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Date: 6 April 2015. Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Peppers (new canning theory)

This one is for Stephen who is canning sausage and meatballs soon. Just another idea Cap'n...

A new friend passed along three green peppers the other week. Ginger's the nicest gal. I'm always looking for the small peppers to fit into my wide mouth one cup canning jars. She had bunches and three were the size required. Fortunately Ginger shared. I was delighted and immediately walked over to the grocery store to buy the fillers. And that's where the problems began.

It's always helpful to write a list. Mine was on the boat, not in my purse where I needed it. Not that having the list would have been all that helpful. My glasses were on the boat too, so even if I had the list I'd not have been able to read it. Argh!
 

My eyes aren't the best and I generally buy at least a half dozen pairs of Dollar Store glasses at a time. Unfortunately all too often they take swimming lessons. So far none have surfaced. If you're ever diving at a remote anchorage and spot a pair of glasses on the bottom -- well, I've probably been there.


So with a memory like a sieve, I bought almost all the extras needed to can the peppers. I chose mozzarella cheese and scallions, plus of course a meat. I'd intended to buy some lean hamburger, however sausage was on sale so I opted for that.
 


After cooking, then draining the sausage I added the cheese.

It is my habit to finish the filling first when making the stuffed green peppers. It's easier to keep the meat portion hot. The cheese melted into the sausage. I tested it for freshness on a tortilla. Yummy!
 

That's when I realized the first problem. Only two of the small green peps fit into the half-pint wide mouth canning jars.

 


 

The third was a smidge too wide
so I simmered it into submission
so it would fit into the jar.

 

That's when I went to my locker and realized there were no tomatoes. Thus, shut down the stove and walk on over to the local Dollar General. Initially I'd sought a jar of salsa because I prefer chunky sauce, with body so to speak. Well, after pricing the salsas ($2 for the least expensive variety) I spotted the store brand of tomato sauce for 35 cents. That's perfect for my budget.

 

The sauce was plain however I had scallions, green peppers (the tops from the three I'm canning) and a few fresh Roma tomatoes. Have I mentioned how nice Ginger is? She gifted the tomatoes too.

Well, with my simple additions and some time on the burner simmering, I have a wonderful tomato sauce. Doesn't it look delicious? And it tasted even better than the store bought name brands I've tried.

 

As you may recall, recently I discovered my storage of the jars left a lot to be desired. I put together a locker, courtesy of the wood cutting by my friend Pat's hubby George. Those two articles can be found Building a Locker (Part 1) and Building a Locker (Part 2).

And don't blame the result on George. My measuring left A LOT to be desired. The details are in those two articles. Is there a way to sign 'em Anonymous?!? I'm definitely not an expert at locker building.

But I digress...

When I put the three jars with the stuffed green peppers into the pressure cooker all was well. Then the cooking time was up and I discovered one jar did not seal and some of the juice had gotten on the other jars. I wiped them off of course.
 


The jar that didn't "pop" (seal properly) was added to the next batch.

HOWEVER, I started thinking. (That's not usually dangerous.) And then I thought that perhaps some of the icky stuff had gotten under the screw caps of the jars. I opened them and was right. A quick wash (Dawn detergent and water) then wipe down ensued.

Now that I ponder, I wonder if the initial canning jar failure was my fault. I didn't take off the rings, wipe down the jars and lid and then put the rings back on. It's possible the jar sealed properly however a bit of gunk started the rust cycle under the lid.

After processing, take off the rings and wipe down the jars.


 

The Final Report

 

 

Ingredients: 2 pounds of ground sausage, 4 ounces of grated cheese, scallions, fresh green peppers and an equal number of small Roma tomatoes, garlic, tomato sauce. And with those components I made:

  • Three one cup jars, each containing a sausage and cheese stuffed green pepper

  • Two 1/2 cup (jelly jars) filled with the sausage and cheese stuffing (no peppers)

  • Three jars with the rest of the sausage and cheese, topped with the leftover tomato sauce

 


An afternoon of cooking yielded eight processed jars. I admit I was a bit chagrined to realize the latest green peps I'd made were essentially the same as the couple I already have in the locker. The intention was to make a different option. Just having them ready is okay too.

Some are a complete meal (the stuffed green peppers) while five jars offer opportunities for creativity in the galley. I'm satisfied.

Are you a green pepper person?
And, do you have any canning advice for fish? The next time I catch a big one I'd like to can it.

COMMENTS:
 

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