Sunday, September 28, 2014

Green Tomato Relish

Green tomato relish. That’s the one. That’s the one from my childhood. That’s the one I remember most. I remember how strong the vinegar was – how it took away my breath. How delicious I knew it was going to be when it was done. If left to my own devices, I’d have had an entire jar to myself at meals.

This is the first attempt at relish.  I’m going to give it an 80% success! Points detracted for not having any clue on how many jars I would need. (I.e – Way way  more!) More detracted for pulling another trick from my childhood – touching the burner to see if it was hot.  The rest of it, though? As tasty as I remember it.
Please enjoy mom’s Green Tomato Relish.  (When she gave me the recipe, she wrote: “my notes say I first made it in 1970 and rated it GOOD”. Who doesn’t love a recipe book with notes. :-D)

Green Tomato Relish
20 green tomatoes
8 granny smith apples (peeled)
4 onions
1 red pepper
Put all through food processor.

Add into a HUGE pot containing the following:
5 cups sugar
3 cups vinegar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbs. salt
1 tsp cloves.

Boil 20 minutes and process, as you do, in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes.

(As you do: sterilize jars, lids and floppy tin top things. Pour into jars, being careful to maintain sterilized status.)
Oh – and another note – you may already know, onions are the enemy.  The original recipe calls for 8 onions. I reduced it. The original recipe doesn’t call for red peppers. I’ll keep them in.

Makes  18 ½ pints.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Chili Con Carne and Cornbread

Autumn has arrived. Chili season begins now.

The Chili:  I have made chili from memory for as long as I can remember. At one point, one of my brothers and I ran a canteen at the local skating rink. My main job was the chili making. And I used to like it. Over the years, the chili has become more and more spicy. I have also liked it less and less. So... I figured I’d try it one last time. And I cut back the spicy by 2/3.  Sonofagun, if that didn’t become a tasty dish! It could use just a smidge more, but at least there is a new starting point.
The Cornbread:  Lots of goings on at Club Lupy these days – one of which is experimenting with different selections from the cereal/bread food group.  So... I looked up a flourless cornbread recipe.  It was so disappointing on the first day that the idea of publishing the recipe on the blog was aborted. But over the course of the week I have had it a few times, and... it really has potential.  Something went wrong, and it seems like someone poured corn-sand in the middle.  BUT... the rest of it is almost perfect! If you have any suggestions on how to fix my sand-in-the-cornbread quandary, it would be most appreciated.  I think the recipe is a good enough start to use as a starting point.

Update 1/24/2015: The addition of a third egg, and an extra step of soaking the cornmeal in milk for 10 minutes solved the "sand" issue. Yahoo! Thanks for the help!

Cornbread
1 ¾ cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tbsp honey
2 cups milk
2 tsp melted butter (or bacon grease)

Preheat oven to 450º.  Grease a 10” cast iron skillet, 8x8 pan, or 10” pie plate.
 Combine 1 1/2 cups cornmeal, honey, and milk. Let soak 10 minutes.

In separate small bowl, mix 1/4 cup cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Whisk with a fork to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with fork.  Add cornmeal/milk mixture and melted butter.
Add in dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool before cutting.

As a variation, add a finely chopped jalapeno pepper and sharp cheese.

 Chili Con Carne
600 grams lean ground beef (about 1 ½ lbs)
1 onion chopped finely – if you’re the onion using sort.
1 796 ml (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes (blend in a blender)
1 540 ml (19 oz) can red kidney beans - rinsed
1 ½ tbsp chili powder (I used 1 tbsp. It was almost enough.)
1 tsp salt

Brown ground beef. (And onions, if you’re using them.)  Puree the tomatoes in a blender or with an immersion blender.  Add to browned ground beef.  Add rinsed kidney beans, chili powder and salt. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until thickened.
Top with grated cheese.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Six Layer Casserole

Every now and then you just want a bit of comfort food... something from your youth, something from the fall, something.... mushy and salty.

The thing I remember loving about Seven Layer Casserole was the sausages. With the little bit of sweet from the tomato soup. Not much else, actually. But now, when I look forward to it, I look forward to all of those flavours meeting up in the potatoes.
Today I know that “onions are the enemy” – and hopefully that knowledge will take me to a new level of enjoying this.  That, and a substitution of brown rice.  We’ll see. I’ll know more in an hour or two.  For the moment, I’ll prepare the recipe for posting.

Seven Six Layer Casserole:
2 medium sized potatoes
1 cup carrots (frozen, if you want it like mom’s, canned if you want it like my childhood.  Chopped, fresh, if you’re like me and don’t stock canned.)
1 cup peas (frozen, if you want it like mine, canned if you want it like my childhood and possibly mom’s.)
1 handful or so of brown rice (I have a “cooks in 20 minutes” brown rice.  If you don’t have that, you may want to opt for white rice.)   And that’s a true story.  Mom says a handful or two.
Breakfast sausages (One try. If you can find a smaller tray than I found, you’d be better off. I have way too many sausages on mine.  Pity.  Heh.)
1 can condensed tomato soup


Assemble the layers as follows:
Layer 1:  Peel and slice potatoes, and place in the bottom of a 2 qt casserole dish.  (I chopped them into hash brown size squares this time.  Maybe it’ll cook quicker?) 

Layer 1.5:  If you’re partial to onions, chop a medium onion into rings – place over potatoes.
Layer 2:  chop and place carrots over potatoes.

Layer 3: partially thaw peas and place over carrots
Layer 4:  shake 1-2 hands full of rice over peas

Layer 5:  place sausages side-by-side on top of rice.  (Ever since my nephew told me they looked like fingers, I’ve started cutting them in half.  Heh.)
Layer 6:  pour tomato soup on top of all, spread out.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350º.  I’ve never had this complete in time.  Those darn potatoes are never ready.  I’ll let you know how it goes this time.

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