Roasted Salsa Verde for Canning

The fact that October is the busiest time of year for me in no way prevents me from taking on last minute, totally unnecessary personal projects… because sometimes I’m just dumb like that.

Recently – in the middle of stressing out about our to-do list – a neighbour was selling fresh tomatillos, straight from his garden. As is usually the case, we ended up “If-you-give-a-mouse-a-cookie”-ing all the way from “well, we could buy a lb or so and put on a small batch of salsa” to “let’s buy 10 lbs and just make a batch for canning”, adding a trip to the farmer’s market, etc.

We had missed peak corn season, so my roasted corn and tomatillo salsa wasn’t looking like the best option.. so I developed a whole new recipe for it. This recipe was especially for my husband, who loves deep, dark, roasted / charred flavours. This is far more smokey than your average salsa verde, and it was perfect for him. Says he:

“I love the smokey pepper taste, the flavor is incredible. If I’m not careful I could end up having this as a meal. The thick, chunky texture helps it stay on a chip, and makes it easier to mix in with something like sour cream.”

So, if smokiness is your thing.. you should absolutely give this a try. Enjoy!

Roasted Salsa Verde for Canning
Makes about 14 pints

4 large red onions
5 lbs poblano peppers
12 green bell peppers
12-15 jalapeno peppers
10 lbs tomatillos
10 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cups vinegar
3/4 lime juice (freshly squeezed, ideally!)
Zest of 3 limes
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)

Heat your grill – I like to use charcoal for this, but propane is fine also.

While grill is heating, prepare your vegetables to roast:

– Slice onions into 1/2″ thick slices

– Slice poblano and bell peppers into large flat pieces, Cut jalapenos in half.*

Brush peppers with olive oil, then grill everything until as “done” as you would like – personally, I like some dark grill marks for this, but not an overall char. If you have wood chips to smoke/grill with, use them – we used applewood chips. Remove items as they are ready – the peppers will cook the fastest. Allow everything to cool.

Turn your (oven) broiler up to high.

Prepare a couple cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper. Remove husks from tomatillos, wash well and remove any that don’t look fresh/good. Slice each in half, arrange in a single layer on baking sheets, toss garlic cloves in amongst the tomatillos. Roast under the broiler until as charred as you would like. Pour off excess juices, allow to cool, then puree in a blender or food processor.

Once everything is cool, chop up the peppers and onion (I use a food processor for this). Add all roasted vegetables to a large pot, along with tomatilloes, vinegar, lime juice & zest, sugar, and salt, stir well.

Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid reduces a bit, and mixture reaches a consistency you like. Stir in the cilantro, if using, and cook for one more minute.

Ladle into hot, sterilized pint sized canning jars. Affix sterilized lids and rims, and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. (Add 5 minutes for altitudes above 1,000 feet; add 10 minutes for altitudes over 6,000 feet.) Allow to cool overnight.

Check all lids for a proper seal: they should have sucked down into a vacuum seal as the jars cooled. Store properly sealed jars for later use; refrigerate any that did not seal for use in the coming weeks.

* For a more mild salsa, remove ribs and seeds.

Hoppy IPA BBQ (“Hop-BQ”) Sauce Recipe

This past weekend, we finally got around to harvesting our hops. They’d grown *insane* this year, and it was a task that had been easy to procrastinate on. One look at the abundance of hops, twisted vines, and leaves everywhere… it’s hard NOT to say “eh… LATER!”. Luckily, one of our hop-head friends was willing to come help out, and we got it all done!

As the guys were picking and sorting hops, I was in the kitchen, busily developing from fresh hop recipes we’d conceptualized a while ago. It’s always exciting when we finally get to turn a crazy idea into reality! Both recipes we were looking to create turned out amazingly well, and we even ended up with a 3rd recipe. Well… half recipe, anyway. (Hard to look at 3 ingredients and like 30 seconds of work as a recipe, right?)

