Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tomato Jam

Believe it or not, I tried tomato jam for the first time this year and was blown away by the flavor. How could something be so sweet, spicy, and savory all at once? And now here I am making my own. It's the end of tomato season, so I bought three pounds of various tomatoes (heirloom, slicers, plum, etc.) of various colors from my farmers market. I hope that you enjoy this recipe. I suggest pairing it with homemade biscuits (see recipe here).

Pair with: Pilsner or another pale lager

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

Three (3) pounds of chopped tomatoes -- be sure to keep skins on and seeds in. This adds texture and flavor to the jam.
1 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
Four (4) tablespoons of lime juice
One (1) teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
One (1) teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Before cooking
Put all ingredients into a large pot and stir lightly to blend.
Bring pot to a rolling boil.
Reduce heat and let simmer (small bubbles) for three hours. Stir often.
You'll know when its done because it will be thicker, slightly sticky, and boiled down almost completely (little to no chunks) .
Halfway through cooking
Once jam is ready, take off of heat and spoon into jars.
Place jars in cold water or fridge to reduce heat and stop cooking.
Spread jam on your favorite bread, biscuit, or use as a condiment!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Apple & Brie Appetizer

It is almost autumn! My friends and I are quick to celebrate this, and have already started drinking Oktoberfest/pumpkin beer. In fact, we had a fall beer get-together and we all made autumn-y dishes to share. This dish was incredibly easy as well as delicious.

Pair with: your favorite pumpkin beer!

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

One (1) baguette
Three (3) Granny Smith apples
One (1) wheel of Brie cheese
Two (2) tablespoons of shelled walnuts
One (1) tablespoon of honey

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Slice baguette into about twenty 1/2-inch slices.
Put bread into oven for ten minutes, or until slightly crisped.
Thinly slice apples and Brie.
Once bread is finished, place on platter.
Top bread with Brie slice, apple slice, small piece of walnut, and drizzle of honey.
Share and enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dill & Stone Ground Mustard Deviled Eggs

I won Best Classic Egg!
This weekend my friend hosted an awesome Deviled Egg Pageant. I've had over a month to plan a recipe, but wouldn't dare post it here and risk it being leaked to my competitors. (I obviously take these things very seriously.) The best part is that I won a prize for Best Classic Egg!

Because we were competing for an audience, this recipe yields 12 eggs (24 halves), and you can alter it based on your needs. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Also, if you have any fantastic deviled egg recipes of your own, please share below!

Pair with
: Red wine (goes well with dill)

Prep Time: 20 minutes (sometimes more, depending on how long it takes you to shell the eggs)
Cook Time: 30 minutes

One (1) dozen eggs, hard-boiled (click on link for boiling instructions)
Four (4) tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons of ground stone mustard
½ teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
One (1) tablespoon of freshly diced dill
Plastic sandwich baggie to be used as a pastry bag
Dill sprigs for garnish

Once eggs are completely cool after boiling, shell each egg.
Slice eggs in half and remove the yolk. Spoon yolk into separate mixing bowl.
Set egg whites aside face up.
In mixing bowl with yolk, mix mayonnaise, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. The mixture should be slightly fluffy, and if it is not, add more mayonnaise.
Once that is blended, slowly mix in the dill.
Spoon the mixture into the sandwich baggie and cut one small corner off. You will use this the same way that you would use to frost a cake.
Fill each egg white with the yolk mixture.
Garnish with one dill sprig.
Serve, share, and enjoy!

I also want to mention that the ingredients going into the yolk mixture are just as important as the way that you boil the eggs. Because of that, I researched and found that this was a very successful way of boiling eggs (click link for boiling instructions). Good luck!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Black Bean, Avocado, Goat Cheese Tacos

These tacos have everything in them that I love about summer, and they are probably one of the most delicious dishes that I've cooked since starting this blog. I recommend sticking pretty closely to the recipe, and don't forget to add the honey-lime drizzle at the end. This recipe yields six tacos.

Pair with: Margarita on the rocks

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes

3/4 can of black beans -- do not drain or rinse
One (1) avocado, halved
1/2 cup goat cheese
Two (2) cloves of garlic, minced
One (1) teaspoon of olive oil
1/2 small lime, for juice and zest
Two (2) teaspoons of honey 
1/4 teaspoon of ground red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
Six (6) small flour tortillas, slightly heated -- the original recipe used corn tortillas

Heat garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes in a heated skillet.
Add black beans and heat until most liquid has cooked out, about 5-10 minutes.
Brush avocado half with olive oil and heat face-down in separate pan over medium heat.
Remove avocado and slice.
Whisk together lime juice, zest, and honey. Set aside.
Spoon black beans into tortilla, followed by avocado slice (one or two for each taco), and then goat cheese on top.
Drizzle lime and honey mixture lightly over each taco.