Allspice Chronicles

Entertain like a Queen, Think Lean and Live Green! A personal collection of recipes,anecdotes,and good old fashioned advice…

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Hash-Browned Sweet Potatoes with Garam Masala and Turmeric

by Danica Waters / photo courtesy of www.cmroman.com

 

Here is a toast to replacing the everyday with the truly extraordinary – especially when the extraordinary is exceedingly simple to create.  Take these hash browns, for example.  Paired with Sunday morning omlettes (try them stuffed with spinach, scallions, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and some spicy pepper jack), this preparation is a surprisingly simple, altogether incredible addition to the breakfast table.

Light some white candles and serve with a pot of hot tea.  (Even if you’re still in your jammies.)

Enjoy!

 

Hash-Browned Sweet Potatoes with Garam Masala and Turmeric

2 med. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut to ¼”dice

2 small russet potatoes, cut to ¼” dice

1 onion, cut to ½” dice

5 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

¼ C olive oil

Kosher salt

3 tsp garam masala or to taste

1 tsp turmeric, or to taste

 

In large heavy pan with a good lid, heat pan over medium heat.  Add oil until hot but not smoking.  When oil is ready, add potatoes, onion, garlic, and spices.  Combine and cover – cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  When potatoes are golden brown and lightly caramelized on the base of the pan, remove lid and allow some of the moisture to dissipate.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

Posted January 3rd, 2012.

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Green Beans Sauteed in Olive Oil

by Danica Waters / image courtesy of www.moosecrossinggardencenter.com

 

There are lots of recipes for sautéed green beans out there in the wild blue yonder.  Most of those recipes invite a whole lot of other ingredients to the party: tomatoes, wine, garlic, cream of mushroom soup, etc. – the list goes on and on.  It seems that somewhere along the way, we forgot that the good ol’ green bean can hold its own on the dinner table; its simple, spectacularly fresh flavor doesn’t need a lot of help as long as it’s treated properly.  Allowed to simply be itself, the green bean has all sorts of great things to offer:  Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Manganese, and a full range of beneficial B Vitamins, carotenoids, and antioxidans are but a few of its virtues.

 

This recipe is simple.  It features fresh green beans sautéed in a bit of extra virgin olive oil until crisp tender, and sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh lemon juice.  Exquisite!  .

 

An excellent accompaniment to Chicken with Tarragon Cream Sauce, these green beans go well with French and Italian cuisines, in addition to fish, poultry, and vegetarian dishes.  This preparation is so delicious, it might have you looking at that grayish green been casserole on the Thanksgiving menu in a whole new light.

 

Enjoy!

 

Green Beans Sauteed in Olive Oil

(serves 4)

 

1 lb fresh green beans, washed, trimmed, and patted dry

2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Juice of ½ a lemon

Kosher Salt to taste

 

Prepare beans, be sure they are thoroughly dry to avoid splatter when they are added to the oil.

In a wide, shallow sauté pan or frying pan, heat olive oil until hot but not smoking.  Add green beans and cover; allow to cook for about a minute.  Beans should be lightly browned, but not charred – keep your eye on them.  Remove cover and allow condensation to run back into the pan; turn beans and cook another minute.  Once beans are browned a bit on all sides, add 2 -3 Tbsp water to the pan.  Reduce heat to medium and allow to steam until beans are bright green and crisp tender, approximately an additional 3 -5 minutes, depending on your preference.

 

Remove to a serving dish; squeeze fresh lemon juice over beans and season with Kosher Salt to taste.  Toss well and serve.

 

Posted October 20th, 2011.

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Balsamic Glazed Acorn Squash

by Danica Waters

 

In the chilly autumn evenings, nothing beats the flavor and aroma of warm, baked squash.  While acorn squash is typically associated with winter squash varieties, it actually belongs to the same species as summer squashes, such as zucchini and yellow crooknecks.  Thankfully, the tough skin of an acorn squash allows it to keep for weeks in a cool, dark place, making it a favorite staple for the fall and winter months.

 

The best acorn squash should be approximately one to three pounds, and feel heavy for its size.  If the squash is any bigger than that, you run the risk of getting a squash that has been harvested too late in the season, which will render the squash tough and stringy.  Look for a squash that has a nice combination of green and orange coloring, that’s not too shiny.  If the squash is shiny and completely green, it’s been harvested prematurely.

