Monday, January 30, 2012

Kimchi- Fermented and Pickled

Wow, has it really been that long since I canned anything? I guess my canning cupboard is looking pretty bare.. Hopefully I'll be able to replenish my supplies before I've got a new baby in the house.

Luckily, my awesome in-laws gave us this Perfect Pickler for Christmas this year, that has inspired me to get back on track with my hobby of jarring foods. It's also exciting for me to be learning something new- the process of fermentation. This little gadget couldn't make it any easier and more fun!

 I began with the recipe for kimchi from the Perfect Pickler website, which you can find here. But, to be honest, this recipe doesn't seem to me nearly as flavorful as it should be, and it made waaay more than one jar (I only have one Perfect Pickler). With the remainder, I added tons more garlic, ginger, sambal, and even two ghost peppers that we had lying around. Unfortunately, when I went to my herb garden for scallions, they were all dried up, so if you make this, you may want to add a few sliced scallions to the recipe.

1 head Napa Cabbage, cut into 1" squares
1 lb. daikon radish, half-mooned and very thinly sliced
1 head garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grated ginger root
1/4 cup sambal (more or less, to taste)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce

2 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sea salt

4 sanitized pint jars, lids and rings

In a large mixing bowl, toss cabbage, daikon, garlic, ginger, sambal, sugar and fish sauce. In a medium pot, bring water, vinegars and salt to a boil. Pack cabbage into jars and top with brine. Attach lids and rings and process for 10 minutes.

The canned kimchi is definitely going to be wicked-hot, and garnishing all sorts of food like pho (and probably eaten as a snack in itself). I am, however, skeptical about the fermented kimchi. The recipe didn't seem authentic enough to me, and time will tell how much of a fan I am of fermented foods. I'll be sure to post back in a few days to let you know how it turns out!

*Update (1/11/12): The fermented kimchi stayed in the cabinet for 4 days before we tasted it. It had a perfect sourness, however, lacked spiciness and overall flavor. When I make it again I will definitely douse the cabbage in much more chili paste, ginger and garlic. The pickled kimchi is quite good, but more vinegary than a traditional kimchi. The upside of this method is that it can be made in large batches, and kept in the pantry for long periods of time. In the future I will be refining both methods, for they both taste great and will have their own place in our dishes.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blushing Peach Jam

It's sweet summer peach with a lime zing- this jam is so damn sexy it will make you blush.

5 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings
2 lbs. ripe peaches
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp lime juice
3 cups sugar
1 box powdered pectin

Cut an X on the bottoms of the peaches. Boil for one minute and then blanch. Here's a trick, if you don't know this one, yet:

Peel and chop peaches. In a medium pot, simmer peaches and water for 5 minutes, stirring often. Use a stick blender to smooth out the jam. Add lime juice and sugar and boil until sugar is dissolved. Add pectin and boil hard for one minute. Test the set- it should look like this on a frozen plate:

Ladle into jars, wipe rims, attach lids and rings and process for ten minutes.

Quadruple Dog-Dare Ya' Berry Jam

Joe actually made this one, but it is so freakin' incredible I am sharing it here. I quadruple dog dare ya' to try it spooned over chocolate ice cream.

6 1/2 pint sterilized jars, lids and rings
1 quart strawberries
1 pint blueberries
2 cups raspberries
1 cup blackberries
2 Tbsp lemon juice
5 cups sugar
1-2 packets powdered pectin

Wash all berries and hull strawberries. Mash berries and lemon juice in a pot over medium heat. When berries begin to get juicy and warm add sugar and simmer five minutes. Add 1 package pectin and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and test for the set. Add more pectin if necessary and re-test for the set. When it is set to desired thickness ladle into jars, wipe rims, attach lids and process for ten minutes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Jalapeno Jelly

Wow, sorry guys. Life got kinda' hectic there for a while, but we're all settled into the new house now and I'm ready to start canning the summer bounty that is upon us! As today happens to be National Can-it-Forward Day, I thought it would be a great chance to get back in the swing of things. Canning in my "new" kitchen is so relaxing now that I have space to work. I expect to be canning a lot more often now, especially for a new start-up project my friend, co-worker, and fellow mom Matteson McCay have recently begun- Jammin' Mamas. So far we have successfully sold Strawberry Preserves and Mango Jelly. I have a feeling this Jalapeno Jelly is going to be a big hit, too!

