Tag Archives: chili

Keeping up with putting up

We’re just about at then end of our “What do we do with all these green tomatoes?” phase. The answer, this year, is green sauce. I’m not going to waste my time trying to coax them into ripening, which never works anyway.  Here is my basic recipe, which is great as a dip, salsa, or an enchilada sauce.

  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 large clove minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 – 8 cups chopped green tomatoes
  • 1 – 2 cups diced green chili, poblano, jalapeno, serrano etc…
    • leave the seeds in if you want to experience numb lips for several hours after eating
    • be careful not to touch your face while working with the peppers!
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped cilantro (stems also)

Saute the garlic and onions briefly in the olive oil. Add tomatoes, peppers, cumin, salt, and water, and then simmer, covered, till tomatoes are soft. Puree in a blender or food processor, adding the lime juice and cilantro. Let cool and pour into labelled ziplock freezer bags (I recommend the pint size), and freeze flat. I made some stacked beef enchiladas with this green sauce yesterday. I like making stacked enchiladas because you don’t have to fry the tortillas in oil to soften them up for rolling. I know lots of recipes have you fry the tortillas even for stacked enchiladas, but I just oil my baking dish lightly, and then put a spoonful of sauce on the bottom – sort of like making lasagna.

We’re got our first really hard freeze last week (weather.com said 19 F, but I’m pretty sure we were about 10 warmer) so

windowsill basil

I’m going to see if I can keep this basil alive this winter.

the plastic is on the hoop houses and all our houseplants are inside.There is a good stand of arugula going, and I found broccoli and cabbage starts last month and planted those. Leeks are flourishing, pak choi is unstoppable, and there are a few turnips, radishes, and chard. We need to be vigilant for about two week on our nightly “slug patrol” to make sure we get some lettuce to come up and survive.

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Hot pepper sauces

Three weeks ago we picked all our peppers before a hard freeze, and we’ve been trying to pickle and dry them in our “free” time. Since Mike got all his grades in yesterday, today he made pickled peppers with the remaining jalapenos, and ground up the red chilis (mixed hot varieties) to  make a fermented sriracha-style chili sauce. He left me a large bowl of the ground chilis to make a batch of Thai sweet chili sauce. I took a taste of my sweet chili sauce as it was cooking a few minutes ago, and I’m thinking that it could be too hot, even for Mike. We may have to gift it to Tuan’s parents, as we did with our excessive harvest of  Habanero peppers several years ago!

P.S. Christmas morning, and Mike canned our sauces. The sweet chili is the darker color, and the fermented chili is the bright red.

Mixed hot red peppers  Cooking up sweet chili sauce

As this is likely my last post of 2011, I created a Best of 2011 slide show.

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What’s shakin’?

Yes, it’s been a while since I last posted. I had this little thing called a dissertation to write…

USGS map

USGS map showing where the earthquake was felt

If you live in the USA you may have heard about (or felt) the earthquakes we’ve been having. All the the strongest ones (4.7, 5.6, 4.7) occurred at night while I was sitting in my big leather easy chair. I was actually on the phone with Aric when the 5.6 record-breaker shaker hit. Last night we had a 4.7 while most of the state was under a tornado watch! Oh, and yeah, OKC was dealing with flash flooding at the same time. Crazy. We’ve had a record-breaking year in many categories. We lived in California for 8 years and I never felt any as strong as the 5.6 and certainly not as many clustered so close together.

The map above is the product of a form on the USGS earthquake web site page Did You Feel It?After I feel a quake I immediately go this page and fill out the form (yeah, I know I’m a geek). Kate said she felt the 5.6 in St. Louis. I saw on the interweb that people in Wisconsin also felt it.

Chinese cabbageMike has put the plastic on the hoop houses and things are looking fine. We have lettuce, arugula, red mustard, and cilantro to eat, and I can start harvesting Asian greens at any time. And in the hoop houses we still have peppers (lordy, do we have peppers!). Speaking of which, I found a great way to roast and peel chilis. I just put them in my convection toaster oven on high for about 8 to 10 minutes, then wrap them in a dishtowel for a minute or two. They are easier to peel and less messy than roasting them on the grill or over a gas flame, and you don’t have to worry about the smoke alarm going off. You don’t get the fire-roasted flavor of course, but it sure is convenient.Pepper abundance Other veggies started under the hoops: spinach, chard, leeks, kale, lettuce, and carrots. All but the chard and spinach are from saved seed! Still left to harvest are peppers and sweet potatoes.

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Chili time

The eggplant, peppers, and most of the tomatoes are out of the garden now. We left three tomato plants in and will pull them out when the first frost is forecasted. We have good luck in getting the green tomatoes to ripen this way: pull up the whole plant, or large stems with tomatoes still on them and hang them upside down in your basement. Check every day for ripe or almost ripe tomatoes. Last year we had fresh tomatoes into January by doing this.

poblano and serrano peppersAs you can see from the photo, we haven’t processed all of our peppers yet. I’ve made green chili stew, chili rellenos, and added chilis to about everything I can think of. Yesterday I dried some poblanos in the dehyrdator (center of photo). I ground some  of the dried red ones in my spice mill (an old coffee grinder). That’s what I’ll do to all the small green poblanos too. The larger ones I’ll char, rinse, ziplock, and put in the freezer.

The serranos I sliced and made a “refrigerator pickle.” I heated the leftover pickle juice (vinegar) and added a teaspoon of salt, mustard seeds, garlic, and a bay leaf, then tossed the sliced peppers in, heated to a boil, and put back into the jar and then into the refrigerator.

Tomorrow I’ll pick the last crop of green beans, pull the plants out, and transplant leeks, bok choi and mustard greens. The leeks and bok choi came from seed I saved this summer. The mustard is a different variety from what I usually plant – a red leafed type. Spinach and lettuce are now coming up, so I need to put some chicken wire over the beds to keep the neighborhood cats from scratching everything up.

Hey, check out Aric’s new brew blog. Some mothers want their sons to become doctors or lawyers. How boring!

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