poached egg and grilled pork on a rice burger patty


We haven’t been to Somtam restaurant in months, so we went last night and brought home our leftovers:  grilled pork and sticky rice. I like these leftovers. They make a great breakfast the next day.

Heat about 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet over medium heat until it shimmers.

To make the rice burger patties, I pressed the sticky rice in the bottom of a ramekin, to make a patty about 1 inch high. If the rice is too dry, pour about a teaspoon of water on it and nuke it for about 20 seconds or until it is soft. To unmold the rice, run a sharp thin blade around the edges and shake it out upside down into the skillet with the hot oil. The rice will sizzle. Fry each patty about 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy.

Meanwhile, crack an egg on the counter and open the egg in a clean ramekin.

To poach the egg, heat 2/3 pot of water in a small sauce pan. Add about 1 tablespoon vinegar to the water and let it boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Using a silicone spatula, swirl the water and slip the egg from the ramekin  into the center of the eddy. Swirl a little bit more, being careful not to break the yolk. The vinegar helps the egg yolk and egg white to combine while the swirling eddy helps to shape the cooking egg  into a round. Cook 3-4 minutes depending on how runny you want your egg yolk.

To remove the egg from the sauce pan, I use a spider. This is a spatula with a round head that has holes instead of slits. Drain the poached egg well and put it on top of the rice burger patty.

To assemble, put the  patty on a plate. Top with a piece of ham, or in this case, grilled pork, and  of course, the poached egg. Garnish with Sriracha sauce, if desired. Other garnishes: minced onion or scallion and chopped fresh cilantro.

Herbed Pan-Fried Pork Chop

Reblogged from More Than One More Day.Blogspot.com November 13, 2010.

I always like to try new recipes. This one is from America’s Test Kitchen, which seldom disappoints. It had good flavor without being either too salty or too oily. The only question I had was, what do I do with the crisp bacon bits?

Blended spices (or use your own blend)
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon sage
pinch of ground fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup flour
3 strips of bacon, chopped
4 center cut, bone-in pork chops
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Make the spice blend. Pour blended spices in a shallow pan or pie plate. You may find you will need to make another batch after two pork chops. I did. Pour flour into another pan or pie plate.

Season the pork chops. Dip each chop in the spice blend, then lightly dredge in the flour. Let the pork chops rest in a plate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fry up the bacon in a large 12 inch skillet. When crisp, remove the bacon to drain but reserve the bacon fat. Start wth 1/4 cup of oil to the fat and heat until just smoking. Add more oil if necessary.

Fry the pork chops. Put each pork chop in the hot oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side. Mine came out over done so I would reduce that to 2-3 minutes per side instead. Drain on a greased wire rack set over a baking tray in a warm oven. Don’t discard the pan drippings.

Still no idea what to do with the bacon bits but since I was making pan fried asparagus with tomatoes and black olives, I decided to dress that up with the bacon. Ta-dah!

Pan-fried Asparagus with Tomatoes and Black Olives (and bacon bits)
2 pounds thick asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup black olives, chopped
2 -4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 tablespoon bacon, chopped and fried until crisp, drained (optional)
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Trim the asparagus. Hold up one spear and snap off the end. Cut all the other spears to the same length.

Make the tomato-black olive dressing. Use the pan drippings from the pork chops to make the dressing. Over medium heat, fry the garlic in the pan drippings until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and olives. Cook until the tomatoes “spring” water and become wilted. Pour the dressing into a bowl, cover with foil, and reserve.

Cook the asparagus. Rinse out the skillet and dry it with paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil. Lay half the spears in the pan in one direction. Lay the other half in the opposite direction. Cover and cook over medium heat until the asparagus turns a bright green, about 2-4 minutes. Remove to a serving dish and pour the dressing on top. Top with cheese, basil, or bacon bits.

