Archive for the ‘Peppers’ Category

Mexican Corn Soup

Monday, June 1st, 2015

This recipe is adopted from Diana Kennedy’s “The Cuisines of Mexico”. It has the wonderfully fresh and uncomplicated flavor of young corn.

4 cups corn (or kernels from 5 ears)
2 or 3 large green poblano chilies
6 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp butter (or more)
1/2 cup milk or cream

Garnish: slivered cilantro leaves, strips of roasted poblanos, sour cream, etc.

Roast the poblanos over a gas flame till they begin to char, then wipe off the charred skin with a paper towel. Remove seeds and veins, and if they are very picante soak in salted water for about 30 minutes to remove some of the heat.

Put roasted peppers in a blender, along with 1/4 cup broth. Blend to a puree, then melt butter in a pan and cook puree over high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the chicken broth (5 1/2 cups) and the corn, and simmer till the corn is cooked, about 20 minutes. [If you want to try Diana's original recipe, stop here. Garnish with poblano strips, farmer cheese, and fried tortilla triangles. Otherwise, continue...]

Return the soup to the blender and blend till smooth, then pour back into the pot and add 1/2 cup milk or cream (or to taste) and heat gently.

Garnish with cilantro slivers and/or a bit of sour cream.

NOTE: If you are out of chicken stock or want a vegetarian alternative, try making a stock from the cobs for a delightful corn-flavored soup base. If you add a dash of soy sauce at the end, you can’t taste it but it perks up the broth nicely. And if you have onion peelings handy, these great to include when you are boiling the cobs.

Technicolor Salads

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

The gorgeous colors of fresh fruits and vegetables are great for composing “designer salads”, but the colors are also an index of healthy phytonutrients which are a hot topic in research these days.

Anthocyanins are red/blue/purple — think beets, red grapes (and red wine), strawberries, cherries, red cabbage, pomegranates, plums, cranberries, blackberries, blue berries and raspberries as well as dark leafy greens like chard, kale & collards (the red pigment is hidden by the chlorophyll). In plants, the anthocyanins absorb visible and UV light to minimize oxidative damage from solar radiation. In animals and humans who eat plants, the anthocyanins protect against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. They also reduce inflammation, protect against cancer…

Lycopene is red — think tomato, watermelon, pink grapefruit as well as apricots and pink guavas. They reduce the risk of several types of cancer.

Carotenoids are bright orange/yellow, present in carrots, pumpkins, mangos, apricots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes. They are antioxidants that also help improve communication between cells.

Lutins are green but considered a sub-class of carotenoids. They are present in collards, kale, peas, spinach & romaine lettuce. The reduce the risk of macular degeneration of the retina.

So go wild with color in your salads — technicolor combinations of veggies equals healthy! But don’t stop there. It turns out that herbs are packed with curative compounds, too — so a tablespoon of chopped basil, parsley, sage, thyme or tarragon will not only taste delightful but pack a nutritional punch as well.

Rebecca Tidwell’s Hot Pickled Peppers

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Rebecca suggested making hot pickled peppers last fall when I was lamenting what to do with my huge crop. They are super easy, super good and will keep indefinitely.

Pack a variety of small hot peppers loosely into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Cover with cider vinegar and store in the fridge. Peppers are ready after about 2 weeks and will keep indefinitely if they are well submerged in the vinegar.

Creamy Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce for Pasta

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

This is currently my favorite pasta sauce. If you already have roasted peppers on hand, it goes together in less than two minutes and the flavor is pure heaven if you like peppers. This recipe is adapted from the “Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites” cookbook.

* roasted red bell pepper (see note)
* enough buttermilk to lubricate blending (yogurt works fine too)
* salt and pepper to taste

Combine the roasted pepper and the buttermilk or yogurt in a blender and whirl briefly, being careful not to add so much buttermilk/yogurt that the sauce becomes thin. Add salt and pepper to taste. If it doesn’t taste rich enough, add a little good olive oil, then spoon over hot pasta.

NOTE: You can buy roasted peppers from Claudio’s in the Italian Market OR you can make your own which tastes even better: Roast sweet red bell peppers over the flame on a gas range or broil till the skin is charred nicely. Wrap in paper towels and pop into a plastic bag to steam a bit while it cools down. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, use the paper towel to brush off the charred skin, then cut out the core and seeds and tear vertically into several large pieces. Use the paper towel to blot up any excess liquid. Stir in enough good olive oil to coat all the pieces and store in the refrigerator until ready to use (use quickly because it only keeps a few days).

Sweet and Hot Roasted Peppers

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Wondering what to do with all those sweet and hot peppers which ripen in amazing quantities at summer’s end? Try this mix of whatever varieties you have and serve warm as a side dish or chilled as a condiment, as sandwich or taco topping — or tossed into warm pasta for a fast supper.

* Supermarket-sized red, yellow or orange bell peppers to give sweetness, bulk and substance
* Hot and semi-hot peppers from the garden (I had serranos, poblanos, Thai super hots, Hungarian yellows, cayennes, Italian sweet marconis, and something called Italian Gourmet), adjusting quantities for the degree of hotness that you like.
* 2 heads of garlic
* Ample olive oil

Core and seed all the peppers and cut into thick strips. Chop the garlic coarsely.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Layer the chillis, bell peppers, garlic and olive oil in a shallow baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until the peppers are soft, 45 minutes to one hour. Uncover and continue to bake until the peppers are just slightly charred and very soft, about 45 minutes more. The oil from the peppers will mingle with the olive oil to make a lovely, beautiful preserve.

Serve immediately or put in a container and add enough additional olive oil to completely cover the peppers. They will keep in the fridge this way for about two weeks. And don’t discard the oil after the peppers are gone — it is delicious in its own right.