Archive for the ‘serrano’ Tag

08-18-2016 Journal – Summer Cooking!   Leave a comment

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Fresh and delicious shrimp.

Do these shrimp look good to you?  They were just as delicious as you might think or so says my better-half.  She’s a shrimp junkie going back many years and considers herself an expert.  I tried just one and really couldn’t disagree.

Summer time meals are something special around here and are to be enjoyed and relished whenever possible.  While I’m not a big fan of shrimp or lobster I do love just about everything else that the ocean has too offer.  I experiment when possible to come up with new flavors and textures with my seafood.  This week we picked up those shrimp and a large haddock fillet just for me.

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To make things a little more interesting I poached the fillet in habanero wine.  I made this wine a few years back and it carries with it a delicious flavor and heat. Once the poaching was completed the fillets were dropped onto the grill to give them a little crispiness.

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Just sooooo good.

Then it’s off to the table with a side of fresh corn-on-the-cob and a glass of Chardonnay.  Cherry tomatoes picked just before the meal and chilled are a perfect addition.  That beer in the picture belongs to my better-half.  She considers any beer she drinks as her Chardonnay.

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The garden continues to flourish now that we’ve had a few days of rain to help perk things up.  I picked this collection of hot peppers (Serrano, Fresno, jalapeno, and Anaheim’s) today because tomorrow is salsa day and I want them as fresh and hot as I can get.

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I’ll be slicing and dicing all of the other salsa ingredients this evening in preparation for tomorrow.  This is the best part of Summer for me without a doubt.

OLE!

05-22-2016 Journal – Spring Has Sprung . . Finally!   Leave a comment

I was beginning to wonder if Spring would ever arrive but as always it has. Finally the fear of frost has passed and we can start getting serious about gardening.  Todays posting will be a few miscellaneous items about the garden and other things.  Our day today has already been planned and as soon as I leave this computer I’ll be back playing in the dirt once again.

My first item concerns something I mentioned in a recent post about my new favorite drink, the Hot Pepper Margarita.  I collected all of the ingredients needed to get things rolling and here it is. This photo was taken after two days of the peppers soaking in tequila.

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I can already seen the peppers losing their colors as the tequila bleaches them and it won’t be long before it will be ready for use. One more week and then I’ll strain the tequila and put it back into it’s bottles. Then the fun can begin.

I began planting in earnest this week with zucchinis, cucumbers, onions, kohlrabi’s, and eggplant.   Later today I’ll finish up with tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, Serrano peppers, Thai peppers, and Kung Pao peppers.  Now that the nights are warming up the peppers should flourish.

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I began my night time skunk patrol this week.  He made his first stinky visit a few days ago and has been digging up the ground in and around the garden already.  The fence will keep him out of the larger frames but if he insists on causing problem in the unprotected frames he’ll be risking his stinky and smelly life.  My new rifle has been cleaned and oiled and is ready for action.  “Go ahead sucker . . . make my day.”

Here’s an update wide angle photo of the garden as it begins to grow. 

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THANK GOD IT’S FINALLY SPRING

01-07-2016 Journal–2016’s First Salsa Day!   Leave a comment

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What do you do when you’re bored?  Everyone seems to have a few ways of dealing with boredom and so do I.  When I’m bored it’s usually being bored with the people around me and occasionally with life in general.  Over the years I’ve  had a very low tolerance for boring people up until the time I finally became one.

It’s only January seventh and I’m already going a little crazy being stuck in the house for most of the day.  I read a quotation once upon a time and it’s stuck with me over the years.  I’m not sure who the author of the quote was but I still find it pertinent all these years later. “Everyone is a bore to someone. That is unimportant. The thing to avoid is being a bore to oneself.”

Help Me!  I beginning to find myself really effing boring.  I plan every year to have a sufficient number of chores and projects to help me through these long winter months.  My biggest problem this year is I’m not the least bit motivated to do anything. The situation started becoming a real problem this week which forced me into taking immediate action yesterday.

The one thing that always helps me to get my mind right is to cook something. I made a quick trip to the supermarket and picked up all of the necessary ingredients and spent one evening watching Netflix and dicing jalapeno peppers, Serrano peppers, and habanero peppers. Then dicing piles of red and white onions, sweet bell peppers, parsley, and cilantro.  Yesterday was to be the first Salsa Day for 2016.

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‘First prepare the jars and lids.’

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I started by adding all of the ingredients together and allowing them to cook slowly. Then the hard work began as I seasoned and tasted, seasoned and tasted, and using a variety of hot peppers set the level of heat I was looking for.  I wanted this batch to be as hot as possible but not so hot that people couldn’t eat it.  It took a while but I was pleased with the results.

I also love the flavor of beans and use some combinations of them in many dishes. Since the salsa I was making is Roasted Corn & Black Bean I needed a way to add bean flavor without having the salsa look like a three-bean salad. I took three varieties of beans and pureed them into a heavy slurry. I slowly poured the slurry into the pot and hoped for the best. I also hoped that slurry would thicken the consistency of the salsa as it cooked.  I really didn’t want to use tomato paste because the flavor is almost too strong. 

After all was said and done here is the result.  Thirteen quarts of Roasted Corn & Black Bean salsa that’s hot enough to make your head sweat and bring tears to your eyes.  Just the way I like it.

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My boredom disappeared almost immediately and one thing is for certain. The flavor of this salsa is as far away from boring as you can get.

Bring on the chips it’s time to eat.

01-13-2013   Leave a comment

Another quiet day spent in the kitchen attempting to duplicate something I’ve been paying a high price for on the net.  I use a great deal of red-savina habanero paste when making many of my dishes but in recent months the price of the paste has sky rocketed.  After a little thought I decided to try and make my own version.   Normally this paste when purchased is superhot and it was crucial that I get as much heat as possible in my recipe as well as a decent flavor.

Off to Wholefoods, a place I normally won’t shop because of their inflated prices.  I’m forced into it today because none of the local markets carry quantities of fresh habaneros.  I purchased 1.5 pounds of habaneros and an additional pound of Serrano peppers.  So far so good.  I must warn you in advance if you’d like to try this, WEAR THICK LATEX GLOVES. The next step involved cleaning, seeding, and dicing all of the peppers.  Take your time and be sure to get them finely diced, then placed into a sealed container and refrigerated overnight. I like to give them a chance to mingle their flavors.

The next day I placed the diced peppers into a large blender, added 3 tbsp. of my home made Jalapeno vinegar (standard white vinegar works too), and three heaping tablespoons of ground red pepper.  Set it on liquefy for approximately ten minutes.  You’ll end up with about 16 oz. of extremely hot paste which can be used to add serious heat to any meal. I’ve experimented for years and have a good idea how much to use.  Experimentation is a must your first time if you don’t want to burn your lips off.

I bottled the paste into two 8 oz. bottles  which should last at least six months in the fridge.  I’ll be making a meatless pasta sauce tomorrow and I’ll be using my newly created pepper paste.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Now for you Baby Boomers out there.  I didn’t forget about the Boomer Test answers I promised earlier so here they are.  If you’re proud of your score comment back and let me know how you did.

Below are the correct answers:

1.    B – Bounty

2.    D – Wonder Bread 

3.    D – Cassius Clay 

4.    B – Crest

5.    B – He Is us 

6.    A – Good night, Chet 

7.   D – When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent 

8.   C – Maynard G. Krebs

9.   C – Almond Joy & Mounds

10. C – Pants on fire

11. D – The American Way 

12. B – It’s Howdy Doody Time 

13. D – Oh my 

14. B – Chiffon Margarine

15. C – Over 30 

16. B – Joe Namath 

17. D – A little dab’ll do ya 

18. D- Wendy’s

19. D – On Blueberry Hill 

20. A – Mary Martin 

21. D – John, Paul, George, Ringo 

22. B – Who wrote the book of Love 

23. B – Cause I eats me spinach 

24. C – Smile, you’re on Candid Camera 

25. D – Melt in your mouth not in your hand

01-05-2013   2 comments

Today is going to be creative cooking day for me.  I have a few hours to kill so I decided it might be a great time to adjust my favorite salsa recipe, Corn & Black Bean. I want to make it a little more flavorful than usual with a few new ingredients I’ve not attempted before. This takes a while to do but adjusting the written recipe is always much easier than making it work in the pot.

In the past I normally add the black beans (my fav’s) to the pot towards the end of the cooking process. This allows them to cook slightly in the pot and more during the twenty minute canning process. If done properly they’ll cook just the right amount and won’t be mushy.  My problem was getting the corn to be more flavorful.  I wanted a natural smokiness to come through my salsa without using something manufactured, like Liquid Smoke, to do it. My solution was to switch from whole kernel yellow corn to white Shoe Peg corn.   I prefer the flavor of Shoe Peg and it seems to hold it’s shape better when cooked. If everything cooks to mush it makes for a salsa with little or no texture.

I propose to  take the corn from the cans and spread it on an cookie sheet lightly sprayed with olive oil. Then lightly spray the corn itself and sprinkle with Cumin.  Place in the oven at 425 degrees until golden brow then remove it, stir it up, and replace in the oven. When it’s roasted to my liking I’ll remove it and set it off to the side.  That’ll give the corn a huge boost of flavor with some crispiness as well.

I normally make my salsa’s extremely hot but without losing all of the flavor to the heat.  I love habanero and in my opinion it has by far the best combination of flavor and heat.  I also intend to  add a dozen diced jalapenos for addition flavor and 6-8 Serrano peppers for more heat.  That should allow me eliminate Cayenne pepper from my old recipe.  While Cayenne has great heat it lingers in the back of the throat which I really don’t like. 

I want a person eating my salsa to initially taste nothing but the flavors of the ingredients and then slowly feel the heat begin to rise.  The more you eat the hotter it will get and to me that’s perfect.  Well, I’m off to shop for ingredients at the local supermarket and I shall return.

Do-Wa, Do-Wa, Do Do Ditty (Just a time killing tune)

I’m back with two bags of all of my favorite things; assorted hot peppers, fresh herbs, white onions, and my absolute favorite, red onions.  I have at least an hour of dicing up these goodies in preparation for cooking.  I like to throw them all into one container so they can mix and mingle their flavors overnight in the fridge before I toss them in the pot tomorrow. Hopefully by Sunday afternoon I’ll have ten quarts of dynamite, smoking hot, and tasty salsa .

I can’t wait.

Posted January 6, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Cooking, Just Saying

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