Tag Archives: fruit

Strawberry Sauce With A Bit Of Zing

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Strawberry Sauce With A Bit Of Zing

I couldn’t resist.  At Albertsons, they were selling, (while they lasted), a pound of California strawberries for such a good price that I bought more than what I, one person, should have.  So, besides eating them just plain, I can make some of my fabulous European styled jam; I can freeze them; I can make crisps, etc.; or I can eat them quick and easy this very special way. This sauce is delicious and just right to satisfy a sweet tooth at anytime of the day or night.  You can serve it with pancakes, ice cream, yogurt, puddings, pound cake, or pick at it just plain.

Ingredients:

1 lb. of fresh strawberries sliced or thriced

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon zest

2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used the raw kind) divided in 2 batches

1/3 C. balsamic vinegar (I add just a wee bit of rice vinegar to this)

Instructions:

In a saucepan add the vinegar, 1 Tbsp. sugar and lemon juice.  Simmer over medium heat until thickened, about 4 minutes.

Place strawberries in a pretty bowl and add the other 1 Tbsp. sugar, lemon zest, and lightly toss. I actually pick up the bowl and give it several up and down shakes.

Add the sauce when a bit cooled to the strawberries, lightly toss again and enjoy. (I find that this sauce is even better if it sits in the frig for a couple of hours.)

Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com or to visit her blog for more recipes including these: http://blog.TempInnKeeper.com

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

 

 

Jam, The European Way

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Jam, The European way

 

Now that Harvest is here and all of the wonderful local fruits are available at the farmers markets and stores, I start making jams—even very small amounts. The local peaches, plums and tomatoes (yes) are DIVINE!! Even though a bit pricy, it’s worthwhile to use the tastiest fruit when making jams. I’ve made jam many different ways, but this is the one I like the best because the taste of the ingredients turns out so realistically fresh.  It’s also a very easy method and makes the house smell really good.  So give it a try and with this recipe, the sugar herewith is at a minimum so you don’t have to worry about ingesting too many calories.

 

1. Cut your fruit into smaller pieces, pit them, or with berries you can leave them whole if you wish, or with large strawberries, cut them into smaller pieces.

2. For each cup of cut fruit, use 1/4 cup of refined white sugar.

If using apricots, peaches or nectarines, squeeze a bit of lemon juice on them.  If using mangoes, squirt a bit of lime juice on them.  If using tomatoes, add a bit of lemon and if you wish some gingerroot or preserved ginger or stick cinnamon. Yum!

3. Toss your fruit with the correct amount of sugar in a large skillet that you will be using on the morrow or in a large bowl.  Place either one covered in the refrigerator overnight.

4. Next day, place your skillet with the fruit and sugar in it on top of your stove without any lid and bring it to a very low simmer.  Let it low simmer from half hour to 1 hour or more.  Be sure to keep an eye on it and to stir it at least every 10-15 minutes. When I use just 1-2 Cups of fruit, I notice that the jam can finish in just 15 minutes. As well, sometimes the pectin in your fruit may be of high caliber therefore you don’t have to cook it as long.

5. After low simmering the appropriate amount of time that you deem , I take a teaspoon of the cooked jam out, stick it in the freezer for a couple of minutes and then take the teaspoon out to see if the consistency is what I would want in the end product.  If so, take the skillet off the burner and let it sit till cool.

6. Then, you can put it in your jam jars and seal them—or you can put it in jars without sealing and refrigerate them. They’ll last quite awhile in the frig without being sealed. However, in either case, I bet they won’t last long because this European way of making jam is so tasty.

7.  The way I seal my jars is the following: In a tall large pot filled with enough water to sustain my jam jars which also are filled with water I boil them for about 12 minutes; I boil my tops in that pan or another one; I let everything cool down before putting my jam in the jars. I think that’s the old fashioned way because if you have a dishwasher which can heat up to sterilization, you certainly can sterilize them there. I think you can also sterilize in the microwave—but I do it the old fashioned way. When the jam is in the jar, I pour melted paraffin on top and let it set. (Melt the paraffin according to the directions on the paraffin label.) Then I place the tops on the jars and label and date them.

