April 30, 2006
Took my little red shopping cart--Leah calls it a "granny cart"--to class so I could scoot out at 3:15 and shop for dinner: thirteen guests in honor of our kiwi visitors Ian, Greg, and Liz were to arrive at 7:00 p.m. The day before I did a little shopping on the way home from NYU at the fruit stand on the corner of Houston and Broadway so Max and Geo could scrub and peel while I was teaching. Ian came over at 5:00 to help. The result was lots and lots of wonderful roasted vegetables, including red and green peppers that need a dedicated pair of hands to peel them once they have been roasted. Max for the moment was off salt and garlic, so I roasted my potatoes with olive oil, oregano, and black peppet. Roasted parsnips and cauliflower just as is; also roasted cubed carrots and beets, with a little cinnamon and olive oil; and red onions with brown sugar, balsamic, olive oil, bay leaves, and dried cranberries. I bought tea eggs on the street and tofu skins stuffed with mushrooms, clouds ears, and tiger lily buds in Chinatown. Was out of green fava beans, so tossed shelled edamame with Joelle's pickled lemons, scallions, and lots of lemon juice and garnished with a pile of thinly julienned red radish. Finally, just to surprise Ian, I prepared lotus root, taking a page from Chiyono, who has a restaurant on Curry Row (East 6th Stree), and dressed it in umeboshi.
Had lots of food left, so we had good leftovers. Today, when we could not face leftovers and I did not want to freeze what we had left, I made a vegetable soup. I started, as I usually do, with water, crushed tomatoes, chopped celery and whole carrots in a big pot. But this time, after the carrots were cooked (I take them out, chop them up, and return them to the pan), I chopped up all the leftover vegetables (except the lotus root) and tossed them into the pot too. Roasted vegetable soup! Divine! Wonderful deep flavors, sweet and sour.
November 25, 2005
Pomegranate molasses by Avinadav
One of the delights of the Rejewvenation conference in Toronto was seeing Dina and Avindadav, which always means that I come home with something delicious. One time it was apricot jam. This time it was Avinadav's homemade pomegranate syrup. Absolutely delicious!
Recipes that use pomegranate syrup (better to keep the syrup in the fridge) follow (or, download this document, which preserves the formatting).
מתכונים המשתמשים בתרכיז רימונים (רצוי לשמור את תרכיז הרימונים בקירור).
1 כוס שמן זית
1/3 כוס חומץ יין אדום
1 כפית חרדל דיז'ון
4 כפות תרכיז רימונים
מלח, פלפל שחור
להכניס את כל החומרים לצנצנת, לנער עד שמתערבבים.
אפשר להשתמש כרוטב לסלט ירוק ולפזר גרעיני רימון מלמעלה.
Olive oil – 1 cup
Red wine vinegar – 1/3 cup
Dijon mustard – 1 teaspoon
Pomegranate syrup – 4 table spoons
Salt, black pepper
Put all the ingredients in a jar and shake until it is blended.
Can be used as a green salad dressing, spread some pomegranate grains on top.
גפן, תאנה ורימון (6 מנות)
12 עלי גפן משומרים (קטנים ורכים)
100 גרם גבינת צאן (סנט מור או גבינה דומה)
עלים מענף טימין
¼ כוס שמן זית
מלח, פלפל שחור
6 תאנים טריות
6 כפות תרכיז רימונים
מבשלים עלי גפן במי מלח רותחים כ 5 דקות, שוטפים במי ברז קרים.
מערבבים את כל חומרי המלית. מניחים עלה גפן כשהצד המחוספס כלפי מעלה, שמים על כל עלה בערך כף מחומרי המלית ומגלגלים באופן הרגיל של עלי גפן ממולאים.
מניחים בכל צלחת תאנה חצויה, מעליה מניחים שני עלי גפן ממולאים ויוצקים על כל צלחת כף מתרכיז הרימונים. אפשר לקשט עם גרגרי רימון טריים ולצקת מלמעלה מעט שמן זית.
Vine, fig and pomegranate (6 portions)
12 preserved vine leafs (soft and small)
100-gram goat milk cheese (Santmore or alike)
Olive oil – 1/4 cup
Salt, black pepper
6 fresh figs
Pomegranate syrup - 6 tablespoons
Cook the vine leafs in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, rinse with cold water
Blend all the filling ingredients.
Take a vine leaf, put it with its rough side upwards, place the filling on this side, about one tablespoon on each leaf, roll.
Put on each plate a halved fig and put on top two rolled leafs. Pour on each plate 1 tablespoon of pomegranate syrup. Decorate with fresh pomegranate grains and pour on top a bit of olive oil.
