Saturday, May 25, 2013

Canning success stories

May is always a good time to take stock of the pantry, and figure out what worked and what didn't from last year's canning exploits.    Based on consumption, here is what definitely worked for us:

Corn relish - I've only got one 8 oz. jar left.   I took it to work all winter for my lunch.

Woodchick's BBQ sauce - we're all out

Mustard Beans - it's like a salad in a good!  One jar left.

Pickled Brussels Sprouts - I won an honorable mention at the Downtown Home and Garden pickle contest with this recipe.   It's great!  I didn't make any last fall....bummer.

Strawberry Jam with natural pectin - I can never make enough.  I made some with boxed pectin last year for a demo and it totally sucked compared to this recipe.  As soon as strawberries are in, I will make more

Salsa #5  We were totally out in February.   I should quit my day job and do nothing else but can this salsa in August

Peaches - canned these with my friend Lisa this year; we need to do it every year.   One jar left!

Pickles - only a couple jars left, and I made a TON last year/   Saving the last to make fried dill pickles as soon as my son catches a mess of fish for a big pan fish fry.

Not so much....

PGT  and pickled beets - I still have a couple jars left.  I'm their only eater.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Potato Salad and Kaiser Rolls

Last month, I was cooking out of The Mile End Cookbook: Redefining Jewish Comfort Food from Hash to Hamantaschen , and I think my two favorite recipes in the book were for the potato salad....

...and the Kaiser rolls...

Overall, I found the recipes to be a little bit fussy - i.e. calling for "3 cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour" as if the 2 tablespoons are really necessary.   Also "4 1/2 teaspoons sugar" seemed a little odd - why not make it 1 1/2 tablespoons and call it a day?  The potato salad called for home made dressing, which I was nervous about making since the demise of my old Osterizer blender, which made wonderful emulsions.  My new Kitchen Aid blender ended up with "broken" mayo the last time I made it - I think the shape of the pitcher is the root cause of the problem.  The old blender was tall and thin; the new one is much more stout.  This cookbook suggested using a food processor, which worked great.  Now I can make mayo again! I normally don't like potato salad, but I ate this one with gusto.  I had some leftover mustard mayonnaise, which was delicious in tuna salad, too.   Here's how I made both - tweaked the recipes to be less fussy....

Potato Salad

For the mustard mayonnaise
2 egg yolks
2 T spicy brown mustard
juice of 1 lemon
2 T white vinegar
1 T. kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 3/4 c. safflower oil

Combine all dressing ingredients except the oil in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until smooth and tripled in volume, about 3 minutes.   Then, with the processor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream through the hole in the top of the processor; continue mixing until the oil is fully emulsified.

For the potato salad
3 lb small red potatoes, halved
kosher salt
6 green onions, sliced
1 c. chopped flat leaf parsley
1 c. thinly sliced red onion

Boil potato in a pot with about a 1/2 c. kosher salt, drain and cool.  Mix potatoes, parsley, scallions and onions and about a cup or so of the mayo (or to your preference).   Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Later, I will write about the kaiser rolls.  Meanwhile, I plan on enjoying this potato salad all summer!