Monday, August 28, 2017

Blistered Shishito Peppers

I went to one of my favorite Growers Market and bought some Shishito Peppers this past weekend.  I love these delicious little peppers.  Not spicy but they have a little sweetness to them.  They are so easy to prepare and taste fantastic. I usually toss them with some oil and salt, cook them in a frying pan.  When they are done I sprinkle them with some more salt.  I cook them until they are slightly charred and then serve  immediately.  Pick them up by the stem and enjoy.  Everything on the pepper is edible except the stem.


Blistered Shishito Peppers
Ingredients:

1 pound Shishito Peppers
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or grape seed oil
Sea Salt

Directions:
1. Wash and pat dry Shishito Peppers.  Place in a large bowl and set aside  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
2. Toss the Shishito Peppers with the oil.   Sprinkle with salt and toss.  When the skillet is hot place the peppers in the skillet.





3. Cook the peppers until lightly charred tossing frequently.  Once peppers are cooked remove from heat.  Sprinkle with a little more salt - if desired and serve.






Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Spicy Ginger Cucumbers

I have been busy picking the cucumbers in the garden.    They have gone wild which is wonderful.  I love the taste of garden fresh cucumbers.  Cucumbers are so versatile in cooking.  You can use them in a salad, make a cucumber salad, pickle them, use them in a sandwich, they add great refreshment to water,  just to name a few.

With the cucumbers I picked this morning, I made Spicy Ginger Cucumbers -  a very easy salad to make.  I start off with a large English cucumber, or  2  regular cucumbers.  If the seeds are large, I remove them otherwise I just slice up the cucumbers into 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch chunks.  I place the cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with some salt.  I place the colander over a bowl, and cover the cucumbers with some plastic wrap.  I refrigerate for one hour and give the cucumbers a toss every now and then.  Once the cucumbers are ready, I pat them dry with a paper towel and toss them in a dressing of Rice Vinegar, a pinch of black pepper, a pinch of sugar, a tablespoon of minced fresh ginger, some Mirin, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Once the cucumbers are well tossed, I cover and place them in the fridge until I am ready to serve them.

They taste wonderful -  crunchiness, with a slightly sweet and spicy gingery flavor.  I love them - one of my favorite ways to enjoy garden fresh cucumbers.



Spicy Ginger Cucumbers
Ingredients:

1 English cucumber or 2 regular cucumbers
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Mirin
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:
1.  Wash and peel the cucumber.  Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise.  If the seeds are large remove them with a spoon.  Cut each of the halves in half lengthwise and cut the cucumber into 1- 1 1/2 inch chunks.
2. Place the cucumbers in a colander.  Set the colander over a large bowl.  Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt.  Cover the cucumbers and place in the fridge for 1 hour.  Toss the cucumbers every 20 minutes.
3. Pour the rice vinegar in a small mixing bowl.  Add the ginger, Mirin, black pepper, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes.  Stir until well mixed.
4. Remove the cucumbers from the fridge.   Path the cucumbers dry with a paper towel.   Place in a medium bowl and toss with the rice vinegar mixture.
5. Cover and place back in the fridge.   Chill for 2-4 hours.  Before serving toss the cucumbers.

Serves 4-5



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Canning Peaches

I have been busy canning peaches this past week.  Usually I just make some jams and jellies.  I decided to mix things up a bit this summer.    This is one of my first adventures into canning fruit.  I found a terrific and very informative website.  It gave me step by step instructions on preparing the fruit, the equipment needed, and canning time - water bath.

The canning process wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought.  In fact, I enjoyed it.  It was kinda of satisfying preserving summer's produce to enjoy in the winter,   My next adventure in canning is going to be Crushed Tomatoes.

Here is the link to the website I used for canning peaches.  They have canning tips for various produce.  Pick Your Own.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

 I love Mac and Cheese.  A creamy cheesy dish that is very comforting and satisfying.  What could make it better?  Adding some green chile to it.   It gives this traditional dish a nice spiciness but not a hot spiciness. Coming from New Mexico we like green chile in just about everything.

In this recipe a creamy sharp cheddar cheese sauce is spiced up a notch with some hot sauce - my favorite is Cholula.  Add some Worcestershire sauce and you have a very flavorful sauce that will coat your macaroni and green chile.  All ingredients are then mixed together and poured into a 13x9-inch baking dish.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Let the mac and cheese cool about 20 minutes before serving.   A traditional comfort food dish with some added zing.  A very tasty and satisfying meal.


Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
4 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 (4-ounce) cans green chile, diced

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Once cooked, drain and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter.  Stir in the flour, dry mustard, salt, and pepper.   Cook until mixture bubbles.
3. Slowly add the milk and heavy cream to the mixture. Stir well and bring mixture to a boil stirring frequently.  Once the mixture has come to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Remove saucepan from heat and slowly add in 3 cups of the cheddar cheese. Whisk until  the cheese has melted then add some more cheese.  Next whisk in the cream cheese until melted.
5. Stir  in the hot sauce and the Worcestershire sauce.
6. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked macaroni, cheese sauce, and green chile.   Stir until the macaroni  and green chile are  well coated.
7. Lightly spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Pour in the mac and cheese into the baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the macaroni.
8. Place the mac and cheese in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling.  Remove from the oven and let rest 20 minutes before serving.   Serve


Makes 8 servings







Thursday, August 3, 2017

Instant Pot Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca  pudding is one of those desserts I make  that brings back fond memories.  My mother used to make Tapioca for dessert when I was growing up.  I loved it.  Simple but delicious.      I used to dread making the pearl tapioca because of the time involved.   Not any more.  The Instant Pot came to the rescue.

The Tapioca pearls are cooked in the Instant Pot for a few minutes.  Release the steam, stir  in the milk, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract.  Mix well and bring to a boil.   Let the Tapioca cool.  Your Tapioca Pudding is ready to serve.  The result is a rich and tasty pudding that will be enjoyed by all.

Instant Pot Tapioca Pudding
From Pressure Cooking Today

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup Reese’s small-pearl tapioca*
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. In Instant Pot cooking pot, mix together tapioca and water.  Lock the lid in place and select High Pressure and 6 minutes cook time. When beep sounds turn off pressure cooker and use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release any remaining pressure with a quick pressure release.
2. Whisk sugar and salt into tapioca in pressure cooking pot.
3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks with milk. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into pressure cooking pot. Select sauté and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture just starts to boil. Turn off pressure cooker and remove pressure cooking pot. Stir in vanilla.
4. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (Pudding will thicken as it cools. ) Pour into serving dishes and chill. Optional: Served garnished with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

*Do not use minute tapioca. Use a small pearl tapioca that has package directions that instruct you to do an overnight soak, such as Reese’s Small Pearl Tapioca. If the package directions don’t recommend an overnight soak, you may need to reduce the cook time on this recipe.

 Serves 4