Thursday, October 29, 2009

Engage....Make it so....

My sensors were on high alert when I found Greengages at the Ludlow Food Festival last month. I had to boldly go where I hadn't before and try them! They remind me of Captain Jean Luc Picard's words that make things happen, it rhymes with "engage" is why I guess. Word associations aside, "Making it so" entailed buying the greenish fruit at less-than-warp-speed from the market, tasting them and cooking with them. They are related to plums, but have a firmer flesh and clinging pit. I find the plums I have always eaten to be sweeter. Greengages have a more delicate flavour than purplish plums and can't be replicated.

A short history of Greengages starts in British Roman times. The Greengages of that time faded away with the Romans (Bet you thought I was going to say Romulan.) The French developed greenages from a wild Asian plum and they call them Reine Claude. Jean Luc Picard....Er, I mean Sir William Gage imported the fruit in 1724. Where the fruit gets it's name, not because he is an Orion. They found their way to the Americas only to fade away slowly by the 18th century.

Greengages are reportedly great as a baked dessert fruit. Tarts made with them are said to taste of confectionary. This is what I did with them for now:

Asian-Style Greengage Gastrique Over Scallops

1/8 c. sugar with a tsp. of water
3/4 c. rice wine vinegar
6 tbsp. Greengage preserves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Lrg. piece ginger peeled and grated
1/4 c. chicken stock
Dash of soy sauce
Dash of fish sauce
Small knob of butter

Place the preserves in a saucepan with the sugar and water. On med. heat lightly caramelise the mixture. Add the garlic and ginger, cook out a few minutes. Add the chicken stock, vinegar, fish and soy sauces. Reduce until nappe (coats the back of a spoon.) Mount with butter. Serve as a dip and over the seared scallops. mine is garnished with coriander leaves and spoonfuls of the Greengage preserves.

Here is a picture I owed you from the Chester blog:

Notice dust is spelled duft.

Here is a link to remind you what I am on about:

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