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Cooking with "Grains for Every Season," by Joshua McFadden


blue_dolphin
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Grains for Every Season:  The "Damrosch" Buckwheat Crust p 83 and David Lebovitz's Salted Honey Pie p 82 

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The buckwheat crust is credited in the header notes to Barbara Damrosch who published the recipe in a cookbook she wrote with her husband, Eliot Coleman, The Four Season Farm Gardner's Cookbook.  It's just uncooked buckwheat groats pressed into a buttered pie pan and pre-baked to lightly toast them.    The recipe says that you can bake the filling directly in the crust without the pre-bake but it adds a toasty flavor and crispness that I think is important so I wouldn't skip it.   It does, however, mean the buckwheat groats are rather loosely attached to the plate rather than being stuck in the butter so it would be wise to use caution in handling and pouring in the filling.

As indicated, the filling is from a David Lebovitz recipe and is one he adapted from The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. I used buckwheat honey to go along with the crust and the flavor comes through nicely.  It gets sprinkled with sea salt before serving which helps temper the sweetness but it's still a very sweet pie so I'm glad I made a 1/3 scale recipe in this 6-inch pie pan - a very small slice is enough for me!  

The buckwheat groats have a nice crunch, even on the bottom of the pie.  We'll see if that holds up after sitting overnight. 

 

The header notes say that the crust is also good for quiche so I made a small one with mushrooms, dandelion greens and leek, in an even smaller pie dish - a one-egg quiche!

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In this one, the buckwheat groats softened to more of the consistency of graham cracker crumbs, except for around the top edge where they stayed crisp. I might try sprinkling a thin layer of finely grated parm over the crust and popping it back into the oven a bit before filling to see if that might help "seal" out the moisture from the custard and add a bit of salt and flavor. 

 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin
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As a usualy "singleton" cook I appreciate your trying these recipes and noting your scale-down adaptstion. "One egg quiche" -love it!

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I'm back with an update on the "Damrosch" buckwheat crust that I shared above. It's on p 83 of Grains for Every Season

The header notes suggest using it for a quiche but I wasn't particularly thrilled.  The buckwheat groats still had a nice toasty flavor but they got much softer from the custard than they did with the honey pie filling.  

As I mentioned, I decided to try sprinkling on a thin layer of grated parm after baking.  While it didn't seal out the moisture, the buckwheat retained more texture than without and it added a nice layer of umami flavor. 

I would definitely recommend this step.  

Here's the buckwheat "crust" before the pre-bake step:

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After the pre-bake, I sprinkled on the parm and put it back in the oven for a few minutes to kind of tack it down.  Here it is after that step and before filling:

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Grains for Every Season: Baked Wild Rice with Salmon, Artichokes and Leeks p 303.  The rice and vegetables alone are a very good dish.  The flavors go very well with the salmon although I think it would be easier to cook the salmon on its own to better control doneness. 

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The header notes say, "This dish is a stunner..."  I can't say that my result reaches that level but I enjoyed it.  The bottom is wild rice, leeks cut into long strips and artichoke hearts (the recipe calls for canned, I used TJ's frozen) tossed with Italian salad dressing (I used leftover preserved kumquat vinaigrette), grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, heavy cream or crème fraîche, and parsley and mint leaves. 

After baking that for 45 min, it gets sprinkled with more Parm and a salmon filet and returned to the oven to cook the salmon.  

The recipe says to use the 10 min/inch of thickness as a guide for cooking the salmon and then says to let it rest 10 min out of the oven, tented with foil. Since the salmon goes atop the hot rice, that cooking + resting time resulted in overcooked salmon, at least in my hands. 

I had an 8oz piece of salmon so I made a half recipe and baked it in the CSO.  I should have lowered the shelf at the beginning as the veg were too close to the upper element and the top layer of veg & rice got a bit more brown than I would have preferred.  I did lower it when I added the salmon.  

 

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The rice mixture sounds indulgent in a good way. Salmon looks like it had decent amount of fat  - did that absorb/flavor the rice or would you cook separate for control if doing again? I think I'd want to crispy-up the skin and then mix with the rice. 

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41 minutes ago, heidih said:

The rice mixture sounds indulgent in a good way. Salmon looks like it had decent amount of fat  - did that absorb/flavor the rice or would you cook separate for control if doing again? I think I'd want to crispy-up the skin and then mix with the rice. 

The salmon was nice but didn’t lend appreciable flavor to the rice. I'm with you on crispy skin and would cook separately if I make it again. 

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Such wonderful photography (as usual!).  I have both books in my Amazon cart right now, since I needed a folding cart for work otherwise I would have gone to the local bookstore.  Thank you :)

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