Friends-with-Figs, Lemon Grass and Orange Marmalade

It’s great to have “friends-with-figs” I always say. Friends who go away on vacation leaving a tree laden with figs and share are even better. Having a friend who bakes great bread is “icing on the cake”.

Finishing a photo shoot and having lots of fresh oranges left over is another good thing.

 

Very ripe figs, juicy oranges and lemon grass paste cooked down with sugar and lemon juice makes a mighty tasty batch of marmalade.

Yes, it is hot work. The kitchen gets all steamy, as do I, but as I’m stirring I think of my Grandmother Kenny Mae, who canned all summer with hardly a window fan to cool her down and she managed without complaint. She loved the process more than the discomfort I suppose. Jars of jam and preserves made in the summer were all the more tasty during the winter months.

Random glass jars with new lids and rings gathered from my stash. Everything sterilized…jars filled…lids on. This marmalade can be refrigerated or even frozen. I can a few jars and give most away to friends who don’t have figs, some who do, some who just love marmalade like I do, and I save a few jars for later. This is such as easy recipe that I make it often throughout the year.

With so much citric acid I also oven-canned some jars. For a how-to on this method check out an earlier marmalade post here.

Friends-with-Figs, Lemon Grass and Orange Marmalade

Ingredients:

  • 6 oranges, thinly sliced, cut into quarters, seeded
  • 2 tablespoon lemon grass paste
  • 24 small figs, or 12 larger ones – stemmed & cut in half
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients into a stainless steel or enamel stockpot. Place over medium low heat and stir to combine ingredients until sugar begins to melt. Turn heat to medium high, stirring every so often, cooking for about 30 minutes. You want the mixture to bubble and reduce and thicken, but not get scorched on the bottom.
  2. Turn heat to medium low while you get jars and lids ready. Again stir often.
  3. Wash jars and rims in hot soapy water, rinse well and let drain on a clean dish towel. Use new lids whenever you can so the rubbery rim seals well.
  4. Fill clean jars to within about 1/2 inch of the top edge. Wipe edges clean of any spills. Place new lids on top of each jar.  If giving away, or refrigerating, then tighten lids and leave to cool on a rack. This marmalade will keeps chilled for up to 2 months just fine.
  5. Oven canning method: Turn oven to 250 degrees. Spoon hot marmalade into sterilized glass jars leaving a 1/2 inch at top of each one unfilled. Wipe jar mouths clean and top with new lids.  Place filled jars, not touching, in a baking pan and put in oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven to cool on a wire rack. Listen for the “ping” or suction sound as the lids seal tightly to the jars. Lids will go from being a bit convex to concave. Store in a cool place for up to 12 months. If any jars do not seal, then you can refrigerate for up to 2 months.

Teresa Blackburn    http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Ginger-Peach No Churn Ice Cream E.A.T. #32

 

I have been away from Food on Fifth for a while. I have missed it. Life just gets in the way and there is not much you can do about it…especially if a food blog such as Food on Fifth is a labor of love and not work.

This summer has been very hot and dry and busy in my world of food styling. More so than ever. I have worked, and am working, on quite a few cookbook projects, as well as various other editorial magazine shoots and with my commercial clients. Blogging has not been easy, but I am trying to get back to it as it is one of  my relaxing pleasures. It is a solitary endeavour and I enjoy that. The kitchen is my haven to be alone and play with food and try to make yummy things to share.

I cannot say much about the cookbooks in particular, but I just finished styling a peach cookbook and with peaches on the brain I thought an easy, no frills, no churn peach ice cream would be a delicious and cooling thing to share.  So it is….with a bit of ginger and buttermilk to cut the sweetness. Give it a try. It will cool you down I promise!  It is as easy as this.

Very scoopable and so cooling on this 90+ degree day.

I picked these little peaches from two trees in my neighborhood. You can’t get more local than that.

Peeled, pitted and pureed,  mixed with heavy cream, whole milk and buttermilk, just a bit of refrigerated ginger paste, sugar and salt.

Frozen in an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan….stirred to mix the frozen part with the not frozen part a couple of times…that’s all you have to do. Easier than a trip to the grocery!

Ginger-Peach No-Churn Ice Cream

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pureed fresh peaches – peeled, pitted
  • 2 tablespoon ginger paste, the refrigerated kind in a tube
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the peach puree, ginger paste and sugar until the sugar begins to melt.
  2. Whisk together in another bowl the cream, milk and butter milk and salt.
  3. Whisk pureed peach mixture into the cream mixture until well blended.
  4. Pour into a metal 8 x 4 inch or 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Freeze for 2 hours.
  5. Remove pan from freezer and using a fork, stir frozen mixture around the edges of the pan and from the bottom into the center. Repeat process in another 1.5 hours, smoothing out the mixture using a spoon. Freeze another 2 hours or until ready to serve. You can freeze overnight as well.
  6. Scoop and serve. This ice cream stays nice and scoopable for days if it lasts that long.

