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Following up on our Smoked Salmon recipe from last week – http://thehobbyists.ca/?p=5298  -  here is another favourite recipe of ours, which we have learned to make with the great fisherman, Murman, in Terrace. This is the perfect key to last minute hobbying and a great way to make sure that you have delicious smoked salmon in the house long after the salmon stop running.

Ingredients

delicious, fresh salmon
1 cup brown sugar*
1/4 cup coarse salt
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup thai red chili sauce**
several large grinds of black pepper

 

*In order to make the essential core of the brine, you must keep a 4:1 ratio (brown sugar to salt). Use this ratio to ensure that you have enough brine for the amount of salmon that you have. As long as you keep the ratio in mind, you can built out this recipe to accommodate as much fish as you are lucky enough to have!

**Siracha or sambal oelek would work as well if you would like a spicier brine or were trying to be somewhat mindful of the additional sugar going into this brine.
Cut the salmon into filets according to the size you choose. We like to use filets that are about 10″ in length, with the width depending on the size of your catch!

Mix the brine together. Place the salmon filets side by side in a glass casserole dish and layer the brine overtop. Layer any remaining filets on top and coat them with the brine, ensuring that no salmon remains uncoated. Leave the salmon covered in the fridge overnight in the brine. Preheat your Big Chief smoker at 150 degrees. Rinse off the brine, then pat the salmon dry with a paper towel or clean towel.  Smoke the salmon for 4-6 hours at 150 degrees. While your salmon is smoking, sterilize your jars and prepare your lids and rings. We recommend using either 4 oz. or 8 oz. jars.

Carefully remove the salmon from the smoker. Then, portion the salmon into the sterilized jars so that the salmon comes up to the bottom ring of the jar. Place the lids and rings onto the jars, only very loosely tightening the rings. For hot water bath canning, process your jars for 4 hours. For pressure canning, process your jars for 90 minutes at 15 lbs pressure.  Remove carefully – and enjoy your delicious canned smoked salmon for up to a year!

We love to serve this as is on fresh sliced  bread or flatbread with cream cheese, red onion and capers. It also makes a delicious appetizer for last minute hobbying in no time – simply mix with cream cheese (low-fat or no-fat works great), some fresh dill, a couple grounds of coarse black pepper and serve as is, or cool in the fridge until you can roll it into a ball and coat with your favourite chopped nuts.

Since the salmon are running and can be found fresh on the docks and at markets throughout B.C., it seems like the best time of year to pass on this recipe. We just returned from a great trip home to Terrace, B.C. (yes, Vancouverites, that’s past Hope) where we fished the Skeena River and caught some delicious sockeye. More on the stunning scenery on the Skeena (shown above) and around Terrace in another post…for the time being, we were intent on getting the sockeye fileted and brined, and into our dad’s smoker. Since first learning this recipe years ago from our dad, the great Murman, he has had to replace his Big Chief smoker. Certainly not the most p.c. name of smoker, but it produced spectacular smoked salmon for years…and learning on this new one was certainly not the same. At any rate, find a corner of your yard or deck in the city where you can safely put a smoker or barter for some real estate in a friend’s yard as we’re doing in exchange for some smoked salmon and you’re set. Murman’s recipe is meant to be enjoyed and tweaked as you make it your own – so keep us posted with your variations!

Ingredients

delicious, fresh salmon
1 cup brown sugar*
1/4 cup coarse salt
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup thai red chili sauce**
several large grinds of black pepper

 

*In order to make the essential core of the brine, you must keep a 4:1 ratio (brown sugar to salt). As long as you keep that in mind, you can built out this recipe to accommodate as much fish as you are lucky enough to have!