This is my Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce. Based with IPA and fresh hops, it has a wonderfully complex taste, while still being a legit BBQ sauce. I’ll let the guys give you their two (four?) cents on the sauce…

“This is a delicious sauce that has a great complexity. It starts out sweet with hints of orange and pepper then fades away with a delicious hop flavor…

.. I don’t think you need to be a hop-head to enjoy this, but if you are – like I am! – then this will be right up your alley. The flavors compliment each other so well and will taste great on almost anything. I’m pretty sure I could just grab a spoon and dig into the jar when nobody is looking.” – Porter

“Being a Midwesterner, I had never had any seafood with BBQ sauce on it, sure ribs or pork slathered in the stuff but never any fish, let alone shell fish. I have to say the smell and look of the shrimp looked amazing, nicely seared with a light brushing of sauce. I was excited for the first bite. It was fantastic, the tangy smokey flavor was certainly making a showing, followed by the hot spicy flavors I love in any BBQ sauce, then the hops took the end and merged all the flavors with that of the shrimp. Just like a good hoppy pint of joy, the front, middle and end were present. Maybe it was because of the addition of the hops that I noticed this more than I have in other foods as a hop head I always look for more of a flavor profile in my beer than I usually do my food, but its addition definitely added excitement, taste and enjoyment. I was so surprised and would definitely keep an eye out for more foods and recipes with hops to try.”Trevor

With the citrussy notes in this sauce, it worked ridiculously well on some grilled shrimp and scallops we made that night. It would also be great on pork and chicken, in particular – though I’m sure you could enjoy it on just about anything!

… and for those who don’t grow hops at home, they’re usually available for purchase at most homebrew supply stores – and they’re in season right now!

Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 small red onion, grated or finely chopped
1 small jalapeno, grated or finely chopped
1 cup IPA of choice
1/2 cup fresh hops, divided (We used Centennial)
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh OJ
Zest of 1/2 or 1 orange
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp mustard powder

Saute onion and jalapeno in olive oil until translucent. Add beer, 1/4 cup of hops, and garlic, simmer for 5 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients except for the 1/4 cup of reserved hops. Stir well, turn heat down to low, cover simmer for 1 hour – stir frequently.

Add remaining hops, simmer for 5 more minutes. Press sauce through wire strainer, discarding solids left behind. Chill until use.

Fan of hops? You’ll LOVE my latest cookbook, Hedonistic Hops!

Hops are prized for their ability to impart varied, complex flavours to beer… but did you know they can also be used culinarily? While hops may seem like a bizarre or exotic item to cook with, it’s the same as using other herbs and spices in your kitchen… you just have to know what to do with them. Appetizers, main dishes, beverages.. even desserts can be uplifted with hops!

Even those who are not fans of beer will love the unique flavours that various types of hops can bring to their plate. Floral, earthy, peppery, citrusy… Cooking with hops is a great way to expand your seasoning arsenal!

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Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Pickle Recipe Roundup

This weekend really marked the start of MY SEASON. I have basically been locked up in the house all summer (super susceptible to heat stroke, not fun!), and now, with the cooler temperatures… freedom!

The change in season was also very apparent at the farmer’s market. We’d gone to purchase some cider for a concentrated maple sap apple cider we’ve been planning. From looking at the armloads of food that other customers were carrying, it was apparent that many would be pickling this weekend, or soon.

Our big pickling plans this year only involve one thing – a big batch of our Hoppy IPA pickles. We’ve kind of ruined some of our friends for other pickles, and now we’re out of them. Definitely aiming for a bigger batch this time.

Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to blog a roundup of our favourite pickling / canning recipes, to aid those planning for their own farmer’s market binge purchases this coming weekend 🙂

Pickled Beets

Pickled beets were my absolute favourite as a kid. I don’t actually know who made the many jars of them that would line our basement shelves, but they were SO good.

As an adult, I had to develop my own recipe. Best beet pickles I’ve ever had! Especially great for use on salads with pear slices, goat cleese, some thinly sliced basil, and toasted walnuts. YUM.

Click here for the recipe.

Carrot Pickles

Carrots are a really versatile vegetable when it comes to pickling – they can take a lot of different flavours really well. Pickle them plain, make garlic dill carrot spears, try some fresh ginger, or spice it up with jalapenos or pepper flakes.

This blog entry contained our two favourite ways of putting up carrots.

Click here for the recipe.

Colcannon Pickles

Having spent some time on the east coast of Canada, I’m a big fan of the Newfoundland version of caulcannon / colcannon.

