Stovetop Apple Crisp

By Linda Davis Siess
on October 09, 2017

Stovetop Apple Crisp

Stovetop Apple "Crisp"

 

The weather is changing, apples are ripe and abundant, and once again it's Pumpkin Spice Season – Autumn in New England! This recipe celebrates those great tastes of Fall, with an iconic apple recipe made a bit simpler – no baking; it's all done on the stove. Cooking's done in a snap, once the apples are peeled and sliced.

 

I chose two types of apples: Golden Delicious (which holds its shape) and Macintosh (collapses like applesauce). Together, they make an appealing (aPEELing, ha) combination. Choose your apples depending upon which textures and flavors you like best.

 

Pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar create that familiar apple-pie taste, so good on a brisk fall day. A pinch of salt tones the sweetness down a tiny bit. And butter brings a lush richness.

 

Once the apples were cooked down, I decided to experiment with deepening and enhancing that wonderful spicy apple flavor – with balsamic vinegars and flavor-infused maple syrups. (Yum!) My favorite add-ins turned out to be vanilla, red apple, or maple dark balsamic vinegars, and the ginger or cinnamon-vanilla Runamok infused maple syrups. Just a touch of any of these adds a new depth of flavor. I liked them all, each for a different tasty reason!

 

As for topping – the “crisp” part of apple crisp, I cheated and did not make a streusel. Instead, I added granola, easy to layer right on top of the cooked apples. There are so many great flavors from which to choose, and already prepared – win! I especially liked two different flavors from Maple Nut Kitchen: pumpkin gingerbread, and maple nut. Before topping the apples, I poured some granola into a bowl and microwaved it, just to warm it up a little. I also tried a variation: I put some butter and granola in a pan on the stove, and stirred it on medium heat, which didn't exactly crisp it up, but did add some nice butter flavor, and warmth for serving.

 

Also on top, I'm guessing no one would say no to a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you have it. But this is delicious as is, and it's even good (shh!) cold from the refrigerator – a perfect Fall breakfast!

 

Stovetop Apple “Crisp”

Skillet Spiced Apples, Topped Your Way!

  • 8 apples
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • ½ Cup dark brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt

- Peel all the apples (slice them during the next step).

- In a large skillet, over low heat, melt the butter. Add the apples as they're sliced (uneven chunks and some peel are fine, and save a little time: “rustic” vs. “refined”). Cook over low to medium heat, stirring, and continuing to cook for about five minutes after all the apples are in the pan.

- Stir in the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, and cook another five to ten minutes over medium to high heat, until apples are done to your liking and some of the juices have evaporated.

 - All done! Remove from heat. If desired, stir in your choice of:

Choose whatever flavoring appeals to you, and stir in a teaspoonful or so to start. Add more to taste, as desired.

- Top with your choice of:

  • Maple Nut Kitchen Granola – try Pumpkin Gingerbread, Maple Nut, or your favorite flavor. Try it heated, either in the microwave, or toasted in about a teaspoon of butter in a pan on the stove, stirring frequently.

and/or -

  • Vanilla ice cream!

Serve warm, or cooled; reheated in the microwave, or cold from the refrigerator (I won't tell!).

 

Happy Cooking!

-Linda

 

 

Fearless Refrigerator Pickles with Fire Cider

By Linda Davis Siess
on September 25, 2017

Fearless Refrigerator Pickles with Fire Cider

Fearless Refrigerator Pickles – with Fire Cider, Two Ways

 

 

 

Who knew that making pickles is easy? Not me. But it is! Living proof, right here!

 

Gather a combination of unblemished veggies. Got a garden's overabundance of zucchini, summer squash, carrots, or peppers? This recipe is for you. Otherwise, the farmer's market or grocery store will have what you need.

 

The brine ingredients were easy to find, with a trip to the grocery store and a visit to my spice cabinet, and a side trip to Port Plums to pick up a bottle of Fire Cider (the unsweetened version) – and I was ready to fearlessly rock my pickle jam! So to speak.

 

For my batch of pickles, I used three smallish pickling cucumbers, three carrots, and two yellow peppers. I washed the veggies, trimmed their ends, removed seeds from the peppers, and sliced them all up into slender julienne, into smallish pickle-sized pieces. I also used two medium onions, sliced thinly; plus 4 cloves of garlic (from one head) for the brine. 

