Tag Archives: Jalapeno’s

Cucumber Salsa


You ever find food that you love so much you look for recipes that you can use it in?  Or that you can use as a substitute for other things?

That’s Creme Fraiche for me.   I can eat it by the spoonful, straight out of the container, but I usually restrain myself.

It’s so good on baked potatoes, used in Deviled Eggs, I’ve pretty much substituted it for sour cream and greek yoghurt in almost everything I cook.

And it’s not that bad for you either.  It’s got protein and calcium and doesn’t really have a lot of fat, cause the flavour packs a punch.  So a little goes a long way.

Usually.

I saw a recipe for Cucumber Salsa awhile back and the dressing called for Sour Cream.

Yeah right, I thought.   I’ll see your Sour Cream, and raise you some Creme Fraiche.

And I was right.    WOW!  I’m even more in love than before.

I brought this to my weekly Friday gathering.  And those people who could eat cucumber and cilantro liked it, as did I.  Well, actually I think I loved it.  And I will make it again.  Just one warning though, if you dress it too early, you will end up with a fair amount of liquid, but you can just drain that off if you like.  I served this with pita chips, but I think it would go well with just about anything.

Recipe- adjust to your own tastes

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced very fine
1-2 Roma Tomatoes, diced very fine
1/2 red onion, diced/minced
1/4 cup chopped Parsley
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
1- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1-2 Jalapeno’s  seeded and diced finely

Dressing
1/2 cup Creme Fraiche
1-2 tsp. Lemon Juice
1-2 tsp Lime Juice
1/4-1/2 tsp. Cumin

Mix the fresh veggies together and give them a quick grind of sea salt, let them sit for awhile and get acquainted.

I had to take this shot, after chopping, mincing and peeling.  They just looked so purty.

Fresh Parsley, straight out of my garden, how cool is this?

And when you go to chop it up, roll it up into a tight bundle and then cut across it, making a chiffonade, then just cross-cut it.  Makes it a lot easier to chop.

Everyone into the bowl now.

Toss the veggies together.

Mix dressing ingredients together and let that sit in the fridge for a little.

Just before serving, pour dressing over the cucumbers and mix together, serve with crackers or pita bread or tortilla chips.

I think I would make this again, but next time, just wouldn’t add quite so much dressing, and I would definitely add more jalapeno’s and cumin.

I wonder how this would taste on a sub?  hmmm, I think I’m getting ideas.

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Kohrabi and Sweet Potato Fritters


Have you ever had Kohlrabi?   It’s this weird vegetable that kinda looks a little like a turnip with leaves.    The name comes from the German, Kohl being cabbage and rabi means turnip.  Doesn’t taste like either one though.

I was very fortunate to grow up on a farm, we raised our own pigs, cattle, chickens and even had sheep and a goat at one point.    We also grew vegetables and soft fruits.

As a young person I was not that fond of vegetables.  I loved the fresh corn, I’d generally manage to polish off an ear or two on my way up to the house after picking some for dinner.   I would eat as many peas as I shelled when we were having fresh peas for dinner, but never cared for them cooked.

Wait a minute, I think I see a pattern emerging.   I liked raw cauliflower, raw cabbage, raw carrots and raw peas, but not cooked.  However, when it was time to harvest Kohlrabi, I was happy to eat that raw or cooked.   Mom never really did anything fancy with the Kohlrabi, basically it was steamed and served with a little butter.  Simple and oh, so very good.   You really didn’t need more seasoning than that.

Now that I’ve gotten the story telling out-of-the-way –

I got so excited when I found some Kohlrabi at a little oriental store I go to when I visit the big city.   They have the most incredible variety of fun vegetables there.  I usually pick up some baby bok choy, as well as chinese eggplants and other fun stuff.    But this time after grabbing my essentials, I found some Kohlrabi.  So I bought it.

I thought one of the bulbs would go nicely with a sweet potato and some besan flour  and some of the new spice mixtures I picked up at another store.   And since I was going to go to a gathering yesterday, I used my friends as guinea pigs.    I decided to play with this and see how it turned out.   Of course if they hadn’t passed my taste test, I was just going to share it here and  and not say a word about it.  I used the recipe for  Carrot Pakora’s I made a while ago as a base for these.

1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 Kohlrabi, peeled and grated
1  cup Besan Flour  (Chickpea Flour)
1 cup Rice Flour
1 sweet onion, finely diced
1 Jalapeno, finely diced
3 teaspoons cumin/coriander powder mix  to taste,

(I just purchased this at the Indian store).
1/2 teaspoon salt
Water to moisten, I used about 3/4 cup
Oil for frying

Peel the Kohlrabi, making sure you get all that woody outer peel off.

You can see in the picture that under the peel is a layer of white peel, you don’t really want that either.  Not for this recipe.   Grate it and set aside.  Peel and grate the sweet potato, then mince the onion and jalapeno.

Dump all the veggies into a bowl and add the flours and spices.  Mix together and then add water.

I used a half cup water but it was still a little dry, so I added about another 1/4 cup, which was almost too much.   But it worked.  Heat the oil to about 350 degrees, you can do a shallow fry with these fritters, which is what I did.  Or you can use a Fry Daddy if you like, whatever floats your boat.

Place a tablespoon of the fritter mix into the oil and fry til golden on one side, then turn and fry til golden on the other side.

Remove from oil and drain.

Serve warm with some Chutney sauce.

And I did say I was at a gathering with some friends, which in my neck of the woods equates to lots of yummy dishes.
I tried Gefilte Fish yesterday, served with Horseradish.  Very interesting.

There was some Ham, and I took a picture before the mustard and mayonnaise was put into the bowls.

There was also some yummy Asparagus, with a touch of balsamic vinegar and caramelized onions.

You gotta have some Cheese and Crackers along the way as well.   And I did not get a shot of the yummy burrito’s either, grrr.   I managed to eat one, but…

All in all, another successful gathering.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken


Awhile back I was talking with a friend and comparing notes on using our George Foreman grills.   I have one and use it a lot.   And I do mean a lot.    I don’t own a proper BBQ grill anymore, and have to say that for the most part I don’t miss it.   She was telling me how easy bacon wrapped shrimp were to do on the grill.    And it sounded so good.   But then I ran across this recipe on  the Charbroil grill site.    Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Stuffed chicken breasts.  YUM.

I thought that it might just work out on my George Forman grill so I decided to make them for dinner one night.   Now, I did not chill the filling, and the jalapeno’s I used were way too mild for our taste, but on the whole, not a bad dish.

I had two big chicken breasts in the freezer so I pulled them out, let them thaw for a little while, then while they were still a little frozen cut them into cutlets, and then proceeded to cut pockets into the cutlets.   Believe me when I say these were BIG chicken breasts.   And it worked very well.

  I had the filling made, cream cheese, chopped jalapeno’s and then decided to add some Shredded Pepper Jack to the mixture.   And if you’ve read any of my posts in the past, you know I always have frozen jalapeno’s in the freezer.  Never know when you’re going to need them.

Now, at this point I should have stuffed the chicken breasts and then put them into the fridge to firm up, but hey, it was late, I wanted to get dinner made and on the table so I just stuffed them and wrapped them in bacon.

I had my grill heated up, and placed the chicken breasts on the grill, and had my handy, dandy wired thermometer stuck in the largest of the chicken breasts to check the temp.

Well, the filling kinda leaked out, and the grill didn’t cook them as evenly as I would have liked, but the flavour wasn’t bad.   I think if I make this again, I’ll change the ratio of cheese a little, more grated cheese, and instead of chopping the jalapeño peppers up, I’ll just stuff the pepper, then put it inside the chicken breast.   I think the filling will stay in place better.   And I will par cook the bacon a little as well.   Because I used the grill, the bacon didn’t cook as well as it could have.   But it was still pretty darn good.

And we ate them all…

Pico de Gallo


I love Pico de Gallo, and in fact have been know to make it up on a whim, just because.   And then have proceeded to eat half the bowlful.   Which isn’t as bad as it sounds, cause Pico de Gallo is basically just onions, tomatoes and jalapeno’s.   And so long as you don’t load up on chips, you don’t need to worry about the calories.   Pico de Gallo is just plain good food.    I’ve actually posted the recipe here but it was buried in a post about Acapulco chicken.   And that was not fair to it.   I think it deserves its own post.  So there!

First up, get out your trusty gloves, you don’t want to be messing with jalapeno’s unless you’re properly covered up.   Trust me on this one.   It is very important, unless of course you’re into pain, at which point just go ahead and disregard this.    Just kidding, but I’ve made the mistake of rubbing an eye when I’ve had Jalapeno juice on my hand and the agony, totally not worth it.

Start by getting your ingredients together.  And nothing in this is really exact because you’ll be making this for you, and whatever your heat tolerance is.

You want some lovely fresh jalapeno peppers, a couple of tomatoes, an onion, cilantro, lime and salt.    Start by dicing up a Roma tomato or two, depending on how much you are making, you want a fairly fine dice, then dice up a white onion, again a fairly fine dice.   And now for the fun, depending on your tolerance or love of heat, you want to mince or very finely dice 1-3 jalapeno’s.  Start by whacking off the stem end, slicing them in two lengthwise and then cutting out the seed and membrane.

 

 

 

Add all together and stir, squeeze the juice of a lime over it, add a handful of finely chopped cilantro

and about a half teaspoon of salt, or less to start.  Stir it all up and taste.   You can always add more jalapeno’s or tomatoes or any portion to make it to your taste.  This is your Pico de Gallo after all.

Carnita’s for Taco’s or…


Carnita’s for taco’s or …

OK, so Saturday was Cinco de Mayo, and I screwed up on getting this posted in time. I really had every intention of posting some Mexican recipes in time for Cinco de Mayo, but  life got in the way and here I am, a little  late with my recipe for Carnita’s. But that’s OK, you don’t have to wait a whole nother year to make this. In fact I would urge you to hie down to your local supermarket and pick up a nice Boston butt roast and some oranges and make this today or next weekend or the weekend after that. This may take a few hours, you don’t have to pay attention to the details of cooking it until the final browning stage. Which is a good thing, I mean I have stuff I like to do, and my idea of a great meal on a Sunday is one I don’t need to fuss over too much and this one fits the bill. And it tastes great as well. By the way, this is one of the dishes I’ll be showing you how to do during my stint as guest chef this month at the Crooked River Grill.
Pork Carnita’s
1 large Pork Butts, cut into chunks
water
Salt and pepper
1-2  or more finely chopped jalapeño
2-4  oranges, halved or 1 cup pulpy orange juice

Cut the meat into chunks, about 4 x 4 inches or so. In a heavy pan, arrange the pieces of pork in a single layer and cover with water. It’s fine to crowd the pan initially –  the pieces of meat will shrink after some of the fat is rendered. Sprinkle with some salt. Throw in a couple of orange halves as well, and a jalapeño if you like.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat to keep up a gentle simmer while uncovered. It may take around 2 hours for the liquid to completely evaporate. You can also do this in the oven, whatever turns your crank. Or even the crockpot, but in the Crockpot the liquid won’t evaporate.
Once all the water has evaporated, take out of the pot and use a fork to break the meat into smaller chunks, then place the meat into an oven safe pan,

with a little of the rendered fat in the bottom and squeeze the juice of 4-6 oranges over them, sprinkle with some finely chopped jalapeno’s, and stir together. Roast until the top of the meat is browned and lightly crispy.

Serve with some warm flour tortillas, rice and beans.