סלט בורגול (של סבתי, עם שינוי קטן)
¼ כוס בורגול דק
כף עגבניות מיובשות בשמן זית ומרוסקות (מעין פסטו עגבניות) או כף רסק עגבניות.
5 כפות תרכיז רימונים
5 כפות שמן זית
¼ כוס אגוזי מלך קצוצים גס
3 כפות בצל ירוק
פלפל אדום יבש חריף קצוץ דק – לפי הטעם.
משרים את הבורגול במים קרים ל 20 דקות עד שמתרכך, סוחטים היטב, מערבבים עם עגבניות, שמן זית, מלח ופלפל אדום, מוסיפים דבש רימונים, אגוזים, בצל ירוק וממשיכים לערבב.
Burgul salad (my grandmother’s receipt with a small change)
Thin burgul grains – 1/4 cup
Sun dry tomatoes pesto – 1 tablespoon (or tomato paste).
Pomegranate syrup - 5 tablespoons
Olive oil – 5 tablespoons
California nuts – ¼ cup
Scallion - 3 tablespoons
A bit of salt.
Chopped dry red chilly pepper – according to your taste.
Soak the burgul in cold water for 20 minutes to softness, squeeze well, blend with tomatoes, olive oil, salt and red pepper, add pomegranate syrup, nuts, and scallion.
Keep blending. Serve as Salad.
שימושים נוספים לתרכיז רימונים
אפשר להשתמש בתבשיל הבצלים הממולאים במקום טמרינדי
נהדר לצקת על גלידת וניל
אפשר להוסיף ליוגורט צאן וגרנולה
אפשר להוסיף לתבשילי בשר ועוף, מדולל במים או בציר, ממש לפני סוף הבישול
Other usages of Pomegranate syrup
Use in the stuffed onions recipe instead of tamarind.
Wonderful to pour on vanilla ice cream.
Add to goat yogurt and granola.
Can be added to stew, diluted with water or sauce, just before the end of cooking.
August 13, 2005
Cat Littler Cake
Hope your summer has been going well. Bet this week was rowdy compared to all the nice peace and quiet you've had there prior...
AF insisted I make this recipe (my brother emailed it to me a year or two ago) for our vet, who has provided very outstanding cat care for 8+ years for us in here in Brooklyn. An interesting cake most appropriate as a thank you for our vet, huh? We are delivering it tomorrow a.m. to his office, with paper plates so everyone can try it!!!
August 12, 2005
Cold beet borsht
Dinner last night with Mark and Greta, Piotr, Maya, and Doris. I brought the pedometer and the beet borsht, my way. I peeled beautiful fresh beets from the Greenmarket and put them through my Champion juicer, about 5 medium beets (about 2 cups of juice). Then, I chilled the raw juice in the freezer, along with 1.5 quarts of buttermilk, and 3 hardboiled eggs. Meanwhile, I peeled a big kirby cucumber and scrubbed 3 big crisp radishes, before slicing them in a small julienne on my trusty mandoline. When ready to serve, mix the beet juice and buttermilk (you can experiment by adding more or less of each), a little lemon juice, a little salt and pepper. Some like to add diced sour pickles. Sometimes I add a little horseradish. Greta encouraged me to keep it simple so the flavor the beets would shine.
Ladle the borsht into bowls. Add a little cucumber and radish to each bowl. Gently place the egg in the borsht--shallow soup bowls are nice because the egg does not sink, so you can see the bright white and yellow of the egg against the ruby pink of the borsht--and prinkle with chopped fresh dill and snipped chives. Chives were nowhere to be found, so I used scallions. It was gorgeous! And, to top things off, Piotr recited the passage on chłodnik from Mickiewicz by heart.
August 09, 2005
Chatpati Channa Chaat
What I like about Chatpati Channa Chaat is that you soak, drain, and sprout the little Indian chick peas with their dark skins before cooking them. I tasted them sprouted and they would make a fine salad raw. If you want to follow the recipe, which says to cook them, then give them the briefest of cooking, just to take away the raw edge, a matter of minutes. I did not have green chili, so left it out--turned out that the salad was spicy enough without them--and there was no need for any oil. The salad stays fresher without oil, especially in hot weather. I also added fresh chopped coriander.
I also liked that the recipe calls for Chat Masala, which is a whole story unto itself. Here are two recipes: Chat Masala #1, Chat Masala #2. Suffice it to say that Chat Masala contains several ingredients that intrigue me, first among them black salt, which deserved and got its own entry, asafoetida (hing) and amchoor (dried mango powder), and the garam masala that I had made myself. Some recipes call for ajwain and fennel.
