Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Exquisite eggs (and a salsa recipe)

Brian's friend, John, has started keeping chickens and yesterday Brian came home with a half-dozen exquisite eggs.

This morning I poached one and had it with paesano bread drizzled with a little olive oil:
You can just see the intense color of the yolk glowing through the white, but here's a clearer view:
No, I did not touch up the photo! It really was that glorious golden orange. I've bought plenty of eggs from the farmer's market, but none have been this deeply colored or this flavorful.

John is also the source of my salsa recipe. He's a salsa-making fiend and every year adds to the number of tomato plants he grows in his back yard (I think he's up to 50 plants this year). I can't even imagine how many jars of salsa he makes, but he and his two sons eat it pretty much every day. Last year I used his recipe and made 6 pints, which we loved. This year I made 12 pints--6 of the original recipe and 6 with chipotle peppers to give it a smoky kick.

Tomorrow I think I'll have my poached egg with a dollop of salsa and will raise my mug of black coffee in a toast to John!

John's Amazing Salsa
makes about 6 pints

10-11 cups of peeled and seeded tomatoes. Roma's are preferred but I've made these with all kinds of tomatoes--roma's, brandywines, green zebras, yellow plum, etc.
3 cloves of garlic
3 large white or yellow onions
4 mild red, green or yellow peppers (or a mix)
4-6 jalapenos with seeds; for the chipotle version swap in two chipotles in adobo sauce for the regular jalapenos
1 bunch of cilantro, washed (you can leave the stems on)
1/2-2/3 C brown sugar (depends on how sweet you want it)
1 C white vinegar
3 T pickling or kosher salt (not iodized)

Wash all the vegetables and then cut into manageable size pieces. Use a food processor to chop all the vegetables--I usually leave some a little chunky and almost puree others so the salsa has some thickness. Put all the chopped vegetables, the sugar, vinegar and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2.5 hours, stirring frequently so the bottom doesn't scorch. You want to reduce the salsa so it isn't watery and some of this will depend on the juice content of your tomatoes, so if it still looks a little watery at the end of 2.5 hours, simmer for a bit longer.

Prepare your jars--wash, then put on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven for 10 minutes to sterilize. Boil the lids to sterilize.

Fill jars with hot salsa, put on a lid and screw on a ring. You can either set these on the counter and hope they all take a seal (I have pretty good luck with this but if the seal doesn't take then you'll have to refrigerate the jar and consume it relatively quickly) or take the safe route and process the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Enjoy the taste of late summer all winter long!


Scarecrow said...

That's how our eggs look! I live on a farm and we've had chickens since I could remember. Always that lovely deep golden/orange colour. Then you go and buy eggs from the store and they're that awful pasty yellow.

Have you cooked with them? They turn my waffles a gold colour, poppy seed cake and Amish cake yellow. Amazing.

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