December 31, 2010

Reflections in Food 2010


My Husband Troy is constantly giving me feedback about my food, and it is his that means the most to me, as I know that he truly wants the best for me personally and for my career. Often times he tells me I should write things down that work particularly well. I don't. I almost always do it different, which, although fun, may not be the best strategy when it come to ideas that really work. It would be nice to truly reproduce something. So perhaps in 2011, my vow should be to write down recipes that work. We will see how that goes.

Occasionally, when you cook as fervently as I do, and are constantly trying new things, a recipe doesn't turn out the way that you expect. Especially when like me, you tend to deviate.

During the time that I have had off over the holiday with my daughter Lucia, I have been going through our pantry, organizing and accessing ingredients. In 2009, I was a canning dervish. I canned my favorite Oven Roasted Tomatoes from our garden, raspberry jam, fig jam, peach jam and even deviated into sugarless jams (Troy is diabetic). Based on the favorable out come of the previous preserves, the last thing that I "put up" in 2009 was a Strawberry Balsamic Jam. My own idea using good Italian balsamico and strawberries from Lucero Farms. Right out of the pot, the jam was a viscous, delicious spoonful. I opened the last jar today and found that since canning this luscious flavor combination, it had morphed into a really really firm gel resembling more fruit leather and less something to spread onto your morning toast. Hmmmm.

What to do? I couldn't just toss it out....not this lovely combination. Could I roll it out between a couple of sheets of plastic wrap and add homemade fruit snacks to Lucia's lunch? Not really....we get ants too easily in Berkeley. So I decided to try making a cracker with a bit of the emulsion in the middle. Like a savory thumbprint cookie.

The results were terrific first time out of the gate! In he heat of the oven the jam melted and the results were beautiful. Lucia, my side kick and always willing tester, said that they were delicious and came back for seconds and thirds. I hope that you will like them too.

Happy New Year to all my friends and family. May the year 2011 bring us all closer to our dreams in the ardent comfort of each other's love and support.

Blue Cheese and Jam Biscuits

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cube of salted butter at room temperature
4 oz blue cheese
ground black pepper
your favorite preserves

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


Scape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a flat log. Roll the log out into a sheet of about 1/8 inch with a lightly floured rolling pin. I turned the dough a couple of times while rolling, to insure that it did not stick.

Cut 1 inch rounds with a biscuit cutter, and place onto the parchment lined baking sheet.I fit six down and four across on a
regular 1/2 sheet pan. Gently gather and re-roll bits and pieces until all your dough is cut into lovely little rounds.

Using a teaspoon, place a tiny dollop of jam into the center of each round. Be careful not to use too much, since you are not
making indentations to hold the jam. I would imagine that jelly would be too loose to use in this application, so to insure
the success of your biscuits, use a firm, fruit-filled jam or even a finely chopped chutney would work. Repeat
until all the little rounds are adorned.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the bottoms of the biscuits are golden brown and the jam is bubbly and melted.

Let cool on the parchment for 10 minutes, then remove each biscuit to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen biscuits.






1 comment:

THE PICKLED HUTCH said...

Lovely Mlisa! They sound wonderful. Hope to try one soon.
xoxo
Lisa Wilson