Tag Archives | persimmon

Thanksgiving Cranberry Chutney

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Cranberries are a Thanksgiving classic. This chunky chutney recipe brings even more fresh fall Local Box fruits into the equation! It’s delightful on crackers, with cheese, and (of course) with turkey. My family makes a killer Gobbler Sandwich with Thanksgiving leftovers, and Cranberry Sauce is essential.

Cranberry Chutney
Makes about 4 c.
Recipe from Jordan Swim, from Allen High School’s Blu Cooking School!

1 grapefruit (or orange), skin removed, chopped
1/4 c. grapefruit (or orange) juice
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 3/4 c. sugar
1  large apple, or two small persimmons, or a large Asian pear (or a combination!) peeled, cored, chopped
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cranberries are bursting. Hope you’re wearing an apron! At this point, taste and check for seasoning. Feel free to continue cooking for up to 20 minutes- the mixture will reduce and thicken.

This recipe can be made days or weeks before and stored in an airtight container or in the freezer. If you prefer saucier cranberries, add more liquid on the day you’re serving the cranberries. Port or red wine are lovely for the holidays, but water is also an option. Simmer until desired consistency is reached.

 

Canning Cranberry Chutney
Cranberry chutneys are also great for canning! Follow the recipe above, but subtract the nuts. Then follow the recipe below. If this is your first time canning, check out Principles of Home Canning from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

1. While cranberries are cooking, prepare canner, jars, rings, and lids. (half-pint jars make great gifts!) My canner set up is a large pot with a small drying rack set at the bottom. The pot just needs to be large enough so that you can submerge your jars in 1″ of water.  You can sterilize your jars, lids, and rings by washing them with hot soapy water. You can also run jars through the dishwasher and then heating your lids in water on the stove.
2. Ladle chutney into half pint jars, leaving a generous half inch of headspace (room at the top.) Run a chopstick  around the inside of the jar to remove air bubbles.
3. Wipe jar rims with a clean, dry towel. Apply lids and tighten rings to fingertip tight.
4. Return filled jars to canner, bring to a rolling boil and process for 10 minutes*.
5. Allow jars to cool completely on a towel on your counter for 24 hours. After 24 hours, check the seal by removing the ring and gently pulling the lid. If it sealed properly, it will stay on!
6. If the lid came off, don’t worry! Just store that one in the fridge, or try reprocessing. If they are properly sealed, store in a cool, dark place until ready to give as a gift.

*10 minutes processing is sufficient at or below 1,000 feet elevation. If you live at a higher altitude you’ll need to adjust the processing time accordingly.

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Spicy Sweet Potato Hash With Persimmons And Winter Greens

Spicy Sweet Potato Hash With Persimmons And Winter Greens

Spicy Sweet Potato Hash With Persimmons And Winter Greens

What better way to kickoff  fall than with this spicy sweet stir-fry hash with lovely local veggies?! This hash features the best of the Local Box. Feel free to add an over-easy egg to the top of this pile of veggies.

I'm even toying with the idea of adding this to our holiday menu come Thanksgiving or Christmas. . . .

Sweet & Spicy!

Look at these beauties! They don't even look real!

Look at these beauties!

so pretty. . .

But what REALLY matters is how they look on the INSIDE.

Ingredients

4 large jalapenos or 1 bell pepper, chopped

3 T. olive oil

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

2 cloves elephant garlic, minced (@ 2 Tablespoons)

1 T. paprika

1/2  t. anise seed

1/8 t. ground cloves

1/8 t. cinnamon

1/8 t. black pepper

2 t. salt

1/2 t. black pepper

1 c. water

2 persimmons, sliced into ‘sticks’

1 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped

1 T. rice vinegar

Directions

1. Sautee pepper and olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes.

2. Turn heat to high. Add sweet potatotes, 1/2 c. water, and spices. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring.

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3. Reduce heat. Cover and cook on low for 25-30 minutes or until fork tender.

