Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Relishes, Jellies and Sauces

Ok, I confess.  I am still canning.  This morning I panicked that the season is getting to be over and I went out and bought 11 more cases of jars.  I have invested in a pressure canner to can soups, but I have not done any of that yet.  I am still in experimental mode for waterbathing and I am having a ball! 

Jalepeno Jelly

The star of this year's canning show has to be the peach jalepeno jelly.  I may have mentioned that I can't make a good jelly to save my life, and this is no exception.  But everyone loves it poured over some cream cheese and spread on a cracker in all it's runny glory.  The recipe is easy, I just follow the sure jell recipe for peach jam, but I add about 6 chopped jalepeno peppers to the peaches and process as normal.  I can't promise that yours will be as runny as mine, but there it is.

Golden Sweet Onion Relish

I love sweet pennsylvania onions, but they are only around for a short time.  This recipe is pretty to look at with its golden color and the little bits of red and green pepper  (this year I used one that had a little of both colors in it).  And the onion still retains a little crunch.  I am thinking you could mix this with sour cream and use it as a dip or a potato topper, or again with cream cheese on crackers.  Or it would be great on hot dogs or burgers.

5 pounds sweet onions, diced
1 red/green  bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup kosher salt or canning salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cups vinegar
1 t pickling spices
1 T salt

Combine the onions, pepper and salt.  Sit 30 min to allow moisture to come out of veggies, then drain. 
Combine all ingredients in a dutch oven  and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until thick, about 1/2 hour.  Process 10 minutes.

Carmelized Red Onion Relish

This one is really over the top.  It will be great on salads, or over steak, or on a really good burger.  It kind of has a Worchestershire taste to it, but sweeter and with some cruch.  A couple of years ago George bought some Merlot wine which the vintner insisted was only good for cooking.  He had intended to drink it anyway, but now 4 years later it is still in the wine rack, so I commondeered it for this recipe.

5 large red onions, peeled
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 2/1 cup dry red wine
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1 T salt
1/2 t pepper

I took a tip from Alton Brown and cooked this in my big electric skillet.  Slice onions into very thin slices. Combine onions and sugar in a heavy non-stick skillet. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for about 25 minutes or until onions turn golden and start to caramelize, stirring frequently.Stir in wine and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Process half an quarter pints ten minutes.

New Potatoes and Green Beans

Ok, this was a favorite at my house when I was growing up.  I made it for my family early this summer and they, or at least those who are not horribly picky eaters, loved it.  But really, most of the summer is too hot in my house to have this on a regular basis.  So my plan is to freeze the potatoes and green beans and then make the cream sauce this winter.  I have washed and cut the new potatoes to size, then par cooked and drained them.  Then I spread them out on wax paper lined cookie sheets.  I blanched the green beans for 3 minutes, drained them well, then spread them out on top of the potatoes.  I put the cookie sheets in the chest freezer until everything is frozen solid, then I will pack it into freezer bags.  I don't have the cream sauce exactly straight in my head, but it's really just butter, milk, flour and salt.

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