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops and Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Reblogged from More Than One More Day, Sunday September 26, 2010

Simple avocado and lettuce salad, pasta with etc. and the crunchy pork chop

Like any good foodie, I went to check out the new Trader Joe’s that opened at 72nd and Broadway. Looking for what America’s Test Kitchen calls “a hearty white bread” I chose this one as a likely candidate. In the package the slices were 1 inch thick and were substantial, without that Wonder Bread softness. When the cashier told me it makes excellent French toast I knew I was in the neighborhood. The menu tonight was entirely from America’s Test Kitchen. I had to make some adjustments since Fairway, just 2 blocks up Broadway from Trader Joe’s, does not sell center cut pork chops 2 to a pack but 3 to a pack. This recipe requires you to make your own breadcrumbs but after that, the pork chops cook very quickly in less than 20 minutes. In this recipe you must soak the meat in brine before baking.

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
3 center cut boneless pork chops, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat

4-6 teaspoons table salt (down from 1/4 cup)
4 cups water
1 gallon size ziploc bag

Dipping Mixtures:

breadcrumb mixture
3 slices of “hearty white bread”, shredded into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup onion
3 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (parsley in the original recipe but I like cilantro)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/4 cup

egg white mixture
6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 lime wedges for garnish

Combine all the brine ingredients in the gallon ziploc bag. Put the pork chops inside, close it, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from the bag and pat dry. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

While the pork chops are brining, prepare the bread crumb mixture. Pulse the bread pieces in a food processor or blender until you get coarse crumbs. If using a blender, do a handful at a time. Spread the bread crumbs on a tray. I like onion and garlic, so I increased the amounts from 2 tablespoons onion to 1/4 cup, and I used 3 large cloves instead of 2 medium. Pulse the onions, garlic, and oil together, about 6 times.

Add the onion mixture to the breadcrumbs and mix well. Bake until golden brown and dry, about 20 minutes, stirring twice. Remove the breadcrumbs from the oven but do not turn it off. Let the breadcrumbs come to room temperature. Toss the crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and chopped cilantro. Transfer to a pie plate and set aside. In another pie plate, pour 1/4 cup flour and set aside. In a third pie plate, add the egg whites, mustard, and 6 tablespoons flour. Whisk until there are pea sized particles.

Increase oven temperature to 425˚F. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and put it in a baking tray. Dip each pork chop in the following sequence: flour, egg mixture, and breadcrumb mixture. Place about 1 inch apart on the prepared wire rack. Bake 17-25 minutes. I baked the 3 chops for 17 minutes and they came out juicy and slightly pink but cooked through. According to ATK, the internal temperature should reach 135˚F. Then let the chops rest 5 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 150˚F. Now ATK did not say resting inside or outside the oven, but I turned off the oven and left the chops inside for 5 minutes. They were indeed crunchy, as promised, and not at all salty.

Here’s the recipe for the pasta. Now, when I cook, I don’t run and and buy everything exactly as the recipe says for one very simple reason: economy. I make substitutions especially if they won’t alter the taste or the appearance of the finished product. Instead of pasta shells, I used an open package of elbow macaroni from my pantry cupboard.

Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Ricotta, and Peas
2 cups pasta shells
1 cup frozen green peas
3 large cloves garlic (up from 2 cloves)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I didn’t increase this because these pepper flakes are potent–they’re home-made by my sister-in-law’s cook in Bangkok)
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 8.5 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained, rinsed, and chopped coarsely
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped thinly
salt and black pepper to taste

Boil the pasta according to package directions. In the last 15 seconds, add the frozen peas. Drain and return to the pot.

In a small skillet, heat the garlic, oil and pepper flakes until sizzling but not browned. I accidentally browned the garlic, but I think it tastes better that way. I like the strong burned flavor. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, mint, salt and pepper to taste, and the garlic oil mixture. Add to the pasta and peas and mix thoroughly.

spicy sweet corn, zucchini, and ricotta fritters with fresh tomato salsa


I was thinking again how much these fritters remind me of shrimp fritters. The first time I made them, I followed the original recipe. This time around, I changed things up. So I added more flour, lots of black pepper, and some fresh chilies. The chilies add flavor to the fritters, but if you want more heat, leave in the seeds. I like a tomato salsa with these fritters, and I prefer to make my own as the store-bought tends to be salty and sour. And fresh tastes better anyway!

