Sunday, December 5, 2021

Canning Mushrooms


Over the past year I've been lucky to be able to purchase freshly dug button mushrooms from a local farmer at the farmers market. Honestly it can't get better than dug Friday morning and in my hands Friday afternooon. Of course they have been delicious fresh, but I've also put up some fantastic marinated mushrooms, and now these sliced canned mushrooms.


Home-canned mushrooms are absolutely fantastic. These are not like jarred mushrooms from the store which can be metallic tasting and rubbery-textured.


These really are a great product to have on hand in your pantry and they do taste so fresh and mushroomy. I am very happy I spent the time putting them up.

What do you need to make canned mushrooms?

  • fresh button-type mushrooms 
  • water
  • salt (optional)
  • 1/2 pint or pint canning jars
  • a pressure canner (not a pressure cooker)


RECIPE

Ingredients

Whole button mushrooms
Boiling water
1/4 tsp salt per half-pint jar (optional)

Method
Trim off and discard stem ends. Soak in a sink, or large pot or bowl, full of cold water. Soak for 10 minutes to loosen any dirt; wash mushrooms well to remove any dirt.

Slice mushrooms and place in a pot with water, bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Pack mushrooms into 1/2 pint or pint jars leaving 1-inch headspace. Top with 1/4 tsp salt per half-pint jar (optional) and clean boiling water maintaining headspace; remove any air bubbles by running a plastic knife arouond the inside of the jar moving it up and down; adjust headspace as needed. Wipe jar rims and put lids on. Process in pressure canner 45 minutes at 10 lbs pressure adjusting for altitude.

Once processing time is done, remove from heat and allow the canner to come down off the pressure on its own. Once the pressure is gone, remove the lid part way, let cool a few minutes then take lid completely off. Remove jars and allow them to sit undisturbed on a kitchen towel on your countertop 24 hours. 

Jars are sealed when button on top of lid is fully depressed and won't flex up and down. Store jars in pantry. Opened jars must be refrigerated.

Yield: varies depending on how many mushrooms your have and their size. I had about 6 pints whole mushrooms and got 8 - half pint jars of sliced mushrooms.

Recipe follows guidance from the NCHFP

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving {A Collection of 30 Recipes}


This is a collection of my family's delicious new and vintage Thanksgiving dishes including everything from the appetizers, rolls, side dishes, entree, desserts, leftovers and bone broth (save that carcass). 

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday when we gather with friends and family to simply enjoy the food and the company. To me there's no better way to express your thankfulness for all the blessings you treasure. 

These recipes are a few of the ones we enjoy in my home and I hope you find one or two (or a few) you'd like to add to your Thanksgiving table. 

Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday enjoying food, family and friends, 
Mary

APPETIZERS and ACCOMPANIMENTS



VEGETABLES AND SIDES









MAIN COURSE

DESSERTS







LEFTOVERS

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Sunday, October 31, 2021

Autumn Fest Jam




Some jams are created simply because a combination of fruits and flavors sounds good to me. Other times I'm challenged to recreate a jam we've tasted while visiting local wineries, and still others are created from an ingredient label. The latter is the case with this jam, and you know they NEVER tell you everything on the label ... just "seasonings" and what have you. 


The label gets me curious, and my mind begins formulating what I'd need to make a nice chunky festive jam. It's always a process, and a bit of a surprise to see what finally materializes.

Now you can celebrate the season with this Autumn Fest Jam. It’s a cheerful jam full of figs, sweet cherries and tart cranberries. Warming spices round it all out with a touch of tawny port and brandy. It's perfectly spiced and ready for a place at your Thanksgiving table. Pair it with cheese on a charcuterie board, or serve it alongside roast turkey or chicken.

No pectin required, this jam cooks up like a marmalade. Simply cook it on your stovetop over medium-high to high heat, stirring often, until jam reaches 220 degrees on an insta-read thermometer. You don't even need to can it if you don't want to. You can freeze it or keep some in your refrigerated. 

RECIPE
Ingredients
2 cups cherries, pitted
2 cups figs
2 cups cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
6 cups sugar
1/2 cup tawny port
1/2 cup brandy

Method
Chop the cherries and figs and add to a large stock pot along with the cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, spices and sugar. Heat over medium-high to high heat stirring often being careful not to scorch bottom.

