Monday, August 03, 2015

Peach Barbecue Sauce Recipe

As a Canbassador, I receive a couple shipments of fresh stone fruit from Washington State to preserve. Over the past few years I have made a lot of things with peaches including Peach Ketchup and Ginger Peach Preserves. While there are some good ideas on the SweetPreservation website, in the comments section of my Can-It-Forward giveaway post I received even more fantastic suggestions for canning peaches including peach preserves, peach butter, peach salsa, peach mostarda, brandied peaches, peach pie filling, and a jam from Piemonte with peaches, amaretti and cocoa powder. That should keep me inspired for years to come! 

This year I ended up canning some peaches in a light syrup, and I also made Peach Barbecue Sauce. My recipe was inspired by one I found online, Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce, but I made some changes and am pleased with the results. Barbecue sauce is a very easy thing to make and easy to can. You can and should taste it before you can it and adjust the seasonings as you see fit. You can make it spicy, smoky, boozy--you are only limited by your own imagination. The color may throw you off, but try a taste with your eyes closed, it definitely has the tang of barbecue sauce. I'd recommend using it on pork, chicken or even ribs.

I am a big fan of small batch canning and this recipe made just a little bit over four half pint jars. That's enough for me and enough for me to share. The ability to share something you made from scratch is one of the best things about canning and preserving. 

Peach Barbecue Sauce
Make 4 half pint jars (8 ounces)


4 cups finely chopped pitted peeled peaches
1/4 cup finely chopped seeded red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion 
2 pressed or finely chopped garlic cloves
1/2 cup honey
6 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1-2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, start with one teaspoon and add more after tasting
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons gojuchang or other thick chile sauce (not Tabasco)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt


Heat jars in simmering water in a hot water bath canner or large pot. Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens about 20 minutes. Puree using a hand blender or in a blender. Taste for seasonings and add more ginger or other seasonings as you like, and continue cooking until the sauce is the desired consistency. 

Dip lids and bands in the water briefly. Carefully ladle the hot sauce into the prepared hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims and center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight. Place the jars back in the boiling water making sure the water covers the jars by an inch and process  for 15 minutes (adjust for altitude if necessary). Remove jars and let cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Cherry Vanilla Balsamic Shrub Recipe

Once again, I’m a Canbassador. That means I receive a couple shipments of stone fruit, more than enough to preserve, and I share my results and recipes with you. I already received a large box of dark red cherries and will be working on peaches next. Dark red cherries have an intense flavor, they hold up well with other strong flavors and with that in mind I made two different recipes--Bourbon Cherries and Cherry Vanilla Balsamic Shrub.

I’m afraid I didn’t pay as much attention to the recipe for Bourbon Cherries as I should have, and they will need four weeks to “settle" so I will not be trying them for bit longer. I also froze some cherries, which is very easy to do. I just washed and pitted them and put them in the zip top bag, and froze it as flat as I could. The cherries don’t seem to have stuck to together. And I dried a small batch of cherries in my toaster oven, but it took a very long time and I’m not sure I’d do it again.

By the way, if you have a large amount of cherries to pit, I highly recommend this pitter that cleanly and easily pits 6 cherries at a time! It's a bit pricey, but definitely worth it to avoid the mess and hassle when you have lots of cherries to pit. 

The other recipe I made was a shrub. As you may recall, shrubs are vinegar based drinks, often made with fruit. Making shrubs is a great way to use fruit that’s not perfect. The riper the fruit the better. Basically you combine fruit with sugar and water, then let it sit for a while then add vinegar. You can also add aromatics. This was my first experiment and it turned out rather well.  Once you make a shrub the easiest way to serve it is with bubbly water, but it’s good in cocktails and to flavor hard sparkling cider. 

The cherries leftover from making the shrub have a kind of pickled flavor since they were sitting in a vinegar solution for a full week. They are great as an accompaniment to cheese or in green salads. I recently made a salad with hot smoked salmon, red onions and avocado and the shrub cherries added just the right tangy note. 

The Sweet Preservation website has some preservation basics as well as recipes for canning stone fruit, if you're looking for more ideas. Also check out the community site, Punk Domestics. 

Cherry Vanilla Balsamic Shrub 


About 4 cups washed and pitted cherries 
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 cups vinegar--I used a pleasing combination of balsamic and Champagne vinegar
1-2 vanilla beans, sliced open, end to end


Place the fruit and sugar in a large wide mouthed glass jar and smash it with a muddler or a wooden spoon. Add the water, stir until the sugar begins to dissolve, then cover and let sit for 24 hours. Add the vinegar and vanilla beans and stir again until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for a week. Strain the cherries out of the liquid and filter through a fine mesh strainer. Store in the refrigerator and mix with bubbly water, sparkling cider or use in cocktails.


Disclaimer: I received stone fruit as part of my Canbassador role, I was not monetarily compensated for this or any other post on Cooking with Amy. This post includes an affiliate link. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Monet's Palate Cookbook: The Artist & His Kitchen Garden at Giverny

Years ago I wrote about Monet’s Palate, a charming film narrated by Meryl Streep. It delves into the life of Monet at his home in Giverny. Monet’s passions were painting and gardening, but he also clearly enjoyed the pleasures of the table—eating, drinking and entertaining guests. A new book, Monet’s Palate Cookbook is less about historical and sometimes antiquated and inaccurate recipes left behind by his cook, and more about his life in Giverny. It covers his approach to gardening, eating and entertaining with plenty of recipes of course. 

The book begins with his passion for good food, then moves seamlessly into his kitchen garden and many of the fruits and vegetables that were grown at the time, as well as the specific ones that were grown in his garden and details about how they were propagated. But the majority of the book is dedicated to recipes. The recipes are inspired by Monet’s kitchen garden at Giverny, but fresh and modern. Some of them refer to favorite dishes served to artists of the day—like bouillabaise for Renoir and others are from places he traveled to such as the Yorkshire Pudding from the Savoy Hotel in London. Finally there are recipes from famous chefs like Michel Richard and Anne Willan, inspired by his kitchen notebooks. 

The recipes include notes about their connection to Monet, and bits of trivia that Monet fans are sure to relish such as the fact that he brought back seeds for zucchini from Italy or that he imported bananas for ice cream to be served on Christmas. Recipes I’ve bookmarked include Roasted Cod with Fresh Corn, Red Peppers, Onion and Caper Salad, Roast Pork with Cherry Sauce, and Mocha Layer Cake. The book like the film extends the experience of visiting Monet’s home in Giverny. If you’ve been there it’s something you won’t likely forget and if you haven’t, it should be on your bucket list. 

Disclaimer: I received this book as a review copy, this page includes an affiliate link. I was not paid to compensated monetarily to write this or any other post. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Can-It-Forward & Canning Jars Giveaway!

Cherry Vanilla Balsamic Shrub, Bourbon Cherries & Pickled Cherries
Once again I’m participating in two events that dovetail rather nicely. This Saturday is Can-It-Forward day hosted by Jarden Home Brands and they have generously sent me some canning supplies and are offering a giveaway of a coupon for a case of Ball jars (see the end of the post for how to win). I’m also a “canbassador” for Sweet Preservation, helping to share the joy of preserving fresh fruit from Northwest Cherries and the Washington State Fruit Commission. Fresh fruit and canning supplies! It’s a match made in heaven. 

Jarden is the maker of Ball, my go to brand for canning supplies. I use their jars, labels, lids, bands and pectin. They are now making some additional colorful stuff like mix and match lids and bands and Sip & Straw lids for wide mouth jars. I’ve always been a fan of Ball canning supplies, they are readily available, well priced and the brand also offers some great resources, in particular their Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

While preserving is an ancient craft, there's new information practially every year. The guidebook is a resource I turn to frequently for technical information and tutorials as well as for recipes and inspiration. The current efition has 200 pages and over 500 recipes. Another resource is their canning website, Fresh Preserving
So what is Can-It-Forward day? Think of it as a reminder to go ahead and plan on preserving your favorite fresh produce in peak season. There will be a webcast with experts where you can submit home canning questions to be answered in real time. There will be recipe demos, a behind the scenes look at recipe testing and development and the science behind ensuring safety in home canning recipes and more. Tune in to the live webcast from 11:00am – 4:00pm EST.

As you can see, I've already done some preserving! I made Cherry Vanilla Balsamic Shrub, Bourbon Cherries and Pickled Cherries. I also froze some fresh cherries to use later in the year. In my next post I’ll be sharing my recipe for Cherry Vanilla Balsamic Shrub. But today I received my second batch of fruit, peaches. So...

...If you’d like to enter the giveaway, let me know how you would preserve peaches to enjoy later—jam, sauce, in syup. the comments section. You must be a US resident to win and have a US mailing address. Include your email in the comments form, only I will see it. Contest ends August 1, 2015. 

Good Luck! 

Disclaimer: Jarden Home Brands supplied this giveaway and sent me canning supplies and Sweet Preservation sent me fresh fruit. I was not monetarily compensated for this or any other post on Cooking with Amy.