Whew...all that being said, I'm forever purchasing new cookbooks/magazines/publications for inspiration and new techniques. I recently scooped up "The Preservation Kitchen" by Paul Virant with Katie Leahy as he included some really interesting recipes and is located in the midwest. I also love that fact he included many recipes to go with his preserves and that is a treasure, as creativity can often be missing with hunger.
The Smoked and Pickled Green Onion recipe was one I featured at last month's class and I have blown through the jar I made in less than 2 weeks! Here's the recipe, my way (sorry for the liberties Mr Virant):
PICKLED SMOKED ONIONS
30 green onions, cleaned and tossed with a teaspoon of vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup Champagne Vinegar
1 ¼ cup water
3 Tablespoons Honey
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
6 Sprigs thyme
Bring vinegar, water, honey and salt to a boil, turn to low to keep hot.
You can use a traditional smoker to smoke onions, or the cheaters way, which I did. I filled the bottom of an old 9X13 pan with applewood chips to just cover bottom of pan. I put the pan on the grill racks of my gas grill and heated to very hot. As soon as the wood in the pan started to smoke, I place the green onions on the rack above the pan and cooked them about 12 minutes until a bit softened and slightly yellowed.
Sterilize a quart jar or 2 pint jars, warm lids. Pack hot onions into jars, add a few sprigs of washed thyme and fill with vinegar combination, leaving a ½ inch headspace.
Finger tighten rings and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes, or allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate up to 2 months.
Here are some photos of my cheater smoker. There is no need to purchase any fancy smoker box. I routinely use an old 9X13 pan for light smoking grilled food. (Remember this is not the same technique for preserving food by smoking) Since I have plenty of fruit trees that I grow without pesticides, I save my apple, pear, plum trimmings and allow to dry in the shed or garage for use in the traditional smoker or on the grill.
I fell in love with Mr Virant's Salsa Verde for using these onions;
1 cup S&P Onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh italian parsley
1/2 cup fresh tarragon, chervil or chives (or a combo)
2 Tablespoons capers, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
At the class I made a fresh chevre (goat cheese) quiche to pair with...delicious!!
I hope you take a bit of time to preserve your own harvest this year! There is nothing in the world like opening a jar of summer during the nastiest of January days!