canning and preserving Archive

Black Pepper Biscuit Sandwiches with Spicy Tomato Jam

There are three things I want you to know about this recipe. (Maybe four.)

1. I made tomato jam for the express purpose of slathering it on a biscuit sandwich.
A few months ago I had brunch with my friend Kelly at a little spot in Portland called Bakery Bar. I don’t recall all of the specifics of the biscuit sandwich we ate, but I do remember that it was ridiculously tasty. I do know that there was tomato jam on the biscuit sandwich and it was magical. I’ve been wanting to recreate it ever since. So that’s exactly what I did.

2. I went on a canning frenzy in the past couple of weeks. Summer is ending, and thus I’ve felt the urge to preserve and can. It’s my way of making the season last. (If you’re curious, I canned tomato sauce, tomato jam, bourbon peach butter, bourbon pickled peaches, and my “famous” 24 hour dill pickles.)

3. I adapted this black pepper biscuit recipe from Bobby Flay, which makes me feel like an ass. I’m not one to call names, but I loathe Bobby Flay. I don’t like his restaurants and I don’t like his “southwest” brand of cooking, and I certainly can’t stand that he tries to put jalapeno peppers in everything. I’m just not a fan of him. However, his recipe for black pepper biscuits happens to be great. I may not like the guy, but I’ll give credit where credit is due.

4. Biscuit sandwiches are practically impossible to photograph. I’m a big fan of runny yolks, and I am totally unwilling to cook my eggs “over hard” just for the sake of a pretty photo. So, I attempted to photograph this biscuit sandwich and it quickly dissolved into a yolky mess. A delicious, wonderful, yolky mess. So I snapped one photo (which turned out okay) and then gave up on trying to take photos and ate the sandwich instead.

In any case, the following is a recipe for black pepper biscuits, tomato jam, and brief instructions on how to assemble these tasty breakfast sandwiches. Enjoy!

BLACK PEPPER BISCUITS
(Slightly adapted from Bobby Flay)
Makes 8 biscuits

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, plus a little more for the tops of the biscuits

Method:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, pepper, and salt. Pulse a couple of times to ensure the ingredients are combined. Sprinkle the butter pieces over the flour mixture, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Slowly pour in the buttermilk and pulse until the dough just barely comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough into a circle, until it is 3/4 of an inch thick. Using a 3″ biscuit cutter (or juice glass!), cut out the biscuits and place them on a lined baking sheet. Combine the remaining scraps of biscuit dough into a 3/4 thickness and repeat the process until all the dough is used. Brush the tops of the raw biscuits with cream, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown and fluffy. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Heirloom Tomato Jam from Rosemarried

SPICY (HEIRLOOM) TOMATO JAM
(Adapted from Sassy Radish)
Makes 4+ pints

Ingredients:
5 pounds heirloom tomatoes*, roughly chopped
2 small yellow onions, diced
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
1 green apple, finely diced
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

*Note: I used a mix of heirloom tomatoes from my garden (including cherry tomatoes). Really, any tomato will do!

Method:
Place all ingredients in a large pot or Dutch oven and stir to combine. Over medium heart, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and allow mixture to simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 hours, or until the jam is dark and thick. Stir occasionally.

Transfer jam to clean, sterilized jars. If canning, boil jars in a hot-water bath for 20 minutes. If storing in the refrigerator, the jam will keep for 2 weeks (or more).


TO ASSEMBLE THE BISCUIT SANDWICHES:

Ingredients:
2 black pepper biscuits
Sharp cheddar cheese
Tomato jam
4 slices of bacon
2 eggs

Cook the eggs and bacon to your liking. I prefer a sunny side up egg and crispy (almost burnt!) bacon. But, really, this is your biscuit sandwich and you get to make it the way you want.

Split the biscuits in half, and slather a good amount of tomato jam on one half of the biscuit. On the other half, place a hearty slice of sharp cheddar cheese. If you want your cheese extra melty, place under the broiler for a few minutes.

