Archive for the Category ◊ Jams, Curds & Marmalades ◊

26 Jul 2020 Homemade Ketchup
-:: Fresh Homemade Ketchup ::-

Every year I plant tomatoes and every year, for a period of a few weeks, I have more tomatoes than any one family could ever use. I have some recipes on this blog that call for a lot of homegrown tomatoes: Fresh Tomato Lasagna and Tomato Tart jump to mind because we make them every summer. This year we have added two wonderful new recipes, Homemade Tomato Ketchup and Tomato Jam.

This is my recipe for Tomato Ketchup. The recipe originated with Saveur Magazine, was adapted by someone, and then adapted again by myself. I switched from using whole spices wrapped in cheesecloth to ground spices stirred in at the beginning. So much easier!

This ketchup is DELICIOUS. We even taste-tested, side-by-side with Heinz ketchup, this ketchup, and McDonald’s fries. Eight testers, and not one chose the Heinz over this ketchup. One tester even complained about the gluey texture of the Heinz ketchup, something she had never noticed before (OK, so that tester was me)… ?

The ketchup is EASY to make, but it does involve a lot of dishes and utensils: cutting board, sharp knife, stockpot, wooden spoon, a blender, a sieve, measuring spoons, and small bowl. But really…, that’s not too much for a six month’s supply of delicious homemade ketchup with no preservatives, no artificial flavourings, and no chemical thickening agents, is it?

Homemade Tomato Ketchup

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pounds homegrown tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 Anaheim chilies, seeded and chopped, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon chile flakes, optional
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 oz. (125 grams or 10 tablespoons) light brown sugar

To finish, optional:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients, except for the cornstarch and cold water, in a large stockpot.
  2. Simmer mixture over medium heat until tomatoes and chiles are soft and onions are translucent and limp, about 45-60 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat, and let mixture cool (because blending hot liquids can be dangerous and messy). Remove bay leaves.
  4. In batches (probably 3 batches, depending on the size of your blender and temperature of tomato mixture), place tomato mixture into a blender and blend until very smooth.
  5. Strain the ketchup through a fine-mesh strainer and return to the cooking pot (straining removes seeds and peels). Press on the solid pieces to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
  6. Once all the pureed liquid has been returned to the pan, cook over medium-low heat for an additional 30-45 minutes or until thickened to your preference.
  7. OPTIONAL: If your ketchup doesn’t thicken to your liking (some tomatoes have more liquid in them than other tomatoes), mix a slurry of cornstarch and cold water. Bring tomato mixture to a rapid boil and, stirring constantly, pour in the cornstarch slurry.  Continue to boil and stir for a full minute.
  8. Remove ketchup from heat and let cool.
  9. Ketchup can be stored in a sealed container (preferably glass) in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks and frozen for 6 months or more.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. Tomato Jam will be up soon!

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04 May 2019 Sweet Chili-Citrus Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas

Not every published recipe works, and that’s a pet peeve of mine. Recently my Cookbook Club received the galley proofs for a soon-to-be-published cookbook. We cooked 19 recipes from the cookbook. Not one worked as written! Not one! Quantities didn’t fit into the stated pans, the oven temperatures were too low, cooking times were too short, methods were inconsistent, steps were missing, and some recipes simply didn’t work or were just plain weird… Jicama Fries anyone? Cauliflower with red wine?

I think the author had some good ideas, but I don’t think any recipe was tested outside of her kitchen or by anyone other than herself.  Badly written (or just plain wrong) recipes are a pet peeve of mine. I think some people end up thinking they are bad cooks just because they have had a couple of run-ins with bad recipes. Gr-r-r-r. It’s all about the recipe, folks (which was the name of my second “cookbook”, that I had passed out to my friends on my 50th birthday).

That all being said, this recipe, from the cookbook we reviewed, has become a favorite. It’s a sheet pan recipe! A ‘new trend’, which is really an old one rehashed, but whatev! After living six decades I have seen trends come, go, and come back again. Anyway, back to the recipe. I had to make some adjustments to methods and oven temperatures, and add in the rice component and now this recipe is one of the quickest, company-worthy, restaurant quality dinners I have on file. The picture above doesn’t do it justice. The shrimp are much more saucy and colorful. The picture below is a bit better, but I only had half the quantity of snap peas and I really should have removed the tails from the shrimp before cooking them. So, on with the recipe, because it’s a good one.

Note: I have been going back and forth about crediting this recipe to the cookbook author referenced above. After much thought I decided not to because I said so many negative (but truthful) things about her cookbook.

To make this you’ll need TWO large sheet pans, and some cooked rice. Either serve the dish in three different bowls, a bowl of rice, a bowl of peas, and a bowl of shrimp, OR layered in one 9×13 serving dish.

