Into the Fire Blog

For those who burn to learn

06

Aug 2017

Glazed Maine Blueberry Pie

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Recipes, WCSH6 /

One of my students recently told me he never eats cooked fruit and therefore has no interest in fruit pies. I tried to persuade him that my blueberry pie did not really include cooked berries. The buttery crust is cooked separately and then filled with fresh low bush and high bush blueberries that are covered in a warm purple glaze. Other people in my cooking class devoured the pie, and raved about the concentrated blueberry flavor. Still, I could not convince my funny phobic friend to take even one bite.

Making an all butter crust, particularly in the summer can be challenging. If you are doing this in air conditioning and you work quickly with cool hands, and very cold ingredients, you should be successful. Blueberries go best with an all butter crust. The flavor is also heightened by lemon, which is why there’s some lemon juice in the glaze and lemon rind in the crust.

When you can find them and they are really ripe and fresh, wild  blueberries are intense and sweet and  preferable to big, blander cultivated  berries. I once went blueberry picking in the hot sun and I can testify that bending down and raking wild blueberries is backbreaking work. No wonder people prefer to stand straight up and pluck high bush berries. I recently found both at the farmer’s market and the wild ones had been in the refrigerator truck for quite a while and were starting to wrinkle up. So I say, get the best berries available.

Do plan to blind bake the crust and let it cool. Then pour the glazed blueberries into the golden buttery piecrust and refrigerate the pie overnight so that the berries have time to set up. Take the pie out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to serve it.

If you want to learn how to make a delicious pie crust, join us for our upcoming Thanksgiving Sweet & Savory pies class.

WATCH JILLYANNA’S APPEARANCE ON WCSH6 BELOW OR CLICK HERE
WATCH JILLYANNA’S APPEARANCE ON WCSH6 BELOW OR CLICK HERE

Glazed Maine Blueberry Pie
Serves 6
This buttery pie is bursting with fresh Maine high bush and low bush blueberries.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pint Maine freshly washed high bush blueberries
  2. 1 1/2 pints freshly washed Maine low bush blueberries
  3. 3/4 cup water
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  7. 1 tablespoon butter
  8. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  9. 2 tablespoons of water
  10. 1 9-inch prebaked all butter crust (preferably in a glass pie plate or pie tin)
Instructions
  1. Bring sugar, salt, one cup low bush blueberries and 3/4 cup water to boil, then let simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Make a slurry with cornstarch and water and pour slurry into simmering berry mixture. Stir constantly till mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove glaze from heat and add lemon juice and butter. Continue stirring until butter is completely incorporated. Set aside.
  4. Fill one bowl with high bush blueberries and another bowl with low bush blueberries. Put a strainer over both bowls.
  5. Pour half of hot glaze over strainer in bowl of high bush blueberries.
  6. Pour the other half of hot glaze over strainer in bowl of low bush blueberries.
  7. Gently mix the blueberries in both bowls so that all berries are glazed.
  8. Fill crust first with glazed high bush berries and then top with glazed low bush berries.
  9. Allow to set in refrigerator, preferably overnight. Serve with whipped cream.
Notes
  1. I like a combination of high bush and low bush blueberries for this pie since both berries offer different flavor profiles. I do like to place them in a particular order: big high bush blueberries go into the pie first. Then I top that layer with the wild low bush berries since they are so pretty and fill up all the crevices. Make sure you allow the pie to sit in the refrigerator. Ideally, this pie should be made the night before you plan to eat it.
Jillyanna's Cooking School http://www.jillyannas.com/

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11

Jun 2017

There’s fire and then there’s smoke!

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Recipes, WCSH6 /

Most people know that I love fire. I am so happy to watch the flames dance in my handsome wood-fired oven and I adore the sounds of snap, crackle and pop. Eventually, the brilliant drama subsides and the floor of my wood-fired oven registers 800 degrees Fahrenheit. The interior is white, the coals are glowing and a flame from the dry hardwood logs licks the ceiling of the oven. This is when the heat saturated bricks are ready to receive our beautiful Neapolitan doughs. Because I am so passionate about fire and pizza, people sometimes don’t realize that I also have a great fascination with smoke. Slow burning fruitwood, especially cherry or applewood produce a sweet smell that enhances most slow cooked meats and vegetables.  Last year, Val and I decided to follow the call of many great barbecue enthusiasts and go to Barbecue University at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs to study with live fire master cook and author Steven Raichlen.

For three fantastically hot and smokey June days we barbecued whole pigs, pork loins, bacon, prime ribs, short ribs, brisket, whole chickens, chicken wings, chicken thighs, lamb bellies, salmon and eggs. We grilled lobsters, lettuce, peppers, pound cake and potatoes. We cooked almost everything over live fire using the most expensive grills and “set it and forget it” smokers. The only thing we didn’t smoke was meatloaf…which is why I worked so hard once I got back to Maine to develop this porky meatloaf. It is amazing when slathered with a rich homemade barbecue sauce and allowed to cook slowly in a smokey environment.

