Tag Archives: sauce

The Heat Is On!

As summer becomes fall, there are still many vegetables in abundance at your local farmers markets, particularly peppers! Look for a plethora of these from mild to fiery hot. You owe it to yourself to consider getting in on this incredible bargain. All peppers freeze well with very little effort. I freeze both bell peppers and jalapeños for salsa, stir-fries and chili; but my favorite thing to make is a savory Hatch Green Chili Sauce. Hatch chilies (a type of Anaheim pepper) come in mild, medium or hot varieties. We grow the medium heat. I use this for chicken enchiladas, white chicken chili, and to spoon over eggs.

Roasted Hatch Chili Sauce adds the perfect Mexican flair for any type of grilled meat, such as flank steak or chicken. I simply freeze it in pint or half-pint containers for future use. Double or triple the batch when they show up in abundance; you’ll be glad you did!

HATCH CHILI SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups roasted Hatch chili peppers (remove stems, skin, seeds and membranes), then chop
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sweet onion, chopped (I use Sierra Bianca’s)
  • 6-8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Juice of one lime, separated

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. To roast chilies, place them on a preheated gas grill over high heat (or under a broiler). Grill or broil until the skins blister, crack and separate from the flesh. You will need to turn them a few times, depending on their size. Remove the peppers from the heat and place them in a covered glass bowl or inside a ziplock bag to allow them to steam (about 20 minutes). When cool enough to handle, remove skins, stems, seeds and membranes. Set aside until you do this with all the peppers. Then roughly chop.
  2. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat (I use a cast-iron for this). Once pan is hot add your oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the chopped onion. Saute until soft and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.
  3. Add flour and stir to coat the onions and garlic in the pan (this is your thickener) about 2 minutes. Add your chopped chilies and combine.
  4. Add chicken stock and half the lime juice; simmer on medium until the sauce starts to thicken, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Add the remaining lime juice and salt. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Let sauce cool for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Place sauce in batches in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.

Yields: approximately 4 pints

“Live life with a little spice!”

Notch It Up!

I’m sure many of you have made something for your families that needed something extra, but you’re not quite sure what it is. Well, I may have the answer for you: Roasted Sweet Pepper and Tomato Sauce. This sauce has it all; it’s sweet, yet piquant, savory and adaptable to so many dishes. The secret is in the roasting. Roasting as we know deepens the flavor of all vegetables and this is no exception. Roasting is so helpful that you can make this sauce even with greenhouse peppers and tomatoes. For me, if I’m going to go through the process, why not make enough to put up? This sauce can be canned in a water bath for 15 minutes, or frozen in half-pint jars. If you roast one sheet pan of peppers, and one sheet pan of tomatoes and garlic it will yield about 5-6 half pints.

But the real deal is just how many uses you will have for it! I’m fond of plating a sauce under an entre like lamb meatballs (next week’s recipe) or cauliflower cake. You can spoon it over a piece of toast or an English muffin and top it with a poached egg. Spoon it over scrambled eggs, or hard boiled eggs or on a sandwich instead of mayo. You are only limited by your imagination!

Sweet peppers ready to be roasted
Halved tomatoes and garlic ready for roasting.

ROASTED SWEET PEPPER AND TOMATO SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 sweet peppers, your choice of color, but include one red, halved vertically and seeded
  • 2 tomatoes, cored and cut in half horizontally
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 head of garlic, tops trimmed just enough to expose cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
Roasted peppers
Roasted tomatoes

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil (if you are preparing a batch of quantity, line two baking sheets; using one for peppers and one for tomatoes). Place peppers, tomatoes and garlic on sheet pan.
  3. Baste vegetables with olive oil, then add your salt and pepper. Place in oven and set your timer for 20 minutes. Rotate trays from top to bottom and roast an additional 20 minutes. Remove the tomatoes and roast the peppers for approximately 20 minutes more. You want the peppers charred in various places. If doing a single batch place everything on one sheet pan and roast for 35 minutes.
  4. Let cool slightly, then with a paring knife, carefully pull off the skins of tomatoes, then repeat with the peppers. Discard skins. Squeeze the garlic out of its papery skins.
  5. In a blender or food processor, place your tomatoes, peppers, garlic, red wine vinegar, maple syrup and some additional salt and pepper. Blend or pulse for about 1 minute. Add an additional 3 tablespoons of olive oil and process again until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning adding more vinegar, salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Pour into half pint jars and can or freeze.

Yield: 1 half pint

Roasted red pepper and tomato sauce just blended.

“An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.” —Anthony Bourdain

Saving the Warmth

Cooler temperatures are upon us and autumn is in full swing. Boats are coming in off the lake, jeans are replacing shorts, and the farmers market is full of winter squash, peppers and mums. My seven week canning mission is officially done, yet there are still some last minute preparations to do for the cold months ahead.

One of the vendors at market last Wednesday had a section of their stall devoted to peppers, with a large display of poblanos. Their beautiful dark green color and aromatic scent invited me to stock up on them while the getting was good. I quickly bought a dozen. I enjoy roasting them on the grill, then freezing them for future use. I love putting them in stews, enchiladas, chili and my favorite: Poblano Cream Sauce. It’s wonderful over grilled chicken or flank steak, as a topping for eggs or pulled pork, even as a dip. Earlier in the summer I had made garlic scape and cilantro pesto, so I used this in replacement of the garlic and cilantro and it worked great. This sauce has a flavorful heat that tastes rich and warm. I vacuum freeze 4 peppers per bag and they are ready anytime I need a bit of warmth.

POBLANO CREAM SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 poblano peppers for each batch of sauce (I grill several at a time so I can freeze them for later use)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces sour cream (you could also use Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt to taste
Blistering poblano peppers on the grill
Steamed poblanos ready to peel

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat your gas on high for 10 minutes, until good and hot. Turn down burners to medium and place the peppers across the grill, close but not touching. I can usually get 15-20 on depending on size. Close grill and turn them ever 4 minutes, until they are wrinkled and charred on all sides.
  2. Place grilled peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10-15 minutes to sweat. Remove the plastic wrap and peel away the skin of the peppers. Remove stem, open pepper and scrape the seeds. If you are using immediately, roughly chop 4 peppers. Leave the remaining peppers whole and place 4 peppers per bag for freezing.
  3. While the peppers are sweating, heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat, then add olive oil, onions and garlic. Sauté for about 6-8 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.
  4. Transfer the onions, garlic and chopped peppers to a blender. Add the sour cream, cilantro and salt. Blend until sauce is smooth, 1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. This sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Yield: 1 pint

Poblano Sauce
Poblano Sauce over grilled chicken with sautéed cabbage

“Canning is not a hobby, it’s an obsession, an addiction, self expression and a way of life.”