Zucchini Fritters

Serving these with sriracha sauce adds a tasty twist. We think the leftovers are as good (maybe better) cold the next day.

ZUCCHINI Fritters
2 cups zucchini, grated
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 T cornstarch
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T finely chopped onion
1 large egg, beaten
black pepper, to taste
2 T olive oil

Place grated zucchini in a colander over the sink. Add salt and toss to combine; let sit for 30 minutes to drain. Then Press in paper towels to remove more moisture.

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, flour, Parmesan, garlic and egg; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Scoop tablespoons of batter for each fritter and cook until the underside is nicely golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side, about 1-2 minutes longer. Makes 6-8 fritters. Serve immediately with sriracha sauce.

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Pickled Watermelon Salad

PICKLED WATERMELON SALAD

Brine:
3 1/2 c. water
2/3 c. sugar
1 T salt
1 c. cider vinegar
2 T fresh dill weed chopped
½ tsp minced garlic
2 dashes cayenne
1 tsp. black peppercorns
2 tsp mustard seeds

1 small round watermelon, rind removed, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 16 cups)

Garnish: Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley

Combine brine ingredients: water, sugar, salt, vinegar, dill, garlic, cayenne, peppercorns and mustard seeds, in small saucepan and simmer 30 minutes. Strain and cool.

Clean and cut watermelon. Place in a 1-gallon jar (or use two, 2-qt canning jars). Pour strained brine over watermelon to cover, and chill for about an hour. Drain and serve topped with fresh chopped, flat leaf parsley (In our family, we like cilantro.) Makes 1 gallon of salad.

Variation: Mix in chunks of fresh pineapple

Aronia Berry Jelly

On the off-chance your jelly doesn’t fully set; no problem. You’ll have pancake syrup.
Aronia berry, also called black chokeberry, makes great jelly. here’s how to do it.

Ingredients:
3-1/2 cups chokeberry juice from fresh picked fruit
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 oz. or 1 package of pectin (1/4 c. dry powdered)
6 cups sugar

Directions:
Wash fruit, remove stems and sticks and cover with water, simmer 15 minutes. Strain the juice.

Powdered pectin method: Pour measured amount into a 6-8 quart non-reactive kettle such as enamel or stainless steel. Add lemon juice, pectin and stir. Bring to a boil, add sugar, stir, and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil exactly two minutes. Skim and pour into clean, hot jars. Seal and store refrigerated (or process in a water bath for 10-minutes and then store in a cool dry place).

If using liquid pectin, substitute a 3 oz. pouch instead of the 2 oz. pkg. of powdered pectin. Also if using liquid pectin, add it to the pot only after the juice and sugar mixture comes to a full boil. Then boil for 2 minutes, put into jars, and process.

Do not make more than a double batch. It may take a day or two to fully set up. Yields: 4 pints.

Rhubarb Orange Jam

This recipe from Ball Blue Book is a family favorite in our house.

RHUBARB ORANGE JAM
(From Ball Blue Book of Preserving)
Yield: 7 half-pints

2 ½ lbs. rhubarb, diced
2 oranges
1 pkg powdered pectin (1.75 oz.)
6 cups sugar

Squeeze juice from oranges. Measure juice, adding water if needed, to make 1 cup; set aside. Remove white pith from one-half of orange peel. Cut peel into slivers.

Combine orange peel, orange juice, and rhubarb in a large saucepot. Simmer covered about 3 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender. Stir in powdered pectin. Bring to a boil. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved.

Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.

Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch head space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10-minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Sweet Dill Pickle Relish

Sweet Dill Pickle Relish
Process in water bath or simply refrigerate small batches.

(Makes 4 pints)

4 pounds large cucumbers
1 large onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. pickling salt (or Kosher)
3 cups apple cider vinegar
¾ c. sugar
2 tsp. dill seeds or 1 T dill sprigs chopped
2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 tsp. celery seeds
½ tsp. turmeric

Clean and sterilize 4 or 5 pint canning jars and lids (8 or 9 if doubling recipe).

Using a peeler, remove most of the cucumber skin, leaving some strips (they will add flecks of color to the relish). Store-bought cucumbers have a wax coating and could be a little tough, this is the reason to remove most of it. Then halve the cucumbers lengthwise and using your knife or a spoon, remove the seeds. Rough chop the cucumbers.

Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Using a food processor, process the cucumbers, onions and garlic to a fine dice. Don’t over process, pulse! Unsure? Use a knife and finely chop everything.

Place the cucumber mixture in a stainless steel or large glass mixing bowl and mix in the salt. Let sit 1.5 to 2 hours to draw out water.

Drain the cucumber mixture, pressing or squeezing (with cheesecloth) to press out the excess moisture.

In a medium pot, add vinegar, sugar, dill, mustard seeds, celery seed and turmeric. Stir to dissolve sugar, add the cucumber mixture, and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare your water bath and have it simmering or on a low boil.

Fill jars using a slotted spoon, adding back only enough liquid to cover. Leave 1-inch in necks. Add the lids and process 10-15 minutes. Remove from stove, cool, and tighten lids.

Note: 7 jars process better, so If you double this batch, and have 8 jars, simply put the 8th jar in the refrigerator unprocessed to use right away. It will keep that way for weeks.

Bread Stuffing for the Holidays

bread stuffing
Do you call it stuffing or dressing?

Whether you call it dressing or stuffing, this is the basic recipe you can start with.

9 cups bread cubes (use a combination of white and wheat)
1½ cups chopped celery
¾ cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
¾ cup butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground sage
½ teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 egg, beaten

In a medium skillet, sauté celery, onion and mushrooms in butter. Add salt, sage, thyme, poultry seasoning and pepper.

In a large bowl Toss bread cubes with sautéed vegetables/seasonings until bread is well coated. Mix the egg with the chicken broth to moisten and stir into bread cube mixture. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

What I like about this recipe, is the bread cubes stay light and fluffy. This recipe works well baked on the side and also made ahead and microwave-warmed when you get to grandma’s house. Oh wait, I AM Grandma 😀

VEGETARIAN Version: substitute about 2/3 cup olive oil for the butter and vegetable broth for chicken broth. When I do this I usually use rosemary as the herb, but sage is okay too.

Pineapple, Cucumber and Strawberry Salad

 

Pineapple salad
Pineapple, Cucumber and Strawberry Salad

1 pineapple, peeled and chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced or quartered
2 limes, zested and juiced
1/2 cup cilantro (or parsley), roughly chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper1. Combine all ingredients and toss lightly to distribute the lime juice and zest evenly.

  1. Combine all ingredients and toss lightly to distribute the lime juice and zest evenly.

2. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

3. Serve immediately or keep chilled until ready to serve.