Carrot Cake Jam

We’ve been harvesting a lot of carrots this week…carrots and basilAnd even though I really can go through all of them fresh without any problems (carrot soup with coconut and ginger), I made a few jars of things to stash away for later, the most important of which is this carrot cake jam.carrot cake jam It’s kind of a ridiculous recipe; I made it last year on a whim just because I had a ton of carrots and kind of didn’t think much about it at the time, but it’s one of my little brother’s favorite flavors that I make.  He’s crazy about it, so I made more this year.

The original recipe is one of these charming, vaguely retro recipes from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  It’s got a great color and a surprisingly delicious flavor that does taste vaguely reminiscent of carrot cake.  With six cups of sugar, canned pineapple and powdered pectin all on the ingredient list, though, it was due for a bit of updating. I tried two different ways, one with low-sugar pectin and the other with no pectin in at all (for a looser, less jello-y set on the finished jam).  After tasting them both, I actually really prefer the one with low sugar pectin.   The set is much firmer than I’d ordinarily like, but the longer cook time on the no-pectin version made the whole thing basically just taste like pineapple. (Which is okay, but if that were the plan, I’d rather just make a jam from pineapple without a bunch of other junk in it.)

I almost never buy fruit from the grocery store, but you have to compromise your morals every once in awhile.  Please note the plastic tag attached to the pineapple, a telltale sign of incredibly high quality produce. *ahem* pineapple

If you have a bounty of carrots, you should absolutely give this one a try…. It’s great on a toasted bagel with cream cheese, as an ice cream topping, and as a super unique filling for pb&js.

CARROT CAKE JAM:

Cook Time: an hour or so, if you including washing and grating carrots

Makes: 5 half pint jars

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. grated carrots
  • 1 3/4 c. diced fresh pears
  • 2 c. diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. sugar + 2 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 box of sure-gel low sugar pectin
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves

Prepare boiling water canner, jars and lids.

Combine the carrots, pears, pineapple, lemon juice, water and spices in a large, nonreactive pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 30 min. on low to soften everything up. In a separate bowl, stir together 1/2 c. sugar and the box of low-sugar pectin. Stir the pectin mixture into the carrot mixture and bring to a full boil.  Quickly stir in the 2 1/2 c. sugar and bring back to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for one minute, stirring to prevent the carrots from sticking, then remove from heat.  Remove the cinnamon stick and discard.  Ladle hot jam into hot, clean jars using 1/4″ headspace.  Process for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude as necessary.

Quick Beef Stroganoff

Earlier this week, the San Francisco chronicle posted an article that claimed that it’s hard to find fresh, affordable food in Mendocino County. It was a ridiculous article, written by someone who ignored all of the local farmers markets which are filled with … um….. fresh, affordable food.  The girls at Eat Mendocino have already written an excellent response to the article, explaining why the Chronicle was completely wrong, so I won’t rehash what they’ve already written.  Their whole conversation made me want to share this beef stroganoff recipe with you.

This whole blog is about cooking with fresh, local, affordable foods, but a lot of the time I make the recipes affordable by making them vegetarian, since a lot of locally sourced meats can be prohibitively expensive. I love eating all this hippie crunchy food, but sometimes it’s nice to have something a little bit more… meat and potatoes.  Maybe you’re cooking for picky eaters, maybe it’s cold out an you want some comfort food, maybe you’ve been slaving away all day in the garden and you’re craving something with protein and carbs. Whatever the occasion, this beef stroganoff is delicious.  Since this recipe makes a flavorful sauce to serve over mashed potatoes or noodles, you really only need a pound of meat to make a big pot of food.  Also, it cooks up in a flash. Also it’s cheap. It’s easily adaptable to different ingredients.  The leftovers (if there are any) make a great lunch the next day. beef stroganoffOh, and I realized after I started writing about this…. it’s basically just a homemade version of hamburger helper in the stroganoff flavor.  Because we like eating classy stuff like that.  beef stroganoff 2There are several ways you can adapt this recipe.  First, the meat: the cut doesn’t really matter. You can use ground beef, which is almost always one of the cheapest meats at the farmers market.  If you use a steak that’s more on the tender side (sirloin, ribeye, strip) keep the cooking time to 30 minutes.  If you want to use stew meat, an add extra cup of stock to the recipe and cook it for an extra hour or more. You can substitute mushrooms for the beef if you want something vegetarian. You can add all kinds of vegetables while you’re browning the beef: shallots, leeks, onions, some chopped swiss chard, peas, mushrooms. Whatever looks good at the farmers market that week will be great.

