Tales of a Perfectionist

Life is more than a quest for perfection, a lesson I'm learning day by day.

Using up Green Tomatoes November 14, 2009

Filed under: In The Kitchen — Becky Marie @ 8:58 am
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This past weekend, my husband and I finally pulled out all the plants so I could start to put the garden to bed for the winter. As we pulled the tomato plants, I picked off the green tomatoes and was shocked at the number. The pile seemed to double every time I turned around.

Green Tomatoes!

I wasn’t willing to throw away all my tomatoes, so I consulted my friend google in search of green tomato recipes. Over the course of two days I made a sweet relish, a green salsa, and spicy fireballs (pickled green cherry tomatoes).  I started with basic relish and salsa recipes and made some minor changes based on the ingredients I had on hand (and based on the ingredients I forgot to add). The relish is wonderfully sweet. We used it to make tuna salad for dinner on Wednesday. Yummy! The salsa came out too hot for me (I’m a wimp), but my husband really enjoys it. I havn’t tried the fireballs yet as they are supposed to age for at least two weeks to develop flavor, but I expect they’ll come out very hot.

My Pantry

I am not an expert on canning, but I do understand the basic principles. In general you are not supposed to alter a recipe, however I feel the changes I made produce a safe food product. My version of the recipes were not tested outside my kitchen. Always make sure jars have sealed once they cooled and check seal again prior to use.

Tomatoes and PepperGreen Tomato Sweet Relish

5 cups chopped green tomatoes
2 red bell peppers, chopped 2 green bell peppers, chopped
4 tbsp pickling salt
4 cups sugar
3 cups white vinegar
3 tbsp mustard seed
3 tbsp celery seed

Chop the tomatoes and peppers by your preferred method (I used the food processor). Add pickling salt and mix. Allow to sit for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature, then drain. Boil the sugar, vinegar, and seeds for 5 minutes. Add the tomato mixture and simmer for 10 minutes. Seal in hot, sterile jars (pint or half pint) leaving 1/2 inch head space and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Time given is for sea level.


Green SalsaGreen Tomato Salsa

5 cups chopped green tomatoes
4 cups chopped onion
1 sweet bell pepper*
6-10 garlic cloves
1/2 cup hot peppers*
1 cup bottled lime juice*
3 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Chop tomatoes, onion, peppers, and garlic by prefered method (I used the food processor). Combine with remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Seal in hot, sterile jars (pint or half pint) leaving 1/2 inch head space and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes for half pint and 15 minutes for pint.  Time given is for sea level.

*I used a red bell pepper because it’s what I had on hand, you may substitute any color you prefer.

*I used jalapeños with seeds removed because I am a wimp and do not like hot salsa. Feel free include as many seeds as you like or substitute a hotter pepper.

*Bottled lime juice has a standard acidity level. Juice from fresh limes may not provide the acidity level needed for this recipe. You may use fresh lime juice, but store the salsa in the refrigerator and use in a timely manner. Bottled lemon juice may be substituted, however the same warning for fresh lemon juice applies.

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Summer Salad July 1, 2009

Filed under: In The Kitchen — Becky Marie @ 7:35 am
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This is in response to the challenge my friend Tami posted on her blog.  She has shared a few summer salad recipes and asked us to do the same.  I got the idea to substitute pureed beans for mayonnaise from a cookbook so this isn’t entirely my idea, but I have tweaked this recipe quite a bit.  I’m still trying to perfect it.  Enjoy!

Chicken Waldorf Salad

2 to 3 Chicken Breasts

 1 cup dry white beans (I use navy beans)

1 tart apple

a bunch of grapes (red or green, seedless)

walnuts (or almonds or pecans)

celery

lemon juice

Mayonnaise or Mustard (optional)

I soak the beans overnight in the crock pot.  In the morning I change the water, add the chicken and turn in on low for several hours.  When its done I turn off the crock pot, drain the water and allow it to cool for a few minutes.  Cut up the apple, grapes, and celery and place in a large bowl.  Cut up the chicken (It should fall apart pretty easily at this point) and add to the bowl.  Add walnuts.  Place the beans in the food processor with lemon juice.  You can use canned beans, rinse the beans several times (this takes out some of the salt) before use.  Puree the beans, adding as much water as needed to make a somewhat runny paste.  Add either a little mayonnaise or mustard for flavor, if desired.  Add the beans to the bowl and mix well.  This tastes the best once its rested in the fridge for a while.

Sorry there are no pictures of this yet.  I made this two days ago, before Tami’s challenge, and didn’t take a picture.