Snacks and Sides
from The Gingered Pear
The Postcomers Book Club of Wellesley, ,Massachusetts served Gingered Apple Fizz when they discussed The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin to highlight the apples grown in the orchard. It can also be served as a cocktail with vodka or gin.
1 ounce Shrub Apple Fennel Fruit Syrup
1. Mix fruit syrup with mint in a shaker with ice. Shake well
Makes 1 serving
from Notes from a Maine Kitchen by Kathy Gunst (Down East Books, 2011)
Note: I don’t peel my tomatoes when I make this sauce because the high roasting temperature produces a peel that is very edible. However if you truly dislike tomato peels, simple remove them by dropping the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds and then, immediately, drop them into a bowl of ice cold water. The peel will come off easily.
Roasting at a high temperature gives tomatoes a rich, slightly smoky flavor,
Toss the sauce with pasta, serve it over grilled chicken or fish, or in any dish that calls for regular tomato sauce. You can cut the recipe in half or make a huge batch, depending on how many tomatoes you have. Feel free to add pitted olives, drained capers, chopped sweet or hot peppers, anchovies, or any other fresh herbs you have on hand.
About 8 pounds ripe tomatoes, any variety, cored and quartered (see note)
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. In a large roasting pan, gently toss together the tomatoes, onions, whole and chopped garlic, herbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes. Gently stir the vegetables. Roast for another 25 minutes and gently toss. Add any of the optional ingredients listed above and roast for another 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and somewhat broken down into a sauce, with a golden brown crust on top. Remove and taste for seasoning. If the sauce tastes bitter, add a few tablespoons of the sugar.
3. Let cool and place in clean, sterile jars or tightly sealed plastic bags, and refrigerate, freeze, or can.
Makes about 10 cups
Adapted from homepage.interaccess.com/~june4/lesco.html
When ‘Tween the Lines of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, read Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents by Marty Essen, they were inspired to honor each continent of the world with a regional dish. This Salmon Jerky recipe was paired with Antarctica.
Adapted from Lois Salo's recipe, cut from an Anchorage newspaper many years ago
1 1/4 pounds salmon fillet, skin removed
1. Wash the salmon fillet and pat dry. Place fillet in a resealable plastic bag, and place bag in the freezer for 1 hour.
Makes 4-6 servings
The Literary Lyres Book Club of San Fernando Valley, California, served Brooklyn Bombers when they discussed Hold Love Strong by Matthew Aaron Goodman, a novel set in New York.
2/3 cup tequila
Stir all ingredients in a pitcher and serve in tall glasses.
The Marc Chagall Hadassah Study Group of Houston, Texas, served Middle Eastern desserts, including this homemade ice cream, when when they discussed Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present by Michael B. Oren.
Note: This does not require an ice cream machine.
1 1/2 quarts whipping cream
1. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream until peaks form.
2. When ready to serve, sprinkle with halva.
1 jigger Midori Melon liqueur
Combine all ingredients and serve in a martini glass over crushed ice and garnished with a strip of lemon peel.
Makes 1 serving
If you can't find pastry flour, you can mix your own by combining cake flour and all-purpose flour in a ratio somewhere between two parts cake flour to one part all-purpose and one part cake flour to one part all-purpose.
2. In a medium bowl of a mixer, combine the crushed pineapple, egg, and juices. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
3. Combine the flours, baking soda, and baking powder, and sift into the wet mixture. Beat well. Add vanilla and blend. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently stir in the blueberries.
4. Pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Makes 9 servings
Staci Thomas of Orem, Utah, a founding member of Chapters and Tea, paired this recipe for caramel popcorn, from her grandmother's collection, with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. She says caramel popcorn is an offering at the Circus and frequently eaten by Circus goers. "It's described so vividly, you crave it," she adds.
Note: You will need a candy thermometer.
For the popcorn
3-4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
For the coating
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1. To pop the popcorn: Choose a large, deep pot with a cover. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot and then add the popcorn kernels. Shake the pot gently to cover kernels with oil. (Kernels should not be crowded or piled on top of each other.)
2. Turn heat to medium. Cover pan, leaving lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. When popping begins, shake the pan back and forth on the stovetop to distribute heat evenly. When popping slows, remove from heat. Place popcorn into a large bowl (you should have about 14 cups) and set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 250°F. Coat large, shallow baking pan or jelly roll pan with oil or cooking spray.
4. To make the coating: Place butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium-low, stirring, until butter and sugar melt. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling without stirring until temperature reaches 240°F. on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. Add baking soda and stir.
5. Pour sauce over warm popcorn. Spread popcorn on prepared pan. Add raisins, nuts, pretzels, and candy-coated chocolates, if desired. Bake for 45 minutes.
6. Remove from oven. If you like a salted caramel flavor, sprinkle popcorn mix with sea salt while mix is still hot. Allow to cool completely before breaking into clumps.
Makes 6-8 servings
This luscious pie makes an appearance in the pages of Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers. The author calls the pie "more than supreme" but cautions: "Only make this for those you adore. It's a heck of a lot of work." We think it's worth the effort.
Hundred-Step Chocolate Pie Supreme
For the crust
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
For the filling
¼ ounce (1 envelope) gelatin
1. Grease a 9-inch pie plate very well.
2. To make the crust: Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler. In a small bowl, mix hot water and confectioners’ sugar. Stir into double boiler mixture. Add almonds or coconut and mix well. Pour mixture into prepared pie plate and press evenly along sides and bottom. Chill until hard (about one hour).
3. To make the filling: In the top of a double boiler, mix gelatin, ½ cup sugar, salt, milk, and instant coffee. Add chocolate and cook over boiling water until chocolate and gelatin are melted.
4. Remove from heat and stir until mixture is blended. In a separate large bowl, beat egg yolks slightly and pour into chocolate mixture; stir quickly, return to heat (double boiler) and cook for five minutes until mixture thickens. Pour into bowl and add extract. Chill in refrigerator until mixture begins to jell and mounds slightly when gently heaped with a spoon (1-1½ hours).
5. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until frothy. Add remaining sugar, a little at a time, and beat until stiff. Fold into chocolate mixture.
6. Whip cream until thick and glossy. Fold cream into chocolate mixture.
7. Pour into pie shell and chill in refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours. If pie does not detach from pan when ready to serve, heat pie slowly over a burner.
Makes 1 9-inch pie; serves 6