Thursday, September 27, 2007

Apple Butter: Granny Smith Working Overtime



I have all of my ingredients set for the weekend.....it's time for me to make some Apple Butter!


Apple Butter Festivals are a great pastime in the American South, but making apple butter itself seems to be virtually unheard of in many other parts of the world, so I thought I would share a great recipe for making your own apple butter. Apple butter is wonderful as a spread on toast bread or a bagel, and even better, served on a cracker with a nice slice of brie or camembert. In some areas, making apple butter is a family or community project where everyone contributes the apples and the other ingredients and all the components are simmered together in large outdoor kettles. However it could not be more simple, in that you can make it on your own stove top or also in your slow cooker or crock pot. Once you have had a taste of this luscious treat there is no turning back. I use Granny Smith apples because I feel they offer the best taste for apple butter, however any good cooking apples can be used. The term butter is is used because when the apple butter is complete it resembles a soft rich consistency much like butter, but there is no actual butter in the recipe. I am making my Apple Butter on Saturday, and with the 4 lb bag of Granny Smiths that I have in the kitchen it should yield about (6) 8 ounce jars or the equivalent. It is helpful to have either a chinois ( a conical shape sieve) on hand or a food mill for use in this recipe. They can be purchased very inexpensively, and usually found in the gadget section of the supermarket or even in the $2 stores. The following are photos of the chinoise and the food mill, but have a look at the recipe as you may be able to improvise with something you have in the cupboard.

chinoise

food mill

Enjoy the recipe, and I would love to know how your apple butter turns out!

APPLE BUTTER

SOURCE: Simply Recipes

Ingredients

4 lbs of good cooking apples (we use Granny Smith or Gravenstein)

1 cup apple cider vinegar

2 cups water Sugar (about 4 cups, see cooking instructions)

Salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon allspice

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

Equipment Needed

1 wide 8-quart pan (Stainless steel or copper with stainless steel lining)

A food mill or a chinois sieve

A large (8 cup) measuring cup pourer

6-8 8-ounce canning jars

Preparing the Fruit

1 Cut the apples into quarters, without peeling or coring them (much of the pectin is in the cores and flavor in the peels), cut out damaged parts.


First Stage of Cooking

2 Put them into large pot, add the vinegar and water, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.


Measure out the purée and add the sugar and spices3 Ladle apple mixture into a chinois sieve (or foodmill) and using a pestle force pulp from the chinois into a large bowl below. Measure resulting puree. Add 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of apple pulp. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add a dash of salt, and the cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, lemon rind and juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.


Second Stage of Cooking

4 Cook uncovered in a large, wide, thick-bottomed pot on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth when a bit is spooned onto a cold plate and allowed to cool (1 to 2 hours). You can also cook the purée on low heat, stirring only occasionally, but this will take much longer as stirring encourages evaporation. (Note the wider the pan the better, as there is more surface for evaporation.)


Canning

5 There are several ways to sterilize your jars for canning. You can run them through a short cycle on your dishwasher. You can place them in a large pot (12 quart) of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don't touch the bottom of the pan), and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Or you can rinse out the jars, dry them, and place them, without lids, in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.


6 Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal. If you plan to store the apple butter un-refrigerated, make sure to follow proper canning procedures. Before applying the lids, sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids. I use a hot water bath for 10 minutes to ensure a good seal.
As an alternative to stove cooking the puree you can cook uncovered in a microwave, on medium heat to simmer, for around 30 minutes.


Makes a little more than 3 pint jars.



A Lovely Recipe Using Your Homemade Apple Butter

Baked Prosciutto and Brie with Apple Butter Recipe

Courtesy Tyler Florence

Show: Food 911 Episode: Texas Tea Party

1 loaf crusty French bread

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup apple butter

16 thin slices prosciutto

about 1/4 pound 2 pears or apples, thinly sliced

1 pound Brie, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut 16 (1/2-inch thick) slices out of the loaf. Butter each side of the slices and put them onto a baking sheet. Spread 1 tablespoon of apple butter onto each slice. Top this with 1 slice of prosciutto and 3 or 4 slices of pear or apple. Cover this with the Brie slices, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes.



Wikipedia: Apple Butter

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Plump Persimmon

Computer Desktop Wallpaper 800 x 600
(click above image)



I have long loved the taste and freshness of a nice juicy persimmon, but it has been ages since I have had one. They are great in salads and some desserts and make a wonderfully colorful presentation in your cooking. My husband is an avid gardener, but we have yet to plant a persimmon tree, so I think it is high time I started making some new recomendations for some fruits that I have truly missed.


I have made a new Desktop Wallpaper with a Persimmon Theme, so feel free to snag it. Just click on the Desktop Wallpaper image above to see the larger view and save to your hard drive. The size is 800 X 600 pixels but feel free to resize it to accomodate your screen resolution. From time to time I will be creating more Desktop Wallpapers with Culinary Themes, so be sure to stop by often to see what I have available for you. I will more than likely create a list on the sidebar with the theme links so you can grab them on the go.


In the meantime here is a very good article by Mary Robertson about persimmons, and some links I have found where you can find some persimmon recipes.


Persimmons

Source:

Mary Robertson

National Radio Talkback Host and Newspaper Columnist


Known as the fruit of the Gods Persimmon have been a major fruit in the diet of more than a billion people in Asia. But new Zealanders have been slow to appreciate this gorgeous looking and deliciously sweet and crunchy “good for you” autumn and winter bearing fruit. The glossy orange round fruit are available in supermarkets right now and easy to eat, just like an apple without the skin. Use in fruit salads, desserts, cakes, ices and sorbets. Whole fruits and pureed flesh freezes well and will remain in perfect condition for months sealed in polythene bags. Persimmons contain high amounts of Vitamin A and C which make them the ideal pick me up after a night of alcoholic over indulgence.
There are two types of Persimmons available---- astringent and non astringent. Modern varieties are non astringent which means you can eat the delicious ripe firm fruit straight off the tree. Astringent varieties are highly acidic and give you that pucker up feeling unless they are soft and very ripe. Most of the older mature garden specimens are astringent varieties and to hasten ripening harvest the pale orange fruit and seal in a plastic bag with a ripe banana or apple.
The Persimmon is a highly decorative ornamental deciduous tree. Its wide spreading arching branches grow in weeping tiers to give an oriental appearance. The large glossy dark green leaves turn vibrant orange, yellow and red in autumn. They fall to reveal the ripening fruits. These start out as pale green then apricot and finally glowing orange. Fruit will remain on the tree until discovered by birds and deemed ripe enough to eat.
Persimmons need to grow in fertile, free draining soil. They especially dislike having wet roots in winter so good drainage is critical. Choose a sunny wind sheltered site. If space is a problem espalier against a wall or fence. They also make good subjects as container plants where they will fruit for many years in a Bonsai state. I saw a specimen recently growing on a raised wall where the branches were cascading and I could look up at the hundreds of pendulous fruit. Quite a marvelous sight.Stake well when planting and be prepared to support young branches with props when laden with fruit. As the tree matures it will be able to support the fruits weight. Keep pruning to a minimum as fruit is produced on current wood or from the tips of the stems.
Feed your persimmon twice a year with a fruit tree fertilizer, the first in late winter and the second straight after flowering in spring.
In the orient there are over one thousand varieties to choose from but the standard in N.Z is Fuyu. This non astringent variety produces medium sized fruit of great quality. The pale yellow-orange fruit has a fine texture and is very sweet.


Wikipedia: Persimmons

Epicurean.Com

Don't Miss Lucille Ball's Persimmon Cake At Epicurean


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Check Out What's New On My Netvibes!

Platter Chatter With Patricia (309)

Just click on the above link and sign into Netvibes to check out all my yummy culinary goodies for you today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Thanksgiving Celebration



With Thanksgiving not too far off I am offering a free download to a wonderful Thanksgiving Celebration Cookbook. I have uploaded the file to "YouSendIt" and the file is only good for 7 days (from September 18th through September 25th) or 100 downloads, so you may like to add it to your Computer Cookbook Library. There are some fantastic Thankgsiving recipes, especially if you are looking for something new to try for the Holidays. The cookbook contains around 115 pages and there are even some excellent leftover recipes for turkey as well. Here is just a small sampling of some of the recipes you will find in this lovely cookbook.

Tangerine-Glazed Turkey
Maple Roast Turkey and Gravy
Cranberry-Tangerine Stuffing
Minnesota Wild Life Dressing
Candied Yams With Bourbon
Corn Pudding
Lemon Garlic Steamed Broccoli
Roasted Parsnip and Thyme
Sweet Potato-Pecan Pie
Shaved Fennel and Apple Salad
Zucchini Slaw
Indian Pudding With Nutmeg Ice Cream
Cookies N' Cream Peach Cobbler
White Chocolate Almond Torte
Spiced Pumpkin Bread
Ambrosia Salad
Scalloped Corn and Tomatoes
Turkey Croquettes


Here is the link for the cookbook


I have quite an extensive collection of Cookbooks in (.pdf) files which I will be making available regularly on this blog, so stop by frequently to see what is available for download. All that is necessary is to download and save the file to your own hard drive. You will need Adobe Reader to open the file and you can download Adobe at the following link for free.

If you have any questions about the above or need assistance you can contact me at the following email address:

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Leftover Queen





Whether you are seeking ways to serve up some rather ordinary leftovers and turning them into a visual feast for the eyes and the soul, or looking for some other mouth-watering recipes to reward you long overdue palate, then look no further and take some special time to visit




Jenn's brilliant Blog is chocked full of all kinds of wonderful delights including a Pantry and Herb Garden with some superb and very selective information for every individual who enjoys spending time in the kitchen. I especially enjoy having the convenience of a Food Safety Section available on Jenn's Blog....it is so perfect if you would like to know more about food handling and storage. Jenn also has a wonderful Forum available on her Blog....a great way to communicate with other Food and Culinary Bloggers and to share our love of cooking. Best of all is Jenn's absolutely fantastic Foodie Blog Roll. What a great way to have just heaps of other Food Blogs available at your fingertips. I have been invited to add it to my own Blog here for easy access to so many other Blogs. You can find it in my right hand sidebar, and you can contact Jenn on her Blog if you wish to add it to your Food Blog too. It is an excellent blogging tool for all food bloggers.



Thanks so very much for inviting me to your Foodie Blog Roll Jenn!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

For The Love Of Sushi


Takara Sushi Bar Restaurant


It was in February of 1989 when I had my first scrumptious taste of sushi. I remember exactly where I was when I decided to try my first piece. It was at my nephew Michael's Christening party.....first bite and I was instantly hooked forever. I recall the party as being a pot luck and one of my brother's friends brought two huge platters of sushi....enough to feed an army I thought. I was amazed how absolutely lovely everything looked on the platter and so beautifully presented with the colorful and neatly organized layout on the trays and all the marvelous sushi combinations that made it all look so appetizing. I immediately sensed an urgency to have a go with the sushi, wasabi and all. It was then that I realized that sushi was definitely"my thing", and I try to have it as often as I can, but still not often enough. Another wonderful recollection was the night another brother took my husband and I out to a Japanese Restaurant on Long Island when we were visiting the family in New York in May 2001. Well I never saw so much sushi in my life, and to be honest I ate so much of it that night that I almost had to roll out of the restaurant. It was the best sushi I had ever had. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant so I could give them credit. Everything was so wonderfully fresh and it was a very special treat being able to watch the chefs make it right in front of us. I will have to speak to my brother and get the name of this place because I would recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys sushi and lives on Long Island. The interesting thing is though that I have never made it myself. I am dying to do so but I just do not have the supplies needed such as the sushi rolling mat. I am definitely putting it on my Christmas wish list for this year though. I think one of the best things about sushi however is that it is so easy to prepare, and providing that you have all the proper ingredients at hand you can actually put something together in less than 2 minutes. My favorite of all the sushi is the California Roll. Not only is it one of the most colorful, but I happen to adore avocado which is one of the ingredients that can be used in making it.

ADDENDUM TO THE ABOVE: September 15, 2007

It has been a few days since I posted about "For The Love Of Sushi", and since, I have been in contact with my brother in New York and he was kind enough to send me the link to the fantastic Sushi Bar Restaurant I spoke of above of which I could not remember the name the other day off hand. I just felt that I wanted to post the link so much for sushi lovers in New York that may not have been to TAKARA before. It is the finest Japanese Sushi Bar Restaurant I have ever been to, and well worthy of receiving the credit here for their superb Japanese Cuisine. I have quite a number of readers from Long Island, so whether you are a local resident on Long Island or planning on a visit to Long Island, TAKARA is not to be missed. I have uploaded a couple of additional photos since I lasted posted as well from TAKARA. You are surely in for a wonderful treat at TAKARA'S....the cuisine far surpasses that of most of the restaurants I have ever been to in the past, and the ambience at TAKARA'S as well as the culinary skills of the brilliant masterchefs is worth every moment of your dining pleasure. At TAKARA'S Japanese cooking is an art worth feasting your eyes on.


