Canning and Preserving Eggplants

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If you follow my blog, then you know I have a passion for preserving old family recipes. These are the recipes our grandmother's and mother's made from scratch.

Food that when you make it today brings back the fondest childhood memories. Let's face it homemade is the best and nobody makes it like our grandmothers.

My cousins, Jimmy and Carmie share the same passion for preserving these cherished recipes. Here are the recipe and instructions that have been in my cousin Carmie's family for generations.

Eggplants prepared in this way are perfect on sandwiches, or as a snack with a nice slice of Italian bread. I'm so glad Carmie has this recipe because my mother also made these and I don't have her recipe. So, here is the recipe by Jimmy and Carmie.

EGGPLANTS 

A Marcella Family Recipe 

Canning and Preserving Eggplants


Carmie and I have been making this family favorite for as long as we have been married. (Basically, I cut the EGGPLANT and then make sure the jars are sealed). It is a recipe that her mother; ANNIE taught her. For years we have been saying that we should document this recipe and process so that it will be preserved for future generations. Anyone that we know that has tried this specialty really enjoys them. Whenever we go back east, we are always reminded to pack 3 or 4 jars. 

We have always made a bushel of Eggplants when making this recipe; however, you can make 2 or 3 individual EGGPLANTS if you like. As you will see there are no critical conversions for the ingredients no matter how many you decide to make. 

The first step is to trim both ends and then peel them with a potato peeler or a paring knife. Then you will slice the Eggplant into 1/8th to ¼” thick slices. (When we first started, I attempted to cut them by hand and trying to keep them uniform was next to impossible. So, after a few years I bought a RIVAL ELECTRIC FOOD SLICER). It is now well over 40 years old and still performing well). Now, the slices are uniform and the time for this step was cut by about 60% or more.

Peel and Slice


rival electric food slicer

 So, the ingredients for day one is EGGPLANTS and SALT. As indicated, we did a bushel of Eggplants. Twenty-three in all.

 Next, the Eggplant Slices are layered in a kitchen strainer and salted with Iodized Salt between each layer. Once the strainer is full of all of the slices that have been salted we then place the strainer in a place for them to drain overnight. (A sink or tub work well) 

We place a dish or flat bowl on top of the Eggplants and then place a weight on the dish or bowl to help press the moisture from the Eggplants. (We use a gallon of oil or vinegar) The next day the strainer; that was full to the top, will now only be-half full and the slices will now be half as thick as they were original.

Pressing the water out of the eggplants overnight


 On day two you will need the following ingredients: 

1-gallon HEINZ Apple Cider Vinegar
1 ½ -gallons CRISCO Canola Oil
1 Jar 2.12 ounces McCormick Red Crushed Pepper 
1 Jar 2.6 ounces McCormick Crushed Whole Oregano Leaves 
1 Jar 32 ounces Minced Garlic 
Wide Mouth Pint Mason Jars 

To start, fill a large frying pan about half full of vinegar and bring to a slow boil. On the counter next to the stove, layout several dish towels. Start by placing several slices of Eggplant in the boiling vinegar and blanch for 30 seconds or so. 

Remove from the vinegar and lay the individual slices flat on the dish towels to drain. Once drained, place the Eggplant slices in a large bowl. Continue until all of the slices have been blanched. The slices will have a very vinegary taste at this time. 


 At this time, we fill a large saucepan with enough water to cover two mason jars when laid on their sides. Bring the water to a boil and place two jars in the water. Also, in a small saucepan, we heat enough water to cover the Mason Jar inserts.

Boiling the jars and lids

 Now for the hard part. (Just kidding) Carmie sets up a workstation with a shallow bowl, oil, oregano, red crushed pepper, and garlic. One of the jars is removed from the boiling water and placed on the shallow bowl. (Remember to place another jar into the boiling water). First, a little oil is added to the bottom of the jar, then a little garlic, a little oregano, a little red crushed pepper and then a couple of Eggplant slices. 

This process is continued until the jar is full to within approximately ¾ to ½ inch from the top of the jar. A regular dinner fork is used to keep the slices layered and flat. It also helps eliminate any air pockets that may form. 

The top of the jar is then wiped with a clean dish rag and one of the Mason Jar Lids are placed on the jar and the lid ring is installed and tightened. The jar is then placed in a draft-free area to await that wonderful sound. POP! We have found that the FOOD SAVER VACUUM SEAL MACHINE is a lot more reliable. SO, I get to help again. Using the Food Saver and the Wide Mouth Jar Attachment, I seal the jars.



 As you can tell, this is not an easy process; however, if you start with two or three Eggplants, you should not be overwhelmed. Also keep in mind that if you start small, you can eliminate the mason jar and use a small Tupper Ware Container. The process is the same except the final assembly is in the Tupper Ware Container, not the Mason Jar. 

Once opened, the jars must be refrigerated. Unopened, and if sealed properly the jars will last about two years when stored in a cool dark place. Once opened and refrigerated they still have a shelf life of 6 months or so. Twenty-three Eggplants yielded twenty-three pints. 



