Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Salt-Preserved Lemons | Relishing It

Lemons!  Just seeing these bright yellow beauties puts me in a happy mood.  This time of year we’re all about the citrus in our home.  And though I know I’ve already shared a preserved lemon recipe here previously, I like having options, so I thought I’d share this one with you, as well.

Salt-Preserved Lemons | Relishing It

Salt-Preserved Lemons | Relishing It

You see, this is the version that I tend to make more often.  The other one is lovely, don’t get me wrong. It’s especially delightful when you make impressive Moroccan food.  But, often I find that a simpler, dare I say “plain” version, such as this one is more versatile.  This preserved lemon recipe works with everything!  Plus, it takes about 5 minutes of work for a result that can be enjoyed for the entire next year.  I think we’re winning here, friends.

Salt-Preserved Lemons | Relishing It

Ok.  You want one other important little tidbit as to why I make this version more often?  It’s to do with my husband.  As I mentioned before, he fancies himself a bit of a mixologist, and he makes a cocktail called The Corsair that uses the juice from preserved lemons in it.  It’s citrusy, salty heaven.  So, for that reason alone, I make this plain version.  I’ll share the recipe for the cocktail once the weather warms a bit.  I don’t pack quite as many lemons into the jar, and instead pour more fresh juice into it.  You can certainly pack that thing tightly so you get as many fresh lemons in there as possible. Of course, if you want to start experimenting with cocktails made with salty preserved lemon juice, you know what to do.

Salt-Preserved Lemons | Relishing It

Now even though you may not be thinking of using preserved lemons, now is the time to make them.  It is, in fact, citrus season.  Not only will you get lemons at a good price, but they’ll have the most flavor.  Buy organic lemons, as they are not covered in wax.  However, if you can’t get organic lemons in your neighborhood, just make sure to wash them thoroughly to remove the waxy film that may be on them.  Preserved lemons can last for up to a year in your refrigerator.  They are a wonderful bright addition to braised meats, chicken, grain salads, or just about anything that could use a little oomph!  You only use the peel part of the lemon, not the pulpy inside.  And generally it is a good idea to give it a rinse to remove the excess salt.

Salt-Preserved Lemons | Relishing It

Salt-Preserved Lemons | Relishing It

The Recipe: Salt-Preserved Lemons

(make 1 quart)

about 2 pounds of organic lemons (regular can be used, just wash well)

about 1 cup sea salt or kosher

Wash the lemons well.  Add 2 tablespoons of sea or kosher salt to the bottom of a clean quart jar.  Cut an “X” on one lemon end until about 3/4 of the way down.  Repeat for as many lemons as will fit into your jar.  Fill the opening with salt (about 1 tablespoon) and place into the jar.  Squish as many as you can into the jar and gently squeeze juice out of the lemons as you do this.  When the jar is full of lemons, add lemon juice from the remaining lemons until it reaches the top of the jar.  Place the lid on the top and gently turn the jar back and forth to incorporate the salt on the bottom.  Keep the jar on the counter for about 3-4 weeks, turning it every so often.  Then refrigerate after that for up to a year.  Use clean tools to remove the preserved lemons when wanting to use some.  Rinse off the excess salt when incorporating it into meals.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

Read Full Post »

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

I’ll get to the corn salsa in a minute– but first I want to talk about beer!  Admittedly, I’ve been drinking too darn much beer this summer.  Not at one time– nothing like that.  But this summer, more than any other, it’s just been so easy to sit outside with Radd in the evening and visit over a beer or two.  I suppose it’s partly to do with our mild weather– not too hot, not too humid.  It has been perfect, which is excellent for my happiness.  And while I probably don’t need those calories at the end of the day, instead of stressing, I’ve decided to embrace it.

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

So what have I been sipping on?  Mostly farmhouse ales and saisons.  Two that I love are Saison Dupont and a local farmhouse ale from Liftbridge called Farm Girl.  Speaking of local beer, I’ve also been enjoying a few others like Bent Paddle’s Paddle Break Blonde and Steel Toe’s Size 7 IPA.  Now before this post turns into an essay on local beer, let me just say this– our craft beer scene here in Minnesota is just incredible right now.  So many wonderful breweries and taprooms, and I’ve been testing them out like it’s my job.  I’m owning it, I don’t mind saying.  A few other great summer favorites (not local) are Leffe Blonde and Pyramid’s Apricot Ale.  There, that’s my beer confession.