 

Nutritionally, a one-cup serving of acorn squash comes in at a meager 115 calories and is packed with fiber, potassium, and magnesium.  That same one cup serving will also give you 2 grams of protein and 30% of your daily Vitamin C requirements, which makes it a very attractive alternative to, say, diet-killer mashed potatoes.  While acorn squash is traditionally baked and seasoned with loads of butter and brown sugar, this recipe features a figure-friendly basting with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

 

And F.Y.I.:  try roasting and seasoning the acorn squash seeds for sprinkling on salads.  They’re edible and delicious!

 

Enjoy!

 

Balsamic Glazed Acorn Squash

 

Acorn squash, figure on serving one-half of a squash per person

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Balsamic Vinegar

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Wash acorn squash (see recipe for vinegar-based vegetable wash).  Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out seeds and long fibrous strands.

 

Sprinkle squash halves with kosher salt; place face down in a large roasting pan.  Add water to the pan to a depth of 1/4” and place in oven. Bake approximately 20-25 minutes, or until squash is tender but still firm.

 

Remove from oven and allow to cool; slice squash halves into 1-1/2” sections on the bias and put back in the roasting pan, right-side up.  Brush each section generously with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and return to hot oven.

 

Bake five minutes; baste squash with balsamic vinegar.  Repeat process until squash is very tender and well-roasted.  Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

 

Posted October 13th, 2011.

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Zucchini: Stuffed and Grilled Asian-Style

by Danica Waters

Smitten with the results of my first spontaneous attempt at grilling stuffed zucchini (see Zucchini; Grilled and Stuffed Italian Style), I excitedly devoted the rest of my weekend towards developing several variations on the theme.  You would think “la familia” would be picketing outside with large signs that read “SQUASH THE SQUASH” or “IT’S X-NAY THE ZUCCHINI DAY”, but surprisingly, that’s not what happened.  Because zucchini has a relatively neutral flavor, it acts as a nearly perfect culinary canvas for all sorts of world cuisine.

 

Today’s variation has an Asian flare; the flavors and textures on this little gem will set your taste buds on fire. (Or was it the chili sauce?) It’s my personal favorite; I think I could live on this variation, like, forever..

 

Enjoy!

 

Asian Grilled Stuffed Zucchini

 

4 medium-sized Zucchini

 

Marinade:

2 Tbsp chili sauce

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp dark brown sugar

 

Filling:

1/2 small can diced water chestnuts

½ C diced roasted and salted peanuts

¼ C chopped fresh cilantro

½ C cold cooked jasmine rice

3-4 chopped green onions

Chinese Chicken Salad dressing or other Asian-style dressing ( I use Trader Joe’s Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing) to bind.

 

 

 

Trim ends from each zucchini; cut in half on the bias (crosswise).  Cut each zucchini section in half lengthwise.  Using a teaspoon, scrape seeds and pulp from the center of each zucchini section, leaving about a quarter-inch border on all sides.  Marinate zucchini in chili sauce mixture; set aside.

 

Heat grill to medium.

 

In a medium bowl, combine filling ingredients and mix well.  Fill zucchini sections; drizzle any remaining marinade over each stuffed zucchini section.  Grill zucchini 3-5 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly charred; remove from grill and arrange on serving platter.

 

Allow zucchini to rest another five minutes before serving.

 

Enjoy!

 

Posted August 30th, 2011.

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Zucchini: Stuffed & Grilled Italian-Style

by Danica Waters (photo courtesy of www.buckcooks.com)

The end of summer quickly approaches, and gardeners across the Northern Hemisphere are getting the first tastes of their soon-to-be-overly-prolific zucchini vines. 

 

While this versatile garden favorite is an old stand-by in stir-fry dishes, minestrone soups, and of course, sweetbread, I must admit I have discovered a new all-time favorite way to adore zucchini: 

Grilled and Stuffed. 

I have recently discovered that zucchini, filled with fresh, flavorful ingredients and ever-so-slightly charred, takes on an entirely different persona;  it is smoky, delicious, and wonderful warm or cold. 

