Cedar Berry

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A cedar or juniper berry is not actually a fruit but a seed cone.  Packed full of nutrients and a rich source of vitamin C. Next to oregano, it has one of the most concentrated levels of luteolin (an anti-inflammatory) at 69 per 100 mg.  The cedar berry helps to regulate blood sugar levels and kidney filtration thus helping to prevent the onset of diabetes, among other diseases.  Cedar Berry helps with heartburn and digestive issues in addition to boosting the immune system.  By using the berries regularly in your diet, they will assist in cleansing toxins from the blood by increased urination and perspiration thus significantly being of aid in decreasing bloating and stimulating weight loss.

The flavor of the berries, with a spicy, pine-like finish, are a wonderful complement to pork, rabbit, venison, beef and duck.  In the traditional dish Sauerbraten, juniper berries bring the authenticity to the dish.  In more modern recipes, the berries are replaced with crushed gingersnaps, which produce a similar flavor to the end result, interesting, no?



GREAT RECIPES

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Lacto-fermented Pickles (makes 1 quart or up to a gallon)

Ingredients

- Cedar Berry Wild Sea Salt for brine

- Cucumbers - kirbys are best

- pickling spices

- leaves for crispness - try grape leaves foraged from the wild

Instructions

1.  Prepare a brine using the ratio of two tablespoons of Wild Sea Salt to one quart of water. If it is over 85 degrees in your kitchen, use one extra tablespoon of salt. Stir well and set aside.

2.  Gather flavorings – garlic, onions, fresh herbs, or your favorite pickling spices.

3.  Add garlic, herbs, and spices to the bottom of your clean quart, half-gallon, or gallon jar.

4.  Add one of the following to keep your vegetables crisp: grape, horseradish, oak, black tea (yes the kind you drink), or mesquite leaves. 

5.  load in your whole or sliced cucumbers atop flavorings, leaving at least 2 inches of headspace from the rim of the jar. Pour the brine over the vegetables so they are covered by at least one inch. Two to four inches is even better, but hard to achieve in quart jars.

6.  Weight down your vegetables so they stay below the brine while fermenting. Small plates that will fit into the jar opening, inverted plastic jar lids, a large cabbage leaf, root vegetable slices, orglass weights made specifically for this purpose or even a cheesecloth full of washed marbles will do.

7.  Cap the jar tightly and allow to sit at 65-85 degrees for around 10 days, or more, depending on your preference. The longer they ferment at room temperature, the sourer they become. 

8.  During the earliest stages of fermentation carbon dioxide is released. Check your jars once or twice a day to see if the lids are building up pressure. If you cannot press down on the canning lid as you normally would, very quickly and carefully “burp” your jar by slightly unscrewing the lid, allowing a bit of gas to escape, and screwing it back on quickly.

9.  Once completed, move to cold storage – a root cellar, a basement, a cool garage, anywhere below 65 degrees, or yes – a refrigerator.


Earl Grey and Cedar Berry Cured Wild Salmon  (makes enough for one 2lb filet)

oz ground earl grey tea (whirl in a spice grinder if whole leaf or open a few bags of powdered tea)

1 (4.25 oz) jar Cedar Berry Wild Sea Salt

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2lb wild salmon filet, boned and skinned.

  1. Coat the skinless filet on both sides and refrigerate. 
  2. Turn salmon over every 12 hours over a period of 48 hours.
  3. After 48 hours, gently rinse off the excess coating, pat dry then place on a lined baking sheet in the fridge - uncovered - for a further 12 hours to air dry before use.

TIP:  Don’t thow away the salmon skin!  Cut it into 5” x 3” strips and sprinkle with Cedar Berry Wild Sea Salt.  Pan sear the seasoned skin in a non-stick skillet until crispy.  Makes a wonderful, nutritious snack.  It can also be used to replace nori when rolling sushi.  The trick to this is not to crisp the skin too much when pan searing.  Leave it a bit limp so it will roll.


Fingerling Potatoes with Cedar Berry and Garlic (serves 4)

2 pounds organic fingerling potatoes

4 large cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 Tablespoon Cedar Berry Wild Sea Salt

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil or bacon grease, melted

3-4 oz fresh goat cheese

a few springs of fresh oregano


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Spread the potatoes out on a parchment lined baking sheet.

3.  Sprinkle on the garlic, Cedar Berry Sea Salt and olive oil.

4.  Mix with hands or spoons until well incorporated, then spread the potatoes again so they are in an even layer.

5.  Roast for 30 - 45 minutes, or until the potatoes feel soft with a crisp outer shell and are browned beautifully.

6.  Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and fresh torn oregano to finish dish.

Enjoy as a side dish to simple roasted chicken and steamed or roasted asparagus, green beans or brussels sprouts.


Cedar Berry Lamb Chops (serves 4)

2 Racks of New Zealand Lamb, frenched

1 1/2 Tablespoon Cedar Berry Wild Sea Salt

1/2 cup grainy mustard

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 T balsamic vinegar


1.  In the bowl mix the Cedar Berry Wild Sea Salt, mustard, garlic and balsamic until well incorporated.  

2.  Place the lamb in a roasting or sheet pan, fat side up and coat with the mixture.  Allow to stand for 1 hour at room temperature.

3.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

4.  Roast the lamb for exactly 20 minutes for rare or 25 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then cut into individual ribs and serve.

Serve with a large mediterranean salad.  If desired, a Tatziki sauce of yogurt, garlic and dill goes beautifully as well.


Chocolate Cedar Berry Financiers with Blackberries (makes 6)

½ cup all-purpose, organic flour

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp Cedar Berry Wild Sea Salt

1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter

scant ½ cup organic sugar

½ cup ground almonds

3 large egg whites

Blackberries, 2 per each mold (about a scant cup), fresh or frozen (don’t defrost if frozen)


1.  Butter 6 rectangle financier molds or muffin tin. Set aside.

2.  Over a small bowl sift together the flour, cocoa and sprinkle in the Cedar Berry Wild Sea Salt. Set aside.

3.  Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook the butter until it is medium brown and has a nutty aroma, 5-6 minutes. Do not allow to burn. Remove from the heat. Set aside to cool slightly. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl. Set aside.

4.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and almond flour together, stir well. Add the egg whites stirring. Place the saucepan over low heat and, stirring continuously, heat until the mixture is hot to the touch and runny, about 4-5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour mixture. Then gradually stir in the brown butter. 

5.  Spoon or pipe the batter into the prepared molds filling them just below the rim. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

6.  When ready to bake, center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 400F. 

7.  Press two blackberries into the top of each financier. Do not entirely submerge the berries. 

8.  Bake for about 15 minutes, until they are puffed and a cake tester inserted into a center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, unmold immediately. Cool completely on the wire rack. They are the best the day they are baked or you can freeze them.



© Wild Sea Salt established August 2015