Tag: recipe

Green Tomato Pickle Relish Recipe

Econogal’s Green Tomato Pickle Relish

Since I had an overabundance of green tomatoes at the end of this year’s growing season, I tried several new recipes. One that I am sharing today is for a Green Tomato Pickle Relish. I found the handwritten recipe in one of my recipe boxes and so have no idea of the origin. I tweaked it a bit as well.

This mostly sweet relish does have small super-hot peppers placed in the bottom of the jar along with a fat garlic clove. This can be modified to suit your preferences. The prep requires an overnight draining period so planning is essential.

My stock of cheesecloth was depleted so I substituted coffee filters to make the Bouquet garni of spice seeds. This trick is a great time saver. I used two coffee filters, filled with the spices and then twisted the top and secured with kitchen string.

Spices wrapped in coffee filters to make a bouquet garni
Shortcut to make a bouquet garni

The Prep

The recipe calls for finely chopped vegetables so I used a food processor instead of chopping by hand. While this cut down on the prep time, it still took about 45 minutes to chop 10 cups of green tomatoes, 2 cups of green peppers and 2 cups of onion. But the prep time the following morning was almost nil.

In the morning, drain the vegetables while bringing the liquid mixture to a boil. Add vegetables and return to the boiling point then quickly remove from heat.  Place garlic glove and two small hot peppers in the bottom of each jar. Then you are ready to can and process.

2 hot peppers and a garlic glove at the bottom of a canning jar
Place peppers and garlic in bottom before adding green tomatoes.

Maybe a total of 45 minutes is needed on the second day. So the entire time of actual prep and cooking is an hour and a half divided by an overnight rest in between. Makes 7 pints.

Ingredients for Green Tomato Pickle Relish

About 5 lbs. Green Tomatoes finely chopped to make 10 cups chopped

5-6 Green Sweet Pepper finely chopped for 2 cups chopped

2 lbs Onions finely chopped for 2 cups chopped

½ cup canning salt

1 quart Cider Vinegar

2 Cups Sugar

2 Tbs. Mustard seed

1 tsp whole cloves

7 large garlic cloves

14 small hot red peppers

2 paper coffee filters

Instructions for Green Tomato Pickle Relish

Day One: Finely chop tomatoes, peppers and onions. Sprinkle with canning salt and let sit overnight.

Day Two: Drain vegetables. Make a bouquet garni by placing mustard seed and cloves in the center of doubled coffee filters. spices wrapped in a coffee filter to make a bouquet garniTwist shut and secure by tying string around the top. Combine vinegar and sugar in a non-reactive stock pot. Add bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Remove the bouquet garni then add vegetables and return to the boiling point. Immediately remove from heat and pour into hot, sterilized jars. Add lids and bands and then process in a water bath for ten minutes. Add appropriate time if you live at altitude.

This green tomato pickle relish is great served over hot dogs or bratwurst as well as alongside roasted meats. Enjoy!

Green tomatoes in a food processor
Finely chopping green tomatoes is easy using a food processor.

 

 

Soft Gluten Free Dinner Rolls

Gluten Free Roll split apart to show texture
Great texture inside

Gluten Free Rolls

Although no one in my immediate family is gluten intolerant, a few of the extended family members have a problem digesting wheat. So at family gatherings such as Easter Brunch, I whip up a batch of Soft Gluten Free Dinner Rolls. Now the trick is to keep from eating them all before tomorrow. This recipe is that good!

The base flours for this recipe are white rice flour and almond flour. The hardest ingredient for me to find is xanthan gum. Thyme and basil, the herbs used, give the rolls an earthy flavor. To be honest I don’t know why these gluten-free dinner rolls are so soft. I am just glad they are. I have eaten a few gluten-free hockey pucks in my time. But this recipe always works.

There are a couple of key tips. First of all there are a lot of ingredients. Gather them up before you begin. Then put each aside after adding. Second, the poolish really expands so make sure you use a medium to large bowl for that prep step. Third, freshly grinding the thyme leaves into powder really adds to the taste.

