When I was young the only grape recipes in my home consisted of jellies, jams and juice. Of course, everyone knew about all the wines made with grapes in California. The state of Oregon has also become famous for its wine making grape, the Burgundy Pinot Noir. This grape makes up about sixty percent of the state's vineyards. The grapes produced for wines have thick skins, have lots of seeds and are extra sweet tasting.
The United States has over one million acres of vineyards of which eight hundred thousand acres are used for wine making. Like the wine grapes, the juice grapes also have thick skins often referred to as "slip skins". These skins peel easily and they contain a lot of flavor in the thick skins. For nonprofessional wine makers, like me, wine and juice grapes can be interchangeable. I know "real winemakers" are very choosey about their grapes. This has become a very competitive business about who can produce the "best wine".
Many grape recipes to make jams, jellies and juice are processed by pressing the thick resulting skins of the grapes. As a result, the flavor is rich and delicious. In Ohio, we always had a lot of Concord grapes when I was young. Most of the older homes had them growing in their back yards. Many had huge trellises, some with the walkway running underneath. Many of the trellises had been there for generations. In the summer the vines hung full of those beautiful dark blue clusters of grapes. As soon as the grapes reached that dark color and had that sweet taste they were picked. Most of these families started the canning process using their own hand-me-down family recipes.
Probably today, the most popular category of grapes is the table grape because most people do not make wine or preserve them any longer. Generally speaking, we usually describe these as green or red grapes but "professionally" they are referred to as white (green, amber, yellow in color) or black (all darker colors) grapes. When looking for grapes in your supermarket, they could appear to be green, red, dark blue or other shades. Most of what I see today are seedless. Some names to look for are Thompson seedless, Flame seedless, Ruby seedless and Vintage Red.
These table grapes have thinner skins and should be sweet and crispy at the peak. Other than making wine or canning most grape recipes are made with these. Years ago, all table grapes had so many seeds that I would not have considered adding them to my recipes. Today we have a great assortment of seedless grapes. The American supermarket usually carries a variety making snacking on or cooking with grapes. A light powder dusting "bloom" will appear on the grapes which means they have not been handles too much. The stems of the grapes should still be green. If they appear brown, the grapes are getting too old.
Grape recipes for entrees often are made with chicken.
Slice chicken or pound until breasts are not thin but pretty even all over.
Heat butter and olive oil in large heavy skillet over medium high heat.
Saute the chicken until meat is lightly browned on all sides about 5 minutes.
NOTE: Chicken should be tender but moist on inside.
Remove chicken from the skillet to a plate and keep warm.
Add wine to the skillet and bring to a boil; loosen bits from bottom with spoon.
Stir in cream, thyme, salt and pepper; REDUCE HEAT to a simmer.
Cook and stir until sauce thickens slightly about 5 minutes.
Stir in grapes and simmer until grapes are thoroughly heated about 5 minutes.
This is one of the grape recipes served with cheese which is delicious but simple to make.
NOTE: Although roasting the grapes in clusters makes a pretty presentation, I prefer removing the grapes form the stems before roasting. The stems dry out and it is hard to remove the grapes without getting the dried stems and it is messy.
Preheat oven to 450F degrees; place rack in center of oven.
Combine 2 TEASPOONS of the honey, oil and salt in a large bowl.
Toss clusters of grapes to coat; place on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
Roast in oven about 15 minutes flipping grapes over halfway through roasting.
NOTE: Grapes should be collapsed, juicy and somewhat caramelized.
In a medium bowl combine the mascarpone, rum, zest and remaining 2 TEASPOONS honey.
Stir to blend well; transfer grapes to serving dishes and top with spoon of mascarpone
Many grape recipes are for making marmalades made from the pulp and juice of the grapes and sweetened with sugar.
Measure grapes: wash, drain and remove stems from grapes.
Separate pulp from skins; place pulp in a heavy canning pot and slowly heat to boiling.
Cook slowly until seeds separate from the pulp; rub through a fine sieve to remove seeds.
Place pulp and skins in the pot; add equal amount of sugar to the pot.
Cook slowly 30 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
Pour into hot sterilized half pint canning jars; adjust caps.
People with diabetes can enjoy jelly also.
In a medium stainless steel pot dissolve gelatin in the grape juice; add lemon juice.
Bring to a boil stirring until gelatin dissolves; boil 1 minute.
Remove from heat and stir in sweetener; pour into half pint hot sterilized jars.
NOTE: Leave 1/2 inch headspace.
Seal with caps and lids; makes 4 jars.
Many grape recipes are blended with other fruits and nuts.
Place grapes in canning pot and heat to boil; run through sieve to remove seeds.
Cook grape pulp, ground oranges and raisins together for 20 minutes.
Add sugar and cook 20 minutes longer; remove from heat and stir in nuts.
Spoon into hot sterilized jars and seal with jar lids.
Grape recipes for spreads are simple to make.
Place grapes and sugar in a large heavy canning pot.
Slowly bring to a boil stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
Press through a sieve removing seeds and skins.
Place pulp back in pot; cook 15 minutes stirring to prevent sticking.
Pour into hot sterilized half pint jars; adjust with lids and rings.
Sometimes grape recipes are just extraordinary like this Italian cake.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Grease, line with parchment, grease again and flour 3 cake pans (8 inch size).
FOR CAKE sift together 2 times the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
Beat together the sugar and oil until creamy; beat in egg YOLKS one at a time.
Add vanilla and beat mixture until light and fluffy.
Add flour mixture to batter alternating with the buttermilk; set aside.
Beat egg WHITES in CLEAN bowl with CLEAN beaters until stiff peaks form.
