Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grilled Portabella & Pastrami Sandwich

  • Pastrami (I used turkey pastrami)
  • Portabella mushroom cap
  • Mozzarella cheese (I used shredded, you could also use very thin slices)
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Butter
  • 1/2 TBS Olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary
Fry the pastrami and portabello in olive oil and rosemary. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle a little cheese on one unbuttered side, lay on the fried pastrami, sprinkle a little more cheese, lay on the portabello, sprinkle little more cheese, add the second piece of bread buttered side out. Set the sandwich in the hot pan to grill both sides.

My son was so excited about this sandwich he had almost half of it gone before I could even take a picture! Two thumbs up from my teen. He reluctantly gave me a taste as well, and I agree it is a keeper.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cherry Bomb Salsa

I have a bunch of tomatoes ripening in my garden, so I have been canning. I only can high acid foods since I don't have a pressure canner, and I never had experience with one (that may change next year). Most tomatoes are naturally high in acid, so they can be canned using the hot water bath method.

I wanted to make salsa but didn't have enough jalapeños, so I ordered a pound of Cherry Bomb peppers from our local coop. I like these peppers a lot because they have the sweetness of the ripe red sweet pepper but a nice bite of a mild jalapeño.
This makes four quart jars of salsa.
  • 1 gallon crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb Cherry Bomb peppers, tops and seeds removed (leave seeds for more heat)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, bottom and skin removed
  • 1 bulb garlic, skins removed
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (necessary for water-bath canning; you can omit if pressure canning)
  • 2 TBS brown sugar (it cuts down on the harshness of the acidity necessary for water-bath canning these)

Chop everything and put in a large pan to reduce until thickened. You can either let cool and eat it right away or you could can this for later. I did can this but had some leftovers to try. It was very good, but mild. I will add more peppers or leave the seeds in for more heat next time.

For canning:
*Please visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation site for proper canning instructions. Although no one has ever fallen ill from my canning methods, I may be omitting proper procedural steps here.*

While the salsa is boiling down, put the rack in the water-bath pan, fill 1/3 way with water, and bring to boil. Wash four jars, lids and bands. Carefully examine each jar for any damage; do not use jars with any amount of damage (you can save these for storing dry foods). Sterilize the jars and lids by placing in the boiling water for ten minutes.
Fill the jars with the hot, reduced salsa to 1/2 inch from the top. Wipe the rim with a clean, damp towel. Place a lid on and hand-tighten a band on the jar.
Place the jars in the water bath. When the temperature has reach at least 212degrees, place a lid on the pan and maintain temperature for 35 minutes.
Remove the jars carefully. Place on a towel or cooling rack leaving at least an inch in between all jars. You should hear the lids contract, making a popping/pinging sound. Let them cool for 24hrs before checking for proper seal, labeling and storing in a cool, dry, dark place.

I try to use up my canned goods within a year for best taste and throw out everything that's older than three years just to be safe. But when I was growing up, we often ate home canned goods that were over five years old and we're all still alive!!

*I also found this site to be very good at basic canning instructions.*