Today was our first ‘Sundays at the Farm’ canning class, a reprisal of our ‘Sunday Jam Sessions’ from last year. Rain aside (and really, aren’t we all used to rain by now?), it was a great day at the Sharing Farm kitchen.
Getting to can with familiar faces and some new ones, it was a great way to spend Sunday afternoon.
Today we worked up three recipes, a Tomatillo Salsa Verde with Lemon Thyme, a Salsa Roja, and a Fermented Tomato and Corn salsa. Tomatoes were cored and chopped, onions were diced, garlic was minced, herbs were chifonnaded and jars were filled with lovely farm fresh produce.
We are also quite thrilled to have had Gretchen, from the Sharing Farm get to share the story of the Farm’s amazing community work with attendees, and are really looking forward to how we can help bring more folks out to this amazing site.
So, you want to can, jam, preserve, ferment? Come and join us at one of our Sundays At The Farm canning sessions and …. there are classes running until Nov. 10.
In the meantime here are the recipes we worked today:
Fermented Tomato Corn Salsa
4 lbs ripe tomatoes (more or less, depends on how much tomato you want)
2-4 small onions (likewise depends on how strong the onions are)
5 cloves of garlic
2 bunches of cilantro
2 hot peppers (your choice)
4 T salt
2 t black pepper
1 t cumin
Corn niblets from 2 cobs of corn (raw)
4 limes (you may also use lemon)
2 T rejuvalac (or whey from yogurt)
1. Core, the tomatoes, score the tops with an x, and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 250 or just until the skins begin to crinkle. Allow to cool before removing the skins. When cool, skin, roughly chop the tomatoes and set aside.2. Peel and dice the onion, into a small dice. Set aside. 3. Roughly mince the cilantro. Dice the hot peppers (keep the seeds if you want a really spicy salsa). Set aside. 4. Place tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until just broken down (you may also do this by hand with a masher).5. Pulse the onions until just broken down, don’t overdo the onions, as they may end up bitter, if they are older onions. 6. Pulse the cilantro and hot pepper.7. Place the tomato, onion and cilantro, hot pepper mix together and then:1. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, corn niblets and lime juice. You may also add just a pinch of unrefined sugar (to feed the probiotic).
2. Add the 2 T of rejuvalac (or whey) storage lids. Leave at room temperature for 2-4 days. 5. Important: Do not tightly seal the jars, as the fermenting process produces carbon dioxide. You will need to periodically ‘burp’ your jars, to release the gas. 6. You do not need to hot water process the jars. Fermentation is a form of preservation. You should refrigerate after 2-4 days to slow down the fermentation process.
Salsa Roja (Red Salsa)
8 Small Plum Tomatoes
1 Bunch Cilantro
1-2 Garlic Cloves
1. Cut chilies into half pieces and remove seeds, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat until they get nice and charred on the outside, about 3 minutes on both sides. Add the tomatoes to the skillet until browned on both sides.
2. Add tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, cilantro, salt and crushed garlic into a blender. Be careful not to blend it to much. For garnish chop extra roasted jalapeno and cilantro.
Lemon Thyme Tomatillo Salsa Verde
3 lbs tomatillos, husked
1 C onion, diced (preferably younger sweeter onions, less if the onions are older)
3 hot pepper (your choice of hot pepper, and more if you like the heat!!)
2 T fresh cilantro
2 T fresh oregano (preferably Mexican or hot and spicy oregano)
1 T lemon thyme (we love this aromatic and bright herb!) * (see note)
1/2 t ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1lemon * (see note)
1 T unrefined sugar (i.e. turbinado, raw cane, muscavado)
2 C water (may not need need it, see post recipe notes)
1. Husk, and wash, and core tomatillos. At this point you can roughly chop them and set aside, or, lay them out cored side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet, and roast them at 300 F until slightly crinkled and lightly browned. Note: roasting the tomatillos, opens up a warmer flavor, that works well with toasted cumin and smoked pepper elements, if you choose to go that route.
2. Peel, and dice the onion and set aside. Peel, and mince the garlic and set aside, Chiffonade the herbs (this means to cut into fine ribbons, careful not to mince fresh herbs or crush them too much, you want to avoid bitterness).
3. In an medium sized stock or soup pot (thick gauge stainless steel or stone wear is best), heated at medium add a splash of water or seasoned vinegar and place the garlic and onion and sautee/sweat until translucent.
4. Add the tomatillos and fresh herbs along with the first sprinkle of salt and pepper and lemon (or lime juice). Stir and allo this mixture to come to a rolling boil. (If the tomatillos have a particularly large water content, you may not need to add extra water If you add water depends on how thick and intensely you’d like this salsa to end up).
5. Add the sugar (you can add less than what is written in the recipe). The sugar is present in the event that the tomatillos are too sharp tasting and you want to add balance, and the sugar elevates the lemon thyme element.
***If you do not have lemon thyme, you can substitute with the same amount of a ‘regular’ thyme and the juice of 1 small lemon.
6. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, and stir occasionally to prevent sticking/burning. After 5 minutes, reduce heat to a medium and simmer for 30-50 minutes, depending on how reduced you would like the salsa verde.
7. Place the salsa verde in sterilised, warmed jars, allow for 1/2 inch head room. Place snap lids and rings, finger tighten, and process in a pressure canner (*** See Pressure Canning post)