Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fun & different condiments for Saturday's picnic

All of the following recipes were taken from "Gifts from the Kitchen" by Ann Kleinberg. (I couldn't find it on Amazon, but this is Ann's website - cool chic!!!)
Most of the recipes I've adapted for my personal taste (and what I had on hand), and I'll note when I've done that. The one exception is the stuffed olives. That I came up with on my own, though I realize now that I wasn't the first to think of it!

Pineapple Corn Relish
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup pineapple chunks
combine corn and pineapple, set aside.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Combine olive oil, vinegar and honey. Pour over corn and pineapple and mix. Chill, covered, and let marinate several hours.
I adapted it to suit my preferences, but Ann adds 1/2 red onion, 1 small red hot chile pepper and 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro.

Pickled Radishes
2 cups radishes, chopped
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Chop radishes and place in a jar. Combine vinegar and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the radishes. Cover and chill at least overnight.
Ann actually calls for sliced radishes but I don't have the patience for that! She also adds 2 small red onions, 2 tbs salt and 5 whole black peppercorns.

I stuff green olives with Gorgonzola cheese. I thought this was pretty self explanatory, but as I was doing it I realized there are a few tricks to it. Usually I get my pitted olives in a brine. Drain the brine from the container and then stand the olives on end so that the inside of the olive drains as well (see first olive picture). I have always used pre-crumbled Gorgonzola in the past, but decided I didn't want to pay extra for it. Purely by accident, the cheese was slightly warm when I got to crumbling it and it was actually at a lumpy-but-spreadable consistency. I think it was out of the fridge for about an hour by that point. It was much easier to use softened than even crumbled.

My first time trying this!
Onion Jam
2lb Vidalia onions, chopped
6 tbsp butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup Marsala wine
Heat the butter in a large skilled over high heat.

Add the onions. when they start to turn translucent, add the sugar. Lower the heat to medium and cook covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the vinegar and wine and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about an hour.

The mixture should reduce and take on a jam-like texture.

Ann actually calls for dry or semi-dry white wine, but Marsala was all I had in the house. She also calls for red onions and adds "(or white)" in her recipe. The only type of onion I like is vidalia, so that's what I used!

I can't wait until Saturday!


Chile said...

Wow, those all look interesting. I like the idea of onion jam, but wonder if I could omit the butter and use water instead. I recently made a sweet onion relish that was wonderful. When it first started cooking, I tasted it and thought, "Ick!" but then alchemy happened and it was great. Very much like pickle relish but with onion.

MJ said...

I'd be interested to hear the results of that! I'll definitely be making more of this, so perhaps I'll try it in the future. Water or olive oil which I use a lot of when I'm being more health-conscious.