Sunday, November 11, 2018

Chile Harvest 2018

Freezing weather is in the forecast, time to harvest the Chiles.  I have massive Chile plants this year.  I grew a lot of Capsicum Chinense plants, and they get huge.  They are also prolific, and make lots of Chile Pods.
It actually caused a problem in the garden because the plants got so large that they were casting a shadow on other plants which couldn't grow correctly because they weren't getting enough light.  Two in particular were the problem the Poblanos, and the Bhut Jolokias.  The Poblano is a really big plant, and they overshadowed the Cherry Pepper plants.  I did get some Cherry Peppers, but the plants were light starved, and didn't grow like they should have.
The plants that are abnormally prolific are the really hot Chiles like the Bhut Jolokias, and the Carolina Reapers.I only planted two Bhut Jolokias, and I have a whole pan full of Chiles.
I planted a lot more Carolina Reaper plants, but some of them were light starved at the back of the garden, and didn't produce much.  The four plants at the south end of the garden produced plenty.
I also planted some Orange Habaneros, and Red Savina Habaneros (Caribbean Red Hots).  One of these plants produced Chiles that look different, and after spending a little time trying to identify them I think they are Trinidad Morunga Scorpion Chiles, on the right.

Then the Poblanos are also prolific.  They were also the largest Chile plants in the garden this year.  They have relatively large fruits so they were all bent over at harvest time.  They grew three feet past the top of the the support cages.  They are easily the Largest Chile Plants I have grown.
I also grew Thai Dragon Chiles this year.  They were one of the last things I planted, and got planted at the back of the garden, so they were light starved, and generated a lot of Chiles anyway.  Along the trellis I planted Cherry Tomatoes, and they also did not do very well.  I did get a lot of little Tomatoes, but they never ripened, and were diminutive compared to what they were supposed to be.

Ultimate Chicken Soup

I do Chicken Soup a little different.  I've tried the traditional recipe with the boiled chicken, and I like it, but my culinary instincts drive me in a different direction.I want lots of noodles, and vegetables, with less broth.  I also want the crispy Chicken Skins.  So I roast the Chicken first, then make soup.
This time I started by roasting some Chicken thighs in a pan for around 50 minutes at 400 degrees.  I use my usual seasonings which are Tony Chachere's season salt, and black pepper.
The Chicken thighs can go rest in the corner while I work on the rest of the soup.  Roasting renders the fan out of the Chicken so it doesn't wind up in the soup.  But what this also does for you is the Fond.  We'll make the broth in the roasting pan to take advantage of the Fond, the most bestest part.
I've removed the fat from the roasting pan, and I I'm going to use canned Chicken broth to liberate the Fond from the roasting pan.  The Fond is fairly well stuck to the roasting pan, and we'll use a deglazing process to get it loose.  I put the pan on two burners on the stove to heat the whole roasting pan.
As the Chicken broth comes up to a boil I'll use a whisk to break up, and distribute the Fond into the Chicken broth.  Taste the broth, and season it as you see fit, keeping in mind that you'll have some concentration of the flavor as it cooks.  As the broth is simmering I'll start the vegetables.
This time I am using Mushrooms, Onion, Garlic, Cabbage, and Thai Chile.  I use Butter to saute the vegetables.  Don't forget a little Salt to soften the vegetables.
I have prepared some Egg Noodles which are waiting in a warm pot for the final assembly process.
Then I add the broth to the vegetables, and noodles, and the last thing to go in is the chopped roasted Chicken.  Typically I would give my Chicken soup a little Asian flair like Toasted Sesame Seed Oil, or Fish Sauce, but this time I left it regular Chicken Soup.
Notice that the crispy skins are in there also, possibly my favorite part.  The very last thing is a handful of chopped Cilantro.  Perfect for a cold Autumn Day...