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. sirloin steak, sliced into thin strips, or 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • salt and pepper
  • a big splash of cognac or brandy, if you have it on hand
  • 2 c. beef or vegetable stock
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • a few sprigs of fresh tarragon (or parsley is fine too)
  • optional add-ins: sliced mushrooms, sliced shallots, peas, chopped spinach, etc.
  • for serving: buttered mashed potatoes or egg noodles

Heat the butter in a large skillet.  Add the steak and garlic and cook for a few minutes on medium-high heat to brown the steak.  (If you want to add extra vegetables, now’s the time).  Season everything with salt and pepper.  Once the steak is browned, add the whole wheat flour and saute everything for another minute or two. Deglaze the pan with a splash of cognac, if you have it.  (If you don’t, it will taste good without it.  Just deglaze the pan with the stock instead). Add the beef stock, sour cream, paprika and tarragon and stir everything together. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.  Serve over buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes.  We like having this dish with a big green salad or sauteed green beans.

White Nectarine Preserves

A  friend of mine gifted me a box of white nectarines from his farm.  They’re sweet, ripe and juicy, and once we ate as many as we could, we turned the rest into this simple, lovely preserve.  white nectarines

I’ve been playing around with a couple different variations on this recipe.  I think my favorite is spiced with vanilla bean, but I also really enjoy a version with warm pie spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, some ground ginger.  nectarine jamWHITE NECTARINE PRESERVES

(Makes: I forgot to write down how many half pint jars. 7? I think it was 7.)

Cook Time: an hour, plus overnight to macerate the fruit.

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 lbs. white nectarines, pits removed and sliced into quarters
  • 2 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • optional: 1 vanilla bean

In a large, nonreactive pot, combine the sliced nectarines, sugar,  and lemon juice.  If you want to add the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the fruit mixture and then nestle the pod in with the sliced fruit as well. Cover with saran wrap (right up against the fruit to prevent browning) and refrigerate for around 24 hours.

Bring boiling water canner to a boil and prepare jars and lids.  Cook the jam, stirring to prevent burning, until it gels (click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about) or reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer.  About half way through the cooking time, I mashed the fruit up with a potato masher to make it more of a jammy consistency.  You don’t have to; you could leave the fruit in bigger pieces to make it more like a preserve.  Alternatively, run half of the cooked jam through a food mill to remove the skins and really make it like a jam instead of a preserve (thicker, with fewer big chunks of fruit). It’s up to your own personal preference.

Ladle hot jam into hot, clean jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Process for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude as necessary.

P.S. You could make this recipe with yellow nectarines too, but you might not need as much lemon juice since they’re more acidic than white nectarines. Taste them and see.

Honey Sweetened Blueberry Butter

I’ve been trying to write some recipes that don’t use refined sugar.  I really don’t like the taste or how it makes me feel after I eat it….  and it seems like there are a lot of other people out there that are on the same page as me.  I don’t like looking at my pantry and seeing all this beautiful fresh fruit I’ve preserved drowned in a ton of sugar.  Organic or not, I don’t feel like I can incorporate it into a healthy diet.  My most recent attempt came out pretty darn good ….

The little market right near where I live has been selling these amazing blueberries from one county over, and even though I don’t usually by fruit at the store, I’ve been buying huge bags of them several times a week.  My favorite way to eat blueberries is with milk and cornflakes, which is boring but insanely delicious.  cereal and berriesMy family used to go to Cape Cod every summer for vacation, which sometimes involved a trip to a local u-pick blueberry farm.  I have such distinct memories of being in our little rental house eating this for breakfast. I loved it then and I love it now!  It’s the perfect way to start off a gorgeous summer day.

The blueberry season is short here in Northern California, so I made this recipe hoping to preserve the flavor of these sweet berries for another few months.  The idea is from the Food In Jars blueberry butter recipe; I just changed the amounts a little and used honey instead of sugar.  Since this is a low-sugar preserve I’m not 100% sure about the shelf life…. I’m going to say that it should be used within three months of canning. blueberry butterI’m sure this would be great in all kinds of tarts and baked goods (it would be epic as filling for a donut) but right now I’m just mixing some with plain yogurt to have for breakfast.  It’s not very exciting to look at, but I feel like it’s an actually real thing I can eat whenever I want and still be healthy, which is incredibly exciting for me. breakfast

BLUEBERRY BUTTER

Makes: 8 half pint jars

Cook time: a few hours, but it’s really easy

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs. blueberries, washed
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. honey
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons

In a large, heavy bottomed pot, bring the honey and water to a simmer.  Stir to melt the honey.  Add the blueberries and keep simmering.  Once they’re soft, puree the mixture with an immersion blender.  Turn the heat to low and cook until it’s thickened (just like making apple butter….) It will need several hours on the stove to get to the right consistency.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Once it’s gotten to the right texture, add the lemon juice and zest.

