Monday, November 16, 2020

Hot Pickle Mix Vegetables


These Hot Pickle Mix Vegetables came about at the request of a friends father, who used to purchase them from a well-known pickle company. Unfortunately, that company recently discontinued them, and I was asked to try to recreate them. After a little bit of research, this is what I came up with.


Hot P
ickle Mix Vegetables are mild to medium hot, so if you want more heat, I would recommend adding a few small red chili peppers or perhaps some dried red pepper flakes. Another option would be to swap out the banana peppers with some habanero or ghost peppers if you really want to amp up the heat.


No matter what you do, remember the heat tends to intensify while the finished jars sit in the pantry, so be careful how much heat you add. 

What do you need to make Hot Pickle Mix Vegetables?

  • pickling cucumbers
  • cauliflower florets
  • carrots
  • pearl onions
  • banana peppers
  • red or mad hatter peppers
  • jalapeno peppers
  • garlic
  • white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • sugar
  • horseradish


Serve Hot Pickle Mix Vegetables on a cheeseboard/charcuterie platter, alongside your favorite deli meat sandwich or with a hot Italian beef sandwich.

RECIPE
Ingredients

4 cups (approx. 1 pound) pickling cucumbers, trimmed and sliced into 1/4 -inch slices
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
1 cup peeled pearl or pickling onions (cut larger onions in 1/2)
2/3 cup pickling or canning salt
3 cups sliced seeded hot yellow banana peppers (about 6 peppers)
3 diced Mad Hatter peppers or 1 diced red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, or 1 tsp minced garlic
8 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
3 to 9 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded


Method
In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the cucumbers, cauliflower, red peppers, carrots and onions.

In another large glass or stainless steel bowl, dissolve the pickling salt in 7 cups water. Pour it over the vegetables. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

In a colander placed over a sink, drain the vegetables. Rinse with cold running water and drain thoroughly. Add the hot yellow peppers and mix well.

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine the garlic, 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, sugar and horseradish. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, until the liquid is infused with garlic flavor; strain liquid through a mesh strainer over a bowl retaining the liquid but discarding horseradish and garlic.

Pack the vegetables and 1 to 3 jalapeno pepper halves into hot jars to within a generous one-half inch of the top of the jar. Ladle hot pickling liquid into the jar to cover the vegetables, leaving one-half inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary, by adding hot pickling liquid. Wipe the rim and cover with lids and bands tightening until just fingertip-tight.

Process jars in a boiling water bath or steam canner for 15 minutes. Remove the jars, and allow to sit undisturbed on your countertop 24 hours. Lid is sealed when button on top is fully depressed and won't flex up or down. Store in pantry up to one year; open jars need to be refrigerated.

Yield: 6 pint jars

Cooks note - wait for 4 to 6 weeks before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

Enjoy,
Mary

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Saturday, November 14, 2020

Boozy Holiday Cherries

 


Whether you are a novice with a cocktail shaker or an expert in mixology, a really good boozy holiday cherry is your home bar’s best friend. 


So many classic drinks call for a red cherry garnish – Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, Manhattan, Pina Colada, Mai Tai, and even the non-alcoholic staple, the Shirley Temple. 

Additionally, these boozy holiday cherries are delicious topped on pound cake with whipped cream, used on top of vanilla ice cream, or with pineapple upside down cake instead of maraschino cherries.


Fresh cherries are best, but I have used cherries I bought fresh in the summer and put in my freezer, so go with whatever you have available. Simply thaw the frozen cherries first.

What do you need to make Boozy Holiday Cherries?
  • 6 cups sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted 
  • sugar
  • water
  • lemon juice 
  • cinnamon sticks
  • maple syrup
  • quality whiskey
  • half-pint canning jars

RECIPE
Ingredients
6 cups sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-2 sticks cinnamon
1 tbsp whiskey per half-pint jar

Method
Pack stemmed and pitted cherries into the half-pint canning jars until jars are about 3/4 full.

Add sugar, water, lemon juice, maple syrup and stick cinnamon to a heavy bottomed pan and bring to a low boil to dissolve sugar. Allow to simmer softly 10 minutes. Remove from heat; remove stick cinnamon and discard.

Top each jar with the hot liquid leaving 3/4-inch headspace. Add 1 tbsp whiskey or slightly more to each jar, until each jar has 1/2-inch headspace.

Cover jars with lids and bands and process in boiling water bath or steam canner 15 minutes. 

Remove jars and allow to sit undisturbed on your countertop 24 hours. Jars are sealed when button on top is fully depressed an won't flex up and down. 

Store sealed jars in a cool dark space, letting the cocktail cherries cure in the sugar-liqueur mixture for at least 3 weeks before using. Once opened, store jars in the fridge and use within 3-4 weeks.

