Friday, August 19, 2011

Blushing Peach Jam

It's sweet summer peach with a lime zing- this jam is so damn sexy it will make you blush.

5 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings
2 lbs. ripe peaches
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp lime juice
3 cups sugar
1 box powdered pectin

Cut an X on the bottoms of the peaches. Boil for one minute and then blanch. Here's a trick, if you don't know this one, yet:

Peel and chop peaches. In a medium pot, simmer peaches and water for 5 minutes, stirring often. Use a stick blender to smooth out the jam. Add lime juice and sugar and boil until sugar is dissolved. Add pectin and boil hard for one minute. Test the set- it should look like this on a frozen plate:

Ladle into jars, wipe rims, attach lids and rings and process for ten minutes.

Quadruple Dog-Dare Ya' Berry Jam

Joe actually made this one, but it is so freakin' incredible I am sharing it here. I quadruple dog dare ya' to try it spooned over chocolate ice cream.

6 1/2 pint sterilized jars, lids and rings
1 quart strawberries
1 pint blueberries
2 cups raspberries
1 cup blackberries
2 Tbsp lemon juice
5 cups sugar
1-2 packets powdered pectin

Wash all berries and hull strawberries. Mash berries and lemon juice in a pot over medium heat. When berries begin to get juicy and warm add sugar and simmer five minutes. Add 1 package pectin and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and test for the set. Add more pectin if necessary and re-test for the set. When it is set to desired thickness ladle into jars, wipe rims, attach lids and process for ten minutes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Jalapeno Jelly

Wow, sorry guys. Life got kinda' hectic there for a while, but we're all settled into the new house now and I'm ready to start canning the summer bounty that is upon us! As today happens to be National Can-it-Forward Day, I thought it would be a great chance to get back in the swing of things. Canning in my "new" kitchen is so relaxing now that I have space to work. I expect to be canning a lot more often now, especially for a new start-up project my friend, co-worker, and fellow mom Matteson McCay have recently begun- Jammin' Mamas. So far we have successfully sold Strawberry Preserves and Mango Jelly. I have a feeling this Jalapeno Jelly is going to be a big hit, too!

Recipe taken from Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving:

6 1/2 pint sterilized jars, lids and rings
3/4 lb jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 cups apple cider vinegar
6 cups sugar
2 pouches (1 box) liquid pectin

Puree jalapenos with one cup vinegar in food processor. In a medium pot, add puree to the remaining cup of vinegar and sugar and bring to a simmer for ten minutes. Add pectin and bring to a rolling boil for one minute. Ladle into jars, wipe rims, attach lids and rings and process for ten minutes.

Serve over Philadelphia Cream Cheese with Ritz crackers.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hamburger Pickles

Instead of bringing the same old macaroni salad to a picnic this summer, why not contribute your own homemade Hot Dog Relish and Hamburger Pickles?!

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a garden, but most of us will probably, at least once in a summer, end up with a grocery bag full of some vegetable that a friend just too many to know what to do with. If that bags happens to be cucumbers, I can't think of anything better to whip up and share than a few jars of pickles.

This recipe is adapted from the Ball Book guide to preserving.

3 pint jars or 6 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings, sterilized
6 pounds cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup canning salt
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 quart plus 3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 quart plus 1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
1 1/4 inch by 1 inch piece ginger
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves

Put cucumber slices in a large bowl; sprinkle with salt; mix thoroughly. Let stand 3 hours. Drain; rinse and drain thoroughly. Combine turmeric, 3 cups vinegar and 1 quart water in a sauce pot; brine to a boil; pour over cucumbers. let stand until cold; drain. Taste cucumbers; if too salty, rinse thoroughly; drain. Combine granulated sugar, 1 quart vinegar and 1 cup water in a large sauce pot. Tie spices in a spice bag; add to pickling liquid. Simmer 15 minutes; pour pickling liquid over cucumbers. Refrigerate overnight. Discard spice bag and drain pickles, reserving pickling liquid. Bring pickling liquid to a boil. Pack jars with pickles, pour over liquid leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps and process 10 minutes in a water bath canner.

Pickled Onions in Basic Brine

Whoa, I'm waaaay behind on my blog posts now, so I'm going to blast through these next couple recipes in order to tell you all about something really exciting in my little world of canning..

This brine recipe is great for pickling any fruit or vegetable. This time I filled my jars with red and Vidalia onion and fresh sliced garlic, then processed for ten minutes.

Basic Brine:
4 cups water
4 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canning salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 piece cinnamon bark
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
2 cracked juniper berries
1 clove
1 bay leaf

Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer on low until you are ready to fill your jars.