Transfer the blueberry butter to 1/2 pt. jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Process in a water bath for 15 minutes.

 

 

Nectarine Sorbet Sodas

nectarine sorbet sodaOur weather forecast is super depressing.  I’m trying to come to grips with the fact that nothing is really going to get done this week because I’m going to spend most of the time sitting around sweating and complaining about how hot it is.  I can deal with temperatures up to about 104, but once it crosses that….. when it’s in the 110s, I basically give up on life.  I did have a lightning bolt of inspiration that’s making these week a little bit more tolerable, though….. these nectarine sorbet sodas that I’ve been making are so refreshing and cold, I can’t stop drinking them.  I found some amazing nectarines at a farm stand near us last week, so juicy that they ended up dripping all over us and making a huge mess when we tried to eat them.  They’re perfectly ripe and sweet and it would be a shame to fuss with them too much.

The nectarines turned into a honey-sweetened sorbet which has then been going into sorbet sodas. I’ve been playing around with different combinations: the sorbet floated in plain seltzer water is barely sweet at all (how I like it), but for something a little sweeter, I’ve tried adding a splash of lemonade and some syrup from the pantry.  Right now I have elderflower syrup and rhubarb syrup, both of which go wonderfully with nectarine sorbet, but I’m sure that lots of other fruit syrups would be really nice.  (Blackberry? Blueberry? Why don’t I already have these in the pantry….?)

NECTARINE SORBET FLOATS

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 float

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop of nectarine sorbet (recipe follows)
  • seltzer water
  • lemonade or soda syrup (optional)
  • nectarine slices, for garnish

Put a scoop of sorbet in the bottom of a glass.  Add a splash of lemonade or soda syrup if you want some sweetness to your drink.  Top with seltzer water and garnish with nectarine slices.

 

NECTARINE SORBET

(I want to emphasize: this is really not that sweet. I’m not a big fan of sugary things  at all, but if you are, you’ll want to taste it and sweeten the mixture accordingly to your own taste. I was going for light and refreshing more than a sweet dessert with this recipe.)

Cook Time: 30 min, plus several hours in the fridge to cool the fruit puree

Special Equipment: ice cream maker

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. water
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 8 large nectarines, quartered

Bring the water and honey to a simmer in a medium sized pot. Add the nectarine slices and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, and puree with an immersion blender (or whatever you have…)  Put the nectarine puree in the fridge to cool completely.  Once it’s cold, just prepare the sorbet according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Dandelion Green Fritters

This recipe uses a lot of greens.  It also begs the question: if you fry an ingredient that’s generally considered good for you, and then eat a lot of the finished product, are you actually eating junk food? or is it health food?dandelion green frittersWe’re just going to ignore that whole issue since I really like eating these.   If you’ve ever been overzealous planting your swiss chard patch and ended up with a ridiculous amount of greens, this is one to bookmark.  Also if you end up buying lots of greens at the farmers market because they’re pretty and you figure that you’ll deal with them later.  Also if the farmers who grew your CSA box were overzealous planting their swiss chard patch and now you’re suffering the consequences.

When I made these  last week, we had them as a side dish with jerk chicken, along with white nectarine salsa, purple cabbage slaw, and a garden salad.  I served them with a dipping sauce that was just homemade sriracha mixed with mayonnaise.  You could also serve them as an appetizer, put them in a wrap (think: falafels) for a vegetarian lunch, and they’re even good cold out of the fridge. There’s lots of room to experiment with seasonings, too.  A little curry powder and they could go with your next indian dinner, or some lemon juice and feta cheese could give them more of a greek flavor. You could serve them with tomato sauce instead of sriracha-mayo, or maybe sweet chili sauce.