Spicy Sweet Corn, Zucchini, & Ricotta Fritters (adapted from Taste.com)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 16-20 minutes

1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2 cups self rising flour, plus more for thickening
2 1/2 cups fresh corn, about 2 medium ears
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini, about 2 medium
1 small green sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
3 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons black pepper, coarse ground
3-4 red chilies, seeded and chopped
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

Fresh tomato salsa, for serving
Baby cos lettuce (romaine lettuce), for serving

Whisk milk and eggs together. Add ricotta cheese and blend well. Add flour gradually, blending it in, stirring constantly so there are no lumps and a smooth batter forms. Add corn, zucchini and pepper. Stir in the scallions, black pepper, and the chilies. Season to taste with salt. The batter should be thick. Because the zucchini springs water, add more flour as needed. Test it—the batter should mound when dropped from a spoon. If it doesn’t, add more flour a tablespoon at a time.

Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until oil shimmers. Using a 1/4 cup measure, mound three scoops of batter into the skillet and fry until golden on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and do the second side for another 2-3 minutes. If the heat is too hot, and the fritters fry up too quickly, turn down the heat a little. Do a second batch, adding more oil as needed. When you do, you will have to let the oil heat up again. Continue until all the batter is used up.

Drain fritters on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking tray. Serve with a fresh tomato salsa and baby cos leaves. Makes about 24 fritters.

Fresh Tomato Salsa (adapted from Eating Well)
• 1 large tomato, diced (or 2 medium)
• 1/4 cup scallion, minced
• 1-2 chilies, seeded and minced
• lime juice (half a small lime)
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Serving Suggestion: Serve fritters with Tzatziki Sauce.

chicken kebabs with oven-roasted vegetables, lemon dressing, and tzatziki sauce


We ate Chinese twice this weekend. To change things up, I made chicken kebabs that had been marinated in yogurt and paired them with oven-roasted vegetables. Since the vegetables cook at different times, I parboiled them. That is to say, I cooked them in boiling salted water so that they could roast in the oven at the same time. The caveat to this recipe is not to marinate the chicken more than 6 hours because the yogurt tenderizes the meat; any longer and the meat turns to mush. Marinated for 3 hours, the grilled chicken turned out moist and tender and so savory. To serve, all you do is sprinkle the lemon dressing on the meat and eat with tzatziki sauce on the side.

Chicken Kebabs
Prep time: 20 minutes
Marinating: 3 hours
Cook time: 10 minutes

1 boneless skinless chicken thigh cut into strips 2 inches wide
3 cups chicken tenders cut into thirds
1/2 cup plain low fat or fat free yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 small onion, quartered
1/2 cup sweet bell pepper cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
6 shiitake mushrooms, whole
6 small tomatoes, whole
6-8 metal skewers

Lemon Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Sugar, optional (only if the dressing is too tart)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary

Tzatziki Sauce
2 cups cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup plain low fat or non fat yogurt
1/4 cup green pepper
1/4 cup onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 heaping tablespoons each fresh herbs, e.g. mint, dill, cilantro
2 tablespoons white vinegar, plus more if it’s not tart enough
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Sugar, optional (only if the sauce is too tart)

  1. Make the lemon dressing and the tzatziki sauce. Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together until they emulsify. Stir in the garlic and rosemary, and season to taste. Put all the ingredients for the tzatziki sauce in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is chunky and season to taste.  Refrigerate the dressing and the sauce until ready to eat.
  2. Marinate the chicken in the yogurt mixture and refrigerate. Take it out of the refrigerator and thread 2-3 pieces of meat on the skewer, leaving a little space in between. Top the end of the skewer with sweet pepper, onion, mushroom and tomato. Repeat process until the chicken is finished. It makes about 8-10 skewers. Discard the marinade.
  3. Grill in a 200˚C/450˚F oven for about 10 minutes or until the edges of the meat and vegetables become slightly charred.

Oven-Roasted Vegetables
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 22 minutes, 30 seconds
Roasting time: 20 minutes

1 daikon, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 large potato, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 cups broccoli florets
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat the oven 200˚C/450˚F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

Boil a pot of lightly salted water. Cook the daikon 5 minutes, the carrots 7 minutes, and the potatoes 10 minutes. Dunk the broccoli in the water for just 30 seconds or until they turn bright green.

Shock the vegetables in an ice bath to stop the cooking and set the color.

