Saturday, August 29, 2020

Pineapple Jalapeno Relish


Pineapple Jalapeno Relish is so different from other relishes, and a true tropical delight. With sweet ripe pineapple, tangy apple cider vinegar, and the heat of jalapeno peppers, this relish is packed with flavor. 


Pineapple Jalapeno Relish is awesome with:
  • grilled brats, burgers or hot dogs
  • grilled or roasted pork
  • grilled or roasted chicken
  • grilled or roasted shrimp
  • baked ham
  • or toss some in potato salad, pasta salad, chicken or tuna salad
 It brings such a nice topical taste to just about anything.


RECIPE
Ingredients
2 - 20 oz cans crushed pineapple with juice
1 medium red onion, diced (about one and one half cups)
4-6 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground coriander seed

Method
Pulse red onion and jalapeno peppers in the bowl of a food processor a few times just to fine chop, being careful not to puree.

Add processed red onion and jalapeno peppers to a non-reactive pot set over medium heat. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring often, until liquid has reduced by half, about 15-20 minutes.

Ladle hot relish into a hot jar leaving a 1/2-inch head-space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight. 

Process jars 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Jars are sealed when button to top of lid is fully depressed and won't flex up and down.

Original recipe from Fresh Preserving

Yield: 4 pint or 8 half-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. 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Easy Steak Fajitas


To me there is almost nothing simpler than these Easy Steak Fajitas. You use an inexpensive cut of beef such as skirt, hangar or flank steak, make a quick marinade, add some sliced onions, peppers and seasonings and voila'! That's really all there is to it.


My excuse to make these Easy Steak Fajitas were some Mad Hatter peppers we were growing in our raised bed garden. The plant was given to me to try by our friends at
B's Greenhouses, and i couldn't wait. This sweet pepper is a species from South America commonly used in Bolivian and Peruvian cuisine.The taste has a refreshing, citrusy floral flavor that remains sweet, only occasionally expressing mild heat near the seeds. Aren't they cute?

What do you need to make these Easy Steak Fajitas?

  • Cast iron or other large skillet
  • Homemade Fajita Seasoning Blend
  • Skirt, Hangar or Flank Steak
  • 1 sweet onion
  • Fresh cilantro or dried Oregano Leaves
  • Sweet peppers (I used Mad Hatter but Bell peppers work)
  • 2 limes or lime juice concentrate
  • Flour tortillas


RECIPE
Ingredients

Homemade Fajita Seasoning Blend:
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Steak Fajitas:
1 clove garlic minced
1 of the full amount of the recipe Fajita seasoning above
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped, plus more for serving or 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves (for those who have an aversion to cilantro)
1 1/2 pounds hanger, skirt or flank steak halved crosswise
2 tablespoons butter
1 sweet onion halved and sliced vertically
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Mad Hatter peppers (or red and yellow bell peppers), cut into thin strips
2 wedges of lime, or 1 tablespoon lime juice
Warm flour tortillas

Method
For the Homemade Fajita Seasoning Blend
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

For the Steak Fajitas
In a shallow bowl, combine the garlic, fajita seasoning, 1/4 cup olive oil, and cilantro or oregano. Toss the steak to coat in the marinade, cover, refrigerate, and marinate for 30 minutes or longer.

Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch cast-iron or other large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and onion in the skillet. Season with the salt, stir, and cook until the edges of the onion are deeply golden yet still a bit firm, about 10 minutes.

Add the peppers and cook for 5 to 8 minutes more, depending on how done you prefer them. Transfer the onion and peppers to a small dish.

Working in two batches, sear the steak on both sides for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 to 8 minutes before slicing into thin strips.

Return the strips and any juices from the cutting board to the skillet, squeeze in the juice from the lime wedges or lime concentrate, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Serve on warm tortillas. We love to top these with a Mexican cheese sauce such as white Queso sauce, and pickled red onions.

Original recipe adapted from Foodiecrush

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, August 16, 2020

Zesty Corn Salsa

When fresh corn is in season, Zesty Corn Salsa is just the thing to munch on with crispy tortilla chips. We love it and serve it many times during the summer. it's a great alternative to tomato salsas and goes well as a side dish with grilled fish, chicken or pork.

