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Frozen Broccoli on a Stick

September 4, 2006

A Big Tomato Sandwich

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Favorites,Summer Fare — admin @ 4:03 pm

From Local Flavors, which is one of my favorite cookbooks. I haven’t made anything bad from it yet, and I’ve been using it for years now. Seriously, I recommend this cookbook to everybody who tries to live eating somewhat seasonally and locally.

From the cookbook:

Taking the feast or famine approach, we live on tomato sandwiches from the moment tomatoes appear in the market to the first killing frost. Then none until next year. Crusty, strong-textured ciabatta is the ideal bread. The holes drink in the juice, but the bread is strong enough that it won’t fall apart. Tomatoes of choice are brandywines, striped germans, carmelo, and costoluto genovese.

Ingredients:
1 large (1-lb) loaf ciabatta
Herb vinaigrette, below
2 or more big, ripe, juicy tomatoes
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and quartered
4 oz fresh mozzarella, goat, or other favorite cheese, sliced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Slice the top third off the loaf of bread and set it aside. Pull out the inside. (You can use it to make bread crumbs.)
2. Paint the inside of the bread with some of the dressing, then make layers of sliced tomatoes, pepper, and cheese. Bathe each layer with the dressing and season with salt and pepper.
3. Add the top, press down, then cut into quarters or sixths. This packs well if wrapped tightly.

Herb Vinaigrette
1/4 c basil leaves
1 T chopped marjoram
1 T chopped parsley
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/3 C EVOO
4 t aged red wine vinegar
sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Finely chop the herbs with the garlic, then add the olive oil. Add the vinegar and 1/4 t salt and season with pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.

My comments: This is very forgiving of improvization. I use different herbs all the time, depending on what I can find, and usually use less EVOO and more vinegar (and sometimes balsalmic instead of “aged red wine”). Sometimes I use a freshly-roasted pepper, sometimes jarred roasted peppers, sometimes no peppers at all. I often chop the peppers just to make biting easier. Oh, and I tend to use a bigger bread, more tomatoes of different varieties, etc, to make it really big because everybody likes it AND wants leftovers. It is SO pretty and SO tasty.

Lamb Kabob Marinade

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Favorites,Summer Fare — admin @ 3:21 pm

Our kabobs.
From our friends at Shepherd’s Lamb.

1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c lime juice
1/4 to 1/2 c grated onion
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 T dried Italian Seasonings, OR 1 t thyme, 1 t marjoram
1 T plain yogurt (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

This is enough for 1-2 lbs lamb kabob meat.

My notes: The first time we made this, I think we used more lime juice than it called for, and we let it marinade for two days. It was so amazingly tasty. I could have eaten only lamb kabobs forever. (We made them with squash and eggplant, because that’s what’s in season now.) SO GOOD.

Peach canning recipes

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Canning — admin @ 12:48 pm

Okay, so I’m getting ready to work on the four boxes of beaches I’ll be getting on Wednesday. Here’s the plan. First of all, I’ll be making a LOT of peach salsa, even though it’s a heck of a lot of work.

I’m also going to do a bunch of cold-pack peaches, which DH and DS#1 like.
From Joy Of Cooking:
Thin Syrup
2 c sugar to 4 c water, stir before heating and bring slowly to a boil.
Cold-Pack Peaches: arrange, pit side down, in hot jars; cover with boiling syrup and process 42 minutes (30 minutes + altitude adjustment) in BWB

From Putting It Up With Honey:
10 lbs peaches
1.5 qts water
1 3/4 c. honey
Peel and pit, quarter, pack cavity-side down to w/in 1/2 inch of top. Cover with syrup to same level, seal, process 42 minutes (30+altitude)

