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Monday, February 27, 2017

Cherry Jelly and Chutney using the Easy~Greasy System!

I received an email from Michelle at Easy~Greasy about her product. It is a colander with a base and lid. I was thrilled at her offer to send me one FREE to try out and review! Not only that, but she offered to give one to the lucky winner so I could do a giveaway! So, I set out to test her system and see if it would really be beneficial to me in the kitchen!

To start with, my cherries were left over from last year and were frozen. I rinsed them off and set the colander on the base after they drained well. I let them thaw. I then removed the pits over the colander. I usually do this in the sink with my regular metal colander.

I continued pitting cherries until I was done, leaving me about 4 - 4 1/2 cups of cherries. I was totally shocked when I picked up the colander and looked in the base!

The base caught 3/4 cup of cherry juice! That is the equivalent of an 8 ounce jar of jelly! I had no idea I was wasting that much juice! I cooked the cherries after adding sugar and Sure-Jell. I used the colander and base again to separate the cherries from the jelly juice. I filled the jelly jars and processed them.

Jelly juice...

Jelly done...

I used the cherries in a Chutney made of
cherries, granny smith apples and jalapenos. 

Well, I can tell you that the Easy~Greasy System made the entire process so much easier! Not only easier, but it added a jar to the yield from my jelly recipe! Thanks Michelle! Enter below for your chance to win an Easy~Greasy Strain and Save Kitchen Colander!

Cherry~Apple Jalapeno Chutney

1lb cherries, pitted, coarsely chopped
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tart apple (such as Granny Smith), finely chopped
2 or 3 chopped jalapenos, or to taste
1/3 cup cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1(4-inch) cinnamon stick

In 3-quart saucepan, combine all ingredients; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low; boil gently 50 to 60 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Cool at least 1 hour before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

February Food in Jars Mastery Challenge Results ~ Salt Preserving

I am participating in a year long Food In Jars Mastery Challenge hosted by Marisa from Food in Jars, and the February challenge was Salt Preserving! There were a host of ways to use salt.

Here are a few suggested recipes from Marisa:

Salt preserved lemons – This is an easy starting point. I make at least one batch of these every year. They add a tangy, funky bite to soups and stews. I often heap a bunch of them in the blender and puree them smooth. I dollop that puree into hummus, vinaigrettes, and other creamy spreads.

Salt preserved key limes – Some readers argued whether the fruit I used were in this project were actually key limes, but that’s what the bag said. They’re zippy and bright and worth the making.

Citrus salt – Another really simple one. Zest a bunch of lemons, limes, grapefruits, or oranges and combine them with chunky salt. Spread it out on plate or parchment-lined cookie sheet and let it air dry. Then sprinkle it over chicken, fish, dips, and roasted vegetables.

Herb salt – A variation on the citrus salt above, this expansive, wide-ranging recipe is flexible and adaptable.

Herbes salees – There’s a version of this recipe in my second book, but I learned everything I know about salt preserved herbs from Joel and Dana at Well Preserved. And so if their post was a good starting place for me, it’s a good starting place for you!

Gravlax – Quick cured and seasoned salmon that takes a few minutes to prep and just a couple days in the fridge to get good. It’s a low effort, high reward project and just the thing to make if you’re planning a dinner party or fancy brunch.

Cured egg yolks – I’ve not made these before, so I point you in the direction of Hank Shaw for instructions here. From what I hear, this relatively quick cure produces something with the flavor and depth of good cheese.

Kraut – There’s so many directions to go here. Start with a recipe that appeals and begin to explore.

– This is my favorite approach, but it just one of many. If you decide to go in this direction, do try to stay away from the brined recipes and stick to the ones that are salted directly, as we’ll focus on wet brined foods later in the year.

Soup base – I almost always have a jar of this vegetable-heavy paste in my fridge for giving depth to soups and stews.

Below is a slide show of the different ways others in the challenge used Salt Preserving!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Salt Cured Egg Yolks

I am participating in a year long Food In Jars Mastery Challenge hosted by Marisa from Food in Jars, and the February challenge was Salt Preserving! There were a host of ways to use salt. I have several ways that I used it, including this method of salt curing egg yolks! Salt curing egg yolks, solidifies and preserved the yolk. There is no definite "shelf" life, but in the recipe/instructions I followed, the author commented that he had some he had stored up to a year. The yolks were still good.