Here is their address



1708 Veterans Memorial Highway in Islandia
(In the Islandia Shopping Plaza)

Take the Long Island Expressway west to exit 57 (Route 454, Veterans Memorial Highway). At the light make a left, heading south on Veterans Memorial Highway. Stay in the right lane and continue south for about a quarter mile. You will see the Islandia Shopping Center to your right. Make a right into the shopping center. Takara is on the far right section of the shopping center next to Starbucks.


Here is a good recipe for the California Roll.....very simple and straightforward. I will also include here for you my favorite web sites for sushi and also a link to a video for making a quick and easy preparation of the California Roll.


How To Make A California Roll Uramaki



The most popular sushi dish and a favourite with the Japanese. California Rolls are the perfect introduction to the healthy fast food that's here to stay.


Uramaki is a sushi roll made with the rice on the outside and the seaweed on the inside. Uramaki can be made with a number of different fillings. This recipe uses a crab, avocado and mayonnaise filling. This is known as a California roll Uramaki.


You Will Need:



Crab meat

2 Avocado strips

1 nori/ seaweed sheets

1 knife

1 bowl of water

Lay It Out


Place the rolling mat on a flat surface, we have covered it in cling film so it can be cleaned easily.
Lay the nori, that's the seaweed, on top, closest to edge that is nearest to you.
Moisten your hands in the bowl of water. Then spread a thin layer of the specially prepared sushi rice on top of the nori. Make sure the rice evenly covers the nori and press it down firmly, ensuring the rice has stuck, without mashing the kernels.

Arrange The Fillings

Flip the nori over so that it is laying rice side down.
Lay the avocado strips horizontally across the centre of the nori. Squeeze a line of mayonnaise next to this. If your mayonnaise is not in a squeezy container you can use a knife to spread a thin line instead.
Arrange the crab on top of the mayonnaise. Make sure the fillings lie evenly as this will make for a better roll.

Roll
Carefully lift up the side of the mat nearest to you and fold it over to make a cylindrical shape. Tuck in the edge of the nori with your fingers to make a complete roll
Continue pressing the roll gently, using your fingers to compress and shape the Uramaki. Make sure not to press it too hard but do ensure it is of a good even size.

Roe

To complete the roll place the Uramaki in a container of roe and keep turning it until it is covered. If you don't have such a large amount of roe, you could use your hands to press the roe into the roll.

Slice It Up


Cut the roll in two. Lay the two sides parallel to each other and slice them into 6 pieces.
TOP TIP Dipping the end of your knife in the water bowl will make it easier to slice cleanly through the roll.

Presentation


Turn each slice on its side allowing you to see the colours and pattern of the fillings, and display on a serving plate.


Video: Making a California Roll

Sayonara!


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Chef Daniel Scherotta: Graduation Speech And Recipe For Gnocchi Ferrarese with Acorn Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Chef Daniel Scherotta



As some of my readers know I also have an Inspiration Blog called Treasures In The Attic where I post items of inspirational and motivational interest to brighten and cheer one's day. Well yesterday I came across a wonderfully inspiring Graduation Speech given by Chef Daniel Scherotta to a graduating class of culinary students, and it inspired me so much that I decided to post it here at Chatter Platter With Patricia since it is related to the world of culinary arts. Hopefully you will find it as inspiring as it was for me.

Chef Daniel Scherotta is the Chef-Owner of Palio d' Asti which is a top rated Italian Restaurant in San Francisco. He is also the Vice President of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, and California Culinary Academy Alumnus.
He was the guest speaker at the August 18 commencement ceremony in the Careme Room. I am also including one of his famous recipes for Gnocchi Ferrarese with Acorn Squash and Brussels Sprouts. Here is what he said to the graduates.


