Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tomatillo sauce and marinated red peppers

I'm feverishly preparing jars of preserved fruits and vegetables to bring to the October 15 Berkshire Grown preserve swap at the GB Farmers Market from 11-1.  And am hoping everyone who comes across this post is doing likewise. 

Today, even though it's frightfully hot and muggy, I've made tomatillo sauce and marinated red peppers--most of the ingredients, I hasten to note, come from my own garden.  Which is quite the thrill.

The book Well-Preserved by Eugenia Bone was my inspiration for these recipes.  Her instructions are clearly written and her pix are delicious.

One interesting note.  She calls for bottled lemon juice, which I was taught to disdain when I attended the Peter Kump cooking school.  The instructors forbade us to use bottled salad dressing and bottled lemon juice.  The onus on using these things was so strong that I've avoided them completely ever since.  Yet Bone asserts that bottled lemon juice is better for preserving because its acidity is more consistent than that of fresh lemon juice. Who knew?

Tomatillo Sauce

2 1/2 lb tomatillos, husked and washed
2 medium mild fresh chiles (e.g., poblano)
1 small jalapeno pepper (optional, which I didn't use cuz I don't like the heat)
2 c chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 c bottle lemon juice
2 t salt

Preheat broiler.  Bring medium pot of water to boil.

Blanch tomatillos in boiling water, but don't overdo it.  Place blanched tomatillos in food processor and pulse to grind.

Place chiles on baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes, turning as they blister.  Remove chiles and when they're cool enough to handle, remove skins, seed pods, and veins.  Chop chiles.  There should be about 3/4 cup.

Combine tomatillos, chiles, onion, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in medium pot and boil gently for 20 minutes over medium heat.

Have ready 2 scalded pint jars and their lids.  Ladle sauce into pint jars, leaving 1//2- 3/4 inch headspace.  Wipe rims, and set on lids.  Screw on bands fingertip tight.  Add enough water to cover jars by 3".  Process jars in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow jars to rest in water for a few minutes and then remove.  Allow to cool untouched for 6-8 hours.  Chek seals and store in cool, dark place for up to a year. 

Refrigerate after opening.

Marinated red peppers

4 lbs red bell peppers
1 c bottled lemon juice
2 cups white wine vinegar with 5% acidity
1 c evo
2 medium garlic cloves, sliced
1 1/2 t salt

Place oven rack 7" from broiler and preheat broiler.  Place peppers on baking sheet and char them under broiler, turning often with tongs, so that they blister all over, about 20 minutes.  Let peppers stand until cool enough to handle.  Remove charred skin, cut peppers in half and remove seed pods.

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, evo, garlic, and salt in saucepan and heat just until boiling over medium heat.

Have ready 3 scalded pint jars ad their bands.  Pack peppers into jars and pour marinade all over them.  Using a butter knife (or chopstick), pop any air bubbles in the jars.  See that garlic slices are distributed evenl.  Leave 1/2 - 3/4" headspace in jars.  Wipe rims, place on the lids, screw on bands fingertip tight.

Process peppers in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow jars to sit in water for 5 minutes.  Then remove jars and let rest for 4-6 hours.  Check seals and store in cool, dry place for up to 1 year.

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