16 August 2013

Seasonal Recipes From The Garden

For a long time my cable provider didn't provide a PBS station.  It seemed weird, no PBS, but I learned to live it.   After changing providers, I suddenly had PBS again.   I started taping P. Allen Smith and watching his gardening show.  

Like most of those "gardening" shows, there is more looking at gardens than actual gardening going on.  Smith shows fields where he planted thousands of crocus bulbs.  I once planted 200 crocus bulbs with  two friends.  We planted for about three hours.  You do the math!  Smith has a small 600 acre farm that he keeps beautifully manicured.  Seriously, all by himself?  Well, that is the way of garden television. 

Anyway, Smith published a cookbook several years ago, Seasonal Recipes From The Garden.  Truth is I might have been more interested in the pictures of the 600 acre farm than the actual recipes and I do have a bias as Mr. P. and I share a birthday. 

Seasonal Recipes From The Garden is exactly what it bills itself as, a collection of recipes cooked from ingredients that might come out of any garden.   It is a solid, simple cookbook featuring recipes from Smith's family and from many of the chefs and cooks that he know around the Little Rock, Arkansas area where he is located.   Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with solid, simple recipes.    Martha Hall Foose described recipes as being "approachable as a handshake."  "This is not a cookbook that will leave you thinking, "Wow, why didn't I think of that!"  It does offer up solid recipes with a garden flair.

On a trip to California, Smith found a merlot and pomegranate juice.  He loved it, brought it back to Arkansas, ordered more, convinced his local grocer to carry the product and then it was discontinued.  He set about to recreate that lovely flavor and turn it into a sorbet.

Pomegranate Merlot Sorbet

3 cups bottled pomegranate juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cu water
1 cup melot wine
1 cup sugar

   Combine all the ingredients in a medium nonreactive saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Continue to boil the mixture for approximately 45 minutes, reducing it by about half to a syrup consistency.  Remove the syrup from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Transfer the syrup to an ice cream maker, and process according to the manufacturer's directions.

Transfer the sorbet to and airtight container and store in the freezer.  Remove the sorbet from the freezer and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

We love sorbet and fruit and wine so this is a win win win.

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