Using Ultra Gel in Marinades and Rubs

I don’t know about you, but around here we’re firmly in the middle of grilling season. I love this time of year when we start seeing wonderful fresh vegetables and have a chance to move the cooking outside and keep my kitchen cool!

One of the things I hear from people a lot when it comes to grilling is questions about improving marinades and rubs that can be used on various meats and veggies before putting them to the heat. This is another one of those odd places where Ultra Gel rides to the rescue, let me explain.

Marinades. A marinade is a sauce usually containing oil, an acid, spice and herbs that meat or large pieces of fruit or vegetable are soaked in before cooking. There are two big keys to a great marinade. The first is the balance of flavors, enough acid, enough oil and the right herbs and spices. The second is getting as much contact with the food as possible. This is where Ultra Gel and good ziptop bags come in. Adding a little Ultra Gel, about 1 Tbl per cup of marinade, thickens the marinade just a little and creates an emulsification which holds the spices in solution instead of just having them drop to the bottom of the bag. This thickness and emulsification helps to make the marinade stick to the meat or veg and gives you superior flavor and results! Give it a try with your favorite mix. You can even just add a little Ultra Gel to a store purchased marinade.

Rubs. A rub is a combination of salt, spices and dried herbs which is applied to meats and vegetables before grilling. Sometimes the dish is allowed to sit after receiving the rub as the salt helps to get enzymes in the meat going, sometimes it’s a sprinkle and grill thing. This is another place where Ultra Gel steps in to keep your rub from clumping, naturally, and to keep the rub sticking to the surface of your meat or veg enhancing the flavors. I use about 1 tsp of Ultra Gel per cup of rub and just stir it in well.

One other suggestion when it comes to your grilling. Take a look at Cornaby’s Cooking Sauces! Available in Raspberry Jalapeno, Raspberry Chipotle and Peach Habenero these sauce are great as part of a marinade, as a basting sauce, or a pour on after your meal has left the grill. As well serve up any of these sauces over a block of cream cheese with chips or crackers and you’ve got a party with pop!

So what grilling is happening at your house?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Oh! And check out our Bavarian Cream contest on Facebook!

Raspberry Jalapeno Turkey Tenders

I’m always looking for something a little bit new and different to make for dinner. This last week I found some beautiful turkey tenders on sale and decided they would make a perfect dinner. Now, before we go on, just a note on turkey tenders. Both turkey and chicken tenders are cut from below the breast piece on the animal and there is a large tendon that runs through the cut. This tendon never softens in cooking and can be really chewy and unpleasant. Sometimes you can get away with leaving all but the head of the tendon in chicken tenders because they are smaller, but in a turkey tender you really need to remove the whole thing. The easiest way to do so is to insert a knife right next to the tendon, facing the tendon and pull down, separating the meat from the tendon. It takes some practice, but if you leave the tendon in it’ll be a weird chewy spot right in the center of a lovely piece of turkey.

Anyway…that said…once I had my tenders prepped I did a quick pan fry and topped with a sauce based on our Cornaby’s Raspberry Jalapeno sauce. The sauce was a perfect base as it gave some nice sweetness and kick to my mixture which went with the turkey wonderfully. This same sauce could be used on chicken, and could easily be used as a grill sauce! As well this is a gluten free sauce, so serve up with your favorite vegetables and rice or beans and you’re set for a gluten free feast!

 

Raspberry Jalapeno turkey tenders

Raspberry Jalapeno Turkey Tenders

1-2 Tbl butter or olive oil

1-2 pounds trimmed turkey tenders

1/2 cup Cornaby’s Raspberry Jalapeno cooking sauce

1 Tbl ketchup

2 tsp mustard

1 tsp Worchestershire sauce

1 tsp Ultra Gel – as needed

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp garlic powder (opt)

In a small bowl combine all ingredients except for tenders and allow to sit for flavors to meld. This could be made well ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator if you like.

Cook tenders in a non-stick skillet or on a grill. When you turn them for the first time, brush with sauce. Flip and brush again until desired doneness and flavor is reached. At the end I put a little scoop of sauce on each tender and covered for 2 minutes then served with rice and green beans.

Yum!