Teresa Blackburn   www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

 

Brown Sugar, Butter and Cardamom Skillet Roasted Peaches E.A.T. #31

Ingredients? 4. Time? 15 minutes. Results? Ripe South Carolina Peaches Caramelized with Raw Sugar, Cardamom and Kerrygold Butter to make the easiest, most delicious, screaming Summer dessert ever! No joke….it is as easy-as-this.

Select firm, juicy ripe sweet peaches. No peeling necessary.

Arranged in an iron skillet cut side up with a dab of butter, a sprinkling of cardamom and crunchy raw sugar and that’s all.

Roasted at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes until sugar caramelizes and peaches begin to blister.  Turn on the broiler if you like them a bit burnt like I do. You can also do this on a grill if you prefer. Serve with a quick cold, sour cream-brown sugar sauce and more sugar for crunch. How very summer is that?

Brown Sugar, Butter and Cardamom Skillet Roasted Peaches

Ingredients:

  • 4 firm, ripe peaches, unpeeled, cut in half with pits removed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temp, Kerrygold is what I use
  • ground Cardamom powder, to taste
  • 1 cup raw sugar, divided
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Turn oven to 400 degrees. Arrange peach halves, cut side up, in an iron skillet.
  2. Place a bit of butter in middle of each peach half. Sprinkle with cardamom to taste.
  3. Top with 1/2 cup raw sugar sprinkled over each peach half.
  4. Roast in hot oven for 10-12 minutes. If you like your peaches more blistered like I do, then turn broiler on for a minute or two.
  5. While peaches are roasting mix together sour cream or yogurt and 1/4 cup raw sugar and lemon juice until blended. Chill until ready to use.
  6. To serve place one or two peach halves on a plate and add a dollop of sweetened sour cream and another sprinkling of raw sugar. A wonderful, simple summer dessert.

Note: You can also place iron skillet on a pre-heated outdoor grill to roast. A scoop of ice cream is really good with theses peaches as well.

http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

 

Parmesan Roasted Fresh Summer Okra

I am crazy about okra when it roasted in this manner. Simple and easy. Freshly picked okra pods, olive oil, sea salt and hand-ground black pepper and a very generous scattering of shredded Parmigiano Reggiano.

As a young person I was not a particularly picky eater, but I was pretty horrified by bowls of slimy okra on the dinner table. I just could not eat it. No way.  My reaction was met with a cross look by my Mother while mumbling once again about the starving children somewhere. For many years I avoided okra. Only in various Cajun dishes did it make edible sense to me.

Roasted or grilled? By the platefuls…handfuls…delicious. Crisp on the outside, moist on the inside. Summer okra.

Parmesan Roasted Fresh Summer Okra

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of fresh okra pods, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup good quality olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a sheet pan (or two) with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl toss okra with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Spread out on parchment lined sheet tray(s).
  4. Roast for about 12-15 minutes just until slightly softened and crispy. Add more parmesan to serve.

Teresa Blackburn   www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Desirable Avocado Toast with French Breakfast Radishes – A 5 minute Meal

I am always cooking. Almost every day. I, at times, have a love-hate relationship with cooking. Some days I chose not to cook, but we still have to eat…no? Yes. This is what we might have on those days. I realize there are at least one million, at least, Pinterest Boards dedicated to avocados and toast…I haven’t counted but I’m pretty sure this is somewhat true. Avocado on toasted bread is de regueur for all modern minded folks from coast to coast.

There is no recipe, but desire. There is no one way to make it except the way you like it with a just right-ripe avocado and the best bread you can get your hands on. It takes 5 minutes at most.

A sprinkling of thinly sliced Spring/French Garden radishes from the Nashville Farmer’s Market for a bit of crunch topped off lightly with sea salt. You’re good to go.

Eat Well…eat healthy.

Desirable Avocado Toast with French Breakfast Radishes

Ingredients for this “not real” recipe:

  • very good crusty loaf of bread…homemade or store-bought
  • just ripe avocados that are “smush-able
  • french breakfast radishes or other locally grown radishes or from grocery
  • crunchy seal salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • arugula leaves

Directions for this “not real” recipe”:

  1. Toast bread.
  2. “Smush” ripe avocados onto bread.
  3. Top with thinly sliced radishes.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
  5. Top with arugula leaves.
  6. Eat. Enjoy.