I’m also hoping to make some of these:
Peach Butter (4 pints, so I’ll probably want to double it)
4-4 1/2 lbs peaches
1/2 cup water
4 cups sugar
1-2 tablespoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1. Wash peaches, remove seeds and any bad spots- DO NOT PEEL!
2. Chop peaches.
3. Put peaches in pot with water.
4. Cook peaches over medium, simmer until peaches are soft, about 15- 20 minutes depending up on the ripeness of your fruit.
5. Run the peaches through a food mill till all that is left in the mill are the peach skins which you can discard now.
6. You should have about 2 quarts of peach pulp.
7. Mix pulp with sugar and cinnamon.
8. Cook over medium heat until thick enough to round up on a spoon about 30 minutes to an hour (this may also be done in a slow- 250 degree oven but it takes longer).
9. You will need to stir frequently, making sure that it doesn’t stick.
10. Place in hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
11. Adjust lid and rings on jars.
12. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes (16 in our altitude).
13. Remove to counter and allow to cool.

Vanilla Peach Syrup (also 4 pints)
5 cups peaches, puree (peel, remove pits and toss the rest in the blender)
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Combine peach puree, sugar and lemon juice in kettle.
2. Bring to a boil.
3. Simmer 5 minutes.
4. Add vanilla.
5. Pour into hot jars and seal.
6. Process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes (altitude: 32).

Other recipes I’d like to try at some point, maybe next year or sometime, because it’s NOT happening this week:
Peach Peeling and Peach Seed Jelly
4 quarts peelings and seeds from peaches, minimum
To every 3 cups juice
1 package dry pectin
3 cups sugar

1. Place a minimum of 4 qts peelings and seed in heavy pan.
2. Barely cover with water.
3. Bring to boil and let simmer for about 30 minutes.
4. Let stand overnight.
5. Strain juice through cheesecloth.
6. Measure 3 cups juice into pan.
7. Add 1 pkg powdered pectin.
8. Bring to a rigorous boil and add 3 cups sugar.
9. Boil juice rapidly until drops sheet off spoon as in jelly testing.
10. Skim off foam.
11. Pour into sterilized jars to within 1/2 inch from top.
12. Band and process in water bath for 5 minutes.
13. For concern about the aspects of using peach seeds, here is a bit of info about the usage of peach products, Peach Uses & Scientific Evidence For Peach leaves and bark have demulcent, sedative, diuretic and expectorant properties, and work well to relieve bladder inflammation and urinary tract problems. The leaves and bark can also be used to treat whooping cough, ordinary coughs, and chronic bronchitis. Peach seed (kernel) can be used as a mild laxative, and an expectorant for the lungs, nose and throat, and it can help relieve chest pain and spasms. Peach bark is still used to improve blood flow and eliminate blood stagnation caused by amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, postpartum abdominal pain, and pain and swelling due to external injuries.
14. Since there is only one pit per peach and alot of peel, the recipe should not be altered if the peach seed is left out.

Peach Ginger Chutney (4-5 half-pints)
3 1/2 lbs peaches, diced (about 7 large)
1 large onion, minced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 hot red pepper, diced
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped (candied ginger)
2 cups cider vinegar
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground mace

1. Prepare fruit and vegetables.
2. Put in heavy saucepan and add remaining ingredients.
3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
4. Turn heat to a simmer, cook until desired consistency.
5. Ladle into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
6. Wipe rims and seal.
7. Process in a water bath canner for 10 mins.

Peach Pie Filling (4 pints)
12 cups peeled, pitted and chopped peaches
1 (3 inch) stick cinnamon
3 teaspoons whole cloves
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups peeled and finely chopped apples
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon rind (no white)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Tie cinnamon stick and whole cloves in a cheesecloth spice bag.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large stainless or enamel saucepan.
3. Bring to a boil, cover and boil gently for about 75 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick.
4. Discard spice bag and ladle pie filling into clean hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space.
5. Remove bubbles.
6. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes at altitudes up to 1000 feet.

Pickled Peaches (6 pints)
1 (1,000-mg) vitamin C tablet (to prevent discoloration), crushed to a powder
6 1/2 cups cold water
24 firm-ripe small peaches (6 to 7 lb)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
4 teaspoons pickling spice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Special equipment: 6 (1-pt) canning jars with lids and screw bands; a boiling-water canner, or a deep 10- to 12-qt pot plus a flat metal rack; an instant-read thermometer

Prepare peaches:
Dissolve vitamin C powder in 6 cups water in a large bowl (to acidulate water).

