Sunday, August 28, 2016

Calabrese Explosion- it's hot, it's spicy and it's truly amazing!

Preserving the Italian Way is an interesting book- full of great ideas for preserving some of my favourite ingredients: eggplant, tomatoes, squash, hot peppers...  For years, I have been meaning to try out this recipe and finally I have.  Well, I started with their recipe but have made it my own and can't wait to try it!  on bruschetta, on cheese, added to a sauce for heat...

This is a multi-step recipe, spread over a few days.
My jars of spicy deliciousness!

This recipe made six 500ml jars.

Fig Paste- Looking forward to trying it with cheese

This is a grown up fig recipe.  Instead of just sugar and figs, there is wine and a little thyme.  It takes it our of the realm of toast and dessert and melds it happily with wine and cheese.  So much more refined.

Fig season is short in Ottawa and prices are usually high.  So when I could buy 12 figs for under $10.00, I just needed to do something special with them.  This is it!  I based my recipe on one I found in the Washington Post.

This recipe should make approximately four 125-ml jars.

Tomato Meets Raisin - make Delicious Tomato Chutney

My usual tomato season is all about bottling passata for the winter.  But I can't resist making old favourite tomato treats and trying new ones.  I based this chutney on one shared by Liz the Chef mostly because I could use my freshly dehydrated and amazing tasting grapes/raisins.  I don't think I will ever buy those dry, shrivelled and tasteless raisins offered up at the grocery store ever again.

It is worthwhile taking your time with this chutney.  Just let it slowly simmer away at the back of the stove.  Give it a stir once in a while and it will do just fine.  Be sure to let your jars sit for about four weeks before opening- let those flavours mellow out.

Serve it with meats, a cheese board, with curries.

This recipe makes about 8 250 ml jars.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tart and Spicy Asian Plum Sauce

Plum sauce - a pantry must have.  This one is definitely not as cloyingly sweet as the stuff you buy.  It is spicy and just a little tart.  Use it as a dip for egg rolls, as a baste on duck or chicken, with cheese and crackers...

Makes approximately 7 250-ml jars

Jo is creating... Fresh Corn Chowder

It's corn season in Ottawa and the ears are everywhere!  One of my favourite ways to enjoy all that corn is in a corn chowder.  I don't really have a set recipe, but this is an easy one!  A bit of this, a bit of that- add what you like and what you have in the refrigerator...

To make approximately two litres...

Mixed Berry Pie Filling

Canning pie filling is new for me.  I like the idea that my pantry will stock beautiful pie filling, ready for pies, of course, but also for turnovers, layer cakes, all kinds of other great uses.  I varied the mix of berries.  As long as the total weight of the berries remains the same, feel free to play with the amount of raspberries, blueberries, etc you want to use.  These look great in their jars.

ClearJel is the product to use for thickening the filling for this canning recipe.  The only other thickener you can use is cornstarch.  Do not use anything else to ensure safe canning.

This recipe makes 3 one-litre jars.

Indian Spice Mango Chutney

My inspiration for this chutney came from Saving the Season- my newest go to book for inspiration.  The recipe calls for tamarind paste, which adds a sour component to the recipe and is delicious.  However, I had problems sourcing it, so had to settle for tamarind sauce.  It worked just fine, but I made sure to taste, taste, taste and adjust the spices.

Mango chutney is a must for your pantry.  Serve it with your favourite Indian curry, include it on a cheese tray, add it to mayonnaise for a flavourful dip...  I love the flavour of tamarind in this chutney.

Siempre Sunset Hot Pepper Jelly

Siempre? It's a new, award winning, Canadian tequila, bottled in Mexico and fabulous.  Smarter folks will sip it happily, it is that good.  But, I rarely drink so I use it for this jelly and for many Mexican pickles.  Did I mention, the owners are family?  So proud of them.

In addition to the Siempre tequila, this jelly features sweet and habanero peppers.  It is perfect on cheese and crackers.  Your family and friends will love it.

This recipe make four 250ml jars.

Siempre Tequila Taqueria Carrots- Ole!

While everyone is busy mixing and drinking their favourite tequila cocktails, I am always looking for ways to add my favourite tequila, Siempre, to my dishes and preserves.  What better way than to combine it with beautiful baby carrots, perfect for eating with your favourite tacos.

I adapted a recipe from Saving the Season- a superb book.

This recipe makes one one-litre jar.

Perfect with tacos!