 

These all fit to the top of my canning jar, pushing them in a bit. I could have also used a non-metal bowl. (Keep the garlic out; it goes in the brine.)

 

I placed the brine ingredients in a saucepan, stirred them a bit to melt the sugar, and brought them all to a boil. Don't breathe the steam! Or – if you have a cold, maybe do so – it'll clear your head! After a minute of boiling, I carefully poured it – liquid, spices, and all – over the veggies. Remember that turmeric can stain; protect surfaces from drips, with a paper towel. 

 

And that was that! Covered, popped into the fridge, and all that was left to do, was to wait! Four days, if you can. I made it to two days, and was very happy with the yummy result. (And they say these pickles will last in the fridge for a month. . . but this batch is already a tasty memory!)

 

 That's it: Fearless Refrigerator Pickles! If I can make pickles, delicious, zesty-sweet pickles. . . you can, too!

 

 

Sweet/Hot Quick Pickled Veggies with Fire Cider (Refrigerator Pickles)

 

Thinly slice, dice, or cut in julienne strips:

 

  • about 6 cups of raw vegetables, in any combination - such as pickling cucumbers, carrots, beets, zucchini, squash, red or yellow peppers, radishes, etc.

 

Also thinly slice:

 

  • 2 cups onion (about 2 medium onions) 

 

In a saucepan, combine and bring to a boil, and continue boiling for 1 minute:

 

  •  1 C cider vinegar
  • ½ C unsweetened Fire Cider
  • ¾ C sugar (or to taste)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp mustard seed
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ - ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ¼ tsp peppercorns (tricolor are pretty)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

Lightly toss together the veggies and onion. Place them in a large canning jar or a non-metal bowl.

Pour the boiled vinegar mixture over all. Don't worry if vinegar doesn't completely cover veggies – shake them occasionally; they will collapse as time passes and brine will cover.

 

Cool slightly. Cover with lid or plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least four days for flavors to meld. (Pickles are yummy right away, but the flavor really develops over time.)

 

Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one month. Reuse brine, if desired, to make more pickles or to add flavor to other recipes!

  

Yield: about 7 cups

 

Notes: Turmeric can stain, use care. Also, try slicing your vegetables with a spiralizer, then cutting the spirals into bite-sized pieces. Experiment with different combinations of vegetables. Enjoy!

 

Now that you're a pickling pro, here's an even easier recipe! This one has the spicy, refreshing bite of radishes. The radishes will grow paler, and the brine pinker, with time – if they don't get gobbled first!

 

Quick & Fierce Pickled Radishes (Refrigerator Pickles)

 

Thinly slice:

 

  • around 9 medium radishes, roots and tops removed

 

In a saucepan, combine and bring to a boil, and continue boiling for 1 minute:

 

 

Place radishes in a medium-size canning jar or a glass bowl.

 

Pour the boiled vinegar mixture over the radishes. 

 

Either enjoy immediately (after cooling to room temperature), or cover, refrigerate, and serve after a day or more.

 

Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one month.

 

 

That's it! Happy Pickling!

- Linda

 

 

Getting Creative with Balsamics

By Rachel Trowbridge
on July 16, 2017

Getting Creative with Balsamics

In celebration of our 3 new white balsamic flavors (Passion Fruit, White Raspberry, and Key Lime), Rachel wrote up a blog on getting creative with balsamics. Read on for a tempting passion fruit cocktail recipe and other tasty surprises! 

 

How To Get Creative With Your Balsamic Vinegars 

(Hint: They’re not just for salads!)

             While working at Port Plums one of the most common phrases I hear daily is “Oh, this balsamic would be delicious on a salad!” While there is no denying that our mouthwatering balsamic vinegars can kick up any salad, the truth is that balsamic vinegars can be used for so much more than just a dressing for lettuce. Since starting working at Port Plums I’ve gained quite an impressive collection of balsamic vinegars in my own kitchen cabinets, and I soon learned how to get creative with them. Our sweet and tangy vinegars have quickly become one of my favorite ingredients to perk up my every day cooking. I now feel it’s only fair to share some of these tips and recipes with other cooks looking for inspiration. Here are some of my favorite ways to use our balsamic vinegars besides in a salad (although that’s yummy too!)