I like to use fresh corn on the cob I buy from a local farm or farmers market, because that corn is usually the freshest of fresh, with crispy, juicy kernels. Of course you can use any fresh corn you can find, or you can also use frozen corn kernels if that's what's available.

The addition of diced tomatoes, black olives and chopped jalapeno peppers gives it just the right balance of sweet with a little heat. 

RECIPE
Ingredients
2 - 3 ears fresh corn on the cob, or 2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
10 black olives, sliced or diced
1 small purple onion, diced
1-2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (or less depending on taste)
1-2 tbsp lime juice (from concentrate or freshly squeezed)
2 tbsp Ball's Fresh Preserving Fiesta Salsa Mix -or- 1/2 tbsp each ground cumin, dried oregano leaves, and dried cilantro leaves* (or fresh minced cilantro) or slightly more to taste. Can also add a small amount of cayenne pepper or dried red pepper flakes if desired.
*you can leave the cilantro out if desired

Method
Husk fresh corn, remove silk and using a sharp knife cut the kernels off the cob. You will need 2-3 ears of fresh corn kernels to equal 2 cups or frozen corn kernels, thawed.

Place corn kernels in a large bowl. Slice or dice the next 4 ingredients and add to the bowl with the corn. Stir in the salsa mix or the spices and stir to combine well.

Spoon Zesty Corn Salsa into a storage container with a lid, and chill in the refrigerator several hours to allow the flavors to develop. Serve cold or at room temperature with tortilla chips or as an accompaniment to grilled fish, chicken or pork.

Keeps well stored in the refrigerator up to one week.

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. 


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Spicy Pickled Okra


No matter what you've always thought about okra being slimy, pickled okra is not. Spicy Pickled Okra using the freshest okra you can find is crisp and tender and does not get mushy.


I'm very fortunate the Bradford Heirloom Okra is grown local to me. The pods are larger than most okra varieties, and always harvested and sold while super-fresh, either the day it's harvested or the very next day.

A few years ago a small group of us visited Nat Bradford on their farm and learned all about the families heirloom products, which includes the okra, but also the Bradford Watermelon, African Runner Peanuts, Hanson Lettuce, Bradford Collards and more. For more about the farm, please visit Bradford Watermelon Company


Growing up in New England okra never touched my lips until we lived in the south, and my first experience with it was less than favorable. Okra to me was slimy and the only way I could eat it was fried.

Visiting the Bradford's quickly changed my mind when I tasted their okra raw in the field. It was so tender and crispy. Did you know okra is related to the orchid family? Isn't the flower beautiful?


You can use any fresh okra you have in this recipe, but always make sure it's fresh and buy it from your local farm or farmers market. Pickling it fresh is what keeps the okra from getting slimy and mushy. If you don't want to pickle the pods whole, they are also delicious cut into okra chips.


Pickled Okra is wonderful on a cheeseboard, as an addition to a relish tray, a snack anytime, or try breading them and frying for a crispy, spicy treat.

RECIPE
Ingredients
2 1/2 pounds okra pods 
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dill seed
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 jalapeno pepper sliced into rings (optional) 
4 pint mason jars

Method
Wash the okra pods and trim away the stem ends (for chips cut 1/4-inch thick slices). Combine vinegar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

Place the dill seed, garlic, red chili flake, mustard seeds, and peppercorns in each of the four jars. Add 2 slices jalapeno peppers to each jar.

Pack the okra tightly into the jars over the spices, alternating them stem side up and down to fit more snugly if necessary.  

Pour the brine over the okra, leaving 1/2-inch head-space. Gently tap the jars on the counter to loosen any trapped air bubbles. Run a plastic knife around the inside of the jars to get rid of any stubborn air bubbles, if necessary.

Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath or steam canner for 10 minutes.

Once processed, remove jars from the canner and allow to sit on a kitchen towel on your counter-top undisturbed for 24 hours. Jars are sealed when the button on top of the lid is fully depressed and won't flex up and down.

Store sealed jars in your pantry up to one year. Spicy Okra Pickles are best if allowed to sit for 2 weeks before opening a jar to allow the flavors to develop. Open jars must be refrigerated.

Yield: 4 pints 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.