When I went on a big pickle making binge a few years back, I thought it would be cool to make some mixed root vegetable pickles, based on the veggies used in caulcannon. The pickles that resulted were not only pretty in the jar, but had great flavour and crunch!

Click here for the recipe.

Hoppy Pickle Relish

Our Hoppy IPA Pickles were SUCH a hit, I decided to make a relish based on the flavours in the pickles. Hoppy IPA beers go so well with pickles in general, why NOT play up the bitter flavours of the hops in this gorgeous relish?

Goes really well on a variety of meats and fish.

Click here for the recipe.

Mixed Vegetable Pickles

Of all the pickle recipes I’ve created, I think this one is my favourite. I love the variety of colours, textures, and flavours in each jar. I even love eating the pickled garlic cloves at the bottom of each jar!

Quick, cheap and easy to make a TON of these – I totally recommend doing so!

Click here for the recipe.

Dill Pickles

I love dill pickles! You can keep all the sweet, “bread and butter”, and mustard pickles… give me a great, crunchy dill pickle any time!

This is a great basic recipe, and a staple for anyone getting started with canning. Classic!

Click here for the recipe.

Hoppy IPA Pickles

… and finally, our Hoppy IPA Pickles. The recipe that has ruined friends for all other pickles, and has earned itself a fanclub.

Not only great for hopheads and homebrewers, the use of IPA and fresh hops in these pickles create a great, complex flavour – definitely unique.

Click here for the recipe.

So, that’s it for now. What are your plans for pickling or canning this year?

Roasted Beet Ketchup Recipe

I’m back from my recent vacation to my hometown (Winnipeg). It had been 4 years since I’ve set foot on Canadian soil, and I had a wonderful time. Because we were specifically visiting for Folklorama, we pretty much ate the entire time. No joke.

Now, I am refreshed, inspired, and ready to go! Expect at LEAST a good handful of ethnic recipes to pop up on this blog over the next while, as I come up with time to develop them.

Today’s recipe is one that was inspired at the Indian pavilion. There was a beet ketchup available for sale, and my husband JUMPED on it. He’s an avid hater of tomatoes. While he’s ok with tomatoes in ketchup, he’d just as soon never have to eat tomatoes of any kind. As he also adores beets in general, the idea was GOLD to him. So, he bought a bottle.

It tasted good, but was very thin and not really ketchup-y. Also, it didn’t really taste like they’d been roasted, and I pictured roasted beets making a better ketchup. So, I developed this recipe this weekend, using my awesome Pickled Beets Recipe for inspiration on the seasoning!

If you like beets, you’ll love this. Even if you like normal ketchup and have no issues with beets, you’ll enjoy this as a fun alternative. It satisfies the “creamy but acidic” thing you want from ketchup, is casual and fun while still being earthy, rich, and fancy. SO good!

Enjoy!

3 lbs small beets
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 cups vinegar*
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp each: mustard powder, celery seed, coriander
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch allspice
Black pepper, to taste

Place beets, onion, and garlic on a large piece of aluminum foil, folding edges up to create a pouch around the beets. Roast at 375 for about 1 hour, or until beets are quite tender.

Allow to cool slightly, then rub the skins off the beets with some paper towels (or your bare hands – expect some staining!).

In a food processor, blitz roasted beets, onion, and garlic together remaining ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a large pot.

Bring ketchup just to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes or so, until thickened to desired consistency. Remove from heat, cool to room tempurature before transfering to jars or bottles. Chill.

* I used red wine vinegar, but cider vinegar would also taste wonderful. In a pinch, use regular white vinegar

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Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

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Roasted Corn Salsa Verde for Canning

Man, I hope you guys aren’t getting sick of the corn recipes. Short season, gotta put them out while the best corn is still available!

This recipe isn’t from my latest cookbook, “Sweet Corn Spectacular“, but IS a result of that book. Much like an earlier roasted corn salsa recipe, this was the result of having to figure out what to do with 4 dozen ears of corn, following a media appearance last month.

With only two of us – Porter being the biggest corn freak alive or not! – it’s kind of impossible to go through that much corn without preserving it!

After a looong day of roasting, cooking, and canning a 5 gallons of 3 different kinds of salsa, this one emerged as the big favourite. A month later, and I’m kind of kicking myself for not making more of it!

Enjoy!

