Wednesday, December 14, 2016

{Foodie Post No.7} Salsa Verde

It took something like 24 batches in my two cup food processor, if you have a bigger one, I recommend using it because I got lazy and my salsa ended up quite a bit chunkier than true Salsa Verde should be.

It was an extremely full pot!

Salsa Verde

  • 24 cups green tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 colored bell peppers, chopped
  • 6+ jalapenos, chopped 
  • 6 onions, chopped
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 heads of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper *optional
Simmer salsa on low/med heat for 30 minutes. Stir well.
Adjust salsa to taste.
Once the salsa is done, ladle into prepared jars. 
Wipe rims and place lids and rings on. 
Process for 20 minutes in water bath. Remove from water and allow to cool completely before removing rings.
Yield: 8 quarts

We have used this salsa on chips and enchiladas so far, I feel like it is slightly bland and a little too acidic but the ingredient base is good, I just needed to do more adjusting than I did for my taste preferences but I had run out of onions, garlic, and cilantro; and wanted to have some cumin left! :P

{Foodie Post No.6} Green Tomato Spiced Chutney

This recipe originally started with these ingredients:

By the time I was finished, I had added a jalapeno and black pepper

Zested the lemon peel and grated the ginger



finished product

Green Tomato Spiced Chutney

  • 4 lbs green tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 jalapeƱos, seeded and chopped
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and gently mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate over night or up to 24 hours.
Transfer to a large pot and heat on the stove. Bring to a simmer and hold for about half an hour, enough time for the flavors to meld and the tomatoes to soften slightly.
Remove the cinnamon stick.
Fill clean sterilized canning jars. Clean rims, place lids on and screw down bands. Process in a water bath for 20 minutes. Remove from the bath and allow to cool and seal before removing bands. 

Many people don't trust a water bath to properly preserve tomato based foods, you can opt to freeze this instead, I read some about using a pressure canner but there seems to be evidence that you would reduce your chutney to mush if you tried that route. My family has always trusted the water bath method and have yet to find it be problematic. 

I wasn't very careful in accurately weighing or measuring the tomatoes, or anything else to be honest, I just did it by taste; hence the addition of black pepper and jalapeƱos.

This made 5 pints (configured as 4 pints and 2 half pints if you noticed in the picture).

Next up will be Salsa Verde!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Green Tomatoes

This will be a series, short and flavorful, about how I used up 72 green tomatoes.
I chose to make some Jam, which I turned into Chutney as I realized pectin would be a necessity I didn't have in tomato jam making, Salsa Verde, and Sweet & Spicy Pickle Wedges.

 You may remember my mention in my  Cranberry Jalapeno Jam post I mentioned that my tomato plant had gone unwatered one too many times and was just about dead. Well, God had other plans for that plant apparently, as I continued to be negligent on the watering front He made up for it by sending loads of rain. That nearly dead, dried out twig of a plant turned into this by the end of summer:
the pot this plant is in is actually
a few steps down the staircase now hidden by the plant
some of the tendrils reaching the bottom of the steps
the 72 green tomatoes awaiting their destiny

This is one of the very few tomatoes to have fully ripened and reached its fullest potential: sliced for hamburgers and leftovers salted for pure tomato devouring 
And as you can see in the last picture it was painful to chop up such beautiful meaty potential but as Jerusha kept trying to eat them saying "appy appy" (mistaking them for apples, in case you are unused to deciphering toddler lingo) I wasted no time trying to let them ripen, plus it has been my experience in tomatoes that they don't reach perfection anyways if picked green and ripened afterwards; they end up a grainy let down.
the one last tomato that was nearly
ready for picking when the frost arrived

This was a Beefsteak tomato plant and you can be sure I will grow another (or maybe more than one!) next year as they are amazingly meaty, flavorful and large but not cracking and rotten large.

Recipe's will be posted following this!

Family Pictures & Thanksgiving Condensed

Before things turned miserably cold (which I'll admit, we did have a nice extended warm fall so I have no reason to whine) my sister Shelby did a photo shoot for us. So, it's old news, but I wanted to share a few of the pictures. 

Since then, Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was a lovely few days of family and feasting, as it always is. It is the highlight of my year; working side by side with mom and siblings fixing countless cookies, candies, pies, and dishes. (Note: I lie. We keep count, very close and accurately;)) For me Thanksgiving isn't simply comprised of one o'clock dinner on the third Thursday in November, no, Thanksgiving, for me, starts when we begin fixing the foods and continues on past Thursday into Friday and often longer, as my family gathers again and again to eat left overs, play games, and watch movies; holding onto the celebration as long as we can.
This year there was some especially exciting news announced on Thanksgiving and that was the new sibling my mom is expecting. She's since had some complications in the pregnancy and although this baby may reach heaven before we've met, it is still a blessing worth noting and giving thanks for.
*EDIT* I edit to acknowledge the fact that this sibling has gone on to heaven before us. We miss it and look forward to meeting it someday in paradise <3

Soon, I promise, I will post how I used the 72 green tomatoes I picked from my plant after we had our first hard frost.
Until then, I hope you all stay warm and enjoy each day you're given.