I'd like to congratulate you all on making it this far. Now, for the sake of your career, forget that you have this degree. Forget that you endured a year and a half of knife skills, garde manger, culinary history, safety and sanitation, table service and wine service, French, Italian, and Chinese cooking, mother sauces, and classical garnishes. Instead, pretend that you've just woken up from a long, Burgundy-induced slumber to realize that you want to be a chef and you have no idea how. Now, your real education is about to begin. I can't give you the key to becoming rich and famous, but I can tell you some habits of successful real chefs and also why people fail.
At my graduation from the CCA, Jan Birnbaum gave the address. Jan compared cooks to pans; there's the cheap aluminum pan that gets hot real fast, speeds you up on the line, is easy to clean and cheap to replace when it warps. Then there's the cast iron skillet; it's heavy and it takes time to heat up, takes time to season, and takes time to maintain, but once it's there, it stays hot, cooks evenly, doesn't stick, and lasts for a long time. Most cooks and chefs are aluminum pans. These are people who are the flavor of the month, the hot new thing, the rising star. So many of these one-hit wonders have disappeared since I became a chef a decade ago. You're here to build a career. Careers take time and effort, blood, sweat, and tears, but they last. In these days of fly-by-night celebrity chefs and Food Network stars, resist the impulse to become famous fast; the greats -- Keller, Vongerichten, Danko, Puck, Batali, Soltner -- all took their time. Be the cast iron skillet and do it right.
In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray kept on living the same day over and over again, gradually improving, finding his way around, preventing accidents from happening, learning from his mistakes, and earning love he passionately sought, until he finally got it right. That is life in the kitchen. When you start working somewhere, choose well and stay with it. Keep pushing yourself. Choose a place that will kick your butt every day and twice on Sundays. Work where you will learn, where even the prep guy from south of the border can teach you something. Stay there for at least a year, no matter how hard it is, no matter how much you get yelled at, no matter what kind of anxiety dreams you have, no matter how much your feet hurt. Work hard enough to get promoted, ideally to every station in the kitchen. Show your passion.
Most importantly, do not leave before one year, EVEN if you get a better offer, because if you do, down the road, the people you want will NEVER hire you. We want to see dedication and short stints say Flake with a capital F. When you've learned a chef's style and worked his menu for four seasons, ask for advice. Go someplace new and learn what they have to offer. Learn how to cook volume and how to cook fine dining. Listen. Show loyalty and respect to those above and below you, as you will want it in return.
General Rommel, the brilliant German tank commander in World War II, had a habit of burying ammunition in the desert on his advance so that he'd be able to move faster and have supplies on hand if and when he had to retreat. Ours is a very tight industry, so when you move on, leave goodwill behind you. I've seen too many cocky cooks and chefs make themselves unemployable by not playing nice in the sandbox with others, either above or below them, and burning bridges behind them.
When you finally get promoted to sous chef, and you finally get the opportunity to be creative, remember one thing: you aren't the boss, you're the middleman. You are there to help everyone succeed above and below you. Once you start telling people what to do, you're on your way out the door, despite what you may have seen on TV.
Cooking is a trade; therefore, knowledge and experience are bankable assets. Generally speaking, for cooks on their way up the ladder, the better the restaurant, the less they pay. However, the better the restaurant, the more you learn and the faster you get to the place where you can start to pay back your student loans. Think about it: who will become a sous chef first, the woman who stages for two years in a Michelin-starred restaurant for room and board, or the guy who takes the fry job at Chile's for $15 an hour? Now is the time to force chefs to teach you their secrets. Commencement means start, not finish, and that's just what you're all about to do.
You're probably all here because you are passionate and you want to create. How you handle that first opportunity matters. Limits are what force you to be creative. Necessity is the mother of invention and we all work within the limits of the seasons and the concepts and budgets of our restaurants. Remember, cooking wasn't invented by chefs but rather by poor women trying to feed their families with nothing -- keep that in mind every time you're writing your menu and you're lamenting that you have nothing interesting to use because it's January and there's not much on the market or you're over budget. Never use the words "my food" as though you don't fall into that long and noble tradition of turning lemons into lemonade; it implies arrogance and ignorance at the same time. Do not believe the press, unless it's bad, and then learn from it. To paraphrase Woody Allen, there's nothing worse for a young chef or new restaurant than a good review. In my opinion, it's better to have loyal customers and employees than three stars and closed doors. I've had both, I know.
Finally, when you're ready and you finally become a chef, realize that you are not a god. You are the center of a wheel that supports your investors, your employees, your guests, and you answer to all of them. Your job is keep them all together. Nothing you did as a cook prepares you for the balancing act of keeping everyone happy. You will need to earn their respect to get the help and cooperation of everyone around you. You will need to build both a team of workers and a congregation of regulars. You will need to listen to unhappy customers, unflattering critics, unruly cooks, disrespectful waiters, and demanding investors. In your spare time, you may even get to do a little cooking.
So take it slow enough to learn things right, show up on time, stay long enough to learn the fundamentals, focus on doing the best job you can, build your repertoire, develop your network, and always, always leave some ammo behind in the desert, if not in the dessert.


Gnocchi Ferrarese with Acorn Squash and Brussels Sprouts

"The Northern Italian autumn harvest tastes of pumpkin, nutmeg, butter, potatoes, nuts, sage and cabbages. The food is warm, soft and rich; comforting and exuberant at the same time. In this dish, we showcase these flavors in a fun, attractive combination. While a few steps are required in advance, the final assembly of the dish takes almost no time or effort at all. this vegetarian plate pares quite well the meatiest of red wines. I'd recommend a Zinfandel, Syrah or Barbaresco."



Serves 6

Gnocchi Squash

2 lb. russet potatoes
3 ea. two-lb. acorn squash
1 large egg
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ - 2 cups flour
Kosher salt
Nutmeg
½ cup parmesan cheese
Butter


Brussels sprouts To Finish

2 lb Brussels sprouts
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup parmesan cheese
Kosher salt
½ cup toasted hazelnuts



To Prepare Gnocchi:

Quarter potatoes and put in cold salted water, bring to a simmer, never allowing a rolling boil (it breaks the potatoes). When potatoes are cooked (knife goes through like butter), drain and put through a food mill or potato ricer. Let cool 15-30 minutes. Spread out mass on a wooden surface lightly dusted with flour. Build a volcano. Dust volcano with a snowfall of ¾ of the flour and all the cheese. Beat the egg and drop into the middle of the volcano. With a fork, gradually work more and more of the volcano and the snow into the egg until you have a dough you can work with your hands. When all is one, roll out into long tubes ¾-inch thick. If the dough sticks, flour the surface and hands. Cut gnocchi about 1 to 1½-inches long. If you like, then roll each gnocchi over the tines of a fork for the traditional sauce-grabbing ridges. Put onto floured cookie sheet without stacking and freeze. If this is too much trouble, buy the gnocchi; the rest is easy.

To Prepare Squash:

Heat oven to 350°. While the potatoes are coming to a boil (above), cut the squash in half from tip to stem and scoop out all of the seeds. Lay the squash halves face up in a deep baking dish with half-inch of water on the bottom. Sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and a pinch of nutmeg. Rub rim with butter and drop a pat of butter in each squash. Cover dish with foil and put into the oven, bake until the squash is soft (40-60 minutes; test with a knife). These will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

To Prepare Brussels Sprouts:

Trim stem and outer leaves, cut in half. Put into a wide pot with butter, salt to taste and almost enough water to cover and bring to a boil, occasionally stirring gently. the ideas is that when they're totally cooked (never al dente), the water will have evaporated and the sprouts will be glazed with Brussels Butter. Let cool, spread out on a cookie sheet.

To Finish:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If squash are no longer hot, put them back into a 500° oven. Drop gnocchi into water. Brown butter in a sauté pan, add Brussels sprouts and some pasta water. When gnocchi float to the surface, gently add them into the pan with the heated sprouts and sauce. Put a piece of squash into a bowl. Toss gnocchi with sprouts and sauce (add water if you need more sauce) and fill each squash with the dumplings and top with parmesan cheese and toasted hazelnuts.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Photo and Recipe By: Ann and Ming



This afternoon I spent a couple of hours making a Greek Bean Soup called Fasolada. We are having it for dinner with sub sandwiches which I am making with some left over pork roast. I honestly wish I had seen this recipe for Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes sooner as I would have certainly loved to have made them as a little something special on the side with our dinner for tonight. They would make a lovely and colorful presentation and appetizer on any table and they appear so simple to make. I will have to try these soon for sure. Thanks to Ann and Ming for the photo and this lovely recipe.



