Pico de Gallo

2 June 2016

Sharp and mild. Yeah, I don’t know how either.

Ingredients
1 spanish onion, peeled and chopped
1 lb, or 8ish tomatoes, cored, chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled chopped
1/2-1 c cilantro leaves
brine: 2 C water + 2 TB salt

I’m using a 1.5 L (about 6 C) wide mouth mason jar with a water-lock in the lid.
1. prepare all the ingredients, toss together.
2. place ingredients in the mason jar, pack down as tightly as possible.
3. add brine to within 1/4″ of the top. Add water lock.

leave for 4 to 6 weeks to ferment. Vent the gas every few days. It smells delicious.

4. depending on your taste, you can blend it to make a homogeneous sauce, or if you like it chunky, serve as is.


Salsa Verde

2 June 2016

Fermented – Hot and Sour

Ingredients
1 spanish onion, peeled and chopped
1 lb, or 20is tomatillos, husked, washed, cored, chopped
dozen jalapenos, seeded, cored, chopped
1/2 head of garlic, peeled chopped
1/2-1 c cilantro leaves
brine: 2 C water + 2 TB salt

I’m using a 1.5 L (about 6 C) wide mouth mason jar with a water-lock in the lid.
1. prepare all the ingredients, toss together.
2. place ingredients in the mason jar, pack down as tightly as possible.
3. add brine to within 1/4″ of the top. Add water lock.

leave for 4 to 6 weeks to ferment. Vent the gas every few days. It smells delicious.

4. depending on your taste, you can blend it to make a homogenous sauce, or if you like it chunky, serve as is.

NOTE: there wasn’t much heat left by the time this was done. I’m not sure if the fermenting process mellows the peppers or if they weren’t particularly hot jalapenos, or maybe I didn’t use enough. ┬áThe other thing, is that this is the first time I’ve used tomatillos where they didn’t break down into a thick mush. Putting this in the blender never yielded a homogeneous paste. Call this the rough draft.


Gim Chi

3 May 2016

Another transliteration of Kim Chi, and in this case, only one particular type of the many many many variations there are.

Ingredients:
5 heads of nappa cabbage
5 asian pears, peeled, cored, chopped
5 onions, peeled, chopped
2 heads garlic, peeled
1 large ginger root, peeled, chopped
10 carrots, peeled and julienned
10 bunches of green onions, trimmed and sliced
5+ cups of Korean red pepper (maewoon gochugaru for the spicier type)
10 C brine: 1 TB salt dissolved in 1 C water

1. cut the cabbage into quarters lengthwise, clean under cold water, core, chop.
2. place asian pears, onions, garlic, ginger in a blender and puree the ingredients.
3. mix together blended ingredients with the gochugaru red pepper, carrots and green onions. Combine with the cabbage.
4. I put the whole thing into a wine fermenting bucket (23 Litres, about 6 gallons), it was only about half full.
5. Pour brine over contents in the bucket until it’s all submerged. Put a weight on it, because that stuff will float. Under the brine it will ferment nicely. Anything on the surface risks unwanted growth. This can be scooped off the top.

Leave to ferment for four to six weeks.

This one was so popular with family, friends and coworkers that I’m going to fill the bucket this week. Updates to come.


Red curry paste

26 October 2015

nam phrik kaeng

1 1/2 TB coriander seeds, toasted
2 tsp cumin, toasted
1 tsp white peppercorns
7 dried Thai long chiles, seeded, soake in hot water, drained
10 dried bird’s eye chiles, ditto
2 tsp salt
2 TB galangal, finely chopped
2 TB thinly sliced lemongrass
2 tsp finely chopped kaffir lime rind
2 TB finely chopped cilantro roots (or stems)
10 cloves garlic
1/2 C sliced shallots

add them in order to a mortar and pestle to a fine paste/powder before adding the next ingredient.

although the mortar and pestle are a lot of work, it does bring out the flavours in a way that you just can’t get with spice grinders, blenders, food processors, but it is time-consuming.


Apple Butter

11 May 2015

rich amber sweetness.

With an abundance of inexpensive apples from the end of the storage season, this is much less expensive than buying apple butter at outrageous prices. I don’t recommend doing this on an unseasonably hot evening as I did. The oven’s on for a long time.

Ingredients

(these are relative ratios – I used 6lbs of empire and macintosh apples for this, and adjusted the rest)

1 pound assorted apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup apple cider
1/8 cup maple syrup
pinch Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of ground allspice

1. combine apples, cider, syrup and a pinch of salt (1/8 tsp) in a dutch oven or other pot you can put in the oven. You’ll need to. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a simmer, and leave the apples to soften. Takes about 20 minutes.

2. remove from heat. add lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla, and allspice. Puree the mess with an immersion blender, or a regular blender in batches. You’ll want this to be very smooth.

3. place in a 250F oven, uncovered, and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. The apple goo will thicken an darken to a rich caramel brown.

4. remove from oven, let cool, and store in refrigerator. It won’t keep for too long, so share, and feast as is your inkling.


AuMaiZin Stacks

19 February 2015

layers of polenta, roasted vegetables, and tomato sauce

5 c. polenta
3 c. tomato sauce
1 eggplant, sliced crosswise
1 zucchini, sliced crosswise
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
oil for roasting

feta cheese if you want

1. make polenta according to this recipe. pour into 4 ramekins. cool in the refrigerator.
2. coat the vegetables with oil. use extra on the eggplant. roast in an oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning halfway. it might take longer.
3. remove the poleta from the ramekins. slice crosswise into 3 pieces.
4. make 4 stacks: polenta, red pepper & eggplant, sauce, polenta, zucchini & eggplant, sauce, polenta, sauce.
5. bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until heated through.
6. serve with a salad or some other appropriate accompaniment.

NOTE: I’ve also done this like a lasagna. pour the polenta onto two greased cookie sheets in thin layers. cut into layers, and then pile it up like a lasagna. You’ll likely need more vegetables to do it this way.


Polenta

14 February 2015

Mexico sends corn to Italy, and they make a staple of it.

oil for frying
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 c cornmeal
4 c stock

fresh pepper
grated parmesan or a goodly amount of nutritional yeast

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Fry onion until translucent.
2. add garlic and mix quickly.
3. add soup stock, bring to the boil.
4. whisk in cornmeal, and reduce heat to med-low or so.
5. continue whisking periodically as the polenta cooks. Be careful. It can bubble and it is hot. You’ve been warned. Once it gets thick enough, use a spoon to keep it from burning to the bottom of the pan.
6. when the polenta is thick enough (say 15-20 minutes give or take) remove from heat. Stir in black pepper and cheese/nut. yeast.

I typically use this as an ingredient in other things. So at this point I pour it into a mold of some sort, generally greased cookie sheets, loaf pans, or ramekins. Once it has cooled down, it can be sliced, diced, or otherwise cut, then fried, baked, or incorporated elsewise. It is often fried and served under a heavy sauce like a mushroom ragout or heavy tomato sauce.