Turns out Chat Masala is a little ayurvedic essay--the black salt, ajwain, and asafoetida are all digestive aids. And, once I found myself there I was inspired by Lara's paean to bhel puri. I will try it with organic puffed grains and flakes (amaranth, spelt, rice, millet, corn, rice), based on this recipe. The image of bhel puri is from Beck's & Posh, Sam Breach's food blog. While you can see all the puffed and crispy tidbits very nicely, apparently this bhel puri fell short of the ideal because it lacked sufficient fresh ingredients.
Chaat, Indian snacks, are a salad lover's dream, especially (but not exclusively) bean salads. Moong bean chat tomorrow. Nice variations include lime juice, diced boiled potatoes, diced carrot, and grated coconut.
Studio summer lunch
It's hot. Threats of thundershowers, humid, only in the 70s this morning, but about 87F in the loft. Writing this with a patch over my left eye. Just back from the eye doctor, who removed foreign bodies from my cornea, after about four days of discomfort and discombobulation about the cause and solution to the misery. So, it's a one-eyed affair for the next 24 hours.
Lunch today for the team, Max, Anthony, Giovanni, and Dolly, who is from Ecuador.
- Potato salad: Red bliss potatoes, medium to smallish in size. Trick is to put them in a pot of cold water, cover, bring to a slow boil, and check in on them after about 20 minutes. Do not overcook--you can tell you've gone too far if the skins start to split--so pierce periodically with a sharply pointed knife to check the centers. They are done when firm, but not hard. Drain the potatoes and let cool, which will also firm them up, before dicing them skins and all. Dress with fresh chopped dill, thinly sliced red onion, capers, juice from the capers, and diced salted lemons (my very own).
- Eggplant caviar: Grilled a big fresh eggplant (sliced in half) along with a big fleshy green pepper (seeded and sliced in quarters in the length) on my Hamilton Beach grill--dry, with nothing added. I would love to prepare over an open gas flame, but alas my fate is an electric stove. Avinadav says look for an eggplant that is light in weight relative to its size, which means it has less water, fewer seeds, and is less likely to be bitter. When everything is soft, remove from grill. Let sit till cool enough to handle. Then, use a big spoon to scrape the eggplant from the skin. Drain liquid from the peppers. Don't bother trying to peel them. Put everything on a wooden board and using a nice big chef's knife, chop away till you have a mixture the consistency of caviar. The flavors are lovely as is. I add nothing else.
- Black eye pea salad: Summer is the time for bean and grain salads. Yesterday, I soaked a cup of organic black eye peas overnight, drained them, and cooked them in fresh cold water briefly, till they were just cooked through. They cook very quickly and you do not want them to become mushy and fall apart. Drain them well, let cool, and dress with diced Spanish onion and bright green very fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped, diced salted lemons (my own), and fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Chatpati Channa Chaat: As I was noodling around looking for bean and grain salads (I've soaked and cooked soft wheat berries and sprouted mung beans they will be the basis for the next salads), I came across one that calls for channa, which is the smallish Indian chick pea with the rusty brown skin, famous for its perfect glycemic index and celebrated by diabetics. I also have another kind of channa, with a green skin, which I am eager to try. This is such a fascinating dish (and the world of chat more generally), I'll give it an entry of its own. That's where you will also find recipes for Chat masala, the seasoning, which includes black salt, which earned its own entry.
- Green salad: Simple salad today, just romaine, red leaf, arugula, and purslane, with sliced red onion, ripe avocado, and Anthony's dressing, a proper vinaigrette, with Dijon mustard.
July 29, 2005
I yearn for green. Purslane, oak leaf lettuce, dandelion, flat leaf parsley, dill, broccoli, watercress.... Today I made a delicious soup, inspired by Felipe Rojas-Lobardi, Soup, Beautiful Soup. The soups I make from this book are cauliflower, broccoli, and carrot, all them pureed and delicious. Today, I made the broccoli soup, but added a bunch of watercress. Wonderful hot or cold. Boil 6 cups of water. Add a chopped onion, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 tsp grated ginger, and a tsp chopped green chili. As the onion starts to soften, add 1.5 lbs broccoli (pull thick skin from the stalks, discard the skin, cut up the stalks, and separate the florets). As the broccoli starts to cook (while still green and firm), add bunch of watercress, washed. Cover and let cook a few minutes till tender, but still bright green. With a slotted spoon, remove the solids and place in food processor or blender. Do this in two batches, adding about 2 cups of the liquid each time. Add salt to taste and freshly grated nutmeg. Puree till relatively smooth. Serve hot or cold.
