Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Peppers for Cold Meats, from Auguste Escoffer

Update:  I made this delicious relish many years ago, and had to search on the blog to find it myself. In the following five years I have been blogging I have learned a great deal about how SEO works and how to properly title a recipe so someone may actually find it. This is too delicious to not be enjoyed, especially with gardening season coming and the markets will be filled with lovely produce, including bright red peppers! This is also just about mandatory for those after holiday times when you have a lovely turkey or ham for sandwiches.

Tonight I came home and wanted to cook something and photograph it as well. I had 3 peppers that were in the fruit bowl on the dining room table. I also had read her post on peppers for cold meats. That pretty much sealed the deal. I had peppers to use, a camera to document with and so here goes!

Peppers for Cold Meats
adapted from The Wednesday Chef
makes about 3 pints, refrigerate to store

4 T olive oil (I used about 2 T)
1 medium onion ( I used 1/2 of a large onion and diced it smallish)
1 pound red sweet peppers (my 3 weighed 1 pound)
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t nutmeg
1 pound of tomatoes, blanched diced and drained (I used a 16 oz can well drained)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c raisins
2/3 c red wine vinegar

Assemble your ingredients.

Soften the diced onion in the olive oil, do not let it brown.

Dice the peppers, add to the onions along with spices. Warm the mixture gently.

Add remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer. Cover and let (barely) simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove lid and simmer 10 - 15 minutes more. That's it. Refrigerate until serving.

The raisins will be plump and the taste of the spices will be a part of each bite.

Because of the high vinegar level, this will keep a long time. My guess is that it will be gone before you know it!

Hope your day was great!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

French Toast Pancakes

I won't go overboard on this, but a few of these are handy.

I use the comic section of the Sunday paper as gift wrap. The stock market section is nice for men. I do not put bows and ribbon on children"s gifts, they only get in the way and it is more fun for young children to open their gifts without assistance.

When making taco meat, stir in a can of pork and beans at the end. I know tacos are fairly frugal to begin with, but cans of pork and beans are cheap (especially in summer months) and will stretch the meat and add extra fiber and nutrition. This is especially good with corn tortillas.

You REALLY can freeze anything. Mother nature is proof of that. But for food, the question should be, what is the quality when thawed ? You can freeze many things and they are still usable, but different. For example.....................

When frozen block cheese becomes crumbly, but grated freezes very well and is handy to have around. Use it in a cheese sauce or sprinkled over the top of something to melt. So never let cheese go bad. When you are not going to have a use for that last bit of cheese, grate it and put it in the freezer. It will then be ready when you are. You can have a bag just for cheese. I have found it is easier to be frugal when you have your area (no matter which room you are working in) ready to be frugal.

Garlic, is great frozen. I purchase the whole peeled cloves at Costco. Pulse them in my food processor and form into logs on a piece of heavy plastic wrap, about an inch in diameter. They are easy to slice when frozen and a 1/4 inch thick slice of the garlic log is equal to a fresh clove. Easy and economical. And besides I hate peeling garlic.

The last stalk of celery or carrot that has wilted, throw them into your vegetable scrap bags (recycled cereal bags!) they will add flavor to your vegetable stock. And speaking about vegetable stock, you know that first layer of onion right under the skin? The one that is frequently too tough to actually use in your recipe? Yes that one, throw it in you vegetable scrap bag also. With the exception of broccoli, cabbage or lettuce, any fresh vegetable getting past it's prime, should go into the scrap bag for stock.

When making bread dough, freeze half to bake at another time. Dough freezes very well, and will rise again when thawed. This is especially handy for small families that will not eat the whole loaf, or simply enjoy freshly baked bread. Just remember to shape it before you freeze, then simply remove from freezer and let thaw on/in a prepared baking pan.

Speaking of bread, do you have left over bread? Tire of bread pudding, or maybe the family does not like it? Make pancakes. Yes pancakes.

French Toast Pancakes

4-6 pieces of bread
2 eggs
1/4 t baking powder
dash of vanilla
1-2 c milk

Put everything in your blender cup, starting with 1 c of milk.

Cover and blend until smooth adding additional milk as needed. You want this a bit thicker than pancake batter, but not too thick.

Cook just like you would for regular pancake batter. Serve with butter and syrup.

As always thanks for taking a minute to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!