Friday, October 05, 2007

Cooking with Shelburne Farms

Okay, so I told you I'd review another cookbook today. Yes, I am so glad Jessica sent this copy to me. It has been a pleasure to read it and cook from it. Cooking with Shelburne Farms, Food and Stories from Vermont is a delight.

Melissa Pasanen and Rick Gencarelli have a true jewel in the cookbook crown. They have documented years and years of recipe used by Shelburne Farms. Located in Vermont the farm has been serving the community since 1800s.

The cookbook is not just a compilation of recipes however. It is a history of the farms, a novel, and a way to help you understand sustainability and local farming. I enjoyed the recipes, but most of all the dialogue with the authors about the farms. The snippets of letters and archive information included make this a priceless cookbook for me. I have enjoyed reading about the Webb family and their farm, I feel like I'd be able to recognize them on the street.
The book is separated not by typical cookbook separations such as dinners, desserts etc. It is grouped through the use of ingredients. The recipes included game, duck, beef and other items typically found raised on a farm. I wish I had known Mrs. Webb. What a wonderful kitchen full of enticing aromas. I probably would have stayed for a long time.

The recipes are simple farm fare. I have tried several and not had a mishap yet. Pictured about is the roast chicken with sausage and apples. As soon as I saw it I knew it would be a winner. You see, one of my favorite combination is sausage and apples. Add a bit of sage and I 'm in heaven. It is a simple recipe to make. Once you've dressed the bird with salt, lemon and olive oil you roast it in the oven for 30 minutes. While it is roasting slice a few apples, cut your sausage into 2 inch pieces, and slice a shallot or two. At your 30 minute bell add the apples, sausage, shallots and apples, return to the oven for another 45 minutes.

It gives you a recipe for a sauce to make with apple cider once it comes out of the oven. The chicken was succulent and moist. The apples and sausage were the perfect addition. I served it with some haricot vert beans and had a nice meal. The meat was moist and had the infusion of the sage, sausahe and apples. The sauce was lightly flavored. The only change I would make is tusing pippin apples next time. Thr galas recommended lost almost all their flavor.

I recommend this cookbook. It's recipes are clear and concise, and the historical aspect puts it above other cookbook for me. It goes on the use often shelf in my kitchen.