To Taste: Cranberry-Pear Shortbread Tart

Last week, fresh cranberries (Sunny Harvest | Kirkwood, PA) showed up in my Greensgrow Farm CSA and I can’t say I was thrilled. Throughout the summer, the CSA challenges me to cook with items I wouldn’t usually purchase or, in this case, was convinced I didn’t like. But I needed a dish to take on a weekend trip to see friends in North Jersey and just couldn’t resist the stunning ruby of these cranberries.

After too much time scanning my cookbooks & the internet for inspiration, I finally settled on a simple recipe for cranberry bars. I really don’t enjoy baking (messy flour + precise measuring, oh my!) so I was really excited to discover how insanely delicious and easy this was to make.

In an obvious improvement of Gourmet’s version, Picky Cook added raspberry jam & lemon to brighten the cranberries, but I still lived in fear of an over-tart end product. To buffer this anxiety and use up some produce “on the edge”,  I decided to add the sweetness of yellow pears (Three Springs Fruit Farm | Aspers, PA) reduced into a coulis which created beautiful rosey waves baked atop the cran-raspberry compote. It was the perfect slice of early autumn for an awesome weekend with friends. If only I could always shoot with this natural light and scenery!

Check out my Cranberry-Pear Shortbread Tart recipe after the jump! Continue reading

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To Taste: Shrimp Stuffed Aubergine

It’s apparently the summer of the eggplant. I feel like they’ve shown up in more than half of my Greensgrow Farm CSA shares this season and I long ran out of patience to deal with them. The greatest success (until now) of my aubergine summer was a killer baba ganoush, some of which is still on reserve in the freezer. When I brought these beautiful graffiti eggplants (Flaim Farms | Vineland, NJ) home, I knew I had to think fast to enjoy them before we left town for the weekend.

With little time to spare, I decided to recreate a dish I made last summer but had failed to record the recipe. I did a quick search for a “shrimp stuffed aubergine” and was pleased to see my Flickr pic of the 2010 creation come up on page 1 of the search! That was a start, but I needed more info on what recipe I built it from. It didn’t take me long to dig up this sad recipe… and my tweaks came flooding back to my memory. Seeing that I rarely make the same thing the exact same way twice, I got right to work on making this dish even better… and writing the recipe this time for you to enjoy, too! This dish is so savory, easy to prepare, and offers a beautiful presentation.

Check out my Shrimp Stuffed Aubergine (Eggplant) recipe after the jump! Continue reading