Recipes for Giving
by Diane Morgan, Sur La Table
Size: 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.
Page Count: 192 Pages
by Diane Morgan, Sur La Table
Size: 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.
Page Count: 192 Pages
“With smaller budgets for Christmas shopping, more people have turned to homemade gifts. It starts as cost-saving but can become tradition, with your recipients hoping for your prized chutney, chocolate chip cookies or limoncello. A new book from Sur La Table, “Gifts Cooks Love” by Diane Morgan, offers dozens of ideas for homemade gift giving.” ––Tulsa World http://bit.ly/hO6cTF
“The gorgeous photos left our mouths watering from foods we wanted to make on the spot, from homemade bacon to cinnamon-coated graham crackers to rhubarb compote made with Côtes du Rhône. And because the holidays are nigh, we gobbled up the ideas for themed gift kits built to please anyone who loves to cook and eat.” ––Oregon Live http://bit.ly/hc7knq
Gift giving is a tangible expression of care and love. In this tradition, the recipes in Gifts Cooks Love: Recipes for Giving are a treasure trove of homemade foods ready to pack into tins, jars, boxes, and cellophane bags tied with a ribbon. From Orange Cardamom Marmalade and Salmon Gravlax to Bollywood Coconut Curry Popcorn Seasoning and Blueberry-Blackberry-Basil Margarita Puree, the recipes in Gifts Cooks Love will help you create the perfect handmade food gift for any occasion, year round. Sur La Table and Diane Morgan offer something for every level of cook—providing accessible recipes delivered with helpful kitchen tips and techniques, detailed ingredient notes, as well as guidance for artfully wrapping and presenting these forty edible gifts. For the beginning cook, a chapter is devoted to simple-to-make no-cook food gifts. Gorgeous full-color photographs encourage and motivate creativity, and each delicious recipe comes with a beautiful packaging and gift card idea; in some cases, an additional recipe that uses the original food gift. There are also ideas for combining several recipes to create themed gift kits. Gifts Cooks Love will show you how to turn your handcrafted, delicious food gifts into personal expressions of thoughtfulness. These are gifts that any cook will love to give or receive.
1 The Gift-Giving Kitchen
2 The Gift-Giving Pantry
3 Decorative Packaging
4 Essential Tips & Techniques for Preserving & Dehydrating
5 Sweet Preserved Gifts
6 Savory Preserved Gifts
7 Smoked, Cured & Dried Gifts
8 Baked Gifts
9 Confection & Chocolate Gifts
10 Drink Gifts
11 No-Cook Gifts
12 Make-a-Gift Kits
Metric Conversions & Equivalents
Benjamin Bettinger is a star on the Portland, Oregon, food scene. He is the executive chef at Beaker & Flask, named Restaurant of the Year by Willamette Week in 2009, the restaurant’s first year of operation. He also happens to make spectacular homemade bacon! We wanted to learn how to make bacon and thought how fun it would be to give homemade cured and smoked bacon as a gift. Ben generously shared his recipe. What sets Benny’s bacon apart is the blend of spices, as most bacon recipes, whether commercial or homemade, do not include any spices other than black pepper in the curing rub. Pork bellies are available by special order from most butcher shops. They are usually about 10 pounds. This recipe will work without adjustment, give or take up to 1 pound. Use kitchen gloves to rub on the curing salt, as it can be highly irritating to the skin. Use pulverized wood chips sold for stovetop smoking, not the larger chips meant for outdoor grills.
3 ½ tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 ½ tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
6 bay leaves
1 (10-pound) pork belly
2 teaspoons curing salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
2 cups sweet pulverized wood chips, such as apple, cherry, alder, or oak
Medium Sauté Pan, Measuring Cups and Spoons, Spice or Coffee Grinder, Large Rimmed Baking Sheet, Disposable Gloves, Plastic Wrap, Cutting Board, Slicing Knife, Stovetop Smoker, Tongs, Meat Fork
Prep Time: 25 minutes | Curing Time: 5 days | Smoking Time: about 2 ¾ hours | Makes four (2 ½-pound) slabs of bacon
Storing: Refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 1 year.
Gift Card: This homemade spiced bacon was smoked on [give date] and can be enjoyed for up to 1 month, kept in the refrigerator, or 1 year if frozen. Slice it into ¼-inch-thick slices and pan-fry for breakfast. It is also delicious wrapped around a grilled filet mignon, and it makes the best BLT you’ll ever taste!
Gift-Giving Tips: Wrap each slab of bacon tightly in plastic wrap, and then wrap neatly with butcher paper. Tie each package with raffia or ribbon and attach a gift card. To turn this into a gift basket, consider including a dozen brown eggs fresh from the farmers’ market and a breakfast-appropriate loaf of artisan bread. To make the gift more elaborate, include a butcher-block cutting board and a slicing knife, or see page 161 for a gift kit idea.
