One of my wife’s favorite dishes is probably the chimichanga. I could be wrong about that, but she has never turned one down, and any Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant we have ever been to, she almost always orders the chimichanga. I used to deep fry […]
Month: September 2014
I was asked some time ago what was my favorite chile pepper to use when cooking. At first I was thinking it was the jalapeno as it is more on the mild side and can be tolerated by many, however as I continued to think about it, I thought it was the serrano, or heck even the habanero. There are so many that I do love, including the smoked jalapenos, and as importantly the Thai bird chile pepper. But the habanero is one of those awesome chile peppers that is just loaded with awesome flavor, and heat for that matter. In the past I have only used the habanero in making Jamaican jerk rubs, and even a habanero hot sauce that was completely addicting (and hot). With that in mind, I decided to take that idea of using the habanero and turn it into a fire roasted habanero salsa, plus I wanted to use a handful of tomatoes from my garden. Trust me, this salsa rocks.
Let’s get started.
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 3 whole habanero chilies
- 1 cup of cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 cup of water
The cool thing about making this salsa is that you cook the vegetables and chilies directly on the coals. The Mexicans have been doing this forever, and it is typically referred to as cooking al carbon. The cooking method instills this awesome flavor that you typically will not get by cooking on your stove top or broiler. Trust me, try this. Folks have even been known to cook meat directly on the hot ashes as well!
Heat your coals until they are all nice and gray. Lay the onion, tomatoes, and habaneros directly onto the coals. Note that the onion will take longer to cook than that of the tomatoes and habaneros. Cook everything until they are completely black and super charred. Once fully charred place them in a bowl and let them cool to the touch.
Once they are cooled, use the back of your pairing knife and remove the outer skin from each of the items. Don’t worry if you get a bit of ash or char along with the items. You can decide if you want to keep the seeds in tact on the habaneros. I kept two whole, and removed the seeds from the third.
Once the charred skin is removed, add the tomatoes, habaneros, and onion to a food processor. Toss in the garlic, cilantro, salt, and lime juice. Pulse until you have a nice consistency, then start slowly pouring in the water until you have your desired thickness. Taste and adjust with any salt.
The result is just the perfect amount of heat. It does have a kick to it, but the flavor is just out of this world. This stuff is great on just about anything. I was adding it to my omelettes in the morning, using it as a standard chip dip after work, and drizzled on chimichangas. I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think when you decide to cook al carbon!
A few years back, my colleagues and I decided to go to the Milwaukee Brewers game and do some tailgating. The theme of the tailgate was to really have a blind brat tasting contest. Yes, we Wisconsinites love our brats. We had an array of […]
A couple of weeks ago, my wife woke up on Saturday and said “I totally want some egg rolls today”. Now many of you might not get overly excited about that, but I was actually pleased to hear that. I’ve had plenty of egg rolls in my time, however when I first met my wife, she turned me onto a whole different style of egg roll that she grew up with in the Filipino household. This style of egg roll is totally out of this world, but so pleasing to the taste. I decided to make nearly 30 Filipino lumpia shanghai, and I had some mixture left over to spare. I knew exactly what I was going to do with that mixture; make a pizza out of it.
If you have never had lumpia before, it’s a must make, and it is especially awesome in a garlic and vinegar spooning/dipping sauce.
Let’s get started.
- 1/2 lbs Ground pork (I grind my own pork shoulder)
- 1/2 cups uniform cut, fresh green beans
- 1/2 cups uniform cut russet potatoes, about 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 1/2 tsp of fresh cracked pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup baby shrimp, thawed, and rinsed
- 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce
- 1 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup plain corn chips, broken
- light corn meal
Begin by mixing your pork in a large pot. Add in the green beans, potatoes, shrimp, and salt and pepper. Mix well.
Shape your pizza dough into about a 16 inch round.
If you are cooking in an oven, preheat a pizza stone for 30 minutes at 500 degrees.
Shower corn meal onto a pizza peel. Add the pizza dough, and reshape the pizza.
Spoon on the pizza sauce and slather it to lightly cover. Add on the cheese, then as if you were using uncooked Italian pork sausage, start taking tablespoons and adding dollops onto the top of the cheese.
Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pizza is cooked to your liking, but the pork cooked through.
I’ve been using my Kettle Pizza, so this pizza took about 6 minutes to cook in my grill. I highly recommend it.
Regardless, when the pizza is cooked, cut into slices, and shower with the corn chips for that crispy egg roll texture.
This pizza was everything awesome about having lumpia shanghai, but in pizza form. What’s not to love about that! What I should have done to make even better was to drizzle on some of that garlic and vinegar mixture. Next time. Next time… Hope you enjoy!