GIFTS COOKS LOVE
GIFTS COOKS LOVE
Recipes for Giving
by Diane Morgan, Sur la Table
September 28, 2010
The best edible gifts are always the handmade, homemade ones—the ones that someone lovingly assembled with you in mind. This year, surprise your friends and family with culinary creations from homemade biscotti to Blackberry Merlot Jelly. GIFTS COOKS LOVE will teach you to preserve fruit, cure fish, smoke meat, dry mushrooms, all in the name of a lovely and delectable homemade treat. When time is of the essence, there are super simple gifts that can be created without any cooking! Diane Morgan’s inventive offerings include not only the recipes, but giving tips, gift-card ideas, and packaging suggestions. A Retro Popcorn Kit packs together Home-Churned Lemon-Herb Butterand Bollywood Coconut Curry Popcorn Seasoning with a vintage-style popcorn popper, popcorn kernels, and retro popcorn bags. The summer-y Grill Kit includes Côtes du Rhône–Rhubarb Compote; Aleppo Pepper–Peach Chutney; Backyard BBQ Rub; and Smoky Tomato Ketchup. Add a grill tool or gadget to take it up a notch. GIFTS COOKS LOVE shows you how to transform time spent in the kitchen into thoughtful expressions of gratitude and love, gifts that you are happy to give and anyone would be delighted to receive.
About the Authors
Diane Morgan is an award-winning cookbook author, freelance food writer, culinary instructor, and restaurant consultant. She is the author of 14 cookbooks and has been involved in the world of food for more than 25 years. Diane has been a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times food section and has written for Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Cooking Light, among many others. She has appeared on NBC’s Today show, ABC World News Now, The Early Show on CBS, the Food Network, Smart Solutions on HGTV, Seasonings on PBS, and Good Day Oregon. She lives in Portland, Oregon
Sur La Table is the trusted authority when it comes to all things cooking-related. It is the co-author of six books, including The Art and Soul of Baking, which received the 2009 IACP Cookbook Award for Baking, was chosen by Gourmet magazine as a book club selection, and was nominated for 2009 baking book of the year by the James Beard Foundation. The original store and headquarters are in Seattle, Washington. Sur La Table operates more than 80 stores nationwide, as well as a Web site and catalog.
This is popcorn for grown-ups! And what a great gift to give to college-age friends or family, young couples, or those married with children who are staying in for a date night. (Suggest on their gift card to pop in a movie and pop up some fresh popcorn once the kids are off to bed.) This fiery curry seasoning adds zest, spice, and sweetness to either freshly popped kernels or the microwave variety. It is essential to first drizzle melted butter over the popcorn and then toss it with some of the sweet and savory blend of curry powder, coconut, and other aromatic spices. This way, the seasoning sticks to each hot kernel. With a kick of heat, this is definitely an adult treat.
Makes about 2 cups popcorn seasoning, enough to fill three (5- to 6-ounce) spice jars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Equipment: Food Processor, Measuring Cups and Spoons, Three Spice Jars or Tins
1 cups sweetened shredded coconut
7 tbs Madras curry powder
3 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulverize the coconut into tiny bits, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the curry powder, sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, and garlic powder. Pulse to combine.
Divide into 3/4-cup portions and transfer to jars or tins with tight-fitting lids.
Store the popcorn seasoning away from heat and light for up to 4 months.
This Bollywood Coconut Curry Popcorn Seasoning was blended on [give date] and can be enjoyed for up to 4 months. Generously sprinkle it over freshly popped popcorn coated with melted butter. It can also be tossed with microwave popcorn; just be sure to drizzle it with melted butter so the seasoning clings to each kernel!
Tie each jar or tin with raffia or ribbon and attach a gift card. To turn this into a gift basket, consider including popcorn kernels.
How is this for gift-giving fun—churning your own butter from cream and turning it into herb butter? That’s homemade! And it is spectacularly easy. Start with high-quality cream, preferably not ultra-pasteurized. The liquid (whey) that separates from the butter solids during churning is not sour like buttermilk because acid is not added in this process, the way commercial creameries do. It can’t be used in recipes that call for buttermilk; however, the whey can be used as you would reduced-fat milk—it’s delicious with cereal or homemade granola! (See page 100.) The lemon-herb butter is terrific simply spread on bread, melted and tossed with popcorn, softened and rubbed on a chicken before roasting, melted to fry an egg or make an omelet, or spooned into a baked potato.
Makes 1 cup of butter
Equipment: Measuring Cups and Spoons, Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment, Rubber Spatula, Strainer, Medium Bowl, Cheesecloth or Lint-Free Kitchen Towel, Plate, Table Knife, Cutting Board, Chef’s Knife, Zester, Two (½-Cup) Butter Bells (Optional)
Churn Time: 15 minutes | Chill Time: 1 hour | Prep Time: 20 minutes |
1 pint heavy (whipping) cream, preferably not ultrapasteurized
1 tbs finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 tbs finely chopped fresh dill
1 tbs finely chopped fresh chives
1 tbs finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tspminced lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, churn the cream on medium speed until the butter solids separate from the liquid, about 15 minutes. Occasionally stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. (As it churns, the cream will go through stages—from whipped cream to pea-size clumps to large hunks of golden yellow butter with liquid whey pooled in the bottom of the mixer.)
To separate the butter and whey, transfer the mixture to a mesh strainer set over a medium bowl. Pour the whey into a covered container and refrigerate, reserving it for another use (see headnote).
Place the butter in the bowl and fill the bowl with cold water. Gently massage the butter in the water to remove the excess whey from the surface of the butter. Pour out the water and refill the bowl with fresh cold water. Repeat this process until the water runs clear.
Wrap the butter in a triple layer of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and form it into a flattened disk. Put the butter on a plate and place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to chill and allow excess moisture to seep out and absorb into the cheesecloth.
Remove the chilled butter from the cheesecloth and gently scrape the surface with the back of a table knife to remove any residue from the cloth. Cut the butter into large cubes and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the tarragon, dill, chives, parsley, lemon zest, and salt. Cream the mixture together on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Divide the lemon-herb butter between 2 butter bells, packing the butter into the containers and smoothing the tops. Cover and refrigerate. Alternatively, separate the butter into 2 equal hunks, wrap them in plastic wrap. and form them into 1½-inch-diameter rolls. Wrap each roll in parchment paper, twist and tie the ends to seal, and refrigerate.
If you’d rather not make butter from scratch, combine 1 cup (2 sticks) of softened unsalted butter with the herbs and lemon zest in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until thoroughly combined. (Whether you start with cream and churn your own butter, or begin with butter, this recipe can easily be doubled to make four gifts.)
Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.
This Home-Churned Lemon-Herb Butter was made on [give date] and can be enjoyed for up to 2 weeks, kept in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months if frozen. It is delightful rubbed on chicken before roasting, melted over freshly popped popcorn, spooned over a baked potato, or simply spread on warm dinner rolls.
Tie each butter bell or parchment-wrapped butter roll with raffia or ribbon and attach a gift card.
These Recipes may be reproduces with the following credit:
Recipes from Gifts Cooks Love by Diane Morgan, Sur la Table (Andrews McMeel; Fall 2010; $25.00/hardcover)