Roasted Corn and Tomatillo Salsa
Makes 12-14 pints

18 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed
7 1/2 lbs tomatillos
2 large red onions
2 poblano peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
6-8 jalapeno peppers
5 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
3 1/2 cups vinegar
2/3 cup lime juice (freshly squeezed, ideally!)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup)

Heat your grill – I like to use charcoal for this, but propane is fine also.

While grill is heating, prepare your vegetables to roast:

– Remove husks and silk from the corn

– Slice onions into 1/2″ thick slices

– Slice poblano and bell peppers into large flat pieces, Cut jalapenos in half.*

Brush corn and peppers with olive oil, then grill everything until as “done” as you would like – personally, I like some dark grill marks for this, but not an overall char. Remove items as they are ready – the peppers will cook the fastest. Allow everything to cool.

Turn your (oven) broiler up to high.

Prepare a couple cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper. Remove husks from tomatillos, wash well and remove any that don’t look fresh/good. Slice each in half, arrange in a single layer on baking sheets. Roast under the broiler until as charred as you would like. Pour off excess juices, allow to cool.

Once everything is cool, chop up the peppers and onion, and use a sharp knife to remove kernels from the corn. Add all roasted vegetables to a large pot, alone with garlic, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and salt, stir well.

Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid reduces a bit, and mixture reaches a consistency you like. Stir in the cilantro, if using, and cook for one more minute.

Ladle into hot, sterilized pint sized canning jars. Affix sterilized lids and rims, and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. (Add 5 minutes for altitudes above 1,000 feet; add 10 minutes for altitudes over 6,000 feet.) Allow to cool overnight.

Check all lids for a proper seal: they should have sucked down into a vacuum seal as the jars cooled. Store properly sealed jars for later use; refrigerate any that did not seal for use in the coming weeks.

* For a more mild salsa, remove ribs and seeds.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Roasted Corn Salsa for Canning

Apologies in advance – I have another corn recipe today. What can I say, it’s a short season!

This recipe actually isn’t from my new cookbook, “Sweet Corn Spectacular“, but it’s definite a result of that book. Last week, we had to buy a BIG burlap sack of fresh corn, for our Kare 11 appearance. 4 dozen ears of corn, that we had a day or two to do something with.

Now, my husband may be the World’s Biggest Corn Freak, but two of us tackling 4 dozen ears of corn in a couple days? Not going to happen without involving some preservation!

After discussing some options, we decided to make some salsa. As the corn salsa recipes in the book aren’t suitable for canning, that meant researching things like acid levels, and coming up with a new salsa recipe.

We spent the day preparing, roasting, and cooking our salsa – 3 different batches, with this being the favourite for tomato based versions. It was handy to do it as a two person thing – I’d roast the tomatoes inside, while he grilled all the rest of the vegetables.

At the end of it all, we were left with a ton of the BEST salsa we’ve ever had – it was definitely worth the effort! Yep, I think we’re definitely ruined for store bought salsas, after this.

I had considered adding 2-3 tsp of cumin to this, but as my husband isn’t super fond of cumin, I skipped it. If you’d like to use it, add a bit with the sugar and salt, and adjust to taste at the end.

Enjoy!

Roasted Corn Salsa
Makes 12-14 pints

18 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed
7 1/2 lbs tomatoes
2 large red onions
2 poblano peppers
2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
6-8 jalapeno peppers
5 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
3 1/2 cups vinegar
2/3 cup lime juice (freshly squeezed, ideally!)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup)

Heat your grill – I like to use charcoal for this, but propane is fine also.

While grill is heating, prepare your vegetables to roast:

– Remove husks and silk from the corn

– Slice onions into 1/2″ thick slices

– Slice poblano and bell peppers into large flat pieces, Cut jalapenos in half.*

Brush corn and peppers with olive oil, then grill everything until as “done” as you would like – personally, I like some dark grill marks for this, but not an overall char. Remove items as they are ready – the peppers will cook the fastest. Allow everything to cool.

Turn your (oven) broiler up to high.
Prepare a couple cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper. Slice tomatoes in half, arrange on baking sheets. Roast under the broiler until as charred as you would like. Pour off excess juices, allow to cool.