Ingredients:


Cherry tomatoes,

Black olives,

Garlic,

Olive oil,

Basil,

Shredded cheddar & Monterey jack cheese


Directions :


1) Hollow out the tomatoes & fill them w/cheeses (cheddar & monterey jack)

2) Place the tomatoes under the broiler for about 5 mins /until the cheese starts to melt

3) Ligthly brown some garlic in olive oil

4) Drizzle the tomatoes w/ some garlic & olive oil

5) Garnish w/ basil & black olives





Cherry Tomatoes: Wikipedia


A cherry tomato is a smaller garden variety of tomato. It is marketed at a premium to ordinary tomatoes, and is popular as a snack and in salads. Cherry tomatoes are generally considered to be similar but not identical to the wild precursor of the domestic tomato. They are often sweeter than standard tomatoes. They are often referred to as tommy-toes.
Cherry tomatoes range in size from a thumbtip up to the size of a golf ball, and can range from being spherical to slightly oblong in shape. The more oblong ones often share characteristics with plum tomatoes, and are known as grape tomatoes.
The cherry tomato has 24 chromosomes, and its scientific name is Solanum lycopersicum cerasiforme.
There are a number of cherry tomato varieties. The Santorini cherry tomato is cultivated in Santorini (Greece), and is known for its flavour and body. International conferences dedicated to the cultivation, horticulture and agriculture of the cherry tomato are also held at Santorini. Another popular variety often grown in American gardens is Sweet 100, named for its flavor and prolific production.




How To Grow Cherry Tomatoes


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Designer Cupcakes.....Too Pretty To Eat?

Photo By: cakejourmal




Photo By: busybaking


Now here is food art in its best form! A cupcake that is too pretty to eat.....well I am sure there are more where these came from. Cupcakes seem to be the biggest rage in baking these recent days. Well if you have a creative imagination and a little flair for decorating you just might find yourself tipping the cupcake tins with some gorgeous yummies just like these. Here is a VIDEO with Dede Wilson, author of "A Baker's Field Guide to Cupcakes" as she talks with the "Today Show's", Natalie Morales about ways to add these delightful treats to your holiday menu.

You might also like to have a peek at the following Cupcake Blogs where you will find some fascinating recipes for cupcakes and decorating them.....mind you..... enter with a joyful heart and a sweet tooth.


Cupcake Fun





Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Crunchy Croutons


Photo By: By Money Mi$ty



Photo By: krisalis903



Croutons are a fantastic crunchy addition to any salad or soup and make a lovely looking garnish. They are as simple as can be to make and a great way to use up older bread that you may be on the verge of wasting. You can experiment with the spices you use to make the croutons as there are many variations, but the following recipe is a pretty standard one and will take no time at all.

See the full video for making croutons HERE with Rachel Edelman and our friends at About.Com


Prepare the Crouton Bread
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Start with a firm bread such as a baguette. Thinly cut the bread into slices. For something a bit fancier, cut the bread at an angle. You can also cut it into cubes. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet. Line the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil for an easy clean up.
Crouton Seasonings
Take 4 tablespoons of melted butter add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder 1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese a pinch of salt and pepper Mix all of the ingredients well.
Season the Bread now, dip a pastry brush into the butter mixture. Dab each slice with the brush to cover the entire top of the bread. Place small cubes of bread into a bowl. Put the butter mixture into the bowl and gently toss the cubes with the butter.
Bake the croutons:
Arrange the cubes on the baking sheet in a single layer. Put the pans into the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Thicker slices may need a longer bake time. If you like softer croutons, use a shorter bake time. When the croutons are dried and slightly brown, remove them from the oven. Remove the croutons from the pan and store in an airtight container. Serve the croutons with your favorite soup or salad.


Crouton: Wikipedia

A crouton is a small piece of dry or fried bread, often seasoned, that is used to add texture and flavour to salads, notably the Caesar salad, and as an accompaniment to soups, while some prefer to eat them alone, as a snack food. The word crouton is derived from the French croûte, meaning "crust".
Making croutons is relatively simple. Typically the cook cuts bread into small cubes and fries them lightly in butter or vegetable oil, to give them a buttery flavour and crunchy texture. A healthier option is to bake the cubes of bread in an oven until dry.
A dish prepared à la Grenobloise has a garnish of small croutons along with brown butter, capers, parsley, and lemon.


Egg In A Basket


Have you been looking for some ideas of how to jazz up some of your food presentations when the crowd arrives for breakfast? This is a wonderful way to serve eggs and toast with lots of 'eye appeal'..... 'Egg In A Basket', and it is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Egg in the basket refers to a chicken's egg fried in a hole in a slice of bread. Known by countless names in various regions, it is a common American comfort food. This dish was famously featured in the 1941 Betty Grable movie Moon Over Miami, earning it the name "moon-over-miami" eggs (although it was referred to in the film as "gas house eggs").
It later made a notable appearance in the 1987 film Moonstruck, and several recipes for the dish have since been named "Moonstruck Eggs".
The dish also appeared in the 2006 V for Vendetta film as "eggy in the basket".
Musician Brian Wilson said in 1965: "I love "egg-in-the-hole". It’s about the only thing I can cook, but it is great. You pinch out the center of a piece of bread, butter it, place it in a frying pan and put a raw egg in the hole. The entire thing cooks together and is very, very tasty." [1]
Musician Rob Crow composed the song "Eggy in a Bready II" in honor of the dish. The song was recorded by Crow's band Heavy Vegetable for their 1994 release The Amazing Undersea Adventures of Aqua Kitty and Friends. The lyrics of the song outline the ingredients and implements necessary for preparing the dish.


On a personal note, you may be wondering what to do with the centers you have cut out of the bread for the holes.....how about making a batch of croutons. Simple as can be to prepare and always excellent with salads. See my next post for a recipe on how to make croutons.

