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Cheese board accoutrements, home-canning recipes or mail order faves?

l pinkmountain
last month
last modified: last month

OK, maybe some store bought meats too . . . being vegetarian and a low-salt person, I am cured-meat illiterate.

And I shout out towards heaven to 2ManyDiversions--miss you and love you!!

I'm assembling some "kits" to be giving away as gifts using my own home canned stuff. Although I would be open to some good suggestions of store-bought options but just trying to collect some good canning recipes, at least add to what I know and have tried. By "canning" I mean USDA boiling water bath method that can be stored outside the fridge on a shelf.

I'm going to be assembling kits with the following elements

1. Some type of pickle, which in my case will most likely be Jardiniere or Giardinera which I have plenty of recipes for. I also have made the "Small Batch Preserving" caponata recipe and I'm not a fan but its ok. I'm not crazy about canned celery . . . I also make a mean pickled pepper.

2. A vegetable chutney or spread. I have made roasted red pepper and tomato spread which I like but I'm looking for other options in this area. One option would be some type of pepper jelly I suppose . . . I have spotty luck with that gelling . . .

3. Some type of dried salami, which I have not idea what is good. Anything gourmet I would have to probably mail order . .

4. Something fruity, like an unusual fruit jam. Two that I have already made that come to mind are peach marmalade and herb honey jelly which I have made with cinnamon basil, thyme and lavender. We don't get farm fresh figs or dates here so my repertoire with those fruits is limited. It's too early for apples . . . I have never made plum chutney or conserve but I suppose it would be a prime contender . . .

5. I'm hesitant to make my own cheese crackers as I don't imagine my own having a long shelf life. Maybe I could make something like a dried herbed crouton with some french bread . . .I dunno, this is an area I am not very adept at. I only made crackers once and did NOT enjoy the process, I hate rolling things out . . .

6. Dark chocolate covered something. Those I plan on buying!!

7. Some kind of nut thing. I could perhaps make a seasoned nut mix but I am inclined also to buy that. Seasoned pistachios come to mind as a gift item . . .

Comments (32)

  • sushipup1
    last month
    last modified: last month

    There is no need for the salami or other cured meat. Everything you list sounds delicious, but the salami stands out as not belonging with all else.

    As for salami, not in this package, we like the Columbus Italian Dry Salami or Gallo brand, and I think it comes in 8 oz rolls, at just about every grocery store.

  • localeater
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I often make seasoned nut mix to include in holiday parcels, I think you coukd give it a try. My biggest problem is hiding it from my sons so it doesnt all get eaten.

    For your charcuterie theme, what about a mustard and an onion jam. Both are hot water bath canning, not pressure canning.

    Heres some links

    https://oneacrevintagehome.com/wholegrain-mustard-canning/

    https://www.puttingupwitherin.com/2015/02/14/brown-maple-mustard/

    https://anoregoncottage.com/sweet-spicy-canned-onion-marmalade/

    https://www.canningandcookingathome.com/dianes-blog/balsamic-sweet-onion-jam

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  • Lars
    last month

    You can "make" crackers by toasting lavash bread that you buy at a Middle Eastern market - I'm sure you have one near you.

    I've made my own crackers too, using a yeast dough, but I did not put any cheese in them. Here's my cracker recipe:

    1-1/3 cups water (lukewarm)
    2 tbsp dried malt extract or barley malt syrup (or 1 tbsp sugar)

    1 tbsp dry yeast (or one package)

    1/2 cup oat bran
    1/2 cup rice bran

    1/2 cup rice flour

    1-2 tbsp canola oil

    1 tbs olive oil

    1 tbsp toasted sesame seed oil
    2 tsp salt
    3 to 3-1/2 cups unbleached flour

    Toppings:

    1 egg + 1 tbsp water (for brushing on top of dough)
    garlic powder

    onion granules

    caraway seeds

    poppy seeds
    sesame seeds

    Pour lukewarm water into a mixer bowl and add malt extract. If you use malt syrup, you will have to use 1-1/4 cups water. Whisk in yeast until all is dissolved. Then stir in oat bran, rice bran, and rice flour.