Place a fried egg atop each biscuit, and adorn with bacon slices. Add a bit more tomato jam if you desire. Serve immediately and enjoy immensely!

Bourbon Pickled Peaches

Today is my husband’s birthday and we’ve had a a magical day.

We slept in late and then went to lunch at Little Bird. We ate fresh oysters and drank martinis. We sat outside at Stumptown Coffee on Belmont and read books while sipping on americanos. We wandered about vintage stores and searched for trinkets and treasures (and wished we could afford to buy up all the beautiful vintage Pendleton blankets).

It’s been a great day! Happy birthday, Nicholas. I love you.

There’s no good way to transition from “happy birthday husband” to “boozy pickle recipe”, so I’m just going to jump right into it. Forgive me for my awkward transition.

Here’s the thing: I love peaches. And I love bourbon. With their powers combined, peaches and bourbon are unstoppable.

(Confession: I made not one – but two – bourbon & peach recipes this week.)

These “pickles” are tangy and spicy, boozy and complex. They taste nothing like any other pickle I’ve ever had (and I mean that in a good way). I made these pickles a few days ago, and ever since then I’ve been dreaming up all the things I can DO with bourbon pickled peaches. Obviously, I’ll eat a lot of them straight out of the jar. I’ll toss some of them in salads or mix them into a vinaigrette. I’ll include them on antipasti platters and charcuterie boards.

Really, though, I just want to eat a turkey sandwich with these bourbon peach pickles. I think that a turkey sandwich with these pickled peaches might be the best sandwich I can possibly imagine.

And with that, I’m off to make dinner. I think I just talked myself into making turkey sandwiches.

BOURBON PICKLED PEACHES
(Adapted from Gilt Taste)
Makes 3-4 pint jars

Ingredients:
4-5 ripe (but firm) peaches
Zest of 1 orange, cut into wide strips, plus the juice of that orange
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar*
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher or salt
1/4 teaspoon whole allspice berries
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
A big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 vanilla bean, cut into 4 equal pieces
1/2 cup bourbon (or more!)

*Note: I ran out of apple cider vinegar, hence why I used white vinegar. However, I do think that this recipe would be great with all apple cider vinegar.

Equipment needed: 4 pint jars, with lids and bands. A large

Prep your jars: Wash all your jars and lids with warm soapy water. Rinse and then boil the jars and lids in a large pot for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat but leave the jars in the water until you need them.

Peel your peaches: You may blanch the peaches in boiling water to remove the skins, but I prefer peeling them with a paring knife or peeler. I happen to think it’s faster and more enjoyable. In any case, remove the peach peels and cut the peaches into thin wedges. Pack the peach slices into the jars. Tuck in the strips of orange zest.

Make your brine: Bring the orange juice, bourbon, vinegar, sugar, salt, allspice, cloves, and red chili flakes to a boil in a small saucepan. Open the vanilla bean pieces and scrape the seeds. Remove the liquid from the heat, add the vanilla seeds, and drop in the pod pieces. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes or more. (Note: I cut the mixture with a bit of water as I thought the brine was rather strong. I also added a bit more bourbon. This is a matter of personal preference, just taste and adjust to your liking!)

Pickle those peaches: Once the liquid has cooled slightly, ladle the liquid over the peaches, evenly dividing the spices and vanilla bean pieces between the jars. Allow the liquid to settle into the jars and adjust liquid levels if necessary. Make sure to cover all peaches completely with liquid. Cover the jars with the lids and close the screw bands fingertip-tight.

Storing your pickles: Allow jars to cool on a towel on the counter. Once they have cooled to room temperature, store all jars in the fridge. (The original recipe said to wait 7 days before serving these pickles, but I started eating them one day after I made them. The flavors do get stronger over time, but I thought they tasted great after one day). These should keep for 3 months (or more) in the fridge.

Raspberry Jalapeño Jam

I thought I’d share this jam recipe with you all, before I trek across the country. (It’s too good not to share!)

It’s been a busy and crazy week, as I’ve been prepping and packing for my cross country road trip. When life gets stressful, I like to cook.

