Classic Pesto

Classic Pesto

Well, I guess Classic Pesto is just that, a classic. It’s hard to mess with because it’s great just as it is. Simple everyday ingredients that become a vibrant, garlicky and herbaceous sauce with just a few pulses in the food processor.  While its historic use is to be tossed with pasta, you just can’t overlook all the other great ways to use it.  How about drizzled over scallops, spread onto hot cheese bread or grilled sandwiches, swirled into mashed potatoes or soup, used as pizza sauce and… I think you get the idea. There are plenty of ways that will have you scraping at the jar for every last drop.

I’d have to say this post isn’t about revamping a recipe or creating something new, it’s more of a reminder of how good a classic really is.  In this case the Classic Pesto is easy, delicious and versatile. Only a handful of ingredients, a few minutes of time and a food processor or mortar and pestle is all that’s required.  So although the sauce is not new, one needs to ask what’s a new way to enjoy it? Make up a batch and be creative, I’d love to know what you come up with.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted slightly from: Wayne Gisslen Professional Cooking, seventh edition.

Classic Pesto
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    1 cup 15 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    1 cup 15 minutes
    Classic Pesto
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      1 cup 15 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      1 cup 15 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: cup
      Instructions
      1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and puree until blended but still has some texture, about 20-30 seconds. Use immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.
      Recipe Notes

      Romano is a little stronger and saltier than parmesan and a nice addition, however you can use all parmesan if desired.

      You can also use a blender or mortar and pestle if desired.

      Red Currant Raspberry Jelly

      Red Currant Raspberry Jelly

      Just a touch of tart and a whole lot of berry sweetness is what this gorgeous Red Currant Raspberry Jelly is. Sadly, fresh currants are very seasonal and a little difficult for me to find. Many years ago I had a neighbour take me to a friends who had many berry bushes including black currant. From those black currants and raspberries I made a jelly. It had fantastic flavour and a deep rich red colour. It became my husbands new favourite thing to put on toast. Needless to say it didn’t last long and ever since he has been asking me to make it again.

      My first problem was finding fresh currants, so I sent out a post on Facebook. I will admit that even though I’m a blogger, I am not a big fan of Facebook, rather I’m not a big fan of having to have a personal profile to have a blogging page. But on this day Facebook became my hero, if only for a short time, because right away I had a co worker tell me where I could find currants. Currants that were merely minutes away and I was thrilled to say the least.

      Since I’m only an occasional canner and the first currant jelly was made well before my blogging days of saving everything and making notes, there was no recipe to be found. So I adapted/combined the raspberry and currant jelly recipes from Bernardin canning books. The result is a gorgeous vibrant red jelly that’s sweet with just a hint of tartness from the currants and rather fantastic on a toasted english muffin. Enjoy!

      Recipe source for Red Currant Raspberry Jelly:  Compelled To Cook

       

      Red Currant Raspberry Jelly
      Print Recipe
        Servings
        9 250ml jars
        Servings
        9 250ml jars
        Red Currant Raspberry Jelly
        Print Recipe
          Servings
          9 250ml jars
          Servings
          9 250ml jars
          Ingredients
          Servings: 250ml jars
          Instructions
          1. In a large heavy pot add currants, raspberries and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, mashing fruit as it cooks down. Remove from heat and strain through several layers of cheese cloth or pour into a jelly bag. Allow liquid to drip out over several hours or preferably overnight. Gently press solids to retrieve the last bit of liquid, being careful not to over squeeze the fruit as squeezing the fruit will bring out the bitterness in the skins.
          2. Prepare canner, jars, snap lids and bands and assemble all necessary equipment such as tongs and towels prior to starting. Wash and rinse jars, snap lids and bands. Place jars on a rack in your canner. Fill with water to 1" above the jars. Heat until water reaches 180℉. Keep warm until ready to use. In a small pot add snap lids and cover with water. Heat until water reaches 180℉, keep warm until ready to use.
          3. To a large heavy pot add 7 cups of sugar, 6.5 cups of juice, and 2 tsp lemon juice. Bring to a rolling boil and add pectin. Continue with a rolling boil for a full minute. Remove from heat and skim foam. Immediately pour hot jelly into prepared jars leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rim and top with prepared lids, screwing the bands to finger tight. Place jars in prepared water bath canner, cover with lid and process for 10 minutes, adjusting for your altitude (see notes). For me it was 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow canner to sit for 5 minutes before removing jars to a towel lined rack. Allow jars to cool undisturbed.
          4. Remove bands and clean jar tops if needed. Re attach bands loosely and label as desired. Store in a cool dark place for up to 1 year. Enjoy!
          Recipe Notes

          Altitude Chart

          1001-3000  Increase time by 5 minutes

          3001-6000  Increase time by 10 milnutes

          6001-8000  Increase time by 15 minutes

          8001-10000  Increase time by 20 minutes

          Smoky Paprika Caper Compound Butter

          Smoky Paprika Caper Compound Butter

          How do you like your steak?  For me, it’s medium rare with a good sear, which leaves the meat nicely warmed yet plenty pink and juicy.  Top it with Smoky Paprika Caper Compound Butter and I’m in carnivore heaven.

          Adorning steak with compound butter is certainly not a new concept but the flavour combination possibilities are virtually endless, making it a delicious new experience every time you change it up.  Smoky Paprika Caper Compound Butter is smoky, briny and salty, cutting the richness of the steak. The butter is the flavour vessel, slowly releasing its aromatic bounty as the butter melts.  It will have you mopping around your plate to sop up every drop.

          Compound butters are not only an elevated way to serve your steak, but ridiculously easy, customizable and made in advance so serving is a breeze.  Try a compound butter bar, where guests can pick their own flavour combination  to put on their steak, or vegetables or baked potatoes or…..you get the idea!

          Recipe inspiration for Smoky Paprika Caper Compound Butter: Epicurious Grilled Rib Eye with Paprika Vinaigrette

           

          Smoky Paprika Caper Compound Butter
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            8 servings 15 minutes
            Passive Time
            1 hour
            Servings Prep Time
            8 servings 15 minutes
            Passive Time
            1 hour
            Smoky Paprika Caper Compound Butter
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              8 servings 15 minutes
              Passive Time
              1 hour
              Servings Prep Time
              8 servings 15 minutes
              Passive Time
              1 hour
              Ingredients
              Servings: servings
              Instructions
              1. Combine all ingredients in a mini food processor or bowl and blend until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Scoop butter onto a 10" long piece of plastic wrap or parchment. Roll into a log approximately 5" long and 1 1/2" in diameter wrapping the plastic or parchment around log to cover and seal. Chill for at least an hour prior to serving. To serve, cut log into 8 equal pieces and serve on top of grilled meats, vegetables or potatoes.
              Recipe Notes

              Any butter left over can be wrapped well and frozen for future use.