 

Use it to make a perfectly refreshing summer drink

                Take a break from sugary lemonade and fruit juice this summer; instead, pour a splash of any of our fruity balsamics into water or seltzer for a sweet and unique refreshment. One of my personal favorite combinations is a couple drops of strawberry balsamic vinegar in iced seltzer with fresh basil leaves on top. It’s the perfect drink for any hot day. Try it in smoothies as well for a boost of probiotics!

 

Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Smoothie

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth! (Rachel's Recipe)

Passionate Bubbles

Pour prosecco in champagne flute. Drizzle with balsamic and add a splash of lime juice. Garnish with 1/2 lime wheel. 

 

Balsamic vinegar for dessert... yes please!

                 For an unexpectedly delicious twist, drizzle one of our balsamics on ice cream! This is one of my absolute favorite ways to use the vinegars because there are so many fun variations to try. I love the dark chocolate or raspberry balsamic on vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries. Also for a thicker and richer syrup, reduce our maple or traditional balsamic vinegar on the stovetop with a stick of cinnamon and cool before pouring on this noteworthy dessert.

 

Mini Strawberry Marscapone Tarts with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 Refrigerated Pie Crust
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 8 oz. container mascarpone cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a different surface, add sugar to the dough and roll into a flat disk about 1/8″ thick, turning and flipping to incorporate sugar and to keep it from sticking to surface. With a 3″ round cutter, cut out 12 dough rounds and arrange them on the lined baking sheet. Bake until crisp and golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan. Put diced strawberries in a small bowl and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, mix and let stand about 15 minutes. To assemble the tarts, spread about 2 teaspoons mascarpone on each crisp dough round. Put approximately 1 tablespoon of diced strawberries on top of each “frosted” crisp. Drizzle Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar over the strawberries. Serve immediately and enjoy! (Recipe courtesy of The Olive Tap)

 

Excite your favorite soup or sauce recipe!

                It’s no secret that our traditional and Denissimo balsamic vinegars are the perfect match for fresh summer tomatoes, but on cold rainy days they are equally delicious in hearty tomato soups or sauces. I always add a splash of traditional balsamic and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to my favorite tomato soup in the fall and winter.

 

Cranberry-Pear Balsamic Glazed Butternut Squash with Rosemary

  • 3 cups butternut squash peeled, seeded and diced in to 1" pieces
  • 1/3 cup Cranberry-pear White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Ultra Premium Olive Oil either Hojiblanca or Arbequina
  • 3" sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stem and roughly chopped
  • Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl whisk the olive oil and balsamic together until thoroughly combined.  Add the rosemary and squash and toss to coat and combine evenly. In a large roasting pan lined with parchment, arrange the squash in a single layer, drizzling with any remaining marinade.  Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Roast the squash for 30-35 minutes, stirring a few times until golden brown and caramelized.  Adjust seasoning and serve.  (Recipe courtesy of A Thyme For All Seasonings)

 

Add a kick to your dipping sauces

                There’s no limit to the ways our balsamic vinegars can electrify your party platters. For a fun and tropical alternative to shrimp cocktail sauce, mix sour cream or Greek yogurt with our pineapple or mango white balsamic vinegars. I also love to whip together Greek yogurt, honey, and our grapefruit or Gravenstein apple white balsamic vinegar to make a crowd winning fruit dip!

The possibilities for this often underestimated ingredient are truly endless, and so much fun to play around with! I know all of the employees at Port Plums have fun balsamic recipes they’ve discovered throughout the years and are happy to share. Also, be sure to come on in and let us know what kinds of unique creations you come up with!

 

Fig Balsamic Vinegar Relish

  • 1 tablespoon any Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large or 2 small red onions, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup Black Mission Fig Dark Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stems, finely minced

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add red onion and saute 3-4 minutes, until onion begins to turn translucent. Add vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer about 45 minutes, until the mixture is glossy and thickened. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Cool before serving or storing. (Recipe courtesy of In Erika’s Kitchen

Maple Loves Ice Cream!

By Linda Davis Siess
on July 09, 2017

Maple Loves Ice Cream!

Maple Loves Ice Cream: Three Sundae Celebrations

 

Fabulous Runamok Maple organic maple syrups are a match made in heaven for savory or sweet ingredients, any time of year, any time of day.

