I get e-mail newsletters and the following recipe was an interesting recipe for a quick refrigerator pickle. I had never heard of pickled avocados before. The link to Avocado Pickles is here and I have added the recipe below.
In this article, "A Trick for Transforming Unripe Avocados in Just Two Hours" at Food52.com, they talk about the difference between hard avocados pickled for days versus the same pickled for about 2 hours. The days-pickled ones were vinegary, while the 2 hour pickles not only softened but still tasted like avocados. I think tasting like avocados is important!
Probably I would try it if I had a tree, or was desperate for an avocado and could not find a ripe one. In any case, I think these would be a nice change of pace on sandwiches or in burritos, or on baked potatoes . . . Maybe you could whiz 'em up with a little mayonnaise for a good spread for bread or to use as a sauce--like eggs benedict with pickled avocado sauce!
Avocado Pickles--Serves 2 to 6 (recipe from TheKitchen.com)
1 cup distilled white vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 firm avocados
Optional flavoring ingredients:
Place the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and any additional flavoring ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare the avocados. Peel and pit the avocados, then cut into 1/2-inch-wide slices or cubes. Place them in 2 (18-ounce or larger) canning jars. Pour the cooled brining liquid into the jars, completely covering the avocado pieces, and seal the jars. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Storage: Store pickled avocados in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
I was cruising the Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) blogs and found this nice article about growing saffron crocuses in your yard: Grow Your Own Saffron! Such a pretty flower with delightfully tasty seasoning included!It is a little late to plant these little beauties around here, but you could put an order in for some corms and plant them when shipped to you, which is usually in the fall.
How about a recipe to use some home canned broth and home grown saffron?
Quite a while back I bought one of those little boxes of Sahara Brand Rice Pilaf. We all liked it but it was expensive. My sister and I got together to try to concoct our own version. The following is what we came up with and we like it much better than the boxed stuff. It is now one of our family's favorite recipes it is as follows.
A few tips for this recipe: make sure to toast the rice, then the pasta, almonds and you will get a great flavor and texture to your pilaf. Have you made any home canned chicken broth? It will serve you well in this recipe.
You can make this without the saffron, but the spice adds a very nice, rather exotic aroma and a wonderful color to the dish. Try to find some real Spanish saffron and use it--you won't be sorry.
Recipe may be doubled if you wish.
1 cup chicken broth, home canned if possible
1-1/4 cups warm water
10 strands or so of Saffron (a small pinch; be careful, too much or it may be bitter)
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup rice
1/4 cup orzo or broken vermicelli (if using vermicelli, break it into little pieces into the measuring cup)
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for adjusting seasoning when pilaf is finished
Mix the broth and warm water then sprinkle the saffron over the top. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Pour in rice, stirring constantly to avoid burning until it loses its translucency and all the rice is opaque, much more white and some of the grains are beginning to get browned.
Add the orzo/vermicelli and almonds and continue to stir constantly until the pasta browns; this should happen pretty quickly.
Place the onion and salt in the pot and stir until the onion is translucent and soft.
Add the broth, water and saffron and give everything a quick stir. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Test for doneness of the rice; it should be firm, but not chalky or hard; if it is, add tablespoon or so of water and cook for a few minutes. Remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes. Taste for final seasoning then add salt if needed, stir lightly but thoroughly to fluff and serve.
I know, some of you out there are wondering what to do with fresh, home-made sauerkraut. First thing I recommend is to taste it and if you like it, eat it. Try some on a little pile of fresh rice to check out your sauerkraut's flavor.
If you don't like it, keep trying and maybe it will grow on you?
If you DO like it, well, that opens up a lot of other options. You could try a classic sandwich, The Reuben--delicious! A likely looking suspect (of a recipe) is here: Reuben Sandwich at Simply Recipes .
How about a soup--the weather is kinda cool enough for soup right now! Simple sauerkraut soup at Czech Vegan
How about a drink before dinner? Sauerkraut Martini at The Kitchn
Dip for chips with that drink-- Sauerkraut Corned Beef Dip at The Food Network
A side dish perhaps? Very simple creamy sauerkraut with chives
And lastly, but not leastly, DESSERT! Sauerkraut Pie with Palatable Pastime
Did any of the above whet your appetite for sauerkraut?