Drain the vegetables and pat dry. Put them in a large bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Put vegetables in a single layer on the tray. You may need 2 trays to do this. Roast vegetables in oven about 20-25 minutes or until they begin to brown.

Aunt Gloria’s Shrimp Fritters


Reblogged from morethanonemoreday.blogspot.com, Sunday July 18, 2010

The nicest thing about visiting Calgary is finding out what family foodies are cooking and eating! This recipe is full of shrimp and flavor. The egg, which is optional, adds additional leavening. The tomato helps keep the fritter moist. At my dad’s request, my sister-in-law Lorraine made these fritters for a Calgary Stampede breakfast at home. Our guests requested her recipe because they loved these fritters so much. Lorraine uses very little measurements in her cooking but I like to be scientific so these amounts, except for the shrimp, are approximate.

3 lb. (6 cups) large frozen fresh shrimp, thawed, shelled, deveined, cut into 4 pieces each and sprinkled with 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour, plus more as needed (omit salt or use very little if using self-rising flour)
1 egg (optional)
1 large tomato seeded and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper (use less if preferred)
2 cups water, plus more as needed
1 cup scallion, chopped finely  (about 1 bunch),
1  1/2 cup cilantro, chopped finely (about 1 1/2 bunches)
1-3 “country peppers” (scotch bonnet or habañero), seeded and chopped finely (discard seeds or use them if a hotter fritter is desired)
1 inch of oil in a heavy skillet for frying.

In a large bowl, mix the flour and black pepper. Add shrimp, egg (if using), tomato, water, scallion and cilantro. Mix well. The batter should be thick, not runny. There are two ways to test this. First, dip a spoon in the batter and drop it on the surface.  If the batter mounds and doesn’t spread, the batter is thick enough. The second way is the traditional method.  Lorraine dips a wooden chopstick in the batter and pulls out the stick.  If batter runs off the chopstick, it needs more flour. If it drips in clumps, it’s thick enough. Add a bit more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the batter is too thin. If the batter is too thick, add up to 1/2 cup more water, one tablespoon at a time. Add the chilies to the batter and stir to combine.

For the next part, put on a kitchen apron in case the oil spatters. Heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Lorraine dips a wet wooden chopstick in the oil; if it sizzles then it is hot enough. Drop batter in rounded kitchen spoonfuls in hot oil, each fritter about 3 inches in diameter. Fry until golden, about 2-3 minutes on each side. If the fritters get brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Fry just 3 fritters at a time. Drain well on paper toweling. Cool slightly. Serve warm as an appetizer or as a snack.

jamaican curry lamb


Every cook in Jamaica has his/her own version of curry goat—for that’s what you get when you go to the island. But goat isn’t readily available elsewhere so here we use lamb when we can get it. My dad makes his version of Jamaican curry lamb—rich with curry powder and Scotch Bonnet pepper. My tolerance for pepper is so low that I don’t taste anything but I feel the burn. As a result, I have never been able to taste and appreciate curry lamb. So when I came across Melissa Clark’s recipe (attributed to Martin Maginley of Round Hill Resort), I decided it had possibilities. I reviewed the ingredients and accepted the challenge.

It took me two days to gather all the ingredients. Lamb is not a common commodity and neither are Scotch Bonnet peppers. Andy did some networking. His friend Robert recommended we try Villa Supermarket at Paradise Park for the lamb. He was right. I bought a 3 pound boneless lamb shoulder there.  Bangkok Foodies ‪#‎BangkokFoodies recommended to Andy that we try the other Villa on Sukhumvit for the peppers.  On Friday, I went to the Villa on Sukhumvit and bought their last pack of Habañero peppers. Habañeros are a good substitute for Scotch Bonnet peppers. That afternoon I seasoned the lamb and put it in the fridge to marinate overnight. Today, the curry lamb is center stage.

Jamaican Curry Lamb (adapted from NY Times)

Prep time: 30 minutes
Marinating time: 2 to 12 hours
Cooking time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours

3 pounds boneless lamb stew meat, 2” chunks (I used boneless lamb shoulder)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
2 scallions coarsely chopped or 1/ 2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 whole allspice berries (pimento) or 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
1 1/2 cups diced potato
1 cup diced carrots
1-2 whole Scotch Bonnet peppers, seeded and chopped (leave in the seeds if more heat is desired)

Cooked white rice or coconut rice

Lime wedges for serving
Mango chutney or mango pickle, for serving
Fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped for serving

Pat lamb dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon curry powder, salt, ground ginger, and black pepper. Add spice mix to large bowl and toss with lamb.

