Just before making a pot of pinto beans last week, I was clearing out my spice drawer and noticed this little jar of a spice blend I made for when I used to cook pork. A blend of garlic powder, pepper, ground fennel seeds, sage, thyme, cumin and rosemary – very aromatic! There was only about a tablespoon of this spice left so I threw it in the slow cooker that was cooking pinto beans with a bay leaf, a hot chili pepper and then waited…
While waiting for the beans, I looked up a recipe for Pico de Gallo to see if I had the ingredients to make it. Sure ‘nuff, I had everything except one ingredient but it was no big deal! Instead of using standard red tomatoes, I used all yellow tomatoes from my garden. The recipe said throw the juice that drains from the Pico de Gallo away – instead I poured it in with the pinto beans in the slow cooker – couldn’t hurt, and it didn’t. They turned out fabulous!
I was surfing the internet for rice recipes and found a very simple recipe for Cilantro Lime rice (recipe had only rice, lime juice, fresh chopped cilantro and water) – turned out ok but tasted better at room temperature rather than hot off the stove. There was definitely something missing and decided that this batch of rice would be used to make stir fried rice. I put some finely chopped chili pepper, 2 cloves of finely sliced garlic, 1 small grated carrot, a couple tablespoons of chopped cilantro, a couple tablespoons of Pico de Gallo and about ¼ cup raw cashew pieces in the stir fry – much better.
A few days ago, I roasted a bunch of veggies on the barbeque while I was baking an apple crisp. Since I use the barbeque a lot to keep heat out of the house in summer, I tend to also try to use all the other space in the barbeque whenever I use it to prepare veggies to be used within a few days. I roasted yams for pie, sweet red peppers for sandwiches, chili peppers and the tomatillos for the Green Chili Salsa recipe.
Green Chili Salsa
1 1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 Jalapeño stemmed, seeded and chopped (if you like it really hot, don’t remove the seeds)
4 to 6 cloves garlic
Salt to taste
Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Place them on the hot barbeque grill and when they blistering or start turning black, turn them over for another few minutes. Place garlic, lime juice, onions, cilantro, chili peppers, sugar in a food processor or blender) and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped. Add the tomatillos until finely blended. Season to taste with salt. Garnish with a few leaves of cilantro and keep chilled in the refrigerator until use.