently fold in blueberries.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups to top with batter. Sprinkle each muffin with about 2 teaspoons nutmeg
sugar.

Bake on rack in upper 1/3 of 400-degree oven until muffins are lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove muffins from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 16 muffins or 6 jumbo muffins.
 

Blueberry Cobbler

Cobbler dough is somewhere between a biscuit and a cookie: fluffy, a bit flaky, buttery, and at least slightly sweet. The key is not over mixing the dough; get it so that it’s just combined, barely holding together, then drop it onto the filling in mounds, leaving space for steam to escape from the cooking fruit.

Recipe from "How to Cook Everything."

4 to 6 cups blueberries or other fruit, washed and well dried, peeled and sliced as necessary
1 cup sugar, or to taste
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits, plus some for the pan
1 /2 cup all-purpose flour
1 /2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1 egg
1 /2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Toss the fruit with half the sugar and spread it in a lightly greased 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking pan.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor and pulse once or twice. Add the butter and process for 10 seconds, until the mixture is well blended. By hand, beat in the egg and vanilla.

3. Drop this mixture onto the fruit by the tablespoonful; do not spread it out. Bake until golden yellow and just starting to brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

Blueberry Steak Sauce

2 lbs Blueberries, washed and dried
1 cup white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup honey
3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
½ cup fresh Basil, chopped
Salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste

In a large sauce pot set over medium high heat, cook the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the blueberries, vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thick.

Add the basil and either in a blender or with an immersion blender, purée the sauce until smooth.  Season with salt pepper and Tabasco and refrigerate.
 

Blueberry Jalapeno BBQ Sauce

2 lbs blueberries washed and dried
1 cup white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
5 fresh Jalapenos, seeded and chopped without the seeds (you can add the seeds for a spicier sauce)
3 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 cup cider vinegar
2 Table spoons chili powder
1 cup dark brown sugar

In a large sauce pot set over medium high heat, cook the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sauce thickens.  Either in a blender or with an immersion blender, purée the sauce until smooth.  Season with salt & pepper and refrigerate.
 

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.