There really isn't a need for a recipe. You just need a container, eggs, salt and cheesecloth. I followed the instructions provided by Hank Shaw of Hunter~Angler~ Gardener~Cook. It is a very simple process. The hardest part is waiting which takes patience, something I am short on sometimes! 

Separate the yolks from the whites.
(Save the whites for another recipe.)
Pour a bed of salt, and nestle the yolk in the salt.

Cover completely with salt, cover loosely
and refrigerate for a week.
I put a lid on the bowl and only sealed one side.

After a week in salt, the yolk is firm,
but still a little sticky.
I brushed the salt off of the yolk, wrapped it in cheesecloth
and hung it from a shelf in the refrigerator.

The second egg is much darker than the first!
I rinsed this one, wrapped it in cheesecloth
and hung it from a shelf in the refrigerator.

I didn't rinse the first cured yolk
before completing the drying process,
so you see some salt in the yolk.

Rich Grated Cured Egg Yolk
I sprinkled some on some buttered toast.
Some suggest sprinkling over pasta like cheese.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lemon Pepper Garlic Salt

I am participating in a year long Food In Jars Mastery Challenge hosted by Marisa from Food in Jars, and the February challenge was Salt Preserving! There were a host of ways to use salt. I have several ways that I used it, but this recipe is the quickie recipe that only takes an hour or so to complete, start to finish. I decided to infuse salt with citrus and herbs. 

  1. 1 lemon
  2. 2-4 cloves garlic*
  3. 1/4 tsp course black pepper, or more to taste
  4. 1 cup kosher salt

  1. Zest lemon in a shallow oven-proof dish.** Mix salt in with the lemon.
  2. Juice the lemon and add to the salt. Run the garlic through a garlic press and add it to the salt also. Mix the salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic. Use a fork or your fingers to work the salt as much as possible.
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Place the lemon salt in the oven for about an hour to dry out the salt. (When it's done, it will be rock hard with no moisture left.) Prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon to provide ventilation for proper drying.
  2. Wait for the salt to cool and use a fork, wooden spoon or your fingers to break up salt.
  3. Package up the salt in small jars.
*I use 2 large cloves or 4 small, depending on their size and the strength of garlic you desire. Add or subtract the amount you want.

**Next time, I will use parchment paper to line the dish, since the salt and liquids harden to the bottom of the dish and can be hard to remove.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Bites

I'm hosting a Kikkoman House Party for the Superbowl tonight!  I've started off with these Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Bites. I don't have a grill right now, but I "grilled" them on my grill pan in the oven! It worked great!

Half way through baking and
brushed with Teriyaki Glaze!


4 chicken tenders, cubed
1 package Bacon (not thick cut), cur in half
Kikkoman Teriyaki marinade
Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste and Glaze

Wrap bacon around chicken cube, stretching the bacon to fit, if needed. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining chicken cubes, bacon and toothpicks. Pour teriyaki sauce over chicken and marinate for at least 4 hours, but no more than 8 hours. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place chicken on grill. Cook until bacon is done on the bottom, about 7 minutes, and flip. Brush with teriyaki glaze and cook for another 7 minutes making sure not to burn the bacon. Add more glaze to taste. Plate and serve.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Chicken Wings 3 Ways

It is that time of year! Superbowl Time! One more tailgate before the season is over! I give my guests a choice of plain or three sauce options. These chicken drummettes are a favorite for kids of all ages

6-8 chicken drummettes 
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce
2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Oil for frying

Make an egg wash by beating the eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce together in a shallow dish. Mix flour and spices in another shallow dish. Dip drummettes in egg wash then dredge in the flour mixture. For a thicker crust on the chicken, repeat that step again... egg then flour. In a heavy skillet, heat about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of oil to 365 degrees. (Or heat a deep fryer to 365 degrees) Place chicken in hot oil. (If the oil is not up to temp, the coating will not stick. Do not crowd the chicken in the pan or it will boil in the oil and not fry crispy.) Fry for about 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and no longer pink inside.

Lemon Pepper Sauce

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
lemon pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for a couple of minutes. Toss wings in sauce and serve.

Teriyaki Sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Mix all but the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of cold water, in a sauce pan over medium heat. Mix cornstarch and water. Stir til dissolved. Add to sauce pan. Heat until thickened. Toss wings in sauce and serve.

BBQ Hot Sauce

1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp oil
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Texas Pete hot sauce***
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Saute onion and garlic in oil in a large pan. Drain any excess oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes.