Spurred by Mike Caplan's Saucy Saturday (in response to my Farm Fresh Friday Feast!), it was time to use up the tomatoes in my garden and make a batch of salsa on Sunday! This year I grew an orange hybrid bush tomato called "Golden Shine" in my garden. So, all the tomatoes in my salsa were orange! It still turned out red due to the addition of tomato paste. AND darn delicious: Jon and I did some quality control last night to make sure it was good. The rest of the jars will be given out at our wedding to our guests. I plan on making a few different items this fall for that purpose. Here's some photos of the salsa making!
Tomatoes, ready to be made into salsa
Chopped tomatoes and minced garlic, jalapenos, onions, parsley, leaf celery.
A watermelon lent a hand pressing the excess water out of the tomatoes!
Here's the recipe I used. Like most things I make, I googled "best salsa recipe" and used the first result! http://www.food.com/recipe/wonderful-salsa-9272. Turned out great!
I was trying to use up some zucchini on the weekend by making zucchini bread, but was interrupted by a friend at the door with a broken nose and a guilty toddler. I agreed to take the toddler, sent him to play with mine, then went back to making the bread - but it seemed drier than usual. When I tasted it the next morning (after my little one was making faces eating it) it tasted exactly like Irish soda bread (which I haven't had since being in Ireland over 10 years ago). I realized that in the chaos I had forgotten to put in the sugar.
So - Zucchini Soda Bread recipe:
4 c grated zucchini
2 c white flour
2 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c milk
Mix dry; stir in the zucchini. Add milk; stir until crumbly and everything is moist. Put into 2 loaf tins; 350 F for 45 mins.
Or, if you want the sweet 'cakey' version, add 1 1/2 cups of sugar! The mixture will be much wetter, and you will need to cook it for at least 15 minutes more.
Last evening I was wishing for corn chowder like you get in a diner; slightly sweet, thick broth, and full of corn and potatoes. Luckily the recipe i choose to use came out exactly like that. It comes from Cooks Illustrated who are interested in the science of why recipes work and what make the 'best' of something. Usually their recipes are a bit more involved, and grating the corn may seem like that, but it really does make a beautiful consistency. I added some celery I had left over from another weeks share, and it was delicious. I halved the recipe and we had it with a tomato and cucumber salad, and I had enough for lunch the next day.
Fresh Corn Chowder
This fresh-tasting chowder- which some may call a soup- uses grated corn as a thickener.
10 ears fresh corn
3 onces salt pork (or just fry your onions in bacon fat like i did :)
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp unbleached white flour
3 cups chicken stock
2 med potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried)
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1.Stand corn on end, cut kernels off 4 cobs of corn, set aside. Now following picture below, grate kernels from the remaining 6 cobs, set in a separate bowl.
2.Saute salt pork in a large heavy-bottomed pot over med-high heat, turning with tongs and pressing down on pieces to render fat, until cubes are crisp and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Or from your bacon fat stash, put a tablespoon in the pot. Reduce heat to low, stir in the butter and onions, cover pot, and cook until softened, about 12 minutes. Remove salt pork and reserve. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add stock. Add potatoes, thyme, milk, grated corn and pulp, and reserved salt pork (if using); bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, 8-10 minutes. Add reserved corn kernels and heavy cream and return to simmer; simmer until corn kernels are tender yet still slightly crunchy, about 5 minutes longer. Discard salt pork. Stir in parsley, salt, and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Long story short, I ended up with one of Valarie's special heirloom tomatoes at my house this weekend, so I slaughtered him and turned him into delicious salsa fresca! Here's what I used:
1 very large heirloom tomato, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
3-4 stems parsley and leaf celery (it's what I had in my garden. Cilantro would be good too!)
Combine, allow flavours to mix for a few hours in the fridge, and serve. Great with eggs! Enjoy within a few days or so.