8 October 2017

Green Fig Jam

After many years of looking rather miserable, our little fig shrub finally produced a reasonable number of figs this year and I was looking forward to trying my hand at fig jam. I counted 33 tiny figs.


Of course the Summers aren't sufficiently long and hot for the fruit to ripen, so I searched for what one could do with unripened figs and found a Bulgarian recipe that seemed compelling. The original article is here and is in Bulgarian and very random in the amounts of the recipe, so no wonder it didn't work out at all. I don't want to throw it away though and I've no idea how to use it up either, so it'll remain in the fridge for now.


I can't remember what goes for picking ripe figs, but when it comes to green/unripe ones, they need to be cut and they release a lot of white substance, which is said to be quite an irritant to the skin and difficult to wash off. So I used gloves to harvest them. That milky substance was sticky.


Because the jam recipe was so poor, I'm not going to even attempt to write it up with corrections, but I want to mention the bit that I really liked about this recipe - the addition of whole almonds, pushed into each fig, "à la grecque" or Greek style. This is a really nice idea for when making jam with whole fruit and when I find a good recipe for that, I'll give it a try again.


5 October 2017

Steamed Salmon Parcels

As per usual when I get a bit bored, I browse the internet for inspiration and as I've been knitting and crocheting a lot this year, I've spent a lot of time on youtube, where I came across this set of interesting ideas. It comes in two parts and shows additional ways of using rice paper. Here is part 1 and here is part 2.


Now watching these were a bit tough, I find the presentation style rather annoying, but some of the ideas seemed rather good, so I worked my way through both parts of the video. I particularly liked the steamed salmon parcels. I normally bake salmon in the oven, wrapped in aluminium foil and I tend to worry about this way of cooking because I wonder how environmentally unsound it is. I do put the foil in the recycling bin, but it can't be that good overall. So the idea of using rice paper was really appealing, both to keep everything together and then just eat everything. Also steaming is a bit quicker than baking in the oven, so I hope this means using less energy to cook.

My first attempt with these didn't work out too well, the reason being I used the steam inset that I use for steaming vegetables and although I brushed it with oil, the rice paper did stick to it very well and what I had to scrape off looked like some sort of snot. It tasted like rice, but visually was very un-appealing and of course Lundulph didn't like it.

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Thus I did some searching on Amazon and found a different kind of steam inset, which was mostly gaps and very little metal, clearly designed for steaming larger items. I measured my pots, but still the item that arrived was somewhat too large, so I had to fiddle around with getting a workable set-up, involving an inverted pan as a lid, very much like in the video. But it worked so much better. Lundulph still felt the texture of the rice paper didn't work for him, but I disagree, it did hold well enough to be removed from the steamer and placed on a plate. The texture is soft and feels a bit like the rice dough used for dumplings, which gives me even more ideas on making these with rice paper instead of making the dumpling dough.