    Allow this mixture to rest for half an hour or more, and then add the oils. You can add less oil if you want a harder cracker. Then add 2 to 2-1/2 cups flour that has been sifted with the salt, and put the bowl in the machine with the dough hook. Mix at high speed (with the splash guard on) until blended. Then add flour in small increments until the dough makes a ball that is not too sticky. Finish kneading by hand, or simply place in a bowl that is lightly greased with olive oil, and allow to rise for a couple of hours, or leave it in the refrigerator covered overnight. I let my dough rise twice.

    Preheat oven to 375°. Pinch balls of dough about 2-1/2 to 3” diameter and roll the dough on a floured surface into a rectangular shape as thin as possible. Prick the dough all over with a fork or docker and brush lightly with egg wash. Dust very lightly with garlic powder and onion granules. Sprinkle caraway seeds (if desired), about two per square inch. You don’t need many of these, and it is easy for them to be overpowering. Then sprinkle poppy seeds evenly over, as desired and finish with the sesame seeds. It’s better not to overdo the seed toppings (especially the caraway), but I haven’t had a problem with the poppy seeds so far.

    Pat the seeds into the dough with your fingers and then cut the dough into squares using a pizza cutter or ravioli cutter.

    Transfer the dough, using a metal spatula, onto an ungreased baking sheet, and bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes, or until toasty in appearance. You will need to watch them closely towards the end, as they will burn easily, once they are done. I use a toaster oven for most of them, but sometimes I bake them in the regular oven until almost done and then finish the untoasted ones in a toaster oven at a lower temperature – about 350° for 2-5 minutes. You can always toast underdone ones later.

  • Lars
    last month

    Here's something else you could add:

    Lars' version of Brad Leone Mustard

    6 Tbsp brown mustard seeds

    5 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds

    1 Tbsp yellow mustard powder

    2 Tbsp Kosher (or Sea) salt

    1/4 cup Vinegar of Banyuls*

    1/4 cup dry white wine or Verjus*

    5 Tbsp sauerkraut juice (or pickle juice)

    Combine mustard seeds together and process in Vitamix blender using dry container. This will only take a few seconds, but should be pulsed, if necessary to get contents thoroughly ground. Pour into bowl with mustard powder and salt, and stir to combine.

    Mix vinegar, wine (or Verjus), and sauerkraut juice in a one-cup measuring cup. Combine with mustard mixture and stir until completely mixed.

    Pour into a one pint jar with a lid and store for 4 days at room temperature or up to a week, for a milder flavor.

    My note: this recipe comes out very thick, and so I thin it with Verjus if I make it with wine or thin it with wine if I make it with Verjus.

    Brad's note: if you use cold liquid ingredients, the mustard will be spicier, but if you use warm liquids, it will be milder. Not sure if that is true.

    *You can substitute other vinegars, such a white wine or cider vinegar, but the Banyuls vinegar approximates the flavor of Verjus, in case you do not have any. Verjus is preferred over wine by Brad.


    I also make his version of sauerkraut.

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    last month

    I live now in the land of Dutch, German and Polish immigrants, with a strong British Isles representation. I can count the Italians one two hands. It's surprising how few special fresh Italian, French or Spanish deli items one can find here. That's why I thought of ordering something special but I do not like or eat cured meats so I'm clueless. I could find specialty jerkies though, no problem! Closer to the Lake, special wonderful dried fish.

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    last month

    OMG does that Brad guy work at a restaurant? What kind of restaurant is it? I wish I could create a wine and "accoutrements" restaurant but the fun of going to one would not be the fun of running one . . . they are few and far between in my state, but there is one in a small beach town we visit. Can't wait to go back . . . IF it is still even open after the pandemic. Restaurants open and close so rapidly these days. There was a tapas one 30 min. away but it sadly closed before the pandemic. I don't get it . . . such fun foods. But not cheap. Around here, cheap, bland and plentiful is the way to go. We have seven pizza parlors, all with the same tasteless, textureless pizza, and every restaurant serves burgers and chicken sandwiches and wings. That's it other than a steak house which isn't much fun for me.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    last month
    last modified: last month

    For something meaty, but staying within the canned theme, how about salmon rillettes?