May 12, 2005
Green fava beans
Got inspired by the feast last night and this morning I made a delicious stew of green fava beans (I buy them frozen in Chinatown, usually with the skin still on each individual bean, but this time I saw peeled ones too); leeks, garlic, turnips, and the salted lemons that I made with Joelle and Marshall when they were here. I also used the dough that was left over to make pita and found that the flat cast iron griddle is perfect for the purpose--the pitas puffed up like little balloons and cooked very quickly. And, the zucchini flesh that had been removed when they were cored? I sauteed the flesh in a little olive oil and garlic. I also made a pureed broccoli soup, with ginger and nutmeg. Lovely watercress in the fridge for salad tomorrow.
April 04, 2005
Shelley's wheatberry breakfast
I do a double batch of the following recipe of an evening:
1 cup wheatberries (half soft, half hard)
4 cups water
1 t. salt
Wash wheat berries well. Place in large pot with water and salt. Bring to the boil, skimming off foam (!) that rises. When it starts to boil well, cover and lower heat to keep the mixture at a sturdy simmer. After 20 minutes, turn off heat, leave covered on the burner all night (Gallop transfers contents to a thermos: I haven't one of that capacity, and this method works just fine). In the morning, drain well. A serving is 3/4 cup.
I prepare my bowl of cereal as follows:
Put 3/4 cup in a bowl. Pour on skim milk to just below the surface of the berries. Microwave 2 minutes (you don't have a microwave: bring 3/4 cup wheatberries to a boil on stovetop with milk, let simmer uncovered till milk reduces a little). Meanwhile, chop 10-12 almonds and toast over medium heat (keep an eye on them: they burn easily). Slice or chop fruit ad lib. I have a cup or so of grapes in winter, berries in summer. When wheatberries are ready, add to bowl: 1-2 T. ground flaxseed, 1 good dollop low fat ricotta, mix well. Add fruit and almonds, mix well. (I like my porridge thick; you can thin it with skim milk ad lib.)
It's a bit of a patchke but it lasts you most of the morning, till you're ready for your yoghurt and rye cracker snack. And it provides bulk sans pareil. I have this before I go to bed, too.
March 28, 2005
Bitter greens (collards, kale, chard, dandelion), which I love, often call for acid, whether lemon or vinegar (I use organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar), so today I made kale--thinly sliced, quickly sauteed in a tad of olive oil--with sliced kumquats, organic of course. Vivid! Will try another version, this time with sliced blood oranges on the side, wrinkled black olives (nice and leathery, a bit like licorice), and thinly sliced red onion, composed on the platter, not all mixed together.
Will mix hot brown rice, with fresh dill, scallions, lemon juice, and shredded lemon zest.
March 26, 2005
Elaine will make the first seder for about 25 people, which is small for her! She wants to make a turkey but hesitated as it is not something she normally does and was not confident. So I offered to find some good recipes.
Can we do better than Alice Waters?
CHEZ PANISSE'S BRINE FOR MEATS
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme, or 4 tablespoons dried
1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed
Place the water in a large pot that can easily hold the liquid and the meat you intend to brine.
Add all ingredients and stir for a minute or two until the sugar and salt dissolve.
Leave poultry in the brine for 24 hours. If the meat/ poultry floats to the top, use a plate or other weight to keep it completely submerged in the brine.
Note: The recipe may be halved or doubled; the important thing is to have enough brine to completely cover the meat or poultry.
To roast a brined chicken: Drain well. Pat dry and stuff with onions, lemons and herbs. Rub the skin with oil to help browning and sprinkle with pepper (salt isn't needed because of the brine). Roast in a 400 degrees oven until done; generally about 1 hour and 15 minutes for a 3 1/2- to 4-pound bird.
See the following links for turkey:
- General instructions, including marination and brining, from University of Illinois Extension
- Hormel's brining technique
- Food Network version
- Emeril's notched up version
- Turkey roasting chart
- To crisp the skin on brined turkey: Raise the oven temperature up to 400°F to 450°F (205°C to 235°C) for the last 20 to 30 minutes of roasting.
March 17, 2005
Joelle's root recipes--and chicken for Pinki
Root salad: Grate or shred raw celery root, parsnips, turnips, and a carrot. Toss with parsley or chervil, olive oil, lemon, salt and paper.