 

This week The Allspice Chronicles will happily feature four variations of Grilled Stuffed Zucchini.  They’re terrific for buffet tables and lunchboxes alike; I hope you find them as addictive as I do.

 

Enjoy!

 

Zucchini:  Grilled and Stuffed Italian-Style

 

6 medium-sized Zucchini

Italian dressing or olive oil and salt and pepper to marinate zucchini

 

½ C dry bread crumbs (substitute gluten free bread crumbs if desired)

2-3 fresh Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced to ¼ inch.

2-3 diced green onions

1 Tbsp fresh minced parsley

2 tsp fresh minced oregano

1/3 C shredded Parmesan

1/3 C shredded mozzarella

Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Olive Oil to bind mixture

 

(Note:  To make a heartier version of this little gem, add some cooked Italian Sausage or Italian-seasoned Vegetarian Crumbles to the filling mixture.)

 

 

Trim ends from each zucchini; cut in half on the bias (crosswise).  Cut each zucchini section in half lengthwise.  Using a teaspoon, scrape seeds and pulp from the center of each zucchini section, leaving about a quarter-inch border on all sides.  Marinate zucchini with your favorite Italian dressing or simply coat with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper; set aside.

 

Heat grill to medium.

 

In a medium bowl, combine diced tomato, diced green onion, oregano, parsley, bread crumbs, shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and olive oil.  Fill the cavity of each zucchini with bread crumb mixture.  Drizzle any remaining marinade over each stuffed zucchini section.  Grill zucchini 3-5 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly charred and cheeses are thoroughly melted; remove from grill and arrange on serving platter.

 

Allow zucchini to rest another five minutes before serving.

 

Enjoy!

Posted August 29th, 2011.

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Brandied Pears

by Danica Waters / image courtesy of wikipedia.com

Don’t forget:  tomorrow is National Can-It-Forward Day!  If you haven’t already signed up for the live webcast coming from Seattle’s Pike Place Market, you can sign up here.

Be sure to check out the schedule of events – there’s a great lineup of recipes, tips and tricks ready and waiting on Canning Across America’s website, as well.

 

At 25 cents a pound, there was no way I could pass up the opportunity to try this recipe.  Like the Kentucky Bourbon Peaches featured yesterday, Brandied Pears are deliciously elegant served warm over vanilla ice cream or left all to themselves.  Try adding the leftover brandied syrup to a white wine spritzer, or simply pour over ice cubes and top with soda or mineral water.

Happy Canning!

Enjoy!

 

Brandied Pears

(from the Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving)

6 lb pears

2 lemons

1-1/2 C water

2-1/2 C sugar

1 piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and thinly sliced

1-1/2 C brandy

 

Fill boiling water canner with water.  Place 6 clean pint jars in canner over high heat.  Bring to a rolling boil; reduce heat and keep jars hot until ready to use.

In separate saucepan, place lids in hot but not boiling water; keep hot until ready to use.

Peel, halve, and core pears;  place in color protection solution (1/4 C lemon juice to 4 C water) and set aside.

With vegetable peeler, remove rind (yellow part only) from lemons in continuous spiral.  Squeeze juice from lemons and strain into measuring cup; add sufficient water to make 2 cups.

In a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan, combine water, rind, juice, sugar, and gingerroot.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Drain pears and add to hot liquid; heat to a boil.

Pack hot fruit snugly in overlapping layers in hot jar to within 3/4 of an inch of top rim.  Pour 1/4 C brandy over pears in jar.  Add boiling syrup to cover pears to within 1/2 inch of top rim (head space).  Remove air bubbles by sliding rubber spatula between glass and food; readjust head space to 1/2 inch.

Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth, removing any stickiness.  Center hot lid on jar; apply screw band just until fingertip tight.  Place jar in canner.  Repeat with remaining pears, brandy, and syrup.

Cover canner; return water to a boil and process for 20 minutes at altitudes up to 1,000 feet.  Remove jars.  Cool 24 hours.

Check your jar seals:  if the center of your lid springs back when pressed, your seal is broken and the contents must be refrigerated immediately and used promptly.  If the center remains firm when pressed, your seal is good, and contents can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to a year.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted August 12th, 2011.