 

Bon Appetit

 

 Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com or to visit her blog for more recipes including these: http://blog.TempInnKeeper.com

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

 

 

 

Clafouti Aux Baie for May 30th Weekly Sun Edition

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clafouti aux baiesClafouti aux Baie (berries in French)

I bet that you thought that Memorial Day was over.  Well, it’s not.  Today is the real deal.  In order to make a 3 day holiday of it, this holiday was changed to the last Monday of May.  So, I am still thinking red, white and blue.  France also is a red, white and blue nation, so I thought that a French dish could be appropriate for today.  The clafouti is an excellent and easy dish to make.  It actually looks elegant when dusted with a bit of powdered sugar.  I’m not sure that elegance was in mind when the clafouti was originated. It started out as an ancient rustic peasant French pudding made in late spring and featuring typically stone fruits. It was served for desert, but it can also work as a nice breakfast dish. You can make it with various fruits and with many slightly different ingredients.  I serve mine warm with French vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

Ingredients:

4 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 C. granulated sugar

3 Tblsp. honey

2 Tblsp. Kirch (cherry liqueur but you can also use orange liqueur or juice)

1 Tsp. vanilla

Dash of salt

1 ½ C. whole milk yogurt

1 C. Flour

3 Cups mixed berries—or if you wish, of just one kind of berries

2 tsp. sifted confectioner’s sugar

For garnish, save some berries

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 F

  1. In a large bowl beat together the egg whites, eggs, sugar, honey, Kirsch, vanilla and salt with an electric beater.
  2. Stir in the yogurt till smooth
  3. Add flour and beat until combined and smooth
  4. Arrange the berries on the bottom of a buttered or non-stick sprayed 10-inch ceramic quiche dish.  Pour the batter over the berries.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center seems set when shaken slightly.
  6. Cool for 30 minutes.

To Serve:

Serve the clafouti warm.  Just before serving sprinkle with the sifted confectioner’s sugar and garnish with the left over saved berries.

Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com or to visit her blog for more recipes including these: http://blog.TempInnKeeper.com

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Triple Berry Bread Pudding and other sweet pudding variations

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In 1946, right after WWII, I was visiting in England and bread was one of the few main staples that the English still had to eat. They actually had had too much of it and were sick of it. Memories can be long, so, usually my English bed and breakfast guests didn’t like this dish—but I do. People usually think of bread pudding as something not being very gourmet when actually it can be extremely gourmet and delectable.  Bread pudding began as a humble dessert because the main ingredient was “left over stale bread”; however, the variations can be so numerous that it can become very decadent indeed. Additionally, bread pudding depending on its ingredients, can be served for any meal of the day.  Regardless of which bread you decide to use, white French, croissant, Challa, Brioche, English muffin, usually, the staler the bread, the final product will be more tasteful.  As to the custard base, half and half probably offers the perfect balance to texture. Heating the half-and-half before mixing it into the eggs and sugar will assure you of a final base that is perfectly combined.  Be sure to whisk it slowly into the eggs so as to not “scramble” the eggs.  Finally, soaking the bread pudding the day before baking makes it better and the easier for an innkeeper.  So, here are a few of the sweet type combos you can think about: chocolate/banana; pumpkin; gingerbread; rum/raisin; lemon-coconut;apricot-almond;berry;mocha; and double ginger.

The following recipe will serve 12.

Triple-Berry Bread Pudding

 

You will need the following:

9 X 13 inch baking dish

2-3 qt. saucepan

whisk

 

Make the custard:

Ingredients:

7 large egg yolks

3 large eggs

1 C. granulated sugar

6 C. half and half

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Bread:

10 C. 1 inch day old brioche bread cubes

Berries:

3 ½ C. fresh or frozen berries such as blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. If frozen, defrost before adding the pudding and drain most of the liquid.  It’s best with the fresh berries.

Instructions:

Whisk the yolks and eggs and vanilla.  Slowly whisk in the sugar and salt until totally blended.  Slightly heat the half and half and slowly whisk into the egg mixture.

Place the bread cubes in a 9 X 13 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and pour the custard on top making sure that the bread is submerged.  Let cool at room temp about an hour; cover with plastic wrap; and refrigerate for at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours. .

Preheat oven to 325.

Before baking, gently fold in the berries. Cover the pudding loosely with foil and bake at 325 for 70 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until no liquid custard is visible when you poke a small hole in the center with a paring knife, 20 to 40 minutes more depending on the custard or add-ins. So total baking time can be 90 to 110 minutes.

Let the pudding cool on a rack.  Serve warm at room temp with a dollop of whipped cream or a good yogurt.

I serve this with a side of the thick kind of Canadian bacon slices that I have sautéed in a frying pan with fresh rosemary.  I also serve more berries in a bowl.

