DIY, Fermenting, Food, Recipes, Updates

Fermentation Friday

I think it’s been a whirlwind of a week, just the last few days even. As you may have read on my last blog post or the made by laura lee newsletter, I am suspending food production for the next few weeks.  For the time being, I will not be experimenting with fermented foods either.

It breaks my heart.  Really.  Why am I not experimenting as well as not selling?

I feel like holding off is the best-case scenario on selling jams, jellies, and sauerkrauts are the safest thing possible.  Despite being clean and sanitary beyond normal expectations, I’m a small business and I want to do what’s best for my customers, my own health, and the bigger picture. As far as playing with fermented foods, it’s too dang hard to get my hands on large amounts of produce to ferment.  The stores have been baren and farmers’ markets canceled.

So, let’s take a moment to celebrate all the beautiful and delicious veggies that I have been able to transform into probiotic filled food! Sauerkrauts, kimchis, and ginger, oh my! Below is the list with links you can revisit.  Thank you so much for your interest in this and I’m looking forward to when I can get back to it!  Until then… what should the next Friday blog be? I like this whole themed thing!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

DIY, Fermenting, Food, Recipes

Fermentation Friday

It’s my favorite day of the week, Fermentation Friday. Seriously, I can’t tell you how much I look forward to sharing the most recent fermented creation I’ve made. Seeing as I love kimchi, I decided to go with a green bean kimchi.  The recipe is based on Kirsten Shockey’s from her Fiery Ferments book.  I’ve altered it slightly, and think I will continue to do so as I tweak the recipe to my liking. Mainly, concentrating on making it spicier as this was particularly mild.

Green Bean Kimchi

  • 1 pound green beans, chopped into 1″ sections
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 TBSP fish sauce (or soy sauce for vegan/vegetarian)
  • 1 pound red jalapenos, coarsely chopped and deseeded
  • 1.5 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 TBSP red chili flakes (optional)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine green beans, green onions, garlic, garlic, and salt
  2. Place jalapenos in a blender, blend until a puree or paste
  3. Add pepper mash to green bean mixture
  4. Add in fish sauce to the pepper green bean mixture and mix well
  5. Transfer all items to a quart-sized mason jar.  Pack contents down to be submerged in the brine
  6. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 10-14 days. Check daily to make sure there are no air bubbles and resubmerge green beans in the brine, as necessary.

Note: if you’re wary of anything spicy, do not fear.  The brilliant red is deceiving.  This is mild in flavor. In fact, it tastes like a sour pickle. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

DIY, Fermenting, Food, Recipes

Fermentation Friday

Good morning, my apologies for posting a little later than normal, I’ve been pretty busy this morning trying to raise money for ATX Kids Club, a local nonprofit that promotes education through adventure-based learning. Today is the I Live Here I Give Here Amplify Austin Day, which is the largest day of giving here in Austin, TX.  If you’re feeling so inclined, by all means, feel free to donate here.  No amount is too small.

Now, let’s get down to fermented business…

The day has finally come and I am over the moon to share with you that my first batch of kimchi was a success! Not only a success but the best batch of fermented goodness I’ve made thus far.  In fact, I think I’ve eaten a third of it already, with a little help of course.  I will most definitely be making another batch of this soon in a matter of days.

Kimchi

  • 2 heads of Napa Cabbage, quartered and chopped in 2″ pieces
  • 2 bunches green onions/scallions, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1-2 daikon radish, shredded
  • 5 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fish sauce (if vegan or vegetarian, just use water and replace with an extra tablespoon of sea salt)
  • 10 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  1. After chopping cabbage, mix with sea salt to let sweat while prepping all other ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, then mix all other ingredients and transfer to fermentation crock.
  3. Press mixture down and place weights on top.
  4. Set in a cool, dark place for 1-5 days.  (I did the full 5 days)
  5. Make sure to check and turn the kimchi daily with clean hands or utensils.

