Goin' Green

I used green tomatoes to make salsa.  As it stands right now everyone in the family will have to consume a gallon of salsa per week.  For the rest of their life. 
Salsa Verde
Adapted from Ball
Makes about 6 half pints

This green tomato salsa certainly isn't a traditional salsa verde, which is usually made with tomatillos. Enjoy it with grilled meats and fish or straight from the jar as a dip for tortilla chips.

7 cups chopped cored peeled green tomatoes (about 12 medium)
5 to10 jalapeno, habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
2 cups chopped red onion (about 2 large)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup loosely packed finely chopped cilantro
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 

Line a baking sheet with foil.  Core washed tomatoes and slice in half.  Place on prepared baking sheet skin side up.  Broil for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.  When cool enough to handle, remove the skins.  Chop in food processor or blender.  Chop the onions as well in the food processor or blender.  Use from 5 to 10 hot peppers to reach the level of heat you desire. When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.

Combine tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and lime juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in cilantro, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Ladle hot salsa into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Waterbath for 20 minutes. 

Green Tomato Salsa
From food.com
Makes 8 pints
5 lbs green tomatoes, chopped small (as you prefer for salsa)
6 yellow onions, chopped (4 cups)
3 jalapenos, chopped with seeds (1/2 cup) (optional, use gloves)
4 large red bell peppers, chopped (2 cups)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup lime juice
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
2 teaspoons pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional, to taste)
1-2 teaspoon sugar
Combine everything in a large pot, mixing well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  To continue canning, bring salsa to a boil.
Ladle salsa into hot sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe lids and jar edges clean before finger tightening lids and placing them back in the boiling canning pot.
Process (boil) jars for 15 minutes.
Remove carefully and let sit for 24 hours. Check lids for seal, and refrigerate any unsealed jars.

All American Tomato Rejects

This is the easiest way to can tomato rejects.  The ones with worm holes, black spots, frost damage, wrinkles and are just generally gross.  Those are from my friend's garden.  I, of course, grow award winning tomatoes.  This method is also the easiest way to can those.  
Canned Tomato Puree

Wash and core tomatoes.  Cut out anything undesirable.  Process in blender or food processor.  No peeling necessary.  Bring to boil and simmer 15 minutes.  Longer if you want the puree thicker.  Ladle into prepared jars leaving 1/4-inch head space.  Add lemon juice (1 T. per pint, 2 T. per quart) or citric acid.  Wipe rims.  Place prepared lids on jars.  Screw on bands.  Water bath for 45 min. 

One quart is about 28 oz which is what a lot of recipes call for.  It can be used to make soup, sauce, pizza sauce, BBQ sauce, salsa, or anything. 

Minneola Tangelo

My indoor honeybell tree has flowered.  It's scent is intoxicating.

Shriveled Peppers

Use old shriveled red, yellow or green peppers to make pepper jelly.  Well, use them to make anything.  Just don't throw them out.
Green Pepper Jelly
From Ball
Yield: about 6 half-pints

7 sweet green peppers
1 jalapeno pepper (optional)
1 1/2 c. cider vinegar, divided
1 1/2 c. apple juice
6 T. Ball Classic Pectin or one box Sure-Jell
1/2 t. salt
5 c. sugar, measured in a separate bowl
Green food coloring (optional) I didn't use

To Prepare Juice:  Wash peppers; remove stems and seeds.  Cut peppers into 1/2-inch pieces.  Puree half the peppers and 3/4 c. vinegar in a food processor or blender.  Puree remaining peppers and vinegar.  Combine puree and apple juice in a large bowl.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Strain pureed mixture through a damp jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth.  Measure 4 c. juice.  Add additional apple juice to make 4 c., if needed.

To Make Jelly:  Combine juice, pectin and slat in a large saucepot.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  Add sugar all at once, stirring until dissolved.  Return to a rolling boil.  Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Skim foam if necessary.  Stir in a few drops of food coloring, if desired.  Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process 10 min. in a boiling-water canner.  

Serve on top of crackers and cheese. So yummy!

Variation:  Substitute sweet red, orange or yellow peppers and red, orange or yellow food coloring for sweet green peppers and green food coloring.
Note:  When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned. 

Green pepper jelly (with green food coloring) and red crab apple jelly make a nice Christmas gift from the kitchen.

Baby Zukes

Pick any baby zucchini if you expect a hard frost.  There are lots of things you can do with them.  I tried this pickle recipe.  Clearly you don't want to lose one ounce of zucchini. 
Zucchini Pickles
From Ball Blue Book
Makes about 4 half-pints

2 pounds zucchini, sliced (about 8 small)
1/3 pound onion, quartered and sliced (about 1 small)
1/4 c. Ball salt
2 c. sugar
2 t. mustard seed
1 t. celery salt
1 t. turmeric
3 c. vinegar
Ball Pickle Crisp (optional)

Combine zucchini and onion; sprinkle with salt; add cold water to cover.  Let stand 2 hours.  Drain; rinse and drain thoroughly.  Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepot.  Bring to a boil.  Pour vinegar mixture over zucchini and onion.  Let stand 2 hours.  Bring all ingredients to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Pack hot vegetables and liguid into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  Add Pickle Crisp to each jar, if desired.  Remove air bubbles.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.  

Ham and Jam

The perfect combo.  Especially since they are both old.  I was able to use use the last of the Christmas ham.  Just in time, too.  That was close.  And the jam?  It was unrecognizable. 
Slow Cooker Peach-Glazed Ham
From Pillsbury
Serves 14
1 fully cooked smoked bone-in ham (7 lb) 

3/4 cup peach preserves 
3/4 cup packed brown sugar 
1/2 cup Dijon mustard 
1/4 cup white cranberry and peach juice
Fresh peach slices, if desired 

Spray 7-quart oval slow cooker with cooking spray. Remove excess fat from ham. Make cuts about 1/2 inch apart and 1/4 inch deep in diamond pattern around top and sides of ham. Place ham in slow cooker. In small bowl, mix preserves, brown sugar, mustard and cranberry juice until smooth. Spread or brush mixture over ham in slow cooker.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 hours or until meat thermometer reads 140°F. Remove ham from slow cooker; cover with foil and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, pour juices from slow cooker into 2-quart saucepan. Heat to simmering; cook until slightly thickened. Serve ham with sauce. Garnish serving platter with peach slices.

Calories per serving: 274    

Its that time of year.

That time when you disguise yourself and pretend your something your not.  Like these carrots that are all dressed up to look fresh.  Well at least edible.
Roasted Vegetables with Fresh Herbs
Adapted from Food and Wine
Serves 12

2 pounds of carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick (I used a food processor slicer)
5 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 sage leaves
5 thyme sprigs
Two 6-inch rosemary sprigs, cut into 2-inch lengths
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper  
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the olive oil, sage, thyme and rosemary and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 55 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until the vegetables are tender and golden. Scrape into a bowl and serve hot or at room temperature.