A highlight of 2021 was adding Elena Gonzales to our kitchen staff and, in turn, starting to learn about Peruvian food. Elena loves seafood, and this works well with a number of things in place of scallops — trout or mackerel, tofu or chicken. We adapted it to work with ingredients we have on hand or can get locally.
1 pound scallops
⅓ cup flour
Good grinding black pepper
1 cup vegetable oil, divided
1 tablespoon Aji Amarillo (yellow hot pepper from Peru): available at Keene International Market or Walpole Grocery
1 tablespoon Aji Panca (Peruvian red pepper): available at Keene International Market or Walpole Grocery
1 teaspoon achiote, powder or paste as available
1 bay leaf
1 four-inch cinnamon stick
1 medium red onion, sliced
¼ cup cider wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Season flour with pepper and oregano. Place scallops in a bowl with flour and toss to coat.
Heat half the oil in a skillet or cast iron pan. Quickly sauté scallops until nicely browned on both sides. Set aside.
Heat remaining oil in a small pan. Add Aji Amarillo, achiote powder or paste, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Cook for several minutes over medium-low heat until fragrant. Add vinegar, stir and pour sauce over scallops. Use the same pan without rinsing and sauté onions and cook briefly until crisp-tender.
This tastes even better made a day in advance or at least several hours ahead of serving time. Serve at room temperature.
Local Ingredients: onions
MAYFAIR FARM PEANUTS
These peanuts have become our signature bar snack since we produce pork and maple syrup. These are so popular, hitting all the right notes of sweet, spicy, salty and crunchy. They make great gifts and also work well on an ice cream sundae!
1 pound bacon
1 heaping tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 scant tablespoon dry mustard
1 scant tablespoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup minced thyme leaves
2 ½ cups maple syrup
15 cups unsalted roasted peanuts
Preheat the convection oven to 300 degrees F.
Cook bacon until crispy. Chop fine.
Mix Old Bay, mustard, cayenne, salt and thyme well. Add maple syrup, peanuts and bacon. Mix well.
Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until syrup thickens and peanuts are golden, stirring once or twice.
Let cool. Break up any clumps.
Local ingredients: bacon, thyme, maple syrup.
Adapted from Serious Eats
Yield: one loaf
Sometimes a customer requests a particular dish that I don't usually make, and that leads me to a really satisfying discovery. This pumpkin "bread" is one example. Why isn't it just called cake? I can always get on board with a great cake! I adapted this recipe to add a chocolate walnut streusel center, but it was otherwise perfect. This is a simple but delicious recipe that works for tea time, brunch or dessert.
FOR THE STREUSEL FILLING:
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cold butter
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
Combine all streusel ingredients.
1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin or butternut squash purée, preferably homemade
⅔ neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola oil
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or oil a 9-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper overhanging the edge for easy removal.
Combine dry ingredients and whisk.
Combine egg, pumpkin, oil, sugars, milk and vanilla.
Whisk together wet and dry ingredients. Pour half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Add the streusel filling to the center of the pan, leaving just batter along the edges. Pour in remaining batter. Bake for about 40 minutes until the cake tests clean. Glaze with cake while warm.
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup confectioners' sugar
Combine all ingredients.
Local Ingredients: pumpkin, eggs, milk, butter.
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