19 June 2008

Adventures in Food, Wine Stewed Fruit

I'm a really big foodie. Pretty much all our vacations and excursions are based on food. I've scouted out much of the South Bay for years and know where to go for the best of most ingredients (anyone want some goose fat?). I'm also quite proud of my own cooking.

For many years I've cooked and have definitely improved over time. This may sound like bragging, and it is; but, I consider my own food better than most of even the finer restaurants. Sure, there are plenty of dishes I'd have a hard time cooking (e.g. baked alaska is something I've never tried to do.) Overall, though, I think my own cooking ranks pretty high. Presentation is not important to me, so I'll never make it in the restaurant business. I'm all about aroma, taste and texture.

With this in mind, I'll share a few recipes. A caveat, though: I almost never use any measuring utensils and hardly ever follow recipes exactly. All my measurements are just by eye. So any measurement I ever list will be a pretty rough estimate. Alter the measurements to your own taste. Please, any who read this and want to share their own recipes just point me to your own blog entries.

Hopefully this will be a regular post.

Let's start with today's dessert. Actually, it was yesterday's dessert; but, the resulting sauce lasts a couple of days and makes a mean milkshake.

Wine Stewed Fruit

a handful of tasty fruit - I've tried pears or black mission figs. That would be about six medium sized pears or 8-10 figs. Yesterday was local organic figs.
red wine - Really whatever left over red wine bottles you need to empty out. I had a half bottle of 2 month old bordeaux and about 20% of a bottle of 2 buck chuck to get rid of. That was about 3 cups.
sugar - About 3:1 ratio of wine to sugar.
lemon zest - Go ahead, use the whole lemon's worth of peel. It can't hurt and it makes the dregs much more light and refreshing.
a cinnamon stick

Clean the fruit. If the peal is harsh like a pear then peel it. If the skin is soft like a fig, keep it on. Keep the stem on the fruit since that makes it really pretty and easier to pick up after being cooked.

Dump all the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer, stirring occasionally. After an hour to 1.5 hours, depending on when you remember that you were cooking dessert, turn it off.

Serve either warm or chilled, with the soupy sauce. Make sure to keep the sauce and use it with anything creamy over the next few days. Its awesome stirred in with yogurt. Tonight I took the last fig and the lemon peel with a bit of sauce, put it in a blender with vanilla ice cream, and made a milkshake that totally rocked.



Toast said...

First off, as the poet Kid Rock once remarked, "It ain't braggin', motherfucker, if you back it up."

Second, we're huge foodies as well, and I'd be very excited to share recipes with you guys. But you gotta start with a handful of fruit? Seriously?

Eric Wilde said...

Well, it is summer and fruit is in season.

Toast said...

Off topic: We're watching an episode of Planet Earth right now, and they're showing a vast herd of wildebeasts crossing a plain, and I said "Hey, it's Wilde!"

Eric Wilde said...

Yeah, I bought the DVDs for myself last Christmas. Isn't that a totally cool series? Love it.