*Some recipes add allspice, dill or coriander. I've also substituted brown sugar for the granulated when I wanted a more caramel note in the flavor. You can play around with different combinations until you have something that suits your palate. Have fun!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Coriander Onion Marmalade

Thanks to Mother's Kitchen for inspiring this delicious onion marmalade with coriander and Clementine zest. The zest we had left from making My Darling Clementine's Marmalade, but I'm sure any citrus zest would pair well with coriander. We had this on Greek-spiced roast chicken and it was incredible!

Onion Marmalade
3 sterilized 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 lbs julienne Vidalia onions
1 lb julienne red onion
1 Tbsp garlic and ginger paste
2 tsp toasted, ground coriander
1 Tbsp dried Clementine zest
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 package powdered pectin

Heat oil in a pot and saute onions on low until translucent. Add garlic and ginger paste, coriander, zest, sugar, salt and orange juice. Cook on low for 30 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Add pectin in small increments until it reaches a thick, jam-like consistency. Pack into jars and process 10 minutes.

Greek Spice Rub
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp course salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp lemon juice
olive oil to taste

Mix spices and lemon juice. Drizzle in enough olive oil to make a paste. Use on chicken, lamb, or pork.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hot Dog Relish

One can only have so much cucumber salad- so here's a recipe for relish that will last you all through grilling season!

4 sterilized 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings
4 cups small diced cucumber
2 minced garlic cloves
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
4 Tbsp sugar
 3 Tbsp canning salt
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cm cinnamon stick
1/2 clove

Bring water, sugar and all seasonings to a boil. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Stuff jars with diced cucumber and garlic, strain brine and pour into jars. Process 10 minutes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cream Cheese Dill Bread

Now that I have a Kitchen Aid, I'm not sure how I ever lived without one! Along with pizza crust and banana bread, Joe used it to grind lamb for a delicious Moussaka. This month Mother's Kitchen challenged us to use dried dill in a recipe, so I whipped together this Cream Cheese Dill Bread. It is easy to make, and comes out looking very impressive. This biscuit-like bread is great to tear into big chunks and sop up soup or plate juices.

2 tsp yeast
5 Tbsp warm water
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dried dill
2/3 cup cream cheese at room temp
2 small diced onions
2 beat eggs
4 Tbsp butter

Sprinkle yeast in water, let it stand 5 minutes. Saute onions in 1 tablespoon butter then cool. In a mixer with a paddle attachment mix flour, salt and dill.  Add cream cheese, onions and remaining butter and mix until it looks like pie dough. Drizzle in eggs and yeast water and mix on low for 5 minutes. Let stand, covered, in a warm place for 1/2 hour. Knead for 1 minute. Form into balls in a greased pan and let it stand again for another 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Swedish Cardamom Breakfast Bread

This bread is the Frankenstein's Monster of breads. It's a weird, delicious combination of a raised bread, a cinnamon roll and a croissant with an European filling thrown in for good measure. It contains a full pound of butter, so even if you fudge it a bit, you know it will still be incredible. The directions may seem complicated at first, but if you read through them well, and stay organized, it's actually pretty easy.

2 eggs
1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup water- 115 degrees
4 cups a.p. flour
1 tsp salt
10 crushed cardamom seeds
2 tbsp plus 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup plus 1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup blanched, sliced almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp milk
In one small bowl beat eggs; in another mix yeast and water. Chill yeast in refrigerator 5 minutes then mix with eggs. In a large bowl mix flour, salt, cardamom and 2 tablespoons sugar. Cut in 1/2 cup butter, then mix in yeast and egg mixture. Bring together to form a ball and knead for 2 minutes. Cover with a towel and let rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Roll dough out into a large rectangle. Smear on 1 cup butter.

Fold dough into thirds, flip and roll out to a rectangle. Repeat this 3 more times, ending with a dough folded in thirds. Cover and chill for 2 more hours. Meanwhile, mix on high 1/2 cup butter, confectioner's sugar, almonds, cinnamon and vanilla extract to make filling. Roll dough out to a rectangle and spread filling over center portion of dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll up dough, lay out on a greased pan in a ring.

Beat egg yolk with milk. Use scissors to cut segments, brush with egg and milk mix, sprinkle with sugar and bake 25 minutes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lip Smackin' Strawberry Jam

Sometimes you just want an unadulterated classic. Last year I was so excited to be making something new that I got a bit carried away with my flavor combinations. This year I'm concentrating on quality: great flavor, color, and the proper "set". I want a jam that's done the right way, a jam that you would expect to come home from the fair with a blue ribbon. This is that jam.