Once everything is cool, chop up the peppers and onion, and use a sharp knife to remove kernels from the corn. Add all roasted vegetables to a large pot, alone with garlic, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and salt, stir well.

Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid reduces a bit, and mixture reaches a consistency you like. Stir in the cilantro, if using, and cook for one more minute.

Ladle into hot, sterilized pint sized canning jars. Affix sterilized lids and rims, and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. (Add 5 minutes for altitudes above 1,000 feet; add 10 minutes for altitudes over 6,000 feet.) Allow to cool overnight.

Check all lids for a proper seal: they should have sucked down into a vacuum seal as the jars cooled. Store properly sealed jars for later use; refrigerate any that did not seal for use in the coming weeks.

* For a more mild salsa, remove ribs and seeds.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Corn Relish – Sweet Corn Spectacular!

My third cookbook – Sweet Corn Spectacular – came out yesterday, and I’m so excited: it marks a couple firsts for me!

It was my first “published through a regular publisher” book, so that was an adventure for Mega Type A, self-publisher-to-the-bone me. I’m happy to report that Minnesota Historical Society Press has been nothing but awesome so deal with, and never made me feel smothered, hindered, or compromised in any way. Those have always been some of my biggest aversions to traditional publishing, so it was all a happy surprise!

It’s also my first cookbook that is NOT dessert oriented!

After my recent reality show adventure, I’ve been more aware than ever that there is this weird “if you bake, you probably don’t know how to cook” stigma. I’ve always cooked like I bake – and vice versa – so that’s always been a bizarre mindset to me. How nice that I get to follow it up with a book that is predominantly savory in nature! (Yes, there is a whole chapter dedicated to desserts, because… really.)

Yes, in Sweet Corn Spectacular, I was able to run free and create recipes using whatever techniques I felt like. There’s some cooking, roasting, grilling… a bit of baking, some brewing AND some canning! Yay, diversity!

Today I’m sharing the recipe that may just end up being the most popular in the whole book, and it’s a canning recipe: Corn Relish.

I left a big jar of this relish at a friend’s house as a welcome home gift. It didn’t take long for her to message me a thank-you, saying, “It’s delicious.” When I let her know that we had plenty in case she ever wanted more, she surprised me with her follow up:

“I will take as much of this corn business as you’re willing to give me. I want to pour it in a kiddie pool and lounge around in it.”

I think she liked it. Five quarts may not be enough: double the recipe and share the joy – it makes a great gift, or contribution to a backyard BBQ party. It’s also a great way to stretch the life of summer’s fresh produce… and my husband puts this on EVERYTHING. In his words, this relish “adds a delicious sweet crunch to ANYTHING”.

Enjoy!

Corn Relish, from “Sweet Corn Spectacular”
Makes about 5 quarts

24 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed
4 large green bell peppers, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
2–3 large tomatoes, chopped
4–5 ribs celery, chopped
2 jalapeños, chopped, ribs and seeds removed if desired
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon celery seed
2 teaspoons dry mustard
5 cups vinegar

Use a sharp knife to remove kernels from the cobs, place kernels in a large pot. Add peppers, onions, tomatoes, celery, and jalapeños.

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, salt, turmeric, celery seed, and dry mustard. Add mixture to the pot, and stir well before adding the vinegar.

Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.

Ladle into hot, sterilized canning jars. Affix sterilized lids and rims, and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. (Add 5 minutes for altitudes above 1,000 feet; add 10 minutes for altitudes over 6,000 feet.) Allow to cool overnight.

Check all lids for a proper seal: they should have sucked down into a vacuum seal as the jars cooled. Store properly sealed jars for later use; refrigerate any that did not seal for use in the coming weeks.

Hot Red Pepper Jelly

A few years ago, I posted my recipe for Pepper jelly, which has been a favorite in our house for a very long time. It works up quickly and easily, and provides a lot of flavor – super addictive recipe!

This year, when I went on my big pickling binge … I decided it was time to bastardize the recipe a bit, as an alternative option. Don’t get me wrong, I still made a big 4x batch of the original this year – but sometimes, you just want a bit more kick, you know?

Oh, this stuff is amazing.

As with the original, this will make about 6 jam jar’s worth of jelly, so plan accordingly!

