Southern Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'

Random Rantings about Food and Such

Peach Salsa and Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

on 07/14/2011

I can can.  You can can.  Everybody can can.  So get on your petticoats and your black stockings….

No!  Not that can can.  You can can food!  I’m serious!  It’s true.  Yes, you can.  You can can.

I was fortunate to grow up watching Mama and Granny can all sorts of things but didn’t actually try it on my own until i was in my thirties.  While we lived in Kentucky–where you can find some wonderful apple orchards–i made apple jelly.  Didn’t have all the canning paraphernalia that I have now but you really can make do with things around your kitchen.  A couple years ago i resumed canning and have gotten rather fanatical about it.  It can be time consuming but it’s also very rewarding!  On that note, i’d like to share with you two recipes that i’ve made in the last 24 hours that are perfect for first time canners.  Unlike jams and jellies that you have to worry about “setting up” (in other words, jelling!), these are very simple.  I’ll explain the canning terminology as we go.

The first recipe, Peach Salsa, is very easy to do and looks so beautiful with the variety of colors!   It would make a wonderful gift.  Your biggest obstacle is cutting up the fruit and veggies.  Once you’ve done that, it’s just a matter of throwing everything into a large pot, like a stockpot or Dutch Oven, and cooking.  After it’s cooked, you’ll fill your jars (which you’ve sterilized either in the dishwasher or by cleaning and filling with boiling water.)  You’ll wipe off the rims, just in case of spillage, and place canning lids and rings on them.  You’ll need to have sterilized the rings and lids as well (after washing, i toss mine into a pot with water and get them to a low boil.)  If you have  a canner, that’s great.  If not, get the largest pot you have and fill it with enough water that, once you submerge your jars, their lids will be covered by an inch of water.  Get the water to a rolling boil and add the jars. After a set time (10 minutes at my altitude; 5 for  very low altitudes and 15 for very  high), your jars have been processed.  I let the jars sit in the canner for an additional 5 minutes after turning off the heat.  When you remove the jars, they’ll need to be placed on a wooden surface or on a towel on a hard suface.  It’s also best to leave them for 24 hours.  If you want your jam/jelly/sauce/etc for later that day, just put some in a bowl or container and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.

It may sound a little daunting but i promise with these two recipes, you’ll get the hang of it in no time!  I’m rooting for you!  And if you don’t want to try the whole canning bit but do want to try the recipes, skip the pectin in the Raspberry Chipotle Sauce and just scale back the ingredients to make a batch that is more manageable for you.

Peach Salsa

6 cups peaches, diced

1 1/4 cup red onion, chopped

4 jalapeno, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 Tbs honey

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. cayenne

Simmer ingredients together for 5 minutes.  Pack into jars and process in water bath for 10 minutes.

Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

5 cups mashed raspberries

2 tsp garlic

2 Tbs. chipotles in adobo sauce (can be found in cans in the Hispanic section of the grocery store)

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

3 cups sugar/Splenda/other sugar substitutes  (I did half and half)

1 box fruit pectin

Crush berries.  Puree chipotle peppers with garlic and vinegar.  Mix pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar (this helps keep the pectin from clumping when added.)  Mix berries, chipotle mixture and pectin in a large pot.  Cook on medium-high to high heat until it reaches a full boil.  Add remaining sugar and boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Fill jars with sauce and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

*Note:  This does have a bite to it, which i think is wonderful, but if you like things a little less hot, you might cut back a little on the chipotle.  Also, if you’re unable to get raspberries locally, you could try frozen berries or substitute fresh strawberries.

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