Tag Archives: canning

Tomato Peach Balsamic Jam

Tomato Peach Balsamic Jam

The upside of seasonal eating has gotten enough play.  Today we turn to its darker side.  To the part of eating seasonally where summer ends and I am supposed to set aside perfect peaches for pumpkin soup and root vegetables.  What kind of solace is that, I ask?

In the coming weeks I’ll settle in, I know, remembering the unexpected heights that Brussels sprouts can reach and that miso-roasted squash and kale salad.  I’ll even delight in planning our vegetarian Thanksgiving menu.  Eventually.

But for today, let’s talk about holding onto those peaches for as long as we can.

This recipe is the love child of this sweet tomato jam and this savory peach jam.  It was inspired by a tomato and peach salad we ate all summer and a tomato and peach gazpacho served in the cafe of my favorite bookstore.  And like all my good jam ideas, I later learned that Marisa had it first.

This jam is equal parts peaches and tomatoes by weight, but the result is more sweet than savory; the umami notes of tomato and balsamic add just a whisper of intrigue.  As you’d expect, it’s most at home alongside a soft cheese or spooned over a piece of salmon, but it’s no slouch in a sandwich or vinaigrette either.

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Zucchini Relish

At 2 a.m. I was still in the kitchen. Peach jam in the canner, tomato jam out of the canner, three trays of fruit leather in the oven, tomatoes and peaches in the dehydrator, prepping zucchini relish.  This is what I always forget in those dreamy, carefree spring months when I plant my garden or sign up for a CSA (or, this year, do both): The harvest season is also a season of all-out frenzy.

This recipe is here to help.  You will find both emotional and practical relief as you reduce two truly gargantuan zucchini to five tidy pints of the hot dog relish you remember from childhood.

Pile it onto a field roast sausage with that better-than-ketchup (and I don’t say that lightly) tomato jam and a beery mustard, and you’ll almost forget about the boxes of ripe pears in the basement still awaiting your attention.

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Any ideas for those pears? Continue reading

What’s Cooking: October 2012, Week 1

In the Kitchen

What’s cooking in your kitchen this week?  Please feel free to leave your seasonal favorites and links in the comments!  Here’s a glimpse into my kitchen:

Menu 1: Grilled salmon, salsa verde, and three salads.  I always feel like it’s so decadent to have three salads.  The first was a quinoa salad with corn, green onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and lime.  The second was a plate of thinly sliced cooked beets dressed with olive oil, sherry vinegar, and chopped hazelnuts.  The last was a lemony arugula salad.Menu 2:  The leftover arugula salad & quinoa became ingredients in a batch of quinoa cakes, which I served with the leftover salsa verde.  (We also slathered some of the quinoa cakes with tomato jam.)  We had them with beet soup and braised greens in an anchovy broth.Menu 3: Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Olives (using fresh tomatoes instead of jarred) and a green salad.  If you roast the cauliflower in advance, this meal can be ready in the time it takes to cook pasta.Other Tidbits:

I make granola when our gallon jar runs empty–which is to say, quite often.  Continue reading

Saffron Peach Jam

Welcome to Emmy Cooks!  You can see some of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are June, July, and August).  If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, add the RSS feed to your own reader, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

By this time of year, our shelves are well-stocked with jam.  We’ve been making it all summer: Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry.  Rhubarb, cherry, three kinds of plum.  We eat plenty of jam–on yogurt and oatmeal, in sandwiches, with fancy cheese–and still, we will make it through the winter.  We have plenty of jam.

But it’s hard to stop.  And really, can there be too much jam?  Extra jars make welcome gifts, and I never seem to find myself with much left over when summer rolls around again.So I was happy to spend a day in the kitchen with a box of organic peaches last week.  They arrived on my doorstep courtesy of the Washington State Fruit Commission (full dislosure: the peaches were given to me at no charge, but the opinion that peaches are great is entirely my own).  We ate one after another after another.  And then it was time to make more jam.

I asked you for your peach preserving ideas.  I browsed the Sweet Preservation website.  I flipped through Mes Confitures.  I couldn’t decide.  So I made some of everything.  I made a sweet, chunky peach jam with a vanilla bean scraped in.  I made a tangy peach chutney with a lot of grated fresh ginger.  And, at Hannah’s suggestion, I made this Saffron Peach Jam.

It’s based on a recipe from The Preservation Kitchen, but it’s a good deal sweeter than the version in the book.  Some people say that saffron tastes spicy, or purfumey, or that it tastes like the sea.  Here it simply provides an earthy, savory counterpoint to the sweetness of the peaches, subtle enough that my six year old loved the jam but intriguing enough that I have gone about my days plotting uses for it.  I’m going to spoon it onto rice pudding and ricotta-topped toast.  I’m going to layer it into my next frittata sandwich in place of the tomato jam.  I’m going to serve it on a cheese plate.  But meanwhile, it’s just been going straight on toast.