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

So what goes smashingly well with summer beer?  Yup– chips and fresh corn salsa.  I love salsa of any variety– tomato, tomatillo… but, there’s something about fresh corn salsa that wins the salsa competition for me.  I would choose corn every time.  It’s fresh, slightly sweet, spicy, and loaded with that citrusy lime/cilantro flavor.  Not to mention, it is simple to make– so simple that it’s somewhat silly to even give a recipe.  But, I think the same can be said for most summer fare– fresh and simple and that’s just fine.  So, get out your chefs knife and start cutting up that corn.  Then pour yourself a glass of cold beer and soak up some summer fun.  Cheers!

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

The Recipe: Fresh Corn Salsa

6-8 ears of fresh corn, cut

1 large red onion, diced

1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2 jalapeños, chopped (remove seeds/ribs if heat is a factor)

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

juice of one lime

kosher salt

In a medium-sized bowl mix all of the ingredients.  Add more lime juice to taste.  Season appropriately with salt.  You may need more salt than you are used to — corn needs a bit to bring out its wonderful flavor.  Let flavors meld for a bit before serving.  Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

Read Full Post »

 

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

You know what’s awesome?  Handing your daughter a pickle and having her proclaim (without knowing where it was from) “This is amazin’!”.  That, my friends, is what I call winning.  She didn’t see me make the first batch of refrigerator pickles this year, but she’s been helping me make every batch since.  She is fascinated by the fact that it doesn’t take very long to transform a cucumber into a wonderful pickle.

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

I decided to wing-it this year and make up my own pickle recipe.  After waiting rather impatiently for my mom to send me her recipe (you’re in trouble, mother), I decided to conjure up my own version.  Sure, I’ve made lots of refrigerator pickles in the past, but nothing that kept me wanting to make the same batch again.  I was reaching too far, to be honest– over-complicating things.  I kept looking for something “interesting” that would blow me away.  Last year I even tried a version with mint, and while they were fine, they just were not what I was looking for.  I realized that what I was really after wasn’t complicated at all.  I wanted something that was really crunchy, fresh, garlicy, and had a clean dill taste.  Simple. Classic.  So, I stopped searching and just made them the way I wanted.  Duh.

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

Crunchy Refrigerato Pickles with Garlic + Dill | Relishing It

The key for me to keeping them refreshing is to lessen the salt and vinegar amount a bit.  I remember this trick from my mom, which is why I probably loved her pickles so much.  Add a little filtered water to the vinegar and it creates the most refreshing brine.  Too much salt makes me want to stop eating something in a hurry, but just the right amount– and I can chomp on these babies all day long.  The dill and garlic are just what you’d expect them to be– delicious.  No surprises here.  I always add carrots to my refrigerator dills– they’re fantastic.  They take a bit longer to pickle than the cucumbers do.  Using young small cucumbers is the key to a crunchy pickle, as is not heating up the brine mixture.  Keep everything cold and you’ll have a fantastic crunch– I promise you.

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

These pickles are perfect to bring to a barbecue or neighborhood gathering.  Bring a huge bowl of them– they’ll disappear quickly.   There is nothing better than sinking your teeth into a cold, crunchy pickle on a hot summer evening.  National Night Out is next Tuesday in the US.  I plan on bringing a big bowl of these crunchy dills, and I think you should do the same.  Or just make a jar or two to keep in your refrigerator for when you need that tangy, satisfying crunch.

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

The Recipe: Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic

Smallish cucumbers, cut however you like– I prefer spears

carrots, cut into spears

3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt ( I use Diamond Crystal–and weirdly this matters.  Different salt.  Different results.)

fresh dill

white vinegar

Make as many jars as you want.  Fill each clean quart jar with cucumber spears, carrots, 3-4 cloves of garlic, and fresh dill. Make sure everything is packed in there tightly.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.  Pour vinegar into the jar until it is  3/4 full.  Then finish filling the jar with filtered water, leaving about 1/2-inch space at the top.  Cover with lid and gently shake to combine.  Refrigerate.  Pickles will be ready within a few hours, but it’s best to wait at least a day for optimum results.  Carrots often take a bit longer to fully become pickled, but I generally eat them before the fact.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing it!