The saying goes, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” We say, “When you are handed lemons, make limoncello and lemonade.” It takes 15 lemons to make limoncello, and since only the peel is used, that leaves all the fruit to juice for a refreshingly large pitcher of homemade lemonade—that’s the beauty of making limoncello in the summer! In addition, since it takes 40 to 80 days for the mixture to infuse, if you make it over the summer you’ll have bottles of limoncello ready for holiday gift giving. Use the freshest, most blemish-free, most fully ripe lemons you can find. In addition, buy organic ones if possible. Since the limoncello is made from the lemon peel, you want to make sure they haven’t been coated or sprayed with pesticides.
15 organic lemons
2 (750-milliliter) bottles 151- or 190-proof grain alcohol, such as Everclear (see page 182)
4 cups granulated sugar
9 ½ cups water
1-Gallon Glass Jar, Vegetable Peeler, Long Wooden Spoon, Measuring Cups, Large Saucepan, Four (1-Liter) Glass Bottles, Fine-Mesh Strainer or Coffee Filter, Large Bowl, Narrow-Neck Funnel, Ladle
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Infusing Time: 40 to 80 days | Makes four (1-liter) bottles of limoncello
Storing: Store the bottles in a cool, dark place, or keep in the freezer until ready to serve. Limoncello will keep for several years.
Gift Card: This homemade Limoncello was bottled on [give date] and can be enjoyed for several years to come. Store it in the freezer, and enjoy it as a refreshing liqueur to sip after dinner.
Gift-Giving Tips: Tie each bottle with raffia or ribbon and attach a gift card. To turn this into a gift basket, add a set of cordial glasses.
Who doesn’t want to wake up to a homemade food gift? Imagine brightening someone’s morning with yummy, ready-to-eat breakfast or brunch fare. There is a bounty of recipes in Gifts Cooks Love that would be ideal to package and expand into a larger gift: the Meyer Lemon Curd; the Orange-Cardamom Marmalade; the Boysenberry and Lemon Verbena Jam; the Salmon Gravlax; Benny’s Bacon; the Mini Apricot and Crystallized Ginger Quick Breads; the Jalapeño and Cheddar Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter; the Coconut Granola Crunch; and the Mexican Drinking Chocolate.
As a thank-you gift, Benny’s Bacon, wrapped in butcher paper and tied with butcher’s twine and accompanied by brown eggs from the farmers’ market, could be packaged in a large cast-iron skillet and wrapped with a colorful kitchen towel.
Heading to a friend’s home for the weekend? Bring a teatime offering of Meyer Lemon Curd or Orange-Cardamom Marmalade packaged with scones or even a scone mix, a porcelain teapot, and a selection of herbal teas. Consider a breakfast basket overflowing with Coconut Granola Crunch, a set of bistro-style breakfast bowls, containers of yogurt, and fresh fruit. Boysenberry and Lemon Verbena Jam and a crusty loaf of artisan bread ready for toasting would certainly be another breakfast favorite.
Mini Apricot and Crystallized Ginger Quick Breads, a favorite to make at holiday time, would be a welcome hostess gift packaged in a rustic, earthenware bread basket lined with a tea towel and tied with a coordinating bow. Another holiday favorite is to give the Mexican Drinking Chocolate along with a set of festive red cappuccino cups. Any time of year, the Jalapeño and Cheddar Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter, baked and delivered in a cast-iron skillet, would also delight a host.
For the late sleepers in your life, for whom breakfast looks more like brunch, let them wake up to a Scandinavian or Jewish meal of Salmon Gravlax, artisan cream cheese, and either bagels or rye flatbreads. Package it all in a rustic bread basket; or you could arrange the salmon on a wooden board and include a decorative slicing knife and spreader, wrapping the gift in cellophane with the spreader tied into the bow.
Meyer Lemon Curd on page 57
Orange-Cardamom Marmalade on page 63
Boysenberry and Lemon Verbena Jam on page 67
Salmon Gravlax on page 79
Benny’s Bacon on page 81
Mini Apricot and Crystallized Ginger Quick Breads on page 93
Jalapeño and Cheddar Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter on page 105
Coconut Granola Crunch on page 119
Mexican Drinking Chocolate on page 171
Diane Morgan is an award-winning cookbook author, freelance food writer, culinary instructor, and restaurant consultant. She is the author of fourteen cookbooks and has been involved in the world of food for more than twenty-five years. Diane has been a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times food section and has written for Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, Cooking Light, the Oregonian, Northwest Palate, and Edible Portland. She has appeared on NBC’s Today show, ABC World News Now, The Early Show on CBS, the Food Network, Smart Solutions on HGTV, Seasonings on PBS, and Good Day Oregon. In addition, for the past two years, Diane has consulted on the core menu, promotional seasonal menus, and recipes for a chain of family dining restaurants in the Northwest. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
About Sur La Table: Founded in Seattle in 1972, Sur La Table provides authentic cooking tools from around the world. Its array of cooking programs is one of the largest in the nation, and its recent book The Art and Soul of Baking with Cindy Mushet won the 2009 IACP Cookbook Award for Baking.