Note: if you’re wary of anything spicy, do not fear.  The brilliant red is deceiving.  This is mild in flavor with no zing at all. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

DIY, Fermenting, Food, Recipes

Fermentation Friday

I’ve been on a ginger kick lately.  It could be the cold weather and fighting this cold. Personally, I think it’s the awesome flavor.  You can’t beat the sweet, earthy, and spicy flavor of ginger. While slightly labor intensive, this recipe for fermented ginger is super easy.  Peeling and slicing the ginger is the hardest part. Once it’s ready, this fermented ginger is great in stir-fries or steamed rice, and definitely perfect for sushi.

Fermented Ginger

  • 1 pound of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Slice ginger as thin as thin possible.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sliced ginger and salt, tossing to make sure every piece is covered.
  3. Transfer salt ginger mixture to jar.
  4. Use a ziplock bag filled with water to weigh down and cover ginger salt mixture.
  5. Set in a cool, dark place for 7-14 days.  (I always go with ten).
  6. Make sure to check on ginger and make sure that it stays submerged in brine.  You may have to push down.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

 

Canning

Butters and Jellies and Jams! Oh my!

butter jellies jamsOk, I cannot stop talking about cooler weather!  It means fall is here, sweaters, scarves, and all things pumpkin!  It also means that I am not avoiding my stove top and oven like the plague, which means when I got my latest order for a gift basket I was jumping for joy!  I had already been canning cucumbers like a mad woman despite the heat and humidity, but now I can have all the windows open on a cooler evening, have a glass of wine, crank up Miles Davis, and bust the ol’ recipe cards out.

I wanted to do something just a little different for this gift basket.  With the combination of seasonal produce and the love I have for the combination of sweet and savory flavors, I decided to play with both ideas!  Nettie’s Bread & Butter Pickles, Jalapeno Jelly, Ginger Peach Jam, and brand new to my recipe collection: Rosemary Pear Butter, were the winners for this little basket.  I must say the Rosemary Pear Butter paired wonderfully with my glass of Côtes du Rhône!  

The basket has been sent off and I eagerly await to get feedback! But like all batches of pickles, butters, jellies, and jams (oh, my) I am left with a little extra!  What does that mean?!  Well, for those that are interested in trying some new treats, but aren’t quite ready to make the commitment to a pint size jar, or perhaps you too are in search for a gift basket for someone… Look no further!  I have put together a trio of sweet and savory gift bags that need homes!

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What’s inside? Three 4 oz. jars! 1 Jalapeno Jelly, 1 Ginger Peach Jam, and 1 Rosemary Pear Butter.

How much? $13

Interested?  Please don’t hesitate to contact me!  (lauraleeimhoff@gmail.com) I will find a way to get them to you!

Uncategorized

Feeling Like Popeye, Soon Enough

20140401-074411.jpgWe all remember Popeye, right? And his trusty can of spinach? Well, after a weekend of celebrating one of my best friends getting married by way of bachelorette party, I think it is fair to say I have been feeling the furthest away from having any super hero qualities. Butter, fried food, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and admittedly, more alcohol, my body has been in dire need of me to press the reset button. So… Out comes the juicer!

When working at Johnson’s Backyard Garden, customers always wanted any knowledge you could give on what to to juice. There was always one juice recipe that I just had to share with everyone. I told them it was like my very own Popeye Drink. I would have people come back time and time again exclaiming, “My goodness! You weren’t kidding!” Yes, it has spinach, but the other power ingredient: dandelion greens. I’m sure some scoff at the idea of drinking a weed, although not recommended to pluck the ones from your backyard, but this little guy is so great for your liver! (Perfect after this past weekend of debauchery.) I’m not the type of person that can brave eating dandelion greens in a salad or sautéed, but juiced with the right ingredients to cut out the bitterness, I find it quite delightful. Check it out:

Laura Lee’s Popeye Drink

1 bunch dandelion greens
1 bunch spinach
1/2 a pineapple
1 to 2 oranges
Ginger (to taste)

Juice. Drink.  Enjoy.

Note: I love ginger. Some peoples digestive tracks don’t handle it to well. I typically put 1-2 inch cube in mine, but you’re welcome to adjust accordingly.