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Kentucky Bourbon Peaches

by Danica Waters

 

 I discovered this gem of a recipe in a canning guide given to me by my Mother-In-Law nearly a decade ago.  I suspected just by looking at the ingredients that this recipe would be over-the-top; boy, was I was right.  Let’s put it this way:  if you could bottle that wonderful butterflies-in-the-stomach kind of feeling that comes with the change of the seasons, this is it.

 

The ginger and clove accents make the peaches smell like the autumn harvest and Christmas all at the same time;  the deep, heady flavor of a good Kentucky Bourbon transforms blushing summer peaches into a gourmet gift everyone will clamor over.

 

Try serving these peaches warm over vanilla ice cream, perhaps on some chilly late autumn evening when the fire crackles in the hearth and your home is filled with the lively conversation of friends and family.

 

Enjoy!

 

Kentucky Bourbon Peaches

(Adapted from the Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving)

 

17-20 medium peaches, ripened

8 inches cinnamon stick

2 Tbsp finely chopped gingerroot

1 tsp whole cloves

1 C sugar

2 C water

½ C good-quality bourbon

 

Fill boiling water canner with water.  Place 5 clean pint mason jars in canner over high heat.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and keep jars hot until ready to fill.

 

 

In separate small saucepan, place lids in hot but not boiling water to soften sealing compound.  Keep hot until ready to use.

 

 

Bring a large saucepan or stockpot filled with water to a rolling boil.

Fill another large bowl or pot with ice water, place next to the stove.

Fill another large bowl or pot with a solution of ¼ lemon juice to 4 cups water – this is your color preservation solution for the blanched peaches.

 

To blanch peaches:

 

Thoroughly wash ripened peaches.  Blanch the peaches by placing them in the boiling water for only 2 minutes.  Remove with heatproof tongs and immediately place in ice water bath to cool.  When peaches have cooled to the touch, simply slip off their skins.  Cut peaches in half and remove seeds.  Immediately place in color preservation solution; set aside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make syrup:

 

Break cinnamon stick into pieces; tie with gingerroot and cloves in a cheesecloth square (creating a spice bag).

 

 

 

In a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan, combine sugar and water;  add the spice bag.  Bring to a boil; boil 5 minutes.

 

Drain peaches;  add to boiling syrup.  Return to a boil and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes.

 

 

Remove from heat and discard spice bag.  Add bourbon to the peaches and mix well.

 

Pack hot fruit snugly in overlapping layers in a hot jar;  leave ¾ inch headspace.  Pour in syrup to ½ inch headspace.  Remove any air bubbles by sliding a rubber spatula in-between jar and fruit; readjust headspace by adding more syrup, not to exceed ½ inch headspace.

 

 

Wipe rims of jars with clean, damp cloth to remove any stickiness; center prepared lid on jar, and secure with ring.  Do not over-tighten – screw on ring to fingertip tightness.

 

Place jars in hot water bath canner; return to a boil.

 

Process 20 minutes at altitudes up to 1,000 feet.

 

Remove jars and allow to cool for 24 hours.  Test your seals:  if center of lid springs back when touched, your seal is broken and you should immediately refrigerate and use contents promptly.

 

If center remains depressed when touched, your seal is good, and peaches can be stored in a cool dark place for up to a year.

 

 

 

Posted August 11th, 2011.

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Mum’s Famous Delectable Corn Relish

by Danica Waters

The recipe for Mum’s Famous Delectable Corn Relish comes from my Mother-In-Law. (I affectionately refer to her as “Mum”; she’s a nicer, Scottish version of Martha Stewart, an artist, a savvy but unassuming perfectionist, and an absolute wonder at everything she touches.)  I will never forget the year she sent this relish in a care package, because I’ve never seen anything disappear so fast in my entire life.

 

We put it on ham sandwiches.  I’d never tasted anything so over-the-top delicious.  We put in on turkey sandwiches.  Truly knocked our socks off.  Then Mum mentioned that one of her friends put the relish in a foil package with some wild-caught salmon and a bit of olive oil and threw the whole lot on the grill.  It blew the taste buds off of everyone at her dinner party.  Of course we tried it; it was magnificent.

 

This recipe yielded nine half-pint jars of corn relish.  Yes, it involves a lot of chopping.  It is worth every minute.

 

Enjoy!