Here is your recipe for Egg In A Basket!

eggs
bread (thick)
buttercup/glass (to cut the hole easily)
salt & pepper
sugar (optional)

Make a hole in the bread and fry one side of the bread in butter for a few minutes on medium heat and add a little more butter and crack open the egg and drop the into hole. Salt & pepper to taste. Use lowest heat possible. Using thick slices of bread is helpful so no egg overflow occurs.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Cinnamon Roll

by veggiechick74

I happily recall a perfect day back in the late 80's while visiting my dear friends in Anchorage, Alaska, when we had the highlight of the week to embark on a day at The Alaska State Fair. I seem to remember so clearly the sights and aromas at all the concession stands we passed. The fondest memory of that day was enjoying and savoring the wonderful cinnamon rolls we had with our morning coffee while we anxiously awaited the rain to stop so we could delight in the rest of our day together. I often recollect those lovely memories with my friends, and I must admit the cinnamon rolls, although sticky, yet yummy, truly set out to be a treat I will have never forgotten. The funny thing about it however is that I can honestly say I don't think I have had a cinnamon roll since then. I have just not seen them anywhere and just never took the opportunity to make them myself. But I think the tides have turned as I found this delicious looking recipe from 'veggie chick' and I just have to try it out. I thought you might like to try it too.

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

1 cup warm soy milk

1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 cup organic granulated sugar

1/3 cup melted butter substitute (Earth Balance is good)

egg substitute to equal 2 eggs

4 cups all-purpose flour (or as needed)

1 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:

1 cup brown sugar

2 1/4 tablespoon cinnamon

butter substitute to help the filling stick

Directions:

Place the yeast, a pinch of the sugar, and the warm soymilk in a large mixing bowl (I use a Kitchenaid). Let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy. Add the melted butter substitute, granulated sugar, egg substitute, half the flour, and lastly the salt. Stir on low with the paddles attachment on until the ingredients are incorporated, about a minute. Add the rest of the flour in two intervals (I'd switch to the dough hook here and reserve some of the flour - add only as much as needed for good dough consistency). Knead it for about 3 minutes until it's soft and pliable. Let rise for 1 hour (or until double in size). While the dough is rising, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Once the dough has risen, flour a clean surface as needed and roll the dough out into a rectangle about 16"x21". The dough should be about 1/4-1/8 inches deep. Spread on the butter substitute on the top side to coat (leaving about half an inch on one long side for sealing the dough once rolled), sprinkle on the brown sugar/cinnamon mix to coat. Roll it up width wise, cut into 12 equal lengths (or however many you want) and place them into two cake pans (or large rectangular pan) and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or more. They should be slightly soft when you take them out.

Serves: 12

Lemon Souffle Pancakes



From The Boothby Inn LLC

Erie, Pennsylvania

Ingredients:


2 cups frozen lightly sweetened red raspberries

1 cup maple syrup

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup milk

3 egg whites

butter (optional)

fresh raspberries (optional)



Instructions:



To make raspberry syrup, thaw berries, but do not drain. Place the berries in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until berries are smooth. Press berries through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Discard seeds. Cook and stir juice over medium heat until just heated through. Stir in maple syrup, set aside.
To make pancakes, in a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, lemon peel and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside. In a small mixing bowl beat egg yolk slightly. Stir in melted butter and milk. Add egg yolk mixture. Stir just until moistened (butter should be lumpy).
In another medium mixing bowl beat egg whites with an electric mixer at medium speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gently fold egg whites into flour mixture, leaving a few fluffs of egg white. Do not over mix.





Apple Raspberry Crisp With Streusel Topping




Serving Size: 2



Ingredients:


1/2 pint fresh raspberries


3 apples, cut into bite sized pieces


2 teaspoons lemon juice


3 tbs. soy margarine


2 tbs. flour


1/4 cup quick-cooking oats or granola


2 tbs. brown sugar


1 tbs. white sugar


1 teaspoon cinnamon


Directions:



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a baking dish or 2 small oven proof ramekins with non-stick spray. Combine the 1 tbs. softened soy margarine, flour, and 1 tbs. brown sugar in a small bowl until crumbly; set aside. Combine the 1 tablespoon of brown sugar with the oats and place in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Dot small pieces of the remaining tablespoons of soy margarine over the top of the oats. Cut the apples in bite sized pieces into a bowl with lemon juice and a bit of water so that the apple pieces do not turn brown. When the apples are cut, drain the lemon water off, add the 1 tbs. of white sugar and gently add the raspberries. Spoon the apple/raspberry mixture over the oats. Top with the streusel mixture and place in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned and crisp. Optionally serve with a dollop of whipped soy cream.

Scotch Egg






An interesting take on the hard boiled egg. It looks scrumptious and the recipe is very straightforward. Now this will be great for a Sunday morning breakfast.

A hardboiled egg encased in sausage meat, rolled in breadcrumbs and then fried... fried.... fried.

6 hard-boiled eggs, well chilled (i try to cook them to just past soft boiled stage, then stick them in the coldest part of the fridge to firm up)
1 pound good quality sausage meat (i used ground turkey meat, seasoned with sage, white pepper, salt and a tiny bit of maple syrup)
1/2 cup AP flour
1-2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup panko-style bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying



Peel eggs and divide sausage into 6 portions.
Roll each egg in flour then press and shape a portion of the sausage around each egg.
dip sausage-wrapped eggs into beaten egg and roll in panko.
Heat oil to 350˚F .
Cook each egg for 4-5 minutes (4-5 min on each side if shallow frying) or until sausage is cooked and browned.


by chotda


Speaking Of Pine Nuts



A little information about Pine Nuts today as I had just posted a recipe that included Pine Nuts. I never realized how good they tasted with veggies until I had them for the first time. They are great with salads also. They add a nice crunch as well as serve as a lovely garnish to many recipes.

Also called Indian nut, piñon, pignoli and pignolia this high-fat nut comes from several varieties of pine trees. The nuts are actually inside the pine cone, which generally must be heated to facilitate their removal. This labor-intensive process is what makes these nuts so expensive. Pine nuts grow in China, Italy, Mexico, North Africa and the southwestern United States. There are two main varieties. Both have a thin shell with an ivory-colored nutmeat that averages about 1/2 inch in length. The Mediterranean or Italian pine nut is from the stone pine. It's torpedo-shaped, has a light, delicate flavor and is the more expensive of the two. The stronger-flavored Chinese pine nut is shaped like a squat triangle. Its pungent pine flavor can easily overpower some foods. Pine nuts can be found in bulk in nut shops and health-food stores, and packaged in many supermarkets. The Chinese variety will more likely be available in Asian markets. Because of their high fat content, pine nuts turn rancid quickly. They should be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, frozen for up to 9 months. Pine nuts can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes and are well known for their flavorful addition to the classic Italian pesto.

