Tag Archives: eggs

Dinner With Elaine

We had a chance to visit with Ron’s third sister (he has four of them – lucky man as they are all amazing women!), Elaine, in Los Gatos, CA, on our recent visit in the area. Elaine is a brilliantly talented lady (as are all four of Ron’s sisters), with a burning passion for travel, art, culture, and decorating. Her taste is extraordinary and she is truly a remarkable woman.

She invited us to her new home and we shared a wonderful evening with her and two of her friends: Mary, who she has travelled to Cuba with on several occasions for cultural expeditions, and Nancy, a long-time friend and talented hair stylist. Instead of going out for dinner, Elaine prepared and served a delicious dinner of BBQ grilled salmon, oven-grilled broccoli Romanesco, asparagus, onion and tri-colored carrot, and boiled corn on-the-cob. When we asked what we could bring, she said that we could do the sauce for the salmon.

Ron and I had enjoyed a wonderful chimichurri sauce before we left Cabo, so I immediately thought that would be the perfect accompaniment to the grilled salmon and mixed vegetables. Elaine had all the ingredients and I used this recipe from New York Times Cooking app as my basic guideline: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015299-chimichurri-sauce. Although my picture of my plate doesn’t include the chimichurri, it provided great color and flavor to the salmon and all the vegetables Elaine served. Delicious!

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Leftover chimichurri can be used as the base on toasted baguettes for appetizers, mixed in with beaten eggs for scrambled eggs (green eggs and ham, perhaps?) or omelet, as a pizza or flatbread sauce, or tossed with cooked pasta. It really is a versatile and healthy sauce and I highly recommend you try it! A little taste of Argentina – wherever you are in the world!

Fettucine with Sausage and Fried Sage Leaves

Although I haven’t finished telling our story about the trip to Cabo, I wanted to write about a fabulous recipe that I tried today (after walking to the top of the Pedregal) from the New York Times.

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Here in Cabo, Ron and I have access to the freshest and most amazing ingredients – it really is a cook’s delight. We have an organic market just half a block up the street from us that offers a gorgeous selection of fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, chicken, goat milk dairy products, breads and take-out foods every Wednesday and Saturday. I noticed that one of the vendors, Juan Carlos, had some beautiful fresh sage the other day. I managed to track down some Italian sausage (it can be a bit of a challenge to find some ingredients down here, believe me!) and prepared this dish that we recently found in the New York Times archives:

http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/430/fettuccine-with-sausage-and-fried-sage-leaves.html

It was absolutely delicious! I served it with tender mixed lettuce and frisée, diced avocado, toasted pine nuts and a very simple vinaigrette of white wine vinegar with tarragon, olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

The wine I chose to serve with it was a 2009 McKinley Springs Cabernet Sauvignon from the Horse Heaven Hills of Prosser, Washington. The description on the bottle says:

Working with old vines and newer vines, this cab shows the earthy sage of the old vines and the smoky fruit of the new. Complemented by ripe raspberry, dark chocolate and a hint of spice.

Last year a lovely young couple, Davy and Diana, came into Pancho’s and Ron and I enjoyed some wonderful conversation with them. They contacted us after their visit and said that they wanted us to try some of the wines that they are producing in their small town, Prosser, in Washington state. We were delighted, of course, to try some of the wines that they recommended, and they sent them to friends in Palm Springs so we could bring them back when we were up for the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament in March.

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We never did have a chance to try a bottle before we left Cabo last season, so today was the day that we opened one of the four precious bottles that Davy and Diana sent to us. The wine was delicious and paired well with this dish. I selected the wine and worried that a cabernet might be too big for this cream based dish, but the Italian sausage and sage were delightful with this choice.

This is a dish that I would definitely serve to guests and look forward to enjoying again soon (thankfully there are leftovers from this lunch!). Buen provecho!

Bite Your Tongue When Sharing These Hot Sauce Tips!

Serious hot sauce lovers and collectors already use “liquid fire” in all kinds of ways. Outlined below are some suggestions that people may not have thought of or for those more timid, to convert and inspire them to “eat the heat”:
 
• Try mixing a small amount of hot sauce with softened cream cheese as a spread for bagels or as a dip for vegetables or crackers.

• Mix equal parts of olive oil and your favorite hot sauce and marinate skinless chicken breasts or fish fillets before grilling or broiling.

• Mix equal parts of soy sauce, dry sherry and hot sauce (or to taste), add a small amount of corn starch and mix in at the end of cooking your favorite stir-fry dish. If you’re using meat in your stir-fry, marinate the meat in the sauce mixture beforehand.

• Add a few drops of hot sauce to mayonnaise or salad dressing to add some extra flavor.

• Add a few drops of hot sauce to your favorite salsa, gravy, soup or stew for a little extra “kick”.

• For a different flavor in your next Bloody Mary, Caesar or glass of vegetable juice, try adding a few drops of your favorite hot sauce to “kick” up the taste.

• Use hot sauce on pizza and pasta dishes instead of red pepper flakes.

• Try cooking ham, pork roasts or smoked sausage in any tropical fruit nectar (pineapple, etc.) with a few shakes of hot sauce.

• Try a Caribbean style hot sauce on cottage cheese or your favorite salad as a low calorie, low fat dressing.

• Try mixing your favorite hot sauce with ketchup for a quick and delicious barbecue sauce.

• Tired of airplane food when travelling? Try carrying your own hot sauce to jazz up whatever they serve you.

• Try replacing the salt in your diet with hot sauce. Sprinkle it on burgers, vegetables, eggs, rice, salads, sandwiches or on any food that you’ve grilled. The sauce adds great flavor and is much better for you.

Harvesting and Drying Chile Peppers

Chile peppers should be harvested for maximum colour, when the pods have partially dried on the plant, as the succulent red pods have not fully developed their colour. Pod moisture content from red chile peppers is between 65% and 80%, depending on whether they are partially dried on the plant or harvested while still succulent.

Oven drying is my preferred way to dry chiles because of cleanliness. In an oven there is little or no dust to settle on them bringing with it microbes that will cause spoilage when stored for long periods. No flies can land on them, no insects can lay eggs in them, no birds can peck at them and expose them to bacteria, mold and mildew. They also become drier. The air in an oven is much more dry than outside air, and the drier the chile the longer it will store and the better it will taste when finally eaten.

Rinse your ripened chiles, remove the stems, and put them in the oven for drying in the same metal screen mesh colander you gathered and rinsed them in. Don’t overheat your chilies. Set oven control at its lowest setting, but not below 140-150 degrees. If using an electric oven, wedge something heat proof between oven and door to allow a 1″ opening. Moisture from the drying food will vent through this opening. Close the door on a gas oven, this will cause moisture to escape via the exhaust gas flue.

Store the pods in zip lock or other air tight containers after they become crispy dry. Any remaining moisture in them may cause mold during storage. If you are drying for seeds, use the lower range of drying temperature so as not to kill your seeds.