Recipes from September 5, 2012

From Herald news servicesSeptember 5, 2012 

Weekly recipes for September 5, 2012

Peach Saffron Jam

Makes 5 half-pints.

4 1/2 pounds fresh, ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted (12 cups)
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon (at least 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon (about 1 1/2 grams) saffron threads

Combine peaches, sugar, lemon juice and saffron in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and stir well. Cook until fruit releases juices, about 12 minutes. Cool, then transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate overnight or up to 5 days. Pass mixture through a food mill fitted with the coarse plate into a large, heavy-bottomed pot, discarding what's left in the mill. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cook to form a jam, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until its temperature reaches 215 degrees.

For canning: Place a rack or a small towel in the bottom of stockpot. Fill with water and heat over medium heat, making sure the water does not come to a boil. Carefully add 5 half-pint jars and let them heat up for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, leaving them in the water until you are ready to use them.

Soak new jar lids and rings in a saucepan of hot, but not boiling, water, leaving them in the water until you are ready to use them. Drain jars and place upright on the counter. Transfer peach jam to something with a pour spout or use a wide-mouth funnel to fill the jars, leaving about a 1/2-inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars so they are free of any food particles, then seal with the lids, screwing on the rings until they are snug yet not too tight.

Place the jars in the stockpot. If needed, add enough water to cover the jars by at least an inch or so. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Process the jars for 10 minutes, starting a timer once the water reaches a boil. Turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water for a few minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let cool completely. Check to make sure the rings are not on too tight before storing.

* Adapted from The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves and Aigre-doux by Paul Virant with Kate Leahy


Spice Pickled Fennel

Makes 1 pint.

2 bulbs (about 1 1/2 pounds total) fennel, with stems and fronds
2 3/4 teaspoons pickling or fine sea salt, or more as needed
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

Remove the fronds and stems from the fennel and reserve them. Cut the bulbs in half vertically; remove and discard the cores. Cut the bulbs vertically into thin slices. You should have about 2 cups of sliced fennel.

Combine the fennel and salt in a bowl, tossing to combine. Cover with ice water and let sit for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours. Taste a slice of fennel. If it isn't decidedly salty, toss with 1 to 2 teaspoons of pickling salt. If it is too salty, rinse in water.

Combine the vinegar, water, honey and five-spice powder in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the honey. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, drain the fennel, discarding the brine. Pack the jar with a few of the reserved fennel fronds, then pack the fennel into the jar. Pour in the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rim to clear away any food particles or brine. Use a clean chopstick to stir/remove any air bubbles between the food and the sides of the glass. Seal with the lid and ring, making sure the ring is gently tightened.

Store in a cool, dry place. Do not open for at least 6 weeks to allow the flavors to develop.

* The Pickled Pantry: From Apples to Zucchini, 150 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, Chutneys and More by Andrea Chesman


Pickled Cauliflower with Pomegranate Molasses

Makes 1 quart or 2 pints.

1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (available at Middle Eastern markets and in the international aisle of some grocery stores)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pickling or fine sea salt
1-2 green cardamom pods
2 teaspoons coriander seed
3-3 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
1/2 white or yellow onion, cut into thin slices

While the vinegar mixture heats for canning, drain the jars, lids and rings. Place the cardamom and coriander inside the jars. Mix the cauliflower and onion, then pack into the jar. Pour in the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.

Wipe the rim to clear away any food particles or brine. Use a clean chopstick to stir/remove any air bubbles between the food and the sides of the glass. Seal with the lid and ring, making sure the latter is gently tightened.

Store in a cool, dry place. Do not open for at least 6 weeks to allow the flavors to develop.

Once opened, refrigerate for up to 2 months.

* The Pickled Pantry: From Apples to Zucchini, 150 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, Chutneys and More by Andrea Chesman


Grilled Tuna Steaks with Mango Salsa

Start to finish: 20 minutes. Servings: 4.

1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 mangos, peeled, pitted and diced
Salt and ground black pepper
4 6-ounce tuna steaks

Heat the grill to high.

In a food processor, combine the parsley, oregano, mint, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the red wine vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and the lemon zest and juice. Process until well chopped, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the mango and pulse once or twice to combine and lightly chop. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.

Rub the tuna steaks on all sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, then season them with salt and pepper. Grill the steaks for 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Serve topped with the salsa.

Nutrition information per serving: 420 calories; 170 calories from fat (40 percent of total calories); 19 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 65 milligrams cholesterol; 21 grams carbohydrate; 41 grams protein; 3 grams fiber; 200 milligrams sodium.


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