    Here is a recipe in English:


    https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/salmon-rillettes

    Otherwise, Toscana salami is excellent, found at all WFM. You can mail order French saucissons from Fabrique Délices, they have a great duck one.

    https://shop.fabriquedelices.com/collections/smoked-dry-cured-meats/products/cured-duck-salami

    They have lovely rillettes as well

    https://shop.fabriquedelices.com/collections/all-natural-pates-mousses-rillettes/products/duck-rillettes-shelf-stable

    And the cured duck breast is tdf, but not cost effective:

    https://shop.fabriquedelices.com/collections/smoked-dry-cured-meats/products/duck-prosciutto-single-breast

  • Funkyart
    last month

    Like Lars, my sister makes mustard every year that she distributes with gifts-- there are so many variations but the beer versions are fam favs.


    I also second localeater's recommendation for herbed nuts-- in fact, I have a handful of rosemary marcona almonds sitting here with me!


    I agree that you could cut out the salami or cured meat.


    Instead of crackers, maybe savory shortbread? Shortbread anything is a special treat for me!


    I am not a chocolate eater but i do keep Toblerone on hand to slip into gifts-- I don't know that they are special or unusual but friends and family love them! I also think that pate du fruit can be special too but I've never made them myself.


    What is the occasion for the gift kits? Are they for a specific age range?

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Being in Michigan, I think, I need not to mention Zingerman's to you, but just in case, I love browsing their selections- There could be some good inspiration there.

    https://www.zingermans.com

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Perhaps I need to take a recon trip/mission/pilgrimage to Ann Arbor! It's two hours away . . . that's one reason I'm trying to make some of this stuff on my own, these friends live in the foodie area of the state, the metro Detroit area . . . on the flip side, I live on the cusp of the produce belt!! They can easily get these things store bought, but I can make them fresh and cost effective from locally available ingredients. I'm not going to start curing my own meats though . . . .

    Right now I am thinking of a particular upcoming wedding celebration, but long term, since I will be making batches, these would be included as Christmas and hostess gifts. Not all together except for special friends. Haven't needed hostess gifts in a good long while . . . I hope things change for the better permanently!!

  • plllog
    last month

    To add to your shopping list is Neera's Pear Cardamom Chutney (Fresh pears, malt vinegar, brown sugar, orange peel, raisins, cashews, orange juice, poppy seeds, spices, green cardamom. salt). All their products I've tried are great.

  • lisaam
    last month

    Madhur Jaffrey’s sweet tomato chutney is super easy and delightful. you’d need to figure out the appropriate water bath procedure. you can even make it with canned tomatoes.

  • jojoco
    last month

    You can always make bagel chips. cut a bagel into slices(lay flat on table and slice into ”coins” vs whole bagel slices—coins are way easier). brush with olive oil and bake for awhile at 250 or so. you can add seasoning if you’d like. easy peasy

  • deegw
    last month

    I've mentioned this before but I think the Savannah Bee raw honeycomb looks really interesting on a cheese board. And it tastes good. I usually buy it at the company store near my house but I have also seen it at Cost Plus World Market.


    https://savannahbee.com/raw-honey-comb

  • OutsidePlaying
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I have made my own refrigerator pickled asparagus. It is super easy and you cannot screw it up. You need wide mouth quart jars, whole garlic cloves, 1/4 tsp pickle crisp (wal mart has it in their canning section), tsp of kosher salt, tsp red pepper flakes.

