Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Acorn Squash with Chili Lime Relish

So earlier this fall, C and I signed up for a late fall CSA.  Every Tuesday, we run by their house, and pick up our goody bag box.  For those not in the know, a CSA is a Community Supported Agriculture program.  You give them money up front to get all their needs and supplies like seeds for the up coming season, and they gift you with lots of tasty fresh food in return.  This was our second pick up, and I really couldn't be happier.  This weeks goodies include turnips, salad greens, roasted garlic, winter squash, potatoes, collards (not sure what I'll do with them yet, but I'm pretty sure C will eat it), and BLUEBERRIES!
We love blueberries in this house, and can always find a way to stick 'em in what ever we're cooking. Last week we had a similar box'o'goodies, just a different arrangement for similar things.

So, I had this acorn squash in the last box, and took a whole week to figure out what to cook with it.  I am super happy with the results, and is a new favorite we are eager to share.  Not to lie, I found it on the internet (like most of my recipes) and will link to the original recipe here.
I didn't make many changes, just what type of peppers, mostly to use up what we have here.

1 Acorn Squash
2 cloves of garlic minced/ mashed
1 nice sized lime
1 Habenaro minced
2 seranos (a red one and a green one) minced
1 Small bunch of Cilantro minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Make sure you have a really sharp knife for this, and maybe some help.  Half the squash and scoop out the seeds.  Slice the squash into 1/2 or so slivers.  In a bowl medium sized bowl, mix a little bit of your oil and the salt and pepper.  Put the squash in and mix around to coat with oil.  Arrange in Pyrex-like dish to bake at 450 for 25-30 minutes until undersides are golden brown.  In the same bowl you used to mix the oil with squash, add the rest of the oil, the juice of your lime, the peppers, and cilantro.

When finished, plate with cooked side of squash up, and drizzle the relish over the top.
Excellent dish with a side of bulgar, or as a side to the up coming Thanksgiving holiday (wink wink).
As always cut out the seeds of the peppers unless you really like the heat; and use gloves to cut or make your partner do it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tuna Curry

Add a twist to a tasty dish, with what?  Peppers!  The base of this dish takes about 20 minutes, and is great over some brown rice, but is just as tasty (and faster to make) with some whole wheat noodles.

1-2 red onions coarsely chopped
1-2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes chopped
2 sweet potatoes parboiled and cut into bite size pieces
2 cans of tuna packed in OIL (NOT WATER!)
2 habenaros seeded and minced
1 cup of coconut milk
ground garam masala spices :
cinnamon, green cardamom, coriander, cloves, and black pepper

Saute the red onion in a saucepan with a bit of olive oil until lightly translucent.  Add the tomatoes and let cook down for about 5-10 minutes.  Toss in the tuna with the oil, the habenaros, and spices.  Allow to cook for another 5 minutes until it starts to smell amazing.  Add the coconut milk, mix well, then add the sweet potatoes.  Bring back to a boil, which shouldn't be but a few minutes, then serve over rice or noodles.  Makes enough for 2 and then enough for a hefty lunch the next day for both.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chili with Chilis

 I said I would have more pepper recipes, and here is a great way to use up a bunch of big peppers and little peppers.  Chili with Chilis!  This recipe is a warm and fulfilling chili that uses no chili powder.  Its completely seasoned by all the chilis in it.  This is probably C's favorite dish to make, and eat.  I love mine tossed over some whole wheat spaghetti noodles, but tonight's recipe is a variation with bulgar (a cracked wheat) and Textured Vegetable Protein, I suggest just trying it.  Its good I promise.

4 Anaheim Chilis
2-3 red jalapenos/seranos
1 Habanero Pepper
1 Portuguese Pepper
1 white onion chopped + 1 wedge extra for beans
2 celery stalks chopped
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of great northern beans (dry)
1 cup of red kidney beans (dry)

   1-2 bay leaves
   1 tsp of cumin
   1 tsp black pepper
   1-2 tablespoons salt
   1/2 tsp garlic powder
   1 tsp oregano

1/2 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1 cup bulgar

Cook beans until tender with wedge of onion in large soup pot.  While beans cook, roast the anaheims and jalapenos.  Allow to sweat for 20 min a wet towel to assist in removing the skin, then remove seeds and stems to all the peppers including the habanero and portuguese, or keep them to add additional heat. Chop up and keep to the side. Add the can of tomatoes and spices to the beans when soft.  Allow to simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes.  Add peppers to the tomatoes and beans.  Saute onion, garlic and celery until lightly transparent.  Then add them to the chili.  Simmer for 45 minutes.

Right before the soup is ready (15 minutes or so) make a batch of TVP and bulgar.  TVP is about 1 cup dry to 7/8 cup of boiling water/stock.  I dropped it to half a cup because of the 1 cup of bulgar which have similar textures.  Half a cup of TVP uses just less than half a cup of boiling water to rehydrate.  Just pour boiling water or stock over the flakes, stir, and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
Bulgar is 1 cup dry to 2.25 cups water.  Bring water with a touch of salt and the bulgar to a boil, then simmer 10-15 minutes.  Add both the Chili with Chilis.   Add sour cream if you like and enjoy a hearty warm dinner.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pepper Picking with the Peepers

This past weekend I had the pleasure to pick the "last" of my partner's garden.  We left a few plants standing so we could gather more ripe peppers before the frost.  At the end of the day we harvested all our jalapeno and serrano peppers and pulled the plants. We gathered the ripe portuguese, anaheim, habanero, poblano, and bell peppers but left the plants because of how many fruit were so close to being ripe. 
I was really worried earlier this season that we wouldn't have anything from this garden.  We really had some trouble with tomatoes earlier this season, and the peppers were slow to bloom.   Thankfully North Carolina has a really long growing season, with distinct seasons to actually grow various fruits and vegetables.
C and I spent Saturday afternoon at his parents pickling the jalapenos, serranos, and green portugeuse peppers.  I think we came out nicely with just over a dozen or so pints of peppers.  I am super excited and can't wait to break into them.

With the left over fresh peppers, most of which I'm trying to free myself of, we are trying to consume daily.  Many new pepper recipes ahead!

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

dozen jalapenos sliced in half and seeded
1/2 -3/4 box of cream cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella or chedder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp cracked pepper
1 tsp paprika

1/2 cup flour
2 eggs beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Mix cream cheese with shredded cheese and spices.  Fill jalapeno halves with cheese.  Dust peppers with flour then dip in egg then in panko bread crumbs.  Line up peppers on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve hot and maybe with some ranch dressing.