Root soup: Boil and puree 1 parsnip, 2 potatoes, leek, and celery root. Vegetables can be sauteed in a little olive oil for 5 minutes first, or not. Makes a smooth and delicious veloute.
Pickled beet salad: Joelle uses a jar of Polish pickled beets. Slice them and dress with cumin (preferably ground), garlic or shallots or scallions, olive oil, pepper, and fresh coriander.
Chicken with fresh ginger and salted lemons: A recipe for Pinki. Saute a chicken, cut up in parts, in the olive oil from the salted lemons. Skin can be removed. Start with the dark meat, then the breasts, which cook more quickly. Add no salt as the lemons are salty. Add a few cloves chopped garlic, about an inch of chopped fresh ginger. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice from the salted lemons. Cook slowly for about 30 minutes. Add 1 salted lemon, cut in quarters and thinly sliced, and simmer a little longer.
March 13, 2005
To keep things really simple:
Day 1: Take grapefruits and lemons (ratio of 1:1), reserve pips. slice thinly, and combine fruit with water (ratio 1:3, by volume). Tie pips up in a little bit of gauze and add to fruit. Soak overnight.
Day 2: Boil mixture for 15 minutes and leave covered overnight.
Day 3: Boil mixture for 15 minutes and leave covered overnight.
Day 4: Combine mixture with sugar (ratio 1:1, by volume). Bring to boil and simmer gently, uncovered, until it gels. You will need to get the mixture to 220F.
Flavor will improve with keeping. Several weeks advised.
If you have difficulty getting the mixture to jel, cook down to reduce the water and concentrate the pectin and sugar.
Last time I really wrote about marmalade was in New Zealand. Annie was dying and a few months later Lina passed away in an instant. Dora and Lina were great marmalade makers and New Zealand grapefruit (Poorman Orange) is incomparable. Annie loved to cook (and so did Dora and Lina) and the way we communicated with each other during the last months of their lives was through food. Marmalade is memory in a jar.
I don't think I realized--how could I have missed this?--how Scottish marmalade is. After all, oranges are not Scottish. How did this happen? Well, marmalade, as the etymology of the word (from the Portuguese word for quince) indicates, started out as quinces preserved in sugar. Quince marmalade was imported from Portugal. The meaning of marmalade was then extended to any fruit preserve, as in pear marmalade, and eventually came to be identified exclusively with citrus. A few entrepreneurial Scots started producing citrus marmalade from wonderful bitter Seville oranges and made Scotland famous for it. There is a dark Oxford variety made with brown sugar. C. Anne Wilson writes all about it in The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History and Its Role in the World Today, Together With a Collection of Recipes for Marmalades & Marmalade.
I've been baffled by the underlying marmalade principles because there are so many variations in the proportions of fruit, sugar, and water, as well as in the method. Should the fruit be soaked and for how long? When should the sugar be added? How long should the marmelade be cooked with and without sugar? I want to understand the kitchen science.
Here is what I have figured out so far:
- The pectin is in the skin, membranes, and pips, not in the juice or pulp per se.
- The amount of pectin in the fruit will vary, depending on the type of fruit (sweet oranges have the least pectin), ratio of peel to flesh (more pectin in thick-skinned grapefruit than thin-skinned oranges), ripeness of the fruit (unripe has more pectin, but the riper the fruit the thicker the peel and more peel means more pectin, so I don't know exactly how this works out).
- All of which might explain the variations in the ratio of water (the more pectin the more water, and the more water the more sugar--see below for why grapefruit marmalades call for much more water than do orange marmelades).
- Acid is needed to set the pectin, so lemons, which are also rich in pectin and valued for their tartness, are added, particularly if the oranges are sweet. As for setting the pectin, you don't really know what you've got until the next day, when the marmalade really has a chance to set and you can see how thick it is in the jar.
- Soaking the fruit, especially the peel, membranes, and pips, draws out the pectin (some recipes call for discarding the membranes and pips once the pectin has been extracted) and softens the fruit so that it does not float in the finished marmalade.
- The floating fruit problem seems to have to do with getting the fruit really soft so that it is pretty much the same consistency as the liquid. When the peel is finely shredded, this is less of a problem. But if you like chunky marmalade, it helps to soak the fruit for several days before boiling the mixture up with sugar. Also, the liquid has to be thick enough to hold the chunks in suspension. If, when the hot marmalade is poured into jars, the fruit floats, let it sit a little, then turn the jar upside down, and after a while, right side up, and as the marmalade cools and thickens the peel will distribute nicely in the liquid.