    Put all spices and a couple of peeled garlic cloves in the bottom of a jar. Cut asparagus spears to fit into the jar, tips up. Bring equal parts water and apple cider vinegar just to a boil, remove from heat and pour carefully into each jar. Place lids on jars, cool slightly, place in refrigerator for at least 2 weeks, shaking every few days. These are also great in a Bloody Mary.

    Do you have a Publix near you? They have some yummy fig/citrusy preserves in small pretty jars in their deli section that is perfect for charcuterie.

  • cawaps
    last month

    I've posted my recipe for orange sugar walnuts here before (https://www.houzz.com/discussions/6032930/recipes-for-consumable-holiday-goodie-gifts#n=32). The whole recipe takes maybe 15 minutes soup to nuts (hah!) and the ingredients aren't complicated. It helps to have a candy thermometer, but you can test for soft ball by dripping the sugar mixture in a bowl of cold water.


    The mustard idea sounds brilliant to accompany a cheese board.


    You might look at this site for ideas for unusual jams--https://smallbatchjamco.com/. They do a blackberry pinot thyme, apricot brandy, mission fig rosemary, just really interesting flavors.

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    No Costco, no Publix, no Trader Joe's, no World Market, no Whole Foods or Fresh Market or Sprouts or any such kind of thing. An Aldi's, a Walmart Supercenter and a Meijers. We had a Spartan store called "Family Fare" but it just closed. And that's it. There is a wonderful produce and gourmet foods market called "Horrocks" 35 miles away takes about 45 minutes to get there. We are going by there next week I may stop and look for some kinds of cured meats . . .There is, of all odd things, a somewhat local "Meadery" or whatever you call a mead-making operation. I might get some of their mead and try it out to see if it is any good. It is pricey.

    On the flip side, I can get good local honeycombs, and maple syrup and just about any raw ingredient my heart desires.

    I missed fresh local asparagus but I have made the pickled kind. This year if I want a thin tubular pickled thing it is going to have to be green beans, which I have also made and like. I think I am going to make a batch of mixed green stuff pickles--cuke, green bean, green tomato and green pepper. I have everything except the peppers fresh from the garden.

    I love the pear cardamom combo. I have a coupon for pears from the grocery. Too early for our local ones but I'm seeing a lot of interesting looking spiced pear options in my canning recipe books.

  • nekotish
    last month

    I make plum chutney every year - it's one of our faves and usually we have neighbours begging us to take Italian prune plums, so win, win. What abut the pickled mustard seed that (I think) sleevendog makes. I know Annie makes it too so maybe she has a source for bulk mustard seed in Michigan. Since it's not a seasonal thing, I'm planning on making it this fall when things cool down. I think it would be a super addition to a charcuterie board.


  • Fun2BHere
    last month

    If you want to make some spiced nuts, these chipotle pecans are very simple to make, tasty and have been well-received by recipients. https://www.food.com/recipe/honey-chipotle-pecans-128373



  • lascatx
    last month

    We just made a beet relish with horseradish just to do.something different with the last beets from our CSA. If you can get fresh horseradish root, it is a beautiful color, would go well with cheese or meats -- even boiled seafood (waiting to try it with shrimp). It is is a book called Pickles and Relishes, but I can try to type it up for you if that is of interest. If you have Fancy Pantry I will take a look and see what I remember making from that one. I have made an onion marmalade with red or yellow onions and it's great boths ways -- might be in Fancy Pantry, b ut I can find it for you if not.

    Do you have Mes Confitures by any chance? You might find an unusual jam idea there. I still want to try the carrot jam and and orange purple basil one (not sure which book that is in actually). And if you might combine the jam and dark chocolate, the raspberry chocolate is pretty amazing stuff. Not a typical jam, but would be amazing on a croissant, divine over vanilla ice cream and not bad at all between cake layers or sandwiched cookies.

    There is a seasoned nuts recipe from Stop and Smell the Rosemary that people rave about. I don't usually gift nuts because I belonged to a group that sold nuts and so many people bought them through a fundraiser every fall, but I have gifted Orange Peppered Pecans with Cranberries -usually in the fall. Not really sure if these are the kind of thing you had in mind. Let me know if you want any of those recipes.