You might like some of our other Canning Recipes

Thumbprint Cookies with Lemon Curd

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Thumbprint Cookies with Lemon Curd

Well, I hope you guys aren't tired of lemon recipes yet. I had some lemon curd leftover from the Fresh Lemon Hand Pies I made the other day. I needed to use it up so I made these simple thumbprint cookies with lemon curd filling.

These buttery little shortbread cookies are a true delight. They're so easy to make and can really be filled with any fruit filling.

Thumbprint Cookies with Lemon Curd: Ingredients


1-1/2 cup butter (Softened)
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract or (maple syrup)
3 large eggs beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon curd or any fruit filling
2 or 3 tablespoons sugar to sprinkle after baking

Instructions:
  1. With an electric or stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla together.
  2. Add the salt and flour one cup at a time and continue mixing on low speed.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, continue to mix until a dough forms.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, roll the dough into balls, about 1-1/2 tablespoons.
  5. Press the center of the ball to create a cavity, fill the cavity with the lemon curd or fruit. I used the tip of a teaspoon to fill them.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes sprinkle sugar over top while still hot. Place the cookies on a rack and let cool.
Tip: Did you know that maple syrup is a substitute for vanilla extract? 

I was in the process of making these and found that I was out of the vanilla extract so, I used the maple syrup. They turned out perfect.

Lemon thumbprint cookies

I used a 1-1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop and then rolled them into balls. Press the dough back together if it splits when pressing with your thumb.

You can find the recipe for the lemon curd here:

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it.

Easy Lemon Brownies

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Easy Lemon Brownies

Every year my cousin Jimmy sends me a box of fresh lemons from his back yard in Arizona. So, I'm always making something lemony this time of the year. The first lemon recipe this year are these easy lemon brownies.


These are not your average store-bought lemons. The lemon on the right is store-bought and on the left is a lemon from Jimmy's back yard in Arizona.

So, how do you use up all of these lemons on steroids before they go bad? Well, first, you make as many of your favorite lemon recipes as you can.

You can squeeze fresh lemon juice and freeze it. I freeze about 1/2 cup at a time is a small freezer bag. It will last indefinitely in your freezer for any recipe or fresh lemonade all summer long.

Easy Lemon Brownies Ingredients

1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup salted butter (Softened)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Easy Lemon Brownies Recipes
Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, and lemon zest until it is fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder, and continue to mix until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Prepare an 8-inch x 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly 
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
While the brownies are cooling you can make the glaze for the top.

Easy Lemon Brownies Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon

Whisk all these ingredients together in a bowl until you have a nice creamy glaze.

Best Lemon Brownies

Pour and spread the glaze over the top fo the brownies. Let these cool completely before cutting. These lemon brownies turned out to be nice and moist and oh! so lemony delicious, your family is going to love these for sure.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it!

You may also like some of my other fresh lemon recipes:

Baked Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

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Baked Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

If you're looking for a great meal for any meatless day of the week, these baked stuffed portabella mushrooms will be a family delight.

Portabella mushrooms or also spelled (Portobella) is a large cremini mushroom. These large mushrooms have a firm fleshy texture, which makes them perfect for stuffing.

I started by, removing the stems, rinsing the mushrooms with cold water and patting them dry with a paper towel. I diced the stems and added them into the stuffing ingredients.

recipe baked portabella mushrooms


Baked Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms: Stuffing Ingredients


1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 cup Romano or Parmesan Cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 eggs
Diced mushroom stems
Mozzarella Cheese for the topping

This is so easy to make. Just combine all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix well until you have sort of a sticky ball of stuffing.

baked portabella mushroom caps

I had three portabella mushrooms I placed them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Then, filled each one with the stuffing.

Bake these at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and top them off with the mozzarella cheese.

 Place them back in the oven for 10 more minutes until the cheese melts. And, That's all there is to it, now, you have a perfect meatless meal for you and your family.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it!

You may also like some of our other mushroom recipes:


Steak and Shrimp Salad

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Steak and Shrimp Salad

If you're looking for something easy, quick, and delicious to serve your family for dinner, this steak and shrimp salad is it.

Fresh crisp greens combined with tender strips of steak and hot french fries for the steak salad. On the other side, the greens are topped off with succulent shrimp.

Fran and I were looking for something a little different for dinner the other night and this was it. We put this together with everything we had on hand.

steak shrimp salad recipe

We started off with a huge plate of fresh greens. Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red, and green peppers.

steak shrimp salad

We cut a thin strip steak into small strips. then, covered the bottom of our 10-inch non-stick skillet with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons). Added a clove of diced garlic and cooked over medium heat.

easy shrimp salad recipes

We thawed the frozen shrimp by running it under cold water. Cooking this in the same skillet as the steak until it was done. (about 5 minutes turning once).

While all of this was going on we had some shoestring french fries cooking in the oven. We assembled everything together and topped off with our favorite dressing.

I used ranch dressing for the steak salad, and Fran used a vinegarette for the shrimp salad. This salad was quick, easy, and made the perfect dinner for both of us.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it!