 

Here's a sweet case in point: match maple syrup with ice cream, for a super sundae! Try these three favorites, developed, tested, and approved at Port Plums' demo kitchen on a hot summer Saturday:

 

 

The “Summer Sweetheart” Sundae

Featuring Runamok's Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup

luscious berries, flowery syrup, and a sweet and salty crunch

 

hibiscus maple syrup

 Click to Shop

Vanilla Ice Cream

Sliced Strawberries

Port City Pretzels Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels (broken into pieces)

Runamok Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup

 

Scoop vanilla ice cream into a bowl, top with sliced strawberries and broken cinnamon sugar pretzels, and drizzle with Runamok hibiscus maple syrup. Top with whipped cream if desired. A sweetheart of a sundae any time of year!

 

 The “Hot Chocolate” Sundae

 Featuring Runamok's Rye Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
crave-able chocolate accented with heat and the assertive warmth of rye 

rye barrel aged maple syrup

Click to Shop

 

Chocolate Ice Cream

Cocoa Cayenne Granola

Chocolate Chips (we used milk chocolate; you may prefer semisweet)

Runamok Rye Barrel Aged Maple Syrup

 

Scoop chocolate ice cream into a bowl, top with cocoa cayenne granola and chocolate chips, and drizzle with Runamok rye barrel aged maple syrup. Top with whipped cream if desired. Chocolaty-good with a slight hot spice/warm rye kick.

 

 The “Spice Island” Sundae

 Featuring Runamok's Cardamom Maple Syrup
coconut, spice, and everything nice in this tasty treat! 

cardamom maple syrup

Click to Shop

Vanilla Ice Cream

Cashew Chai Granola

Toasted Coconut 

Runamok Cardamom Infused Maple Syrup

 

Scoop vanilla ice cream into a bowl, top with cashew chai granola and toasted coconut, and drizzle with Runamok cardamom infused maple syrup. Top with whipped cream if desired. Sweet warm spices complement cool ice cream perfectly!

 

Rocky Road: What's in Your Bark?!

By Linda Davis Siess
on June 05, 2017

Rocky Road: What's in Your Bark?!

We demonstrated and sampled chocolate bark out of the Port Plums Demo Kitchen recently and it was a hit! Now you can try it for yourself. Start with this rocky road chocolate bark recipe (our version of one found on Food52.com) -  it's easy to make, and so good, we can't stop eating it. Once you've tried it, play with flavors and textures, and create your own signature variation. And bring us some!

 

Our starter recipe:

 

one 11 ½ oz bag milk chocolate chips

½ cup walnuts, chopped

1 cup mini marshmallows (about 60)

2 sheets matzo, broken

¼ tsp flaky sea salt, or to taste (we like Salt Traders' Nordur Icelandic sea salt)

 

Melt the chocolate by your preferred method (microwave at 30-second intervals, or melt over boiling water in a double boiler). Add the walnuts, marshmallows, and matzo. Spread evenly onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle salt over all. Refrigerate until set, then break into pieces to serve the chocolate bark.

 

And here are two quick variations:

 

1) toast the walnuts! We use Blood Orange Fused Olive Oil (about 1 Tb) in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until golden and fragrant.

– OR –

2) omit the matzo and walnuts, and use about ¾ cup of your favorite granola, big pieces chopped. We especially like Maple Nut Kitchen's “Sweet & Salty” granola in chocolate bark.

 

And now, a challenge for you! What's in YOUR chocolate bark? Chocolate, marshmallows, salt, and. . .

 

Suggestions:

  • crushed Oreos
  • nuts toasted in Cayenne Chili Olive Oil
  • crushed pretzels
  • crushed potato chips
  • crushed shortbread cookies
  • Rice Krispies or Frosted Flakes or Cap'n Crunch or. . .
  • dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
  • white chocolate instead of milk chocolate
  • a different salt; try a flavored Salt Traders variation (Aleppo Chile Salt? Vanilla?)

 

Really, any combination of sweet, hot, and/or salty plus crunchy plus gooey marshmallows = deliciousness. Who knew chocolate bark could be SO GOOD?

Enjoy!

