Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hot, Hot Stuff!

 Well, it's been a while since we got together and chatted about my latest "goings on".  So, I thought I would let you know what I had been up to in the last few days.  I have a post that was done some time ago that showed where I made a hot pepper sauce from scratch in my own kitchen.  I have learned from my last few experiences to approach the situation armed and dangerous!

 yep..  that's me..haha

And for pete's sake don't forget these.....

Now, proceed with caution! ha.  I started the process of cutting all of the peppers.  I used a combination of the following:

1.  Jalapenos-5
2.  Pablano- 1 large
3.  Thai Chillies-5
4.  Serranos- 5
5.  Fresno- 4
6.  Habanero-2

You might notice that I didn't use ALL of the seeds.

Next, I put about 5 cloves of fresh garlic through a press and set it aside....

Now, it was time to put the peppers (without the garlic) in a large skillet with about a cup of Virgin olive oil. I don't usually cook by "measuring", but my smell and taste.  But for those who need measuring, I estimate that it was probably about a cup or slightly better.  Keep in mind that different olive oils are for different purposes.  So, you want to make sure you choose one that is for "cooking" and not "dipping".

Time to chop the peppers.....

 Add to hot oil and cook for about ten minutes on medium heat.  You will be very happy to have covered your eyes and nose! Even with the vent on, the steam was still escaping into the air.  I had a fan on sitting in front of the kitchen window up on the table to pull the "aroma" out of the house.

After cooking for about ten minutes, turn the heat off and let the oil cool down for about 1-2 minutes.  Now, add the garlic, salt and stir.  If you add it before this, it will "toast" or burn.  Of course, if you want your garlic toasted in the mix that is fine too, but it can burn quite quickly.  So, be sure to remove it from the heat "just before" it has reached the desired color you want it to be because it will continue to cook in the hot oil for a few more minutes.  Let it cool in the pan completely WITHOUT a lid.  If you put a lid on it, it will make condensation and you will end up with water in your pepper oil.

I had enough to put some in a jar in the fridge and the rest went into this little jar that I bought a while ago for this very reason. Here is the finished product...:-).  This picture shows the jar nearly empty because we had already eaten some when this picture was taken.

It sits on the table with my "special" salt and pepper shakers that Chris purchased several months back....:-).

TADA!  Hope you all try this one day.  I know you can do the same thing with peppers that have no heat if this is too spicy for some of you.  Some times we use just the oil off the top and other times we use a spoonful on eggs or other dishes we enjoy.

See ya next time!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Caviar Anyone?

I'm exhausted!  haha.  It has been quite a busy and intense time of family, friends, reorganization and upcoming meetings.  The thought of some of this makes me tired.  But I am grateful to have made it through another year with strength to make it through this one too.

Now, having said that...a girl has to pamper herself for a job well done over the past 12 months.  Or just do it for any old reason at all...ha.  I decided that I was going to make one, huge extravagant dish.  But being as tired as I have been from travel and feeling off and on as if I were fighting the flu, I broke it into two "events".
My first "event" was a roasted, crispy skin duck.  I had never done a duck quite like this before.  And Lord knows I had never heard of a "utility duck" until I last week.  I kept thinking what could they possibly have the ducks doing before they met their end???  "Utility Ducks".....really??.  Well, they were going for about 2.00 a pound and was about half the size of  a regular duck.  Then I found out that they are usually missing some "part" and are sold for much less than the other ducks that made the cut  (no pun intended).

Anyway, it took about 2 hours to cook it along with some parsnips ( I hope I spelled that right), which I had never cooked before, dressing, gravy and broccoli. Fortunately, my little duck had all of its wings and things.  It was missing some of the giblets, but that was no big deal.  The bird was small enough for us to just cut the thing in half and share it.  It was very juicy (surprisingly so) seeing as it was on low broil the entire time it cooked.


Well, as you can see... I forgot to change my table cloth.  Oh well....:-).  Maybe tomorrow.  Anywho,  today's adventure was black caviar; which I knew had to be kept on ice even while being served and only served with plastic, glass or Mother of Pearl utensil.  Otherwise, the metal of stainless steel or aluminium will ruin the taste.  I had a plastic knife handy.......:-)  

Smoked trout........Also to be eaten cold.

stuffed eggs......I made the mixture with cream cheese and spices and put a dollop of caviar on each egg.  Chris had some sourdough bread that he made into "toast points".  The idea was to put the smoked trout on a slice of toast and top it with some basil pesto....

And that was our first "exotic" dinners of 2014.

 Thanks for burping with us!  haha  Happy New Year!!