Fold beaten egg whites into the batter just until blended; divide into prepared pans.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes until pick comes out clean; cool 10 minutes in pan.
Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.
FOR FILLING combine all ingredients in saucepan and place over medium heat.
Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved; cook until mixture thickens slightly and fruits are soft.
Mash fruit in pan and set aside to cool.
FOR GARNISH beat the egg whites until foamy; roll grapes in whites and then in the sugar.
Place grapes on a parchment lined tray; set aside until ready to finish cake.
FOR FROSTING beat butter until fluffy; add salt and vanilla.
Beat in powdered sugar until creamy smooth and spreadable.
Frost between cake layers, the top and sides; garnish top of cake with sugared grapes.
White wine goes well with many chicken and grape recipes.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Season all the chicken pieces with salt and pepper on both sides.
Melt half of BUTTER in a large skillet; brown half of the CHICKKEN pieces on both sides.
Remove chicken from skillet and place in a large casserole baking dish.
Melt remaining butter in the skillet; brown remaining chicken on all sides.
Place remaining chicken in casserole dish making 1 layer if possible.
Add the green onions to the skillet; stir and cook until browned.
Add the wine to skillet; stir together until heated and pour over chicken.
Cover casserole dish with foil; bake for 30 minutes until chicken is tender.
Remove foil from dish; add clusters of grapes and bake 5 minutes longer.
Sprinkle with paprika and serve; serves 6 to 8.
Fish and seafood are included in many delicious grape recipes.
NOTE: WHAT ARE ABALONE STEAKS? Abalone are marine snails which grow to about 10 inches in length weighing about one to two pounds as adults. The shells are extremely strong, as are the tenacious orange feet which are used to cling to rocks. To make into steaks slice about 1/4 inch in thickness (3 Ounce size is good). Trim off all meat which is not white because the darker meat is very tough. Place the steaks on a cutting board and pound with a meat tenderizer until about 1/8 inch thickness.
FOR SAUCE combine shallots, wine and grape juice in a saucepan.
Cook over low heat until liquid is reduced by half; stir in Cognac and cream.
Set sauce aside and keep warm.
FOR STEAKS dissolve sugar in boiling water to make a syrup.
Add grapes to syrup and gently poach for 5 minutes or until tender; set aside.
Moisten the abalone steaks with the milk; dust with flour and dip in beaten eggs.
Melt butter over high heat in a large heavy skillet.
Saute steaks until golden brown on both sides (30 seconds on each side).
Season with salt and pepper; arrange steaks alternating with orange slices.
NOTE: Overlap on a warm serving plate in a row.
Sprinkle with poached grapes over the steaks and orange slices.
Cover with warm sauce and serve; serves 10 -12.
Not too many grape recipes are for pies but this meringue pie is very good.
Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
Separate the grape skins from the pulp; cook pulp until seeds separate.
Sift together the sugar, salt, flour and cloves; set aside.
Press pulp through a coarse sieve; combine pulp, skins, dry ingredients and yolks.
Mix until well blended and pour into prepared pie shell; bake 10 to 15 minutes.
REDUCE HEAT to 350F degrees; bake another 30 minutes.
PREPARE MERINGUE by beating egg whites until foamy.
Gradually beat in the powdered sugar; continue beating until stiff.
Remove pie from oven and REDUCE OVEN TEMPERATURE to 325F degrees.
Spread meringue over top spreading to seal edges; bake until meringue is golden brown.
Cool completely before serving; serves 6-8.
It makes sense that most of my grape recipes are for dessert dishes like this one.
Wash grapes, remove stems and dry with clean kitchen towels.
Mix together Cool Whip, cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla in large bowl.
Stir in the dried grapes; place mixture in a shallow casserole dish.
Combine and mix the brown sugar, pecans and crushed Butterfingers.
Spread candy mixture over top of grape mixture; refrigerate until set and ready to serve.
There are a lot of grape recipes for salads like this delicious one.
Beat together the cream cheese and mayonnaise; beat in pineapple juice.
Add marshmallows and drained pineapple; fold in whipped cream and grapes.
Pour into a 1 quart freezer tray; freeze until firm.
Cut into 8 squares to serve; serves 8.
This is one of my unique fruit and vegetable grape recipes.
Combine and mix all ingredients until thoroughly blended.
Refrigerate until ready to serve; serves 8.
Some grape recipes like this one makes a memorable presentation.
OPTIONAL: Whipped cream and gingersnap cookies
Place 6 TABLESPOONS of the cider in a heat proof bowl; sprinkle in the gelatin.
Place bowl over a pan of hot water and stir until dissolved.
Stir in remaining CIDER and lemon juice; remove bowl from heat.
Spoon enough of the cider gelatin into a dampened 1 quart ring mold just to cover.
Place mold in refrigerator until set.
Set aside HALF of each type of grapes; cut remaining grapes in half.
Arrange a layer of the grape HALVES over top of the set gelatin.
Cover the grapes with another layer of the gelatin mixture; refrigerate until set.
Continue layering the grapes halves and gelatin refrigerating after each until set.
NOTE: END with a layer of gelatin and refrigerate until well set.
TO SERVE dip mold in and out of hot water so gelatin slides out when inverted on plate.
If remaining whole grapes are too dry, quickly dip in cold water and drain well.
Toss grapes in sugar and fill the center of the mold; serve with whipped cream and cookies.
Simple grape recipes like this one are loved by the children especially in the hot summer. Try adding some popsicle sticks before freezing.
Combine water and sugar in a large saucepan.
Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Add remaining ingredients and stir until grape juice melts.
Pour into freezer trays; freeze until firm stirring several times during freezing.