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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : the villager : the villager April 29, 2016

10/29/2012 8:15:00 AM
Bountiful harvest gives birth to savory meals
Morna Paule, Don and Penny Mathieu, Suzie, Gary Taylor and Jeff doing some serious wine tasting at Page Springs Winery.
Morna Paule, Don and Penny Mathieu, Suzie, Gary Taylor and Jeff doing some serious wine tasting at Page Springs Winery.
Another wonderful “Village” baker, Nancy True shows off her Fall Pear Gallette
Another wonderful “Village” baker, Nancy True shows off her Fall Pear Gallette
By Jeff & Suzie Dunn
The Dunnery

Some people “go nuts” at Christmas. Suzie does that at this time of year when the fruits of the earth ripen and show off their gorgeous colors of purple and green and red and yellow.

She also goes nuts clipping recipes. It seems sort of silly when she has every recipe at her fingertips, either in a cookbook or on the computer. Still, a printed recipe, sometimes accompanied by a homespun story or picture, fairly jumps from the page to her attention, and if it meets her criteria, soon meets the paper scissors, then the pile of “try-me’s.”

The stack gets flipped through frequently - usually the recipe is a variation of an old favorite, at which time a note can be put on the original recipe -- but every year there are two or three recipes that stand out and beg to be shared with friends, column readers included.

The simplest is Roasted Tomatoes. There are so many ways to use these tomatoes. They can become part of another recipe such as risotto or ratatouille, sliced, diced and sprinkled on pizza or salad, or added to a creamy cheese for an appetizer spread. The scraped out pulp and seeds are good in smoothie or soup.

3 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes (bought on sale!)

¼ Cup olive oil

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped


1) Preheat oven to 375. Use middle rack of oven

2) Wash, stem and cut tomatoes in half, lengthwise

3) Scoop out seeds and fibrous center (use grapefruit spoon)

4) Lay tomatoes cut side up on parchment lined sheet pan

5) Brush with olive oil; sprinkle with thyme and garlic

6) Roast 40 minutes

7) Increase heat to 400 degrees for 20 minutes more.

8) Turn off heat and cool in oven; bag and refrigerate. Will keep a long time.

This next recipe is Jeff’s new favorite – Poblano Mashed Potatoes. You knew it would be something Mexican!

2 large, fresh Poblano chiles (~1 cup when prepared)

3 pounds russet potatoes

½ Cup whole milk

4 Tablespoons (1/4 Cup) butter

1 Cup grated Asadero or Monterey Jack cheese

Salt and Pepper


1) Roast peppers at 400o for 10 minutes on each side. Place in bag to steam, then, with gloved hands, peel, seed, stem and chop. Suzie does peppers in batches and freezes them in packages according to need.

2) Cook potatoes until fork soft. Peel.

3) Heat milk

4) Mash potatoes, adding milk and butter while doing so.

5) Mix in cheese and Pablanos by hand.

6) Season to taste just before serving ~ the Pablano and cheese flavors will meld with the potatoes while standing.

Celebrating the harvest with friends is a special time at the Dunnery. We have wonderful wines, vegetables and fruits from friends yards and Verde Valley growers and this year, we’ve included some Navajo Churro lamb and Arizona elk.

Our Menu:

Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Elk Backstrap

Hearth Warmed Garlic Bread

Field Greens with Roasted Corn, Feta, Red Onion and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Lamb and Eggplant Moussaka

Homemade Pickles and Greek Olives

Fall Pear Gallette

Wine: Peachy Canyon Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)

Panilonco Carmenére (Colchagua Valley, Chile)

Bites and Sips:

• Page Springs Winery afforded us a wonderful place to try six wines and share a first course with friends before we dined at Up The Creek Restaurant on Page Springs Road.

For a reasonable price, we had a lovely and generous plate of interesting cheeses, nuts, dried and fresh fruit and bread sticks.

Go to the homepage at to check out other tasty treats that are offered.

Later hours Thursday through Sunday and weekend music have been added to the mix.

Many thanks to our guests for permission to recognize them in our article.

We wish everyone a thought-filled Thanksgiving, one where we acknowledge our bounty and do our best to share it with those in need.

To your health and happiness, Jeff and Suzie at The Dunnery.

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