Recipe development updates - So good, and SO close!
Sorry about the silence - this summer has ended up being particularly insane. Seems to be a common theme among my friends this year.
This weekend produced one hit, and one BARELY miss. *Barely*.
First, the hit: Stuffed Hop Leaves.
WOW. These turned out great. They were easy to make, and tasted better than grape leaves. Handy, seeing as how a.) we love stuffed grape leaves, and b.) we have a ton of hop bines growing, but NO grape vines!
Says my husband:
"I prefer the texture of the hop leaves. Some of it might be because they're fresh picked, not stuck in a can for months. The texture has some more body, like the difference between the seaweed in fresh sushi rolls versus soggy old ones. The flavor is great!"
I think they're prettier too, retaining their green colour even after simmering. This is a completely unretouched photo:
Aside from that one that went kind of orangey brown, you can see they turn a gorgeous dark green.
The base filling I came up with is light and fresh tasting, and works really well with the flavour AND fresh appearance of the leaves... but I can see a need to include a few variations. Something a bit spicier, a meat variation... definitely looking forward to playing with this one some more. Also going to have to come up with more ways to use the leaves, because they really were tasty.
As for the miss, I did up a hoppy IPA pepper jelly. The flavour was amazing, and it absolutely would have been a "hit"... but it failed to set up. Boo. Going to have to tinker with the chemistry of the recipe a bit. Creating jelly recipes can be fussy at times, but once you get the proportions right, they're SO easy to make.
So, that's about it for now. We have about 3 weeks left in the campaign, and quite a ways to go on funding (we're not quite to the halfway mark yet!), so any help with getting the word out is very much appreciated!
The further I get on developing this book, the more I'm convinced that it NEEDS to happen - hops are definitely underutilized in the kitchen. Ending up with more ideas than I'll have space for in the book... ESPECIALLY after those leaves. Mmm.