I have always been a fan of citrus fruit.
And there are limited ways to truly enjoy the flavors of lemon and lime.
I have preserved them both with spectacular results but this time I was looking for something sweet. Curd immediately came to mind.
It is quick and easy to make and can be enjoyed a number of ways. In tarts, spread between layers of cake, as a filling for Macarons or even with a spoon straight from the jar!
After I made the curd I jarred and processed it like I would with a jam or a jelly. This is completely optional. I wanted to be able to store it long term without needing refrigeration.
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2/3 cup of lemon juice
8 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of lime zest
Using warm water and a tiny squirt of soap wash your limes and rinse very well. Using a microplane or the fine side of a box grater remove the zest from the limes.
You will have more then the 2 tablespoons of zest required for the recipe. Toss the leftovers into some salt to use for rimming glasses for lime margaritas!
Now you can juice the limes. It is important to remove the zest while the limes are still whole. It becomes quite difficult to zest them once they are cut and juiced.
Place a small pot half full with water on the stove on medium high heat. Bring to a simmer. Place the juice, eggs and sugar in a stainless steel bowl and whisk until combined. Place the bowl on top of the simmering pot. Cook, stirring constantly until it becomes thick, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lime zest and stir well.
Ladle the hot curd into hot sterilized jars. Add the lids and screw bands until finger tight.
Place the jars into a hot water bath and process for 5 minutes.
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Have you ever come across a technique that you have been intrigued by and been surprised that it is something you can easily do at home? I had heard many times how easy it is to make your own ricotta cheese and knew I had to give it a try.
They were not kidding when they used to term simple. The hardest part was finding a store that carried the cheese cloth used to drain the liquid off.
It take less then 10 minutes cook time and 10 minutes drain time and you have a cup and a half of the freshest ricotta cheese available!
The ingredients are minimal and you only need a few tools for the job. Cheese cloth is needed to drain the cheese and a cooking thermometer is very helpful though you can still make it without the thermometer. You can usually find the glass candy thermometers in the gadget section of your grocery store for around $5.00.
And don’t be surprised if you eat at least half of your first batch over the sink while taste testing it.
4 cups of whole milk (3%)
1 cup of buttermilk
1/3 cup of whipping cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt to taste
In a large pot bring the milk, cream and lemon juice to a simmer over medium high heat. Allow to come to a temperature of 185 degrees. This will take less then 10 minutes.
Stir occasionally. If you do not have a thermometer just watch the milks and when the curds separate from the whey it is ready to come off the burner.
Line a fine meshed colander with two layers of cheesecloth.
Slowly pour the curd into the colander to drain. Once the liquid has drained off bundle up the cheese cloth and give it a bit of a squeeze. Remove the cheese to a bowl and lightly salt.
Depending on what you plan on using your ricotta for you could add some extra flavor but adding herbs or garlic. But it is just fantastic the way it is and I have found myself adding it to all sorts of dishes and even enjoying it just by itself, which I have never ever done with store bought ricotta.
Try it once and you’ll be hooked. Seriously good stuff!
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I handle 1000′s of pounds of fresh produce every week. It is a food lovers dream and I am loving my job. It has inspired my use of fresh fruits and vegetables even more then I thought possible.
My greatest love lately has been kale and shallots. Wanting to use them both in a different way my mind went to pizza. But not a heavy crust pizza, I was looking for something light and crispy with a touch of elegance. Phyllo pastry was an obvious choice.
I have used it in many sweet applications so it was looking forward to using it in a savory recipe.
This is a sauce less recipe where the focus is on the Parmigiano-Reggiano and of course the vegetables.
1 package of phyllo dough
1/2 cup of melted butter.
5 shallots finely sliced
roma tomatos sliced
a bunch of kale chopped fine
yellow pepper slice
Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
Spray the surface of a cookie sheet with non stick spray.
Place two sheets of phyllo dough on the cookie sheet.
Lightly brush the entire surface with butter. Sprinkle the surface with kale and reggiano, using as much or as little as you would like.
Repeat buttering each layer and adding kale and reggiano as you go along until you have a stack of about 16 sheets thick.
Place the tomatos, shallots, pepper, remaining kale, parmigiano reggiano and mozzarella across the top. It is a delicate crust to do not over load it too much. Or if you do plan on eating it with a fork! Which is perfectly alright!
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are nicely browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting.
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