Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hatch Chilis: EZ Hatch Chili Cornbread

Here's a simple, simple way to enjoy those yummy hatch chilis -- drop 'em in corn bread batter. Everyone has their favorite. We happened to have Krusteaz Honey Corn Bread in the pantry. So it became Hatch Chili Honey Cornbread.

I minced a chili, no roasting and then, lit the oven, mixed the mix, dropped the 2 Tablespoons of chilis in and baked as directed.

We were making Heirloom Tomato Sauce, so the bread became little slices of lunch with yellow Heirlooms sliced on top.

Nice heat with a little of sweet.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hatch Chilis: First, we try salsa.

Well, it's Hatch Chili season & I've been playing around with the fun little chili from Hatch, New Mexico in my California kitchen. Here are the first things I learned:
  • Wash your hands
  • Wash your hands
  • Don't touch your face, (don't wipe your brow)
  • And, wash your hands
Yikes! The oil in these babies is hot. I also note cooking with the Hatch Chili can be a little like playing Craps. You simply can''t predict the outcome. First, I taste a nice and mild one then a scorcher. Well, at least I'm clear on what I'm up against.  I stopped by my neighborhood specialty grocer for well, a specialty item, and they were having a Hatch Chili fest. They roast, you buy and even they were separating the hot from the mild as they tasted them! I'd prefer to roast them myself -  that's another post and it's coming.

The first attempt at Casa del My House, was Roasted Hatch Chili Salsa:

I sweated onions, roasted tomatoes and Hatch Chilis and combined them with salt and a garlic clove in the food processor.

Easy and tasty.

Next time, I'll go for Roma tomatoes, the big cherry tomatoes from my garden are yummy, but a little sweet. The salsa was a bigger hit day 2 than day 1. But, isn't it always?

Click here for the recipe.

Just a spot of lime juice along with the salt was a great idea. And voila!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tongue of Fire Beans & Love

On my trip to the Santa Monica Farmers Market I was arrested by these beautiful shelling beans, the Tongue of Fire. They we beautifully displayed almost overflowing in baskets by the Fairview Gardens farmers. They grow more than one kind of bean, and have a range of information on them here

I felt like I just wanted to run my hands through them and let them dribble out my fingers. Thankfully my hands were full and restrained! Aren't they inviting?

Now, these are definitely not dried beans, with which I have lots of familiarity and facility, but fresh. I had trouble remembering their name. They look like they should be the cranberry bean. At any rate, I snagged a pound or so (with a scoop) and brought them home. 

Here's where my ignorance to their freshness set in. I left them in the bag for a couple of days and voila! they began to sprout a bit. So that night, while my summer lovin' family were craving burgers and I was not, I quickly transformed these beans into a plate of sheer delight.

 First, a little bit of bacon in the pan, and then some chopped red scallions. Then I drained and cleaned the pan, added olive oil and let the cooked meat and onions continue. I added some chicken stock, some thyme from the garden and some red pepper flakes, then the beans.

I added a teaspoon of salt and let them simmer about 20 minutes. I later read here, that you shouldn't salt them while cooking because they become tough. I didn't notice a toughness, but they were a somewhat different texture than dried beans. Quite delightful.

Next time I'll wait to salt to see the difference.

 But I won't wait to eat them. I may be in love.

Grab a spoon and join me?
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