Lemon Butterflake Rolls

As you can see I’m still on a citrus kick, mostly because I acquired three pounds of lemons and I’ve been having fun working my way through them. One of the dishes I’ve loved since I was little was sweet rolls with a citrus filling and this recipe is both simple and scrumptious. We use Ultra Gel in the bread dough as a way to help hold the moisture and because it enhances yeast growth. In the filling again it holds everything together. If you have fresh berries on hand they can be crumbled in with the sugar filling for a tart fruit burst, or a scoop of raspberry jam in the cream cheese glaze is to die for. :)

lemon butterflake rolls

Lemon Butterflake Rolls

modified from Grandma Cornaby’s original recipe

1/2 cup warm water (around 102-102 F)

1 Tablespoon yeast

1/4 tsp Ultra Gel

1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 cup lukewarm milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 tsp kosher salt

2 eggs

4 cups flour (I like using half whole wheat and half bread flour)

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Lemon sugar

1 cup sugar

2 tsp lemon zest

1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice – you don’t want it too wet. Mixture should be only lightly moist.

Dissolve yeast, small amount of Ultra Gel and sugar in warm water and let foam for 10 minutes. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer combine milk, sugar, butter, salt, eggs and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add in foamed yeast mixture. Mix in enough remaining flour until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about five minutes. Place in greased bowl and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1-2 hours. Punch down dough and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Split into two balls. On lightly floured surface roll out first ball until you have a sheet as square as possible and 1/4 inch thick. Spread with butter and lemon sugar. Using a pizza cutter cut sheet into squares approximately 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Stack four squares and place horizontally into greased muffin tins. Continue process with second ball until all dough is used. Let rolls rest for ten minutes and bake at 250 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before removing from tins. Cool and glaze with cream cheese glaze.

This recipe yields about 24 rolls.

Cream Cheese Glaze

4 ounces neufchatel cream cheese

1/4 cup softened butter

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

1-2 pounds confectioners sugar

Milk as needed

Beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, salt and Ultra Gel. Add confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) 1-2 Tbl at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add a little milk as necessary if mixture gets too thick. Glaze sweet rolls, muffins, etc. Store any unused portion in the refrigerator.

Lemon Berry Bread

My sweet husband has a vast love for blueberries. Really berries of any kind make him very happy. This berry love also goes hand in hand with loving lemons. Fortunately this time of year both berries and lemons are fairly easy and inexpensive to come by, so for a treat I made some really good lemon berry bread. How do I know it was really good? Mostly because there were two loaves on Tuesday and by today it’s all gone. :)

There are a couple of unique notes about this bread. Note one…you can use whatever berries you have on hand. Fresh is best, but frozen will work and I found that blueberries, raspberries and blackberries tend to work better than strawberries. Maybe if you diced the strawberries really well first they would work, but they tend to bring too much liquid to the party. Note two…This recipe calls for 1 cup of yogurt. Plain will work fine, but it doesn’t bring much extra flavor, so I like using one small container of vanilla yogurt and one of lime, lemon or orange to pump up the citrus. Note three…we use Ultra Gel in this recipe as a stabilizer, to maintain the moisture and the tenderness. This would be an ideal bread to freeze, or to divide as muffins if it lasts that long.

So here’s the recipe. Let me know what you think!

lemon berry bread

Lemon Berry Bread

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 Tbl Ultra Gel

1 cup plain yogurt (or 1/2 cup vanilla and 1/2 cup lemon)

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup olive oil

1-1 1/2 cups berries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan, or two smaller pans.

In a medium bowl sift together flours, baking powder, salt and Ultra Gel. In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, zest, vanilla and oil. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients stirring just to combine. Do NOT over mix!  Gently fold in fruit and pour batter into the prepared pan. It should come up no further than 3/4s of the way. If you get berry happy and end up with excess batter pour off into a second prepared pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and top is golden brown and lovely. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before depanning loaf.

Some folks suggest that a bread like this needs a lemon glaze. It’s nice, but totally not necessary. The combination of sugar and eggs gives a nice crunchy caramel crust and I found that the glaze undermined the flavors.

Jam in a Jiffy – Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Pie!

It’s Memorial Day weekend, which is a lovely time for us. An unofficial kick off to summer and a chance to spend a few days together, as well as the very important duty of remembering those who have gone before us. One of the nice things about the long weekend is the chance to do some special cooking. My Bunneh has been as busy as can be making ham and chicken stock, steaks and rotisserie chicken. My job was to come up with the sides and the dessert.