 

Mum’s Famous Delectable Corn Relish

(adapted from the Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving)

 

7 ears fresh corn

1-1/2 C chopped celery

1 large sweet red pepper, chopped

1 small sweet green pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1-1/4 C sugar

2 tsp celery seed

3 C white vinegar

2 Tbsp dry mustard

2 tsp turmeric

1-1/2 C water

 

Remove husks and silks from the corn, trim the ends.  Place ears in a large kettle of boiling water and simmer 10 minutes.

Remove corn and immediately plunge into cold water to stop cooking process.  When corn has cooled, cut kernels from the cob.  You should have about 4-5 cups of corn.

Fill canner with water.  Place nine clean half-pint jars in water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and keep water hot until you need to fill the jars.

In a large saucepan (stainless steel or enamel work best) combine corn, celery, peppers,onion, sugar, celery seed and vinegar.  Cover the pan and bring to a boil; remove cover and boil 5 minutes.   Skim any foam that rises to the top.

 

Combine mustard and turmeric with water.  Stir into vegetable mixture and return to a boil.  Boil uncovered for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Place lids in hot but not boiling water to soften sealing compound.  Keep hot until ready to use.

 

Remove hot jars to a surface lined with clean kitchen towels.  Ladle hot relish into the hot jars, taking care to maintain ½ inch head space.  Using a non-metallic spatula, remove air bubbles from jars by sliding spatula between glass and relish; readjust to fill to the ½ ‘ headspace.  Wipe the rim of each jar with a clean damp cloth to remove any stickiness.  Center lids on jars,  screw on rings just until fingertip tight.

Replace jars into hot water bath in canner; bring to a boil.    Process jars 15 minutes at altitudes up to 1,000 ft.

 

 

when pressed, the seal is not good, and the contents must be refrigerated immediately and used promptly.  If center remains depressed, label and store for up to a year in a cool, dark pantry area.

 

For best flavor, allow jars to sit in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks before using.  For even better texture, refrigerate prior to serving.

 

Be sure to keep refrigerated after opening.

 

Posted August 10th, 2011.

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Nana’s Pickled Beets

by Danica Waters / photo courtesy of www.thebestjuicereviews.com

Every summer for as long as I can remember, my mother would plant a large garden in the lower portion of our back yard.  She grew rows and rows of carrots, peas, beans, onions, potatoes, and beets.  While we were quite accustomed to and rather liked eating beet greens, none of us kids were huge fans of the beetroot itself. As a matter of fact, I remember enduring many a lecture on starving children around the world when it came time to finish the untouched steamed beets on my plate.

 

One year my Nana decided to pickle the poor beetroots, figuring we might actually eat them if they were “doctored up”.  She was right.  Her pickled beets are rather addictive and beautiful sliced in salads.

 

Enjoy!

 

Nana’s Pickled Beets

 

3 lbs. small whole beets (or diced large beets)

2 C vinegar

½ C sugar

1 tsp whole allspice

6 whole cloves

3” stick cinnamon

 

Wash beets.  Simmer 25 minutes; drain.  Slip off skins and trim ends and tips; set aside.

 

Tie allspice, cloves, and cinnamon stick into a cheesecloth bag.  In a large kettle, combine vinegar, water, sugar, and spices in cheesecloth bag.  Bring to a boil; simmer 15 minutes.

 

Pack beets into sterilized half-pint jars.  Cover beets with pickling liquid, leaving ½” headspace.  Adjust lids; process in hot water bath for 30 minutes (be sure water covers jars by at least 1 inch.).

 

Makes 3-1/2 pints.

Posted August 9th, 2011.

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Strawberry Chipotle Jam

by Danica Waters

 

About a year ago, during a Christmas visit to Seattle’s Pike Place Market, I sampled a bit of a Raspberry Chipotle Barbeque Sauce that was to die for.  I mean, it was sooooooo good, I envisioned slathering it on everything from fish and chicken to tofu and grilled veggies.  But as much as I wanted to buy it, I just couldn’t justify the purchase; a wee little bottle was priced at just around $13.00 US.

Now, I truly appreciate and try to support the work of artisans as much as I can, but honestly, I’d have to own the Taj Mahal and have eradicated world hunger before I would consider spending $13.00 on a bottle of barbeque sauce.  It’s just who I am.