  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    last month

    YUM! I actually have a beet horseradish recipe. I'm saving that for the day I score a horseradish root.

    I had forgotten about Mes Confitures. Might have to check that one out from the library. I remember the chocolate raspberry jam being on my "must try" list back in the day. I kind of took a hiatus on canning for a bit these past couple of years . . . I am seriously mulling the carrot jam. One recipe I have is called "carrot cake jam" and includes pears I think . . . I may have another one too. I have a book called "Clearly Delicious" which has some unusual jams and chutneys including plum. The photos are gorgeous but the recipes are just so so, so far. Most quite exotic. That's the one with the beet horseradish relish. It does look gorgeous!

    Onion marmalade is on my list. I think I have a recipe for that too . . . I am not an onion fan but I know many others are. I still have some wine jelly with shallots and red onions that has been pretty good as a condiment . . . .

    I think I would like to make some spiced nuts, but might have a hard time making spiced pecans. I was gifted some for Christmas by my former-coworker the last time I saw him. He was dead a year later from covid. He retired early to move closer to his new grandson, which he did, but never got to enjoy much time achieving his goal. I could make the recipes with other nuts though . . .

  • colleenoz
    last month

    Chocolate covered is easy to do yourself. A very simple one is a dried apricot half dipped in dark chocolate. Another delicious one which is a bit fiddly but not actually difficult is chocolate dipped orange peel. You candy the peel (not hard, just requires boiling in sugar syrup), cut it into thin strips French fries and dip one end in dark chocolate. Neither of these requires a lot of skill or experience:-)

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    last month

    I did think about maybe doing the apricots at some point but not right now due to me having a glut of cukes with a glut of tomatoes looming. If I can find it, I used to get really delicious dark chocolate bars with dried cranberries inside. I can't remember the brand. It might have been Cadbury . . .

    On the flip side, maybe for maximum flexibility I'll just do the dark chocolates with a nice tin of premium dried fruits.

    Another interesting thing to put on a cheese board is halvah. Have not seen any great halvah lately. We have a huge Arab population in my state, even in my home town, but it doesn't seem to translate into great options at the grocery store around here. They used to carry it, albeit pre packaged, not fresh. It does go rancid so if it wasn't turning over fast enough, then I can see why they dropped it.

  • Kswl 2
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I havent read all the replies so apologies if these have already been suggested. Your post is timely for me bc I just made a couple of quarts of bread and butter pickles and about a pint of corn and red bell pepper relish (chutney) with the same cannong liquid, which i made from this recipe https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/bread_and_butter_pickles/

    Ive never made anything like this before and since it was a small quantity (half of which was intended as a goft to the friends who gave us their garden produce to make it) i did not process it. They went directly into the fridge. i like the vidalia onion slices / rings added to the pickles and for you that might be two birds with one stone. These were excellent but a tiny bit hot and i only ised a half teaspoon of crushed red pepper instead of the whole teaspoon called for in the pickling liquid. Turmeric gave the pickles and onions a lovely color as an added bonus.



    In the past month I have also made blueberry, peach, plum and grape jam or preserves, experimenting with different spices and methods. The peach preserves contained lemon juice and zest, sugar sugar, vanilla vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and were very good and eaten immediately. I ised lemon zest and ginger in the plum jam and lemon and cardamom in the blueberry. The grape jam i made with red wine, allspice and cloves. I did not skin anynof the fruit, and where necessary used my immersion blender. These homemade jams are so much better and less cloyingly sweet than what one can buy at the store! Again, i dont process these because they are mesnt for immediate use; DH and DS2 love jam sandwiches.


    Grape and Merlot jam. (I made the chicago style rolls, too.)



    Peach preserve on homemade bread (easy with bread machine!)

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    And hence the joy of making your own preserves!! Once you start, you do become addicted to the superior taste and quality. You'd pay a pretty penny for a store-bought item with that level of taste and quality ingredients and craftmanship.