~Linda

Way Beyond Butter - 4 Microwave Popcorn Recipes

By Linda Davis Siess
on April 08, 2017

Way Beyond Butter - 4 Microwave Popcorn Recipes

Way Beyond Butter - 4 Easy Microwave Popcorn Recipes in 3 Minutes or Less!

 

Do you like popcorn? How about crisp, super-easy to make popcorn in flavors that are fresher and better than store-bought? Popcorn you can't stop eating? You can make it whenever you want, fast!

Here's how I make it – and you can, too!

 I use the Lekue Popcorn Popper, for sale at Port Plums (in The Tannery Marketplace, or online at PortPlums.com, for $22 plus tax and shipping). The platinum silicon bowl squishes nearly flat for storage but I never put mine away. I keep it washed (by dishwasher or just by hand) and ready for my next craving. . . that's every day.

 

Buy it Here

 

You can always pop your corn without oil, but why not add flavor by using Port Plum's flavor-fused and infused olive oils? Start with the classic Butter Olive Oil, then go beyond. . . try savory Garlic, mellow Blood Orange, or hot Chipotle-Infused Olive Oil, or whatever flavor catches your taste buds.

 For extra savor, mix or match any Salt Traders flavored sea salts, try a Salt Traders flavored sugar, or indulge in crave-able Black Truffle Sea Salt. Experiment with salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and “umami” - the five tastes that bring us satisfaction. It's all good!

 The master recipe calls for a little less than ½ cup of popcorn kernels (a full ½ cup leaves too many unpopped kernels), 4 teaspoons of oil, and a ½ teaspoon or more of salt or sugar. . . always adjusting “to taste” - however you like it best.

General rule: Use the Lekue popcorn popper. Pour a scant ½ cup of popcorn kernels into the bottom of the bowl. Stir in oil(s) and seasonings. Place the lid on the popper. Put the popper in your microwave and turn it on. My microwave takes a little less than two minutes until popping slows – yours will vary.

Before the popcorn stops popping completely, remove the bowl from the microwave. (If you wait too long, the popcorn will burn. Better to underpop than overpop!) You will get the hang of your own microwave's capabilities quickly, adjusting timing for the best result.

Take out the bowl, remove the lid (look out for steam - lift the lid away from yourself), pour the popcorn into a serving bowl if you'd like, stir in any additional ingredients, and enjoy! Share the deliciousness, or keep it all for yourself. . . you can always make more!

Here are some easy recipes. Soon you'll be the Popcorn Master, enjoying your own custom-created, fresh, delicious popcorn to enjoy whenever you wish.

 

Cha Cha Chili Popcorn – this one has a hot kick

scant ½ cup popcorn kernels

1 tsp Cayenne Chili Infused Olive Oil

3 tsp mild to medium Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ tsp Aleppo Chile Salt

 

Chocolate Orange Popcorn – sweet and crunchy

scant ½ cup popcorn kernels

4 tsp Blood Orange Olive Oil

½ tsp Vanilla Salt

stir together and pop, then remove from microwave and stir in until melted:

mini chocolate chips or grated chocolate, to taste

grated orange zest, optional

 

Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn – savory!

scant ½ cup popcorn kernels

4 tsp Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

½ tsp Nordur Icelandic Sea Salt

stir together and pop, then remove from microwave and stir in:

grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

 

The Port Plums Classic – sooooo good

scant ½ cup popcorn kernels

4 tsp Garlic Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Black Truffle Sea Salt, or more to taste

 

Come to Port Plums in The Tannery Marketplace for more recipes and delicious samples at our free demonstration: our next event is Saturday, April 22, from 2 to 4 pm. Leighann – our Popcorn Master - will walk you through the easy instructions, give out take-home recipes, and offer plenty of samples. I'll be the one sneaking tastes! See you then!

 - Linda

 

Cardamom-Soy Chicken Thighs (or Shrimp!)

By Linda Siess
on February 25, 2017

Cardamom-Soy Chicken Thighs (or Shrimp!)

This blog post features a recipe and photo from Runamok Maple. See the original recipe HERE

You can purchase Cardamom Infused Maple Syrup online or in our store.

 

 A Quick, Beautiful, Delicious Chinese-Inspired Entree, featuring Runamok Maple Syrup

“One bell that American Chinese food always rings is to satisfy that craving for sweet and salty over fried whatever.” That quote comes from the recipe blog of Vermont's award-winning Runamok Maple Syrup at RunamokMaple.com, where co-owner and French Culinary Institute-trained chef Laura Sorkin offers a simple, quick, and very delicious riff on craveable American Chinese cuisine. Laura  hits the nail on the head: sweet-salty-fried; that's exactly why I love to order Chinese!

The featured recipe is “Sauteed Shrimp with Soy-Cardamom Maple Glaze” and, just as Laura claims, it could hardly be easier. Prep your shrimp, coat it in cornstarch, have your glaze (and cooked rice!) ready. Heat oil in the pan, toss in the shrimp, followed shortly by the soy-maple syrup-ginger glaze, spoon it over your rice, and – wow! - dinner is served. Sweet. Salty. Fried. Heaven.

Laura visited Port Plums the other day, and prepared this recipe for us in our Demo Kitchen. It took six minutes to cook on our Fagor induction burner, and only a few minutes more for us to eat it all up. We took a bite, stopped for a moment to smile, nod, and go, “Mmmm!”- savoring the flavors – and then we gobbled it up!

The subtle but important key to this dish's tastiness is, of course, Runamok's exquisite maple syrup. Laura prepared our shrimp using the cardamom infused maple syrup. Exotic but versatile, certified organic, and addictive, this blend of warm spice and luscious maple is simply yummy. Laura suggests adding this infused syrup to curry recipes, or a mixed drink, or as an ingredient in “Cheater's Chai” (find that recipe on her blog). That warm-sweet combination invites all kinds of delicious speculation: how about adding it to apple pie? Or bread pudding? Or pork roast? Salmon? Hmm!

Anyway, today is Valentine's Day, and I've chosen this recipe for supper. I want to make something special, but it can't be complicated, because I'll be at work all day. The table is set and my rice is ready (I made it in the Lekue Grain Cooker, which we sell in the store. You fill it with grains and liquid, pop it in the microwave, and walk away: awesome! I can add more water or extra minutes if it's needed, with no worries about burning or stove-top boilover.) My ingredients are prepped and I'm ready to cook – but with a twist: I'm substituting chicken thighs for the shrimp.

 I pounded boneless, skinless chicken thighs with a meat tenderizer (probably an unnecessary step), chopped them up, and proceeded exactly according to Laura's recipe, taking extra minutes to make sure the chicken was cooked through. Then I swerved from the recipe one more time! I added chopped, frozen spinach to the pan, and a couple handfuls of cashews. As soon as the spinach was hot, dinner was ready. It looked beautiful, and it was ready in a flash!

And the verdict? My Valentines (husband and two sons) and I agree: “Yum, yum, yum!” Warm cardamom compliments the rich dark meat; the complex sweetness of maple is a perfect foil for salty soy sauce. Add the slight sour/bitterness of spinach plus the crunchy umami of cashews and it hits all the notes for a perfect dish: sweet-salty-bitter-sour-umami, wow!

As one son (a person of very few words) said with a grin: “That turned out well.” Thanks, Runamok, for an easy-going keeper of a recipe, for Valentine's Day and any time you crave quicker-than-takeout sweet-salty-fried satisfaction!

 

Linda Davis Siess

Events Coordinator and Staff Associate, Port Plums

Dress That Salad!

By Katie Shernan
on February 19, 2017

Dress That Salad!

Sometimes the simplest combos are the most delicious! Here are a few of our favorite dressing recipes:

 

Yield for each dressing is approximately 1/4 cup. Pour ingredients into a jar, close the top, shake, and pour your delicious dressing!

 

Katie’s Classic

2 Tbsps Traditional Balsamic

3 Tbsps Garlic Olive Oil

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Sesame Ginger

2 Tbsps Honey Ginger Balsamic

2 ½ Tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

½ tsp Grated Ginger 

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Apple Walnut

2 Tbsps Red Apple Balsamic

3 Tbsps Roasted Walnut Oil

 

The Gloria

2 Tbsps Champagne Vinegar

2 Tbsps Lemon Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Basil Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Strawberry Basil

2 Tbsps Strawberry Balsamic

3 Tbsps Basil Olive Oil

1 tsp fresh basil, minced (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste

Port Plums Thumbprint Butter Cookies

By Katie Shernan
on November 19, 2016

Port Plums Thumbprint Butter Cookies

These are our FAVORITE cookies to make during the holidays. Every year during my childhood, my mom and I had a bake-a-thon that we called "Mrs. Claus's Kitchen" during which we baked ridiculous quantities of cookies to give away to everyone we knew. 

Katie & Karen in the kitchen circa 1995

These thumbprints are based on a butter cookie recipe from Gourmet Magazine. The basic butter cookie dough is extremely versatile (and freezes well!!). Add toasted coconut and dip in chocolate for coconut sticks, stir in some pumpkin spice for seasonal spice cookies, mix in crushed peppermint candies and make pinwheels! We've tried them all but it always comes back to the thumbprints. They are awesome with apricot or raspberry jam but nothing quite compares to the Port Plum Jam filling.

Port Plum Jam is made especially for us by RE Kimball of Amesbury. They combine the Wild Beach Plum Jam with a dash of Jewell Towne Vineyards Port Wine. The jam lends a lovely sweet-tart, almost cranberry flavor that compliments the rich, buttery cookie base. It's a must try recipe for the holiday season...trust me :) 

 

Port Plums Thumbprint Butter Cookies

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 sticks (6oz) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla

Port Plum Jam, for filling

 

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated. Add flour 1 cup at a time, turning the mixer off while you do so. Blend until a uniform dough is formed.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Scoop dough onto a plate. (We use a 1 3/4" scoop.) Cut dough balls into 1/2 or 1/3 and roll to form a small sphere. If the dough is sticky and difficult to work with, chill for 1-4 hours. Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart. Using the end of a wooden spoon or your thumb, make an indent in the middle of the dough ball. 

Stir jam to soften and spoon into a clear, plastic baggie. Cut a small piece off the corner to form a makeshift pastry bag. Squeeze a small amount of jam into each indent. 

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Transfer to wire racks to cool. 

Award-Winning Turkey & Sweet Potato Chili

By Katie Shernan
on October 15, 2016
1 comment

Award-Winning Turkey & Sweet Potato Chili

We were honored to participate in The Grog's 9th Annual Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, October 8th. Not only did we get to share some yummy chili with lots of attendees, we also helped raise money for several local food pantries!
To top off a fun day, we also won the Grand Prize after competing against
13 wonderful, local restaurants.
Here is our prized chili recipe:

Award-Winning Turkey & Sweet Potato Chili

Makes 6-8 servings

 

Ingredients:

2 – 3 tbsp garlic or chipotle olive oil

1 head garlic (roasted per instructions below)

1lb – 1.5lbs ground turkey

1 large onion, peeled & diced

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & diced

2 8oz canS black beans, rinsed & drained

1 8oz can kidney beans, rinsed & drained

1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained

2 8oz cans fire roasted tomatoes

2 – 4 cups chicken stock

1-2 tsps garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1-2 tbsp smoked paprika

¾ tbsp. cumin

¼ tsp chipotle powder

¾ tsp smoked salt

¼ oz unsweeted baker’s chocolate – chopped

3 tbsp Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar

2 – 4 tbsp Boston Red Sauce

 

Optional for Serving:

sour cream

shredded cheese

chopped scallions

more hot sauce

 

Directions

  1. Cut off top of garlic head, drizzle with oil, wrap in aluminum foil, bake in oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees for about 40 mins or until garlic becomes soft and squeezable
  2. Drizzle olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add ground turkey, breaking into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. Stir occasionally so the meat browns evenly but does not cook completely. Set aside.
  3. Drizzle more olive oil in the pot and add onions. Sauté until they become translucent and soft. Then add turkey sweet potato, fire roasted tomatoes, 2 cups chicken stock, beans, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, chipotle powder, and smoked salt. If there is not enough liquid to cover the beans & sweet potato, add more chicken stock. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the garlic is fully roasted, squeeze and mash then add to the chili and stir. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, removed chili from heat and stir in chocolate, maple balsamic, and hot sauce.
  4. At this point, the chili is ready to be eaten but we recommend waiting until the next day (if you can stand it!) The flavors meld together deliciously when allowed to sit for several hours. This chili also does well in the slow cooker on low for several hours. Season to taste one more time before serving as the flavors change and develop over time.
  5. Serve & enjoy!

 

 

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