White rice flour atop a liquid yeast mixture.
The poolish just after layering flour on top.
Spillover of poolish mixture
The bowl was not large enough to hold the mixture as yeast expanded. Use medium to large bowl.

Ingredients

2 TBS. dry active yeast
1 TBS. sugar
2 cups almond milk divided with each part warmed to 100-105 degrees
1 ½ cups white rice flour
1 cup almond flour
¾ cup corn starch
1TBS. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
1 TBS. baking powder
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ tsp. ground thyme
½ tsp. dried basil
2 large eggs
¼ cup butter melted
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

 

 

Poolish

A poolish is the secret of bakers. Basically, it gives the yeast time to percolate. In the case of the gluten-free dinner rolls, the poolish has a specific time period; 30 minutes to two hours. I usually wait between 1 ½ to 2 hours.

For this recipe, make the poolish by combining the yeast, sugar, and one cup of warmed almond milk. Then sprinkle the white rice flour evenly across the liquid. This should form a seal over the yeast base. Then let rest for 30 minutes up to 2 hours. There will be bubbles of the liquid yeast base breaking through the flour layer.

Yeast bubbled through flour
After 1 1/2 hours

Batter

When the poolish is ready, mix the remaining dry ingredients in the stand base of an electric mixer. Pour the poolish, the second cup of warm almond milk, eggs, melted butter, honey, and apple cider vinegar and mix at a very low-speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated. This should be about 30 seconds. Then scrape down the bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.

Turn mixer on high and mix for 3 minutes. The chia seeds should be evenly distributed, flour totally incorporated and the dough consistency will be similar to a quick bread, but not pourable.

Grease muffin pans and an individual 3 x 5 ½ loaf pan. Then using a small cookie scoop, make clover leaf-shaped rolls by placing three level scoops in each muffin slot. Scoop remaining batter in loaf pan. Then place pans in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.

Using cookie scoop to create rolls
Create clover leaf rolls by placing three small scoops into each muffin tin.
Rolls and bread fully risen
After 45 minutes to rise

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the rolls for 18 minutes and the loaf pan for 22 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Rolls cooling on a rack.
Cooling on a rack

Two Tone Zucchini Bread

For the first time ever, I am successfully growing zucchini. Most people find zucchini easy to grow. However, I have been the exception. In fact I seldom have an over-supply of this versatile vegetable. This year, thanks to my raised row garden, I have plenty of zucchini to work with. Two Tone Zucchini Bread is the result of my latest recipe creation.
The bread has some sweetness, but not too much. As a result of reading The Case Against Sugar, I am really watching how much sugar I add to my cooking and baking. Two Tone Zucchini Bread has plenty. Both a cup of white sugar and a third of a cup of chocolate chips will please those with a sweet tooth.

Prepping the Zucchini

The prep takes a little bit of time. I like to pick the squash before it gets too big. This reduces and sometimes eliminates the amount of seeds. I don’t like the seeds in my bread but if you use monster squash, you don’t need to pick out the seeds. They are edible.

Wash the zucchini thoroughly. This is important even if you grow your own or know if the produce has been organically grown. Then I peel before grating. You can leave the peel on if that is your preference. You will need 1 and ½ cups of grated zucchini. Once this step is done, you are ready to gather the remaining ingredients.

This recipe calls for whole wheat flour. If you use all-purpose flour add two tablespoons of flour. I like using whole wheat flour. But, the two types of flour vary slightly with the liquid/flour ratio needed to bake. I also prefer using sunflower oil but other vegetable oils could be substituted.

Kitchen equipment needed:

Grater, electric mixer and mixing bowl, 9 x 5 pan greased well, mixing spoon or large spatula, measuring spoons and cups.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups grated zucchini

For second batter:

1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift the first eight ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, sunflower oil, water and vanilla extract and blend on a medium low-speed. Stir in the grated zucchini. Pour approximately half the batter into a well-greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. A cooking spray is preferred.

