BEET BORSCHT

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I keep a collection of baskets by the kitchen door.  A trip to the garden requires one carry the right basket for the occasion.  A small square basket for strawberries.  A very deep basket for kale.  Something larger and round with a sturdy handle for root crops like beets    Snip lots of dill heads, add a few carrots and a potato or two and you have the ingredients  to make a big batch of borscht.

There must be a hundred different recipes fo beet borscht.  Everyone is the right one.   This is one of my favorite recipes.  It has tons of vegetables.  It is made with a rich chicken stock. Has a tangy sweet sour flavour.  Served with a generous dollop of sour cream it is positively define.   You could add little bits of spicy sausage.  Or make the recipe with beef stock.  You can serve borscht hot or cold.    You get the picture.

Though there are potatoes in the recipe the soup freezes beautiful.   Don protective gloves and start chopping beets .

BEET BORSCHT
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: soup
Cuisine: European
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: 12
A big batch soup with tons of vegetables. Serve this tangy Borscht hot or cold
Ingredients
  • 2 generous tbs (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, medium dice
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced (about 2-3 tbsp.)
  • ½ tsp (2 mL). caraway seed
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes
  • 1½ lb (680 g) beets, peeled and medium diced
  • 6 cups (1.25 mL) chopped green cabbage
  • 2 small potatoes (Yukon gold or other waxy potato) (about 10 oz/280 g), cubed
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1¾ tsp ( 9 mL) salt
  • 1 tsp (4 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (5½ oz/156 mL) tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) brown sugar
  • 10 generous cups (2.4 mL) chicken stock preferably home made. See chef's note) or vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp (50 mL) white or red wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. In large stock pot heat oil over medium heat and saute onion, garlic, caraway seeds, red pepper flakes and salt stirring occasionally until softened and light golden, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in beets, cabbage, potatoes, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and pepper. Cook over medium heat stirring often until beets are starting to soften, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and brown sugar. Cook stirring for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally until beets are tender, about 40 minutes.
  6. Stir in vinegar and discard bay leaves.
  7. You can freeze the soup in containers for up to 2 weeks.

Chef Note:  Save roast chicken bones (bag them in your freezer until you have a large amount)  and make chicken stock.  In stock pot put your chicken bones (or a couple of pounds of fresh chicken wings) add a coarsely chopped onion yellow skin and all, a couple of coarsely chopped ribs of celery, and a few chopped carrots.  If you have some parsley add that too.  You can even pop in a couple of cloves of garlic.  Add half a tablespoon of whole black pepper.  Cover with a generous amount of water.  You will be reducing this by at least 30% so you really can’t add to0 much water.  I always fill my stock pot to almost the top with water.  Bring the stock to a raging boil for about 3-4 minutes then reduce it to a gentle simmer.  Prop the lid askew with a wooden spoon.  Let simmer forgotten for as long as possible.  At least 6 – 12 hours.  As the water reduces your stock turns a lovely golden colour and releases the delicious aroma of chicken.

Strain your stock and immediately ladle into freezer containers.  I use both 1 cup and 2 cup sizes. Leave on your counter until just cool enough to refrigerate.  When the stock has cooled down enough to put in your freezer remove the fat from the top of the stock and freeze for up to 3 months.

Cooling your stock in small containers quickens the cooling time eliminating any chance of pathogen growth.  It also makes the remove of the fat easir.

If you have only the carcass of one roast chicken you can make a quick stock by  following the above instructions  adjusting the vegetables and black pepper.  Simmer for a few hours then add to your beet borscht.  It will be vastly superior to ANY type of commercial chicken stock.

 

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ZUCCHINI FRITTERS WITH FETA

I have a magic  zucchini factory in the garden.   One minute beautiful yellow flowers, then POOF elegant slender zucchini.

.  They can be served as an hors d’oeuvre or a starter course.  They don’t need a sauce.  Simply sprinkle some flaky sea salt and crumbled feta cheese on top of these crispy darlings.

Have enough oil in you pan, and the pan at the correct temperature to saute these fritters to a perfect crispness.

