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.
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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!

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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!

Stuffed Shrooms

These stuffed mushrooms are such a hit every time I make them (which is usually for Superbowl Parties or family get-togethers). While at the Campbell market, I came across some gorgeous button mushrooms that were the perfect size for stuffed shrooms. I couldn’t resist buying a couple to make for our little family dinner (of 2 and a half).

Goat Cheese, Prosciutto and Chive Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 2 lb crimini or white button mushrooms (stems removed by plucking the stems out of the cap)
  • 1 package (8 0z) cream cheese (leave out of the fridge for 15 minutes to soften)
  • ~6 oz of Harley Farms Fromage Blanc or any soft chevre goat cheese (leave out of the fridge for 15 minutes to soften)
  • 7-8 pieces of thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small bunch fresh chives, minced (about 1/4 cup) and extra for garnishing (if desired)
  • 1 cup panko (japanese breadcrumbs)
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesean
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 400˚F

Sauté the shallots over medium heat in a bit of olive oil until softened (about 3 minutes).  Add garlic and cook for another minute.

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and goat cheese until combined.  Add the chopped proscuitto, shallots and garlic, chives, a bit of pepper.  Stir to combine.

In another bowl, combine the panko, parmesean and the extra chives with a bit of freshly cracked pepper.

Stuff the mushrooms and dip in panko:

Using a table spoon, generously fill each mushroom cap.  Dip the top of each mushroom in the panko mixture, and then put on the baking sheet.  Lightly drizzle the mushroom tops with olive oil.

Bake the mushrooms in a 400˚ oven for 12-18 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Serve warm. This batch didn’t even make it to the platter. We ate them straight from the cookie sheet.

Lu’s eggplants – from garden to hummus

I’m lucky enough to be gardening again in San Jose. Or rather, planting and harvesting in SJ. My sister has graciously let me plant some of my favorites in her veggie garden: tomatoes, squashes, peppers and eggplants. She’s since kept up the watering and tending. And now the veggies are going bonkers. Each visit, I go out to her garden and am wowed by both the massive quantity of veggies on each plant and the enormous size of her veggies. Seriously, the zucchinis look like wiffle ball bats.

The last visit she gave me her first eggplants. They are so beautiful with their shiny, deep purple skins. I couldn’t wait to get them into the oven (I love the smell of roasted veggies!) and then I added this with them.

To make this scrumptious appetizer:

Roasted Eggplant and Feta Hummus

  • 2 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 cup plain 2% FAGE yogurt
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 TB olive oil
  • ¼ cup Harley Farms feta
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • lemon juice from one lemon
  • 1 bunch of mint (from Jacobs Farm)
  • S&P

Roast eggplant in 350 degree oven for 30 mins until soft (on a cookie sheet with olive oil and S&P)

Blend yogurt, chickpeas, 2 TB olive oil, garlic, and half lemon juice until slightly blended (looks gritty). Add feta, eggplant and give it a quick whirl (should be chunky). Stir in mint and S&P to taste. Add more lemon juice if needed.

Scrumptious with any bread and additional feta and kalamata olives. Can be served hot or cold (best warm).