|GOOD FOOD NEWS
Volume 6 Number 50 December 16th, 2014
FIELD NOTES from UCCE Master Gardeners of Amador County
Garden Tips for December:
- · Continue to rake up leaves for composting and to control pests and diseases.
- · Clean up garden beds.
- · Keep an eye on the weather report, protect frost-tender plants when the temperature falls below 32 degrees.
- · Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while dormant.
- · Clean up debris around fruit trees to prevent disease.
- · Mulch, water, and cover tender plants to protect from frost. Be sure to remove coverings during the day.
- · The birds stay in Northern California through the winter. Since flowers are scarce in most gardens now, it’s important to keep your feeder filled; clean and refill it every few days.
Baked Persimmon Crisp
· 5 persimmons
· 3 tablespoons butter
· 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 1-1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
· 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
· 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Slice the top of the fruit and using a spoon or a melon scooper, scoop out some of the flesh creating a hole.
Finely chop the scooped flesh and put it in a bowl. To the same bowl, add butter, flour, brown sugar, breadcrumbs, and cinnamon and give it a mix.
Fill the fruit cavity with the mixture.
Bake it at 375F for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the top looks slight golden brown.
Serve it with vanilla yogurt or ice cream of your choice.
Pan Seared Fresh Parsley
Pan searing involves sealing the natural juices of meat, poultry or seafood with an outer crust that is formed by frying both sides of the item in heated oil or butter in a skillet for a short time. It isn't a cooking method well-suited to delicate vegetables or herbs such as fresh parsley. However, pan-fried parsley may be used as a traditional garnish or served as a side dish for roasted fish in French cooking. Fried parsley can also be served as an unusual appetizer.
Separate a bunch of curly-leaf parsley into sprigs that are roughly the same size and length. Use a knife to trim the stems, leaving only the branches and leaves intact. Rinse the parsley thoroughly under cool running water, shake to remove excess water and gently pat dry with paper towels.
Prepare a batter for the parsley sprigs. Combine all-purpose flour with white wine in a medium-sized bowl for a thin batter, or whisk flour with an egg, milk, salt and pepper for a thicker batter.
Heat about 4 cups of olive or canola oil in a large skillet until a pinch of flour dropped into the pan sizzles. Lower the heat to medium. Dip each sprig of parsley into the batter and fry the dipped sprig in the oil for no more than a minute, or until the parsley turns a light golden brown. Remove promptly with tongs and drain on paper towels. Serve as soon as possible.
Spicy Lemon Chutney
· 10 to 12 lemons (about 3 lbs.), plus 2 or 3 more for juice (see below)
· 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 cups brown sugar
· 6 garlic cloves, minced
· 1/2 cup dried currants
· 1/2 cup lemon juice
· 1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 to 2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed
· 1/2 tsp. cayenne
· 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
· 4 half-pint (8 oz.) jars and lids
Using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, remove zest from lemons. Be careful to remove only the zest (the thin outer yellow skin) and not any of the white pith beneath. Finely chop zest and put in a large bowl.
Cut off and discard the white pith. Finely chop lemon flesh, discarding any seeds, and add to bowl with zest. Add salt, stir to combine, and let sit at room temperature overnight.
Put salted chopped lemons in a large pot. Add sugar, garlic, currants, lemon juice, cider vinegar, ginger, coriander, cayenne, and pepper flakes. Stir to combine over medium heat. Cook until mixture thickens, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add jars and lids and turn off heat.
When chutney is thick, remove jars and lids from their hot water bath and dry. (Bring pot of water back to a boil.) Fill jars with chutney. Using a wide-mouth funnel makes filling the jars much easier. If you don't have one, however, just spoon chutney into jars and clean edges with a damp paper towels when jars are full. Firmly screw on lids.
Put jars back in pot of boiling water (jars should be covered by at least 2 inches of water). Boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let cool. Store at room temperature for at least 6 weeks and up to 6 months before eating to let flavors blend. Keep opened jars chilled. Makes 4 jars (8 oz. each) chutney.