Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Preservation Link Roundup 2/24/10

February's Can Jam is over and Tigress in a Pickle has the complete roundup (Can Jam February Round Up: Carrot). Quite an impressive list! A must-read.

Ideas in Food has discovered the value of presoaking beans and nuts before cooking in a pressure cooker (Just Add Water). As usual, they use this method to add flavor as well:
Our lives have now changed. The simple principle of hydrating the ingredients before cooking them has shaved three quarters of the time off of cooking. It also allows us to impart a flavor into the ingredients: for instance pine nuts in rosemary tea and almonds in smoked water.
I wonder what sort of flavors would work well with beans?

Eat in OC visits and reviews breakfast at a traditional German restaurant in Anaheim, Jagerhaus (Jagerhaus - Anaheim). I'm disappointed that they didn't try the German omelettes on the menu, which feature either Polish Sausage or Kielbasa, onions and sauerkraut. Yes, sauerkraut in an omelette. Give it a try. Bonus, they serve a housemade applesauce/butter with their toast.

Nina Corbett has posted her February Can Jam entry (Vietnamese Pickled Carrots and Daikon). She explains why do chua works so well in bánh mì:
Often scattered on bahn mi, Vietnams answer to the hoagie, carrot daikon pickles are a simple and delicious counterpoint to the sandwiches rich ingredients, pate, roast pork and yes, mayo. Don’t forget, Vietnam was long occupied by the French (hence the pate and mayo). Do Chua adds a complex flavor and crunch to almost anything. Serve alongside rich meats or in a Vietnamese lettuce taco, I like grilled shrimp or pork, with piles of fresh mint and cilantro. And of course tuck them into some crazy PO BOY of your own design.
The acidity and piquancy of pickles often matches well with fat, cutting through it for a complex, balanced flavor.

More, Please, a blog from one of the writers for the LA Weekly's Squid Ink, pointed something out last week that we food preservers should remember - you don't always have to make full recipes of jam (Jam for Jam's Sake - Blueberry Jam).
Here in SoCal, we get blueberries at the markets year round. And I like blueberry jam, but I’m not so crazy for it that I want or need jars of it sitting around. So I made a nice small batch out of one carton of berries. Just enough for me to enjoy in the coming month or so on some toast as I head out the door. It’s a recipe that can be adapted with small changes for almost any kind of fruit – strawberries, oranges, peaches, raspberries, etc. As you make more jam, like with any cooking skill, you develop a better sense of what each fruit needs more or less of – more pectin for some berries, less for other fruits, more sugar in one to balance the acid, less in another to let the fruit really shine. You’ll get the hang of it.
Re-Nest provides a recipe for quick pack dill pickles (How to Pickle Anything). The problem is that the instructions are safe, but a bit overkill. You don't have to sterilize jars if the processing time is 10 minutes or more. There is no mention of using a plastic or wooden stick to remove air bubbles. The processing time they use is five minutes longer than is necessary for quarts, and is twice as long as is necessary for the pint jars they also recommend. Overlong processing of pickles will harm their texture.

It is good to see canning recipes get press, but I fear that between the extra work (sterilizing jars) and quality-reducing overlong processing times may turn off those who start with these recipes.

Little Homestead in the City has a great photo-filled post of making three-citrus marmalade with a curious goat (Putting Up). Bonus, they also show off their homemade ginger beer.

The Kitchn highlights one of my favorite greens, the Napa Cabbage (Seasonal Spotlight: Napa Cabbage). I actually had a Napa Cabbage salad as part of my dinner last night. I find it has a milder/sweeter taste than other cabbages.

Napa Cabbage is, of course, the classic kimchee ingredient, but try it in sauerkraut and quick pickles of all sorts.

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