Friday, December 23, 2011

Sushi Squares

Jack had bought the Wilton silicone bite-size brownie pan (with the intention of making mini cheesecakes), and we had an invitation to a hors d'oeuvres party, so we were looking for something interesting to make in it.

I turned to the Internet, but sadly, it turns out that most people are just using their brownie pans to make brownies. (Okay, here's someone doing sesame candy.) BORING.

Thinking about "fancy" and "bite-size" got me to sushi, so we improvised these sushi squares:

Sprinkle some furikake (fishy-tasting nori and sesame seeds) in the bottom of each cavity, pack each with sushi rice (short-grain rice mixed with rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt), turn out the rice cubes, and top with a bit of wasabi, cucumber, and avocado.

I'm pretty sure this is more time-consuming than rolling your own sushi (which we like to stuff with creative farm share ingredients), but there you have it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cranberry Orange Jam

I was feeling a little cocky about last week's fast, easy, recipe-free grapefruit jam, so I set out to prove I could do improvised jam-making again, 1) cooking it quickly at high temperature, while 2) making dinner.

(Turns out I can't.)

After I paused the project to finish the dinner and scrubbed the boiled-over sticky burnt mess out of my stove, I finished making this.

Cranberry Orange Jam

5-6 small oranges (or clementines, or satsumas, or tangerines), peeled and more-or-less seeded
1/2 bag fresh cranberries (left over from Thanksgiving)
1 cup sugar

Process oranges into a juicy slurry (I used the blender). Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and jammy.

On the way to jam, I realized that fruit topping, cranberry sauce, and jam are all the same recipe, cooked to different thicknesses -- stop cooking when you've gotten as far as you want to go (and expect it to thicken just a tiny bit more in the fridge).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Quick Grapefruit Jam

Enterprise Farm sent us some beautiful Florida grapefruit last week, and seeing my roommate (usually a meat and potatoes guy) eat one for dinner inspired me to claim the other two for grapefruit jam.*

We've made proper marmalade (with a recipe and everything!) before, but our food processor is on strike at the moment (so including the peels wasn't feasible), and I was a bit distracted (because I was trying to make four cheesecakes at the same time). I was also feeling a bit cocky about improvised jam making after our Concord grape fest, so I didn't bother looking for instructions.

Here's what I did: Put flesh and juice of 2 grapefruit (and plenty of pith and membranes; I have in my mind that this helps it set, so it wasn't merely sloth) in a saucepan. Stir in 1 cup of sugar. Cook, stirring regularly, until reduced and thickened to a jamlike consistency. (Recipes will tell you to cook over low heat, which takes a long time; I started it hotter and cooked it faster, which just means you have be vigilant about burning.)

I used the jam as topping on a vodka-and-grapefruit cheesecake, and then ate the leftovers on waffles and toast. (In retrospect, more carefully removing the large pieces of the membranes would have made it more spreadable.)

* Jam includes the fruit's flesh; marmalade goes the extra step of including the peel; jelly is made from just the juice.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Video: Picadilly Farm CSA

The kitchen has been given over to cheesecake cooking for the last few days (as is annual tradition), so no new adventures in vegetables this week.

Instead, here's a little promotional video for our weekly potluck Picadilly Farm (which provided one of our CSAs this summer), by our own filmmaker in residence.

Farmshare from Ben Pender-Cudlip on Vimeo