I bailed on my cooking challenge this week. I was supposed to make something cold, something I hadn’t made before. I made vanilla ice cream. That doesn’t really count, although it was very good with a compote of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. A real Fourth of July red, white and blue dessert.
Also, posting new challenges may become spotty over the next few weeks, since we are going to be traveling a fair bit. But I’ll try to keep posting little tidbits here.
For instance, if you are a gardener, or know someone who gardens, you may find yourself inundated with peppers this time of year. What do you do with all those peppers, especially if they’re hot chiles? Last summer, I discovered the solution: make hot sauce! This recipe comes from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It, a very useful cookbook to have (by Karen Solomon).
You will need 2 pounds hot chiles: 1 pound jalapeno and 1 pound serrano for a really hot sauce, or substitute poblano or pasillo for some of the peppers. Wear gloves!
Wash and dry the chiles. Remove the stems. Slice in half lengthwise and scrape out most of the seeds. Grill or broil the chiles, skin side toward the flame, until blackened and charred.
Chop 3 cloves garlic in a food processor. Add the chiles with 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 2-1/4 cups white vinegar and 4 tablespoons sugar. Puree until well combined.
Refrigerate in a glass jar. It will keep for months. How to use it? I use it wherever hot chiles are called for: in sauces, salsas, soups, stews, curries, etc. It is great to have in the winter when fresh chiles aren’t so plentiful.