Specifically, I like to can. There’s just something so great about making a big batch of jam, knowing that I’m going to enjoy the fruits of my labor all year long. It’s hard work, but I love it.

In any case, I’ve gotta keep this short and sweet as I’ve got a lot to do! I’ll see you all next week, when I return from my trip. Happy Trails!

Note: I know we’re at the very tail end of raspberry season, so this recipe might not be the most seasonally appropriate. I happened to freeze a lot of raspberries earlier in the season, and I’d been meaning to turn them into jam all summer long. Better late than never, I always say. (Plus, I really needed the freezer space!)

Raspberry Jalapeño Jam
(Adapted from Food & Family)
Makes 8-10 (6 oz.) jars of jam

Note: This jam isn’t overly spicy. It tastes like a classic raspberry jam, with a punch of heat at the end.

Ingredients:
8 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
3 jalapeno peppers
4 cups sugar
The juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons pectin (I use Pomona’s Universal Pectin as it’s great for low-sugar recipes such as this.)

Method:

Fill a large stockpot or canning pot with water, and bring to a boil. (Fill it just enough to cover your jam jars, about 1/2 to 3/4 full.) Wash and rinse your jars, lids, and rings and then place in the pot of boiling batter. Turn heat off, cover and let stand in water until ready to use.

Mince the jalapenos. Depending on how spicy you want the jam, you can choose to remove or include the seeds (the more seeds, the spicier the jam).

Place the berries in a large pot, and gently mash them with the back of a spoon. Pour in the sugar, lemon juice, and jalapenos and bring to a full rolling boil over high heat. Stir continuously. Once the fruit comes to a boil, pour in the pectin and continue stirring over high heat for 4 minutes.

Remove mixture from the heat, and skim off any foam. Remove your jars from the hot water bath and place on a clean dish towel (be sure to drain any water from inside the jars). Ladle jam into jars, leaving 1/8 inch headspace. Make sure jar lids are dry. Place the lids on each jar, and screw jar rings onto each jar.

Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on a towel. Allow to cool completely. When cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger, if lid springs back, the lid is not sealed and the jam must be refrigerated.

Roasted Strawberry Vinaigrette

First off, I’d like to thank you all for your support, kind words, and encouragement! I’m so excited to start my new job at Plate & Pitchfork, and your support means a lot.

In all the excitement of preparing for the new job (and training my replacement at the old job), I’ve not had a lot of time to cook. Honestly, I’ve not had a lot of time to do anything (Laundry, housecleaning, etc.). It’s just a busy season in life.

But, I bought a few pints of strawberries at the Montavilla Farmer’s Market last weekend and they sort of forced my hand. I used up some of the strawberries to make Minted Strawberry Shortcakes with Lemony Whipped Cream.

But I was over-zealous in my strawberry purchasing (they looked so good!) and I had a lot of strawberries leftover. They were just sitting in the fridge, begging me to use them. I noticed that a couple of the strawberries were beginning to brown, and I knew I had to do something about it. I couldn’t let them go to waste!

So I roasted the strawberries and then blended them with garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and spices. I transformed the last of my strawberries into a vinaigrette (and a darn good one, at that).

I saved the strawberries and got a delicious salad dressing out of the deal.

It’s a win-win situation.

ROASTED STRAWBERRY VINAIGRETTE
(Slightly Adapted from Glow Kitchen)
Makes 1.5 cups (or so) of vinaigrette.

Ingredients:
1 pint of ripe strawberries (2 cups)
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
14 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
Salt & pepper, to taste

Method:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating, de-stem the strawberries and slice them in half. Line a baking pan with tinfoil and place the strawberries on the lined baking pan. Bake, until the strawberries are roasted and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Remove strawberries from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, blend the strawberries together with the rest of the ingredients, using a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Depending on your preference you can add more olive oil (or water) if the dressing is too thick.

Store the vinaigrette in an airtight container in the fridge. The dressing will keep for a week (or more).

Summer PDX Food Swap & My Guide to DIY

Attention, Portland readers: the next PDX Food Swap will take place at Abby’s Table on June 17th, 2012, from 4-6PM.

If you didn’t know, I’ve been planning & hosting the PDX Food Swap for a while now and it’s awesome. If you like to cook, craft, preserve or can – please join us! Official details and registration are up at Sustainable Food For Thought.

Furthermore, if you’re looking for a little canning and preserving inspiration (i.e. things to make and swap!), I’ve included a few of my favorite preserving recipes. Feel free to share any of your faves in the comments! (Also: I highly recommend you stop by Punk Domestics. They are an awesome resource for all things DIY!)

CANNING & PRESERVING & INFUSING: MY GUIDE TO DIY:

(Note: I’m starting off this list with my recipe for 24 Hour Dill Pickles. I’ve made this recipe a hundred times and it never gets old. These are, in fact, the best pickles.)

24 Hour Dill Pickles
DIY Grenadine & Chipotle Lime Salt
Homemade Crema Di Limoncello
Strawberry Champagne Jam with Thyme
Savory Onion Jam
Homemade Ricotta
Strawberry Jam with Balsamic and Black Pepper
Chive Blossom Vinegar
Champagne Marshmallows (I’m planning on making these this week. Awesome.)
Vanilla Extract
Spicy Pickled Asparagus
David Chang’s Kimchi (!)
Rhubarb Ketchup (I want to make this. ASAP!)
Maraschino Cherries
Carrot Pickles (without vinegar!)
Rhubarb Ginger Jam

DIY Grenadine, Chipotle Lime Salt & The PDX Food Swap

If I had a nickel for every time I started a post with the words “It’s been a busy week!”, I’d have at least fifty cents.

I probably do too much.

However, I happen to love my life and all the crazy things that I’m involved in. I love my job. I love wedding planning. I love being on the board of The Montavilla Farmer’s Market. I love coordinating the PDX food swap. I love working with and writing for Plate & Pitchfork.

And, of course, I love writing this blog.

But as I’ve said before, sometimes life gets in the way of writing (and cooking). I ate out a lot this week, as I had zero time to cook anything. It happens. I’m certainly not complaining, as it was a week full of awesome things such as: the DOC dinner at R. Stuart Wine Bar on Wednesday, the Blazers vs. Grizzlies game on Thursday, The Hunger Games on Friday, and The PDX Food Swap on Sunday.

So, then, I’m going to kill two birds with one stone. Meaning: I’m including two recipes in this post – one for Chipotle Lime Salt and one for Pomegranate Grenadine! I thought these recipes fit well together, as they are each simple DIY projects that would make great additions to any home bar. In addition, I happened to make both of these items for the PDX Food Swap.

The chipotle lime salt is as simple as it sounds: it’s a combination of salt, chipotle powder, and lime zest. It has revolutionized my margarita consumption (I might be drinking a chipotle-salt-rimmed margarita as I type this…) and I cannot wait to try this salt on popcorn, proteins, veggies, and more.

I had no idea that making grenadine was so easy. I’m sort of kicking myself for not making it sooner! This DIY grenadine is thick, sweet, and flavorful. It has a much deeper color than the hot pink grenadine you see in stores (and far fewer preservatives!). I’ve taken to using this grenadine in the place of simple syrup in a few different cocktail recipes, and it’s fantastic. Who needs boring old simple syrup when you have homemade grenadine on hand?!

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who came out to our Spring PDX Food Swap. I’m always amazed by the creativity of the Portland food community, and this event was no exception. I brought chipotle lime salt, grenadine, BBQ sauce, onion jam, and strawberry jam to swap – and I came home with arugula pesto, thai spiced peanut butter cups, kimchi, elderberry liqueur, limoncello, grapefruit marmelade, doug fir jelly, tomato jam, and more! My pantry is exploding with goodness.

So, there you have it – two recipes for the price of one. Life’s a blur, but it’s a good blur.

DIY POMEGRANATE GRENADINE SYRUP
(Adapted from The Kitchn)
Makes approx. 8 oz

1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice (Pom brand is fine)
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Heat pomegranate juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the mixture to gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the juice has reduce and the syrup is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (30-40 minutes). Transfer syrup to a clean jar or container and store in the fridge. The syrup should last for 3-4 weeks.

CHIPOTLE LIME SALT
(Adapted from the Cozy Herbivore)

Ingredients:
3-4 tablespoons finely grated zest from organic limes (about 4 large limes)
1 cup quality coarse grain salt (kosher or sea salt)
3 tablespoons ground chipotle peppers

Method:
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together fresh lime zest and salt, squeezing the salt and zest between your fingers to release the oils from the zest. Mix together with your fingers until fully incorporated.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, Silpat, or foil. Bake The lime-salt mixture for 60-70 minutes, or until the zest is completely dried out (and crumbles easily).

Remove mixture from the oven, and allow to cool. In a small bowl, stir together the lime-salt and chipotle powder. Store in an airtight container.

And now you’re ready for a margarita! :)

Preserved Meyer Lemons

I’m home sick today, resting and recuperating from a long and busy week. My body is tired: my feet hurt, my head hurts, even my eyes hurt.

However, I’m really bad at taking sick days. I simply just don’t know how to be still, and I certainly can’t stay in bed and drink tea all day. I attempted to stay in bed today, but it didn’t happen. I was too tempted by the promise of a french press of coffee and a good book.

orchid

I trudged up the stairs to the kitchen with the intent of making coffee, and was nearly blinded by the sun streaming through the kitchen windows. Everything was bathed in light…it was just gorgeous. I made coffee and read Game of Thrones, and basked in the sunlight. The coffee warmed my stomach and the sunshine warmed my soul. Suddenly, I felt a lot better.

And then I saw my jars of preserved lemons, sitting on the counter and they looked so pretty with the light shining on them. They’ve been sitting on the counter for a week, taunting me. Preserved lemons take nearly a month to fully preserve, so for now I just have to look at the pretty little jars of lemons. I can’t actually enjoy them yet. For now, they’re just really lovely to look at.

Since they looked so lovely in the sunlight, I decided to take a few photos and share the recipe.

I’ve never made my own preserved lemons before, but I’ve cooked with them and enjoyed them in many a delicious dish. Preserved lemons are mainly found in the dishes from India, North Africa, and Morocco – but they can be used in a myriad of different dishes. I plan on using my preserved lemons in a number of different ways: lamb tagine, roast chicken, pastas, soups, salad dressings, and more.

PRESERVED LEMONS
Adapted from Burwell General Store
Makes 3 jars

Ingredients:

15-20 meyer lemons*
about a cup and a half of kosher (or pickling) salt
3 bay leaves (1 per jar)
15 black peppercorns (5 per jar)
3 pieces of cinnamon stick (1 per jar)
3 cardamom pods
6 whole allspice berries (2 per jar)

*You could use regular lemons, but I prefer Meyer Lemons. They’re a touch sweeter and I think they taste wonderful once preserved.

Method:

1. Wash the lemons. Slice off the top of each lemon and then cut the lemons into quarters, but only make each cut 3/4 of the way through the lemon so that the quarters do not fully separate. (See here for a visual). Rub salt into the cuts of each lemon.

2. Pour a 1/4 inch of salt into 3 clean and sterilized jars (enough to cover the bottom of the jar). Start packing lemons into each jar, and press each lemon down firmly so that it releases juice. Salt each layer between the lemons. Pack the jars with as many lemons as you can, pressing the lemons firmly to ensure they release juice. Add spices to the jar, salt the top, and seal the jar. Give the jar a good shake.

3. Leave the jars in a cool, dark place (Note: mine were in the sun, and I’ve since moved them!). Shake each jar once a day. The jar will gradually fill up with lemon juice over the next couple of days. If the jar doesn’t fill up to 3/4 full in the first 2 days, add some extra fresh squeezed lemon juice to the jar.

They lemons will be ready to use after a month, and should keep for up to one year. Enjoy!