Saturday, July 28, 2012

Red splattered kitchen

I should have expected it when I was doing cherries, but no. It took beets for me to go 'oh look, my kitchen floor looks vaguely like a murder scene'.

Things I learned today.. beets take a long time to cook. Pickled eggs cannot be reliably made shelf stable at home (It's a good thing I like pickled eggs enough to give up precious fridge space for them.), hot things come in small packages, and sometimes jars really do explode!

Pickled eggs in 3 verses

Hard boiled eggs. A 500 ml jar holds about 6 eggs. Unless they're bigger. Or smaller. A 250 ml jar holds 2 eggs. It's very cute. Boil up your eggs and peel them.

The brine: 
2 c apple cider vinegar
2 c water
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Boil to get everything to dissolve well. 

Pack the eggs and spices into their jars. I decided to make each jar different, jar 3 is the 250 ml size, which is why the amounts are teeny. 

Jar 1: 2 dried peppers, 2 bay leaves, 6 peppercorns, 1 tsp dill seed, 1 tsp mustard seed
Jar 2: 6 peppercorns, 4 whole allspice, 4 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp caraway seeds
Jar 3: 1 bay leaf, 3 peppercorns, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds

Pour brine over and cap. Let cool and store in the fridge.

Fruit Salsa

This is a bit of an experiment. It should be acidic enough to be canned, so I tried that with half. It's based on a fresh salsa recipe, and half of it went to the fridge immediately. One of these jars exploded in the boiling water canner. Either the jar was faulty, the temps just didn't make it happy, or something. So 500 ml jar in the fridge, and only 1 250 jar survived the canner. I also chopped everything today in the food processor. I live in the future, dammit.

Process in batches in the food processor to chop up small but not puree:

1 clove garlic
1/4 of a sweet onion
2 tiny hot peppers (oh gods, hot.. 1 would have been plenty)
1 red pepper
1 1/2c tart cherries (the last of the bucket!)
2 c yellow plums
1 c nectarine
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin

Mix well. Taste. Realize the hot peppers are trying to kill you. Remember that you could have added another, but it's damn hard to take one out at this point.

I did not cook this salsa, I tossed it in jars and then processed. This also may have contributed to the jar death. Process 15 mins. Lament the mess left in the canning pot.

Red Relish

Another recipe where all my chopping was done via food processor.

4 cups of chopped cooked beets
4 cups chopped red cabbage
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped red pepper
3 cup vinegar
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp horseradish
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pickling spice (as made here)

For the beets: Simmer about 2 pounds of beets until tender, about 30 mins, perhaps longer. Trim off stems and roots and slide the peels off at this point, then chop.

Boil for 30 mins or so, until it's cooked through and not quite so liquidy. Put into jars, process 10 mins.

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