This bright, jewel-toned pepper preserve offers the sweet Texas heat that pairs so well with creamy cheese.
- 2 cups whole fresh cranberries
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh jalapeño pepper (seeds and ribs removed according to your heat tolerance)
- 4 cups white distilled vinegar
- 6 teaspoons calcium water (packaged with Pomona’s Universal Pectin, see cook’s tip)
- 5 teaspoons pectin
- 6 cups white or organic cane sugar, divided use
- Pulse cranberries and jalapeño pieces in a food processor until finely chopped, taking care to scrape down any larger pieces from time to time so pieces are fairly uniform in size.
- Place cranberry mixture into a large pot. Add white vinegar and calcium water. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer on low 5–10 minutes until mixture softens.
- In a separate bowl, whisk pectin into ½ cup sugar until well incorporated. Return cranberry mixture to a boil and slowly whisk pectin mixture into pot, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Bring back to a boil and whisk in remaining sugar, again bringing back to a boil.
- Check the set of the jelly by placing a teaspoonful onto a plate and placing in freezer for a few minutes; when nudged, jelly should wrinkle but not be too firm.
- Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary. It should taste hot, but the heat will be toned down by pairing with other foods. Keeps for many months when chilled or canned according to U.S. Department of Agriculture instructions.
Makes 8–10 8-ounce jars
Pomona’s Universal Pectin (pomonapectin.com) is a natural product derived from citrus. The package includes a packet of monocalcium phosphate powder and instructions for using it to make calcium water.
Chocolate butter is basically just a compound butter ― melted chocolate mixed into room temperature butter. In other words, it’s just butter with a hint of another flavor.
Spreading chocolate butter on your toast is not like eating Nutella. The chocolate flavor is subtle, the butter still the star. But, it’s just the little push we need to make our morning toast feel a little bit special. Everyone should make some and keep their fridge stocked with the good stuff at all times. Especially because it’s ridiculously easy to make.
- 1 stick of salted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (get the good stuff) or in chips
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave until smooth. Let it cool to room temperature.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter for a minute, until it’s soft and smooth. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and mix until totally incorporated.
- Eat. On toast in place of regular butter. On pancakes. On French toast. On whatever you can think of.
Ginger root is well-known as a mainstay ingredient in many Asian cuisines, but there’s so much more to know and love about it! This knobby root has been used for centuries to treat common ailments, and it’s still a popular treatment for digestive issues today. I don’t make a lot of Asian dishes at home, so I was curious if there were other ways to take advantage of the benefits and flavor of ginger.
For some people, consuming ginger is as simple as cutting off a small chunk of the root and chewing on it – raw! But for many of us, raw ginger is just too intense! But don’t despair, because there’s a simple way to turn that overwhelming raw ginger root into pieces of sweet and spicy chewy goodness. Just whip up a batch of homemade candied ginger!
Candied ginger is very versatile, and can be used for a lot more than just taming tummy troubles. (Though it is great for that too! It’s a very popular road trip snack for people who tend to get car sick.) Chopped candied ginger can be folded into all sorts of baked goods, like muffins, brownies, and cakes, to add a warm and spicy flavor. Here’s how to make your own candied ginger at home.
- 1 lb. fresh ginger root
- 5 cups water
- 1 lb. granulated sugar (approximately)
- Cooling rack
- Parchment paper
- Sheet pan
- Kitchen scale
- Line your sheet pan with parchment paper, then spray your cooling rack with non-stick spray and set the cooling rack on the sheet pan.
- Peel the ginger and slice it into 1/8-inch slices using a mandolin or a sharp knife.
- Place the ginger into a saucepan with 5 cups of water, place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Cover the saucepan and cook the ginger for 35 minutes, or until the ginger is tender.
- Transfer the ginger to a colander to drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the ginger-infused water.
- Weigh the drained ginger using your kitchen scale, then measure out the same amount of weight in granulated sugar. Return the ginger to your saucepan, along with the sugar you measured out and the 1/4 cup of ginger water.
- Set the saucepan over medium-high heat again, and bring it to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sugar syrup has almost evaporated, and the sugar begins to recrystallize (about 20 minutes or so.)
- Transfer the ginger immediately to your cooling rack, and spread it out into individual pieces using a spatula or pair of tongs.
- Once the pieces are completely cool, store your candied ginger in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- As for the sugar that has dropped onto the sheet pan, don’t toss it out! Use that ginger-y sugar as a topping for ginger snap cookies, ice cream, or even to sweeten your morning cup of coffee. Yum! Just peel the dried sugar pieces off of the parchment paper, give them a whirl in food processor, and store in an airtight container.
Quick! An alchemical reaction that can transform simple kitchen staples into sophisticated accoutrements is at your fingertips. Bury an egg yolk in a mound of salt and sugar, wait a while, and voila. The wobbly sphere of fat transforms into a golden disc the consistency of parmesan and just as satisfying in its complexity.
Salt-cured egg yolks from Harold Moore of Manhattan’s Commerce restaurant are a genius stand-in for bottarga. Try grating them over pastas and salads.
- 3 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 2 1⁄2 ecups kosher salt
- 12 egg yolks
- Stir sugar and kosher salt in a bowl; spread half in a baking dish.
- Lay yolks in dish; gently pack remaining sugar mixture over the top.
- Cover with plastic wrap; chill 1 week.
- Transfer yolks to a baking sheet fitted with a cheesecloth-covered rack.
- Cover with another layer of cheesecloth; set in a ventilated spot until dry and firm, 2–3 weeks.
- Use a paring knife to peel off the crust. Grate using a Microplane.
- Store at room temperature up to 1 month.
This savory spread can go casual on crackers, or dress up for a party on crisp baguette toasts. It’s also great at breakfast on a bagel.
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 pound bacon, cooked crisp and crumpled
- 3 scallions, green and white parts chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, bacon, scallions, parsley, salt, and pepper together in a spacious bowl. Mix well.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight to develop the flavors.
- Remove from the refrigerator 45 minutes before serving.
- Adjust the seasonings as needed; serve slathered on slices of toasted baguette, bagels, or crackers.