Wingers

Good wings cannot be rushed. They take 50 minutes in the oven, at a minimum. If you try to cook them for less time than that you are missing out on their inherent awesomeness.

I roast chicken wings drizzled with a little olive oil and tossed about with a pinch of salt and pepper. I cook them at 350*F on low fan for 40 minutes, stirring once. Then they get a quick glaze of sauce and go back into the oven on high fan to allow the sauce to caramelize and get all sticky good. Ten minutes of cooling time and they’re lick-able. It is worth every minute.

This version of honey garlic is a little different and a little quicker to throw together than my previous one (which calls for roasted garlic and makes a larger batch size for a stir-fry sauce). I sometimes glaze wings with BBQ sauce instead, or equal parts honey and sriracha, or serrano pepper jelly made from the garden stuff this summer.

** please note: most soy sauce is NOT gluten free. Make sure you check the ingredients. I recommend and prefer either Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Tamari style soy **

Hope you can read my chicken scratch. If you cannot make something out feel free to……. wing it! ūüôā

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I can.

I like to put things in jars.

If you are nervous about canning or want to learn the basic process for safely storing food in jars I suggest picking up a copy of “Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving”. Great book. Worth every penny. It is usually to be found near the giant stack of canning jars, lids, specialized tongs and muslin that shows up at your grocery store every August. A new copy of this book is good to have around because our understanding of food safety has changed over the years. What worked for your mother and grandmother may no longer be the safest (or easiest) way to store food in jars. We no longer need to seal jars with wax. We no longer reuse snap lids for a million years. There are new suggested sanitation methods as well as new suggested cheats and short cuts.

I just finished putting together a batch of jelly and used liquid pectin for the first time. It started setting almost instantly. It was the easiest batch of jam or jelly I have ever made. Here is the recipe:

Saffron and Ginger Jelly

Wash and inspect 8 or 9 250mL glass jars, snap lids, and rings. Place the jars on a baking sheet. Turn on your oven to 225*F. Place the lids and rings in a pot of water. Add your tongs and canning funnel as well. Bring that pot to a boil for one minute (being careful not to melt your canning funnel of course). Leave everything in the pot until you are ready to use it.

Place the jars in the oven for 10 minutes to sterilize them. Turn the oven off. Leave your jars in the oven until you are ready to use them.

Meanwhile prepare the following:

2.5 cups crab apple or apple juice

2.5 cups peach or nectarine juice

1″ piece of fresh ginger, sliced thin

Pinch saffron (optional, but worth it)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

7 cups sugar (Yes. Do it. It’s jelly.)

Place everything in a large pot and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Let it boil hard for 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in 1 pouch of liquid pectin. Pull the jars out of the oven. Stir the jelly gently for 5 minutes. Skim off the foam (and save it because it is delicious on toast or in yogurt). Use your sterilized canning funnel to fill the jars. Only fill them to the bottom of the canning funnel. This should leave you with about 3/4 of an inch of head space on the jar. Fill all the jars. Dampen a piece of single use paper towel and carefully wipe the rims and outside top edges of your jars to remove any and all spilled jelly. Use tongs to remove the hot snap lids and rings from the pot of water. Place snap lids on jars and then put on the rings Рtighten the rings, but do not over tighten them. Be gentle.

As the jars cool the contents will condense and the snap lids will snap downwards. You should hear the jars pop. Leave them alone until they do. Don’t move them much or tip them. Don’t go over and push the lids down to see if they’ve popped or not. Just let them do their thing. Before you crash out for the night check and make sure all the jars have sealed (center depressed downwards). Any that have not popped within several hours should be labelled and put into the fridge to be consumed first. The rest are now shelf stable and you can label them and stash them away for future use.

saffron and ginger jelly

Try it out. Canning is one of those “how to survive in case of Zombie Apocalypse” skills I felt I should probably master. This recipe is the most basic version of canning. Please remember that recipes for canning should always be followed. The amount of sugar or acidity in a recipe contributes to the final product being shelf stable at room temperature. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the method and process of canning before you try to make up recipes of your own. Always make sure you inspect a jar before you open and serve it to yourself or others. If it sketches you out for any reason do not consume it.

Canning is a lot of fun as well as a super satisfying way to store the bounty of the summer season. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

hot and spicy, sweet and sticky

yum.

I just popped open another jar of last summers home-made (grown and¬†canned) jalapeno hot sauce. DELICIOUS! Your task, dear readers, for this summer is to go forth and¬†create some heat. I wish that I had written down a rough recipe when making this sauce last fall. From what I recall I basically borrowed the concept¬†from a recipe by¬†Chef Aron Epp (chef de cuisine at Elements: the restaurant. Hope you don’t mind!) for his spectacular “jalapeno hot sauce” aka. “Aron’s hot sauce”. I added a bunch of stuff (heirloom tomatoes, various peppers, etc.) kicking around from my garden and then canned and processed it. Try making a small batch next time you have some over-ripe tomatoes on hand. You don’t have¬†to go full blown¬†crazy and can/process jars of this. A small batch¬†will keep for a month or so in the fridge just fine. Any surplus can be frozen or doled out to spice loving friends for bragging rights (“ya. i made that. it’s hot and delicious.”) Try out this recipe¬†and adapt it to suit your tastes!

home-made jalapeno hot sauce

6 medium sized tomatoes, cored and quartered

1/2 small white onion, sliced

3 (or more) jalapeno peppers, stems removed (remember to wear gloves when dealing with hot peppers. don’t touch your eyes before washing your hands!)

about 10 garlic cloves, peeled

a few glugs of olive oil to coat everything

a good pinch of kosher salt

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp honey

Yup. Something like that. Toss everything¬†together and roast it in a 350*F¬†oven, uncovered.¬†Spread it out in a casserole dish so that it roasts (and gets some color) and doesn’t steam itself too much. Give the veggies a stir every 20 minutes or so. Once it¬†begins smelling deliciously like roasted garlic and the tomatoes start to get some nice carmalization going on it is probably done.¬†It should take 45 min to an hour to roast.¬†Let the vegetables cool down on the counter and once they are cool puree everything, adjust the seasoning¬†and enjoy my friends!

By all means please play around with this recipe by adding more tomatoes or garlic, different peppers, etc. It should be used as nothing more than a guide line. Whatever you do change to it please remember to write it down! If you get amazing results you are going to want to duplicate that business! Have fun making sweet and sticky sauce my friends and let me know how it turns out. Until next time!