pen rainbow

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday's Cupboard—The Art of Marmalades & Rescue Chocolate Taste Test

Tom's SoCal Citrus, Heirloom Toms, & Wild At Heart Raspberry Ganache

A couple of weeks ago, our generous neighbor, Tom Sheridan, delivered three bags of wonderful fresh produce that included citrus from his property in Palm Springs and last season's frozen heirloom Brandywine tomatoes from his garden in Walnut Creek.  Tom knows that I am a canner, so he was kind enough to share his bounty with me.  Canning is all about sharing, and this weekend, I shall become the neighborhood Marmalade Fairy!

I was never a fan of marmalade before I started making my own.  Fresh homegrown citrus grown under ideal California conditions is indescribably delicious when it is made into marmalade.

Tom's Tangelo & Meyer Lemon Marmalade
Tom's Tangelo & Meyer Lemon Marmalade
First, I adapted an old HP orange/lemon marmalade recipe and added Meyer lemons from my own backyard tree.  The result was a golden ambrosia with hand-cut, thin slices of organically grown tangelos & lemons.  It is quite heavenly on toasted English muffins!

Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade
Next, I did an online search for grapefruit marmalade recipes and found one called, Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade, which uses a food processor to chop the whole fruit.

I  this recipe because the grapefruit is cut into halves and then simmered for 2 hours.  The result is soft, fragrant fruit bursting with flavor that is ready to be seeded & fooped into tasty bits.  It sure beats hand-chopping 11 lemon rinds into evenly-sized, half-inch slivers for lemon marmalade!  Another cool thing about this recipe is that it calls for a cup of locally produced honey.  Thank you to the honeybees in Walnut Creek for their contribution!

Grapefruit marmalade pairs beautifully with warm carrot muffins (what doesn't?) and is uber-good nestled up to crab cakes on a bed of fresh, Springtime watercress.  I made this recipe British-style, which means that it is a sweet preserve with a bitter tang.  Yum!
Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade

Thank you, Cosmic Cowgirl!

Homegrown Brandywine Tomatoes from Tom's Walnut Creek Garden 
Brandywine tomatoes are the Cadillac of homegrown heirloom tomatoes.  They have a full, robust flavor that kicks the tomato-butts of other garden variety tomatoes.  Brandywines have the classic sweetness of heirlooms with just the right amount of acidity, and when they are homegrown, they are extra scrum-diddly-umptious.

Tom's Brandywines became my adapted version of Bon Appétit's, Linguine with Fresh Tomato Sauce (Sept 1986), one of our favorite summer pasta dinners.

Linguine With Fresh Tomato Sauce (adapted from Bon Appétit, Sept 1986)
Serves 4
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. chopped garlic
  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, coursely chopped + juices
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 3 T. red wine vinegar (I use black & raspberry red wine vinegar, i.e. blackberry & raspberry)
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. linguine
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese (or freshly grated) 
  1. Heat 1 T. olive oil in deep skillet over med-high heat
  2. Add garlic & stir for 3 mins, taking care not to brown
  3. Mix in tomatoes + juices, remaining 3 T. olive oil, basil & red wine vinegar
  4. Season with a couple of pinches of kosher salt & 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  5. Simmer on the stove while the linguine cooks
  6. Drain cooked linguine well; toss with fresh tomato sauce & top with fresh Parmesan

Wild At Heart Raspberry Ganache Dark Chocolate Hearts
Rescue Chocolate Taste Test — Wild At Heart Raspberry Ganache Hearts (2 hearts for $6)

Last week, I ordered one of each chocolate from Rescue Chocolate in Brooklyn, NY.  100 percent of their net profits go to animal rescue organizations all over the country, and their products are vegan and certified Kosher Parve.  No artificial preservatives!  I am happy to support organizations like this, and each week, I'll be reporting on the taste of these chocolates.
Rescue Chocolates
Wild At Heart Raspberry Ganache Hearts are small, but delicious!  For dark chocolate lovers, these are the bomb.  5 stars out of 5 for these little chocolate gems!  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★