Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Daring Kitchen September Challenge: Food Preservation Bruschetta

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The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

I'm an experienced canner, although I've only recently began to try my hand at processing condiments.  Of the two choices we had, I opted to try my hand at making the bruschetta (the other choice was apple butter which I make quite often.).

This recipe was a true success! My mom and I ate an entire jar for dinner one night and it was amazing! Served over a nice crisp baguette, slightly toasted, with an additional topping of basil and you had a bite full of heaven!

The recipe for Bruschetta in a Jar  came from the Bernardin Canning website.

Bruschetta in a Jar

Plum/Roma Tomatoes * 3 1/2 lbs 1.6 Kg 20 Medium Wash, seed and chop
Fresh Garlic 5 Cloves Minced
Dry White Wine 1 Cup 250 ml
White Wine Vinegar 1 Cup 250 ml
Balsamic Vinegar 2 Tbl 30 ml
Sugar, Granulated 2 Tbl 30 ml
Dried Basil 2 Tbl 30 ml
Dried Oregano 2 Tbl 30 ml

* Note: Although other tomato varieties may be used, firm plum tomatoes yield the best results. If using round garden-variety tomatoes, seed tomatoes and drain in colander for 30 minutes then chop.

Place 7 clean half-pint (250 ml) mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat lids in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.

1. Wash, seed and chop tomatoes into 1/2 inch (1cm) pieces; measure 9 cups (2250 ml), set aside.

2. Combine garlic, white wine, wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, water, sugar, basil and oregano in a deep stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a full boil; reduce heat. Stirring occasionally, boil gently, covered, 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

 3. Pack tomatoes into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top rim. Add hot liquid to cover tomatoes to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more tomatoes and hot liquid. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining tomatoes and hot liquid.

 4. When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 20 minutes.

     Processing Time:
    20 minutes for altitude of 0 ft (0 m) to 1,000 ft (305 m)
    25 minutes for altitude of 1,001 ft (305.1 m) to 3,000 ft (915 m)
    30 minutes for altitude of 3,001 ft (916 m) to 6,000 ft (1,830 m)
    35 minutes altitudes above 6,000 ft (1,831 m) to 8,000 ft (2,440 m)

6. When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.

7.  After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.

Serving Suggestions:
With boiling water canning, very little oil is used since the oils can weaken the seals on the jar. You can top your Bruschetta, olive oil and fresh herbs can be added before serving on top of toasted bread or as a condiment to a dish.  This also tastes delicious over fresh pasta or fish.

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