- Boiling the sugar to 220F, assuming the water, sugar, and pectin are in the right proportions, to make it all set. The key here is to cook long enough to process the fruit properly and reduce the liquid to concentrate the sugar so the syrup will get up to 220F, but if the syrup boils hard and goes beyond 220F, it will carmelize, darken, and thicken to an almost solid mass. This can make for a nice marmalade too, if there is lots of chunky fruit. So, instructions vary as to how hard and long to cook the marmalade. It is advised to cook up in small batches, which I am assuming lets you reduce the syrup more quickly and avoid overcooking the marmalade.
- Warming the sugar before adding to the marmalade will cut down on the frothing, as the froth, if not skimmed, will cloud the marmalade--the goal, for many, is a pale, clear jelly.
- The amount of sugar depends on three factors, first, the sweetness, tartness, or bitterness of the fruit; second, whether one prefers a very sweet marmalade; and third, the minimum required to make the marmalade set and keep properly, given how much pectin is in the fruit and how much water in the recipe. The goal is not less than 65% sugar in the mixture.
However you figure it, Seville orange marmalade calls for the most sugar (1:2 fruit to sugar, by weight) and less water (about 3/4 of the total fruit and water mixture--this varies considerably). The fruit/sugar/water ratios are all by weight.
Sweet orange marmalade calls for less sugar (1:1 fruit to sugar) and similar proportion of water by weight as Seville orange marmalade.
Grapefruit (and mixed citrus) marmalade calls for much more water (1 part fruit, 3 parts water, and 4 parts sugar, all by volume).
- Needless to say, this makes ratio comparisons next to impossible to calculate, since ratios by volume are different from ratios by weight. To add to the confusion, recipes mix types of measurements: volume (for water), weight (for sugar), and number of fruit (how many oranges or grapefruits, which of course vary in weight and volume in any case).
- Bottom line is that more water is added to grapefruit because grapefruit has more pectin, and more sugar is added to grapefruit because more water was added. So, if you start with a 1:3 ratio of grapefruit to water and 1:1 ratio of the fruit/water mixture to sugar, you have in essence a 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar, which works because, while the grapefruit/water mixture is more dilute, the pectin and bitter flavors are still relatively concentrated. This should produce the right sweetness for the grapefruit and the right concentration of sugar for the marmelade to set and to keep.
- Seville oranges are preferred not only for their flavor, which is intense and bitter, but also because they have lots of pectin and produce a very clear marmalade, whereas marmalade made from sweet oranges will tend to be cloudy, which may explain the more complicated methods of preparation (separation of all the elements, discarding of the membranes, creating a clear jelly by skimming the froth, straining, adding the peel back in, etc.)
- There are also variations in how fast and how long to cook the mixure, whether to boil and reduce the mixture before adding the sugar, cook for more than an hour with the sugar, or bring to a fast boil and be done in 10 minutes. This seems to have something to do as well with whether or not the mixture, without sugar, has been left to sit for 24 hours, brought to a boil, and left to sit again for 24 hours, a process that can take 1-4 days. The soaking and sitting are pretty much standard for grapefruit and mixed citrus marmalades. Some worry about cooking the marmalade too long, because of something happening to the sugar and pectin--cooking too long can adversely affect the setting properties--as well as loosing the freshness of the flavor.
- After you fill the hot jars, wipe them down, especially the top and rim, so that the lids don't stick and make it difficult to open the jars later.
Anne Wilson says that the dark marmalades with very thick slices of peel, the Oxford type, is preferred by men, a legacy of the Oxford dons, and the clear light type with delicate shreds of peel by women. Wilson also writes that historically there was a preference for very sweet marmalade, especially if made from bitter Seville oranges and with less water than we use today, though apparently the trend in Australia is towards sweeter marmalade that is chewy and chunky. However, several sources say that 65% sugar (is that by weight or volume?) is needed for marmalade to keep properly. The food chemists say: "The optimum conditions for jelly strength are 1% pectin, a pH of 3.2, and a sugar concentration of 55% (by weight)."
I like my marmalade very thick and intense with assertive chunks of peel. And, I do not like fussy recipes that have you take the fruit apart and, in some cases, throw parts of it away. I like to slice the fruit, all of it, and take it from there. Cooking times (without and with sugar and when and how it is added) also vary considerably. Cooking the marmalade in small batches gives you more control over how long it cooks, as you can bring to a boil more quickly and cool it more quickly. Some recipes have you add the sugar and bring quickly to 220F and you are done. Others have you cook the fruit and sugar for hours. Soaking the fruit reduces the cooking time, in addition to increasing the pectin and flavor.
