Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
A fellow food blogger Leann from “Mangos chili and Z” just so happens to be a Denver Bronco fan. I know, we all have our faults. We have been sparring back and forth who will be the winner today. Hence we are going to have our own little battle. The contest is to make a dish that would be enjoyed by the other team’s fans. I will make a dish for Denver Bronco fans. I have picked Apple Dumplings because bronco’s like apples and a victory would be sweet. It just so happens that an old family recipe is in my repertoire. Let the battle begin.
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening or lard (I used half butter and half shortening)
6 to 7 tablespoons cold water
This is your basic pie dough recipe. Cut the shortening into the flour. Add salt. Blend water into flour mixture. Knead briefly till the dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and reserve in the refrigerator.
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 ½ cup of water
2 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoons cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil and shutoff heat. Let cool slightly. Take 4 baking apples, peel and core apples. Divide the pastry dough into quarters. Roll dough on a floured surface. Roll into a square large enough to cover apple. Place apple into center of dough. Sprinkle core cavity of apple with a tablespoon of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Take a ½ tablespoon of butter and put on top of the apple core cavity. Fold the dough up and cover apple entirely. Place in dish and pour sauce around dumplings. Bake in 425 oven for 40-45 minutes.
Yes a victory would be sweet just like these dumplings. This is a recipe my family has made for years. It was one of my father’s signature dishes. Let the battle begin.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Today we have a fun hot sauce from the wild and crazy guy, Larry from 'Peppahead.com.' This is another limited edition sauce from Peppahead's chile patch. Peppahead went to great lengths to insure the quality of these ingredients. It was late in the season, the weather was turning cold and the habaneros had not ripened fully. Peppahead took these peppers and placed them into the back seat of his car. The car was like a portable green house. He took the peppers with him to the farmers markets and would place them in a warm spot while he sold his sauces and pepper products. When the peppers were ripened to the perfect degree he blended them with numerous other peppers. What resulted was a unique, flavorful treat for the hot sauce enthusiast.
White, Gold, and Red Habaneros, Red Savina, and Dorset Nago chiles are the peppers used in this sassy concoction. They were mixed with rice wine vinegar, white onions, lime juice, shallots and zanthan gum. They were blended together and presented in a 5 fluid ounce container. The label shows a sassy female looking devil looking over a fiery cauldron of habanero peppers. It is a fun label, but one of my pet peeves of Peppaheads labels are, you have to have great eyesight or have a magnifying glass to identify all the details and text.
The sauce has a wonderful habanero odor with a hint of vinegar trailing. The sauce is thin in consistency but not in flavor. If you like habaneros this sauce will not disappoint. The fruity hab flavor shines through with a burn to back it up. The heat level will grab your attention and keep you in a pepper choke hold for a while. It is not for the novice capsicum consumer. It will please the heat seekers with a wonderful pepper heat jolt. It was the perfect compliment to some Lumpia. It burned so good!!!
Peppahead sells his products mail order and at several farmers markets. His sauces are made in limited quantity's. They are worth seeking out. It is always fun to see what he makes next.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Happy Habanero Christmas, to all you crazy, wacky, Chileheads. Have you done your shopping yet? I have a great Christmas idea. Why not make some home made hot sauce for your friends and family? You could even give some to your boss who is hot sauce challenged. Who ever you make this gift for it will be received with gratitude and admiration that you have taken the time to give a gift from the heart/kitchen.
While shopping at the Alemany Farmers market, a booth with some beautiful red habaneros grabbed my eye. They were three dollars a pound. That is very cheap. A pound of habaneros will go a long way. This is when the light bulb went off. Let’s make some hot sauce. We rushed home as fast as the bumper to bumper traffic would take us. It is the Bay Area you know.
Once home the Habeneros were washed. We then cut the stem and halved them. A word of caution, I know you have heard this before. Wear gloves or suffer. I have worked with peppers before and was pretty confident of not getting burned. I washed my hands with frequency. This is not enough. Some how I got a little capsicum oil on my face and eventually it made it to my naughty parts. How it got there is a mystery. It was not fun! Let’s get back to the cooking. The peppers were put in a non stick pan with a coarsely chopped onion. A splash of vinegar, water and a little sea salt was the whole ticket. This mixture was simmered for 15 minutes.
After the mixture was cool it was placed in a food processor. I blended this Holiday mixture until it was a smooth puree. Some cider vinegar and water was added to thin this mixture down. Another warning should be heeded. Hide the children and pets. This mixture when blending is highly abrasive to the eyes and nostrils. What we do to make Hot Sauce is challenging. It then was funneled into clean hot sauce jars.
This was some great tasting sauce. The taste test was with a bacon tamale. The heat level is in outer space. It is one of the hottest sauces I have tasted that did not have extract. I was pretty darn proud. Once the fire went down the true fruity habanero flavor shined through. The cider vinegar really rounded the flavor. Give a gift of Love and make some hot sauce. "Merry Habanero Christmas!"
Saturday, December 5, 2009
- 4 pounds of fresh masa
- 2 dozen corn husks
- 1 pound of sliced bacon (fried till crisp and cut into large chunks)
- 1 pound of roasted green peppers cut into strips
- 1 pound of jack cheese cut into strips
- 1 cup of bacon fat (Do not be scared! This will make your tamales rich and delicious)
- 3/4 cup chipotle in adobo puree
The only trick to making tamales is to have all your ingredients ready and in place. Take your masa and add chipotle puree and bacon fat. Mix well. Take a corn hush and add 1/4 cup of masa and spread evenly into a square shape. Add a strip of cheese, pepper and bacon. Fold into cylinder and fold bottom end up. Place assembled tamales into a steamer and cook for aprox 40 minutes. When the dough is firm and the cheese is melted they are done.
These tamales where served with some grilled steak, rice and some refried beans. More bacon fat was added to the beans. Christmas time only comes around once a year so do not fret about the bacon love. This is one hearty meal. The tamales were so good that I went straight to the couch to celebrate. This is comfort food that puts a smile on my face. The green chile gave this tamale a little kick in the pants. Cheers!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Chilebrown has just set a record for eating gravy and stuffing. Dinner was delicious. I tried to use some restraint on my food consumption. I only had two helpings of everything to begin the food marathon. The turkey was nice and the pies were sweet, but I live for the stuffing. A quick nap on the couch was in order. It helped that the Oakland Raiders stunk up Cowboys stadium. A quick refresh and all of a sudden I was hungry again. A fast trip to the Chilebrown Ice cave and a huge mound of stuffing and gravy was found. This stuffing is special to me. It is comfort food to the top level. Home made bread is an important ingredient. Vegetables, Italian sausage, water chestnuts and spices round out this bread pudding of Love.
Chilebrown's Thanksgiving Stuffing
- Home made Bread (Cook 5 days beforehand. Slice into cubes two days before)
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 can whole water chestnuts chopped into large chunks
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
- salt and pepper
- 1 cube of butter
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 pound of Italian sausage (cooked and cooled)
- 3/4 pound mushrooms chopped
- warm chicken stock
Saute the onions, garlic, peppers and celery with cube of butter in pan. Cook for about 10 minutes. Take a large bowl and combine all the rest of the ingredients except chicken stock. Gradually add chicken stock stirring until a moist mixture is achieved. Place stuffing into turkey cavities. If you have left over stuffing place into pan and bake in oven. Bake until there is a crispy outer crust and heated through entirely. Cook bird as directed in oven or bbq. Serve with buckets of gravy
It is all about the stuffing. I wish we did not have to wait to next Thanksgiving for more stuffing. I think I am going to eat some more stuffing. The couch is looking a little lonely.
Sunflower in November
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Summer is over. The tomatoes have come and gone. The days of fresh salsa are only a fond memory on the taste buds of my mind. What is a Chile Freak supposed to do? Today SuckleBusters has come to the rescue. They have a packaged salsa that is so easy to make, it is scary. Open a can of diced tomatoes, add water, Sucklebusters, and give it a stir. Let rest in a refrigerator or in my case, the Chilebrown Ice Cave, for 30 minutes. ‘Quick and Easy’, just like the package says. I love salsa, so let’s give it a try.
The ingredients are few and simple. Onion, peppers, cilantro, garlic, lime powder, and salt are the same ingredients that I use for my pico de gallo. The only difference is these ingredients are dehydrated and I use fresh.
The dried ingredients have a pungent fresh aroma. Once the salsa has rested and rehydrated for 30 minutes a very pleasant lime/citrus smell will grab your senses. You can smell the cilantro too. I need to find some chips and dig in right away.
Wow, this salsa taste just like summer. Sucklebusters has mixed and balanced a winning combination of spices and vegetables. It would be no surprise if this bowl of salsa was devoured faster than the time to make it. I have only one small complaint. This is one MILD salsa. There is no detectable heat. There is a pepper flavor, but not even a tickle of heat.
We tried this salsa with some tortilla chips. It tasted great. The citrus seasoning gives it a fresh flavor. Luckily there was a little left for some quesadillas. Once again, this salsa brings back the memories of summer. Sucklebusters makes a great salsa mix that is easy to make and easier to devour. You only need to add your own heat if you are a Chilehead like me.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
We rushed Crusty home and gave him a 10 minute bath in rolling, boiling, scalding, salted water. We removed the suit of armor and formed the crab into cakes. We used a recipe like this. A mesquite fire was built. It had just finished raining and the air was clear and brisk. Building the bbq fire had a soothing vibe, like the calm after the storm. A trusty black iron warrior was called in to battle, to tame this ring of this fire. A plunge in a hot butter bath was all these beautiful cakes needed.
We love our Dungeness crab. It is so sweet and delicious. A hint of smokiness is what the barbeque added. We will be enjoying crab for the next couple of months. Oh Yeah!