Strawberry Vanilla Jam

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Photo Credit:  www.Napidoktor.hu,  2015.

Making your own jam is a great way to use your slow cooker in the summer. It’s also a delicious way to use up overripe fruit.

Makes About Four 8-pints

Ingredients:
2 pounds of strawberries
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups sugar

Directions:
Wash the strawberries and drain in a colander. Remove the stems from the strawberries and cut in half. With a small, sharp knife, halve the vanilla bean lengthwise. Add strawberries and vanilla halves to a slow cooker along with the lemon juice and sugar. Stir well, cover, and cook on low for 2 hours.

Uncover the slow cooker and stir the jam. Continue cooking, uncovered, on low for an additional 2–3 hours or until the jam has thickened, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry if it is a little runny; it will get thicker as it cools. If you want a smoother consistency, use a potato masher to break up the fruit.

Discard the vanilla bean and ladle the jam into four  1-cup plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids. Allow to cool, uncovered, then cover and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Jam will last 3 weeks in the refrigerator and up to 1 year in the freezer.

Cook’s Notes:
Try swirling a spoonful of jam with plain Greek yogurt for breakfast or dessert.

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Pancakes with Roasted Strawberries

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If you like strawberry shortcakes, then you will love this short stack of buttermilk pancakes topped with caramelized strawberries and crunchy almonds and drizzles of butter and syrup. Add bacon or breakfast sausage links for the perfect combination of sweet and savory and serve them up for a spectacular brunch.

Makes Twelve 4-inch Pancakes

Ingredients:
For the roasted strawberries:
1 pound strawberries, hulled, halved, quartered if large
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

For the pancakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus more for pan and serving
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Directions:
To Roast the strawberries:Preheat oven to 425°F. Place strawberries, sugar, and salt in a glass baking dish. Scrape in vanilla seeds, add pod, and stir to combine. Roast, stirring occasionally, until juices are bubbling, 15–18 minutes. Let cool slightly and discard pod.

To Make the pancakes:Whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Beat eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and 3 Tbsp. melted butter in a medium bowl with a fork to incorporate eggs. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Batter will be slightly lumpy.

Heat a large griddle or 2 cast-iron or nonstick skillets over medium; brush with butter. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook until bubbles form on the surface and pop, and the underside is golden brown, 2 1/2–3 minutes. Flip and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, 2 1/2–3 minutes more. Transfer pancakes to plates or a platter and brush tops with butter. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing griddle with butter as needed.
Serve pancakes topped with roasted strawberries and sprinkled with almonds, if desired.

Cook’s Notes:
Roasted strawberries can be made up to 5 days ahead and leftovers can be enjoyed over biscuits, yogurt, or ice cream.

Pancakes can be kept warm on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet in a 250°F oven.

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Salmon Ravigote

 

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Poach delicious salmon steaks or fillets in only 15 minutes!

Salmon fillets are poached briefly, then served with a ravigote sauce. Ravigote means “to invigorate” in French, and this sauce, containing tomatoes, scallions, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil, awakens the taste buds and complements the salmon. Pickled capers lend wonderful piquancy to the sauce.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
For the Sauce:
2 plum tomatoes  halved, seeded, and diced
1 tablespoon drained capers
2–3 scallions, trimmed  and sliced
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Salmon:
Four 5 ounce skinless salmon fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
3 cups of water
Kosher salt, to taste

Directions:
To make the sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

To poach the salmons, bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil in a large stainless steel saucepan. Add the salmon to the pan and bring the water back to a boil over high heat for 2 minutes. Immediately turn off the heat, or slide the pan off the heat and let the salmon steep in the hot liquid for 5 minutes. Note that your fillets will be slightly underdone in the center at this point and you may have to adjust the cooking time to accommodate thicker or thinner fillets, depending on your personal taste preference.

Remove the fillets from the poaching liquid with a large spatula, drain them well, and place on four warm plates. Absorb any liquid that collects around the fillets with paper towels, then spoon the sauce over and around the steaks and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
Alternatively,  for the poaching liquid, you can substitute 1½ cup dry white wine, like a good Sauvignon Blanc added to  1½ cups of water, for a different flavor profile.

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

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