Friday, September 30, 2011

Mandarin Sauce

I tried this recipe two years ago, while facing a huge crop of tomatoes that I had bottled until I was out of ideas--then my aunt posted this recipe on our family web site.  I have found it a handy thing to have on the shelf.  See notes after the recipe for ideas on using this.

Mandarin Sauce
9 c. tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
4 c. onion chunks
4 c. green pepper, chopped
2 (20 oz.) cans chunk pineapple and juice
6 c. sugar
8 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 c. vinegar
1 c. water
1 1/4 c. cornstarch

Peel tomatoes, squeeze them to remove some of the juice and seeds, coarsely chop.  Cut onions and green peppers into chunks.  Mix sugar with cornstarch in a bowl and stir together. Combine tomatoes, pineapple and juice, onions, and peppers in a large pot.  Add soy sauce, vinegar, water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Slowly add sugar/cornstarch mix while stirring and boil until thickened.  Put in pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space and process immediately in a boiling water bath for 35 min.  Makes 12 pints.
To serve: Brown boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pour sauce over and bake in 350 oven for about 45 min.  or put this in a crock pot.  Serve over rice.

Notes:  This is a bit of an old-fashioned recipe for canning, as it calls for cornstarch.  Most new publications will not publish recipes with cornstarch because the resulting food product deteriorates in appearance over time.  It is perfectly safe to use, it will just separate, causing a clear liquid to gather on top of the food in the jar.  This may not happen for a year or more, but if it does, don't be alarmed, just use as is.  Alternately, you could make this without the cornstarch and thicken it before you use it each time.

I use the food processor to coarsely chop my vegetables.  To peel tomatoes, cut a small x in the bottom of the tomato. Put tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds then plunge into cold water.  The skins will begin to curl and you can pull them off easily with your hands.

My favorite way to use this sauce is over a pork roast in the crock pot.  When the meat is tender, I shred it back into the sauce and serve over rice.  This is also yummy over meatballs.
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