Posts Tagged canning

Chipotle Fig Jam

I’ve been a canning fiend for the past couple of weeks.

Blame it on the changing of seasons, but I feel a strong urge to pickle and preserve all of the summer fruits and veggies that I possibly can. Most of the things I’ve canned and pickled recently are your typical summer canning fare: canned peaches, refrigerator dill pickles, plain tomato sauce. These are the jars that will get me through the winter months. They are my pantry staples.

However, it is my firm belief that among the staples there’s got to be a few surprises! Hence, why I made this jam: it’s unexpected. It’s spicy, rich, sweet, and smoky.

This jam is phenomenal on biscuits or breakfast sandwiches. (Note: my favorite breakfast sandwich combo of all time is made with prosciutto, caramelized onions, fried egg, Beecher’s white cheddar, dijon, and fig jam. Try it. I promise, it’s awesome.) This jam is also great with plain Greek yogurt or slathered on baguette with goat cheese.

It’s just one of those jams, it’s good with (most) everything.

Chipotle Fig Jam

Serving Size: 4 half pints

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (Black Mission or Brown Turkish) figs, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 or 2 chipotles in adobo, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Place chopped figs and sugar in a large, non-reactive pot. Stir, and allow the figs to macerate for 30-60 minutes.
  2. After the figs have macerated for 30+ minutes, stir in water, chipotles, and lemon juice, and bring the mixture to a boil over med-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for at least an hour. Stir occasionally. (Note: use a potato masher to further break down the figs. Mash until desired consistency is achieved.)
  3. Meanwhile, sterilize jars and prepare a hot water bath.
  4. After an hour, check the jam’s consistency. If the mixture is thick and jammy, it is ready. Ladle the jam into clean, hot jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Notes

Slightly adapted from Homemade Trade

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http://rosemarried.com/2013/08/30/chipotle-fig-jam/


Slow Cooker Blueberry Plum Butter

Canning in the summertime presents a funny conundrum.

On the one hand, this is the best time of year to preserve fruits and vegetables. We are in the peak of summer and farms and gardens are bursting with an amazing array of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The fields are plentiful. My fridge and pantry are full of the goodness of summer. This is a wonderful time of year.

On the other hand, there is the issue of warm weather and the unbearable temperature of my kitchen. My kitchen is, by far, the hottest room in my house. So let me tell you,
the idea of firing up the ole canning pot on a hot August afternoon sounds ludicrous to me.
When it’s sweltering outside, I would rather not hang out with boiling pots of water and jam.

Thankfully, there is good news. There’s always the option of the slow cooker. Granted, you cannot actually can or preserve using a slow cooker. You must process jars in boiling water, which requires a large pot and a stovetop. There’s just no getting around it. However, you can make your jam or preserves in a slow cooker, which drastically cuts down the amount of stove time. This, in turn, drastically reduces the sweltering temperatures in my kitchen. And, for that, I’m thankful.

This recipe is incredibly simple and yet, it is so rewarding. The blueberry butter is smooth, luscious, and full of the flavors of summer. And through the simple act of canning, I can enjoy these summery flavors all year long.

Slow Cooker Blueberry Plum Butter

Ingredients

  • 10 cups fresh blueberries
  • 4 large black plums
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • Zest and juice of one lemon

Instructions

  1. Wash and drain blueberries. Remove any stems, leaves, or debris. Cut the plums in quarters and remove the pits.
  2. Using a food processor, puree the blueberries and plums. Process until smooth. (You should end up with 8 cups or so of puree.)
  3. In a slow cooker, cook the fruit puree on high heat for one hour. After one hour, stir the butter and crack the lid for the remainder of the cooking time. (This allows steam & water to escape so the butter reduces and thickens!).
  4. Cook the butter on low heat for 6 (or more) hours. (Note: slow cookers do vary depending on size, brand, etc.) Stir the butter once an hour.
  5. In the final hour of cooking, add the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir well. Turn the heat up to high and continue to cook with the lid slightly ajar.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare your canning jars and lids. Sterilize jars and lids by boiling in hot water for 10 (or more) minutes. Keep the jars in hot water until ready to use.
  7. Once the butter is thick and creamy (similar in thickness and texture to ketchup), it is ready for canning! (Note: I pureed my butter with an immersion blender at this point in the process, because I wanted it to be super smooth. I highly recommend it!)
  8. Remove jars from the canning pot and fill with butter. Wipe the rims with a clean, dry cloth. Seal jars with lids and rings and place back in the canning pot. Bring the water back to a boil and process the jars for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove jars from the canning pot and place on a dry towel or rack to cool. After the jars have cooled, check to ensure that all jars sealed properly. If properly sealed, jars may be kept on the shelf or in your pantry for 6-12 months. (If they did not seal properly, the jars can be stored in the fridge and will keep for a week or two.)

Notes

Slightly adapted from Simple Bites

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http://rosemarried.com/2013/08/19/slow-cooker-blueberry-plum-butter/


Pickled Blueberries

I’m a big fan of pickles in general. I love the taste (and crunch!) of a good pickle. A good pickle is salty, briny, and complex. Plus, pickles are a fantastic way to preserve summer crops.

But pickled fruit? This is entirely new territory for me. I’ve always limited my pickling to vegetable varieties: cucumbers, carrots, beets, jalapenos, onions, and more.

However, thanks to the PDX Food Swap, I’ve come to love pickled fruits. At the last few swaps I’ve come home with a number of jars of pickles fruits or berries – apples, figs, apricots, rhubarb, etc – and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with them all. Pickled fruit is a delightful mix of sweet and salty, bright and briny. It’s balanced and complex.

I’ve been eating these pickled blueberries straight out of the jar. (That’s how good they are.) But, if you’d like a few suggestions on how to use these little gems, I’d suggest trying them with crackers and goat cheese. Or, toss them on a wedge salad. Let me tell you, the blue cheese dressing and the briny blueberries are a match made in food heaven.

Pickled Blueberries | Rosemarried.com

Pickled Blueberries

Serving Size: Fills 4 half-pint jars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup (or 1/4 cup honey)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 lb blueberries
  • 1/4 of a red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole dried allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Clean and sterilize your jars and lids. Set on a rack to dry while you prepare the pickling liquid.
  2. In a small pot, mix together the vinegars, agave, salt, and spices. Heat over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  3. Pack each jar with blueberries and red onion slices. Pour the warm vinegar mixture over the blueberries. Use a spoon to distribute the spices evenly into each jar.
  4. Cap each jar and allow the jars to cool to room temperature before moving them to the fridge. The blueberries should keep in the fridge for 30 days.

Notes

Adapted from Of Agates and Madelines

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http://rosemarried.com/2013/06/23/pickled-blueberries/


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!

Slow Cooker Apple Butter (and an Apple Recipe Roundup)

You know what’s funny about the typical grocery store Red Delicious apple? The fact that, chances are, that apple is decidedly not delicious. They are mealy, waxy, and completely devoid of flavor or nutrients.

It is for this reason that I’ve been mostly ambivalent to apples my whole life. Sure, I’d eat apples if they were smothered in caramel or baked into a pie. But, for the most part, I avoided apples like the plague. Biting into a mealy apple is one of my least favorite things on the planet.

While bad apples are really bad, I’d argue that good apples are really, really good. Biting into a crisp, juicy apple is one of life’s simple pleasures. Last weekend, I attended the Portland Nursery’s Apple Festival and was overwhelmed by the sheer apple-ness of it all. The Apple Festival boasts 30+ varieties of local apples, all picked at the height of apple season. They offer apple tastings, as well as apple cider, caramel apples, apple pastries and so much more. Oh, and did I mention that they sell all the varieties apples for .99 cents a pound (!). It was like I died and went to apple heaven.

Naturally, I bought ten pounds of apples. I could have easily bought more, but I have a whopping two people in my household (and 5 pounds a person seemed reasonable?). After perusing and tasting the countless apple options, I finally settled on 6 pounds of King David apples (for canning) and 4 pounds of Winesaps (for eating).

From the outset, my plan was to make apple butter. I’m a sucker for a good apple butter, and I happen to think that apple butter tastes like autumn. I love that apple butter isn’t butter at all, it’s just glorified apple sauce — apple sauce that has been cooked down for hours and hours, until it is thick, dark, rich, and wonderful. I’d seen a few recipes for making apple butter in the slow cooker, and I was keen on the idea of filling my slow cooker with apples in the evening and then waking up in the morning to apple butter.

Let me tell you, waking up in the morning to the aroma of slow cooked apple butter is nothing short of magical. The whole house smelled like apples, cinnamon and cloves…and it was fabulous. Sadly, the apple butter wasn’t quite as thick and rich as I wanted it to be, so I wasn’t able to slather any on my morning toast. I finished cooking the apple butter that evening (after work) and I’ve been happily eating it ever since. And while eating apple butter is much different than biting into a fresh apple – making apple butter is a fantastic way to preserve the apple harvest. I plan on devouring as many fresh apples as I can over the next few weeks, but I now have multiple jars of apple butter to get me through the winter. A few jars might even end up as Christmas gifts…

So, then, happy apple season to you all! I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am. I’ve included a roundup of some of my favorite apple recipes at the bottom of this post (and feel free to include any of your favorite apple recipes in the comments).

Slow Cooker Apple Butter
(Canning instructions for this recipe taken from Simply Canning)

5 lbs* of apples, peeled, cored, and cut into slices (*amount may vary, just slice enough to fill your slow cooker to the very brim)
1.5 cups sugar (I used a combination of muscovado and white sugar)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries (or ground allspice)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Place apple slices in your slow cooker, and fill to the very brim. Pour sugar and spices over the top of the apples. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set the heat to low.

Allow apples to cook down on low heat for 10 (or more*) hours, stirring occasionally. For the last two hours of cooking, remove the lid (or place the lid on partially) to allow the moisture to cook off. Once the mixture is thick and brown, turn off the slow cooker. If you desire a smooth consistency, use a potato masher, immersion blender, or food processor to ensure the apple butter is smooth. (*Note, after I pureed my apple butter I allowed it to cook down for another hour as I like my apple butter really thick & dark).

If canning, pour apple butter into hot, sterilized jars and process in a water bath for 5 minutes. (*Note, please can at your own risk. Some sites say to process for 10 minutes, but please refer to official canning guides for processing times).

AND NOW, AN APPLE RECIPE ROUNDUP!
A few of my own apple recipes:
Pork and Apple Pot Pie with Rosemary Gruyere Biscuits
Raw Kale and Apple Salad
Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Curried Quinoa and Apple Salad

A few apple recipes from other lovely people:
Whole Grain Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Maple Compote
Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup with Dill
Apple and Honey Challah
Dutch Baby Apple Pancake
Apple and Carrot Shortbread
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples
Baked Apple Donuts

The People’s Co-Op Food Swap

I am very pleased to announce the very first People’s Co-op Food Swap! The swap will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 21st, from 6-8pm. There are only 35 spots available for this event, so RSVP promptly to reserve your spot. See below for info!

{What IS a food swap, you might ask?}

A Food Swap is part silent auction/part village marketplace/part fun-loving open house where your homemade creations (breads, preserves, special concoctions, canned goods, etc.) become your own personal currency for use in swapping with other participants. What better way to diversify your pantry and rub shoulders with friend and neighbors?

{The Details}

When: Wednesday, September 21st, 6pm.

Where: People’s Co-op, 3029 SE 21st Ave., Upstairs in the Community Co-op room

What: Bring an assortment of your homemade edible specialties to exchange for other handcrafted delights.The People’s Co-op will provide swapping cards, name tags, and organization for the event. You will be given the opportunity to offer trades in a silent-auction type format, and you will be free to choose which trades to accept for your products. Bring as much or as little as you like; there are no caps or minimums.

Who: Portlanders and anyone willing to make the journey from surrounding areas! Please note, we are unable to provide childcare for this event.

Cost: Swap participants will be given free entry; a donation jar will be available to help cover the cost of supplies.

{How?}

a) Email your RSVP to Lindsay.Strannigan@gmail.com

Please provide your name, contact info, and a description of items you plan to trade.

Due to limited space, we are capping the number of swappers at 35 and will keep a waiting list after that, so register early.

b) On Wednesday, the 21st, please bring yourself and your hand crafted goods to swap. (*Please note: The People’s Co-op is a vegetarian organization, so we would ask that you please refrain from swapping anything containing meat. Thank you!)

c) It’s as simple as that! We’re so excited to meet one another and celebrate the bounty of the seasons and the fruits of our labor!

Thanks, everyone and we look forward to seeing you!

-The People’s Co-Op, Rosemarried, and The PDX Food Swap