Laurie

 

Read Full Post »

Pickled Eggs with Fresh Beets and Dill | Relishing It

My Mom used to raise chickens on our farm when I was growing up.  To be honest with you, sometimes those crabby hens would scare the heck out of me, but I sure developed a love of the eggs they provided.  Farm fresh eggs– there is nothing better.  One of my favorite ways to eat them is pickled.  I previously shared a favorite recipe of mine for pickled eggs.  And though I absolutely love that version– the spicy heat is just too much for my kids.  Today’s version with beets and dill has absolutely no heat– but the flavor is unreal.  I was worried that my husband wouldn’t quite go for it.  I love beets, but I thought it might be too much for him to embrace.  I was completely wrong.  Even without the heat, he was loving them.

Pickled Beets with Fresh Beets and Dill | Relishing It

Beets and dill are an excellent combination.  Here, the eggs take on a beautiful deep purple hue and are laced with a dill flavor.  The beets and onions become perfectly pickled, as well.  Chopped up they work wonderfully atop egg-salad sandwiches, paired with pork, or just eaten as a snack.  The beets remain somewhat crunchy, which I love.  The eggs pickle rather quickly–and the lovely purple hue is present after just a day or so.  The longer the eggs sit in the vinegar, the less white from the eggs will be present.  Eventually the entire egg will be purple.  Which tastes amazing, but if dramatic effects are what you are after– it’s best to eat them within 5 days, or so.

Pickled Beets with Fresh Beets and Dill | Relishing It

Eggs are a perfect, portable protein to snack on– we pack them a lot for school lunches and for summer outings. Make sure to buy good quality eggs, preferably from a farmers market or co-op.  You’ll end up worrying a lot less when you feed them to your family. Give this version a try–I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Pickled Beets with Fresh Beets and Dill | Relishing It

The Recipe: Pickled Eggs with Fresh Beets and Dill

(makes 2 quarts)

10-12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled  *see note

2 beets, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small white onion, peeled and thinly sliced

6-8 garlic cloves

4 dried bay leaves

1 tablespoon pickling spice

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Fresh dill sprigs

white vinegar (enough to fill each jar)

Note: To properly boil eggs– add eggs to a large sauce pan filled with water.  Bring to a boil.  Boil for one minute, cover with lid, and remove from heat.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Then immediately drain the eggs and place them in a bowl of cold water filled with ice.  This will stop the cooking process and yield a perfectly hard-boiled egg.

Divide all the ingredients between the two quart jars.  Layer the eggs, beets, and onions.  Fill each jar with enough vinegar to cover all of the ingredients.  Put lids on the jars and give a gentle shake to mix the ingredients.  Place in the refrigerator.  Eggs will be ready in about 2 days.  The flavor and color will deepen the longer they sit.  After about 2 weeks, their texture may start to change and be less firm, so it’s best to eat them before that happens. Enjoy!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

Read Full Post »

Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Rosemary and Thyme | Relishing It

Alright, I’m using “sun-dried” very loosely here, as these little beauties are not…well…sun-dried at all.  I just couldn’t bring myself to call these “sitting on a counter in a dehydrator” tomatoes.  No, I like to imagine that they were patiently crafted in Italy, with tables upon tables of tomatoes laying out in the sun, as I sipped a Chianti and and read a good book.  Alas, my reality is Minnesota, and I used a food dehydrator.  Not quite as romantic, is it?  Even so, these tomatoes are fantastic, and seriously recommend you give making them a try.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Rosemary and Thyme | Relishing It

I love having a nice supply of sun-dried tomatoes to get me through the winter.  Buying jarred versions at the market can be expensive, and to be honest, they’re just so simple to make.  You can use any type of tomato, though smaller ones will require less cooking time.  Roma’s are a fantastic choice– simply cut them in half or quarters.  The tomatoes take time to dehydrate– perhaps a day or more for the thicker end pieces.  I sprinkle mine with rosemary, thyme, with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper.   The flavors are wonderful!