Cut a shallow X in bottom of each peach with a sharp paring knife and blanch in 4 batches in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling water 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice and cold water and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel peaches, then halve lengthwise and pit. Add peaches to acidulated water and let stand 10 minutes, then drain well in a colander.

Toss peaches with sugar in a 6-quart wide heavy pot and chill, covered, at least 8 and up to 12 hours.

Sterilize jars and lids:
Wash jars, lids, and screw bands in hot soapy water, then rinse well. Dry screw bands. Put jars on rack in canner and add enough water to cover jars by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, covered, then boil 10 minutes. Cover lids with water in a small saucepan and heat until thermometer registers 180°F (do not let boil). Keep jars and lids submerged in hot water, covered, until ready to use.

Cook and can peaches:
Add vinegar, spice, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup water to peaches (sugar will have dissolved and will have drawn out peach juices) and bring to a boil over moderate heat, skimming off foam. Reduce heat and simmer until peaches are barely tender, about 3 minutes.

Remove jars and lids from water, reserving water in canner, and transfer to a clean kitchen towel, then divide peaches among jars using a slotted spoon. Return peach-cooking liquid to a boil, then pour into jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at top. Run a thin knife between peaches and sides of jars to eliminate air bubbles.

Seal and process jars:
Wipe off rims of filled jars with a dampened kitchen towel, then firmly screw on lids with screw bands. Put sealed jars on rack in canner and, if necessary, add enough hot water to cover jars by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, covered. Boil jars 20 minutes, then transfer with tongs to a towel-lined surface to cool. Jars will seal as they cool (if you hear a ping, that signals that the vacuum formed at the top of the jar has made the lid concave).

After jars have cooled 12 to 24 hours, press center of each lid to check that it’s concave, then remove screw band and try to lift off lid with your fingertips. If you can’t, the lid has a good seal. Store in a cool dry place up to 6 months. Promptly put any jars that haven’t sealed in the refrigerator and use them first.

Peach-Orange Marmalade
(I once had an EXCELLENT recipe for this, but I can’t find it any longer. :( )
Prep: 45 min.
Cook: 10 min.
Ingredients
3 medium oranges
3 to 3-1/2 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut up
Nonstick cooking spray
6 cups sugar

Directions
1. Remove peel from 2 of the oranges; cut up peeled oranges and unpeeled orange. Coarsely grind all of the oranges and the peaches. (Or, use food processor to finely chop fruit.) Measure 6 cups fruit. Lightly coat an 8- to 10-quart kettle or Dutch oven with cooking spray. In kettle, combine ground fruit and sugar. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil; stirring often. (A full rolling boil does not stop when stirred with a wooden spoon.) Boil, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until marmalade sheets off a metal spoon.
2. Remove kettle from heat; using a metal spoon quickly skim off foam.
3. Ladle at once into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (start timing when water begins to boil). Remove jars; cool on a rack until set. Makes 7 half-pints (ninety-four, 1 tablespoon servings).
Dietary exchanges: 1 fruit.
Canning tips: To prepare the canning jars, wash them in hot soapy water; rinse thoroughly. To sterilize the jars, immerse them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Prepare lids and screw bands according to manufacturer’s directions.
Fill canner half full of water; cover and heat over high heat until boiling. Heat additional water in another kettle.
When the water is hot, fill each jar and place it on rack in canner. Leave some space between the jars. After the last jar has been added, pour additional boiling water into canner until jars are 1 inch below the water line. Cover; heat to brisk, rolling boil. Now begin the processing timing. Keep the water boiling gently during processing.
At the end of processing time, turn off heat; remove jars. Cool on rack, wooden board, or towel. When jars are completely cool (12 to 24 hours), press the center of each lid to check the seal. If dip in lid holds, the jar is sealed. (The contents of unsealed jars can be refrigerated and used within two to three days or reprocessed within 24 hours. To reprocess, use a clean jar and a new lid; process for the full length of time specified.)