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, November 8, 2020

Orange Basting and Grilling Sauce



This Orange Basting and Grilling Sauce came about because my daughters were coming to visit and we had planned to do a small amount of canning while they were here. What? Doesn't everyone plan to do some canning while they're visiting? Hahahaha maybe not, but this is not at all unusual for us since we all enjoy it and especially enjoy sampling the results ... which were delicious.

Fresh sweet onions and chicken tenderloin basted with Orange Basting and Grilling Sauce.
Photo courtesy of Darren Jones.


If you are looking for something new to try, this homemade grilling sauce is perfect. It uses simple ingredients to create a rich and flavorful sauce that will enhance anything you grill or roast.


It's perfect for pork, ham, chicken, or shrimp and is so delicious everyone will be coming back for more. It's also very easy to make and perfect for holiday gift giving.

What do you need to make Orange Basting and Grilling Sauce?

  • Orange Marmalade
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Brown Sugar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Brown Mustard
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chili Flakes



RECIPE

Ingredients
2 cups orange marmalade
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp spicy brown mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch fresh minced rosemary* (or omit)
2 tsp granulated garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes

Method
Add orange marmalade, pineapple juice, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, brown mustard and Worcestershire sauce to a heavy saucepan. Place over medium-high heat.

Whisk in fresh rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Bring mixture to a rolling boil, whisking often; reduce heat and cook until slightly reduced and thickened.

Ladle sauce into prepared half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Top with bands and lids and process in a boiling water bath or steam canner 10 minutes.

If not canning, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

*Note - Rosemary is a very strong herb, especially when used fresh. A small pinch of minced rosemary is all this needs. It can easily be omitted, but I like the flavor the small amount of rosemary imparts.

Yield: 6 four-ounce jars or 3 eight-ounce jars. Recipe can be easily doubled.

Original recipe adapted from outgrilling.com

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 25, 2020

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole ... it's that classic quintessential holiday side dish we've all grown up with. 

I totally love this dish, but surprisingly I almost always only make it for the holidays. Maybe that's what keeps it so special to me? All I do know is it's not the holidays to me without this dish.

I love using fresh green beans with this dish because I think they provide more texture and flavor, but you can certainly use canned or frozen if you prefer. A homemade cream of mushroom soup and sauteed sliced button or cremini mushrooms elevates and enhances this simple Green Bean Casserole.

What do you need to make green bean casserole?

  • 4 cups blanched fresh cut green beans
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • soy sauce
  • black pepper
  • homemade cream of mushroom soup
  • button or cremini mushrooms (optional)
  • French fried onions

RECIPE
Ingredients
1 1/4 cups Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
4 cups cut green beans, blanched (I prefer fresh, but you can use canned or frozen)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp soy sauce
Dash or two of black pepper
1 1/3 cup French fried onions
1 tbsp butter
*1 1/2 cups button or cremini mushrooms, divided (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1 1/2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. 

Prepare Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup according to the recipe.

Blanch fresh green beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, drain. Sautee the remaining 3/4 cups mushrooms sliced in a small pan with 1 tbsp of butter until browned. Stir 1 1/4 cups soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans, 2/3 cup onions and mushrooms (if using) in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining onions.

Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

Enjoy,
Mary

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Pickled Vegetables {Giardiniera}


What is Giardiniera? 
It is
 pickled vegetables, and there are two types:

  • Italian giardiniera refers to vegetables pickled in vinegar and originated as a method for preserving the bounty of a big harvest.
  • Chicago-style giardiniera is a medley of chopped vegetables, most commonly, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, celery, and chile peppers joined together and preserved in a two-step process: First, they're pickled vinegar and then they're marinated in olive oil. Chicago-style giardiniera, which likely has origins with the wave of late 19th century Chicago, is most often eaten as a condiment (like on the classic Chicago sandwich, the Italian beef), whereas Italian-style is most commonly served straight-up as part of an antipasto platter. (source: Bonappetit)

How do you use Giardiniera? Giardiniera is a versatile condiment that can be used on a variety of different foods such as

  • bratwurst
  • bruschetta
  • burgers
  • pasta salad
  • eggs (omelets)
  • hot dogs
  • tuna salad
  • sandwiches such as hearty subs/gyros
  • Bloody Mary's
  • Antipasto platters
  • Charcuterie boards

My version is more like the Italian style using just a pickling brine to preserve it since I wanted to be able to process it for shelf stability (and you can't process it with the olive oil). When you go to open a jar, you can certainly drain the brine and add some olive oil if desired, and then keep it refrigerated. 