Sweet Chili-Lime Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas

1/2 cup orange marmalade (heated slightly to make pour-able and mixable)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (usually 2 limes)

2 teaspoons Thai Chili Garlic Paste (It’s red, and sold in jars in Asian section of most grocery stores)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 lbs shrimp, defrosted if necessary, with shells and tails removed (I like the frozen shrimp from Costco)

1 pound sugar snap peas

2 cups hot prepared rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2.  Combine marmalade, soy sauce, lime juice, chili-garlic paste and ground ginger.
  3.  Place the prepared shrimp into a large bowl or a large Ziploc bag. Pour marmalade mixture over shrimp and toss to coat.
  4. Pour the shrimp and all the marinade onto a sheet pan.
  5. Rinse and dry the sugar snap peas, and then toss with the olive oil.
  6. Pour the sugar snap peas onto another sheet pan.
  7. Place both sheet pans into hot 400 degree oven.
  8. Remove the snap peas after 5-7 minutes. Peas should be shiny and crisp.
  9. Let the shrimp cook for an additional minute or two. Remove from the oven when fully cooked, the shrimp should be totally opaque and curled into a “C” shape.
  10. Either serve the dish in three different bowls, a bowl of rice, a bowl of peas, and a bowl of shrimp, OR, as I do now, in one 9×13 serving dish with rice on the bottom, peas in the next layer, and the shrimp and sauce poured on top. The sauce eventually meets the rice and…, yum-m-m…, heaven!
  11. Serve and share 🙂

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

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04 May 2019 Apricot-Coconut Bars

Feel like baking this weekend? Try these! They are delicious, one of my favorite bar/tray bake recipes. The bars are buttery, crisp, jammy, and coconut-y all at the same time. The dozen or so diced dried apricots sprinkled on top of the apricot jam boost the apricot flavor appreciably.

I’ve been making these bars for at least a decade. The original recipe was made with raspberry jam (and no diced apricots, obviously), but I think my apricot jam version with the addition of diced dried apricots takes the cake…, the bar…, the tray bake!

Apricot-Coconut Bars

1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut, divided use

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats

¾ cup apricot jam

10-12 dried apricots finely diced

  1. Prepare a 9×13 pan by lightly greasing bottom and sides or lining with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Toast the coconut in a dry frying pan until golden. Stir constantly and watch carefully OR spread onto a baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. In the bowl of a food processor blend flour, brown sugar and salt. With motor running add butter pieces gradually then blend until a dough begins to form.
  5. Add 1 cup of toasted coconut and all of the oatmeal to dough in bowl, mix lightly but thoroughly, approx. 2-4 short bursts.
  6. Reserve ¾ cup of the dough and set aside.
  7. Press remaining dough into bottom of a prepared 9×13 inch baking pan.
  8. Sprinkle chopped dried apricots over dough.
  9. Spread jam evenly over dried apricots and the dough layer (It might help to heat jam briefly in the microwave to make it easier to spread).
  10. Crumble reserved ¾ cup of dough over jam.
  11. Sprinkle reserved ½ cup coconut over top of bars.
  12. Bake in middle of preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
  13. Cool in pan.
  14. Lift entire slab out of pan, transfer to cutting board and cut into bars of desired size and shape.
  15. Bars can be made 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

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31 Jul 2010 Fresh Strawberry Jam (3 ingredients, no pectin)

Has it been a week since I posted a recipe? Argghhhhh. I hate, hate, hate being laid up. I want to walk! When I get up from this chair, things are going to change. I will swim, I will work out, I will walk…and I will cook and post and maybe(!) start cleaning again. Having a broken ankle is soooo NOT fun. My heart goes out to all of you who have had to go through stuff like this before. I’m in a relatively minor pickle and have a lot of help and just listen to me whine…

Thank goodness I have a lot of recipes and a daughter willing to cook her way through them all while I sit on the sidelines. She’s even turned out to be good little food photographer! She decided it was time to make strawberry jam.

We have a strawberry delivery person in our neighborhood. He first knocked on my door pulling strawberries in a rickety Red Flyer wagon. Now he drives a fancy van. He used to just bring strawberries. Now he brings strawberries, mangoes and oranges. The only problem is…, he brings flats of strawberries and mangoes and 25 lb bags of oranges. I always buy what he has and then I have to start cooking. He knocked early last week so we’ve had Strawberry Volcanoes, Strawberry Cake, Chocolate-Strawberry Pie (not yet posted) and, with the leftover less-than-perfect strawberries, Fresh Strawberry Jam.

I found this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine. I am not sure of the date or the year, but it was probably about 4 or 5 years ago. I usually make a double batch of this, and then store 1/2 cup portions in the freezer. I just loooove hot buttered toast with Fresh Strawberry Jam. By making this when strawberries are at their tastiest, juiciest best, I can enjoy the taste of the best strawberries all winter long!

Fresh Strawberry Jam

4 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Combine strawberries and sugar in a medium saucepan, and bring to simmer over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 1 hour or until thick (if you are doubling the batch, this step may take an additional 30 to 45 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, and let cool to room temperature. Makes approx. 2 cups. Can be stored in a covered container in refrigerator for up to one month. For longer storage, freeze.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  Stop by again in January for some hot buttered toast with Fresh Strawberry Jam (I’ve put some away in the freezer just for us)!

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