Meatloaf, composed of ground meats, and assorted binders and fillers, takes more time to prepare than a huge chunk of meat, but meatloaf can be prepared in advance, it cooks relatively quickly, it’s wonderful reheated and some say it’s best when cold, sliced and slapped between two pieces of toasted bread. The meatloaf recipe I’m demonstrating on 207 is especially luscious because of the fatty burger blend (70% meat, 30% fat, most of which comes from smoked bacon that has been ground into the beef) and because of the chicken stock which adds flavor and moisture.

Southern Maine has a few great butchers who know their craft and who use only the finest, humanely raised meats from Maine farms. I must give a special shout out to the great Jarrod Spangler in Kittery, Maine. Jarrod’s store “Maine Meats” is filled with the most gorgeous cuts of grass-fed pork, beef and chicken. Carnivores will swoon when they see the display counter. Thank you, Jarrod, for turning me on to your bacon burger blend. It’s so smokey and delicious that there is no need to add strips of bacon on top of the loaf. If you don’t have access to this type of burger blend, do try to find a blend that is at least 80% meat and 20% fat and then go ahead and layer a few strips of bacon over the top of your meatloaf.

You don’t have to make your own barbecue sauce from scratch, but it is so worth it. Steven Raichlen borrowed this tangy sauce recipe from the Kansas City Barbecue Society. I tweaked it a little, but not much. The sauce is enhanced with dark rum and is perfect with this meatloaf, but of course, you could use it on ribs or brisket or pork shoulder. If it’s not smokey enough for your taste, add more liquid smoke, if it’s not hot enough, toss in a few dashes of tabasco. I like to serve this meatloaf with twice baked potatoes and a rainbow slaw dressed with creamy chipotle dressing.

WATCH JILLYANNA’S APPEARANCE ON WCSH6 BELOW OR CLICK HERE

WATCH JILLYANNA’S APPEARANCE ON WCSH6 BELOW OR CLICK HERE

Smoked Beef and Bacon Meatloaf with Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Serves 6
Bacon and beef and homemade chicken stock keeps this meatloaf juicy. Cooking it in the smoker makes it even more irresistible.
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Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1 onion grated on large holes of box grater
  3. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  4. 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  5. 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  6. 1/8 cup Mike's Hot Honey
  7. 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
  8. 1-2 tablespoons dark rum
  9. 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  10. 2 teaspoons chili powder
  11. 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  12. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  13. 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  14. 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  15. 2 cups Ketchup
  16. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  17. 3/4 cup chicken stock
  18. 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  19. 2 large eggs
  20. 2/3 cup fine breadcrumbs
  21. 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  22. 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  23. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  24. 2 pound beef burger blend (70% meat 30% bacon)
Instructions
  1. Preheat smoker or oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat oil over medium in a small skillet. Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until soft, and most of liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  3. Meanwhile make barbecue sauce by bringing dark brown sugar, cider vinegar, molasses, hot honey, Worcestershire sauce, dark rum, yellow mustard chili powder, liquid smoke black pepper, granulated garlic, ground allspice, ketchup and salt to a boil in a small saucepan, reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and syrupy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce to blender; add chicken stock and cilantro and blend until smooth. Set remaining barbecue sauce aside.
  5. Add green broth mixture, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper to onion and garlic; mix to combine.
  6. Add beef and mix well with your hands to combine. Transfer meatloaf mixture to 14 x10 oval casserole pan and form into a long log (about 12 x 5), smoothing surface. Spread some of reserved barbecue sauce over top. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 165 degrees, about 75 minutes. Let meatloaf rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
  1. I cook this recipe in my Memphis Grill smoker and use applewood pellets. But if you don't have a smoker, never fear. This dish can be cooked in the home oven at 350 degrees for 75 minutes and it will not be quite as smokey tasting, but it will still be absolutely delicious.
Adapted from Bon Appétit (Jessie Damuck)
Adapted from Bon Appétit (Jessie Damuck)
Jillyanna's Cooking School http://www.jillyannas.com/

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17

Nov 2016

Smoky Chestnut Soup with Fennel and Crispy Chestnuts

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Recipes, WCSH6 /

I serve Thanksgiving at 3:00 in the afternoon, which means my house guests are inhaling intoxicating aromas and licking their chops by noontime. To soothe them, and still keep them interested in the coming feast, I offer my loved ones an elegant chestnut soup for lunch. Except for the garnish, this soup can be made a day or two in advance. In fact, it’s better if you do make it ahead. Also, in its favor, the flavors of this appetizer beautifully complement the traditional Thanksgiving menu.

Since there are very few ingredients in this dish, it is so helpful to use a rich homemade chicken broth and lightly smoked bacon (I like applewood smoked bacon). Remember that the salinity of your broth and the bacon will determine how much salt and pepper you need to add at the end. Of course, you can roast and peel your own fresh chestnuts and the chestnut flavor will be even more pronounced, but it is perfectly fine and easy to use already peeled and roasted chestnuts which are available at most grocery stores during November and December.

Please notice this soup has no dairy in it at all so if any of your guests are lactose intolerant, this first course is a winner.

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