Sunday, August 23, 2020

Weekly Review and Peruvian Green Sauce aka Aji Virde

It was a cooler than normal week here but the heat and humidity is making a comeback.  I worked on the garden trying to get it ready to plant a little for the fall.  I still have tomatoes, cayenne peppers, basil, rosemary and oregano growing.  Everything else has been harvested and cleaned up.  The farmers market was amazing Friday and I picked up a number of things.

Dinner this week:

Chicken, onion and pepper stir fry with mac and cheese and tomato slices with basil    

 Beef picadillo with  rice and green sauce       

 Omelette, bacon, roasted diced potato     

 Spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread 

RARE, a local family owned place...our first dinner in a restaurant since March.  I had a beer cheese pretzel as an appetizer and an amazing steak and salad for my meal.  The steak was SO amazing. 

Grilled chicken, corn on the cob and stuffed poblanos                                                                                

A BIG salad

So a little on the 'green sauce'.  Well over 25 years ago I worked with a woman whose father was originally from Peru.  She gave me her recipe for Peruvian Green Sauce or Aji Verde.  I did a google search and found that there are as many recipes for this sauce as there are people in Peru.  Some add mayo, vinegar, mustard, cilantro, one I saw even added cheese.  I am sticking to the one I've always made because it is delicious.  It is very good on grilled meats, spaghetti, picadillo, name it.                  

Lydia's Peruvian Green Sauce:

1 medium yellow onion  

1 medium green bell pepper

4 cloves garlic

3 or 4 jalapeno

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil  


Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine until smooth.  Will keep for over a week in a covered glass jar in the fridge. 

I'm working on my Fall cleaning and going through every cabinet, drawer, closet and surface of this house.  I plan to be done by October 1st.  The beginning of my Holiday season.  Yes it's all on the way...Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.  I love celebrating them all.  Not sure what this winter will bring between the election and Covid, but I'm hoping it will be OK because this woman could really use something to look forward to.

Oh and're killing me.  It took me way to long to post this because of your settings. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

An appetizer and a score at the farmers market

I love appetizers, I always have. When a party invite says "heavy hor d'oeurves" I am in.  I was watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate a couple of weeks ago and Molly Yeh picked Dill Pickle egg rolls. Sounds odd but let me tell you, they are SO GOOD!

I took egg roll wrappers and spread a little water all around the edges.  Placed a slice of Havarti in the center and a dill pickle spear in the center of the cheese.  Wrap as you would an egg roll and fry.  Serve with Ranch dressing with a little Sriracha added in for dipping. The picture I snapped doesn't do them justice.  I should have sliced them sideways for better presentation but I was in a hurry to try them.

I will be making these again.

Since something ate all of my Jalapeno Peppers we went to the farmers market Saturday to find a few more to freeze for the winter.  We scored.  These mammoth jalapenos (same as the variety I was growing) were 5 for a dollar.  Between what I have already frozen this year, the ones I've pickled and now these, I think we will be good until next summer.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Things That Make Me Smile

I don't know if this is new or not but I have not noticed it before.  I love the barcode on Tollhouse Chocolate Chips.

I'm working on my appetizer game tonight so I'll have a new and hopefully tasty recipe posted tomorrow.  

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Breakfast for Dinner

So far, our summer weather has been typical.  Hot and humid.  But today, the high is 70 F.  It is actually a bit chilly out.  It is so refreshing, especially being August 1.

We've been having breakfast for dinner once a week for awhile now.  Last night we had bacon, green peppers and onion scrambled eggs, potatoes and biscuits.  I'm not a huge biscuit lover like the big guy is but I have to say they were very good.

Most recipes for southern biscuits call for lard instead of butter.  I prefer to use butter. These biscuits are very flakey and tender. This recipe is from The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.

1/2 Cup buttermilk
1/2 Cup sour cream
2 Cups Flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick of cold butter

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 425 F.  Whisk together the buttermilk and sour cream in a small bowl.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and process until blended, about 3 seconds.  Scatter the cold butter evenly over the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles course meal and the largest butter pieces are about 1/ inch at their widest.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until combined.  Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until it just comes together, adding extra flour as necessary. 

With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12 inch square.  Using a bench scraper, fold the right third of the dough over the center, then fold the left third over so you end up with a 12 x4 inch rectangle.  Fold the top third down over the center, then fold the bottom third up so the whole thing is reduced to a 4 inch square.  Press the square down and roll out again into a 12 inch square.  Repeat the folding process one more time.

Roll the dough again into a 12 inch square.  Cut six 4 inch rounds out of the dough.  Transfer the rounds to a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Roll up the scraps and press out two more biscuits.

Brush the top of the biscuits with melted butter and bake until golden brow and well risen, about 15 minutes. Rotating the pan about half way through the baking time.

*I like to keep a container of cultured buttermilk blend in the refrigerator.  You simply mix with water.  I don't buy buttermilk because I would never use it up before it would expire.  This stuff is handy and for baking works beautifully. I buy The Saco Pantry blend.  The ingredients are: A cultured blend of sweet cream buttermilk, sweet dairy whey and lactic acid.