To the remaining batter, add the dark cocoa powder and the chocolate chips. Stir on low until fully incorporated. I used semi-sweet but milk chocolate or dark chocolate can be used as well. Then pour the second batter on top of the first. Bake for 50-60 minutes. A toothpick inserted through the center should be clean when done.

I did not smooth the batter, nor did I spread it out evenly. This gives the loaf uneven layers. However, the next time I make this recipe I plan to see if the second batter will swirl through the first. The weight of the chocolate chips may hinder this technique. In fact, the uneven layers may have been due to the chocolate chips sinking at random spots.

Try this recipe next time you have some extra zucchini. I think you will like it!

Low Sugar Mixed Berry Jam

Seven jars of mixed berry jam.
Finished Product
Even though it is still winter where I live, the grocery store is full of berries shipped in from the other hemisphere. The sales on berries prompted me to make some jam. I created this mixed berry jam mixture not knowing if it would set properly since I did not have a recipe that matched the berries I had bought. I am happy to report success with the Low Sugar Mixed Berry Jam recipe.

Recently, I read The Case Against Sugar which you can read about by clicking here. I have not cut out all sugar, but I am reducing the amount I use. So for this recipe I bought Sure Jell in the pink box which is made for low sugar or no sugar recipes. The instructions have recipes in addition to others I have, but I could not find a recipe using strawberry, blackberry and blueberry. So I set out to create the mixed berry jam.

Canning Equipment

You will need a water bath canner, canning jars, lids and rings for this recipe. I like to use Ball lids and rings the most but I have also had great success with Kerr products. Even though I like to recycle, I only use Ball or Kerr jars when canning. Jars saved from grocery store items tend to break in my canner during the processing. I do like to vary the jar sizes because yields are inexact.

The jars need at least ten minutes in boiling water to sterilize, however the lids only need two to three minutes. The biggest challenge is the timing. I usually start the water in the canner before I prepare the fruit. Jars are removed from the canner just after I stir in the sugar. This allows me to immediately pour the jam into jars that are still warm. If you have a helper in the kitchen this task is much easier.

Low Sugar Mixed Berry Jam Recipe

3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 pounds Strawberries
1 pint Blueberries
12 ounces Blackberries
1 box Sure Jell Low Sugar Pectin
4 ½ cups sugar
Yields About 7 Cups

Preparation of Berries

I prepare the strawberries first. Wash and cut the hulls off the berry. Then slice each into quarters. If the berries are very large you may need to chop them into smaller pieces.

The blueberries are a favorite for some of my family members, but you do not often find them used in jams. You need to carefully wash, de-stem and cut the larger ones in half for this recipe. Be sure to wear an apron or old clothes to avoid staining from the berries.

The blackberries can be the messiest. Wash and slice the berries in half. Like the blueberries, they can stain fabric.

Cooking the Low Sugar Mixed Berry Jam

For the most part, I follow the directions on the Sure Jell packaging. However, for this recipe I used two additional steps. First, I placed three tablespoons of lemon juice in the bottom of my pot. Then, I put a single layer of strawberries in the bottom of the pot. Turning on to medium high heat, I let the strawberries heat until mash able. After mashing, I added a second layer of strawberries. Once the strawberries were mashed, but not cooked, I added the blueberries and blackberries.

From this point on, I followed the cooked jam directions from Sure Jell. I used a total of 4 ½ cups of sugar. Taking ¼ cup of sugar from the above amount, mix with the powdered pectin and stir into berries. The constant stirring along with the heat, breaks up the berries into small pieces. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. This means there are bubbles all over the top even when stirring.
At this point the remainder of the sugar is added. Continuous stirring is needed so the jam does not burn. Once the mixture returns to a full rolling boils, cook for one minute more and the remove from heat. The mixed berry jam is ready to jar.

I place a kitchen towel on my counter to set the jars on. I also have a clean wet wash rag to wipe the tops of the jars before attaching the lids and rings. Fill one jar at a time and close before moving on to the next one. The jam jars seal better this way.

I loved the taste of this jam, not too sugary and small bits of fruit. Next time your grocery story has berries on sale consider making this Low Sugar Mixed Berry Jam. I think you will like it.