I like bitter marmalade, but cannot find organic Seville oranges. Actually, I cannot find Seville oranges, period. But, even if I could, they would have to be organic. I did not realize, when writing about marmalade in New Zealand that Poorman orange, which is what everyone makes marmalade from, is not just a grapefruit aspiring to be an orange, but perhaps closer to some of the bitter properties of the Seville orange, though very different from it. Just read Wilson, who says the Poorman is a bitter type of orange! But she is quite wrong in saying that Poorman is hardly grown anymore and that New Zealanders make their marmalade from grapefruit. Unless, we have a different idea about what a Poorman is. It is a cross between an orange and a grapefruit:
"'Poorman Orange' (syn. "New Zealand Grapefruit", "Kawau Grapefruit" and "Sunfruit") is the rind of choice for those who make their own marmalade jam. It was reported to have been brought to Australia from Shanghai in China in 1820 and specimens sent to New Zealand in 1855, where it gained some notoriety. This is the 'Sunfruit' that is grown in Swaziland and exported to England for their marmalade craving. (syn. "New Zealand Grapefruit", "Kawau Grapefruit" and "Sunfruit") is the rind of choice for those who make their own marmalade jam. It was reported to have been brought to Australia from Shanghai in China in 1820 and specimens sent to New Zealand in 1855, where it gained some notoriety."
"Le pomelo 'Poorman Orange', sélectionné en Australie au début du XIXème siècle, puis répandu en Nouvelle-Zélande, est en fait un hybride complexe, probablement entre un pomelo et un hybride de pamplemousse et de mandarine. Cette variété à d'autres noms, dont 'New Zeland', 'Goldfruit', 'Morrison' (cette dernière dénomination caractérisant une sélection particulière sans pépins). Le fruit est moyennement gros, avec une peau jaune-orangée, et une pulpe orangée et juteuse, légèrement amère. Cet hybride se comporte bien dans un climat subtropical frais comme celui du nord de la Nouvelle-Zélande, et en tout cas mieux qu'une sélection simple de pomelo.
[Citrus paradisi, le pomelo, est un agrume dont le fruit est très largement répandu sur les étals de fruits. C'est un assez gros fruit de 10 à 15 cm de diamètre environ, à peau et chair jaune ou rose à maturité. Le fruit est cependant beaucoup moins gros que celui du pamplemoussier, Citrus maxima syn. Citrus grandis. Le pomelo était vu lors de sa découverte dans les Antilles en fin du XVIIIème siècle comme une mutation de Citrus grandis. Par la suite, en 1847, James MacFayden, dans son ouvrage Flore de la Jamaique, lui a donné son nom botanique Citrus paradisi. A partir de 1948, on a commencé à soupçonner que le pomelo était en fait un hybride de Citrus maxima x Citrus sinensis, c'est-à-dire un hybride de pamplemousse et d'oranger. On voit d'ailleurs de plus en plus souvent son nom botanique noté de manière à refléter ce statut d'hybride : Citrus x paradisi.]"
In any case, the consensus on grapefruit and mixed citrus marmalade seems to be the following (I am going to experiment in any case):
1 part fruit to 3 parts water to 3 or 4 parts sugar. The way this is expressed in recipes is: Thinly slice the fruit and add 3 times as much water. Allow 1 (or 3/4) cup of sugar for each cup of fruit and water mixture. I will try with less sugar and see how I make out. I also like to add black peppercorns and bay leaves. And, I did a 3-day soak. Mine is a boy/girl marmalade, with the big chunks of peel favored by the Oxford dons and fine shreds of peel said to be favored by women.
I'm up for trying marmalade from Buddha's Hand citron, citron, and pomelo, also known as shaddock and the progenitor of grapefruit, which is supposed to be a cross between pomelo and orange, for that matter kefir lime, kumquat, and ugli fruit, not only their fruit, but also their leaves. Bring on the citrus!
March 09, 2005
Wash and quarter 12 Poorman’s Oranges and 6 large lemons. (If American citrus, use 12 oranges, 6 grapefruits, and 6 lemons.) After removing the seeds, slice the fruit finely. Tie the seeds up in a little cheesecloth. Place seeds, fruit, and 6 quarts water in a large pan and let stand 24 hours. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. Let stand overnight. Next day, bring to a boil and add 6 lbs of sugar. Stir well until sugar is dissolved. Boil hard for 10 minutes. Add another 6 lbs of sugar. Boil 20 minutes. Stir well to prevent scorching. Simmer, stirring, until the marmalade sets when dribbled onto a cold saucer. It is ready when it wrinkles as the saucer is tipped. I like to add bay leaves and sprigs of thyme or rosemary.