This jelly is particularly awesome poured over a slab of cream cheese and served with crackers. Quick and easy entertaining, or a lazy gorge-fest dinner for two… whatever! 🙂

Enjoy!

Hot Red Pepper Jelly

2 red bell peppers
2 jalapeno peppers
2 (red) serrano peppers
1-2 orange habanero pepper
1.5 cups vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin

Remove stems, cores, and seeds from all peppers, chop into large chunks. Put all peppers in food processor, process till finely chopped.

Put peppers and vinegar into pot, bring to boil. After 1 minute, turn temperature down and simmer another 15 mins.

Strain peppers for juice (I lined a metal colander with a 2 layers of cheese cloth). *

In the pot, add sugar to strained pepper juice. Turn heat up to medium-high, and stir constantly while bringing it to a rapid boil.

Remove from heat, add pectin. Stir well.

Pour jelly into sterilized jars, leaving about 1/8 inch space on top. Wipe rims, place lids on top of each, and affix the rings. Process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.

Allow jars to cool.

Check each jar to make sure it sealed properly. The middle of the lid should have been sucked down. Jars that haven’t sealed properly should be stored in the fridge and eaten relatively soon (within 2 weeks). This won’t be a problem 🙂

Tighten all lids. Jelly should keep for around a year, but it very likely won’t be around that long!

* After straining the juice, I thought it was a shame to have just a plain, clear jelly. I reserved the colorful peppers at this point, and re-added them just before I added the pectin. You can choose to have pepper pieces in your jelly or not!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

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Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

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Hoppy Dill Pickle Relish

After seeing how nuts my husband went for the Hoppy IPA Pickles I created for him, I decided that I should make a hopped up version of a pickle relish. We love (non-sweet!) dill pickle relish, this could be a fun variant on the old favorite.

As I was already midway through making a batch of dill relish when I had this idea, I decided to make a few “design” decisions to create a hopped relish that was visually different from the dill. The addition of turmeric turned it a lovely golden color, while the flecks of red from the sweet red peppers worked well to help create a … pretty? … relish. Yes, that works – In the jar, this is a really pretty relish.

The flavor on this is wonderful, and would pair well with a variety of meats – well beyond the traditional use on a hotdog.

Strange thing is, I may actually prefer this to dill relish! As someone who doesn’t even really like hops… yeah. Weird. The bitterness from the hops just really works well in this context!

I just used the cucumbers left over from pickling, and it made 3 pint jars worth of relish, plus a small amount of overage that we put in a small bowl for more immediate use. If you tend to grill a lot in the summer… you may want to make several batches. It’s THAT good!

Homemade Hop Pickle Relish Recipe

2 lbs pickling cucumbers, cleaned
1 small onion, peeled
1 small red pepper
2 cups vinegar
1 large handful dried hop leaves (or 2 handfuls fresh)
1/4 cup canning salt
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes (OR 1-2 fresh jalapenos)
1/4 tsp dill seed
1/4 tsp turmeric

Chop cucumbers, onion, and red pepper into 1″ pieces, chop in a food processor until finely chopped (or to whatever size you would like!)

Fill your LARGE pot with at least 6″ of water, put on medium or high heat to bring it to a boil as you prepare your brine.

In another heavy pot, bring vinegar to a boil. Add hops and stir well, mashing them around a bit. Allow them to simmer for 5-10 minutes, tasting frequently.

Once mixture has reached your desired level of bitterness, use a slotted spoon to remove all hop leaves. Add processed vegetables and all remaining ingredients, bring mixture to a boil.

Use a sterile ladle and canning funnel, pour boiling relish into prepared jars, leaving about 1/4″ head space. Wipe off the top edges of the jar with a clean, wet towel, top each with a new, sterilized lid, and carefully screw on a clean lid ring. I like to use a kitchen towel for this, the jars are HOT! Carefully place your jars of relish into the boiling water pot, allow to process for 15 minutes. CAREFULLY remove them, allow to cool overnight.

The next morning, check to make sure that all of the jars achieved a proper seal – try to push down in the middle of each lid. If it “pops”, it did not seal. Any jars that didn’t seal should be put in the fridge and used in the next few weeks.

Store in a cool, dark area (ideally) for up to 1 year, chill well before eating.

Enjoy!

Fan of hops? You’ll LOVE my latest cookbook, Hedonistic Hops!