 

 

 

 

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS WITH FETA ... (aka KEFTEDES)
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: appetiser
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: 4
Keftedes can be made with tomatoes, chickpeas, ground meat, and zucchini. They can be served as an hors d'oeuvre or a starter course. They don't need a sauce. Sprinkle some salt and crumbled feta on top
Ingredients
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 generous tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1½ tbsp chopped fresh dill,
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 generous tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 fat garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper (be generous)
  • 4 ounces (around 1 cup) feta cheese, coarsely chopped or crumbled
  • Grated zest of l lemon
  • l large egg
  • ¼ cup (or more if required) all-purpose flour
  • Canola oil, for pan-frying
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (if desired for garnish)
  • Fine sea salt, for finishing
Instructions
  1. Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a grater onto a clean kitchen towel. Sprinkle with the kosher salt and let it rest while you gather and prep the remaining ingredients.
  2. Wrap the zucchini in the towel and wring as much liquid out of it as possible, discarding the liquid.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, mint, parsley, dill, onion, garlic, pepper, feta, and all but l teaspoon of the lemon zest.
  4. Stir in the egg and flour and mix until well combined. If your mixture seems to have a little too much liquid add additional flour.
  5. Put the canola oil into a large shallow pan; you want about ¼ inch or enough so that when all the fritters are in the pan, the oil comes halfway up their sides. Place the pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Form fritters by hand or using a ¼ cup measure, and fry them in the hot oil in batches. Cook until the fritters are golden brown on each side, 4 to 6 minutes in total. Drain on paper towels.
  7. Trans the fritters to a plate and garnish with a dollop of
  8. Green yogurt and a sprinkling of dill, the reserved lemon zest, and some sea salt.

 

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HEAVENLY LEMON CLOUD TART

 

IMG_1201 The lemon filling in heavenly LEMON CLOUD TART naturally separates into two distinct layer when baked – a fluffy top layer lightened by the whipped cream, and a bottom layer of creamy lemon curd. Use my  Blue Ribbon pastry recipe  or your favorite pastry recipe, a store-bought shell  or a graham cracker-crumb base.  Just be sure your your shell will handle the volume of the filling.  If you do have any filling left over pour it into an oven proof custard cup and bake it along with your pie.

LEMON CLOUD TART
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: pie
Cuisine: baking
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: 8
The lemon filling separates into two distinct layers when baked - a fluffy top layer lightened by the whipped cream and a bottom layer of creamy lemon curd.
Ingredients
  • One single generous pie crust either purchased or your favorite recipe. fitted into a 9'inch tart pan and chilled.
  • ½ cup (4.2 fluid oz.) heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
  • Fresh lemon zest from one large lemon (divided in half)
  • ½ cup (from 4.5 fluid oz.) lemon juice from 4 to 5 lemons
  • Topping
  • l cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and set the rack in the lowest position.
  2. Place the chilled crust on a baking sheet, line the crust with lightly oiled or sprayed parchment, and fill with weights.
  3. Partially blind bake the crust until it is a matte, pale golden colour, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment.
  4. While the crust is partially baking, in a chilled medium bowl, whip the cream using a whisk until soft peaks form
  5. In a separate medium bowl, combine the eggs and sugar and whisk until thick and smooth. Add half of the lemon zest and the lemon juice and stir to combine.
  6. In three batches, GENTLY fold the whipped cream into the egg mixture. It will be rather lumpy looking.
  7. Pour the filling into the warm crust. Bake until the edges of the filling slightly puff up and the center is just slightly wobbly, 30 to 40 minutes.
  8. Remove the tart from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Refrigerate the tart for 2 hours, or until firm enough to slice.
  9. When read to serve top with sweetened whipped cream and garnish with remaining lemon zest.
  10. To make your whipped cream topping chill your bowl and whip. Whip cream until soft peaks form, then add vanilla and icing sugar.
  11. Whip util stiff peaks form.

 

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FIRST PRIZE BLUE RIBBON BUTTER TARTS

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