By chance, a few months ago I happened across a recipe for a Strawberry Chipotle Jam on one of my favorite blogs (Ree Drummond’s www.pioneerwoman.com.)  Remembering the fantastic combination of fruit with the smoky heat of chipotle peppers, I decided there was no time like the present to try my hand at whipping up a batch.

Having never made jam before, I figured the process would take me an entire afternoon.  I was wrong.  It took 1-1/2 hours to make three jars (I could have made more, but figured it best to start small) of the most delicious, fruity-smoky-tingly jam ever.  The process was so enjoyable, my daughter and I were ready to keep going!  And the cost?  Each jar cost about $3.00 to make – ingredients, jars, everything.  Seriously.

Strawberry Chipotle Jam is delicious on toast and English muffins; I think it would also be fantastic paired with Ritz-style snack crackers and some cream cheese for a quick but elegant hors d’ oeuvre, as well.  Here’s the recipe:

 

Prepare your tools:

Wash 3-4 6-ounce jelly jars, along with the accompanying lids and rings, in hot soapy water.  Rinse well.  Set rings aside.

To a large, deep stock pot or water bath canner with a jar rack, add water until it completely covers the tops of your jars by at least 1”.  Place jars in water, and turn up the heat until water boils.  Reduce heat and keep the jars in the hot water until ready to fill.

 

In separate pan, heat water until hot but not boiling; add lids and keep warm until ready to use.

Line one portion of your counter space with clean dish towels.  Set out your jar lifter or tongs, a small non-metallic spatula, a wide-mouth funnel, and a ladle.

Place two small glass or ceramic salad plates into your freezer (you’ll use these for a consistency check later on!).

 

Assemble your ingredients:

1 quart Strawberries (1 Quart Should Be About 1 1/2 Pounds) See Note Below For Berry Selection

1 whole Large Juicy Lemon, Zested And Juiced

3 cups Sugar

¼ teaspoons Salt

3 whole Canned Chipotle Peppers, Minced

 

Make the jam:

Chop half of the berries into small pieces and smash the rest of the berries. You should have approximately 3 cups—a little extra is ok. (Note:  we used our metal pastry blender/potato masher to reduce the berries – a food processor set to ‘pulse’ would be quick and easy, too.)

In a saucepan, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and salt over medium heat. Stir the mixture occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add all the berries and the minced chipotle peppers to the pan. Bring to a low boil. Then lower heat just a bit and simmer for 10 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A large amount of foam will rise to the surface;  it is best to skim this off for a clearer, prettier jam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After ten minutes, stir and check the gel consistency by placing a small amount of the mixture on a frozen surface. Run your fingers through it. If it is not runny; remove the jam from heat. If it is still runny, simmer for another 5-10 minutes and check again. The jam could take 10-40 minutes to gel properly.

When jam has reached your desired consistency, remove from heat.  Remove hot jars from water bath; set on clean kitchen towels to prevent breakage from coming into contact with a cold surface.

Using your ladle and a wide-mouth funnel, place the hot jam in sterilized jars. Leave1/2” of “head room” in each jar to ensure a proper seal.  Wipe mouth of jar with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue.

Remove lids from hot water bath one at a time, gently place on top of each jar.  Screw on rings just until fingertip-tight.  Do not over-tighten, as this will cause jars to break.  Using jar lifter or tongs, replace jars with jam into water bath and be sure jars are covered with at least 1” of water on top.  Bring to a boil, cover, and allow to process for ten minutes.

Remove jars to the clean kitchen towel and allow to cool.  During this process, you may hear a “ping” noise; do not panic – this is what is supposed to happen!  Do not adjust the rings until jars have completely cooled.  Test your seal by pressing down in the center of the jar; if the center stays depressed and solid, your seal is secure.

If the center of the lid springs up and down, your seal is no good.  Immediately refrigerate jam, and use within a couple of weeks.

For jars with a good seal, label with contents and date and keep stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Yields 3-4 six ounce jars

*Note about the berries: Try to select 1 cup of slightly-unripe berries for the extra pectin they provide.

 

Homemade jams make great additions to holiday gift baskets – make extra for friends and family!

Enjoy!

Posted August 4th, 2011.

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