Monday, February 6, 2012

Fresh Challenges with My Specialty Produce Farmers' Market Bag, and a recipe for Grapefruit-Tangerine Cake

We often spend a Saturday morning strolling through the Little Italy Farmers' Market, or a Sunday morning at the Hillcrest Farmers' Market, but I've also ordered the weekly Specialty Produce Farmers' Market Bag when we don't make it to one of the Farmers' Markets.  

You must order your bag by midnight Sunday, and then pick it up on Thursday or Friday. In addition to the $20 bag filled with produce, you have the option of ordering add-ons, like the fresh catch of the week, pasta, cheese, organic chicken, sausage, bread, jams, and sweets. Everything comes from local farms and businesses. On Wednesday, Specialty Produce reveals the contents of the bag, on its Facebook and web pages, provides links to suggested recipes for each ingredient, and publishes a video by Catalina Offshore Products demonstrating preparation of the fresh catch.

I love the challenge of coming up with interesting recipes using the ingredients. Purchasing the bag also encourages healthier meals and cooking more at home. But most importantly, I enjoy receiving the freshest products available, and supporting local farms and businesses.

In this week's bag, we received blueberries, Persian cucumbers, fennel, Oro Blanco grapefruit, Russian Fingerling Potatoes, Rosemary, Freckles Lettuce, and Sweet Dumpling Squash. I also purchased add-ons of the fresh catch of the week-Local White Sea Bassa package of Cheddar Cheese Bratwurst, and an Asiago Baguette.

I wanted to do something different to showcase the beautiful, plump blueberries. I pat myself on the back for this idea - substituting blueberries for the cherries in Jose Andres' Cherries as Olives recipe. Everyone was so enamored with this unique preparation for cherries at one of our Concerts in the Park, I had to try it with blueberries. Score!

Blueberries as Olives

"Blueberries as Olives" paired with bread and brie

On another evening, I used some of the Purple Peruvian Potatoes from last week, combined with the Fennel, Russian Fingerling Potatoes, and Rosemary from this week, for a Roasted Potatoes and Fennel side dish.

Roasted Potatoes and Fennel

On Super Bowl Sunday, we made the remaining Purple Peruvian Potatoes into chips to accompany Chipotle-Beer Battered Fresh Local Sea Bass and homemade tartar sauce. For the Chipotle-Beer Batter, I followed Michael Chiarello's recipe, here. I dredged the sea bass fillets in rice flour before dipping into the batter. For the chips, we followed the method used by Kathy at Showfood Chef for her Truffled Potato Chips, here, minus the truffle oil. John made homemade tartar sauce, after looking at several recipes, using mayonnaise, dill, capers, chives, onion and garlic powders, celery salt, cayenne and lime juice.

Super Bowl Fish & Chips

I've had grapefruit on the brain lately, and I blame it on Owen, the pastry chef at The Home Ranch. He made a simple, but addicting Pink Grapefruit Tart while we were there.

Owen's Grapefruit Tart, The Home Ranch, CO

I considered trying to recreate it with the Oro Blanco grapefruits in this week's bag, but then I came across Thomas Keller's Grapefruit Cake and decided to go with that one. However, with only two grapefruits, I was a little shy on the amount of juice I needed, so I supplemented with some juice from the Perfection tangerines and made a Grapefruit-Tangerine Cake.

Oro Blanco Grapefruit Zest

The Oro Blanco Grapefruit ("white gold" in Spanish) is the product of cross-pollinating a seedy grapefruit variety and an acid-less pomelo variety. The segmented flesh is devoid of any color beyond its pale yellow tones, and lacks acidity, making it far sweeter than other varieties. 

The Perfection Tangerine is seedless, rounded and flattened in shape, and has a thin, medium-orange colored rind. Its flesh is extremely juicy and its flavor is rich and sweet. 

Grapefruit-Tangerine Cake
Slightly adapted from Ad Hoc at Home


2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grapefruit-tangerine syrup:

1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 cup fresh tangerine juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Tangerine Icing:

3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons tangerine juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, whisk the sugar and eggs on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium-low, and whisk in the milk, oil, grapefruit zest and the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate, and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Run an oiled pairing knife down the center of the batter so a nice crease forms during baking. Place the pan on a small baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, turning the pan 180 degrees half way through to ensure even baking. The cake is done with a skewer inserted in the center of the cake come out clean, with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

While the cake is baking, make the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the grapefruit and tangerine juices with the sugar, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for just a minute, until all the sugar has dissolved, and turn off the heat.

As soon as you have removed the cake from the oven, using a long skewer, poke deep holes every 3/4 inch or so all over the top of the cake. Immediately begin brushing the syrup all over the cake, waiting at times until it soaks in. Continue until you have used all the syrup. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes.

Carefully invert the cake onto a cooling rack, turn it right side up, and allow it cool completely.

To prepare the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar and tangerine juice in a bowl until smooth. Add a little more sugar if the consistency is too thin. Drizzle over the cake, letting it run over the sides. Slice and serve.

Store cake at room temperature, lightly covered with plastic wrap, for up to two days.



MyFudo™ said...

Your pictures are great. They are so clear and crisp. I love the recipe too. Bookmarked!

I'm Kitty! said...

What do you do with the syrup?

Denise said...

Kitty - Thank you for catching that omission! I've added the instructions for the syrup.