Cook’s Note: After patting the lamb shoulder dry, I trimmed as much excess fat and skin off the shoulder as I could. Lamb is very oily when it stews. Then I chopped up the meat into 2 inch chunks.

Combine onion, scallion, garlic, fresh ginger, allspice, thyme, and 2 tablespoons oil in a blender; purée until smooth. Scrape mixture over lamb and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in 2 teaspoons curry powder and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot, brown the meat on all sides. Drizzle in additional oil, if needed, to prevent meat from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Transfer browned meat to a plate.

Once all the meat is browned, return it to the pot along with any juices on the plate. Add enough water to cover the meat, just. Bring liquid to a simmer, covered, then uncover the pot and cook gently 45 minutes.

Stir potato, carrots, and Scotch Bonnets into the pot. Simmer until the vegetables are fork tender and meat is cooked through, about 30-45 minutes longer.

Cook’s Note: Jamaican cooks use Scotch Bonnet peppers for their flavor as much as for their heat. I slit the peppers before adding them whole to the pot. One is spicy, two may be extremely spicy.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat and vegetables to a bowl. Simmer cooking liquid until it has reduced and thickened to a saucy consistency (to taste), about 15-20 minutes. Remove the peppers from the pot. To make the pot spicier, chop up the peppers then add them back to the pot. Or you could skip this step altogether. Don’t throw out the pepper but offer it as a side for those who like more heat on their plate. Taste sauce and add more salt if needed. Pour sauce over meat and vegetables.

Cook’s Note: To make a simple coconut rice, substitute unsweetened coconut milk for half the water. Add a pinch of salt. I recommend  using basmati rice.

Serving Suggestion:  coconut rice with curry lamb and gravy topped with a squeeze of lime, a dollop of mango chutney or mango pickle, and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro. And the pepper from the pot.

This curry is full of flavor, everything melded together in the meat and in the sauce, and not spicy-hot at all. The mango chutney adds a sweet-tartness to balance the spiciness, and the coconut rice is the stalwart in the background, a perfectly al dente accompaniment for the sauce.

my obsession: fruit jams


I have become obsessed with jam.

Now I am spooning strawberry jam on top of a stack of pancakes and eating it with yogurt. Technically, I called this a strawberry jam after the recipe, but it lacked the consistency of commercial jams. So is it a jam or a preserve?

Whatever! It was fun and easy to make, so when Andy bought some red seedless grapes instead of eating it all, I made grape jam. I know red grapes aren’t the type of grape used to make jam, but I wanted to try it anyway. I used the same recipe for the strawberry jam from The Kitchn.

Red Grape Refrigerator/Freezer Jam
Makes 1 1/2 cups
Fills 2 Weck Tulip (7.4 oz) jars

3 cups red seedless grapes, quartered
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar, plus more to sweeten to taste
pinch of salt

Boil a kettle of water. Wash and dry two Weck tulip jars (each 7.4 oz). Fill with boiling water and set aside. Fill a small bowl with hot water and soak the lid and rubber sealing rings. Set aside.

Taste the grapes to see how sweet it is and adjust the sugar accordingly. In a medium size pot add the grapes, salt, and sugar. Cut a 2 inch piece of lemon from the end. Squeeze the juice into the pot and drop in the rind. Mash grapes, being careful not to mash the lemon piece. Put 3 metal tablespoons in the freezer.

Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. When it bubbles, cook for another 8 minutes, stirring frequently. It should start to deepen in color to an eggplant purple and begin to thicken.

Take a spoon out of the freezer and dribble a few drops of jam on the spoon. Make a track in the jam—if it doesn’t run back together it is set. If it does, cook a bit longer and test again.

Taste the jam on the spoon. If it isn’t sweet enough, add more sugar to taste. Cook for a few minutes more, stirring, to dissolve the sugar.