4. Add 1/2 c. water, persimmons, kale, and vinegar and cook for 5 more minutes.

Kale- this dish is so easy you could almost cook it in your sleep!

Kale- this dish is so easy you could almost cook it in your sleep!

persimmon sticks

persimmon sticks

5. Serve and enjoy immediately.

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Pumpkin Persimmon Walnut Bread

It’s hard to know what to do with persimmons if you’re unfamiliar, especially if you don’t have the brain-bursting soft variety. But these little hard ones, the fuyu persimmons, are darn sweet as well. In fact, they’re a good stand-in for apples, if you happen to like baking with apples. I find they are easiest to prepare for baking by slicing off the top, quartering, and then peeling each quarter with a paring knife before dicing.

Pumpkin Persimmon Walnut Bread

Some like to put icing on tea breads, but to me that’s just taking things a little too far. Most tea (or “quick”) breads are already quite sweet, and I prefer to let the natural ingredients shine rather than pure sweetness. Walnuts are an excellent alternative, as the crunchy-yet-creamy nut is a nice contrast to the pumpkin and persimmon. I added nuts to both the batter and the top, resulting in a bread that is studded with hearty flavor, but you can just put the nuts on top or omit them altogether. Pepitas, pumpkin seeds, are a nice alternative if you don’t like nuts but still want some crunch.

I’m addicted to self-rising flour lately, but if you don’t have it, you can swap in regular flour, and be sure to add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt to your dry ingredients.

Pumpkin Persimmon Walnut Bread

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup diced fuyu persimmons (about 3-4)
1 cup walnuts (about 3.5 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a loaf pan. I like to use baking paper laid across in two perpendicular strips, as it doesn’t require extra oil and makes cleanup easy.
In a small bowl, mix together flour and spices. In a larger bowl, beat together pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, until just mixed. Stir in persimmons.
Chop the walnuts and reserve about 1/4. Fold 3/4 of the walnuts into the batter.
Pour batter in the prepared pan and scatter the remaining walnut pieces on top.
Bake for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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Persimmon Sweet Potato Soup

Count persimmons as one of those foods I wasted too much of my life not eating. Truth be told I don’t think I even knew what a persimmon was until last year. I have a lot of time to make up for. I’ve noticed we mostly get the fuyu variety, although other kinds sometimes pop up.

We like to eat persimmons in both the firm stage and the OMG-soft-touches-only stage. The former is great for snacking and the latter works perfectly as a jam stand-in. Of course, as is my trend, I can’t simply eat a food without experimenting, and after a little bit of Googling I hit upon the idea of persimmon soup.

 

Persimmons are rather small, so I didn’t want to base the entire soup on them. Sweet potatoes are a natural match, and really help with adding bulk to the soup. With some spices and a mirepoix, the soup’s flavor is rather similar to butternut squash soup. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. The persimmon season is short, so try this recipe out while you still can!

If your fuyu persimmons aren’t in the squishy stage, you can pop them in the freezer overnight and thaw them in the fridge. The insides will scoop out easily with a spoon or melon baller. Haiyacha persimmons will need to ripen on the counter, but you can speed up the process by putting them in a paper bag with an apple or banana.

Persimmon Sweet Potato Soup
serves 4-6

1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup diced carrots
2/3 cup diced celery
2/3 cup diced onion
1 large sweet potato, diced
6 persimmons
5 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
Salt and pepper
Almond slivers (optional)

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium. Once the oil is shimmery, add the carrots, celery, and onions, and cook until vegetables are soft onions are translucent.
Cut persimmons in half from the bottom and scoop out pulp, removing any hard bits. (The flesh should be dark orange and jammy, with a few dark flecks from sugar caramelization.)
Add sweet potato and persimmon to pot and cook 5 more minutes. Pour in stock and stir in turmeric and ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cover and let cook for at least 30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are completely soft.
Working in batches, puree soup in a blender (or use a stick blender), then return to pot. Taste soup and season with salt and pepper to your liking. If your soup is too thick, add additional stock or water to thin it out. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with almond slivers on top, if desired, and bread for dipping.

