Peach Mostarda

vertical peach mostarda

In my area, peach season is down to its final days for this year. I spotted a few left at the farmers market this morning and actually passed them by, but only because I am insane and picked up another half bushel over the weekend. I need to make a batch of salsa, and have several recipes for the new book to test, thus the purchase.

bowl of peaches

A couple weeks ago, just before I headed up to Toronto, I spent a full day canning. I had a ton of peaches and tomatoes, and knew that they wouldn’t last my weekend away. I made sauce, I canned whole peeled tomatoes, I made grape jam, and came up with this preserve.

Peach mostarda. Delicious with cheese. Recipe coming soon to a blog near you.

Mostardas are much like chutneys, in that they are both sweet and savory. However, instead of getting their savory nature from onions, garlic, or shallots, the sweetness is broken up with a conservative application of mustard oil and other sharp spices.

le parfait peach mostarda

Now, you should consider this a cheater’s mostarda. Because of US regulations, it is impossible to get the super-strong mustard oil with which true mostardas are made. However, the combination of mustard seeds and cayenne give this preserve a satisfying level of sinus clearing mustardiness.

I made this mostarda with Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog in mind, but it will also pair deliciously with crumbly aged cheddars and creamy, spreadable goat cheeses.

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Giveaway: Assorted Goat Cheeses from Cypress Grove

Cypress Grove cheeses

When I was writing my last book, one of the comments my editor made on the draft was that she was afraid I was recommending pairing too many of the recipes with cheese. We worked to come up with some alternate suggestions for those headnotes, but many of the cheese pairing suggestions remained. The reason? Cheese and jam (or pickles, chutneys, jellies, etc) are downright delicious together.

truffle tremor

When run out of time to make a big salad or a pile of roasted vegetables for a potluck, I head for the pantry instead. I find a jar of of something homemade (tomato jam is always a good choice), buy a slab of creamy, crumbly goat cheese, and pick up a baguette. I set that out on the potluck table and watch as people eat up every crumb and drop.

bermuda triangle

A few years back, I did a very informal collaboration with the folks at Cypress Grove (they make the most glorious goat’s milk cheeses). Essentially, they sent me some cheeses and I dreamed up a tasty little jam to serve along with those cheeses. My recipe for Plum Star Anise Jam was one of the preserves that resulted.

bermuda triangle unwrapped

Sometime in the last year or so, I reconnected with one of the very nice people over at Cypress Grove and we decided it might be fun to do another round of recipes designed expressly for a few of their products. So they sent me some cheese and I got to work. So far, I’ve come up with two preserves that pair up brilliantly.

humboldt fog

The first recipe is a preserve that I’m calling a peach mostarda. It’s not a true mostarda, in the sense that it does not contain super concentrated mustard oil (which is quite difficulty to get in the US, because it an ingredient in mustard gas). I use generous amounts of mustard seeds, coupled with some sinus clearing cayenne to mimic the pungency of the mustard oil, and I think it works well. Whatever you call it, I like it eaten with a little wedge of Humboldt Fog.

purple haze

The second preserve are pickled plums that end up being a cross between a jam and chutney (recipe coming soon). I took slightly firm Italian prune plums and cut them into slivers. They sat with restrained dose of sugar, some apple cider vinegar, and a cheesecloth bundle of spices until they released their juices. Then I cooked it down until the syrup thickened but before the fruit lost its integrity. It’s delicious when you perch a bit of the pickled plums on top of a slice of Truffle Tremor.

sliced truffle tremor

The lovely folks at Cypress Grove a cheese prize pack to one lucky Food in Jars reader. It will contain a Humboldt Fog Mini, a wedge of Truffle Tremor, and a hunk of Midnight Moon in a snazzy Cypress Grove cooler pack. You’ll also get some other Cypress Grove-branded goodies, including a cheese wire for easy Midnight Moon slicing. Additionally, I’ll throw in small jars of these two preserves, so that the winner can try my pairings.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite cheese and preserve pairing. Cheddar with caramelized onion jam? Apricot jam with chevre? Grilled cheese with tomato chutney? Let me know!
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, September 27, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by the end of the day on Sunday, September 28, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: Cypress Grove sent me a package of cheeses for pairing and photography purposes. They are also providing the prize for the giveaway. No additional compensation was provided. 

Upcoming Events: New York! Philadelphia! Lancaster County!

Preserving by the Pint sliver

I’m taking a break from international travel for the next little while, but I still have a few fun classes and events coming up. Here’s where I’ll be over the next few weeks!

September 25, Hudson, NY
I’m teaching a class at Valley Variety in Hudson, New York. Everyone gets to make a jar of pickled cauliflower and I’ll demonstrate a small batch of pear vanilla jam. We’ll also have some tasty jam, pickle, and cheese pairings for class participants to sample. The class runs from 6:30-8:30 pm and you can sign up by clicking here.

September 30, Philadelphia
It’s the final meal in the series of preserving-focused dinner at High Street at 9 pm. You come, you have a lovely meal, I say a few words about canning and preserving, and you head off into the night. It costs just $25 and you can call (215) 625-0988 to reserve your seat.

October 2, Downingtown, PA
I’ll be demonstrating small batches of jam and book signing at the Growing Roots Partners Farmers Markets, 3-8 pm.

October 3, Old City, Philadelphia
I’ll be at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Old City for a pair of small batch jam demonstrations at their monthly First Friday event. Demos are at 5:30 and 6:45 pm and the evening is entirely free. I’ll have books available for sale and signature. This event will also be livestreamed and once I have the link, I’ll share it.