Cook until the jam reaches a temperature of 220 degrees (the gelling point); test  temperature with an insta-read thermometer. Add tawny port and brandy carefully OFF HEAT (be careful, jam will sputter).

Ladle jam into prepared half-pint canning jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jars with clean cloth and top with lids and rings. Process jars 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or steam canner.

Remove jars and let sit on a towel on your kitchen countertop 24 hours undisturbed. Jars are sealed when button on lid is fully depressed and won't flex up or down. Store jars up to one year in your pantry. Open jars must be refrigerated.

Cook's note - If you are not canning the jam, store in refrigerator up to 3-4 weeks. Jam may be frozen up to 6 months.

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Friday, October 29, 2021

Best Sour Pickles


This summer I was on a quest to make the BEST Sour Pickles ever. I already knew in order to achieve this I'd need the freshest pickling cucumbers, so I sought out my local farmers market and farmer and quickly purchased a bag full of crispy, firm pickling cucumbers. If you are not near a farmers market, buy the firmest pickling cucucmbers you can from your local grocery store.


Now normally you would not think of sour pickles containing pickling spice, but trust me when I tell you the pickling spice, and the salt soak, is what made these turn out so well ... so do not skip it, unless you want limpy pickles and no one wants those.


What do you need to make Sour Pickles?
  • Pickling cuumbers
  • Pickling salt
  • Whole pepperorns
  • Yellow mustard seeds
  • Whole allspice
  • Stick cinnamon
  • Water
  • Vinegar


RECIPE
Ingredients
For the pickling spice
3 tbsp whole black peppercorns
3 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
4 tsp whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick, crumbled

For the sour pickles
3 3/4 pounds pickling cucumbers
1/3 cup pickling salt, plus 1 tsp for the pickling liquid
2 1/2 cups distilled white or apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp pickling spice (see above, or use store-bought)
Fresh dill and garlic (optional)

For the pickling spice: blend 3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, 3 tablespoons of yellow mustard seeds, 4 teaspoons of allspice and 1 cinnamon stick, crumbled. Makes 1/2 cup (store remaining pickling spice in a mason jar for use another time).

On the first day:
Trim blossom ends from cucumbers and cut lengthwise into quarters or halves. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with pickling salt. Cover with cold water and mix to dissolve salt. Place a small plate inside bowl on top of cucumbers to keep them submerged. Let stand at cool room temperature or in refrigerator for 12 to 18 hours.

On the second day:
Drain cucumbers, rinse, and drain again. Bring vinegar, water, and 1 tsp pickling salt to a boil. Put pickling spice in a spice bag and simmer in the pickling liquid for 5 minutes. Remove before filling jars.

Fill your canning jars (pints or quarts) with the cucumber spears (It helps to lay jar on the side and fill edges first, then center; this keeps the cucumbers from falling over.) If desired, add 2 cloves garlic and 2 or 3 sprigs dill (or 1 tsp dried dill weed or seed to each jar). 

Pour brine over top of cucumbers leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Slide a plastic knife between cucumbers and jar to remove air bubbles adjusting brine as needed to maintain 1/2-inch headspace.

Wipe rim and threads of jar with a clean, damp cloth. Cover jars with lids and bands. 

Process pints and quarts 15 minutes in a boiling water bath or steam canner.

Remove jars from canner and set them upright on a dry towel or rack to cool. Let jars cool for 24 hours. Jars are sealed when button on top of the lid is fully depressed and won't flex up or down.

Store in pantry up to one year. Open jars must be refrigerated.

Cook's note - For best results let sit for 4 weeks before opening a jar to allow all the flavors to meld together.

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Monday, October 18, 2021

Cowboy Candy Relish


While we all love my Jalapeno Pickle Relish, I recently had the idea to make Cowboy Candy Relish using the same brine as Cowboy Candy ... and ... oh ... my ... goodness! It's soo good y'all and extremely versatile.