RECIPE
Ingredients
1 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 bag pearl onions, peeled and larger ones cut in 1/2
2-3 cups fresh green beans, cut into pieces
2-3 jalapeno peppers, cut into slices
2 mad hatter peppers or other sweet pepper, cut into small slices
3 cups distilled vinegar
3 cups water
3 tbsp pickling salt

Add to each jar:
1/2 tsp dill seed
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Method
Add spices to each of 8 pint jars. Prepare and cut up all veggies placing 2-3 slices of jalapeno peppers and mad hatter or other sweet peppers in the jars first. Next begin to layer in all the other veggies leaving 1/2-inch headspace; do not over pack the jars.

Place the vinegar, water and pickling salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the salt. Carefully pour brine over veggies in each jar leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Top jars with lids and bands and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or steam canner. Once done, remove jars and place on a kitchen towel on your countertop and allow the jars to sit 24 hours undisturbed. Jars are sealed when the button in the middle of the lid is fully depressed and won't flex up or down.

For best results allow the Giardiniera to sit for 2-3 weeks before opening to give the flavors a chance to develop.

Store in pantry up to one year. Refrigerate any open jars.

Yield: 8 pint 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.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Butter


This is one of those recipes that tastes amazing and is oh so simple to make. Simply place the apples and cranberries in a slow cooker with the apple juice or cider and let your slow cooker do the work.


Cranberry Apple Butter is delicious smeared on toast, bagels, English muffins or biscuits, topped on waffles for a treat, or served with a hard cheese like cheddar or Gouda on crackers. It's a delightful blend of sweet, tart and tangy.

RECIPE
Ingredients
5.5 lbs apples
1-16 oz bag cranberries
1 cup apple juice or apple cider 
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup maple syrup
2 tsp Vanilla extract

Method
Core and cut apples into pieces (no need to peel). Put apples, cranberries and juice or cider in a crock pot and cook on high about 5 hours.

Puree mixture in a blender or use an immersion blender. You can also process through a food mill if desired.

Add 1 cup maple syrup, 1 tbsp cinnamon and 2 tsp vanilla extract and cook on high another 2-3 hours (place a wooden spoon across the end of the slow cooker to prop up the lid so the cranberry apple butter will reduce and thicken) or until cranberry apple butter mixture is thick. 

Ladle into prepared jars leaving 1/2-inch head-space and process half-pints or pints 15 minutes.

Yield: 8 - half-pint jars

recipe adapted from Citronlimette

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, September 7, 2020

Dried Minced Onion


Every year I find myself with at least one large bag of Vidalia or sweet white onions. They are awesome to cook with, and I love adding them to salsa's, salads, caramelizing them or sauteing them.


Mincing and drying them is a great way to preserve them to last a long time, well past the growing and harvest season.

These dried minced onions can be added to so much over the winter to give a variety of foods a much needed flavor boost.


What will you need to make Dried Minced Onions?

  • 4-5 large Vidalia or other sweet onions
  • Food processor (or cutting board and sharp knife)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • rimmed baking sheet
  • mesh strainer
  • cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel

How to use Dried Minced Onions?

  • Use dried minced onions in any recipe that calls for fresh. Use in a soup or a stew; throw the dried onion into the pot when you add the liquid. It’ll re-hydrate perfectly as it simmers. Same with casseroles and curries.
  • Dried minced onion works well in any kind of salad. Add it to the dressing for leafy greens, beans or grains. Or toss it into chicken, tuna or potato salad when you add the mayonnaise or a creamy dressing. 
  • The flavor of dried onions is more intense than fresh, so less is needed. One tablespoon of dried, minced onion equals one small fresh onion, minced.

RECIPE
Ingredients
4-5 large Vidalia or other sweet onion (or more depending on how much you want to process)
1 tsp. salt (use any kind you like, table salt, Himalayan, course, kosher)

Method
Preheat oven to 170-200 degrees F. Peel onions, cut them into smaller pieces and process in your food processor using the chopping blade and the pulse setting, or petite dice using a cutting board and sharp knife. You want the onions minced finely but not pulverized. 

Remove minced onions and place in a clean dish towel or piece of cheesecloth and do your best to squeeze the liquid out. Alternately, you can place a coffee filter or piece of cheesecloth in a mesh strainer over a bowl and push the minced onions with a large spoon to get the liquid to drain off. This does not need to be perfect, just do the best you can to remove as much liquid as possible.

Move onions to a large rimmed baking sheet, spreading out evenly. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Place baking sheet in oven and stir every 30 minutes or until onions are thoroughly dry. They will turn slightly brown during the drying process but should not be too dark.

When onions are done, remove baking sheet from the oven and allow the onions to cool completely. 

Store dried minced onions in a glass mason jar with a tight fighting lid. Dried minced onions should last up to one year in your pantry provided the jar stays tightly closed after each use.

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.