**Siracha or sambal oelek would work as well if you would like a spicier brine or were trying to be somewhat mindful of the additional sugar going into this brine.
Cut the salmon into filets according to the size you choose. We like to use filets that are about 10″ in length, with the width depending on the size of your catch!
Mix the brine together. Place the salmon filets side by side in a glass casserole dish and layer the brine overtop. Layer any remaining filets on top and coat them with the brine, ensuring that no salmon remains uncoated. Leave the salmon covered in the fridge overnight in the brine. Preheat your Big Chief smoker at 150 degrees. Rinse off the brine, then pat the salmon dry with a paper towel or clean towel.  Smoke the salmon for 4-6 hours at 150 degrees, then increase the temperature to 200 degrees and smoke the salmon for two hours. Remove carefully – and enjoy! To have the salmon keep, use a vacuum sealer to contain each individual filet and store them in the fridge. While this photo below does not do our gorgeous smoked salmon justice, the vacuum sealed package does keep away the hordes while we try to ration our last few filets before our next visit!

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A lot of our canning expeditions begin with an inspiration at the farmer’s market. This trip to the market began looking for cherries – we love canned cherries. On the way there…we got distracted by the beautiful beets and radishes. We were particularly inspired by the variety of radishes. This recipe makes a delicious clean picked radish that is perfect on sandwhiches, hot dogs, or tacos. We love this on a pulled pork sandwich (with lots of delicious cumin) because it gives a fresh, tangy and peppery flavour. The radish blend is something you can experiment with. We like an even mix of Easter egg, French breakfast and black radishes. They look beautiful in the jar and all contribute to the flavour in the jar.

Jars

6-8 cups of thinly sliced radishes
4 cloves of peeled garlic
4 tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 cups fresh dill

Brine

3 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coriander seed

Directions

Place 1 clove of garlic, 1 tsp peppercorns and 1/2 cup of dill in each sterilized jar. Top with sliced radishes.

In a large pot, combine all the ingredients for the brine. Bring to a boil, stirring gently.

Ladle hot brine into jars. We like to do small batches of radishes as fridge pickles. In this case, let the jars cool and top off with additional brine. Cover and store for 1 month. If you want to process the jars, fill with brineand drop in a hot water bath for 6-8 minutes to seal.

Makes approximately 4 pint sized jars.

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This is an annual hobbyist canning tradition and signals the end of winter and beginning of canning season. Along with a delicious marmalade the first signs of spring means making Preserved Lemons. This is one of the easiest things to can and it has so much versatility for cooking. We inevitably devour ours over the Fall and Winter months. Since you eat the peel of the lemons we always use organic lemons. Regular table salt will give them a chemical taste so be sure to use kosher or sea salt.

Ingredients

10-12 lemons
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

Directions

Wash and dry the lemons. Slice off the stem end and place flat part down on the cutting board. Cut a ‘X’ through the lemon stopping about 1/2″ from the end. Pack salt into the lemon (1-1/2 tbsp. per lemon). Repeat, stuffing salt filled lemons into a clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid. When the jar is full press down on the lemons firmly to get the juices flowing. Cover and let stand overnight. In the morning press them down again to release more juice. Repeat this for 2 days. If you need extra liquid squeeze the juice of an additional lemon into the jar to cover the salted lemons.

Put the finished jar(s) in the fridge and wait 4-6 weeks. When they are ready to go, scrape out the pulp and slice or dice the peel. This is a fun one to experiment with so be creative. We love it tossed with some quinoa, shallots and roasted vegetables. It is also a hobbyist favorite on naan bread pizza. Enjoy!

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4 tbsp olive oil
2 large red onions, finely chopped
2-3 red peppers, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 red jalapeno peppers or 2 small red chilis, seeded and finely chopped
3/4 tsp of smoked sweet paprika
1 cup of pureed fresh tomatoes or pureed canned tomatoes
6 tbsp sherry
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp harissa* see our Fridge and Pantry recipe for homemade harissa
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin
 

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft. Next add the red pepper, garlic, chili and paprika to the pot, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the red pepper is soft. Add the tomato puree, sherry, vinegar, sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Once brought to a boil, reduce the heat so the mixture is at a low simmer. Add the harisa,  cumin and sea salt. Leave to cook at a low simmer for about 90-120 minutes, stirring occasionally. The jam will reduce in fluid and become thicker, with the red colour deepening. Give it a taste and add additional sea salt or harisa to your liking.

This is great served fresh and will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for a few weeks. If you want to can it to be kept longer, prepare small jelly jars or medium sized jam jars by sterilizing and filling with boiling water. Sterilize the lids and rings at the same time. Empty the water out of the jars and fill each jar with the hot jam until 1/2″ below the top. Place the lid and ring on each jar. Process the jars in a hot water bath by placing the jars in a pot of boiling water so that the water covers the jars by an inch or so of water. Boil the jars for 10 minutes and then remove from the hot water bath and let cool.

This makes an excellent pairing with manchego, chorizo sausage, aged white cheddar or sliced avocado. We have really enjoyed it as a spread on crostinis with capers or a sliver of asiago on top, or as a spread on a roast chicken sandwich or a veggie sandwich with roasted eggplant, carmelized onions and avocado. It is also delicious with a grilled artichoke…Try it out and let us know what you pair it best with!

1 cup dried red chilis, stems removed
3 tbsp ground coriander
3 tbsp ground cumin
15 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup olive oil
3 tsp sea salt
 

Chop the chilis roughly and then cover with boiling water, leaving them to soak for approximately one hour. Drain the water and puree the chilis in a food processor. Add the spices and garlic, 2 tbsp of the olive oil and 1/2 tsp of the sea salt. Puree the mixture together for 30 seconds, then use a spatula to scrape the sides of the food processor before mixing for another 30 seconds or so. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp of sea salt, then puree the mixture again. Continue this cycle, repeating the process until all of the olive oil and sea salt has been added and the mixture has formed a thick paste.

Sterilize the canning jars, using either medium sized jam jars or large squat jars, while sterilizing the lids and rings as well. Spoon the paste in the clean, sterilized canning jars. Process the jars by placing them in a pot of boiling water, with an inch or so of water covering the jars. Keep the jars in the boiling water for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool.

The harissa is excellent for adding that bit of needed spice to couscous, paella or most any recipe around the kitchen that needs a bit of kick. There is always a revolving jar of harissa in our fridge since it finds its way in a surprising number of our dishes…

 

3 lbs. yellow onions
6 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt
3 heaping tsp. chopped fresh thyme
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 cup Port – Warre’s Warrior Porto Wine Reserve works great. *Be sure not to use a tawny or ruby port*
3 tbsp. red wine confit or red currant jelly 
freshly ground black pepper
 

Peel and slice the onions thinly. The slicer attachment on your food processor can also work great for this, or just put on a great album and watch your fingers!

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, then add the onions, sea salt and thyme. Stir the onions occasionally as they soften over 35-40 minutes.

Once the onions are soft, add the remaining ingredients and grind a healthy dose of black pepper over the mixture. Bring the onions to a boil and cook for another 10 minutes until most – but not all – of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Fill your small jars with the warm confit, seal and process the jars.

This recipe does not make very many jars – only about 9 4 oz. jars – so, since you’re chopping, it’s not much more to double this recipe.

The confit goes beautifully well with all ranges of foie gras, pâté, terrines or charcuterie in general. And of course, as the perfect pairing on any cheese board. Try it with an aged Spanish cheese like manchego or Zamorano. It truly is one of the key items in throwing together something for some last minute wine pairings with friends on a Friday evening. It has become one of the best staples in our fridge and the jar that most quickly disappears – so doubling the recipe will never hurt!

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This recipe is so easy…once you have your Homemade Hobbyist HP Sauce canned and ready to go. We love this recipe because we usually have the ingredients on hand if we forget to plan dinner. It is the perfect no fuss meal for Christmas eve or boxing day. You can throw it together and relax with friends and family.

