Friday, February 18, 2011

Chili Sauce

As a kid, the end of summer always meant mom canning peaches, pears, pickles and beets, but, my favourite has always been her chili sauce. When she passed away in 2004 it was one of the recipes I needed to find. Two years ago I started carrying on the tradition and canned my first batch. This past year, with more experience and better preparation, the batch turned out wonderfully and brought me back to my childhood in the kitchen watching mom chop and can for hours on end.

My favourite use for this sauce is with pork chops and breakfast sausages.

Chili Sauce

22 cooking apples peeled and diced
1 4L basket of tomatoes peeled and diced (peel by cutting a shallow X in the bottom of the tomato and blanching in boiling water for 30 seconds first)
3-4 cooking onions diced
3 red peppers seeded and diced
3 green peppers seeded and diced
3 jalapeno peppers seeded and diced
1 1/2 bunch celery chopped
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups white sugar
3/4 cup of salt
8 Tablespoons pickling spice tied in cheese cloth

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer for 2 hours once it has come to a boil.

I prepare my jars by washing them thoroughly and then boiling them for 5 minutes in the canning pot. I fill the jars with the sauce, pour boiling water over the lids to soften the gasket and then place them on the jars and lightly tighten the rings. I boil in the canning pot for 15 minutes and remove to cool on a towel. I re-tighten the rings once the jars have cooled overnight.

I got fourteen 500ml jars from this batch, it will do twelve jars easily with some left over for sampling.


Buffalo Chicken Crispers

This was a recipe I whipped a while ago based on an appetizer that used to be on the menu at Tully's, a small chain of sports bars located around the Buffalo area. Tully's serves some awesome chicken tenders, and, on my last visit I tried this appetizer (which it appears they no longer serve).

I often end up with leftover chicken when I roast a bird or two, and, other than chicken soup, chicken pot pie, or chicken salad, I haven't had much luck using up the leftovers, until now.... This recipe is still a work in progress as I wasn't totally satisfied with the end result. I will post my observations and tweaks to try next time after the recipe.

Buffalo Chicken Crispers

1 package of egg roll wrappers
4 cups of shredded cooked chicken
2 8oz pacakges of cream cheese (softened)
1 cup of shredded mozarella
4 Tbl Franks hot sauce
2 Tbl finely minced onion
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 egg mixed with a teaspoon of water (to be used for sealing the wrappers)
Blue cheese dressing for dipping

Preaheat a deep fryer to 375 degerees F.

Mix the shredded chicken, cream cheese, mozzarella, hot sauce, and onion until well combined. Taste and adjust amount of hot sauce and salt and pepper at this point.

Take a tablespoon (depending on the the size of the egg roll wrapper) and lay it on one eggroll wrapper oriented in a diamond shape. Take the bottom corner and fold it around the filling. Take the two side corners and fold them toward the middle. Continue rolling the direction you started from to seal the egg roll, dab a little of the egg wash on the top corner as you finish rolling to seal the wrapper.

Deep fry for 5 minutes or until the wrapper is golden brown.

Serve hot with blue cheese dressing to dip.

My Tweaks for Next Time:

I found them to be a tad rich, I would probably cut back the cream cheese next time to one 8oz package. I'd also add a little more Franks hot sauce.