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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Recipe's For Incredible Edible Gifts

House-Jarred Marinated Feta

Makes: one 9-ounce jar

Cut 6 ounces feta into ¾-inch cubes. Pick the leaves from a 6-inch sprig each of thyme and rosemary. Use a vegetable peeler to remove four 2-inch-long strips of lemon peel from 1 lemon. // In a clean 9-ounce jar, lay down ⅓ of feta cubes, followed by ½ of thyme and rosemary. Sprinkle 5 pink peppercorns and a pinch of Aleppo pepper on top, followed by 2 lemon strips. Repeat process once more with the same amounts of feta, pink peppercorns and Aleppo pepper, then top with remaining feta cubes, leaving a ½-inch gap at top of jar. // Pour in olive oil to cover feta completely. Seal and let sit in refrigerator at least 7 days before using. // To serve, remove from refrigerator about 20 minutes in advance to let oil come to room temperature. Store, refrigerated, up to two months.

Fruited Sugar

Makes: one 16-ounce jar

In a 16-ounce terrine jar, sprinkle ¼ cup amber sugar crystals, followed by ¼ cup dried fruit. Repeat three more times with the same amounts of sugar and fruit, placing 1 cinnamon stick in after the second layer, leaving a ½-inch gap at top of jar. // Pour in 1 cup dark rum (at least 50% ABV), until top layer is just covered. Bring ¼ cup honey to a boil and pour it over top. Seal immediately. // Once opened, store in refrigerator up to six months.

Thyme Oil and Blood Orange Vinegar

Makes: one 12-ounce jar of oil and one 12-ounce jar of vinegar  

 Peel 4 small or 2 large blood oranges, reserving a 2-inch strip of peel, free of pith. Use a paring knife to remove orange flesh in sections from membrane. Pour 8 ounces red wine vinegar into a blender and squeeze in any remaining juice from orange membrane. Add orange flesh and purée until smooth. Store in a sealed container in refrigerator for 24 hours, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve and transfer to a 12-ounce bottle. Close tightly. Vinegar will keep up to four weeks. // Make thyme oil: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Wash ¼ bunch fresh thyme under running water and dry with paper towels. Arrange sprigs on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake just until brittle, 5-10 minutes. In a medium pot over low heat, combine 12 ounces olive oil and dried thyme. Cook just below a simmer 4-5 minutes. Transfer thyme to a paper towel and let oil cool to room temperature. Once oil has cooled, pour into a sterile 12-ounce bottle. Add reserved thyme. Close tightly. Oil will keep, refrigerated, up to four weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.

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