Su-Dried Tomatoes with Rosemary and Thyme | Relishing It

You can snack on them as soon as they’re dried, or preserve them to use later.  As for the texture, some like them a bit chewier– I made sure mine were completely dry since I intended to preserve them.  It’s really up to you how dry you want them to be.  These tomatoes can be kept in airtight containers (plastic bags work well), vacuum sealed, or even stored in the freezer.  I also made a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, and they are ridiculously delicious.  These would make fabulous gifts around the holidays if you’re looking for something homemade to share.  I hope you give these a try!

Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Rosemary and Thyme | Relishing It

Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Rosemary and Thyme | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Rosemary and Thyme

any variety of tomatoes, sliced or halved

fresh rosemary, chopped

fresh thyme, chopped

sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

To Dehydrate the Tomatoes:  Slice the tomatoes or half them, depending upon their size.   Sprinkle with the chopped herbs, salt and pepper.  It will take about 24 hours to dehydrate a full load, sometimes longer depending upon how thick the tomatoes are sliced.  Store in a resealable bag and use within a few weeks.  Freeze any amount you want to keep longer.

To Oven-Dry them:  Preheat oven to 200°F.  Slice tomatoes and sprinkle with chopped herbs, salt and pepper.  Place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  It will generally take between 2-6 hours (possibly more) to dry the tomatoes– much will depend upon how thickly they are sliced.  Store in a resealable bag and use within a few weeks.  Freeze any amount you want to keep longer.

To make Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil:  Prepare dehydrated tomatoes by dipping them in white wine vinegar (this help keep bacterial growth from occuring) and shaking off any excess.  Place in a small jar along with 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar.  Then fill the jar up with olive oil.  Make sure that all of the tomatoes are submerged.  Store in the refrigerator and try to use within 2 weeks.  If placing fresh herbs or garlic into your mix, you must use up the jar within 1 week.  The olive oil will become hard in the refrigerator, simple let sit at room temperature for a few minutes before using.  Be mindful to use clean utensils when removing the tomatoes from the jar.

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

Read Full Post »

Tomato Galette with Herbs and Fresh Mozzarella | Relishing It

I have just a few more tomato recipes that I want to share with all of you before tomato season disappears with the nice weather.  The first is this wonderful Tomato Galette with Herbs and Fresh Mozzarella.  As my husband stated after taking a bite, “That’s one of the best things I’ve eaten all summer.  Maybe ever”.  True story.

Tomato Galette with Herbs and Fresh Mozzarella | Relishing It

Tomato Galette with Herbs and Fresh Mozzarella | Relishing It

Tomato Galette with Herbs and Fresh Mozzarella | Relishing It

Yes, yes, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella are a heavenly match– we all know that, right?  But generally, fresh mozzarella isn’t baked into a galette with tomatoes due to its water content.  Much harder cheeses are the norm.  Obviously I was a bit hesitant in trying the fresh mozzarella– I had visions of a huge sloppy mess ruining that wonderful crust.  There was even a moment during the baking time when I peered into the oven and almost cried.  There was a lot of liquid pooling.  I was certain the galette was ruined.  I mention this, because if you see the same pooling– just wait it out.  By the end of the baking time, the water was gone and a beautiful crisp crust was left behind with cheese that had bubbled up into a golden brown.  The smell of the the baked tomatoes and cheese with the herbs was unbelievable.

Tomato Galette with Herbs and Fresh Mozzarella | Relishing It

Tomato Galette with Herbs and Fresh Mozzarella | Relishing It

This galette comes together so quickly, especially if you have pie crusts hanging out in your freezer (have I mentioned that you definitely should get on that?).  And it’s a perfect meal when you want to fancy things up a bit.  Add a salad to the side, and perhaps a glass of wine and you’re set.  Now go and enjoy the heck out of those tomatoes before they’re gone for the season!

