Archive for January, 2013

Cherry and Almond Loaf

January 28, 2013

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Cherry and Almond Loaf

This was a spur-of-the-moment quick bread made with leftover frozen cherries and toasted almonds.  It turned out so moist and flavorful with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg along with the crunch of the almonds and sweetness of the cherries.  This recipe is adapted from a Hawaiian Mango Bread recipe I picked up a zillion years ago while traveling through Honolulu.  Just add chopped mango, coconut and macadamia nuts in place of the cherries and almonds and you’ll have Hawaiian Mango Bread.  Actually, you can use any fruit and nut you desire and come up with your own version.  Be sure to use the yogurt as it activates the baking soda and baking powder giving you a super light crumb instead of a dense and heavy mass.

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Homemade Dijon Mustard

January 20, 2013

Snapshot_20130118_1After much research I found a recipe for homemade German mustard and just had to tweak it for my version of a Dijon mustard. Dijon is the mustard most often used in gourmet recipes and making it at home will save money and guarantee quality plus you’ll always know what is in it. Making your own condiments just couldn’t be easier when you start with a tried and true recipe. There’s lots of room to adapt this recipe to your particular tastes, so play around with it and make it your own. You might like to try tarragon vinegar or regular granulated white sugar, maybe some onion juice or garlic powder. I like to use this mustard in my homemade mayonnaise for some real zip.

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How to Make Sauerkraut in a Jar

January 18, 2013

SauerKrautI have a new batch of sauerkraut that will be ready next week, probably Thursday.  Easy Peasy method:  just shred cabbage on a mandolin, add salt (3 Tbsp per 5 pounds of cabbage), bruise the salted cabbage with your hands and pack it really, really tight into a jar. You want the juice to float above the cabbage at least 1 inch.   Place another jar inside to hold the cabbage under the juice…or use giant glass marbles (sterilized of-course).  Set it on your counter on a plate with a tea-towel covering.  Wait 10 or 12 days and voila, old world “sauerkraut”!  Refrigerate to stop fermenting.  Will keep in frig up to a month or longer.

 You can add Juniper berries to the fermenting cabbage for a real old-world flavor. Once the sauerkraut is ready, cook up some sauerbraten and add to a pot of hot sauerkraut cooked with chunks of apple and a teaspoon of caraway or fennel seeds.  Serve with mashed potatoes and homemade Dijon mustard.
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Homemade Papaya Jam Over Fluffy Pancakes

January 10, 2013

ImagePapaya is available nearly year round here in Puerto Rico.  Unlike Hawaiian varieties, Caribbean papaya tend to be large…2 pounds or more is not uncommon. It’s a versatile fruit that can be used in all its stages of ripeness.

Drizzle lime juice over slices of fresh ripe papaya for a cool and refreshing breakfast…so good and loaded with vitamins and minerals.  Over fluffy pancakes papaya jam is to die for.  Green papaya makes a terrific chutney as piquant as you dare and even a pickled salad Filipino style.  A popular dish in the Polynesian South Pacific is lo’i lesi.  Its a papaya filled with coconut milk, a little cinnamon and raw sugar. Then it is wrapped in banana leaves and baked in an umu (underground oven). What a treat! Like pudding.  Polynesians also use shredded green papaya to tenderize lamb, beef, giant clams, octopus and conch.

This jam is even better with a few of the seeds thrown in.  The seeds become tender and have a slight peppery flavor when cooked.  They add a little more character to the jam, at least in appearance.

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