October 4, South Philadelphia
I’ll be at Fante’s in the Italian Market from 11 am – 2 pm to demonstrate my small batch technique and to sign copies of Preserving by the Pint. This is a free, drop-in event.

October 5, Havertown, PA
I’m teaming up with the nice folks at the Havertown Free Library to teach another hands on class. This time we’re making pickles! The class runs from 2-4 pm and costs just $5 to sign up (it’s a steal of a deal). Click here to sign up.

October 8, Swarthmore, PA
I’ll be teaching a canning class Harvey Oak Mercantile from 6-8 pm. There will be books available for sale and signature. Registration details to come.

October 9, Princeton, NJ
Thanks to a friend who has made all the arrangements, I’m headed to Princeton to offer a batch canning demonstration at the Whole Earth Center. Event is from 7-9 pm and tickets can be obtained here. Books will be available!

October 11, Lancaster, PA
I’m spending a Saturday at Fillmore Container, offering a pair of canning classes in their warehouse. The first class is from 10 am – 12 noon, in which we’ll focus on preserving pears in batches large and small (including information about how to use Pomona’s Pectin). From 1-3 pm, we’ll dig into how to preserve tomatoes, including how to make tomato jam and how to preserve whole peeled tomatoes. To register for both classes (they’re $35 a piece), click here. We’re also going to offer a book signing at the end of the day.

October 12, Cherry Hill, NJ
I’m hopping over the bridge to South Jersey for a small batch jam demonstration and book signing at Williams-Sonoma at the Cherry Hill Mall. The event is from 1-3 pm and is free and open to all.

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Links: Plums, Tomatoes, Apples, and a Winner

What a lovely wall of pickles! I'm so impressed by Thomas Lavers!

Oops. I didn’t mean to drop out of sight last week, but I got home from Canada on Monday afternoon and just couldn’t find my way back to the blog. It happens sometimes.

That trip to Toronto though, it was pretty darn terrific. I met so many of my long-time internet canning friends, including Christine from Manning Canning (check out her just-launched commercial kitchen Kickstarter!), Sarah B. Hood (author of We Sure Can!), and Joel and Dana from Well Preserved. The Kitchen Party at the Harbourfront Centre was incredibly fun and I loved meeting all the dedicated food preservers who came out for it.

I also enjoyed getting to explore a little bit of Toronto and seeing the roof garden and bee hives at the Fairmont Royal York (as a Kitchen Party sponsor, they put me up in a gloriously comfy room).

This week, things will start to return to normal around these parts. Let’s get that started off with links!

assembled tomato strainer

When I fell off the grid last week, I failed to post the winner of the Roma Deluxe Electric Tomato Strainer Giveaway, sponsored by Blue Kitchen Canning. Oops. Now, without any further ado, the winner is #539/Rebekah Jones.

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Upcoming Events: Philadelphia! Short Hills, NJ! Hudson, NY!

Preserving by the Pint sliver

It’s a little hard for me to believe, but Preserving by the Pint has been out for nearly six months now. This means that my events schedule is soon going to start quieting down (and thank goodness for that! I have another book to write). Still, there are a few more opportunities to come and see me this month! Check out the schedule and come on out (and make sure to check my Classes and Events page for the complete schedule).

September 15 – Philadelphia
Demo and signing at the Walnut Street West Free Library, 6-7:30 pm.

September 17 – Ridley, PA
Demo and signing at the Ridley Township Public Library, 6-8 pm.

September 18 – Bala Cynwyd, PA
Demo and signing at the Bala Farmers Market, 2:30-6:30 pm.

September 19 – Short Hills, NJ
Canning class (sponsored by the Farm and Fork Society) at the King’s Food Market Cooking School, 11 am – 1 pm or 4-6 pm! Click your preferred time frame to sign up.

September 20 – Philadelphia
All About Apples class at the Morris Arboretum, 10 am – 12 noon. Click here to sign up.

September 25 – Hudson, NY
Canning class at Valley Variety, 6:30-8:30 pm. Click here to sign up.

September 30 – Philadelphia
The third and final preserving-focused dinner at High Street at 9 pm. Call (215) 625-0988 to reserve your seat.

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Marinated Carrot Salad for the Fridge

root veg at Union Square

On Saturday, I drove up to New York and spent a few hours at the Union Square Greenmarket, trying to look like a friendly and helpful canning expert. I talked to a lot of people, emptied three pints of jam in samples, and sold 11 books (I had higher hopes for such a highly trafficked market, but the sun was brutal and people kept moving).

Still, I think that the trip was worth it, for the people I talked to and for the fact that the stall I was positioned next to had the most gorgeous array of root vegetables I’d seen in a long time. I must have watched at least 100 people stop to take pictures of those heaps of carrots and beets (they weren’t so interested in the celery).

marinated carrots

Standing in proximity, I started thinking about how much I rely on carrots in my daily cooking. On nights when dinnertime inspiration is low, I turn them into a pureed soup (my favorite is the recipe with toasted almonds that’s in the original Moosewood Cookbook). When I need an easy side, I cut them into sticks and roast them in olive oil. Snacks around my apartment almost always involve a sliced carrot and a tub of hummus.

And at those times when I want something that I can make ahead and keep in the fridge for those moments when hunger strikes, I blanch them lightly and toss them with a quick vinaigrette. It’s a bit like the pickled carrots you’ll find at falafel joints. I originally wrote this recipe for Serious Eats, during my phase as their In a Pickle contributor. Still, it’s a good one and worthy of another moment in the sun.

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