DANDELION GREEN FRITTERS

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: I forgot to count them before we ate them all.  It makes as many as there are in that picture up top.  A big plate full.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 2 big bunches of greens, roughly chopped: I used a mixture of swiss chard and dandelion greens, but anything you have is totally fine
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 4-5 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • safflower oil for frying, or any high-heat oil that you have

Heat the butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add the chopped greens and tomatoes and saute, stirring often, until the greens are tender (how long totally depends on what kind of greens you use).  Season this mixture with salt and pepper.  Taste it to make sure it tastes good (you could almost serve this as is…)

Now, put the greens in a mixing bowl with the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.  Add the eggs a little bit at a time, stirring, until the mixture is about the consistency of pancake batter.  If it’s too dry, add another egg or some milk.  If it’s too wet, add some more flour (it should be pretty wet though).

Heat 1/4″ of oil into a large frying pan.  Working in batches once the oil is hot, drop small spoonfulls of batter into the oil.  You’ll want to cook them for about a minute, then flip them over to cook the other side and cook for another minute or two.  They should be a nice shade of fried-food-golden-brown when they’re done.  Let them cool on a paper towel for a minute, then serve with whatever dipping sauce makes you happy.

One last thing: if you decide to make these with swiss chard, go ahead and put the stems in too, they taste great!

 

Purple Cauliflower Pickles

Sooooooo, these aren’t necessarily the best of the best pickles I’ve ever made … but I’m really excited about this purple cauliflower so I kind of have to write about them anyway.

I mean, seriously. look at this:cauliflowerand when you make these pickles, it does this: cauliflower pickles(The brine was originally kind of yellow. I made them and then opened the fridge a few hours later and got really excited.)cauliflower pickles 2I really like the finished product, but I actually felt like something was kind of missing something.  More salt? More vinegar? Maybe some honey? I dunno.  If you have a revelation, please tell me. Usually I try to get recipes as close to perfect before I put them here, but since the ingredients were farmers market produce, I’m not sure if they will be there again when I go shopping today. Either way, they’re fantastic snacks when it’s 108 degrees outside (like right now) and they’re really great served along side some of the dinners we’ve been having during this hot weather.  One night we had homemade falafel, grilled eggplant and butter lettuce topped with a feta-yogurt-cucumber sauce.  Another night we had jerk chicken with white nectarine salsa, coconut rice and drunken black beans, all wrapped up in purple cabbage cups.  A few pieces of purple pickled cauliflower really escalated these meals up into the stratosphere.

I guess my goal is not just to have these pickles in the fridge, but a whole bunch of different icy cold crunchy vegetables……. I just made a big batch of these pickled radishes, (which I’m crazy about and can’t stop eating — you should make some today!), and we have a jar of dilly beans in there too.  Then I’ve got a big jar of wild blackberry jam and another jar of homemade homegrown grated horseradish from my sister-in-law’s farm.  We have a whole selection of good food in jars in there, which is wonderful.  Especially because it’s 105 and I don’t want to go outside to the garden (or, god forbid, the grocery store), let alone actually turn on the stove to cook something.  When I think about how long it will take for the air-conditioning in my truck to start actually doing anything……..  it makes me want crawl into the back of the fridge and eat cold pickles all day.

PURPLE CAULIFLOWER PICKLES, adapted from the White on Rice Couple’s recipe for Curry Cauliflower Pickles

Makes: 1 quart and 1 pint jar

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large head of purple cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 large red onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • a few sprigs of fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced into rounds

for the brine:

  • 5 c. water
  • 1 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 3 tsp. tamari
  • 2 1/4” thick slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar

Combine the ingredients for the brine in a nonreactive pot, and bring up to a simmer. Meanwhile, pack the vegetables and cilantro into the jars.  One the brine is simmering, pour it over the vegetables leaving about 1/2”headspace.  Cover and refrigerate.  The pickles will be best after about 5 days, and will store in the fridge for up to a month.

Preserving Fresh Greens

I meant to write this post last year around this time, but I never did, because let’s face it: frozen spinach doesn’t sound all that exciting.  Rhubarb jam is much sexier, or these fancy rhubarb granita cocktails I was obsessed with last year too.  Really, though, if you’re trying to grow and preserve your own food (or just eat locally all year long), this project is so important.   spinachLast spring, I started making a real effort to make packs of greens for the freezer.  I get  spinach from one of my friends who grows a huge amount of it, but the process works the same for any other dark, leafy green.  Kale, chard and collards all do much better when you regularly harvest the big outer leaves.

The process is simple:

1. Wash the greens thoroughly.

2. Chop them into whatever size you want them to be later.

3. Blanch them for a minute or two (shorter for spinach, longer for kale or collards).

4. Drain and rinse with cold water (or transfer them to an ice bath if you’re super organized, but I never bother with this.  A cold water rinse works fine for me).

