Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

Ok, ok. I know. It’s not the season but I’ve been really delinquent in posting and really need to archive this recipe. It’s so damn good! Seriously. Mark this one for next Summer’s jam making extravaganza.

Summer Jam

Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

Ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries (chopped)
  • 1 cup rhubarb (roughly 1 stalk) (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place a small dish into the freezer to use for testing the jam.

In a large deep skillet, add strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice. Heat and stir until it reaches a rolling boil. Boil and stir until it thickens, 10 minutes. When it seems like it is gelling, take your plate out of the freezer. Put a small spoonful of the jam onto the plate and let sit for 30 seconds. Tilt it. If it slides too fast, keep cooking. If it moves slow, it is done. Test every minute or two and do not overcook it. Spoon into heat-proof container and cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. I froze some and am still loving the fruits of a quick Summer’s bounty boil.

To can jam:
  1. Wash one 8-ounce (or 6-ounce + 2-ounce) glass mason jar with a two-piece lid with soap and hot water. Dry completely.
  2. Add the jar(s) and lid pieces to a large pot of boiling water deep enough for the jar(s) to be completely submerged in water. Once the water is boiling, leave the jar(s) in there until ready to use.
  3. Remove the jar(s) and lids from water and drain out all of the water from the jar. Keep the water boiling. Spoon the jam into the jar(s). Wipe excess jam off the rim of the jar(s) so it will seal properly. Add the lid. You may want to use an oven mitt so you can hold the jar(s) still.
  4. Place sealed jar(s) back into the boiling water and boil for 15 minutes. Make sure it is submerged in the water. Remove from the water and let dry on a heat-resistant surface for 18-24 hours. Once cool, press down on the lid. If it stays down, it is sealed. If it pops back up, put in the refrigerator and use within two weeks.
Advertisements

Shrimp Ceviche

After living on the islands for two weeks, I came home a pescaderian. Not really but I feel so good when I eat fish. And I was craving something summery and fresh. Sooo, why not try ceviche?

Note: this being my first time cooking with lime and shrimp, the shrimp don’t necessarily turn pink like when you cook them in the pan. I waited and waited and waited for them to turn pink and it never happened. They were cooked after about 20 mins. But I waited like 5 hours. Ha!

20140627-171823.jpg

Shrimp Ceviche

* 1/2 lb prawns, shelled and deveined and cut into 3-4 pieces
* 2 limes (squeezed to make 1/2 cup lime juice)
* 1 lime to squeeze at the end
* 1 celery stalk diced
* 1 ripe avocado cut into 1″ cubes
* 1 red or orange bell pepper, cut into cubes
* 2 TBSP chopped cilantro
* 1/2 jalapeño diced
* pinch of salt

Put shrimp and lime juice in a non-reactive bowl (basically a glass one) and put in fridge for ~ 20 minutes. The shrimp will be firm when done.

Drain lime juice and mix shrimp with other veggies. Squeeze up to a whole lime in the mixture (I only used 1/2). Add salt to taste. Serve chilled with some corn chips (Have’A Corn Chips are our absolute favorites).

Enjoy!

Roasted Eggplant Dip-ish

I’ve been lost. But now I’m found. I’m archiving recipes again. I didn’t mean to be on a four month hiatus. No recipe really inspired me to write. In fact, I’ve been referencing Scrumptious Bits a bunch.

Though I’ve made this recipe before, it wasn’t archived and its so good. It needs a spot in here. It’s great to bring to a party with some bread or crackers. And it’s super delicious for dinner with a cracked egg on top (hence, “dip-ish”).

Go out and get an eggplant and let your leftover veggies dictate the rest.

20130429-130211.jpg

Roasted Eggplant Dip-ish

1 eggplant, peeled and chopped in 1/2″ cubes
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, roasted
1 can of fire roasted, diced tomatoes
1/2 can of water or chicken broth
1 tsp each oregano, thyme and cumin seed
1 tsp garlic salt
Here’s where you get creative:
I added 1/2 red pepper, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes and feta cheese for the top.
You could add zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, etc.

Put it all in a Dutch oven. And set it in the oven at 325 degrees. Check after 1 hour. You want the eggplant to be so soft it melts in your mouth. Once it’s nearly there, take off the cover and cook until the liquid becomes a bit more thick.

Top with feta and serve warm.

I highly recommend this pot for cooking it. It’s a Bulgarian ceramic pot with a hole in the lid. I love it for stewing and slow cooking.

Enjoy!

Homemade Ricotta

I love making this cheese because it makes me feel like an accomplished homesteader. Something about a basic ingredient being elevated into something new makes me feel like I’ve achieved the impossible. It also stirs visions of life among cloth covered wagons and tipi living (I’m part New American and part Native American).

The act of turning milks into cheeses and preserving fruits, veggies and meats is so simple and basic and it feels so “right”. I know, we now have the convenience of stores where you can buy this stuff already made. And refrigeration has nearly obliterated preserved foods from our diet leaving only meager snack foods like dried fruits in trail mixes, or wasabi peas at bars, beef jerky on camping trips, or jam in our PB&Js.

Forget these conveniences and give it a try. Turn back the clock (heck, break the clock) and take some time to do a task our ancestors have done for centuries. Make some cheese. Dry some apples. Can some tomatoes. They will be better than any store bought option, I promise!

20130219-143926.jpg

homemade ricotta
Adapted from a recipe from smitten kitchen.com

• 3 cups goat milk
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 3 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine the milk, cream and salt into a pot and heat the milk to 190 degrees on medium low heat. I bought a candy thermometer just for this recipe. Be sure not to burn the bottom by stirring often. I use a wooden spoon. Definitely don’t walk away from the pot. It’ll go quickly.

Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, then stir it once or twice, gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl (to catch the whey). Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the curds strain for at least an hour. At an hour, you’ll have a tender, spreadable ricotta. At two hours, it will be spreadable but a bit firmer, almost like cream cheese. (It will firm as it cools, so do not judge its final texture by what you have in your cheesecloth.) Eat the ricotta right away or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

You can keep the whey to lactose ferment things like cabbage into saurcraut. Check out the Nourishing Traditions cookbook for more recipes using whey.

Happy preserving!

20130219-144027.jpg

Spinach Dip

To me (and I apologize in advance), Super Bowl Sunday means scrumptious bits and funny commercials.

Our menu today consists of my BFF’s chili recipe, nachos, chicken wings and spinach dip. I’ll post the most important recipe, the chili once I have clearance from my BFF. In the meantime, here’s the spinach dip recipe. Go Niners!!

(BTW: does anyone else remember the 49ers song, “49ers, ha! we’re dynamite!”)

20130203-132538.jpg

Spinach Dip

* 1 pkg. Simply Organic Spinach Dip mix OR Knorr Vegetable Soup mix [dry mix]
* 2 cups sour cream
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach defrosted
* 2 green onions, finely chopped
* 4 oz. of water chestnuts, drained and diced into tic tac sized pieces

Mix it all together. Pop it into the fridge for at least 30 mins.

Serve with sourdough bread.

Arancini – or what to do with leftover risotto

So you stirred, and stirred, and stirred until you thought your elbow was going to fall off. But then you dipped your spoon into a bowl of your creamy risotto and realized why you put so much effort into making it from scratch. It’s pure comfort in a bowl. It’s like the rice absorbed all your love with each turn of the wrist (and that was a lot of turns).

But you made too much and now you have a tupperware bowl full of not so creamy risotto in your fridge from last night’s scrumptious dinner. What to do? Make Arancini – or Fried Risotto Balls.

Not the best picture but they're so damn delicious I forgot to get a good photo before stuffing them in my belly.

Not the best picture but they’re so damn delicious I forgot to get a good photo before stuffing them in my belly.

Arancini

  • Leftover risotto
  • 1 cup of panko (japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • veggie oil
  • 1 egg
  • a splash of milk
  • 1/2″ cubes of mozzarella

1. Put the panko and breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl with the oregano and salt and mix. In another shallow bowl, beat the egg and milk together.

2. Heat up the oil in a medium frying pan on medium low heat.

3. Grab a golf ball size mound of risotto. Roll it into a ball. Use your thumb to push an indentation into the risotto. Put a cube of mozzarella into the center and seal it up so the mozzarella is in the center of the risotto ball.

4. Roll the risotto ball in the egg mixture and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Set aside on a plate until they are all rolled out.

5. Check to see if your oil is ready by sprinkling a small piece of breadcrumbs in. If it sizzles right away, start putting in your balls. Don’t overcrowd the pan though because you’ll need to flip the balls as soon as they brown on one side.

6. Place the browned morsels of heaven on a paper towel and sprinkle with a bit of salt.

Serve piping hot with your favorite marinara or the leftover braising liquid from the chicken in the previous post. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

 

Galette, Galette

Galette. Like rhymes with barrette or ballet? I might not know how to pronounce it but I do know how to eat it. These yummy packets of savory deliciousness are also known as rustic tarts. They’re super easy to make once you have the dough. I often make a couple batches of dough and freeze them for future “gawl-ets”.

loads of butter

loads of butter

You can really put anything into them. I love the combination of zucchini, sausage and ricotta together. It’s so comforting. But I’ve also made it with leeks, mushrooms and potatoes, one was filled with olives, sundried tomatoes and feta, and another with rhubarb, strawberries and balsalmic red onions. You get the picture. Just use your imagination and fill these babies with your favorites.

zucchini and sausage and ricotta cheese galette (this is an adaptation but I’m unable to find from where…my apologies!)

galette dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 TBS sugar
  • 12 TBS cold butter, cut into small pieces (yes that’s a stick and a half!)
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup cold water with two ice cubes in it to make it really cold

1. Mix flour, salt, and sugar together in bowl. Cut in butter, leaving some pea size chunks. Sprinkle with ice water and mix with the flour mixture until you can bring the dough together. Press into a disk, wrap it in saran wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
2. Roll out the disk on a lightly floured counter about 1/8″ thick. You can either make one large galette or three small ones. I’d suggest the small ones because with the filling, it becomes a bit unwieldy. Roll it out to a circle of your size, and no it doesn’t have to be a perfect circle, that’s the beauty of the galette.

for the filling:

  • 2 large zucchinis, thinly sliced
  • 1 italian sausage or 1lb of bulk italian sausage
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of spinach, kale, or other greens
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 oz ricotta goat cheese, less or more to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Pull sausage out of casing and roll it into tiny meat balls. Cook in a large pan until browned. Take the sausage out of pan (but leave the drippings) and add olive oil, onions and salt. Cook for a few minutes. Add zucchini and garlic, thyme and oregano. Stew over medium heat, stirring frequently, until zucchini is near tender. Add the greens and wine and continue cooking until reduced. Add back in sausage. Turn off the heat and add the crème and cook until it coats the filling and only a little liquid remains. Season with salt and pepper. Let the filling cool 10 minutes then stir in all but 1 TBS of the beaten egg and most of the ricotta cheese.
3. Assemble the galette on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the dough down then spread the mixture on top of it, leaving a 2 inch border around the edge. Crumble the cheese on top, then fold the dough over the filling. Brush with reserved egg and bake until crust is browned, 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy!

PS This is perfect for brunch, potlucks, parties!

Rustic tart to the table.

Rustic tart to the table.