You might also like some of our other favorite salads

Cast Iron Fried Potatoes

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Cast Iron Fried Potatoes

I love cooking with my cast iron skillet. These cast-iron fried potatoes will make a perfect side dish for any meal. These little baby yellow potatoes are very versatile. You can use them for just about anything, baked, sauteed, mashed, roasted, I choose the fry them.

Cast Iron Skillet Potatoes


These little baby yellow potatoes are firm white potatoes with thin skin. They're perfect for my cast iron skillet.

I first rinsed them in cold water and then dried them. Leaving the skin on, I sliced the potatoes about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. You can cut them any way that you like, sliced or quartered.

I covered the bottom of my 10-inch cast-iron skillet with olive oil, then added 2 tablespoons of butter. Let this heat up over medium heat. I cut the potatoes while waiting for the pan to heat up.

I love cooking with garlic, so, I chopped a clove of garlic and added it to the skillet. Let this heat up until the garlic becomes fragrant. Now add the potatoes and begin to stir.

As they cook, add a generous amount of Italian seasoning.  Add sea salt and black pepper to your taste. Continue to move and toss the potatoes as they cook. This will prevent them from sticking and cooking too much on one side. Cook until the potatoes are golden brown.

 Now, you have a quick, easy, and perfect side dish for any meal. Try these delicious little potatoes with my Perfect Cast Iron Skillet Steak.


As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it!


The Lodge Brand is my go-to cast iron skillet


Instant Pot Beef Ribs

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Instant Pot Beef Ribs

These instant pot beef ribs are both, melt-in-your-mouth delicious and oh so juicy. Fran picked up a couple of packages of bone-in beef short ribs.

We debated the cooking options, either, braised in a cast-iron skillet or use the instant pot. We choose the instant pot.

Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs Recipe


The very first thing was to get these seasoned and ready to cook. So, I used a rub that I made last summer for this Long Smoked Pulled Pork recipe we did in our smoker.

Ingredients for the Rub:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons Sea Salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoons Carolina Seasoning (Rub Some Butt)

I rubbed all sides of the beef ribs with this rub, and let them set in the refrigerator for about an hour. I make this rub ahead and keep it in a jar. It's great to use on beef, pork, or chicken. So, it's perfect to always have it on hand.


Instant Pot Short Rib Recipe

Browning the short ribs. Add about 2 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of the instant pot. Set it on saute until it reaches hot.

Set the ribs in, and brown them on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side should do it. Remove them from the instant pot to a plate.

Instant Pot Beef Ribs Recipe

Now add a thickly sliced medium onion and one clove of minced garlic into the instant pot. Add 1/2 cup of bourbon or red wine to De-Glaze the bottom of the instant pot.

You want all of the caramelized bits to blend with the bourbon or wine, use a wooden spoon to do this by gently scraping the bottom.  By the way, we used bourbon.

Add the short ribs back into the pot. Pour in 1/2 cup of beef broth, add a teaspoon of dried thyme, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 5 cloves of chopped garlic.

 Set the instant pot to High Pressure for 45 minutes, and let release naturally for 15 minutes.

This method will produce juicy, tender and fall of the bone beef short ribs. We served ours with mashed potatoes.

Ingredients:

4 or 5 bone-in beef short ribs
6 cloves of Chopped garlic (use one for De-glaze)
1 medium onion sliced
1/2 cup of bourbon or red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme

If you don't use the dry rub that I have above, you can season the short ribs with salt, pepper, paprika, and some cayenne pepper.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it.


Alfredo Cheese Pizza Recipe

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Alfredo Cheese Pizza Recipe

Our grandson Bobby came over with this delicious alfredo cheese pizza recipe. Bobby loves to cook and is turning into quite the chef.

But first, let me tell you about another use for a cast-iron skillet. We needed a pizza stone for this recipe and didn't have one.

So, Bobby found out that you can use a cast-iron skillet in place of a pizza stone. Just place the cast iron skillet in the oven upside down at 500 degrees for 20 minutes.

After the pizza dough was made, it was divided into four equal pieces. If you need a pizza dough recipe try my All-Purpose Dough Recipe here. Or you can pick up the fresh dough at your local grocery store.

Alfredo Pizza Recipe

Take one part of your dough and spread it out on a floured 10-inch plate.  Use a spatula to spread half of the alfredo sauce on top, then add shredded mozzarella cheese.

Using oven mitts to take the skillet out of the oven and place it on a wooden cutting board. Carefully transfer the pizza from the plate to the bottom of the cast-skillet.

 Place it back in the oven for only five minutes, then slide the pizza onto a rack to cool slightly before cutting.

Cast Iron Pizza Stone


Bobby made four pizzas, two with alfredo sauce, and two tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. The outcome was amazing, these pizzas were delicious with a nice crunch.

Oh, I almost forgot, here is the recipe for the alfredo sauce.

Ingredients

6 or 7 cloves of garlic (diced)
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 cup grated Romano Cheese 
Heavy Cream (enough to cover the bottom of the pan)

Directions
  1. In a 10-inch skillet, add olive oil and garlic.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the garlic begins to sweat.
  3. Add the heavy cream, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
  4.  Add the Romano cheese and stir.
  5. Continue stirring until the sauce is smooth.
As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it.


You might like to try some of my other pizza recipes

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