Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Very Cherry Jam

Source: Shockingly Delicious
Yield: About 6 half-pint jars

4 cups pitted and chopped fresh, ripe Bing cherries* (about 3 pounds)
½ cup strained fresh lemon juice
5 cups sugar
½ teaspoon unsalted butter
1 (3-ounce) pouch liquid pectin**
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

In an 8-quart pan, combine the cherries, lemon juice, sugar and butter. Over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. 

Stir in the entire contents of the pectin pouch. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. 

Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam. Stir in the almond extract. To prevent the jam from separating in the jars, allow the jam to cool 5 minutes before filling the jars. Gently stir the jam every minute or so to distribute the fruit. 

Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings. Process half-pint jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.

*This recipe can also be made using frozen bing cherries. Allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight and then chop them before using.

** When making this with Pamona pectin you will need calcium water and the Pamona pectin instead. Add the calcium water with the lemon juice and hold back 1 cup of the sugar. Combine this reserved cup of sugar with the Pamona pectin and set aside. Once the jam has reached a full rolling boil, whisk in the sugar-Pamona pectin combination. Continue to boil for 2 minutes. When in doubt use a candy thermometer. The gel point for sugar is 220°.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Grandma Marsha's Cheesecake

Source: Marsha Brockman
Yield: 1 pie

1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 c lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 graham cracker crust
1 can cherry pie filling

Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla.

Pour into crust; chill 4 hours or until set. Top with desired amount of cherry pie filling before serving.

Note: If you are using the larger "two extra slices" pre made graham cracker crust, a triple batch of filling will fill two crusts.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Caramel Apple Jam

Source: A Latte with Ott, A
Yield: Approx. 7 half-pints

6 cups diced, peeled apples in 1/8 inch cubes
1/2 cup water
1 package powered pectin
3 cups sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

In a large, heavy stock pot combine the apples and water. Cook and stir over low heat until apples are soft. Stir in the sugars and spices, bring to a rolling boil.

Whisk in the pectin and continue to boil for up to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so to keep the fruit evenly disbursed. Skim the foam.

Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Top with flats and rings per manufacturer directions. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Salsa Verde

Source: The Yummy Life
Yield: 4-5 pints

2 lbs. tomatillos, husks & stems removed (approx. 25-30 medium size)
4 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1/2 lb. Anaheim green chile peppers; may substitute other large green chiles such as New Mexico or poblan
2 small or 1 large jalapeno
1/2 cup cilantro, loosely packed
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons black pepper (optional: use half black pepper & half white pepper)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cider vinegar (may omit if not canning salsa)*
1/4 cup bottled lime juice (okay to use fresh if not canning salsa)

Roast tomatillos, chile peppers, onions and garlic. Preheat oven to 500°. Place veggies in single layer on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes until tomatillos & peppers are charred, softened, and oozing juices. 

Peel, stem, and seed the green chiles. Stem the jalepeños (skin can be left on) and leave seeds in half of them. Leave skin on tomatillos.

Add roasted veggies (including juices that collected after roasting) and remaining ingredients to a a large, heavy stock pot. Use an immersion blender to blend until desired consistency — anywhere from slightly chunky to pureed.

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover  and simmer 15 minutes. Pour salsa into hot, sterilized pint or half pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process for 15 minutes in boiling water canner. Turn off heat and remove cover; leaving jars in hot water for 5 minutes. Remove jars carefully and rest on towel undisturbed for 12-24 hours. 

If any jars don't seal, store in fridge to use within 2 weeks; or freeze. Canned salsa tastes better if it's stored unopened for at least 1 month to allow flavors to blend and vinegar to mellow. Recipe may be doubled or tripled.

Pineapple Jalapeño Jam

Source: Comfy Cuisine
Yield: Approx. 4 Pints

2-1/2 cups sugar
4 cups fresh pineapple 
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed, finely minced
1 pkg. fruit pectin

Dice and pulse pineapple in food processor or blender.

In a 4 qt. pot, combine the sugar, pineapple, lemon juice, and jalapeños. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Stir in the fruit pectin; return the mixture to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minutes.

Ladle the hot preserves into sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch head space and top with lids to seal. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes for half-pint jars and 15 minutes for pint jars. 

Candied Jalapeños

Source: Foodie With Family
Yield: Approx. 9 half-pint jars

3 pounds fresh, firm, jalapeno peppers, washed
2 cups cider vinegar
6 cups white granulated sugar
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon celery seed
3 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Wearing gloves, remove the stems from all of the jalapeño peppers. The easiest way to do this is to slice a small disc off of the stem-end along with the stem. Discard the stems.Slice the peppers into uniform -1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within ¼ inch of the upper rim of the jar. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.

Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup* into the jars over the jalapeno slices. Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.

Place jars in a canner, cover with water by 2-inches. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints. When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth then label.

Allow to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating.

*Strain any solids from the leftover syrup and return to the stove over high heat. Bring it to a full rolling boil and add pectin. Boil for 2 minutes longer or until it reaches 220° on a candy thermometer. This can now be canned separately in half pint jars as Jalapeño Jelly.

Roasted Corn Salsa

Source: Mrs. Wages/Food in Jars
Yield: Makes 4 pints

8 cobs of corn (should yield approximately 3 cups corn kernels)
5 cups chopped tomatoes (approximately 3 pounds)
1 cup chopped poblano peppers (approximately 2 large peppers)
1 cup chopped red onion (1 small onion)
11/2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
2/3 cup sugar
11/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp coriander seeds

Prepare a boiling water bath and 4 pint jars. Place lids in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and simmer over very low heat.

Husk and de-silk the corn. Place the cobs on a rimmed cookie sheet and place under a broiler set to high. Roast the corn until the kernels darken (this should take 3-5 minutes, depending on your oven). Turn cobs and repeat, until all corn cobs are speckled with spots of caramelization. If you prefer, this roasting can also be done outside on a grill. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cobs with a sharp knife.

Combine all the salsa ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the liquid has reduced. Taste and adjust spices.

Ladle hot salsa into prepared jars, leaving a 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.

Maple Bourbon Peach Butter

Adapted from: Local Kitchen Blog
Yield: Approx. 4 cups

3 and 1/2 lbs peaches, rinsed, halved, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup (Grade B for the strongest maple flavor)
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup sugar

Crock Pot Method:
Peel and slice peaches into a large capacity crock pot set for high heat. Stir in maple syrup, sugar, and bourbon. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 hours stirring frequently. When the mixture is heated through, use an immersion blender to bring it to a smooth consistency. 

Turn heat to low and prop lid or turn at an angle to allow the steam to escape. Continue to cook on low for 6-8 hours to desired consistency. The crock pot method will give you a darker colored, more caramelized flavor than the stove top method but both are very good.

Stove Top Method:
In a large preserving pot or Dutch oven, combine bourbon, 1/2 cup maple syrup, sugar and vinegar. As you pit & slice peaches, toss in the liquid to prevent browning. Once all the peaches are added, cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until peaches are very soft and breaking down, about 30 minutes. Transfer fruit + juice to a food mill and work through to remove skins.

Strain liquid from peach pulp into the preserving pot, stirring the pulp often in the colander and letting it drain for about 20 minutes. Let peach pulp continue to drain over a bowl while you bring the liquid in the pot to a brisk boil over high heat. Continue to boil the peach juice until it is reduced and syrupy, but not quite at the gel stage (about 20 minutes). Periodically add any additional strained liquid to the pot. 

When liquid is nearly ready, purée the peach pulp, using a food processor, blender or immersion blender, then add to the preserving pot. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with a splatter screen and stirring frequently, until the butter reaches the desired thickness (no liquid should separate when you put a dollop on a cool plate, and/or it should mound on a spoon). Taste and adjust flavorings, add the extra 2 tbsp maple syrup here.

Prepare canner, jars and lids.

Ladle hot peach butter into hot jars, taking care to bubble the jars and adjust head space to 1/2-inch. Wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Citrus Pork Roast

Rub a pork butt all over with a mixture of 2 parts kosher salt, 2 parts oregano, 4 parts ground cumin and 1 part black pepper.

In the bottom of the pan (or slow cooker) place on large yellow onion chopped, 2 bay leaves, the zest and juice of one orange and 2 limes, and 1 tsp red chili flakes. Put the meat on top. Add 3/4 cup of chicken stock, water or beer. Cover it tightly and roast in a 275 degree oven for at least 7 hours or put in the slow cooker on high for 2 hrs and then on low for 6 hrs.

Use this meat to make cuban-type sandwiches, to make tacos or nachos or enchiladas, as a base for a pork chili, etc.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ginger Soy Stir-Fry, AKA Let's Clean Out the Fridge

Yield: 4 Servings

1 T sesame oil
1 T peanut oil
1 T minced garlic
2 T minced fresh ginger
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, cut into match-sticks
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2" pieces
1 small head broccoli (or half of a large one), cut into small florets
1 head baby bok choy, chopped (about 4 cups loose)
3 T soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
steamed rice for 4, follow package directions

Start your rice, follow package directions, and do all of the prep work first. Mince the garlic and ginger, set aside in a small bowl together. Chop all of the veggies except the bok choy and layer together in a large bowl. Chop and rinse the bok choy, set aside in a colander to drain until you are ready for it. 

From here this will go together very quickly, try to keep everything moving. In a large wok, cast iron is best, heat oil over medium-high flame until glistening. Add the ginger and garlic to the oil and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken, salt and pepper to taste. Stir-fry the chicken in the hot oil until it's almost cooked through, 4-6 minutes. 

Move the chicken to the sides of your pan and add the large bowl of veggies (everything except the bok choy) to the center. Stir-fry, combining the chicken with the veggies for about 4 minutes, until the veg is hot and close to crisp-tender. Add the bok choy and soy sauce to the wok. Combine with other veg/chicken and continue to stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes, until boc choy is cooked through. Pull out a piece of chicken, cut in half and check it for doneness, cook for 1-2 minutes longer if needed. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve immediately over rice.

Feel free to substitute veggies or protein here. Just remember to add things to the wok based on how long they will take to cook. In the recipe above the bok choy went in last because it's cooks much faster than broccoli, asparagus, and bell pepper. Try Steak + Onions + Peppers + Mushrooms, or Shrimp + Onions + Red Bell Pepper + Pineapple. Add sliced jalapeños, dried chillies, or crushed red pepper for heat.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spicy Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Yield: 4 Servings

8 oz pineapple
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup molasses
3 tablespoons malt vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sriracha
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces or cut into strips
1/2 medium onion
2-3 broccoli crowns cut into 1 inch pieces
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 pounds chicken, cut into one inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
brown rice, follow package directions for 4 servings

In a blender purée the pineapple. Add the soy sauce, molasses, vinegar, tomato paste, sriracha, garlic, and ginger, and mix well. Cover the chicken with the marinade and leave in the refrigerator for about six hours.

In a large sauté pan or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until very hot. Place the chicken with the marinade that sticks to it in the pan and fry for about 15 minutes, until chicken is well done and marinade is reduced to a caramelized coating on the chicken. Make sure you do not overcrowd the pan, so you may have to do this in batches. As the chicken finishes, move it to a large, wide bowl or platter. If you have any leftover marinade, deglaze the pain with it and reduce to thick sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Put the remaining oil into the pan and stir fry the bell pepper, onion, broccoli, and mushrooms until crisp-tender. Again, you may need to do this in batches. As the veggies finnish add them to the top of the chicken

Serve over steamed rice.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bolognese Sauce

Source: Pappardelle with Bolognese
Yield: Approximately 10 cups

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots - peeled, minced
2 stalks celery - minced
2 cloves garlic - minced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms - minced
1 onion - minced
6 ounces tomato paste
1/2 bottle red wine
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound pappardelle pasta

Heat olive oil in a large, deep sided pan over a medium-high flame. A heavy-duty, enamel stock pot is good for this. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the veggies (carrots through onion) and saute for 20-25 minutes, until soft and tender.

Add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper and brown. Once the beef is fully cooked, add the tomato paste. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the wine. Allow the sauce to cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Check seasoning and add additional salt and pepper as required.

Add water to cover the sauce by 1 inch. Simmer on low, stirring as necessary. Continue to cook on low heat for at least 1 hour, adding additional water if needed. Flavor will improve if allowed to cook for 2-3 additional hours.

Prepare pasta according to package directions, serve with bolognese sauce.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chicken Posole

Source: Cooking Light
Yield: 6-8 Generous Bowls

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 half large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 10 oz. can tomatillos, drained and coarsely chopped
4 c chicken stock
2 c water
2 15 oz. cans white hominy, rinsed and drained
1 rotisserie chicken, picked from the bones and chopped (discard skin)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, diced $
4 radishes, thinly sliced $
Cilantro leaves

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until barely softened, add celery, carrots, and garlic. As the veggies begin to cook, add the spices and bay leaf. Sauté 2 minutes. Stir in tomatillos; cook 1 minute.

Add broth and hominy; cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook 8 minutes. Stir in chicken cook until heated through. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper. Divide evenly among bowls. Top with avocado and radish. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Source: Martha Stewart
Yield: 1 10" pie

One pie crust

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Apple Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
16 ounces sour cream
2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 Granny Smith or other crisp, tart apples (about 2 1/2 pounds)

Roll out dough into a 15-inch round (1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 10-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, and fold under, pressing onto rim of pie plate. Use your fingers to create a scalloped edge if desired. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Make the crumb topping: Whisk together sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter, and combine with a fork or pastry cutter. Stir in walnuts, and press filling into large clumps with your hands; refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with 2 racks in lower third.

Peel and core the apples, slice them into 1/4-inch wedges and put into a very large mixing bowl.

Make the filling: Whisk together granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir in sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Pour over apples and stir to coat. Carefully fill the crust with apples. Arrange them neatly so that they are packed firmly and there are no open spaces.

Place an empty rimmed baking sheet on lowest oven rack to catch any drips, then bake pie 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until apples are golden brown in places, juices are bubbling, and crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Remove topping from refrigerator, and crumble over hot filling. Bake until topping is browned and set, apples are tender, and bottom crust is thoroughly baked, about 50 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, 3 to 4 hours.

Black-Eyed Pea Queso Dip

Source: Homesick Texan
Yield: 8 servings

1/2 pound Mexican chorizo, removed from any casing
1/4 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 roasted jalapeños, seeds and stems removed, diced
1 roasted ancho pepper, seeds and stems removed, diced
16oz frozen chopped spinach, cooked per package directions but without the added water
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas, drained or one 15-ounce can of black-eyed peas, drained
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
4 cups shredded Machego cheese (16 ounces)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large oven-proof skillet, such as a cast iron skillet, heat the Mexican chorizo and onion on medium low. Add the garlic to the pan after about 3 minutes. While stirring occasionally to break up any large chunks of chorizo, cook until the chorizo and onions are cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and if you like, drain off any excess grease.

Stir into the skillet the diced peppers, black-eyed peas and spinach. Evenly distribute on top the cubed cream cheese and shredded cheese then pour in the cream. Bake uncovered until the cheese is bubbling, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently stir to combine everything. If you’d like a little tang, you can squeeze in some lemon juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro and add salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.