June 24, 2010

Cherries in Green Tea-Rose Jelly

The Challenge for Can Jam this month was berries and cherries.  Normally this wouldn't be a problem here in Seattle, however this year summer just is refusing to participate.  We still have not seen a day above 75, so the selection of what to work with has been limited.  For a few weeks it has been touch and go on whether I would have anything at all to play with.  Luckily the east side of the state finally got some sunshine and in came the cherries.

I had already done a few recipes using cherries but they were not as challenging or creative as I wanted; here I really wanted to challenge myself. So off I went looking for different recipes.  I began by searching through all my cooking and canning books, but nothing caught my eye. Then I did a search on epicurious.com and well this recipe caught my eye: A Green Tea Panna Cotta with Strawberries.

June 18, 2010

Ballard Community Kitchen -Thai

Here are the recipes that we used for the Thai Community Kitchen I did.  We covered a few ways to make the ingredients more local.  Two of which are growing your own.  You can grow ginger and lemongrass here in the Northwest if you bring them indoors for the winter.  We also used Lemon Balm instead of Kiffer Lime leaves. Not the same but local and since the leaves were completely unavailable our only option.  The curry pastes turned out very well.  The red lentil-sweet potato dip was a hit. Boy was it a long night.  Making a batch or curry paste that is multiplied by 20 takes alot of time even with many hands. I unfortunately forgot to use the camera that I brought...next time.

June 16, 2010

Northwest Cherry Port Preserves

This preserve is a combination of wonderful Northwest flavors; cherries, port and hazelnuts.  It is a simple preserve. Just four ingredients and no pectin.  

12 c cherries, pitted
3 c sugar
1 small bottle of port (approximated 2 cups)
2 c hazelnuts, chopped

Combine cherries, sugar and port in a saucepan.  Cook on medium heat until the liquids are reduced to desired thickness. You want just enough liquid to hold everything together.  Stir in hazelnuts and simmer for 5 minutes. Place in half pint or pint jars.  Process for 10 minutes.

June 10, 2010

Brandied Cherries and Cherry Clafoutis

Brandied Cherries

This is a wonderful little preserve.  Served over ice cream, yogurt, or as I have at the end of this post as Cherry Clafoutis.  

4 lbs cherries, pitted
1 pint brandy
2 c sugar
2 c water

Place brandy, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  When sugar is dissolved set aside and cool. Place cherries in your jars (either half pints or pints). Cover with with the brandy sugar mixture.  Process for 10 mins. Allow to sit for at least a month before eating. 

Cherry Clafoutis

This is a simple cake with make by made with any fruit you have.  It goes together in minutes and cake bake while you are eating dinner.  It is traditionally made in a larger pan (approximately 1-2 quarts) (an oven proof skillets work nicely).  I wanted small individual servings this time so I baked in a muffin tin. I used the syrup from the cherries as the liquid but you could use milk.

2/3 c flour
4 eggs
a pinch of salt
1/2 c sugar
1 c cherry brandy syrup
1/4 c butter, melted
1 t vanilla extract
1 pint brandied cherries, drained and liquid reserved

Butter your baking dish (or dishes). Arrange the cherries in the bottom of the baking dish. Blend eggs, salt and sugar. Whisk in flour. Add the cherry syrup, vanilla extract and melted butter.  Whisk until smooth.  Pour over cherries.

Bake in a 325F oven. Bake for 20-25 mins for small dishes and about 50 mins for larger dishes. You want a nice golden color.

June 4, 2010

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

This is the last of the Rhubarb.  Unfortunately the season appears to be over here. This was inspired by Knit and Nosh.  I decided that I wanted it more spicy so a few Chipotle made it into the sauce.  Well that and I still had some from making the salsa.  Can't let those beautiful little chiles go to waste.  The sauce is a bit on the sweet side but the chipotle slowly comes through.  When I make it next year I will back off on the amount of raisins and sugar.

Spicy Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

8 1/2 c Rhubarb, chopped
2  1/2 c Brown Sugar
1 1/2 c Raisins
1 Onion, chopped
1 c White Vinegar
5 chipotles in adobo
1 t Green Peppercorns, crushed
1 t allspice
1 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1T salt, kosher

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-30 mins.  At this point you will want to blend the sauce. This is easiest to do with an immersion blender as you can do it right in the pot without waiting for it to cool.  If doing in a blender or cuisinart allow to cool and blend in small batches.  Check the thickness of the sauce.  You can thin with more vinegar if wanted. I like my sauce very thick, figuring that I can thin it later if wanted. Place in pint jars and process for 20 mins.