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.
6-8 cups of thinly sliced radishes
4 cloves of peeled garlic
4 tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 cups fresh dill
3 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coriander seed
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.
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.
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
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!
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!
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…
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!
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.
1 lb lean ground pork
1 cup onion diced
1/2 cup HP Sauce
1/4 cup Panko
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp. Worcestershire
1/4 cup finely diced parsley
2 tbsp. panko
1/4 tsp. salt
2/4 tsp. garlic powder
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
10 lb peaches peeled and sliced
3 cups honey
8 cups water
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.
This week’s ‘You should like this’ is our latest canning obsession (other than tomatoes). Weck jars. These German designed canning jars have a gorgeous all glass, retro look and come in various sizes and some fabulous shapes. The base of the jar and the lid shape are perfect for stacking. While these are too expensive to replace all our canning jars at once we are slowly building our collection – a few every year!
They work just like a regular canning jars. You simply fill the jars, apply the lid and two metal clips and drop them in the canner as per usual. If they are sealed you will be able to lift them up by the lid. For full instructions visit the weck website. While these jars are great for processed canning they are the best jar for fridge preserves (like our Bread and Butter Pickles) because they stack so efficiently in the fridge.
If you need an excuse to get canning these are it! Your preserves will never look better on the dining table!
This is the final recipe from our labour day fiesta of tomato canning. The inspiration for this recipe came from the fabulous crew at Klippers Organics. As far as we are concerned this recipe is the Rolls Royce of tomato sauce. This method is much more time intensive but worth the effort. The combination of roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and fresh basil is hard to beat. The following will size approximately three 1L jars.
8 pounds of roasted and peeled tomatoes
2 large onions finely diced
Bottled lemon juice.
1/2 cup full bodied red wine
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 cups fresh basil
Wash the tomatoes and lay them on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 350F until they wrinkle and/or split. We did ours on the BBQ to save the heat in the kitchen and a dish from the sink. This worked great – just throw them on the grill until they split (20-30min).
While the tomatoes are roasting, heat the oil in a deep pot on medium. Add the onions and fry until golden and caramelized. We like to add a few teaspoons of sugar to help the process and sweeten the sauce. When the onions are nicely caramelized add red wine to deglaze the pan and collect up all that delicious flavour.
When tomatoes are done, peel them and purée with basil in blender. Add tomatoes to onions and heat on medium-high till it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add a tbsp. of lemon juice and a pinches of salt to each jar. Fill jars with tomato sauce leaving 1″ airspace.
Wipe rims, apply lids and process in canner for 40 min. This sauce is so delicious you won’t be sad if a jar doesn’t seal. We were only able to get a few jars done this way so we will be saving ours for our next batch of fresh pasta.
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