Teresa Blackburn    http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

 

Summer Lunch – Lemony Tuna and Kalamata Olives with a Crusty Baguette – E.A.T. #30

A good lunch is a wonderful thing.  To sit down and actually savor a mid-day or late afternoon lunch when I get a chance is a pleasure. My lunches take little prep and use pantry items along with a few fresh vegetables I have on hand. It takes just a few minutes to make it happen. It’s as easy as this.

Here is one of my current favorites using lemons, kalamata olives, tuna packed in olive oil, marinated red onions and fresh oregano leaves. I serve this with a crusty baguette for sopping up all the flavorful juices.

It’s summer in Nashville, it’s hot and humid..take a break from the stove….eat cool…eat simple…enjoy.

Summer Lunch -Lemony Tuna and Kalamata Olives with a Crusty Baguette

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 red onion, slivered and soaked in lemon juice for 15 minutes
  • 2 cans tuna packed in olive oil, slightly drained and leaving larger chunks of tuna
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • the peel of one lemon cut into thin strips
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh oregano leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 fresh baguette

Directions:

  1. In a bowl gently toss together red onion with lemon juice, tuna chunks with oil, kalamata olives, lemon peel strips, lemon juice and oregano. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  2. Serve with baguette pieces for sopping up juices. A Great nutritious lunch that is as Easy As This!

Teresa Blackburn    http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

 

 

 

A Wee Sponge Cake with Tennessee Strawberries and Whipped Cream

 

Does this cake look gigantic to you? I thought so. Well it is really just 6 inches across….really. A wee, dramatic “Tennessee Strawberry Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream”.  A cake that is just enough to serve 6 people, or 2 people for 3 days…or maybe even 1 person for 6 days. Any way you slice it, this cake is easy to make, adorable and scrumptious.

I posted a “Victoria Sponge and Strawberries” as well as a “Ruby Red Victoria Sponge Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Filling” cake recipes a few years ago. They are larger cakes…..this is the “little sister” cake. If you wander over to those recipes you will find out a bit more about the history of the Victoria Sponge which is a good cake to make this week to celebrate summer, strawberries and the Big Wedding in London.

Later this year there will be a cookbook arriving on the dessert scene that features small cakes. “little everyday cakes” by Candace Floyd, published by Spring House Press.  My wee cake is inspired by Candace’s upcoming book. I was lucky and pleased to be asked to work on styling the cakes for this book. It’ll be out in October,  but if you want you can pre-order via Amazon.

Maybe we shouldn’t deny ourselves cake,  but just go smaller.

If a 10″ springform pan went on a diet this is what they would look like. These are my favorite 6″ springform cake pans from Fat Daddio’s.

Layers baked and split into 4, cream whipped fluffy, local strawberries macerated with a bit of raw sugar….that’s all.

Local berries will go quickly…make it now.

A Wee Sponge Cake with Tennessee Strawberries and Whipped Cream

Special Tools:  Two six inch cake pans, preferably springform as they are easier to get layers out of..but whatever you have that size.

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 cup self-rising flour, sifted
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar or powdered sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • coconut oil spray for greasing cake pans
  • 2 to 3 pints of fresh, early summer strawberries, tops removed and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 2 pints of heavy whipping cream
  • powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray cake pans with coconut oil spray. This will actually add a nice subtle flavor to cakes. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg yolks and sugar together until creamy and pale.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff.
  4. Whisk the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
  5. Working a little bit at a time, fold the flour into the egg mixture using a large spoon until  blended. Fold in the sea salt.
  6. Scrape batter into cake pans. Bake for about 20 minutes until cakes are done in the middle. Let cool for a few minutes in the pans and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. While cake layers are baking, toss together the berries and the raw sugar.  If some berries are large then cut in half or into quarters. Set aside, in a smaller bowl, about 1/2 cup of the berries.
  8. Using a fork or potato masher, lightly crush remaining sugared berries just a bit. Let sit for about 30 minutes while cakes are baking and cooling.
  9. When cakes are totally cooled, split each layer into two thinner layers to make four.
  10. Whip cream to soft peaks.
  11. To assemble cake place one layer on a serving plate and cover with a third of the berries and juices and top berries with a third of the whipped cream. Repeat with next two layers and topping off with the fourth layer. Add the smaller bowl of berries, not crushed, on top of the cake. Chill for 1 hour before serving. The berry juice will soak into the cake layers somewhat and make for a delicious dessert. Dust with powdered sugar right before serving. If you happen to have any “sad” leftovers…then cover and chill cake up to 2 days.