It's a busy weekend on the food front, having just gotten in another big produce order. This time around we went heavy on the pickling items - cauliflower, purple peppers, banana peppers, beans, rainbow carrots, etc. Not to mention that I plan on making both vegetable broth and chicken stock! I figured I would start with the vegetable broth, if for no other reason that to get some of this stuff out of my way!
I went heavy on the carrots and threw in a bunch of broccoli stalks and a yam I had. After I drained the broth, I added white wine and sweet vermouth and then reduced it to 2 quarts. Jarred and away and one chore down!
My next task was a much needed trip to the store for supplies, namely more jars, before continuing. Next on my list were the lovely golden beets we had. I planned on using a recipe I swiped from Alton Brown that calls for roasting the beets first, then canning them. I cleaned the beets and got them into the oven and decided to take advantage of the "down time" to make homemade kahlua.
About a week ago, I got a hold of a supply of vanilla beans and have been experimenting with them. I'm in no hurry to use them, they last quite a while if stored in a cool dark place. I found a few different kahlua recipes looking around online and put one together to try. We'll see how it turns out. Here's what I did:
In a stock pot, I put
8 c very strong black coffee
8 c sugar
I brought them to a simmer until the sugar was dissolved. I then added
4 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
a 1.75 liter bottle of vodka
I brought this to a simmer and continued to cook it over low-medium heat for an hour or two. About 15 minutes before finishing, I fished out the vanilla beans and scraped them out, adding the seed paste to the kahlua and discarding the empty pods. I cooked the mixture a little longer, stirring frequently to mix in the vanilla real well and then bottled the kahlua. I put it all in a gallon sized jar but you'll probably want to bottle it in several small bottles.
The beets are done. More to write later. Cheers!