Sunday, September 8, 2013

Homemade salsa & Enchilada soup

September 6, 7, & 8, 2013

Time to catch up on the blog. On Friday I went to the farmer's market. Our favorite farmer finally had some really hot peppers. I got ghost peppers and habaneros so that I could make my hubby some hot salsa. I got home and got to work. Wow. What a job. It took 8 hours! However, this is seriously some delicious salsa. I can't take credit for the recipe though (I got it from a friend last year).

Her recipe is 2 cloves garlic, 1 jalapeno, juice of 1/2 lime, 2 teaspoons oregano, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 28 ounces fresh tomatoes, 1/2 bunch cilantro, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 cup finely diced red onion, 1/2 cup green onion, and 1 green pepper diced. Bring tomatoes and seasonings to a boil. Add cilantro, jalapeno, peppers, lime juice, garlic, and onions. Bring back to a boil and then simmer for 7-10 minutes. Pack in jars and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.

My hubby likes hot stuff though so I play with what hot peppers I use. I really upped the ante this year. I made 8 times the recipe and added the following peppers: 36 habaneros, 9 ghost peppers, 8 jalapeno, 5 cayenne, and 8 red paper lantern peppers. For the first time in almost 15 years of marriage, my hubby said "I wouldn't make it any hotter". Ha! Victory. He loves it! I ended up with 20 pint jars for him, almost a jar for the fridge, and almost a jar of mild for me to munch on.

My hubby got creative with a new dip. He used cream cheese, caramelized onions, grilled pineapple (broken into bits), sesame ginger sauce (similar to teriyaki), and cheddar cheese. I was a little skeptical when he suggested it but I'm glad I let him do his thing. It was really good! The balance of sweet and savory was great.

Today was another busy day in my kitchen. We started out by making 44 jalapeno poppers. They are a tedious process but well worth the work. Love them. Next, I got working on applesauce. I kept it pretty simple and just added a little apple cider to my chopped apples along with sugar and apple pie spice. I let it simmer for awhile until it was pretty soft (still some chunks). The kids loved it.

My hubby made us a quick lunch of grilled veggies. He grilled red onion, mushrooms, and zucchini. He also grilled purple and yellow potatoes. He had fun spiral cutting them with my apple corer/peeler/slicer. We had salads of lettuce, arugula, peas, green onion, mexican cheese, avocado, sunflower seeds, and cherry tomatoes. The kids had the rest of the leftover taco pasta salad, fruit, and salad.

My daughter got to work on the next project: vegetable broth. She wanted to be in charge and do it all on her own. She used all but three stalks of celery from a bunch. She just cut them in half. She peeled about 6 carrots and cut them in half. She peeled and quartered two onions. She peeled and halved three cloves of garlic. I'm still a little nervous with her using a stove (gas) so I assisted when it came time to cook. I added a little olive oil and the veggies and gave them a few minutes before adding in water. We added 16 cups of water. She seasoned it with salt, pepper, three bay leaves, and a handful of fresh thyme. We let it simmer for almost an hour. We had to run a few errands so we transferred it to the slow cooker and let it cook for about two hours on medium. I wasn't sure if it would be enough flavor but I was pleasantly surprised. There was no need for any other seasonings. It came out great. Just look at that color! I strained the broth and got it into containers in the freezer.

I decided to throw together an enchilada soup for dinner tonight. I sauteed up some onion, garlic, green pepper, and jalapeno (only a half of one I had left in the fridge- can't make it too hot for the kids). I had my daughter thaw out a bag of black beans and one of corn. We stirred those in. I found half a quart jar of home canned tomatoes in the fridge. I added some of her vegetable broth. I cooked quinoa separately and added that once it was ready. We seasoned the soup with oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cumin. The trick to enchilada soup is to really use cumin. I mean, REALLY use cumin. When you think you added too much.....that is when you need to add some more. Unfortunately I didn't measure anything tonight. Just go by taste test. That's the most fun way to cook anyway.  We topped our soup with green onion, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, and your choice of mexican cheese or pepper jack cheese. My hubby needed some heat in his soup so he stirred in a spoonful of the crazy hot salsa I had made on Friday. The kids had crackers with their soup. My hubby and I had tortilla chips. I kept the carrots that were cooked in the broth and the kids had a few of those with their dinner too. The soup turned out perfect. We all loved it and nobody could think of any changes needed for next time. Score!

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