Hops are prized for their ability to impart varied, complex flavours to beer… but did you know they can also be used culinarily? While hops may seem like a bizarre or exotic item to cook with, it’s the same as using other herbs and spices in your kitchen… you just have to know what to do with them. Appetizers, main dishes, beverages.. even desserts can be uplifted with hops!

Even those who are not fans of beer will love the unique flavours that various types of hops can bring to their plate. Floral, earthy, peppery, citrusy… Cooking with hops is a great way to expand your seasoning arsenal!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

“Caulcannon” Pickles (Mixed Root Vegetable Pickles)

When I first became obsessed with pickling, one idea came to mind before all others – CAULCANNON PICKLES. (!!!!)

As I mentioned in my earlier Caulcannon recipe post, we make the East Coast Canadian style of caulcannon (colcannon) around here – and we love it. (If you haven’t yet tried it, click that link and whip up a batch – it’s great stuff!)

Anyway, with out love of the flavor that the mixed root vegetables bring to the dish, I thought it would be a great idea to make pickles based on that same set of flavors. Well, minus the potatoes and dairy ingredients, anyway!

These are fabulous! While they would be great with the addition of dill, jalapenos, mustard seed, etc… we went fairly basic with just garlic and pepper, to more closely capture the flavors in our beloved caulcannon – and really let the flavors of the root vegetables take center stage. Unlike cucumber pickles – cucumbers have a very mild taste – the root vegetables bring a lot of flavor to the finished pickles here.

A few notes about pickling:

1. The amount of brine you’re going to need will vary widely depend on the shape and size of your vegetable slices, the size of jar you use, and how well you pack them into the jar. Have a lot of extra vinegar on hand, and either make more brine than you think you’ll need, or be prepared to make more as you go.

2. Pickling salt is usually available with the canning supplies in any grocery store. You’ll want to use this, rather than regular table salt – the anti-caking additives in table salt can make your pickle brine go murky and ugly.

3. While you can use previously-used jars for canning (when WELL washed and sterilized!), you need new lids for each new batch. Safety first!

Homemade Mixed Root Vegetable Pickles

2.5 lbs parsnips
1 – 1.25 lbs turnips
1 lb carrots
1 1/2 lb rutabaga
1-2 onions, peeled, sliced, and separated.

Brine:

8 cups vinegar
8 cups water
1 cup pickling salt

Per pint jar (2x for quart jars):

1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/4 tsp mustard seed (optional)
1/2 tsp dill seed (optional)

Canning Equipment:

Clean, sterilized canning jars & rings
New, never-used, sterilized canning lids
Canning funnel
LARGE pot to process them in
Jar lifter (nice to have, not necessary if you can handle pain!)

Peel all of your vegetables, and slice into sticks. Try to keep the thickness of the vegetable sticks about the same, even if that’s not possible of length. (eg: Turnips will have shorter sticks than carrots are capable of, etc).

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In batches, blanch your root vegetables for about 1.5 minutes, then quickly submerge in cold water to stop the cooking process. Once finished blanching all of your root veggies, drain well and mix with onion slices. Set aside.

Fill your LARGE pot with at least 6″ of water, put on medium or high heat to bring it to a boil as you prepare your brine.

In another pot (NOT the canning pot!), combine vinegar, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring well to dissolve the salt. As the brine heats up, measure your “per jar” ingredients into your sterilized jars. Arrange your prepared vegetables into the jars, packing them tightly.

Once brine comes to a boil, use a canning funnel to pour brine into prepared jars, leaving about 1/2″ head space. Wipe off the top edges of the jar with a clean, wet towel, top each with a new, sterilized lid, and carefully screw on a clean lid ring. I like to use a kitchen towel for this, the jars are HOT! Carefully place your jars of pickles into the boiling water pot, allow to process for 15 minutes. CAREFULLY remove them, allow to cool overnight.

The next morning, check to make sure that all of the jars achieved a proper seal – try to push down in the middle of each lid. If it “pops”, it did not seal. Any jars that didn’t seal should be put in the fridge and used in the next few weeks.

Leave the jars alone for at least a few days, to allow the flavors to permeate the pickles. Store in a cool, dark area (ideally) for up to 1 year, chill well before eating.

Enjoy!