Ever toyed with the idea of preserving your favorite seasonal produce or know someone preparing for a zombie apocalypse? If so, pick up Canning for a New Generation (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2010).
Liana Krissoff’s book is part beginner’s guide, part cookbook. With photography by Rinne Allen, the detailed rundown on putting up (preserving) produce is coupled with more than 150 recipes from canning to freezing and drying. Fifty additional recipes incorporate the newly preserved food into dishes. The best part? No fancy equipment necessary.
The book’s four chapters are organized by season, with a fifth called “Baked and Creamy Things to Put Preserves On.” Before you even reach the recipes, though, Krissoff explains the importance of canning only the highest quality of nature’s bounty you can find.
“Canning and preserving will do absolutely nothing to improve sub-par produce,” she writes.
Krissoff grew up in Virginia, where she observed her parents canning pounds of garden produce every summer, but moved to New York after leaving home.
Recipes for entrees, jams and marmalades, seem to reflect the experiences Krissoff had with new food in places like Jackson Heights and Greenpoint. While recipes for canning summon memories of her parents’ fully stocked freezer and pantry of preserves. Spring recommends topping a recipe for braised pork tacos with pureed cilantro and Do Chua, the pickled Vietnamese carrot and daikon.
Summer uses mango, peach and habanero chilies to concoct a flavorful hot sauce for jerk chicken, as fall combines your refrigerated jar of pickled greens and chilies with sweet potato tempura to serve over rice. Don’t skim past the winter recipe for lentils with date and lime pickle chutney, or the one for kimchi and pork dumplings.
Krissoff’s book just might be the inspiration you needed to put that barely opened box of Mason jars to use.
Lime and Herb Jelly
From Canning for a New Generation
Makes about 4 half-pint jars
3 cups Green apple pectin stock
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup strained fresh lime juice
2 large sprigs fresh tarragon
1 large sprig fresh mint
1 tablespoon each minced fresh tarragon and mint (optional)
Prepare for water-bath canning.
Sterilize the jars and keep them hot in the canning pot, put a small plate in the freezer and put the flat lids in a heatproof bowl. Put the pectin stock in a wide, 6-to-8-quart preserving pan, then add the sugar, lime juice and herb sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture registers about 220 degrees on a candy thermometer or a small dab of it spooned onto the chilled plate and returned to the freezer for a minute wrinkles when you nudge it, 25-30 minutes. Fish out and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the minced herbs, if using.
Ladle boiling water from the canning pot into the bowl with the lids. Using a jar lifter, remove the sterilized jars from the canning pot, carefully pouring the water from each one back into the pot and place them upright on a folded towel. Drain the water off the jar lids. Ladle the hot jelly into the jars, leaving quarter-inch headspace at the top. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars, then put a flat lid and ring on each jar, adjusting the ring so that it’s just finger-tight. Return the jars to the water in the canning pot, making sure the water covers the jars by at least one inch. Bring to a boil, and boil for five minutes to process. Remove the jars to a folded towel and do not disturb for 12 hours. After one hour, check that the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of each; if it can be pushed down, it hasn’t sealed and the jar should be refrigerated immediately. Label the sealed jars and store.