When the jam is set, remove the lemon rind and discard. Pour the jam into a clean 2-cup measure. Drain the jars and carefully pour the jam in each jar, evenly dividing the jam between each. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. Cover. Refrigerate to eat now or freeze to eat later.


low sugar no pectin strawberry refrigerator/freezer jam

DSC05140I made French toast today and put a spoonful of the strawberry jam on top and between the slices. I added a dollop of crème fraîche. Delicious. I reserve “decadent” for chocolate but this jam was pretty close.


Strawberries were on sale at Tops Supermarket for Baht 139 per pint. I bought 2 pints. I knew I didn’t want to make another strawberry pie again,  so I thought, what about strawberry jam? The berries in the pints were either just ripe or somewhat under-ripe. Perfect for jam. Something tart-yet-sweet to spread on toast or eat with bread and peanut butter. The Kitchn had this recipe called Basic Fruit Jam that seemed quite simple and made just one batch. It was also low in sugar, up to 1/2 cup went into the jam;   and, this clinched it,  the recipe did not call for pectin. Instead it uses lemon to set the jam. I got 12 ounces of jam from the 2 pints. So here it is:

Low Sugar No Pectin Strawberry Refrigerator/Freezer Jam

2 pints strawberries, about 3 cups diced
1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup more
pinch of salt

Put 3 tablespoons in the freezer (tell you why later!) but do it. It’s really cool.

Boil some water and pour it into two clean jars, one 8 ounces the other 4 ounces. Put the lids in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside.

Prep the strawberries and cut a one inch piece of lemon from the end of the lemon.

Combine the fruit and sugar in a 2-3 quart pot. Add a pinch of salt. Squeeze in the lemon juice and drop the rind in the pot. Over medium heat, mash the fruit with a potato masher, avoiding mashing the lemon. Mash the berries until you get a chunky texture.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. When it boils, watch it carefully, stirring frequently, until the bubbles get smaller. Continue boiling 5-8 minutes. The mixture will start to thicken and as the strawberries cook, their color deepens to a warm ruby red.

Check to see if the jam has set. Remove a spoon from the freezer and dribble a few drops of jam on it. Run your finger through the jam. If it leaves a track without filling in, the jam is set. If not, continue cooking the jam and testing it until it is set. Isn’t that easy?!

As you test, taste the jam on the spoon, of course, don’t let it go to waste!  If it isn’t sweet enough add another 2-3 tablespoons or up to 1/4 cup more sugar–in other words, sweeten to taste. Stir sugar into the jam and cook until sugar dissolves. If more acidity is desired, add a bit of lemon juice, stirring to combine. I added an extra quarter cup of sugar and the jam came out tart-yet-sweet. When the jam is set, remove the lemon rind and discard.

Spoon the jam into a measuring cup with a spout. Drain off the water in the jars and pour the jam into the clean jars. The jars will be very hot so use caution and wear silicone gloves or use silicone pot holders to do this. I left 1/2 inch at the top of the 8 oz jar to allow for expansion.  I had four ounces left over; this went into the smaller jar. Fish out the lids with a pair of tongs and screw them on the jars. Because I knew we wouldn’t get to eat it right away, I  put the 8-ounce jar in the freezer. The 4-ounce jar of jam went into the refrigerator to enjoy later when it cooled and set some more.

Basic Jam for Beginners, All Natural, Low Sugar, No Pectin Added

Originally posted on The High Heel Gourmet:

Basic Jam Making for Beginner - NO Pectin by The High Heel Gourmet

Well, in case you ever wondered (just for the few that do wonder…I hope there is at least one, please!) why I’m not blogging as often in summer months, it’s because I’m busy doing preserves (jams), conserves, syrups or coulis from several fruits at the peak of the season, and some sauces, especially tomato sauce; these are taking time away from blogging and responding to comments.

Since I’ve been busy with preserving fruit, there are a lot of requests about my jam–either wanting to learn how to make them, or  how to BUY them. I’m NOT going to sell my jams, sorry. I don’t make jam to sell. I only make enough for myself and to give to my close friends. With the price I’m paying for fruit and sugar, if I sold them they would be too expensive.

Why? Because I don’t buy cheap fruit! I’m going to be…

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