6 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings
3 pints strawberries
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Cups sugar
2 packages powdered pectin

Wash jars and store in a 200 degree oven. Hull and quarter strawberries. Cook strawberries on medium heat until they soften and begin to release water. Use a potato masher to mash strawberries in the pot. Add vanilla and sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. Add pectin 1/2 box at a time until is properly set. Ladle into jars, wipe rims and attach lids and rings. Process 10 minutes.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Marmalade de Pamplemousse Rouge

Well, here we are in marmalade season, again! We're back to work and busy with the little one, but managed to make this at the end of January. Despite there being no canjam this year, I'm making a personal goal of canning one local ingredient and making one specialty bread every month.We kept this one local by using Florida's Ruby Red Grapefruit; I named it so just because I love saying the word "pamplemousse". Honey and a hint of vanilla complement this bitter-sweet jam, and the set came out absolutely perfect! We are very happy with this marmalade and plan on using it on everything sweet to savory.

Marmalade de Pamplemousse Rouge :
6 Florida Ruby Red grapefruit
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups sugar
1 1/2 boxes fruit pectin

Pour boiling water over grapefruit and scrub with a vegetable brush to remove any remaining wax. Slice fruit in half and juice into bowl. Pour juice through a strainer into a medium cooking pot and press juices from pulp into pot. This should yield roughly six cups of juice. Begin heating juice on medium low. While juice is heating, cut peels in half and remove all traces of membrane with the back of a spoon.  Cut in half lengthwise and again width wise, and julienne finely until you have about two cups.  Add peels to juice and bring to boil on medium high, skimming acidic foam periodically with a ladle.  Cook until peels are translucent and tender, about  30 minutes. Add honey, vanilla and sugar and return to boil. Cook until sugar is fully dissolved.  Add 1 box of pectin slowly while boiling.  Check for set and slowly add additional pectin as needed and until marmalade is set.  Let rest for a few minutes, then ladle into hot jars and process for ten minutes.

 Orange-Almond Bread:
1 Cup sugar
5 Tbsp butter, room temperature
3/4 Cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 Clementines zest + juice
1 Cup a.p. flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
 1 slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together sugar and butter. Stir in milk, egg, vanilla and orange juice and zest. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Combine wet and dry ingredients then stir in nuts. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake 50-60 minutes.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rosemary & Sun-Dried Tomato Fococcia

Having a one-month old baby makes it a bit difficult to find time for canning. Because my My Darling Clementine's Marmalade was such a big hit with our family and The Danske's (our Danish exchange student's family) Joe made another batch. He also managed to find time to make ten more jars of Giardiniera; the two of us alone can kill one jar as an appetizer. But I won't be posting on these. Let it suffice to say that pretty much any medley of vegetables can be pickled in any combination of vinegars and taste great.

This post is really about something new, something that came about after receiving a KithenAid from my Father-in-law (I am very lucky to have awesome in-laws), something I've been wanting to learn for a while: bread-making. Simultaneously, I've joined another blog-based year long challenge- The Spice Rack Challenge. Therefor, I'm attempting to put these together and make one bread per month containing the secret spice ingredient. Here we go!

Rosemary & Sun-Dried Tomato Fococcia
1/2 + 4 cups a.p. flour
1 tsp yeast
3/4+ 1 cup warm water
2 tsp table salt
3 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tsp+ 1 tsp crushed, dried rosemary
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp sea salt

 In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup warm water and yeast. Cover bowl with a clean towel and hold in oven overnight (to make the next morning), or all day (to make in the evening). 

With a dough hook attachment, add 1 cup warm water,  table salt, tomatoes and rosemary, mix well on setting #1. Slowly add in 4 cups flour until incorporated, turn setting to # 2 and knead for 5 minutes. Place dough in a bowl coated in 1 Tbsp olive oil, cover with towel and place in oven for 1 1/2 hours to rise.

 Preheat oven to 475. On a lightly floured table, press dough out with fingers into a rectangle shape about 10" * 13". Move to a lightly greased sheet pan, drizzle with remaining olive oil, sea salt and remaining rosemary.  Bake for 15 minutes until golden-brown and delicious. Cut into squares for sandwiches or soup-dipping.

This bread is super easy and provided you have a mixer, not time consuming at all. Sure, all together it takes 10 hours, but very little of that time is spent giving the bread any attention. Just throw together the yeast mixture in the morning, pop it in the oven. Later on, whirl it together, spread it out and bake it. Bread-making leaves plenty of time for feeding, playing and napping!