The dessert I settled on was a brownie ice cream pie with raspberry topping. Raspberry prices are dropping but I wanted something even easier. Going to my freezer I spied my containers of jam in a jiffy raspberry jam and decided that would make easy and yummy topping. When it all came together I was happy with the results. I think we could have added a little whipping cream for the lightness and pretty factor, but without it it was pretty darn good too.

So there you have it…jam in a jiffy freezer jam, not just for sandwiches!

raspberry brownie pie

Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Pie

1 large brownie mix

2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened

1 cup raspberry jam in a jiffy freezer jam

Make brownie mix according to the box directions, adding 2 Tablespoons of Ultra Gel to the mix for extra moisture and tenderness. Pour into two 9 inch pie plates and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

Layer softened ice cream on brownie pie and remove to freezer for a minimum of four hours.

Cut and top with freezer jam, serve immediately.  Add whipping cream as desired.

Jam in a Jiffy – Raspberry Mango!

You can tell it’s spring when markets start featuring berries in their produce departments.  I can’t resist indulging in some of these early berries, though in another month when the Farmer’s Markets open I love it even more! Naturally one of my favorites is raspberries, which I can happily eat whole, put into baked goods, pies, salads, or make jam with. However, one of the concerns folks have with raspberries, is that sometimes the price per pound is such that it seems like a lot of work for not very much product. This is another situation where Jam in a Jiffy rides to the rescue!

Because Jam in a Jiffy has a combination of pectin and starch thickeners there is a lot of flexibility with being able to mix fruits and still get a wonderful product. In my case I had about a pound of raspberries and about the same amount of beautiful ripe mangoes. So I diced up and chopped my mangoes, added the berries and my Jam in a Jiffy for a bright sweet raspberry mango jam! Now if you don’t care for mangoes, you can go with strawberries, peaches, other berries and even applesauce…the combinations are limitless. Any two pounds (about 4 cups) of mashed soft fruit and one package of Jam in a Jiffy and you have freezer jam.

Now…what if, like me, you taste your jam and it’s a little too tart, or sweet, or potent for spreading on jam? Never fear! Jam in a Jiffy jam makes a great base for smoothies with the fruit and sugar already mixed in. I just freeze up my mix in ice cube trays until it’s solid. Then I move the chunks into freezer bags and freeze it that way. A couple of chunks with a little yogurt and a splash of orange juice makes for a bright citrus smoothie, and it even holds up well to being tossed into a green smoothie for even more nutritional punch. So when it comes to your freezer jam, think outside of the bread loaf! You’ll be surprised what you can do!

Jam in a Jiffy Raspberry Mango Freezer Jam

2 cup pureed ripe mango

2 cups mashed raspberries

1 pouch Jam in a Jiffy

1 tsp vanilla (opt)

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Let sit for upto five minutes to obtain maximum thickness. Divide and freeze or serve immediately!

This makes a medium set jam. If you want a thinner topping add upto 1/2 cups fruit juice. If you want a thicker jam omit 1/2 cup of the mango.

YUM!

White Chocolate Raspberry Gooey Cookies

May is a fun time of year, not only because it’s Mother’s Day (Hi Mom!), but it’s the time when we start seeing more fresh fruit making its way into our local markets. In particular we see a lot of berries and as raspberry growers that makes us ever so happy. Down on the farm our own plants are soaking up the spring rain and you can almost watch them growing, with most of the bushes upto about 24 inches this far.

So, in the spirit of raspberries to come tonight I made some White Chocolate Raspberry Gooey Cookies. This is a fun and easy recipe that starts with a cake mix as a base, but then gets interesting by adding extra butter, cream cheese, Ultra Gel and fresh berries. The final cookie is rich and a bit cakey, kinda half way between a cookie and a cup cake and that’s just fine by me. So here you go, something to do with those berries that don’t get eaten on the way home from the store and a recipe for your files when the farmer’s markets start filling up with raspberry goodness!

White Chocolate Raspberry Gooey Cookies

White Chocolate Raspberry Gooey Cookies

1 cake mix (white, lemon or yellow work best)

1/2 cup softened butter

1 8 ounce bar low fat cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

2 Tbl Ultra Gel

1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (If there is a lot of juice with the berries drain the juice first)

1 cup white chocolate chips

Combine butter, cream cheese, egg, vanilla and ultra gel in a stand mixer and mix until well combined. Add cake mix and incorporate. Fold in berries and chocolate chips. Move batter to the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop batter by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown around the edges.