Adventures In Food and Wine

Join me in my kitchen while I embark on a journey of cooking and enjoying food and wine.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Using up some garden bounty

The other day the September issue of Gourmet arrived in the mailbox. Being a 65th Anniversary Issue, it is packed with bits from previous issues and also features reprints of vintage covers. The first feature focused on chiles. In this feature was a recipe for Green-Chile Beef Stew that called for 1 pound of Anaheim chiles. Having an abundance of these from the garden, I decided to give this dish a go.

The first step was to roast the chiles either over the burner of a gas stove or under the broiler. Having an electric stove (not my choice BTW) I roasted these under the broiler. After about 10 minutes I removed them to a bowl and covered the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. After another 10 minutes, they were ready to have the skins slipped off.

Next a chuck roast is cut into 1-inch cubes and then browned off in a large heavy pot. Remove the meat, cook some onions and garlic in the pot and then return the meat to the mix. Add spices, tomatoes, water and the seeded and chopped chiles. Simmer for 3 hours and you have a very tasty and hearty chili stew. I served this with rice and pinto beans as suggested in the recipe.

Zac fell in love with this dish stating "I want to take this for lunch tomorrow at school." Randy ate a second helping stating "I guess I better eat some more of this so you don't feel bad." Actually, I was hoping to take it for my lunch tomorrow, if there is any left!


Green-Chile Beef Stew
adapted from Gourmet Magazine, September 2006

Friday, August 25, 2006

Picante/Salsa Success at last!

When I got home from work today I peeled and chopped the tomatoes I picked yesterday.
I processed 7 pints of my picante/salsa sauce. What do you think?

Now that I have the canning bug for this year, I wonder what I can make next!
Recipe for the salsa is two posts down.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tomatoes! Yes!

So do you think I will have enough tomatoes to finally finish the picante sauce?
Stay Tuned...

2 views of my just picked tomato bounty!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Plan was to Can!

Freshly picked Pineapple tomatoes
The garden is coming along great, it is like a jungle out there! I have had several picking of green beans and the mysterious peppers turned out to be Anaheim peppers. I planted one heirloom tomato plant and have gotten several of them to enjoy! If you have never tried one of the many different varieties of heirloom tomato, I urge you to get to your Farmer's Market and give them a try! Most have such a fresh and great tomato flavor. They are more for eating out of hand then for cooking. Mine are Pineapple tomatoes and they are as tasty as they are beautiful!

My intention this morning when I got up was to can some picante sauce. I had a bowl full of Roma tomatoes from the garden and some peppers all ready to go. I got this recipe from Beth over at the Cooking Light Bulletin Board and it has been our standard canned sauce for the last 2 years. I have had some bad experience in the past with home canned salsa/picante sauce. The recipes I had tried were too vinegary. I was reluctant to try this one but am I ever glad I did! This recipe is easy (once you get past the peeling of the tomatoes, but I have a handy gadget for that-more about it later) and has a great flavor.

However, canning today was not it the cards I'm afraid. First I chopped and added all the ingredients except the tomatoes and cilantro. I save the tomatoes for last. I peeled and seeded and diced all the tomatoes, to only discover that I had a mere 5 1/2 cups instead of the required 10! Since I already had enough of all the other ingredients for a full batch mixed in, doing a half batch did not seem feasible. I rushed out to the garden in hopes that I had another bowl full of tomatoes that had ripened overnight. No such luck. I will probably have some more in a couple days. So, I put it all in a container and put it in the fridge. I hope all will be well for me to add the rest of the tomatoes in a couple days. I guess I could have went to the farm stand and bought some more, but that seems so crazy when I have a abundance that will be ripe soon.
My canning supplies waiting patiently
So dear readers, I will include the recipe for the picante, as I can assure you it is wonderful. Hopefully I can post about the end result in a couple days. This was to be my ARF Tuesday submission for Sweetnicks. I may submit it anyway as a work in progress! Be sure to check out the other submissions at her site.
Picante in progress!

Now for the gadget. Last year I found a soft fruit/tomato peeler that eliminates the need to blanch and shock the fruit or tomato to remove the skin. It works great! It is made by Zyliss. I love using this instead of messing around with all that water!

That is it for tonight. Be sure to check back in for an update on the canning!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Chipotle Glazed Chicken, ARF Tuesday

Hope everyone is now finally getting some relief from the heat. It was a nice 82 here today. What a refreshing change of pace! I was able to go out and do some drastic trimming to some of my herb plants today (I forgot to take before and after photos...I still can't get used to being able to use my digital camera anytime I want and not worry about film). I drastically trimmed some leggy oregano and some mint. I have no worries about either one of them as I have done this before and it just makes them come back more full and beautiful before the fall.

We finally got our first tomatoes from the garden. Just a few Roma tomatoes, the others are still green. Randy planted some banana peppers (1 plant) and it is going nuts! We have gotten so many peppers from it! He also planted what he thought was small cayenne peppers but the start out long and green and the curl up and turn red. I don't know what kind they are.

Dinner tonight was a dish from Rachael Ray that I watched her make the other day. I had all the ingredients except cashews so I just left them out and modified the recipe. This was full of flavor and spice! This was a combination of Asian and Southwestern flavors and they worked well together. Even picky eater Zac declared it a hit! Once I pre-prepped all the ingredients, it was a snap to throw together. I used Uncle Ben's Parboiled Brown Rice (you could always use the regular if desired). I like this because it cooks a bit faster and since it is parboiled, the grains separate nicely. I think I read somewhere that parboiled rice has a lower glycemic index also. This is a dish full of veggies and would be very adaptable to the addition of more or different veggies. I am submitting this for ARF Tuesday over at Sweetnicks. Be sure to check out the other great submissions over there.