Below are some optional add on options for the custard:

1 ½ tsp. almond;

2 C. chopped bittersweet chocolate to the hot ½ and ½ till chocolate is melted;

2 tsp. instant espresso to hot ½ and ½;

½ C. chopped fresh ginger in ½ & ½ —let steep in half and half for 10 minutes before adding to yolks;

fine grated zest of 3 lemons to ½ and ½ and whisk juice from the lemons (about ½ C.) into the custard;

whisk 1 ¼ C. pure canned pumpkin, tsp. ground Cinnamon; and ¼ tsp nutmeg into custard;

increase sugar to ¼ C. and add 1/3 C. dark rum to custard.

Optional Add-ins:

Choose one or two

3 ripe thinly sliced bananas

1 ½ C. toasted shredded coconut

3 ½ C. fresh or frozen mixed berries

1 ½ C. toasted coarsely chopped pecans

1 C. chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

1 C. dried apricots, soaked in very hot water for 30 minutes and drained thoroughly

1 C. golden rains, soaked is above for apricots

½ C. chopped crystallized ginger

Grapefruit Zabaglione Over Mixed Berries

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grapefruit zabahglione (2)Grapefruit Zabaglione Over Mixed Berries

Serves 6

 This coming Saturday is Armed Forces Day. It is a day set aside to pay tribute to the men and women who serve with the United States’ armed forces.  Louis Johnson, who was the Secretary of Defense in 1949, announced the creation of this day to replace separate Armed Forces days and so the first Armed Forces Day was celebrated on May 20, 1950. I’m always in favor of celebrating our brave forces, so with that in mind, I think that a nice little red, white, and blue desert is in order and this one is just that:

Ingredients:

3 C. Mixed Berries (such as quartered strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)

4 Egg Yolks

1/3 C. Sugar

1/4 C. Fresh Grapefruit Juice (I used the red kind)

Pink Kosher Salt

Grated Grapefruit Zest

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, toss the berries together.  Spoon the berries into serving dishes or glasses.
  2. Combine the egg yolks with the sugar, grapefruit juice, and salt in the top part of a double boiler or in a glass or metal dish that will act like the top of a double boiler. Beat the ingredients with a wire whisk until the mixture is a pale yellow.
  3. If you don’t have a double boiler, find a lower pan that is large enough to accommodate your upper bowl without the bottom of the upper bowl being able to touch the bottom of the lower pan. Place a little water in your bottom pan being careful that the top bowl or double boiler top DOES NOT touch the water.  SIMMER the water in the lower pan, being careful that it does not evaporate, and keep whisking the egg yolk mixture continually for about 4 to 5 minutes—or until the mixture has become creamy, thick, and about triple volume.
  4. Spoon the mixture over the berries and top with a sprinkling of the zest and a dab of Greek Yogurt.
  5. Serve immediately and voila, a lovely red, white, and blue delicious desert.

This is a dish that my mother made very often and it was definitely a favorite of mine. There are various varieties of it as follows: for the traditional Italian dish for desert instead of grapefruit juice, Madeira, Marsala or sherry is used.  For a more delicate flavor with a fluffier appearance, you can beat the egg whites until stiff and combine them after you have made your yolk sauce.  For the German version, you can place in a double boiler top 2 Cups of white wine, 1/2 cup of water, 4 unbeaten eggs, 1/2 cup sugar and continue as in the directions above.  It’s also a nice sauce to serve over or with pound cake.  Actually it’s such an easy and delightful desert to create and enjoy that one can now find different variations of it in many foreign countries. 

 Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com or to visit her blog for more recipes including these: http://blog.TempInnKeeper.com

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

The Almighty Little Crepe

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crepe (1) crepe (3)

The Tuesday Ketchum, ID Farmers Market

The Almighty Little Crepe

The other night, after dinner, I was still hungry for an easy something yummy and what came to my mind was that so seldom made now-a-day crepe.  Not so long ago, you’d see a creperie at almost every corner, but now it’s found mostly at the outdoor craft and art fairs (or at the Lodge & special restaurants).  It’s such an easy and quick as a wink dish to make as well as being very versatile. It can be sweet or savory and it can be easy on the belly depending on what ingredients you use.  So, here’s a basic recipe that I use and a lot of variable ideas to make it just what you wish.  It’s good for any meal as a first or main course or a desert. With the summer fresh fruits so beautifully featured at the now open Farmers Markets, you can’t beat pairing them with the crepe—and voila you have a fancy desert with barely any fuss or muss.   And don’t forget, most kids love it and can take a hand at cooking it themselves.