Recipe taken from Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving:

6 1/2 pint sterilized jars, lids and rings
3/4 lb jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 cups apple cider vinegar
6 cups sugar
2 pouches (1 box) liquid pectin

Puree jalapenos with one cup vinegar in food processor. In a medium pot, add puree to the remaining cup of vinegar and sugar and bring to a simmer for ten minutes. Add pectin and bring to a rolling boil for one minute. Ladle into jars, wipe rims, attach lids and rings and process for ten minutes.

Serve over Philadelphia Cream Cheese with Ritz crackers.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hamburger Pickles

Instead of bringing the same old macaroni salad to a picnic this summer, why not contribute your own homemade Hot Dog Relish and Hamburger Pickles?!

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a garden, but most of us will probably, at least once in a summer, end up with a grocery bag full of some vegetable that a friend just too many to know what to do with. If that bags happens to be cucumbers, I can't think of anything better to whip up and share than a few jars of pickles.

This recipe is adapted from the Ball Book guide to preserving.

3 pint jars or 6 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings, sterilized
6 pounds cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup canning salt
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 quart plus 3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 quart plus 1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
1 1/4 inch by 1 inch piece ginger
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves

Put cucumber slices in a large bowl; sprinkle with salt; mix thoroughly. Let stand 3 hours. Drain; rinse and drain thoroughly. Combine turmeric, 3 cups vinegar and 1 quart water in a sauce pot; brine to a boil; pour over cucumbers. let stand until cold; drain. Taste cucumbers; if too salty, rinse thoroughly; drain. Combine granulated sugar, 1 quart vinegar and 1 cup water in a large sauce pot. Tie spices in a spice bag; add to pickling liquid. Simmer 15 minutes; pour pickling liquid over cucumbers. Refrigerate overnight. Discard spice bag and drain pickles, reserving pickling liquid. Bring pickling liquid to a boil. Pack jars with pickles, pour over liquid leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps and process 10 minutes in a water bath canner.

Pickled Onions in Basic Brine

Whoa, I'm waaaay behind on my blog posts now, so I'm going to blast through these next couple recipes in order to tell you all about something really exciting in my little world of canning..

This brine recipe is great for pickling any fruit or vegetable. This time I filled my jars with red and Vidalia onion and fresh sliced garlic, then processed for ten minutes.

Basic Brine:
4 cups water
4 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canning salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 piece cinnamon bark
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
2 cracked juniper berries
1 clove
1 bay leaf

Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer on low until you are ready to fill your jars.

*Some recipes add allspice, dill or coriander. I've also substituted brown sugar for the granulated when I wanted a more caramel note in the flavor. You can play around with different combinations until you have something that suits your palate. Have fun!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Coriander Onion Marmalade

Thanks to Mother's Kitchen for inspiring this delicious onion marmalade with coriander and Clementine zest. The zest we had left from making My Darling Clementine's Marmalade, but I'm sure any citrus zest would pair well with coriander. We had this on Greek-spiced roast chicken and it was incredible!

Onion Marmalade
3 sterilized 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 lbs julienne Vidalia onions
1 lb julienne red onion
1 Tbsp garlic and ginger paste
2 tsp toasted, ground coriander
1 Tbsp dried Clementine zest
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 package powdered pectin

Heat oil in a pot and saute onions on low until translucent. Add garlic and ginger paste, coriander, zest, sugar, salt and orange juice. Cook on low for 30 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Add pectin in small increments until it reaches a thick, jam-like consistency. Pack into jars and process 10 minutes.

Greek Spice Rub
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp course salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp lemon juice
olive oil to taste

Mix spices and lemon juice. Drizzle in enough olive oil to make a paste. Use on chicken, lamb, or pork.