Monthly Archives: July 2013

Stuffed Chard Rolls

My career change (which I’ll elaborate more on in a future post) has afforded me two luxuries: less stress and more time!  Clearly a win-win situation, which makes me a very happy girl!  This new-found freedom if my day-to-day work-life has given me the delight of once again stepping back into the garden, albeit a smaller one, but a glorious garden none the less!

In my garden I have a small row of rainbow chard, 6 plants in all.  Knowing they are abundant producers I contemplated cutting back and only planting half of them; however, being someone who is always up for a challenge, especially one involving the kitchen, I decided to go for it!  So far I’ve received a thumbs up regarding my sautéed chard and I know this cheesy bread is sure to please his picky pallet.  Unfortunately, neither of the former foods happen to be meal worthy.  So, I started spinning my foodie wheels  to come up with something that can stand on its own.  That is when I started playing around with the idea of stuffed chard rolls! stuffed chard rolls Stuffed Chard Rolls – yields approximately 14 rolls

3/4 cup cooked lentils – I used brown

3/4 cup cooked rice – I used black Thai rice

one large bunch of chard leaves, washed with stems cut off at base of the leaf

1 leek, (white part only) chopped

1/3 cup minced garlic scapes

8 oz sour cream

2 tsp pureed salt preserved lemons – zest and juice of 1/2 lemon can be substituted

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

olive oil

Greek yogurt – optional

Cook rice and lentils using a 2/1 ratio of water to rice/lentils.  Depending on what varieties you select this can take anywhere from 20 – 45 minutes.  Once they have finished cooking set aside.  Place a large saute pan over med heat and add a generous drizzle of olive oil.  Cook scapes and leeks until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.  Add rice, lentils, and sour cream; mix well.  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic power, add pureed lemon and feta cheese, stir well to combine. Blanch chard leaves 3 or 4 at a time in boiling water for approximately a minute, remove from water and lay flat.  If the center rib is too thick and does not bend without tearing the leaf, then cut it out. chard leaf

chard leaf cut Once the rib has been removed gently overlap the two sides. chard leaf overlap Place several tablespoons of filling at the base of the leaf.  Tightly roll the leaf around the filling while tucking the sides in. chard leaf filling Place rolls into a baking dish seam side down and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F. chard leaf rolled  Stuffed chard rolls can be enjoyed hot or cold and are delicious when paired with a side of Greek yogurt.  I can see myself making a version of these with ground beef and a cheesy red sauce; this will definitely make my carnivore a very happy boy! stuffed chard rolls 3 Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge.

4 Comments

Filed under Vegetarian

A Case of the Red, White, and BLUES

And by blues, I mean blueberries!  Around this time each year I am reminded just how much I love those tiny indigo berries!  Not only do they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, but they are also anti-inflammatory, which is a key driver of all chronic diseases!

blueberries

Everyone knows that fresh is best and it’s a no-brainer that blueberries consumed raw is when they best deliver their peak power-house performance!  Wanting to save them to be enjoyed throughout the year I started spinning my preservation wheels and came up with two very delicious recipes!  If you’re looking for something quick and dirty, then the compote recipe is the one for you.  If you have the luxury of time and can commit to some babysitting, then this no pectin jam is the way to go!  These recipes are interchangeable, so if you prefer a blueberry lemon jam or a blueberry vanilla compote then just swap out the cooking times!

blueberry compote

Blueberry Lemon Compote – yields 9 half-pints

11 cups of blueberries

Grated zest and juice of one lemon

1/3 cup honey

1 cup sugar

In a large pot combine blueberries, zest, juice, sugar, and honey over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce to low heat and simmer for 25 minutes.  Ladle compote into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove canner from heat, wait 5 minutes and then remove jars and allow seals to set for 12-24 hours.

Blueberry Vanilla Jam – yields 4 half-pints

11 cups of blueberries

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/3 cup honey

1 cup sugar

1 Madagascar vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

In a large pot combine blueberries, juice, sugar, honey, vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce to low heat and simmer for 45 minutes; skim off any foam that develops.  Ladle jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove canner from heat, wait 5 minutes and then remove jars and allow seals to set for 12-24 hours.

After canning both recipes I still had quite a few blueberries left over.  Seeing as how my freezer is full of strawberries I decided to can the remaining berries in a light simple syrup.

Blueberries in Light Syrup

Blueberries

1 cup of sugar for every 4 cups of water

Dissolve sugar in water over medium heat.  Fill hot pint jars with blueberries and fill with sugar-water leaving 1/2″ headspace.  Wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove canner from heat, wait 5 minutes and then remove jars and allow seals to set for 12-24 hours.

These jars of berries will really come in handy when it’s cold outside and I want to heat things up with a bit of pie and cobbler making!

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge.

1 Comment

Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Jam & Jelly, Spices & Sauces

Strawberry Fields Part 2: Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

When looking at canning recipes gathering ideas for my next adventure, I try to avoid recipes that contain obnoxious amounts of refined sugar. Every once in a while I will make an exception and give in to my sweet tooth; folks, this is definitely one of those times!

Since the finished product will be diluted (by more than half) with water, I’m able to rationalize the needed 6 cups of evil white sugar. After cracking open my first jar and conducting the initial taste-test, I can honestly say this is one recipe I will make again! I can see myself reliving my bartender days and whipping up a few summer cocktails! I love when one little jar holds so many delicious possibilities!

strawberry lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate – yields 7 pints

6 cups hulled strawberries

4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 cups granulated sugar

Using a food processor or blender, purée strawberries until smooth. Transfer to a large stainless steel pot, add lemon juice and sugar, stir to combine. Heat mixture to 190°F over medium-high heat stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Remove pot from heat and skim off any foam that has developed.

Ladle concentrate into hot pint jars, wipe rims and add two-piece adjustable lids. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Remove canner from heat, wait 5 minutes and then remove jars, allowing them to cool for 12-24 hours.

To reconstitute, mix one part concentrate with one part water, adjust to your own personal taste. I use a 1:1.5 water ratio. I’m thinking frozen margaritas or vodka and seltzer water would be the perfect ending to a hot summer day!

PDFBadge

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe courtesy of Ball’s Complete Book of Home Preserving.

2 Comments

Filed under Beverages, Boiling-Water Bath Canning