Tomato Galette with Herbs and Fresh Mozzarella | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Tomato Galette with Herbs and Fresh Mozzarella

(serves 4 or 1, depending upon how hungry you are)

1 single All-Butter Pie Crust

2-3 ripe tomatoes, sliced

about 1/4 pound of fresh mozzarella, sliced

a hefty sprinkling of chopped fresh rosemary and thyme, plus more for garnish

1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash

salt, pepper, plus olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Follow the instructions for the All-Butter Pie Crust.  After it has chilled it will be ready to use.  Roll the dough out into an 11-inch circle (not the typical 12-inch, because I want the crust to be a bit sturdier) on a piece of floured parchment paper.  Place the mozzarella into the center of the dough, leaving about 1 1/2 inch border.  Sprinkle the chopped herbs on the cheese.  Then place the tomatoes on top of that.  Fold up the sides of the galette and pinch the seams together.  Using a pastry brush, apply the egg wash to the dough.  Then sprinkle salt and pepper onto the egg wash.  Slide the galette and parchment paper onto a large rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the cheese has bubbled up and browned a bit, too.  Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh herbs, salt and pepper before serving.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Laurie

Read Full Post »

Perfect Canned Summer Salsa | Relishing It

Alright everybody, this post has been a long time coming.  We have here one of my most cherished recipes.  It’s the salsa that causes me to miss out on the first few weeks of fall.  I’m busy chopping tomatoes and canning so many batches that I don’t get a chance to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.  Sounds a bit exaggerated, I know.  But, it’s not.  Now don’t let my canning-in-bulk experience deter you from making this wonderful salsa.  Obviously you need not make as many batches as I do, and realistically you should be able to get everything done in one sitting.  That is, until your friends and family get a taste of it…

Perfect Canned Summer Salsa | Relishing It

I know that was a bit of bragging, but the truth is, nearly everyone I’ve share this salsa with has loved it.  I started small, giving a few jars here and there to family.  Then friends had a chance to sample it at get-togethers, and suddenly I was spending a few weeks every September in the kitchen making batch after batch.  Even now, I inevitably run out of jars to give away by winter’s end.  For me, all the time spent with boxes of tomatoes and piles of peppers is worth it.  I like to share–it’s like giving a little part of myself to those closest to me.  Sometimes, the easiest way for me to say I care is through food.

Perfect Canned Summer Salsa | Relishing It

I started making a version of this salsa years ago– Radd’s aunt shared her base recipe with me.  Over time and many, many experimental batches, the recipe evolved into what you see here.  As you likely know, we like things spicy in our house.  For those less-courageous friends, as well as our kids, I make a much milder version.  The point is, you really have full control over how fiery you want this salsa to be.  If you have questions on how much heat a specific type of pepper adds, take a look here for comparison.  This year I made my mild version, but for my hotter “Inferno” batches I used a pile of habaneros.  And this weekend I tracked down some Bhut Jolokia “Ghost” peppers  (1,000,000+ Scovilles!) for a batch that I hope will be face-meltingly hot for my husband, who is crazy.

Perfect Canned Summer Salsa | Relishing It

Aside from control of the heat, you can also vary how chunky you want the salsa to be.  Over the years I’ve changed my method.  I used to roughly chop everything and then use an immersion blender at the end for a very smooth texture.  More recently, I’ve stopped doing that, since I like my salsa to have a few more chunks.  Instead, I pulse everything in the food processor before cooking it.  It cooks down to the perfect consistency for my taste.  If you don’t have a food processor– you can just chop, chop chop!  To be honest, the bulk of the work in making salsa is chopping the ingredients– the rest is a waiting game.  Waiting for it to become the right consistency.  Waiting for it to process in the water bath.  All in all, it generally takes me about 3-4 hours from start to finish.  But it’s well worth the time.  Especially when you get to open up a jar and settle in front of the t.v. during a January snowstorm.

Perfect Canned Summer Salsa | Relishing It

Just a few notes on preserving your salsa.  Since this recipe is my own, it obviously doesn’t come from a canning website.  Canning is a big responsibility.  It’s not difficult, but there can be risks.  I’ve poked around the internet to compare this recipe with others for safety purposes.  The amounts and ratios of vinegar, tomatoes, and peppers is typical of many from canning sites.  I’ve made my salsa this way for about 15 years and have never encountered a problem.  Even so, if you do have any concerns, I suggest taking a look at one of the many websites and blogs devoted to canning.

Perfect Canned Summer Salsa | Relishing It

So, for those of you who have been patiently waiting for me to share this recipe– here you go!  I hope you love it so much that you make batches upon batches for your family and friends, as well.  Cheers.

The Recipe: Perfect Canned Summer Salsa

(makes about 14-15 pints.  Though I generally get different amounts each batch.  Much will depend on the water content of your tomatoes and how long you cook the salsa.)