What do you need to make Cowboy Candy Relish?
  • 3 lbs jalapenos
  • 1 medium white onion
  • White vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Celery seed
  • Turmeric
  • granulated garlic
  • food processor or sharp knife and cutting board
  • Measuring cup
  • Mesh strainer
  • Water bath or steam canner
  • Half-pint canning jars
How to use it?
  • Top it on burgers, brats or hot dogs
  • Mix it into Jalapeno Popper Dip or Crack Ranch Dip
  • Mix it into pimento cheese for a punch of heat
  • Add it to egg salad, potato salad or chicken salad
  • Mix it with mayo for a twist on tartar sauce
  • Add it to Queso 
  • Sprinkle some over Nachos

Jalapeno Popper Dip (cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese,
Cowboy Candy relish, panko crumbs, shredded parmesan and melted butter)

RECIPE

Ingredients
3 lbs jalapenos, fresh and firm
1 small to medium onion, minced
2 cups distilled white vinegar 
6 cups granulated sugar
1⁄2 tsp turmeric
1⁄2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Method
Wearing gloves if desired, slice the stems from the jalapenos and discard. Slice in half and seed if desired, or leave the seeds in. Dice or mince the peppers and onion in a food processor using the chopping blade. 

In a large pot, bring vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the minced peppers, and onion; simmer for 4 minutes.

Strain relish through a mesh strainer over a bowl reserving the brine. Scoop the relish
 into canning jars leaving 1/2 inch head-space.

Add the syrup back to the pot and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.

Using a ladle, add the boiling syrup to the jars over the 
minced peppers, distributing it evenly between all the jars, leaving a 1/2-inch head-space. Use a small knife, or a plastic canning tool designed to remove air bubbles, and run it around the insides of the jars, moving it up and down to remove any air bubbles. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary.

Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and top jars with lids and bands.

Process jars in a boiling water bath or steam canner 10 minutes for half-pints adjusting for your altitude.

Transfer the jars to a dish cloth-covered space on your counter-top and let jars sit undisturbed for 24 hours.

Cooks note - yield depends on size of peppers used and how fine the peppers and onion are diced or minced; approx. 4-6 half-pints.

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Mixed Peppers Pepper Jelly


All summer long we had a a variety of peppers growing in our raised bed garden. It's truly amazing how many peppers just a few plants will produce, but the peppers kept coming and coming. At times I felt like I was part of some sort of never ending story! Bear in mind all these peppers all summer long came from ONE of each type of plant ... wow!


I made a variety of pepper products such as pickled peppers, pepper relish, Cowboy Candy (candied jalapenos), Cowgirl Candy (candied mild peppers), then suddenly thought why not a mixed peppers pepper jelly? You know, one with all the flavor but much less heat that would be great for those folks who just can't handle the spice.


So with some Mad Hatter Peppers, Mild Hatch Chiles, Banana Peppers and just a handful of Jalapeno Peppers this Mixed Peppers Pepper Jelly was born. And oh my goodness, it is sooooooo delicious.


What do you need to make Mixed Peppers Pepper Jelly?

  • 2 cups mixed minced mild/sweet peppers such as red or orange bell peppers, Mad Hatter peppers and mild Hatch chile or Banana peppers (any combo of mild peppers works)
  • 1/2 cup seeded and minced jalapeno peppers
  • Sugar
  • Sure-Jell (yellow box powdered fruit pectin 1.75 oz)
  • Vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar 5% acidity)
  • 1 tsp butter
RECIPE
Ingedients
2 cups any combo of mild peppers minced
1/2 cup seeded and minced jalapeno peppers
1 cup apple cider or white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 tsp butter (to reduce foaming)
1 box yellow Sure-Jell fruit pectin
5 cups sugar

Method
Cut and seed peppers then mince in your food processor using the chopping blade. Measure to be sure you have 2 1/2 cups and scoop it all into a stock pot.

Add vinegar, butter and Sure-Jell; stir to mix well. Bring to a boil over high heat  and cook 3 minutes stirring often.

Carefully add sugar all at once and return to a rolling boil stirring constantly. Boil hard one minute.

Remove from heat and ladle into half-pint jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims with clean cloth and top with lids and bands.

Process in boiling water bath or steam canner 10 minutes. Remove from canner and allow to sit on a kitchen towel on your countertop 24 hours undisturbed. Jars are sealed when the button on the top is fully depressed and won't flex up or down.

Store jars in pantry up to one year. Open jars must be refrigerated.

Yield: 5 1/2 half-pint (8oz) jars

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.