Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2012

Salsa de Chili de Arbol

Staying with the Spanish/Mexican theme, I made a wonderful, albeit, very spicy salsa last night. Sorry, no step by step pics this time. I have had this many times at taco stands and in Mexico , but never tried to make it myself, and it is really quite something. Be warning it is hot, but it is a fast hit of heat and then it fades. The smoky, nutty flavor is worth every tear. Ingredients 30 Chili de Arbol, with hard stems cut off 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 3-4 Roma Tomatoes, cut into quarters 4 cloves of Garlic ½ cup Water 2 -3 tsp Salt Begin, but sautéing the chilies in the oil until they take on a nice golden color. Do not let them burn, or you will need to start over. Usually it takes about 5- 10 minutes on medium heat while stirring frequently. When they are done, turn them over into a food processor or blender, and then add the tomatoes, salt and the whole garlic to the pan and sauté for a few minutes. Then add the water and continue sautéing until the tomatoes are

Carne en salsa de almendras or Valencian Pork in Almond Sauce - Part One

I saw this recipe in Rick Steins' Spain and thought it looked amazing,  so I ran off to the market and gathered all of the ingredients. It's a very basic dish but has some instructions that I've not used before, so I took my time in pulling it together. In the process, I decided to try something bit different and take some step by step pictures. I hope this gives you a better idea of how to bring it all together. Ingredients 2.5 lbs of Pork Shoulder, cut as shown below Flour 8 cloves of Garlic, 4 whole and 4 chopped 5 Tbsp Olive Oil 1 slice of bread 1 large Onion, finely chopped 2 Bay Leaves 1 tsp Smoked Paprika 1 tsp fresh Thyme leaves 1 cup of White Wine 1 cup of Chicken Stock 3 oz toasted blanched almonds 1 Tbsp fresh Parsley Sale and Black Pepper Begin, by slicing your pork into long pieces and removing most of the fat. Then cut them into relatively large pieces. Now heat up 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in your pan, and then lightly sauté the 4 whole

Carne en salsa de almendras or Valencian Pork in Almond Sauce, Part Two

Now add the last tablespoon on oil to the pan and add the onions, bay leaves, smoke paprika and thyme and gently sauté them until the onions are translucent. This is how they should look when they are done. Now add in your wine and stock and bring to a boil and then add in you pork.  Here is how it will look just before you put on the cover to finish cooking. Cover and cook on a gently simmer for 1 1/2 hours or longer until the pork is soft and tender. When the dish is almost done, take 1 cup of the sauce along with your fried bread, whole garlic cloves, parsley and toasted almonds and puree them (this is called a picada) and then add the picada into the dish and then cook for another 5 to 10 minute uncovered until the sauce thickens. When finished, serve with roasted potatoes, or a side of rice. A spanish style rice would be lovely. Wine Suggestion: I would serve this with a crisp Albarino from Spain.

Salsa Roja- Mexican Roasted Salsa

Based upon the fact that the entire batch was eaten in one evening, I would say this is a thumbs up. There are so many types of salsa, but I find this one particularly good, because the ingredients are roasted prior to combining. In many traditional Mexican recipes, the ingredients are roasted in a pan or fried in oil. I wanted to make it easier to prepare and a bit less fat and oil, so I did it this way and I was very happy with the results. I really do think this is easier to make with a food processor, but if you want to be traditional, you can use a mortar and pestle, or as they are called in Mexico, molcajete. The key to making this special is the roasting, so before you begin, preheat your oven to 375F or 190C. Then prepare all of your vegetables as described below. Ingredients 8 Roma Tomatoes, sliced in half 1 Large Onion, peeled and cut into 4 quarters. 2-3 Jalapeno or 1-2 Serrano Chilies if you want it hotter 6 cloves of Garlic, peeled Lie them all on a non stic

Cider Pot Roast

As it is 104F here today, it might seem odd that I am posting a recipe for Pot Roast, but I just found this recipe again, so wanted to share it. I think this is good any time of the year. What could be more simple and comforting than pot roast?  I put this on early in the day and allow it cook all day long. This is key to getting a pot roast that just falls apart when you look at it. I find my slow cooker is ideal for this recipe. The cider vinegar and apples create a sweet and sour flavor that is a perfect balance. It is very similar to a German sauerbraten. Serve it as a one-pot meal, or add rice, bread or noodles to feed more. Ingredients 4 lb Beef Roast, a sirloin or chuck roast is perfect. 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 1 large Onion, sliced thinly 1 large Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and chopped 1 lb baby Carrots 1 cup chopped Celery 1 Bay Leaf ½ cup Cider Vinegar 1-2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar 1 can Tomato Paste 1 bottle of Dark Beer, such as Spaten

Chili Pepper Experiment - Amazing!

One of my favorite things about the summer is being able to grow my own organic veg. This year I decided to try an experiment and I wanted to share my results. Maybe I am the only person that didn't know this, but either way, I think it's very interesting. What do they say, "small minds amuse easily"? I choose to grow jalapeño chili peppers this year amongst other vegetables, however, I wanted to see if the chilies would change if they were left on the bush longer. I have always preferred red chili peppers, as I found them more robust in flavor, but in the past, I thought they were a different variety, and this is why they were red rather than green. Guess what, this is not the case. Here is a photographic study of my chilies as they changed from green to a wonderful red. As you can see, early on they are a lovely green and the flavor while already quite spicy and flavorful, is still a bit bitter and tart. Now, they are in a transitional stage, which is