Archive for the ‘Salsas & Sauces’ Category

I have a confession: I am unable to throw away bruised fruit!  Instead, I make all sorts of sauces and jams each year (and ciders) so that the bruised fruit is “rescued.”  Last season, I attempted to make pear butter with this recipe, but was too impatient and instead of being butter, it was sauce.  My daughter loved it so much she requested more of it this season!  Hope you enjoy it, too, whether you’re impatient like I am and will settle for sauce, or are patient enough to wait for it to turn into butter!


12 ripe pears, peeled and chopped

¾ C sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ C water

3 2-inch strips lemon zest, ¼ “ wide

1 vanilla bean

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy 8-qt saucepan.  Cook over low heat for 2 ½ hours, until fruit is very soft.  Be careful not to burn.  Stir frequently.
  2. Remove vanilla bean and the strips of lemon zest.
  3. Put the mixture through a food mill (or use an immersion blender).  Pour into sterile jars.  Cap and seal.
  4. Refrigerate immediately or preserve via water bath method for 15 minutes.

From Preserving the Harvest by Carol W. Costenbader

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3-4 pluots; pitted and finely diced
2 Asian Pears; cored and finely diced
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 – 1 Jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste


Combine ingredients in a medium bowl and serve with tortilla chips or over grilled fish.
May be made a day ahead.

From Kingsburg Orchards (www.kingsburgorchards.com)

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Makes: 8 four ounce jars or 4 eight ounce jars


  • 1 pound plump, very fresh jalapeños
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled but not crushed
  • 2 cups any white vinegar with 5% acidity
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup wildflower or clover honey
  • 3 thin rounds dried pineapple, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coleman’s mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or galangal

In a dry, heavy, cast iron pan on high heat, char the jalapeños and garlic until blistered on all sides, six to eight minutes. Place the charred chilies and garlic in a bowl and cover with a tea towel to steam for ten minutes.

Wearing gloves, stem and roughly chop the chilies. Remove or retain the seeds, depending on your tolerance for heat. If keeping the seeds, toast them lightly in the dry, cast iron pan. (see headnote)

Combine the vinegar and salt in a one-quart jar with cover. Shake or swirl to dissolve the salt. Add the chopped chilies and garlic, cover and leave overnight on the counter.

Put the vinegar mixture in a 3-quart heavy, non-reactive pot. Add the honey, dried pineapple, mustard and ginger. Cover and bring to a strong boil for three minutes. Do not stand over this pot and breathe in the scent – it is unbearably irritating to the sinuses and the eyes and just not fun.

Puree the slurry in a blender, in batches, being cautious not to overfill the beaker. Run the blender for several minutes (depending on the strength of your mixer’s motor), until thoroughly smooth.

Press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer back into a 3-quart pot. If you find there are still large pieces of chili or garlic remaining in the strainer, put them back in the blender and continue to puree.

Return the pureed hot sauce to the pot and bring it back up to a boil for five minutes. Dip the tip of a spoon in and taste just a drop. It’s mighty powerful, or should be. If you want it to be a little sweeter, add honey by the teaspoon, stir and taste again.

Ladle the sauce into warm jars, allowing for ½-inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath (see sidebar) for ten minutes.

The hot sauce is shelf stable for one year. It may separate; shake well before using. If you have created a sauce that is just way too hot, there is a way to reclaim it. After opening the sealed jar, to every four ounces of hot sauce, add one tablespoon vinegar (or beer or bourbon or water), shake well, and store in the refrigerator.


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It’s a plum. It’s an apricot. It’s one great summer fruit. |Linda Lau Anusasananan, Sunset.com

1. Grilled: Cut pluots in half and brush with equal parts honey and Dijon mustard. Grill until browned on both sides. While you’re at it, grill pork or lamb chops to serve with the pluots. Recipe: Grilled Pluots

2. Glazed: Halve and pit pluots and put, cut side up, in a pie pan. Spoon apricot jam or orange marmalade generously over the top and broil until bubbly and browned. Serve over plain yogurt sweetened with jam or marmalade. Sprinkle with granola. Recipe: Glazed Pluots

3. Brûléed: Spread sliced or bite-size chunks of pluots in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with brown sugar. Broil until bubbly and browned. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or sour cream. Recipe: Brûléed Pluots

4. In salsa: Use chopped pluots instead of tomatoes in fresh salsa; mix with lime juice and chopped chiles, onion, and cilantro. Great on grilled meats of all kinds.  Recipe: Pluots Salsa

5. In salad: Add sliced pluots and crumbled blue or feta cheese to baby greens. Dress with a balsamic vinaigrette. Recipe: Plouts Salad

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    • 6 c FRESH APRICOTS, pitted
    • 4 md ONIONS, sliced
    • 1 1/8 c SEEDLESS RAISINS
    • 2 1/2 c WHITE WINE VINEGAR
    • 4 tb SALT
    • 1 tb MUSTARD SEEDS
    • 1 ORANGE, the peel grated and the juice Strained
    • 1/2 c WALNUTS

Put all of the ingredients into a large pan and cook gently to a soft mush, about 1-1/2 hours. Add the walnuts.
Pack into sterilized jars.
Process in a boiling water bath; pints 25 minutes; quarts 30 minutes. Keep the chutney for at least one month before using it.

From: Ellie Collin, Prodigy ID# CMKD93F. Posted By: shade , Via: Chile Head Mailing List Post Date: Sun, 21 Sep 1997

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Our good friend Dave Sanford of Seattle restaurant Belle Clementine kindly gave us this recipe for harissa, a North African condiment.  It’s a fun and delicious way to use our many varieties of dried peppers.  You can use almost any variety of pepper to suit your taste and heat level preference.  It’s a great with flatbread and hummus or as an addition to stews, couscous, and roasted vegetables as well as many other dishes.


8 dried Guajillo chiles (about 2 oz. without stems or seeds)

8 dried Joe Parker chiles (about 1 1/2 oz. without stems or seeds)

1/2 tsp. caraway seeds

1/4 tsp. coriander seeds

1/4 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. dried mint leaves

3 TBSP. extra-virgen olive oil, plus more as needed

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

5 garlic cloves

Juice of 1 lemon


In a medium bowl, cover chiles with boiling water and let sit until softened (about 20 mins).  Toast caraway, coriander, and cumin over medium heat, swirling skillet constantly, until fragrant (about 4 minutes). Combine with dried mint and grind to a fine powder.  Drain chiles and puree in a food processor with the ground spices, olive oil, salt, garlic, and lemon juice until very smooth (about 2 mins.) Transfer to a sterilized 1-pint jar and top with 1/2 inch oil.  Refrigerate, topping off with more oil after each use; harissa paste will keep for up to 3 weeks.  Enjoy with flatbed and hummus, or with any grilled meat!

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Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Beyond being good for chips and salsa, you can also use this sauce as a maranade for pulled pork or over cheese enchiladas.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Servings: 5 pints

5 cups tomatillos, chopped
2 cups habañero chilies, chopped
4 cups onion, chopped
1 cup lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin, ground
3 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and stir frequently over high heat till mixture starts to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes, ladle into hot pint jars. Leave ½ inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in boiling water bath 15 minutes at 0-1000 ft. altitude, 20 minutes at 1001-6000 feet, 25 minutes above 6000 feet.

You can also freeze this sauce into 1 quart freezer bags instead of canning it.

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