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Posts Tagged ‘pickling’

The Joy of Pickling

If you haven’t started pickling yet, it’s time to hop on the hipster bandwagon and get out the mason jars. Sure, it involves turning on the stove during the summer, but the payoff — both in flavor and health benefits — is worth it.

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Hot Stuff, Comin’ Through: Pickled Jalapenos

Guilty confession: Despite my nearly fanatical devotion to all things DIY food, there are a handful of store-bought canned goods that I have a soft spot for. I still occasionally enjoy those bland, waxy black olives, for example. You know, the kind you used to stick on your fingers when you were a kid. (Or maybe you still do that. Don’t let me cramp your style.)

I also love pickled jalapenos. They’re an absolute necessity for all things Mexican, most especially nachos, and I all too often find myself simply plucking them out of the jar and eating them right off the fork. I’m a glutton for punishment that way.

But, hey, when the peppers are popping, there’s no reason not to can a bunch of your own. It’s easy, they’re tasty, and you can tinker a bit with the seasoning to suit your tastes. For example, a touch of honey or sugar helps temper the natural fire of the chiles’ capsaicin while allowing the natural sweetness of the pepper to shine through. Or, leave it out for the full-force burn. (Again, don’t let me cramp your style.)

Pro tip: Be sure to wear latex or plastic gloves while handling hot peppers. If you don’t, there is approximately 100-percent chance you will promptly touch your eyes (or other mucous membranes, ahem). Trust me, it’s not a pleasant experience.

Pickled Jalapenos Recipe

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Cookbook Giveaway: Food in Jars

Use summer's best blueberries to make Slow Cooker Blueberry Butter from the cookbook Food in Jars.

With summer in full swing and farmers’ markets overflowing with ripe produce, this is the time of year when people in the know go canning-crazy. And with this must-have summer cookbook, Food in Jars, by canning-blogger and FN Dish contributor Marisa McClellan, you could be one of those people this year. Marisa likens preserving to investing in the stock market, where you buy low and sell high: You buy in-season fruits and veggies when they’re at their peak and relatively cheap and then reap the rewards year round with jars of can’t-be-beat preserves. All it takes to get started is Marisa’s precise, easy-to-follow instructions and no-fail recipes.

In Food in Jars Marisa includes all the basics, like jams, fruit butters, jellies and marmalades, and also savory preserves like pickles, salsas and relishes. Also not to be missed is the chapter on preserving tomatoes — who doesn’t long for the taste of summer tomatoes all winter long? And then there are recipes for whole fruits, like peaches, apricots and plums. Plus, with Marisa’s friendly voice, stories and helpful tips, you’ll feel like you’re canning along with a friend.

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