Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Peach Honey Cardamom Butter

The title tells you pretty much everything that goes into this fruit butter. Fruit butters are like jams and jellies in that they have fruit and sugar. However, butters are more intense, less sweet and beautifully spreadable. In the classic method, fruit is cooked down to a paste and then lightly sweetened. I use a crock and let the slow heat and time do the work of condensing the fruit. If you've never tried making fruit butter before, it's not difficult, it just takes patience and a little practice to get the consistency where you like it. I make it in the crockpot. It's a nice weekend project that you don't have to spend a lot of time with, just an occasional stir. Maybe a little sampling to check done-ness.

Peach Honey Cardamom Butter
8-12 ripe peaches 
1 packet Sure Gel Fruit pectin
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 -1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Wash and roughly cut your peaches. Place in the crock with 1 cup of sugar  and the fruit pectin. Stir and heat on low. Leave the lid offset or propped open with a wooden spoon so the moisture can escape. Stir every couple of hours. I cooked on low about 4 hours. Added a cup of sugar, and cooked on high for 2 hours, stirring every half hour to keep the edges from getting too hot. Then I added the final cup of sugar, the honey, and cardamom and let it cook on low for about 2 hours. When it reaches the desired consistency*, allow the butter to cool.

I let the butter cool a bit and placed in jars. I let the jars cool and put them in the refrigerator for immediate eating. It made about 3 pints. You could can it in sterilized jars with a 15 minute water bath. But as good as this is, the refrigerated butter was just fine. It was gone in a few days and we shared it with family. It tastes great on toast, English muffins, yogurt, and oatmeal.

*To test consistency of any jam or fruit butter, place a few saucers in the fridge. You can place a spoonful of fruit on the saucer and it will cool more quickly so you can see if you need to cook longer or if it's 'just right' as is.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Beef Sirloin Stir Fry

© Marcy Can Cook
1 carrot, julienned
1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 8oz package of mushrooms, sliced
olive oil for frying
Green onion, chopped
Red pepper flakes, optional

Sauce:
1/2 c. soy sauce
3 T. rice wine vinegar

1/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. Cornstarch
2 T. Minced Fresh Ginger

1 clove garlic, smashed
a few drops of red chili oil

Rice:
1 c. jasmine rice
2 c. water
1 T. chicken bouillon, granular

Prep vegetables first. Cut steak into thin strips with a super sharp knife. 

In a 4 qt. pot, combine rice, water and bouillon. Bring just to a boil. Reduce heat and cover pot. Cook 15 minutes on low heat. Then remove from heat and allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the food. 

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. 

Heat olive oil one medium heat in a large skillet, add beef and cook until done. Remove to a large bowl and cover with combined sauce, stir well to coat. Add onion, peppers, saute for a minute or two. Add a little water (2 T.) and add all the vegetables to the skillet. Cover skillet and allow to steam for 3-4 minutes until broccoli and zucchini are slightly soft. Add the beef back to the skillet along with the sauce it's been sitting in. Stir beef in with vegetables and cook 2-3 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. 

Sprinkle with chopped green onion and red pepper flakes, if desired.