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.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Corn Relish


Corn Relish is a very versatile condiment to have on hand. It's awesome with tacos, added to a dip, or paired with grilled chicken, shrimp, or pork. 

The first time I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to try it with some fresh sweet corn from a local farm, and the Mad Hatter peppers we had growing in our raised bed garden.


Mad Hatter peppers are 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. I like them so much better than bell peppers, and they don't give me heartburn like other peppers do.

What do you need to make corn relish?

  • 4 cups fresh sweet corn
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp canning salt
  • 3/4 cup diced celery (approx. 2 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion (1 small)
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
For best results, use the freshest sweet corn you can find. We used corn we picked up at a local farm just as it had been harvested. 

If you don't have access to fresh on the cob corn, you can use frozen corn kernels. Simply thaw and proceed with the recipe. Do not use canned corn as it has already been canned once and it will result in a less than desirable product.



RECIPE
Ingredients
4 cups fresh sweet corn
2 cups white vinegar
2/3 cups sugar
1 tbsp canning salt
2 cups diced peppers (red or green bell peppers or Mad Hatter peppers)
3/4 cup diced celery (approx. 2 stalks)
1/2 cup finely diced onion (1 small)
1 tbsp ground mustard
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp ground turmeric

Method
Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add corn, peppers, celery, onion, mustard, celery seeds and turmeric. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Ladle hot relish into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head-space. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and cover with lids and bands. Place jars in boiling water bath or steam canner. 

Process jars for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove lid and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Button on top of lid should be fully depressed and not move up or down when pressed.

Yield: 6 - half-pint jars

Original recipe adapted from Ball Fresh Preserving

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.