5 pounds grapefruit, rinsed
5 Meyer lemons or small regular lemons, rinsed
1/2 cup lemon juice (from 2 to 3 additional lemons)
2 1/2 pounds sugar.
1. Remove the grapefruit skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut the peel into 1/8-inch slivers; stop when you have 3/4 cup. Discard the rest. Slice off the ends of the grapefruit and the remaining grapefruit peel and pith. Remove grapefruit segments, reserving membrane. Stop when you have 5 cups of segments.
2. Cut the ends off the Meyer lemons, deep enough so you can see the flesh. Leaving the peel on, remove the segments of lemon and reserve the membrane. Cut the segments crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Put membranes from the grapefruit and Meyer lemons in a jelly bag and tie closed.
3. In a wide and deep pot, combine the grapefruit segments, grapefruit peel, lemon pieces and jelly bag. Add lemon juice and 2 1/2 cups water. Simmer until the grapefruit peel is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.
4. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Working over a bowl in your sink, squeeze the liquid from the jelly bag; keep squeezing and wringing it out until you extract 1/3 to 1/2 cup of pectin. Add pectin and sugar to the pot. Place over high heat and boil, stirring now and then, until marmalade is between 222 and 225 degrees and passes the plate test. (Spoon a little onto a plate and put in the fridge for 3 minutes. If it thickens like jam, it is done.)
5. Meanwhile, put 6 sterilized 8-ounce canning jars and lids on a baking sheet and place in the oven. When jam is done, remove jars from the oven. Ladle jam into the jars, filling them as high as possible. Wipe the rims. Fasten the lid tightly. Let cool. If you don't get a vacuum seal, refrigerate the jam. Makes 6 8-ounce jars of marmalade. Adapted from June Taylor.
Three Citrus Marmalade
Remove seeds from the fruits. Slice the fruits thin and put them in a large bowl. (you will use the rind) Add 1-1/2 parts water to 1 part fruit..Let stand overnight in refrigerator..Pour into large pot and boil for 10 minutes. Now, let stand again for 24 hours and then add 1 part sugar to 1 part mixture. Simmer for about 3 hours. Seal in sterilized jars. This make 6 pints and is great for holiday gift giving.
March 03, 2005
Another inspired creation from Casa Moro: The Second Cookbook, adapted by and from Gourmet:
1 1/4 c unsalted shelled pistachios (5.25 oz)--I will try with other kinds of nuts
1 small clove garlic, crushed with 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest (if only I could find the microplane that Dalia gave me)
5 tbsp good olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water
1-3 tsp orange flower water
1/2 c each of coarsely chopped fresh parsley and mint
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Pulse the nuts till coarsely chopped and combine with everything else. Serve at room temperature. Intended to go with meat or fish, but I will serve with something else...
Medjool dates in coffee and cardamom
I give Pinki subscriptions to Gourmet and Bon Appetit as a gift and never read them myself, except this month, which is dedicated to London, since we will be in London in a few weeks. Well, I found a few truly delectable recipes, first among them this date recipe, which I plan to serve tomorrow night, with the Philippine sticky rice in banana leaves that I brought back from Toronto--I'll steam them. The Gourmet recipe is adapted from Casa Moro: The Second Cookbook and is truly inspired. They serve the dates with drained and thickened Greek yogurt, but to make the lactose intolerant happy, I will serve it with coconut rice.
14 oz (2 cups) Medjool dates, whole or pitted
2 cups espresso freshly made or 5 rounded tsp instant espresso in 2 cups boiling hot water--I will use decaf
1 tsp sugar
20 whole green cardamom pods, light crushed
1 3-inch stick cinnamon, broken in half.
Pit dates (slice along one side of date to remove pit).
Bring everything else to a boil and pour over dates. Bring to room termperature and steep, refrigerated overnight. Serve chilled.
Sarah gave me wonderful dark chocolate espresso beans that I may use to add a crowning touch...
February 24, 2005
Whole citrus flourless cake
Now, here's a find. Whole citrus, no flour, delicious cake. Always looking for great wheatless desserts for Jeff and I think I have found it. Sort of like making marmalade, but with whole citrus, grinding it up, mixing it with ground almonds, and baking it in a tin. Divine! But, organic fruit--which no one mentions--is essential, as the pesticides, fungicides, and color on citrus rinds is nobody's business. I'll try lemons, oranges of various kinds, and grapefruit, which might be too bitter--will look for ones with thin rind.