5. Vacuum seal or pack the greens into freezer safe ziploc bags for later.  I like to make a variety of sizes: some as individual portions to mix with scrambled eggs, and some in big batches for making spanikopitas or other casseroles. _MG_9892If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, it doesn’t really matter, but I think they really work well for the freezer.  Plus, they’re fun, and you can vacuum seal random stuff like spoons just because it looks cool.  _MG_9897The first time I tried doing this, I blanched and froze two bushels of fresh spinach.  I was absolutely shocked at how fast we used it and how happy I was to have the packs ready to go in the freezer.  I  love making jam, but I have problems incorporating it into my regular diet.  I don’t really eat bread very often, and I don’t really like eating sugar, so……..  But man, spinach! I started pulling out a bag at night to thaw and then I’d scramble it into some of our eggs in the morning with a little goat cheese.  When I eat a scramble like that for breakfast, I feel like a rockstar all day.  Plus, when I’m just getting up  in the morning there’s no way I’m going out to the garden and to harvest and wash spinach for breakfast, but if all the work is already done, I find eating greens with breakfast every day, which is always a good thing.  Frozen greens have absolutely joined canned homegrown tomatoes as a pantry/freezer staple that I like to always have on hand.  When I have plenty of time to cook, I’ll walk to the garden and harvest some fresh greens, but when I’m pressed for time (I usually am), the frozen ones really are a life saver.

Speaking of pressed for time….

I have a bunch of projects I’ve been making with frozen greens that I want to tell you about, but definitely don’t have photographed since I’m not organized enough right now. I’m posting this today anyway though. You’ll just have to use your imaginations.

We made pupusas stuffed with oaxaca cheese and chopped spinach, which were amazing.pupusaThis is not a picture of the pupusas we made the other day. This is a pupusa from a spot in San Francisco that I love, just in case you have no clue what a pupusa is (since a lot of people have never had them before).  Ours looked really similar though.  The recipe I used is right here, from Saveur.  They’re basically homemade tortillas that are stuffed with whatever filling you like.  I thought they would be really difficult to make, but the dough comes together very easily and they fry up in just a few minutes.  We just changed the filling a little bit, using oaxaca cheese (it’s kind of like a Mexican version of monterey jack or mozzarella) mixed with chopped spinach.  I used purple cabbage in the slaw and which made it look cooler than plain old green cabbage.

Also, I made fresh spinach pappardelle. I still have some so maybe I’ll get my act together and take some pretty pictures to inspire you to make fresh pasta. For now though…..

think about pretty green noodles

are you imagining?

Maybe if I drink some more coffee you’ll come back to this post later and there’ll be some more pictures and recipes.  We’ll see what happens.

UPDATE 5/22/13

Apparently I’ve got my act together more than yesterday.  spinach fettucini SPINACH PASTA DOUGH

Cut this dough into whatever widths  you like.  I especially like it tossed with pesto, chopped heirloom tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

Cook Time: an hour or more, depending how fast you can make pasta. it’s not a fast one.

Makes: enough for about 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 c. semolina flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 4 extra large eggs
  • 3/4- 1 c. spinach puree*
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • a liberal pinch of nutmeg

Mound the flour on a clean counter.  Make a well in the center, and add the eggs, spinach puree and oil.  Using a fork, gradually mix together all the liquid ingredients and begin incorporating the flour from the inside rim of the well.  Keep incorporating more and more flour, and once you’ve done as much as you can with the fork, switch to your hands and start kneading it together, trying to work all the ingredients together into a ball.  Semolina flour is more difficult to work with than all purpose flour, but if you keep kneading it should eventually come together.  Add a little spinach puree if it needs some more moisture.

Season the dough with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Once the dough has formed a coherent ball, knead it for about five minutes.  Add a little flour if the dough is too sticky.  Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then roll it out using the instructions for whatever pasta maker you have.

Once the pasta is cut, you can dry it on hangers and it will store in a cool, dark place for several weeks.  It can also be dusted liberally with flour and stored fresh in the refrigerator.

*To make the spinach puree, just thaw frozen spinach and then zap it in a blender or food processor.

The moral of this story:

Go harvest the extra greens you have in your garden and freeze them for later!

The next time you see gorgeous greens at the farmers market for cheap, buy a bunch and freeze ’em!

Do it. You’ll be happy.

 

My Freezer Is A Wall Of Jalapenos: How To Preserve Hot Peppers, Pt.2

Right before the frost this past year, I stashed a lot of hot peppers in my freezer. I already wrote this post about preserving peppers, which included the whole idea of just stashing them in the freezer for later in the winter instead of rushing to deal with all of them right away.  Since “later in the winter” is officially here, I’m trying to deal with this ridiculous wall of peppers when I open the freezer door, and I thought I’d share a couple of the recipes that I’m making.  chilis!Before you say it, I know, hot pepper jelly is always my absolute favorite idea for using chili peppers, but I already have enough hot pepper jelly to last through several apocalypses. And since people always ask for a good recipe for hot pepper jelly, here’s my tip: I’ve tried almost all of them, and in the end I decided my favorite is just the recipe in the sure-gel box.  The high sugar one. It turns out awesome.

So, if you’ve already made enough hot pepper jelly to satisfy the cravings of your friends, relatives, and hungry neighbors, here are a few more ideas:

Escabeche Vegetables, from Canning For A New Generation, by Liana Krisoff-

I’ve had pickles similar to these in lots of taquerias in San Francisco. They’re addictive, with the kind of spicy heat that makes you almost want to stop eating them, but they’re so good you just have to have one more, even though you’re starting to sweat.  They’re perfect with a beer and a burrito, and I’m so excited to have my own jars in the pantry now.

escabeche vegetables

Fermented Sriracha, from The Hungry Tigress

I haven’t actually tasted it yet since the peppers are still fermenting on the windowsill, but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna end up doing a monster batch once I taste this first one (because sriracha is inherently delicious and there’s no way one small batch is gonna do the trick).

fermenting chilis

Candied Jalapenos, seen in many places around the internet, but I used this recipe from Foodie with Family:

I’ve never tried these before, but I’ve heard people go absolutely crazy about them, and I can’t wait to see how they taste.

candied jalapenos

Jalapeno Bread and Butter Pickles, from Simply Recipes:

I’m really excited for these, because I generally like bread and butter anything.  I can hear them screaming out to get put on top of a burger, fresh off the grill, or maybe diced and put in egg salad if you wanted to get really crazy.

jalapeno bread and butter pickles

I haven’t actually tried any of these yet since pickles need a few days to mellow out after you make them, but I’ll report back when I do.  Can you think of any recipes that I’m missing? If you have something you love to make, please leave a link in the comments. I still have ten huge bags of jalapenos in my freezer and I really need to get them outta there!

I Like Pickles

Before all the summer vegetables are officially gone and we’ve all moved on to baking pumpkin pies and making apple butter,  I have a few pickle recipes from the August Cook it! 2012 project that I want to show you.

The first recipe that I have to rave about is this Rosemary-Sage quick pickle that technically wasn’t part of the august project at all, but is a pickle, so… that counts, right?

A customer at the Redwood Valley Farmers Market brought me a jar of these last Sunday and I proceeded to eat them all in the next hour.  Woah. I mean, who eats a whole jar of pickles in one sitting?

(Me, apparently.)

The reason they were so good, though, is that they weren’t overly briny, more like a cucumber salad, and they’re scented with rosemary and sage, which is so surprising in for a cucumber pickle.  The recipe is here, from The Herb Companion.  Go grab a cucumber and make them, quick!

The next exciting thing:

An epic pickle post from the Adventures of the Kitchen Ninja, where Julianne explains about all the different types of pickles in the universe and gives us her favorite recipes for each type (dilly beans! fermented dills! pickled radishes! and more).  I’m particularly excited for the gorgeous pickled gold beets that she made; I just planted some beets in the garden and I’m bookmarking this recipe for when they’re ready.

http://yankee-kitchen-ninja.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-to-make-all-kinds-of-pickles-or.html

Aimee from Homemade Trade made curry pickle slices, which makes me want one of these sandwiches she puts them on, right now, even though it’s 7:48 a.m. and that’s a really weird time for eating sandwiches and pickles.  (I definitely just walked over to the fridge, opened the door, stared at my jar of dill pickles for a couple seconds, trying to decide whether I would mess up my morning by eating pickles for breakfast.)
Get her recipe here: http://homemadetrade.blogspot.com/2012/09/make-pickles-cook-it-august-resolution.html

______________________________________________________

and a reminder: The September project is to dry fruit.  If you’d like to be included in the round-up post, e-mail me a link to your post by October 15, 2012. My e-mail is thejamgirl@gmail.com.

______________________________________________________