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What’s Cooking: September 2012, Week 4

Hello, friends!  I’ve been kicking around a new idea, will you tell me what you think?

At this point there are so many recipes on this site that most of them are simply buried by time.  (I need a recipe index, I know; the sidebar category search is rudimentary.)  And although I’m posting new recipes daily here, I’m also always cooking my old favorites off-screen.  I’m thinking that it might be fun to share more with you about my kitchen and what’s happening there from week to week.

Regular “What’s Cooking” dispatches would give me an opportunity to tell you what recipes I’m loving  as the seasons go by, to tell you about delicious ideas that don’t rise to the level of being “recipes” themselves, and to show you how I fit these many individual recipes together as meals (and then repurpose the leftovers as more meals!).  Hopefully this will give you some menu-planning inspiration and remind you, for example, that this is the week to roast a few pans of tomatoes to freeze for the winter.

I’m thinking that I’ll do these updates mid-week, as I’m regrouping between weekend cooking sprees.  Also, “What’s Cooking Wednesday” is kind of cute, right?  Don’t worry, I’ll try not to give in to the attraction of alluring alliteration.  (Gah!)

Here goes.  Tell me what you think.

What’s Cooking in the Emmy’s Kitchen: Last Week of September 2012

Part 1: In the Kitchen

Menu 1: I filled my 7-quart crockpot with a batch of black beans and froze most of them.  A few cups went into a pot of seasoned black beans, which we ate with quinoa with corn and green onions (no feta this time), tomatillo salsa, and corn tortillas.  Today I had leftovers for lunch with a pile of nearly-charred red peppers and onions; tomorrow we’ll finish the beans off as huevos rancheros.  The leftover quinoa is destined for greens-stuffed quinoa cakes.

Menu 2: A friend who loves me came over and washed and sliced every bunch of greens from my CSA box (ruby chard, rainbow chard, collard greens, and mustard).  We sauteed the greens with an onion and the chard stems, then cooked half of them into a Pound-of-Greens Frittata with gruyere.  We ate the frittata with salad and dollops of sweet and spicy tomato jam (recipe coming this week).  Thin slices of leftover frittata replaced avocado in my favorite tomato sandwich the next day.  (By the way, we also tried some of your favorite tomato sandwiches from the comments on the tomato sandwich post, and especially enjoyed Nicole’s version with Vegemite.)

Menu 3: We had dinner with a few other couples here on Saturday and I made a big dish of baked pasta with roasted vegetables.  I also took advantage of the last opportunity to make a couple of my favorite salads from this summer: a watermelon and feta salad and the grilled kale salad with ricotta and plums.  We had a blackberry cake for dessert (it’s an almond-scented butter cake that also takes quite happily to nectarines, pears, peaches, plums…you get the idea.  Recipe coming someday).

Part 2: Preserving Summer

This week we made and canned the excellent sweet and spicy tomato jam from the Food in Jars Cookbook (watch for a giveaway tomorrow!).  We also did a batch of hot pepper jelly, which I had never made before, and I kept adding more chiles (and then red chile flakes) to taste enough heat.  Later it occurred to me that perhaps the jelly becomes spicier with time?  We’ll have to see how that one turns out!

I bought ten pounds of Roma tomatoes and roasted them to keep in the freezer.  I freeze them in a single layer on a tray and then move them to a freezer bag or jar.  This method ensures that the tomatoes don’t freeze into a solid block, so it’s easy to remove a handful at a time. Continue reading

Raspberry Jam

Today was a cooking whirlwind.  It was the first day of our Nash’s CSA, and when my sister and I looped through the market to pick up our box I couldn’t resist bringing home a flat of raspberries as well.  So that meant jam-making (and everyone eating countless raspberries off their fingers, of course) in addition to our first CSA salad of the season, followed immediately by a five-hour cooking spree with new and old friends to produce a Senegalese feast.  The dishwasher is now running for the fourth time.

My sister was making gorgeous salads on one counter (greens, strawberries, goat cheese, pistachios, balsamic, thank you!) while I got a habenero chile sauce going on the stove, so J had the bright idea to set up the canner on the barbeque burner outside.  We will certainly be doing that again this summer to keep the kitchen cool.

Here are a few things you should know about making jam.  First, you don’t have to can it.  You can always make just a bowl or a couple of jars; keep them in the fridge and use them within a week or two (depending on the sugar content).  Alternatively, you can make a larger batch and freeze your jam instead of canning it.  Finally, if you use pectin, I recommend Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which doesn’t require a high percentage of sugar to work.  So you can sweeten your jam to taste and it will still set nicely. Continue reading Raspberry Jam (click for recipe)