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Persimmon Bread

[Printable Recipe]

I’m never sure what to do with persimmons when they’re really mushy. I used them in sorbet, and that went well, but it’s been so cold that I haven’t been in the sorbet mood lately. I’ve put them in waffles, but I wasn’t as pleased as I was with the fig waffles experiment, as the persimmon flavor didn’t really come through as much as I had hoped. I scoured the web for some new ideas, and found a recipe for persimmon bread on David Lebovitz’s blog. His recipes have always worked out well, and since it was originally from James Beard, I had high hopes.

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Besides, it called for a ton of whiskey. What could be bad!?

Let me tell you that I loved this bread. The spicy notes of the whiskey came through really nicely, and complemented the sweet persimmon so well. No one was able to pinpoint what those spicy notes exactly were though, so I had fun keeping people guessing. This was as easy to make as any other quickbread, but flavor-wise, it was so different (in a good way!) than the typical pumpkin or banana bread that I’ll be keeping this in my rotation for a while (as long as persimmons are in season, that is!).

Since I only had 2 persimmons, I halved the original recipe to make just 1 loaf.

Adapted from James Beard, via David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup Cognac, bourbon or whiskey (I used Jack Daniels, since we already had some in the house.)
  • 1 c. persimmon puree (from about 2 squishy-soft Hachiya persimmons. I run the persimmon chunks through the food mill to preserve the consistency, but I’m sure a blender would be okay too.)
  • 2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Butter a loaf pan, then dust with flour. Tap out the excess.
  • Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, granulated sugar and brown sugar together into a mixing bowl.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then stir in the butter, eggs, liquor, and persimmon puree. When the dry ingredients are incorporated, fold in the nuts.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for ~1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out cleanly.

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Ideas for a Local Thanksgiving

Better late than never, right? I told you about how I was planning on using my Greenling box for Thanksgiving dinner this year. I had to supplement a bit (my sit-down dinner for 6 ballooned into an all-out buffet for 15), but I kept all of the dishes the same and just made more. Here are some of the successes of the night:

Cranberry-Persimmon Chutney:

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The great thing about this dish was that I made it ahead of time and just took it out of the fridge an hour before my guests arrived. This could definitely take the place of a traditional cranberry sauce, but it’s a bit sweeter and more complex in flavor. I used this recipe (minus the pork part) and left the cinnamon sticks in for the entire simmering process. I also realized that the liquid wasn’t reducing at all after about an hour of simmering, at which point I cranked up the heat and reduced the liquid so that it was the consistency of a chutney.

I served this with crackers and a local aged camembert that I got from Humble House at the Pearl Farmers Market.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes:

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Such an easy recipe that’s great for a weeknight dinner too. Just cube the potatoes (other root veggies, like turnips or parsnips, would be great here too), toss them in a bit of canola oil and herbs (I like thyme, dried or fresh is fine), spread them out on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, tossing midway though the cooking time. I like roasting veggies like this because they reheat nicely (so you can make it ahead of time) and it’s so forgiving that it’s not stressful when making it for a large crowd.

Rosemary Parmesan Pinwheels:

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We also got a huge bunch of rosemary in our box, so I served this appetizer to appropriately highlight it. I actually prepped these the night before and baked them right before guests came, and they turned out really well. I doubled the amount of parmesan (what can I say — I like parmesan!), so they were doubly salty and cheesy. The bottoms were a bit browner than I would’ve liked (I let them go probably a minute too long), but our guests still loved them. They were great little bites before dinner. I’m looking forward to experimenting with puff pastry pinwheels using other ingredients (perhaps using sundried tomatoes, other herbs, meats or lox?).

Did you make any Thanksgiving recipe with the contents of your Local Box?

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