A Taste of Summer in Winter

If you were busy canning fruits and vegetables from your garden last summer, now is the time to give you and your family a delicious winter treat by using your homemade canned goods in recipes.

"Preserving the fruits and vegetables from our gardens not only reminds us of summer during our gray winters but also helps us eat locally all year," says Allyson Holt, owner of Allyson's Kitchen in Ashland. "And since we're the ones doing the canning, we'll already know what additional ingredients our canned goods contain when it comes time to use them in recipes."

Judy Chiosso-Glass, owner of The Kitchen Depot cooking school in Medford, was raised in a home where her mother always canned, including the salmon that her father, a river guide, caught. "Salmon loaf can be made in much the same way as meat loaf," she says, "and fruit preserves make a great topping for ice cream."

"Ideally, just can what you think you'll use within a year for the best quality," explains Carole Evans, vice president of Family Food Education Volunteers for Oregon State University Extension. "If properly stored, you can keep preserved fruits and vegetables for up to two years, although after a year, canned goods often lose some of their texture and color."

Canned peaches, apples, pears and cherries make great pie fillings and "in winter you can put together a fruit crisp with any of these in just a few minutes," Evans explains. She uses plum sauce she's put up for barbecuing or slow cooking ribs and other meats. Evans says most preserved vegetables are low in acid and could harbor unsafe bacteria — even if they've been carefully canned to begin with. "So to be safe, I recommend cooking any [home] canned vegetable 10 minutes before eating or using as an ingredient in any recipe," she says.

Serves 4

6 cups drained canned corn

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, diced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

2 cups white wine

5 cups chicken stock

2 cups heavy cream

Roast corn in oven set at about 450 degrees. Stir corn often to caramelize on all sides. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine. Turn up the heat to high and reduce the wine mixture for approximately 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add the roasted corn and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add in the cream and cook for approximately 10 minutes more over low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with chipotle cream and serve.

1/2 cup sour cream

1 to 2 cans of chipotle chiles

1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice

Pinch of salt and pepper

Add all ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix well and then refrigerate until ready to use.

Carole Evan's Fruit Crisp Topping

1 quart canned fruit

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oatmeal

1/4 cup white sugar

Pinch of salt

6 tablespoons unsalted softened butter

Put the canned fruit into a casserole dish. Mix the other ingredients well and sprinkle over the top of the fruit. Bake at 350 degrees until the top bubbles, about 35 minutes.

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