16 cups chopped tomatoes  *measured in a liquid measuring cup after they have been through the food processor  (about 8 pounds) I use big, huge canning tomatoes– no need to peel them

3 large green bell peppers, chopped

3 large white onions, chopped

2 bulbs of garlic, chopped  (not 2 cloves–2 entire bulbs!)

hot peppers, seeds too  (to your liking)  *See Note

5 tablespoons ancho chili powder

3 tablespoons canning salt

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon of EACH of these:

ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano

1 cup plus a splash extra cider vinegar

15 ounce can of plain tomato sauce- preferably organic and definitely without added sugar  (Muir Glen works well)

Note:  You can make this salsa as hot or as mild as you want.  I would suggest using about 3 jalapeños for a mild version.  I chop the seeds and all.  It won’t be spicy, but the jalapeños will give it a great flavor.  For our favorite version that we call “Inferno”, I use: 12 habaneros, 5 jalapeños, 12 chilis, and 8 serranos.  If you do enjoy hot salsa, I would encourage you to seek out some habaneros, as their unique, almost sweet-like flavor cannot be beat.  When working with the very spicy peppers, it is a good idea to use plastic or latex gloves, if possible.  Be very careful about what you touch.  Also, be careful about inhaling too closely to the chopped peppers.  

Note: Jars and rims can be re-used over and over again.  Lids (the flat piece with a glue-like substance)  needs to be replaced every time you can something.  

You will need:  A very large heavy-bottomed canning kettle to hold all of the chopped ingredients.  Another very large kettle (or two) to process the filled jars of salsa, and hopefully a rack to set on the bottom of it (though you’ll be fine without, too).   A small saucepan to boil the lids and tongs to lift them out of the hot water.  A ladle to fill the jars.  A jar lifter, to remove the processed salsa from the hot water bath.  Paper towels, for wiping the edge of the jars clean.  15-16 pint jars with lids and rims.

Let’s get started!  Use a food processor (or a knife and cutting board) and pulse each type  of vegetable separately.  I do mix the onions and garlic together.  You will not want large chunks and you will not want it finely puréed, but something in between.  Place all of the ingredients for the salsa into a large heavy-bottomed kettle and stir.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium (uncovered) and let cook for about an hour (or more), or until it is your desired consistency.  It should be bubbling, but not at a rolling boil.  You may need to cook it longer to get it as thick as you want it.  A lot will depend on your tomatoes and their water content.  Make sure to stir frequently, to avoid scorching.

Meanwhile, fill a large canning kettle (or two) halfway full of water and begin to heat.   You will be using this to give your filled jars a hot water bath.  I used to use two smaller kettles for this, but recently discovered that my husbands huge kettle for brewing beer worked very well.  If you can fit a cooling rack on the bottom, do it.  It’s good to not have the jars on direct heat– but, you should be fine if you don’t have one.  At this point, you should have decided how you want to sterilize your jars and rims.  Some people like to dip them in the boiling water to do so.  I use my dishwasher on the “sterilize cycle” and time it out for them to be done just as the salsa is ready to be jarred.  You will also want to fill a small saucepan with water and place the lids in it.  Turn it on low/medium– this is an important step as it not only sterilizes the lids, but more importantly, it softens the glue-substance, so it can seal properly.

When your salsa is ready, begin ladling each jar with salsa.  Make sure to leave about 1/4 – 1/2-inch space at the top.  Wipe the edge of the jar clean with a wet paper towel.  Place a lid (using tongs to grab them out of the hot water), and then a rim on each jar.  Repeat until all the jars are full and the salsa is gone.  Next,  use a jar lifter to gently place the filled jars into the hot water bath.  Fit as many as you can into the kettle.  The jars should be covered with boiling water.  Cover and process for 20 minutes.  Remove using the jar lifter and place on a kitchen towel.  You will most likely hear the seals start to pop within minutes.  This is a good thing.   Repeat until all the jars are processed.  After a few hours, touch the tops of the jars, they should all be flat against the jar and not make a sound if tapped.   If not, it did not seal properly and you should place that particular jar in the refrigerator and use first.

Alright!  You did it– let me know if you have anymore questions.  I hope I covered everything.  Your first canning experience may seen lengthy, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you will become.  Enjoy!

As always, thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

xo

Laurie

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: