August 30, 2010

CSA - Week 12

This week I received: eggs (I upgraded to a dozen), banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, hot peppers, kale, tomatoes, grape tomatoes, green pepper, corn, red potatoes, and the best watermelon you ever did eat.

So I really don't have a lot to say this week. I ate most of the produce but didn't prepare anything in a formal recipe. For example, I ate the kale sauteed in my morning eggs, ate the grape tomatoes plain, pickled more banana peppers, and ate the juicy, sweet watermelon by itself.

I decided to do some research on hot peppers since I have quite the collection from the past several weeks, not all pictured here. The best I can tell, these peppers are (left to right): banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, red and green cayenne peppers, and an unknown very hot pepper.   I ordered them from mild to most hot.  I know by taste which ones are the hottest.  I chopped up the cayenne peppers and the hottest pepper and put them in a ziploc bag to freeze.  That way I can easily add them to recipes later.

Funny story: I've read many times about wearing gloves while chopping peppers.  I never really understood why until now.  After I chopped up the peppers and removed the seeds and ribs to freeze them, the burning started.  My hands were on fire for about an hour!  I washed my hands thoroughly several times, but to no avail. 

I bought some lovely green and purple tomatillos at the farmer's market to try tomatillo salsa. Since the batch was larger than I could use in one day, I froze half before adding the cilantro and green onions. When I'm ready to use the frozen portion, then I'll add the cilantro and green onions to keep it fresh.

The purple tomatillos gave this salsa the purple hue; more traditional salsa is made with only green tomatillos. This salsa was very good and very sweet.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
adapted from Our Best Bites

1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
3-4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 small yellow or white onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeno pepper (remove the seeds and membranes for less heat), cut in half lengthwise
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1/4-1/3 c. chopped green onions

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

After husking the tomatillos, rinse them well in cool water (they can be sticky). Cut the stems and hard portions (if any) off the tomatillos and cut any very large ones in half.

Combine the tomatillos, unpeeled garlic, onion, and the jalapeno on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss the ingredients with your hands to make sure they are all well-coated.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. If the vegetables have not charred, turn the broiler on to high and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until the skins of the peppers and tomatillos begin to turn black. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

When the vegetables have cooled, carefully squeeze the skin of the roasted garlic, releasing the soft, roasted garlic clove, into the jar of a blender or workbowl of a food processor. Add the remaining roasted vegetables and then add the salt, pepper, and lime juice. Process until the desired consistency is reached and then transfer to a serving dish. Stir in the chopped cilantro and green onions and serve with chips.

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