Ingredients

Meat

1 lb lean ground pork
1 cup onion diced
1/2 cup HP Sauce
1/4 cup Panko
1 egg
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp. Worcestershire
1/4 cup finely diced parsley

Crust

2 tbsp. panko
1/4 tsp. salt
2/4 tsp. garlic powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine first 10 ingredients in a big bowl. Spoon mixture into a shallow baking dish and flatten. Mix the Panko, salt and garlic powder to make the crust topping. Sprinkle over top of the meat and throw it in the oven. Bake for ~ 1 hr or until golden brown on top.

We love this winter hardy recipe with roasted squash and a leafy green braised kale. We paired this with some Pink Bulles sparkling Gamay and it was a great refreshing combination.

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Growing up in the Okanagan, my Grams’ homemade HP sauce was a coveted preserve my family looked forward to every year (that and her homemade fruit leather, but that is another story). In the fall Grams would make as many jars as she could using up the overabundance of prune plums and apples from her yard. The only problem – it needed to sit in the jars for a few months before it was ready to be eaten. Sometime in the winter a couple of jars would arrive at our house and be carefully consumed by our family at a pace that would ensure it would last all year. We knew that as my Grams would say, “like good wine or the rest of us it improves with age”. It was so delicious that even my elementary-school-aged friends would ask for some with their breakfast post-sleepover.

It took a few years of canning experience for me to get up the nerve to ask Grams for her recipe. She promised it would be easy and delicious – and it is both. While we made a few hobbyist additions – fresh ginger and a good malty beer – Grams’ is still the best, and we all know why. We love giving jars of this to our friends – it is great on beef, chicken, sausage, and apparently even almonds. If you see the fall plums and apples overflowing at the farmer’s market snap them up and give this recipe a go. You won’t regret it or buy the bottled stuff ever again. If you aren’t familiar with HP (House of Parliament) Sauce it is a great malty and spicy steak sauce.

Ingredients

4 lbs apple chopped (~10cups)
4 lbs prune plums pitted and halved (~10cups)
1 bottle malty beer
2 large onions chopped
3 pints vingegar
4 tsp. fresh ginger
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup salt
3 -1/2 cups sugar

Directions

Boil fruit, onions and beer to a boil. Boil until the fruit is completely broken down. Press through a sieve or food mill to remove any chunks. Add 2 pints of malt vinegar, sugar and spices. Simmer until the desired thickness – this can take an hour or more. Add the last pint of vinegar as the mixture cooks down. Be patient with the cooking down time if you crank the heat and it scorches the flavour wont be right. Ladle the mixture in to sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 10min.

Grams’ warning: It will take a couple of days for the smell of the vinegar and spices to dissipate from the house. But it’s worth it! ENJOY!

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If you have never canned peaches you should. They are one of our favorite preserves – amazing on yogurt, ice cream or as a cheater peach crumble base. We prefer a light syrup so the sweetness of the perfectly ripe peach shines through. While traditional fruit preserves use sugar for sweetness we prefer the flavour that honey adds to the mix. This can make the peaches a little more golden in colour but they look great. One of the things we love about canned fruit is you can be adventurous with flavours. Before you fill your jars throw in a few spicy sidekicks to give the peaches a deeper range of flavours. Some of our favorites are listed below.

Ingredients

10 lb peaches peeled and sliced
3 cups honey
8 cups water

Directions

Drop washed peaches in a pot of hot water for ~30 seconds and then submerge in an ice bath. The skins will slip right off. Slice the peaches in halves or slices depending on your preference. Fill jars with peaches and cover fill jars with hot liquid to 1/2″ from the top. Process in a hot water bath for 10min.

We have tried quite a few additions to our peaches and have three favorites:

1. Sliver of Vanilla Bean and 3-4 Cardamom pods.

2. Sliver of Vanilla Bean and Star Anise. This looks so pretty in the jar.

3. Tsp of lavender and 3-4 cardamom pods.

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