August 25, 2010

Berbere Pickled Tomatoes

When reading Tigress in a Pickle last week I saw that she made Curried Green Tomatoes.  This was in the back of my head when I hit the spice market this week.  They had a wonderful Berbere spice mix.  Having used it before in a number of dishes I thought I would give it a try for pickled tomatoes.  However I didn't go the route of green tomatoes.  I went with ripe tomatoes. I wanted something that would be a nice ingredient for soups this winter or as a side dish.  I might have also be biased by the fact that my very first ripe tomatoes from my own garden were sitting in front of me. I have a feeling that I am going to be making alot of green tomato dishes in the near future. 

Berbere spices are part of traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisines.  If you don't have access to the mixture look here for a recipe. The main ingredient are chile peppers, ginger, cloves, coriander, allspice, rue berries, ajwain, and fenugreek. I used whole spices for this as I wanted it to be more like pickling spices in presentation than just powder.

I placed 1 tablespoon of the spices and 1 tablespoon of salt over the tomato slices and allowed them to sitt over night.  I then placed them in a basic brine and cooked them for 10 mins. 

I had decided early on that I wanted a nice flavored vinegar out of this project as well I the amount of brine I made was much more than I need to cover the tomatoes. I was also able to roast the tomato skins to use for flavoring later.  

Berbere Pickled Tomatoes

8-10 ripe tomotoes, skinned and sliced
3 T berbere spices, whole if possible
4 T Salt
4 T Sugar
1 pint cider vinegar
1 pint water

Mix 1 T of salt and berbere spices with slice tomatoes.  Leave to sit over night.  Mix remaining ingredients in a non-reactive pot.  Bring to a boil and mix until salt and sugar are dissolved.  Add sliced tomatoes and cook at a low simmer for 10 mins.  Place tomato slices in jars by holding the jar on its side to stack the slices more easily. Cover with brine and process for 10 mins for half pints; 15 for pints. 


A beautiful jar of ruby spiciness.

August 20, 2010

Spicy Ketchup

 Here is a fun and easy recipe for making ketchup.  If you don't want a spicy version just cut out the chilies. To make this recipe easy I recommend using a stick blender to blend the ketchup right in the cooking pot without having to wait for it to cool.

4 lbs tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 chipoltes, rehydrated
4 jalapenos, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup honey
1 cup cider vinegar

Cook tomatoes, onion and garlic with salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally about 20 mins. Add spices, honey, peppers and vinegar continue to cook over medium heat for 15 mins.  Blend the mixture to a smooth sauce.  Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, 45 to 55 minutes (stir more frequently toward end of cooking to prevent scorching).

Place in pint jars and process for 20 mins.  Try to wait for 2 weeks before using.

August 19, 2010

Canning Class and Community Kitchen - Savory Tomato Cake

Last week I taught a class on Canning for the Wallingford Community Kitchen.  We ended up making 4 recipes.  Spicy Corn Relish, Pickled Vegetables Strips, Blackberry Jam and Crab Apple Jelly.  It was a late night but we got them done.  Even a few extra jars for the Community Kitchen to raffle off at a later date. 

For the Ballard Community Kitchen we did tomatoes and more tomatoes.  We made and canned tomato bruschetta, a savory tomato cake and Gazpacho. 

While it looks a bit boring in a huge bowl.  It presents much better in a single serving.

Here is the recipe for the cake.  It is a cornbread with tomato, onions and basil.  It was amazing. 

For the Cake:
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg

For the Topping:

3-4 large tomatoes, cut into crescents
1 onions, sliced into half moons
Olive oil
Herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, etc)

1. Place the tomatoes and onions in the bottom of the oiled cake or pie tin in a tiled fashion.  

2. Spread the herbs over the tomatoes and onions. Drizzle with olive oil.  

3. Mix the cornbread together and spread evenly over the tomato herb mixture.

4. Bake for 20-25 mins at 350 until the cornbread is firm.        

5. When slightly cooled. Place a large plate over the tin and invert.

Enjoy I know we did.

August 13, 2010

Large Batch Canning and Corn Relish

In the last week I have made 175 pints of preserves (75 pickles, 75 bloody mary vegetables, and 25 blackberry syrup).  Unfortunately my camera decided to take a walk but I am hoping to get some pictures up this weekend.

Tonight is my canning class with the Walliford Community Kitchen.  I spent last night picking crabapples and blackberries.  So we will be making jellies with those along with the Spicy Corn Relish and the Pickles Vegetable Strips.

Here is the recipe for the Corn Relish.  Hopefully I will be able to post a picture or two this weekend.

12               ears of corn
3                 Ancho or Chipotle chiles, rehydrated, seeded and chopped
1¾ c           Honey
2 T              Kosher or Pickling salt
1 T              mustard seed
¼ t              turmeric
2¾ c           cider vinegar
½ c             water
2 c              onion, chopped
1½ c           celery, chopped
1 c              sweet peppers, chopped

Par-boil corn until bright yellow.  Cut corn kernels off. 

Combine honey, salt, mustard seed, turmeric, vinegar and water.  Bring to a boil. Boil until honey and salt are dissolved.  Add corn, onion, celery, and sweet peppers.  Bring to a boil, stir often until onions and celery are tender.  Approximately 30 mins.  Add chiles and incorporate.

Place relish in sterilized jars and process for 15 mins. 


August 6, 2010

Oregon Grape Jelly

 Another simple jelly for you.  Oregon Grapes are very high in pectin so no need for adding any.  The one problem that I ran into on this batch is that the grapes are very seedy.  The seeds are almost half of the grape.  When I make this again (and believe me I will be) I will be using a food mill. 

6 cups Oregon grapes
2 cups Water
2 cups sugar

Place the water and grapes in a sauce pan.  Bring to boil and boil until soft.  Allow to cool. When done drain and retain all of the liquid.  Smash the grapes with a large spoon or better yet run through a food mill. Place all liquid back in sauce pan and add the sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Allow to boil until it starts to jelly. About 20-30 mins.  Place in jars and process for 10 mins.  Enjoy.