Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Canned Creations

My first attempts at canning have been a success in the sense that all of my jars have sealed (depressed or "innie" button). Being that it's kind of hard to stick your finger in to taste a boiling pot of syrupy water, I have yet to taste anything. So far I'm leaving it up to chance and the honesty of close friends and relatives (yes, I've already given some away as gifts).

My first canning creation was pickled jalepenos and pickled okra. I followed a simple, all-purpose-pickling recipe from "Joy of Cooking." I didn't have any pickling spice so I forged my own picling spice using what I had on hand.

Kate's Pickling Spice
1 cinammon stick
1 bay leaf
5 whole peppercorns
10 whole mustard seeds
3-5 whole cloves
5 whole corriander seeds
1 whole allspice

Place ingredients in a small swatch of cheesecloth. Tie ends together with kitchen twine. Use based on recipe.

My second canning creation was Hot Pepper Jelly. I combined concepts and ingredients from both "Joy of Cooking" and the recipe on the pectin package. Since I had an overabundance of hot peppers, I used a combination of cayenne, jalepeno, and serano peppers and did not include bell peppers. I have yet to try a sample of the finished product, but I'm sure it is HOT! My hot pepper jelly appears to have set properly, but I'm a little frustrated at its appearance nonetheless. I was hoping for more suspended solids.

I've been told I need to bottle-up my salsa recipes, and finally, I took it literally. Our tomatoes are done (as mentioned in the previous blog post), but the tomatillos keep on coming. Here's my recipe for salsa verde.

Salsa Verde
2 cups of chopped tomatillos
1 clove garlic
1 green bell pepper
2 serano peppers (seed and devein optional depending on how hot your like your salsa)
Juice from one lime
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 T. sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor. Pour mixture into a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add lime juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and gently stir in cilantro. Can according to your typical process.

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