2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ sweet onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 medium jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced
1 (1.75-ounce) package powdered pectin
1 cup apple cider vinegar
5 cups sugar
1. Process bell pepper and onion in a food processor 1 minute or until pureed.
2. Combine red pepper puree, jalapeno chile, pectin, and vinegar in a large Dutch oven; bring to a rolling boil. Quickly stir in sugar, and boil 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
3. Quickly pour hot jelly into hot sterilized jars, filling to ¼ inch from top; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process in boiling-water bath 10 minutes. Makes 6 half-pints.
Recipe adapted from DamGood Sweet (Tauton, 2009) by David Suas and Raquel Pelzel.
4 of 8Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Salmon and Brie Breakfast Strata
You’ll want to jump on the breakfast-for-dinner bandwagon after sampling this divine meeting of gooey baked brie, toasted bread, eggs, and hot smoked salmon. What’s the difference between cold- and hot-smoked salmon, you say? Everyone’s favorite bagel mate has a completely different texture and is served in wispy, paper-thin slices. Hot smoked salmon (or kippered salmon), on the other hand, has a more intense smokiness, is served in bite-sized chunks, and is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Meaning: find some today.
Olive oil cooking spray
½ teaspoon sea salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and halved
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and halved
1 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1½ cups ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red chile pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons bottled balsamic glaze
Garnish: fresh basil
1. Remove both ends of eggplant; slice eggplant lengthwise into 8 slices. Place eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat eggplant with cooking spray; sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; brush with balsamic vinegar, and set aside to cool.
2. Place bell peppers, cut side down, and zucchini on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until peppers begin to blister. Place peppers in a large zip-top bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove peel from peppers; cut pepper pieces in half lengthwise.
3. Combine ricotta and next 5 ingredients in a bowl. Stir in remaining ¼ teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
4. Line an 8- x 4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing edges to overhang. Gently press 3 eggplant slices crosswise into loaf pan, balsamic side up, allowing top of slices to be even with pan. Press 1 slice up against sides of each end of loaf pan, allowing top of slice to be even with pan.
5. Spread one-fourth ricotta mixture over eggplant; top with yellow pepper slices. Spread one-fourth ricotta mixture over yellow peppers. Repeat procedure with red bell pepper, one-fourth ricotta mixture, zucchini slices, and remaining ricotta mixture. Top with remaining 2 slices eggplant, balsamic side down. Cover with plastic wrap, and place a weight on plastic wrap. (We used 3 small soup cans.) Chill 8 hours or overnight.
6. Uncover and invert loaf onto a cutting board; carefully remove plastic wrap. Use paper towels to blot liquid, if necessary. Cut into 8 slices, and place on serving plates. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, and garnish, if desired. Makes 8 servings.
Reprinted with permission from Lazy Days and Beach Blankets (Ryland Peters & Small, 2009).
6 of 8Photographer Becky Luigart-Stayner
Try this syrup over fresh fruit or in iced tea, lemonade, or a bourbon cocktail. It’s not cheating to pick up some prepared food to add to your menu―just put it in a pretty bowl and garnish with fresh herbs or sliced fruit.
Casseroles are great, because they can be made ahead and don’t require a lot of babysitting―just an occasional peek in the oven. Save this Pecan Streusel recipe and use as a topping for quick breads, such as banana break or muffins.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
1. Beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in sugar 1 minute or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition to make a thick, creamy batter. Beat in almond extract.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add about one-third flour mixture to butter mixture, and beat until incorporated. Add a little milk, and beat again. Repeat until all of the flour mixture and milk have been added.
3. Pour batter into a greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan, tapping pan to settle batter and smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove pan to a wire rack, and let cool at least 30 minutes. Run a knife along inside of pan; gently turn cake out into 1 hand, and place on a cake plate. Serve with Kumquat Syrup. Makes 8 servings.
Bring 2 cups water and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until a light syrup forms. Reduce heat to medium, and add ¾ pound fresh kumquats, sliced and seeds removed. Simmer 10 minutes or until skins are translucent. Remove pan from heat, and let cool. Cover and chill until ready to use; bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 2 cups.
Reprinted with permission from Gather: Memorable Menus for Entertaining Throughout the Seasons (Sasquatch Books, 2009)