Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Local - A Short Documentary by Christian Remde

Is your food really organic? This film from Christian Remde explores the ideal, the hype and the reality.

LOCAL - A Short Documentary from Christian Remde on Vimeo.

With the rise of farmer’s markets and more and more chefs sourcing their ingredients from local farms, consumers are now able to meet and talk to the people who are growing their food.

LOCAL discusses the rise of the local food movement, the challenges of sourcing locally and how it’s become a growing part of the Austin, Texas food scene.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Provencal Butternut Squash and Garlic Gratin

Cool-weather squash and garlic in a silky gratin brighten up autumn nights and holiday feasts. Serves 6 to 8.

Butternut Squash Garlic Gratin


1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
8 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup toasted bread crumbs
2 teaspoons thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup Gruyere cheese, or a mix of Gruyere and Parmigiano-Reggiano


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 3-quart baking dish or gratin pan.

2. Peel squash, remove seeds and membranes and dice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces.

3. Reserve half the bread crumbs and cheese, then toss together all ingredients; bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, stirring frequently for even cooking.

4. When the squash starts to brown and stick, remove it from the the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Sprinkle the cheese and bread crumbs over the top and return to the oven until the cheese is melted and the topping turns crusty and browned, about 10 more minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Butternut Squash Garlic Gratin

~Adapted from Simple Proven├žal Winter Squash and Garlic Gratin, New York Times

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Honey Sour-Dough Bread Pudding

Is bread pudding a healthy dessert when you use local honey instead of sugar? All I can say for sure is that it was possibly the best bread pudding ever! Serves 6 to 8. 

Honey Sour-Dough Bread Pudding


12 slices sour-dough bread
4 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch sea salt
4 tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup golden raisins


1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. (350F for sugar only)

2. Tear bread into bite-sized pieces. Remove the crusts if you wish.

3. Whip together in this order eggs, cream, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, salt in a large bowl until well mixed. Add 3 tablespoons of melted butter and stir until blended. Use the remaining butter to grease a 9x12 baking pan or gratin dish.

4. Pour the liquid ingredients over the bread and toss until well mixed. Stir in the raisins. Pour into greased pan and place in the oven.

5. Bake 45  to 60 minutes or until the top starts to brown and the pudding springs back when touched.

6. Remove from the oven. Let stand 10 minutes to set. Serve as is, with whipped cream, ice cream or hard sauce (if your arteries can stand it.)

sour dough honey bread pudding

~Adapted from The Perfection That is Bread Pudding on the blog, Slow Like Honey.

Cooking with honey

Honey is sweeter than sugar and products made with honey will brown faster than those made with sugar. So I reduced the temperature from 350 to 325 degrees. I recommend you watch the baking time and adjust the oven temperature accordingly. To exchange honey for sugar use ¾ cup honey to 1 cup sugar and reduce liquid by 3-1/3 tablespoons. If sweet milk is used in the recipe, add ¼ teaspoon baking soda to 1 cup milk to neutralize it since honey is an acid. Note: in this recipe, I used a full cup of honey for a highly sweetened dessert.

It is widely believed that local honey relieves allergy symptoms developed from reaction to local flora. Honey also helps to promote healing and energy. It is made up of 35 percent protein and is a highly concentrated source of essential nutrients and minerals. It has large amounts of vitamin B complex plus vitamins C, D and E.