- Author: L. Watts
What a meeting! You missed it!
Market! Link! Social Media! Pictures! SB County expectations! Gray-scale flyers! Photo album! Out-reach! Class opportunities! Great ideas, good food (of course we had good food!)
These are just a few of the things we brain-stormed in the Marketing Brainstorming meeting we had this past Saturday. There was a good turn-out at Susan Israel's very nice house—thank you Susan for hosting.
Check out some pics:
Complete with Post-its! You cannot see all the ideas flying around here, but look at the number of post-its on the windo in the back and you will get an idea of the number. And there were even more by the end of the meeting.
This picture did not include one of Suzy's dogs that climbed up on the back of the couch and and licked Lane's head to get his attention!--all very sweet dogs.
There were a lot of very good Ideas to help publicize the MFP program. Many things to think about and start to take action on.
For starters, one easy Idea for you all: If you post anything, anywhere on the web as a response to a food/canning article, item, blog, picture or such, please include in your signature “Master Food Preserver of San Bernardino County.” If you have a webpage of any sort, please link to us ! This will help us to come up in results for searches about canning/food preservation. If you can make this a link to our Home page or blog or Facebook page it would be even better. If you need help with this just e-mail me!
COMING UP: Brining, smoking a bird for T-Day, from Darrell Fluman. It's a good one so don't miss it.
Now I leave you with the recipe for the delicious Meyer Lemon Polenta cake that Suzy served at our meeting. Not a preservation recipe, but it uses optional candied lemon slices and we TALKED about canning stuff!!!
Meyer Lemon Almond Cake
This cake pairs the bright flavor of Meyer lemons with a moist, buttery crumb made of almond flour. This is naturally gluten-free (as long as you use gluten-free flour blend to coat the pan). It can be gussied up with a topping of candied lemons, or served without.
Tips From Suzy: The recipe is hard to follow. I've learned to do some prep first: A small bowl of just the almond flour, a small bowl of the lemon zest/lemon juice/vanilla, and a small bowl of polenta (just cornmeal--don't tell anybody)/baking powder/salt/cardamom powder. They get mixed in with the butter/sugar/egg mixture in that order. And any lemons will do.
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 to 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
1 cup sugar
2 cups almond flour
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup Meyer lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest (about 2 large lemons)
½ cup medium-grind polenta (cornmeal!)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Candied lemons (optional):
1½ cups sugar
2/3 cup water
3 to 4 medium Meyer lemons (about 10 to 14 ounces), sliced 1/8-inch thick, seeds removed
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and place a rack in the middle.
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; set aside. Use the butter wrappers to grease the inside of a 9-inch springform pan and sprinkle with the flour, rotating to coat the bottom and sides of the pan; discard excess flour. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom, place inside the pan and set aside.
Add the sugar to the butter; mix at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the almond flour and mix slowly to combine.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl, before adding the next. The batter should have a light, mousse-like texture.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold in the vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Add the polenta, baking powder, salt and cardamom, continuing to fold carefully.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out to the edges. Set the cake pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center is set.
Remove the cake from the oven and let sit 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, then remove the sides of the pan. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan, place on a rack and let cool. The cake can be made a day ahead; loosely wrap or place in a cake carrier and store at room temperature.
For the candied lemons: Combine the sugar and water in a shallow saucepan and heat over medium-high until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a strong simmer. Working in batches, add the lemon slices and continue to simmer, turning the slices occasionally, until the peels turn translucent, about 6-7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices. Remove from heat and let cool. The candied lemons can be made a day or two ahead; refrigerate in the syrup.
To finish the cake: Remove the candied lemon slices from the syrup and blot with paper towels. Overlap the slices atop the cake.
Note: Reserve the remaining syrup to mix with mineral water or club soda for a light spritzer, or to add to a citrus-based cocktail that calls for simple syrup. Or, use it to sweeten lemonade.