Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Rhubarb Chutney

What should one do with a bumper crop of rhubarb? Jam is good, but chutney is even better! This complex spicy-sweet-sour condiment is perfect on pork chops or alongside roasted chicken. I like this recipe because it is simple to make with consistently good results. Make a double batch and give some away!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Italian Prune Plum Clafoutis

For about two weeks each summer you can find Italian prune plums at the grocery store. That's when I start to think about making this clafoutis. Prune plums are meaty, small and eliptical in shape. They are very versatile--delicious fresh, baked or in jam. The traditional clafoutis recipe (an eggy French dessert) is made with cherries, but I like this version even better.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Flourless Brownies with Ganache

On the occasion of our wedding anniversary, I perfected a recipe for flourless brownies. I tried one recipe in a trial run that was based on cocoa and those turned out bitter and dry. This recipe was just about perfect--thank you, Nicole Hunn. The only modifications I made were to substitute some coconut sugar for white sugar and to use semi-sweet chocolate in the ganache. Though a ganache topping sounds like it would be gilding the lily too much, it actually balances out the dark chocolate of the brownie nicely.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sweet Red Bean Soup

If you've ever had a sweet red bean soup for dessert after a Chinese banquet, you're already familiar with this thin bean gruel. That doesn't sound very appetizing does it? But it's very popular and one of the many Asian sweets based on the red adzuki bean, like red bean mochi. Besides, as desserts go, it's made of beans so how bad could it be for you?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Brown Rice Mochi

Years ago I used to purchase brown rice mochi from the natural foods co-op. We'd cut the brown block into squares and bake them until they puffed up and became crunchy on the outside with a chewy middle and eat them warm with some honey.

Sadly the Wedge Coop has stopped stocking that item, but my kids have been asking for these anew since our trip to Tokyo this summer. Figuring that I could make them from scratch, I set out to find a recipe. Turns out this is a trickier process than I imagined and I'm not sure I've worked it all out yet, but give it a try!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Fig and Cherry Jam

I had some sad looking dried figs and wanted to do something with them. I also had some great looking red cherries. Bingo! A jam! Can you even do that with dried figs? (Yes, you can!) I put the figs in some hot water to plump them up, and then combed through some jam recipes for inspiration. Voila!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Rhubarb Berry Jam

Our rhubarb plant has been growing like a weed this summer. I decided that I needed to use this bounty and went looking for a recipe that would use a lot of rhubarb. Jam seemed to fit the bill. I combined the wisdom of two recipes to create a deep red thick jam that is very delicious. I learned that rhubarb doesn't have much natural pectin, so adding a bit of apple or apple juice helps the jam to set.

It took a surprising amount of fruit to make a small amount of jam, but it's easy to make another batch. I don't bother with sterilizing jars since I make small batches and give most of it away. As long as you have some room in your fridge to store the jars, its not a problem. A spoonful of jam makes a nice topping for a bowl of plain yogurt.