Pine Nuts: Wikipedia

Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pines (family Pinaceae, genus Pinus). About 20 species of pine produce seeds large enough to be worth harvesting; in other pines the seeds are also edible, but are too small to be of value as a human food.[1][2][3]
In Europe, pine nuts come from the Stone Pine (Pinus pinea), which has been cultivated for its nuts for over 6,000 years, and harvested from wild trees for far longer. The Swiss Pine (Pinus cembra) is also used to a very small extent.
In Asia, two species are widely harvested, Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis) in northeast Asia (the most important species in international trade), and Chilgoza Pine (Pinus gerardiana) in the western Himalaya. Four other species, Siberian Pine (Pinus sibirica), Siberian Dwarf Pine (Pinus pumila), Chinese White Pine (Pinus armandii) and Lacebark Pine (Pinus bungeana), are also used to a lesser extent.
In North America, the main species are three of the pinyon pines, Colorado Pinyon (Pinus edulis), Single-leaf Pinyon (Pinus monophylla), and Mexican Pinyon (Pinus cembroides). The other eight pinyon species are used to a small extent, as are Gray Pine (Pinus sabineana), Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana) and Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana). In the United States, pine nuts are mainly harvested by Native American tribes; in many areas, they have exclusive rights to the harvest.
Pine nuts contain (depending on species) between 10–34% of protein, with Stone Pine having the highest content.[2] They are also a source of dietary fibre. When first extracted from the pine cone, they are covered with a hard shell (seed coat), thin in some species, thick in others. The nutrition is stored in the large female gametophytic tissue that supports the developing embryo (sporophyte) in the centre. Although a nut in the culinary sense, in the botanical sense pine nuts are seeds; being a gymnosperm, they lack a carpel (fruit) outside.
The shell must be removed before the pine nut can be eaten. Unshelled pine nuts have a long shelf life if kept dry and refrigerated (at –5 to +2 °C); shelled nuts (and unshelled nuts in warm conditions) deteriorate rapidly, becoming rancid within a few weeks or even days in warm humid conditions. Pine nuts are commercially available in shelled form, but due to poor storage, these rarely have a good flavour and may be already rancid at the time of purchase.
Pine nuts have been eaten in Europe and Asia since the Paleolithic period. They are frequently added to meat, fish, and vegetable dishes. In Italian they are called pinoli or (rarely) pignoli (locally also pinoccoli or pinocchi; Pinocchio means 'pine nut') and are an essential component of Italian pesto sauce. The pignoli cookie, an Italian specialty confection, is made of almond flour formed into a dough similar to that of a macaroon and then topped with pine nuts. Pine nuts are also featured in the salade landaise of southwestern France. Pine nut coffee, known as piñón (Spanish for pine nut), is a specialty found in the southwest United States, especially New Mexico; it is typically a dark roast coffee and has a deep, nutty flavour. Pine nuts are also used in chocolates and desserts such as baklava.

Korean Pine pine nuts - unshelled, and shell, above; shelled, below
In the United States, millions of hectares of productive pinyon pine woods have been destroyed due to conversion to grazing lands, and in China, destructive harvesting techniques (such as breaking off whole branches to harvest the cones) and the removal of trees for timber have led to losses in production capacity.

Courgettes with Peas, Parsley & Pine Nuts



By Natalia Schamroth

Photography by Steve Brown

Cuisine Magazine

Combining pine nuts, breadcrumbs and currants is a Sicilian influence. This sweet and crunchy mix is really delicious with fish.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 white onion, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

4 courgettes, finely sliced lengthwise

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen), blanched

2 tablespoons raisins or currants, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes, then drained

2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted in a low oven

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped


Saute the onion in the olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan until soft. Increase the heat and add the garlic, courgettes and breadcrumbs. Stir-fry until courgettes and crumbs are lightly browned. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well. Serve immediately.


Serves 4.






Thursday, August 23, 2007

The History Of Ice Cream

Have you ever wondered how particular food items originated. Well today a "cool" trip back in time discovering the origins of ice cream. It is a bit cold for me thinking about ice cream at this time of the year in New Zealand, but for those of you who have been experiencing some rise in temperatures in North America and elsewhere, grab that spoon and the rest of the container of the Haagen-Dazs sitting in the freezer and read on!
The origins of ice cream can be traced back to at least the 4th century B.C. Early references include the Roman emperor Nero (A.D. 37-68) who ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings, and King Tang (A.D. 618-97) of Shang, China who had a method of creating ice and milk concoctions. Ice cream was likely brought from China back to Europe. Over time, recipes for ices, sherbets, and milk ices evolved and served in the fashionable Italian and French royal courts. After the dessert was imported to the United States, it was served by several famous Americans. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson served it to their guests. In 1700, Governor Bladen of Maryland was recorded as having served it to his guests. In 1774, a London caterer named Philip Lenzi announced in a New York newspaper that he would be offering for sale various confections, including ice cream. Dolly Madison served it in 1812.
The first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City in 1776. American colonists were the first to use the term "ice cream". The name came from the phrase "iced cream" that was similar to "iced tea". The name was later abbreviated to "ice cream" the name we know today. Whoever invented the method of using ice mixed with salt to lower and control the temperature of ice cream ingredients during its making provided a major breakthrough in ice cream technology. Also important was the invention of the wooden bucket freezer with rotary paddles improved ice cream's manufacture. Augustus Jackson, a confectioner from Philadelphia, created new recipes for making ice cream in 1832.
Nancy Johnson and William Young - Hand-Cranked FreezersIn 1846, Nancy Johnson patented a hand-cranked freezer that established the basic method of making ice cream still used today. William Young patented the similar "Johnson Patent Ice-Cream Freezer" in 1848.
Jacob Fussell - Commercial Production In 1851, Jacob Fussell in Baltimore established the first large-scale commercial ice cream plant. Alfred Cralle patented an ice cream mold and scooper used to serve on February 2 1897. Mechanical Refrigeration: The treat became both distributable and profitable with the introduction of mechanical refrigeration. The ice cream shop or soda fountain has since become an icon of American culture. Continuous Process Freezer around 1926, the first commercially successful continuous process freezer for ice cream was invented by Clarence Vogt. History of the Ice Cream Sundae: Historians argue over the originator of the ice cream sundae. History of Ice Cream Cones: The walk-away edible cone made its American debut at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Soft Ice Cream: British chemists discovered a method of doubling the amount of air in ice cream creating soft ice cream. Eskimo Pie: The idea for the Eskimo Pie bar was created by Chris Nelson, a ice cream shop owner from Onawa, Iowa. He thought up the idea in the spring of 1920, after he saw a young customer called Douglas Ressenden having difficulty choosing between ordering an ice cream sandwich and a chocolate bar. Nelson created the solution, a chocolate covered ice cream bar. The first Eskimo Pie chocolate covered ice cream bar on a stick was created in 1934. Originally Eskimo Pie was called the "I-Scream-Bar". Between 1988 and 1991, Eskimo Pie introduced an aspartame sweetened, chocolate covered, frozen dairy dessert bar called the Eskimo Pie No Sugar Added Reduced Fat Ice Cream Bar.
Haagen-DazsReuben Mattus invented Haagen-Dazs in 1960, he choose the name because it sounded Danish. DoveBar: The DoveBar was invented by Leo Stefanos. Good Humor Ice Cream Bar: In 1920, Harry Burt invented the Good Humor Ice Cream Bar and patented it in 1923. Burt sold his Good Humor bars from a fleet of white trucks equipped with bells and uniformed drivers.


