Tag Archives: Ginger

Gingered Rhubarb and Honey Jam

Gingered Rhubarb and Honey Jam

Gingered Rhubarb and Honey Jam

For my birthday this past year my mother-in-law gave me The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving to further encourage my canning aspirations.  Marc and I have been making jam and applesauce for years, dabbling in the occasional fruit butter.  However, I was looking to move beyond the traditional strawberry, blueberry, and peach jam and into the world of unusual jams, marmalades, conserves, and pickles.  Unfortunately, my birthday is in January so I have been staring longingly at the book and waiting for the day when I could pick it up and start using it.

The key players

The key players

Finally, those days are here.  In anticipation of the start of u-pick fruit season and our veggie CSA I sat down with the book a few weeks ago and found myself tagging lots and lots (and lots) of recipes that I want to make.  The first one I picked was for a strawberry lemon jam made without added pectin and cooked in the microwave.  I made two pints of that yummy, deep red jam and I was hooked.

Lots of honey

Lots of honey

Next up, this rhubarb and honey jam.  I was fortunate to be able to take an armload of fresh rhubarb stalks from the many plants at my in-law’s house and immediately set about prepping and chopping.  Overall, this recipe is pretty easy to make.  The prep time is relatively low as all you have to do is clean and chop two cups of rhubarb and one tart apple (I used a Granny Smith) and zest and juice a lemon.  The fruit cooks with a little water until is is bubbling and starting to break down.  Then you add sugar, a lot of honey, lemon juice and some candied ginger.  You cook the whole thing until it forms a gel, ladle into prepared canning jars, and process for 10 minutes.  Because it is a small batch (makes 3 cups plus a little more) it cooks relatively quickly.  In fact, it only took about 6 minutes of strong boiling for my gel to form.  The finished jam is balance of tart and honey-sweet with the occasional bite of ginger.  It is a nice option for those who like their jams a little less sweet than typical commercial products.

A couple of things to consider:

  1. Make sure to follow the most recent guidelines for safe boiling water canning.  Properly preserved, this jam will last for a year in a cool, dark place.
  2. Take a few minutes to read about how to test to see if your jam is set.
Gel is almost set

Gel is almost set

Gingered Rhubarb and Honey Jam
Ingredients:
2 cups finely chopped rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 lemon zested and juiced (reserve 1 tbls lemon juice)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup honey
1 1/2 tbls diced candied ginger
To Make:
Prepare your jars, rings, lids, and canning vessel.  I used a small stockpot with 5 jar rings tied together to serve as a rack.  A nice thing about small batch canning is that I don’t have to bust out my large speckled canner which uses an enormous amount of water.
Combine the rhubarb, apple, and lemon zest in a stockpot or large saucepan with 1/2 cup of water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Lower heat, cover, and simmer until fruit is tender and starting to break down, about 15 minutes.  Add the sugar, honey, lemon juice, and ginger to the pot.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Turn the heat back up and bring the contents to a rapid boil that can’t be stirred down with the spoon.  Boil, uncovered, stirring frequently until the jam starts to set, anywhere from 6-12 minutes. I recommend using the freezer test (link above) to test if your jam is gelled.  If you watch it closely, you will see when the mixture starts to thicken and change into its gelled form.
Once the jam is set, ladle into your hot jars leaving 1/4 inch of headspace.  Get rid of any bubbles, wipe the rims, top the jars with the lids, put the rings on, and tighten until they are finger tight (don’t crank them on).  Place the jars in the canning vessel, cover, and bring the water to a rapid boil.  Once the water is boiling set your timer and process for 10 minutes.  Once the 10 minutes is over, remove the canner from the heat, take the lid off, and let the jars sit for 5 more minutes.
After 5 minutes, carefully and gently remove the jars to a towel or rack set in a draft free area.  Then walk away.  Leave them alone and don’t touch them until they are sealed and cool (can take 12-24 hours).  If you are lucky, you will hear the tell-tale “pop” of the jars sealing.  If you have a jar that doesn’t seal you can either reprocess with a new lid or simply put it in the fridge and eat it first.  Once the jars are sealed and cooled, remove the rings, wipe off any wayward stickiness, and store.
Apple and lemon juice both add nice amounts of pectin so you should be able to achieve a good gel.  However, pectin levels vary by individual fruit so if you can’t get a good gel, process it anyway and use it as a delicious ice cream topping.
To Serve:
I probably don’t need to tell you how to serve jam.  This jam is delicious on toast or biscuits but would also work well in more savory applications such as on top of a piece of roasted chicken or pork chops.  Makes 3 1/2 cups.
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Filed under Add-ons, Breakfast, Gluten-Free, Recipes

Beet Greens with Ginger, Chile, and Garlic Scapes

Beet Greens with Ginger, Chile, and Garlic Scapes

Due to the warm spring we have had, our summer CSA started a week early.  It was so exciting to get that first box, filled to the top with lots of green.  We got lettuce, arugula, spinach, kale, a couple of zucchini, some beets with fantastically fresh greens still attached, and some curly garlic scapes.  The box was topped with a carton of sweet strawberries.  After a winter of root vegetables, the plethora of green is a welcome change.  The best part is that everything is super fresh.

Frying the ginger, chile, and garlic scapes

The first thing I wanted to do was cook up those beet greens.  Did you know that the greens attached to the tops of beets are not only edible, but they are really delicious?  They have a nice earthy taste but without the bitterness that many greens have.  It’s as if they steal a little of the beet’s sweetness to balance out the deep flavor of the leaves.  The stems are a lovely pink color and when they are slender, you can cook and eat them right along with the leaves.  The challenge with beet greens is that they go bad pretty quickly and they often don’t make it through the supermarket gauntlet.

Adding the greens

Make sure you wash your greens really well.  They are typically covered with lots of dirt and do well with a bath in a big sinkful of water.  Beet greens really only need simple treatment.  This recipe is straightforward and uses delicious flavors of garlic, ginger, and green chile and stir-fries the greens and stems until tender.  It makes a pretty colored dish that goes nicely with other Indian-style dishes.

Wilted greens

Beet Greens with Ginger, Chiles, and Garlic Scapes

Adapted from World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey

Ingredients:

3 tbls peanut or vegetable oil

1 fresh hot green chile (such as jalapeno), seeded and cut into thin strips

About 1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into slivers

4 garlic scapes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or 3-4 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers)

1 pound beet greens, including slender stems

Salt and pepper to taste

To Make:

Wash the beet greens well and pat dry.  Cut the greens and stems (if using) into strips about 1/2 inch thick.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the ginger, chile, and garlic scapes (or garlic cloves) and stir fry for a minute.  Add the beet greens and stir a few times.  Put a lid on the pan, turn the heat down to low, and cook until the leaves are wilted.  Add the salt and stir a few times.  Add 4 tablespoons of water, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the greens are tender, about 30 minutes.

To Serve:

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve alongside meats or beans.  Serves 4 as a side dish.

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Filed under CSA Talk, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Carrot Ginger Slaw

Carrot Ginger Slaw

It’s slaw season people.  The weather in New England has been hovering around the 80 degree mark for a week or so now (give or take a few dips into the 60’s and 70’s) and I am ready for strawberries, fresh vegetables,  and cold salads. 

Shaved Carrots

We definitely have an affinity for cold salads in our house.   We devour heads of lettuce in record time, broccoli salad makes a regular appearance at our dinner table, and I never turn down a cold noodle dish.  However, the nice weather is young, which means that things like lettuce and broccoli are still in short supply.  Luckily, we still have carrots.  Carrots that have been sitting around since the winter, concentrating all of that delicious sugar.  These bright orange beauties make a lovely cold salad.  Punched up with some ginger, curry powder, and raisins, carrots are great for when you don’t have any other veggies around or for when you just want something a little different.

Simple list of ingredients

Ginger Carrot Slaw

Adapted generously from Alton Brown

Ingredients:

1/2 lb carrots (about 4 medium), washed and peeled

2 tbls mayonnaise

1/2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup raisins

pinch of celery seed (optional)

chives or finely chopped green onions for garnish

To Make:

Using a vegetable peeler, shave long strips* of the carrots into a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, curry powder, garlic, ginger, and celery seed.  Gently toss the carrot strips with the dressing until well coated.  Stir in the raisins and garnish with chives. 

To Serve:

Serve cold or room temperature.  The carrots are pretty hardy and can stand up to being dressed and refrigerated for a few hours without going soggy.  Serves 2-4 as a side dish.  Recipe is easily doubled (or more) for a larger crowd.

* Using the peeler to shave the carrot creates a lovely texture and look to the salad.  However, it is kind of a pain in the behind.  If you are pressed for time, grate the carrots using the largest holes on your box grater or food processor disk.  You could also julienne them using a mandoline if you are so inclined.

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Curried Ginger-Lime Chicken Salad

Curried Ginger-Lime Chicken Salad

We brined and roasted up a couple of chickens the other night… we like to do that sort of thing in big batches.  We ate part of one chicken for dinner, which left us a lot of extra chicken in the refrigerator.  Whenever we have left over chicken, I like to make this chicken salad.  It is simple and quick to put together and tastes really delicious.

Strips of celery

The mayonnaise-yogurt base is creamy and tangy and is spiked with grated fresh ginger, lime juice, and a hint of curry powder.  Throw in some minced garlic and shallot and then toss your previously roasted chicken.  Pile the whole thing on a tangle of thinly sliced strips of celery for crunch and you have a lovely light meal that would be perfect for lunch with friends, or for yourself.

Making the dressing

Curry Ginger-Lime Chicken Salad

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cooking for Two

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

2 tbls mayonnaise

2 tbls plain yogurt (whole milk is best, low fat is okay)

1 tbls freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 tsp curry powder

1 small clove of garlic, minced

1 small shallot, minced (substitute 1 tbls minced red onion if desired)

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

4 small stalks of celery

Salt and pepper to taste

Lime zest (optional)

To Make:

Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin strips of the celery stalks.  Place 2 shaved celery stalks on each plate and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, lime juice, curry powder, minced garlic and shallot, and grated ginger until well combined.  Add the cold shredded chicken and mix until the chicken is coated with the dressing.  Refrigerate for 1 hour to meld the flavors (if desired).  Taste and sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired.

To Serve:

Place half the chicken on top of the celery strips and garnish with lime zest.  Serves two for lunch but is easily doubled or tripled if you want to make a larger batch.  This also keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days.

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Filed under Dinner, Meat, Recipes

Stir-Fry of Napa Cabbage and Carrots

Stir-Fry of Napa Cabbage and Carrots

Are you feeling a little burnt out on all of the rich, buttery, and sugar-laden holiday food?  I definitely am.  After a few weeks of heavy eating, my body is starting to crave roasted lean meats and light preparations of vegetables. 

Shredded veggies

This recipe is a light and easy way to fix more of your winter vegetables, namely carrots and cabbage.  Both vegetables are shredded, stir-fried with garlic and fresh ginger, and tossed with a simple sauce of soy, toasted sesame oil, and a little chili paste for heat.  The whole thing comes together in just a few minutes and is a nice side to a roast chicken.

Adding the carrots

Stir-Fry of Napa Cabbage and Carrots

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

Ingredients:

1 tbls peanut oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbls fresh ginger, peeled and minced

8 oz carrots, peeled and shredded

1 medium-large head Napa Cabbage (about 2 lbs), rinsed and thinly sliced

2 tbls soy sauce

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1/2 tsp chili paste with garlic

2 tbls fresh cilantro, finely chopped

To Make:

Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat.  Add the peanut oil, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for a few minutes, but do not allow the garlic to brown.

Add the carrot and stir-fry for 3 minutes.

Add the cabbage and stir-fry for 3 minutes.

Add the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and chili paste and stir well to mix.

To Serve:

Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.  Serves 4-6 as a side dish

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Filed under Dinner, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian