I never seem to be able to catch pears right at their optimum eating point. I bought a basket of pears at the farmers' market and they told me they would take a couple of days to ripen. Well, a couple of weeks later, and they were finally ready. Of course, the problem then is that they ripen all at once and go bad really quickly, so you have to stuff yourself with pears. Either that or can them.
I have canned pears in the past, just putting them into a syrup, but this time I wanted to actually make something out of them. I've been using the wonderful cookbook The Art of Preserving, and there was a recipe for Pear-Ginger Jam that sounded good. I'm very fond of ginger and had never really thought about pear and ginger being a good pairing, but they work really well together. Unlike most jams, there isn't a huge amount of sugar in this recipe so it's not cloyingly sweet like some jams and the taste of ginger is readly apparent with a nice little bit of heat at the finish. The recipe calls of an optional tablespoon of crystalllized ginger, but I actually think it might be a bit of ginger overkill, so I left it out.
|3 lbs||pears peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 8 cups)|
|1 tbsp||peeled and finely grated fresh ginger|
|1 cup||lightly packed light brown sugar|
|1/4 cup||fresh lemon juice|
|1 tbsp||crystallized ginger (optional)|
If you're looking for a delicious appetizer, try this recipe for Sharif and Jackie's tequila prawns with mango salsa from Kick Off Cook Off.
Meat Appetizers can come in virtually any shape and size, but the reaction from friends and family is always delightful.