You Will Need for 14 to 16 Crepes

One 5 or 6 “skillet preferably non-stick (I saw one at the Goldmine for several $)

3/4 C. All Purpose Flour

1/2  Tsp Salt

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

(2 Tsp. Powdered Sugar if making sweet crepes)

2 Eggs

2/3 Cup Milk

1/3 Cup Water

(1/2 Tsp. Vanilla or Grated Lemon Rind if making sweet crepes)

Directions:

Sift the dry ingredients in a small bowl.  Beat the egg, milk, and water in a separate container with a wire whisk.  Add the liquid to the dry ingredients with a couple of swift strokes of the whisk. Don’t beat too much. It’s OK to leave some little lumps in the batter.

Heat the skillet to the point where when you splatter a couple of water drops in it, the drops will scatter about before disappearing.  Reduce the heat just a bit and then either place a little butter, spray oil, or nothing if you prefer and the pan is non-stick, and place about 2 Tblsp. of batter in the skillet.  Tip the skillet all around quickly to get all of the liquid to the outer edges and let cook till bubbles rise and the top seems fairly dry—about one minute or less.  Then reverse the crepe to lightly brown the other side—about 15 or 20 seconds. You don’t want the crepes to get too brown or crispy. At this point, I do what my Mother used to do—I have a double boiler with a little boiling water in the bottom part, the top already warm, and I place the crepes in the top.  They stay very moist that way.  However, you can also keep them warm in a warmed oven.  Fill and roll your crepe with your preferred filling and topping and bon appetite.  If you have left over batter, you can store it in the frig. and use it on the morrow, however, I prefer it on the today basis.

Some Sweet Crepes Filling Suggestions:

1.       Chopped apples & currents that have been browned slightly in a bit of butter and honey and when carmelized (about 3 minutes or so) a bit of rum thrown on.  You can use any kind of fruit to do this-pears, bananas, berries, etc. You can also add some chopped nuts to this mixture or cinnamon. For a topping a little grated lemon rind is perfect.

2.       Yogurt, sour crème, or crème cheese mixed with some sugar to sweeten with a brushing of sugar and cinnamon on top; or whipped cream, even ice cream and melted chocolate to top.

3.       Jelly, jam, marmalade, or lemon curd with a sprinkle of powder or granulated sugar for the topping. This is the way mother always served it and my father loved it.

Some Savory Crepes Filling Ideas

When using cheese as a toping you can place the crepes on an oven proof dish and place in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

1.       Cooked, drained, or sautéed chopped (except for the like of asparagus spears which fit in the crepe so nicely) veggies with a light white or béchamel sauce or various kinds of cheese slightly melted in the oven as a topping. Mushrooms are really good for a filling.

2.       Meat (stewed), chicken, fish with a sauce topping.

3.       Cooked beans with a cheese toping.

4.       Ricotta cheese inside and an Italian tomato sauce on the exterior and baked a bit in the oven.

Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com or to visit her blog for more recipes including these: http://blog.TempInnKeeper.com

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

 

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

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XXXchocolate strawberriesValentines always seems to be a bit of a romantic event and there’s nothing like a chocolate-dipped strawberry to satisfy the romance in a person.  Elaine Sherman wrote “Chocolate is heavenly, mellow, sensual, deep, dark, sumptuous, gratifying, potent, dense, creamy, seductive, suggestive, rich, excessive, silky, smooth, luxurious, celestial. Chocolate is downfall, happiness, pleasure, love, ecstasy, fantasy … chocolate makes us wicked, guilty, sinful, healthy, chic, happy.”  Even the scientific name for the tree from which chocolate is derived, Theobroma cacao, translated from Greek, means “food of the gods”.  Well, I couldn’t have said it better—and so I won’t.

Additionally, have you noticed that the strawberries in our markets are plentiful and beautifully sweet? You could swear that each has been injected with a bit of sugar. So, for your sheer sinfulness, here is an easy and fun recipe to make, enjoy, and share.
 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

2 pounds strawberries with leaves (rinsed and left to dry on a paper towel)

16 ounces chocolate chips (I use the semi-sweet chips)

2 tablespoons shortening or vegetable oil (which will cause chocolate to soften more at room temp)

1 package toothpicks

Insert toothpicks into the top of the strawberries.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring until smooth.  Dip the strawberries into the mixture and then let them cool on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate until ready to serve (will take about 30 minutes to harden).

Note: if you want to get a bit fancy, melt ¼ cup of white chocolate chips and drizzle in circular patterns around the cooled dark chocolate berries.

(P.S. I love Ina Garten. For her chocolate dipped strawberries she uses ½ C. semisweet choc. chips and 3 Tbls. heavy cream melted in a double boiler, and then dips the strawberries, etc. This is a nice variation on the more traditional chocolate-dipped strawberry.)

Bon Appetit

Margot Van Horn