Frito Pie

It's Autumn, harvest time, and Chili weather.  It was fairly cool today, and it's supposed to freeze tomorrow.  That makes me crave Chili, but also another Texas staple, Frito Pie.  I'm not even sure of its origin, only know that I have been eating Frito Pie for as long as I can remember.  The Chili I make is Carol Shelby's recipe from the International Chili Society.  Mine deviates in that I add chopped Onion, and Jalapeno.  I think I also added extra Red Chile flakes this time.  Take a handful of Fritos, and dump them into a bowl.  Spoon some Chili over them.  Then top them with cheeze, diced red Onion, and some Chile slices.  Texas comfort food...

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fishy Noodles

Fish, and Noodles.  Itz an acquired taste I guess.  Most occidental people do not have the palette for it.  Me, on the other hand, like things like Fish Pho, and Fish Sauce, Fermented Fish in general, and itz not something that came naturally to me.  Many years of culinary experimentation have cultivated my strange taste.  Fish, and Noodles is probably one of my favorites, and it probably started with Tuna Noodle Casserole.  It is one of those things that was a quick convenience back in the 70's, mix a can of this with a can of that, then mix in some prepared noodles.  Well welcome to the 21st Century...
Thai food has wide noodles, and that is appealing.  I like the Rice Sticks that the Vietnamese use, but they are difficult to herd into my mouth.  Wide Egg Noodles are very satisfying.  These are an imported German Egg Noodle, Bechtle brand, found them at Rosemeade Market this weekend.  I am lacking some of my usual ingredients like Fish Sauce, but I'll make due with what I have.  I also picked up some Wild Salmon, uhh...
I sauteed the the Salmon Filets in Butter with my usual seasoning, Tony Chachere's, and Black Pepper.  The Salmon generates its Salmon Butter (Fat) which has a great taste, then use that to flavor the vegetation.  I cook the Salmon skin side down for most of the cooking time to crisp the skin.  Then I'll put them on the side while I saute the vegetation.
Again I am adding what is on hand at the time.  I might use other things if I had them.  So, we got some Munchrooms, Onionz, and Lemon Jalapeno.  I add a little Olive Oil at this point to hasten the saute process, starting to get hungry now, move it along.  At this point I'll add some of my usual flavorings like Red Chile flakes ,Black Pepper, and Sea Salt.  Egg Noodles are simmering...
 I take the cooked Salmon, and chop it up into bite size pieces.  Then throw the pieces into the pan at the end to reheat them a little.  Once the Egg Noodles are done, drain them, and throw them into the pan.  Add a little of the Pasta Water to the pan as well, for a little gravy.  Then, right at the end of cooking, add some Soy Sauce, chopped Cilantro, and toasted Sesame Seed Oil for the Asian flair, dump it into a bowl, and done.  This is comfort food for me, Fishy Noodles...

Monday, September 3, 2018

Fall Garden Shotz

Most of the garden plants are at full maturity now, and starting to bear fruit.
In front are four Carolina Reapers, followed by Cherry Bombs, and Poblanos.
Down the line we have more Reapers, Habaneros, Thai Dragon, and Caribbean Red Hotz..
 These Rosemary plants are really poppin'...
Got some decorative stuff too...

Hatch Green Chile Chilaquiles

Informal Enchiladas take many forms.  This one is Chilaquiles which is mainly centered on end of the sack tortillas.  You know, those little bitz, and pieces at the bottom of the sack of Tortilla Chipz?  That is the most Nomlishous part because all the seasoning has fallen down there with all the bitz...
Start with some Butter, and Bacon Fat...
Then dump in some Tortilla Sack dredge...
Add Hatch Chile, and some Bacon...
Make that Sizzle sound for a while, then add some roughly scrambled Eggs...
Flip it around a while, then dump it on a plate, and salza, and BAM!  Green Chile Chilaquiles...

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hatch Chile Fried Rice with Pan Fried Pork Loin Chop

It's Hatch Chile Season!  Whoo Hoo...  I've been putting Hatch Chile in everything this week.  I need something to distract me from all the craziness going on lately.  So, for this one its Fried Rice.  Baby Portabellos, Garlic, Scallion, Cilantro, and of course Hatch Chile are in this Fried Rice.  Then I've pan fried some fresh Pork Loin Chops for a little, LOL!, protein content.  Making an extra big portion at night gives me a nomlishous lunch tomorrow also...