Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tomatillo salsa

Yummy note: It's been fun to watch our little garden boxes flowering nicely with zucchini and pumpkin flowers this summer, and the fact we are finally getting some produce is even more exciting. :)  My neighbor and I have been working together to keep it all alive, and critter-free, lol, while my husband and kids enjoy checking out our garden boxes every morning to see what new things have popped up overnight. We have had a nice run of tomatoes, peppers, and zucchinis. We've been making zucchini bread, zucchini salsas, and next on my "fun" list to try is some zucchini "cheese," but, first, I had to try this fresh recipe for tomatillo salsa from my SRC assigned blogger. The Savvy Kitchen was this month's selection from the Secret Recipe Club group C. Amy's blog- The Savvy Kitchen has some fantastic quick and easy recipes that are super family-friendly, too. Speaking of family, she has an adorable little toddler that she features on her Tiny Tot Tuesdays, really, how cute is he?! So this tomatillo salsa, it was a bit tangy, zesty, yet mild compared to your traditional tomato salsas. This fresh tomatillo salsa has similar flavors of salsa verde, but the zucchini and corn added some great texture and crunch to the salsa, instead of the smooth green sauce-like salsa verdes. This is really a fresher approach to traditional salsa verde, and with the inclusion of zucchini, it was a fun dish to try out. 




Tomatillo Salsa 


Ingredients:
1 lime, juiced
11 oz. of fresh tomatillos or 1 can of whole tomatillos, drained 
1 zucchini, peeled, seeded, and diced (or cut into small cubes)
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped 
1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 cup of sweet corn, cut off the cob (about 1 ear of corn)
1 tsp. of minced garlic
Black pepper, to taste 



Directions: 
Prepare tomatillos by chopping them into smaller pieces and slice off corn from the cob and place into a large bowl. Add the chopped zucchini, lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, garlic and pepper. Mix all of the ingredients well together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to eat.

Yummy notes: I couldn't find canned tomatillos in the store, so I used fresh one for this recipe. I unfortunately ran short of the 11 ounces of fresh tomatillos, so I improvised and added a small red tomato to the mix to equal 11 ounces. Also, I have a slight allergy to raw zucchini, so I sauteed up a bit of the salsa on the stove, basically just enough to soften and start cooking the raw zucchini so I could eat it. My husband got to try the fresh version, while I got to enjoy the partially cooked one. 

zucchinis! 
My neighbor and I working in the garden boxes.

Such a fun fresh dish of tomatillo salsa! 


My portion of cooked tomatillo salsa, not as colorful, but just as tasty as the fresh counterpart.



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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sweet Smoked Zucchini Salsa

Yummy note: For the last few years, I've been lucky enough to grow a small box garden. We've been blessed with numerous zucchinis actually, a few pounds of tomatoes a year, and a few pumpkins. Last summer is when I first got this zucchini salsa recipe from our family friend, Holly. She actually had an abundance of amazing ripe tomatoes that I was like "yes, please! I will use them!" with my zucchinis and try and make this salsa you make. This salsa recipe was actually one of my very first real canning experiences, so it was pretty exciting to try it out. Scary and exciting, as I've never done a venture like this by myself; let alone a recipe that takes 2 days to finish! Yikes, luckily it really is pretty easy and the first day is really just prep, while the second day is the processing. I summed my husband into the kitchen for back-up for some of the prep and then jarring the next day. The first time I made this I think I cut down the recipe into thirds, as the recipe called to make 24 jars and that seemed scary. But in hindsight, I totally should have beefed up my ingredients then and just bit the bullet and made a full batch, as earlier this year, we were like, "I wish I had more salsa left." lol. Ah, live and learn. So this salsa is a combination of many flavors making it delicious! Sweet from the brown sugar, smokey from the liquid smoke, and just a little spicy from the onions, peppers, and jalapenos. It is a summer garden harvest in a jar!

Sweet Smoked Zucchini Salsa

Makes about 24 jars 
(Yummy note: This recipe can be easily halved or even done in third if you want a much smaller batch of salsa.)
Ingredients:
Day 1: 30 cups shredded zucchini 12 small onions, shredded 6 green peppers, shredded 6 red peppers, shredded 3/4 cup pickling salt
Day 2: 3 tbsp dry mustard 3 tbsp ground garlic 3 tbsp cumin 2 tbsp red chilli powder 3 tbsp liquid smoke 6 cups white vinegar 2 1/4 cups brown sugar 2 cups cilantro, chopped 10-15 jalapeno peppers, chopped 3 tsp ground pepper 15-20 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (leave skin on) 3-4 tbsp cornstarch 3- 12 ounce cans tomato paste
Instructions Day 1: Prepare and shred ingredients. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well and let stand overnight in the refrigerator.

Day 2: Chop tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro. Rinse and drain the zucchini and onion mixture well. Put into a large pot with all of the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Pour hot mixture into cleaned, hot jars. Put lids on, but make sure they are not too tight. Process them for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. If the jars do not seal properly or you didn’t hear any pings throughout the process, place the jars in refrigerator and use within the next few days.

Yummy note:The Ball brand website was a big help, besides a few phone-a-friends and relatives on how to can successfully. Check here for some tips - http://www.freshpreserving.com/tools/waterbath-canning

Day 1 - the prep
Beautiful big tomatoes!!
The start of Day 2 is to chop the tomatoes.
Day 2 - Process salsa ingredients. 
Salsa simmering away while we start the water bath canner. 
Hot mixture going into the jars! Again check this site for awesome canning tips and tutorial for help on this part if you are new to canning. 
Process jars in the water bath. 
Sweet Smoked Zucchini Salsa ready for storage! 
The finished product is a slightly chunky textured salsa with a mild, sweet, smokey flavor.  



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