    Right now I am deep into pickle variations. I make and like bread and butters but have yet to find a dill that I can bwb that I like. I need to make shelf-stable ones to give away and store. But I have made tolerable dill sandwich slices. But I am going to give kosher dills another try, even thought the refrigerator ones are the real special deals.

    I have so many cukes and tomatoes I might not get to many jams this year. I hope I can get some blueberry lime jam made. Blueberry is one of the jams that I think is far superior to store bought in every way. That's not a particularly great cheese board item though . . . I found my recipe for "brandied carrot jam" which has the plus of being able to be made at my leisure any time of year . . . Although peach preserves are one of my favorite, I made a bunch last year and still have them so they might get pushed to the back burner for another year due to my glut of waiting tomatoes . . .

    Today I noticed I have a package of Certo, maybe I'll try an herbal jelly this year or a pepper jelly . . . If it manages to jell it will be fab. If not, I will get sick of using it as a sauce . . .

    I think the theme for my canning this year is going to be savories mostly. 60+ tomato plants and a couple of monster cucumber plants are seeing to that . . .

    I made the mistake of going on the "Nuts.com" last night. If all else fails, I may order some products from there to fill out my gift baskets. I have always wanted to try some of their products. I can't afford much in the way of fancy snacks but a few splurges will be hard to resist. The dark chocolate covered cranberries are calling my name . . .

  • Kswl 2
    last month

    If you have cukes and tomatoes and herbs, why not make and can gazpacho? They are a great accompaniment to a charcuterie board served along side in small shooters with a celery stick. ir instead of tomato jam, which most people dont know how to use, you could can bruchetta topping that could be served in a ramekin on the board and put on crackers or crostini.

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    last month

    I do have a recipe for gazpacho salsa, I might try it. I made another salsa with cukes once, and didn't much like it with chips or nachos, but I used it mixed with sour cream for a vegetable dip or as flavoring for spinach dip. I can't use the packaged mixes for spinach dip--too salty and I'm allergic to msg.

  • Funkyart
    last month

    Strawberry preserves with balsamic and pepper are great to serve with cheese.. or on ice cream.. or toast. Very adaptable and very easy!!


    Ive used this recipe .. first when it ran in Gourmet and then a few times since


    I frequently order from nuts.com.. I love the quality of their nuts but the snack items are hit or miss for me. Check reviews and maybe order a small size first?

  • l pinkmountain
    Original Author
    last month

    I make a mean version of that preserve, plus one I like with sherry. Sadly, strawberries were an almost complete bust here this year. Too much rain, too hot too early. They were expensive and full of bad spots and very limited amounts at the U-pick and I missed the window. I'm hoping for better luck with blueberries. I have some strawberry cranberry jam I made with CA berries and some dried strawberries I had. Don't ask me why, but it hasn't been a favorite of mine, tastes a bit off/bitter for some reason. I have not tried it over warm brie though, just with cream cheese, I don't splurge on brie often . . . I might have to try it at my next party. I am planning a de-stress porch party in Aug for a friend. She lost her brother earlier this month, and is caring for a memory-challenged mother, and her brother had been helping up until he took a dramatic turn for the worse. He had Huntington's disease. She lost both her brother and dad to it, as did her mother who is now in her 80s. We want to love up on them as much as we can in the coming months. My friend is kind of stubborn though, always taking care of others needs ahead of hers . . . I think y'all know the type . . . ;)

  • Sara
    last month

    Our two favorites that are great with cheese are fig jam with balsamic and rosemary, and zucchini relish. I made nine batches of the relish last summer and am constantly sending jars home with people who love it-it’s so good with sharp cheese.

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    last month

    I did save the dijon mustard Ball book recipe. Link, HERE

    It uses both mustard seed and mustard powder. I've never canned but this will probably be my 'gateway' being an easy one. I have all the mustards Butcher&Packer offer. Love the oriental and spicy ones.



    l pinkmountain thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)