On a personal note here, I recall hearing back in the 60's that there was a company that made pumpkin ice cream, and it was so much in demand that even the White House Staff would arrange for regular deliveries of this unusual flavored ice cream for the President. It was so well loved that it had to be flown to Washington on a weekly basis.

How was your Haagen-Dazs?

Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm In A Pickle.......And Loving It!

Three months or so ago, while visiting with my wonderful In-Laws, my husband's father was kind enough to give us a nice bag full of gherkins from his lavish garden. My antennas went up and all that I could envision was making some Sweet Gherkin Pickles from our prized gift. The only thing was.... that although I have been in plenty of pickles of my own in my life....I had never made any for eating. Now I must admit I am a great lover of recipes from the Internet, many of which have become household favorites. So off to the computer I fled to find a recipe for making my pickles. I came across the following recipe from a wonderful website called Recipe Source and did not have to look any further as it appeared that this recipe presented itself as being very straightforward, and in fact the pickles were extremely easy to make, and no fuss. I guess it must have been in April or May that I had made them, but decided to let them soak in all the lovely juices for a couple of months before tempting to try them. Well today was the day for the unveiling. I was so pleased with the outcome that I just had to share this recipe today. The pickles were crisp and crunchy and ever so sweet with a very spicy flavoring. The pickling spices certainly do the trick and this is one recipe that I will be making again and again. Have a go with it if you enjoy pickles.....very straightforward and luscious to boot!

Note: This recipe can be found at the Recipe Source.Com website below and is adapted for MasterCook.

For more information about the MasterCook Software visit the link above.

SWEET GHERKIN PICKLES
Recipe Source.Com
Serving Size : 6

Ingredients:

7 lbs Cucumbers (1-1/2 inch or less)
1/2 c Canning or pickling salt
8 c Sugar
6 c Vinegar (5 percent)
3/4 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Celery seeds
2 tsp Whole mixed pickling spice
2 Cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp Fennel (optional)
2 tsp Vanilla (optional)

Yield: 6 to 7 pints

Procedure:

Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4-inch of stem attached.
Place cucumbers in large container and cover with boiling water.
Six to 8 hours later, and on the second day, drain and cover with 6 quarts of fresh boiling water containing 1/4-cup salt.
On the third day, drain and prick cucumbers with a table fork.
Combine and bring to boil 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups sugar, turmeric, and spices. Pour over cucumbers.
Six to 8 hours later, drain and save the pickling syrup. Add another 2 cups each of sugar and vinegar and reheat to boil. Pour over pickles. On the fourth day, drain and save syrup. Add another 2 cups sugar and 1 cup vinegar. Heat to boiling and pour over pickles. Drain and save pickling syrup 6 to 8 hours later. Add 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp vanilla and heat to boiling. Fill sterile pint jars, with pickles and cover with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. For more information on sterilizing jars see “Jars and Lids”. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1, or use the low-temperature pasteurization treatment.
(For more information see “Low-Temperature Pasteurization Treatment”.)
Table 1. Recommended process time for Sweet Gherkin Pickles in a boiling-water canner. Style of Pack: Raw. Jar Size: Pints. Process Time at Altitudes of 0 - 1,000 ft: 5 min. 1,001 - 6,000 ft: 10 min. Above 6,000 ft: 15 min.
This recipe can also be found at Recipe Source.Com right HERE.






Friday, August 3, 2007

THE LAST MINUTE PEPPERONI PIZZA


THE LAST MINUTE PEPPERONI PIZZA

Ingredients:

These ingredients make 2 pizzas.

(2) 400g ready made pizza bases (thawed).
Romanos is a good one, but there are many others available on the market as well.
1 large sliced or diced onion
1 green capsicum (green pepper) sliced or diced or red depending on your taste
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup of pasta sauce or tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups of sliced hot and spicy pepperoni
2 medium tomatoes sliced

Directions:

Place pizza stone in oven and preheat oven to 200 degrees C. or 390 degrees F.
Divide the pasta or tomato sauce between the two pizzas and spread over the bases evenly.
Place your tomatoes evenly around the pizza base.
Spread the mozzarella cheese evenly over the tomatoes.
Add the onions, capsicums, and mushrooms, and top off with the hot and spicy pepperoni.
You can also add some other of your favorite toppings such as diced pineapple and red capsicums for a nice Hawaiian version.
The pizza stone will hold one pizza at a time.
After the oven has reached its target temperature (about 10 minutes) place the pizza on the stone and switch the oven to "Grill" with the "Varigrill" knob set about 3/4 of theway between OFF and "1". Leave to cook for about 10 minutes then check whether the top of the pizza is bubbling away and browning nicely. You can leave it in for another 5 minutes if you think it could use more cooking. The catch is that the longer you leave it after ten minutes, the more crunchy the base will become.
You can create many versions of this quick ready made pizza using your favorite toppings. They are great for a last minute meal, or for a party. Our version of using the two pizzas serves 2, and we usually have a slice or two left over.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 -15 minutes per pizza

Enjoy!