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.