A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

Month: August 2015

Fresh Peach Pie

Fresh Peach Pie

It’s about the end of the peach season here in Missouri, so it seemed like I should make a pie.  First, the peaches.  Really the fastest way to peel them and not have much waste is to cut a little x in the bottom of […]

A Classic – Melon and Prosciutto

A Classic – Melon and Prosciutto

I’m currently waiting for the house to cool down so I can bake a peach pie.  So, I think it is a perfect time for a snack/dinner. Melon and prosciutto is a classic.  Salty and sweet, what’s not to love? Add a Ginger Lemon Radler […]

On a quest to recreate Sausage-Stuffed Banana Peppers

On a quest to recreate Sausage-Stuffed Banana Peppers

A few years ago someone brought sausage-stuffed banana peppers to a potluck.  They had grilled them and they were delicous!  I didn’t ask for the recipe, unfortunately.

I like banana peppers sliced in salads, and I have pickled pepper rings.  But I had another pile of banana peppers that I needed to do something with, and I wasn’t going to eat that many salads, and already have plenty of jars of pickled pepper rings.  Time to try the stuffed peppers again.
Once before I simply browned some pork sausage, stuffed the peppers and broiled them.   But the sausage fell out.  I tried something different this time.
First, I donned some latex gloves, then I sliced the peppers in half lengthwise and seeded them using a teaspoon.  Always always always use gloves when handling peppers.
I always do when handling jalapenos, anaheims and banana peppers.  Usually in those cases I’m slicing and seeding them.  The other night I was stringing peppers to dry, and didn’t think handling them and threading them using a needle would be a problem so didn’t wear gloves.
I was wrong, a fact I discovered when taking out my contacts later that night.
Possibly the latex gloves on a white cutting board don’t show up that well!
I browned the pork sausage, breaking it up as much as possible.  I threw a few thai chilis in to boost the flavor, but should have added more.
I broke it up as much as I could since the peppers to be stuffed were not that big.  I took out the peppers and let the sausage cool.  I then mixed the sausage with cream cheese, decided it was still too loose, and added some shredded cheddar cheese.  Then using the teaspoon  again, I stuffed each pepper.
The stuffing stayed in!
Turn the oven to 350 F then pop in the cooking sheet with the peppers and cook 15-20 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the cheese melted a bit.
These tasted better than they look!
They were good, but not to die for.  I will keep playing with the combination.  I would probably use a different sausage next time, one that is a little spicier.  And maybe just use cream cheese, but a little more.  We’ll see next year when the banana peppers start piling up again!
Herb Salt

Herb Salt

While I was updating labels on my posts I accidently deleted the post on Herb Salt.  I don’t want to lose it, so here it is again. I always plant herb pots in the summer.  This year the sage has gone crazy!  I dried some, […]

Chili peppers! Thai Birds-eye and ???

Chili peppers! Thai Birds-eye and ???

Last weekend I visited the City Market in Kansas City, MO with some friends.  At tthe produce stands I was on a quest for poblanos, but was informed it was still too early.  But, there were a number of stands featuring Asian produce, and I decided to change my quest to finding some Thai birds-eye chilis.

As you can see, I found them, plus some.  Before I found the long, skinny birds-eyes, a vendor convinced me to buy some of his peppers.  He either told me they were hotter or not as hot as birds-eyes.  I don’t remember.  I guess I’ll find out when I bite into one!  First, they got a good rinse.
Then after they drained awhile, I spread them out on a cookie sheet to dry.
The vendor who sold me the shorter peppers (most about an inch) told me that he crushed them and used in stir fries and other dishes.  He also told me they froze really well.  So once everything was dry (so they wouldn’t stick together) I found a container and tossed them in the freezer.
The birds-eyes I wanted to dry.  I use in stir fries, but also in pickles, and a few recipes where I slice the dried peppers.  So I started stringing them tonight.  Finishing them is going to have to wait another day and then I will find someplace to hang them until they are dry.  Steve will love having peppers hanging around.
I got all the chilies strung, and they are now drying in a garland over the fireplace.  Pretty sure Steve loves the new decor.
Updates to add a photo of all the dried peppers.
OMG Chocolate Mint Extract

OMG Chocolate Mint Extract

When I planted my herb pots this year I bought some chocolate mint, just because it smells good.  This year was amazing for the herbs, and the chocolate mint went wild.  It seemed like a shame to waste it, so I snipped a bunch of […]

Now for the tomatoes before they go bad–Using more CSA produce.

Now for the tomatoes before they go bad–Using more CSA produce.

Who doesn’t love roasted vegetables (I know, I know, tomatoes are a fruit)? Today I used various tomatoes from my CSA, garlic from my CSA, and thyme from my very own herb pot as I roasted some tomatoes. Olive oil, salt, pepper, sliced garlic cloves, […]

Using up CSA produce – Pickled Hakurei Turnips

Using up CSA produce – Pickled Hakurei Turnips

The goal this weekend is to use up or put up produce that is piling up from the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture .  Next up, Hakurei turnips.   I love Hakurei turnips.  They are great in stir fries and raw in salads, and even just dipping in the old standby Ranch Dressing.  But, these were piling up and I couldn’t use them fast enough.

This simple pickled turnip recipe uses the vinegar of your choice, salt, sugar, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and any other herbs you have a hankering for.  This time I kept it simple, just peppercorns and red pepper flakes.  I used Louisburg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar for my vinegar.
Just clean and slice the turnips, and pack in a jar.  Mix the brine together and heat in the microwave just until the sugar and salt dissolve.  Although I wasn’t canning these, the canning funnel came in handy to pack the turnip slices in the jar and pour over the brine.
And  that’s it.  Ready to snack on in a day or two.  Keep in the fridge.
1 cup vinegar of your choice
1/2 cup water
2 T sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp salt
A few pepper corns
You could add red pepper flakes, pickling spice, herbs, coriander seeds, whatever flavors you like.
I actually found that I needed a bit more brine for a quart jar, so if you are using a quart jar, double the brine recipe.
Jalapeño and Tomatillo Pork Stew Base

Jalapeño and Tomatillo Pork Stew Base

No cooking last weekend as I was out of town with friends. This weekend, though, I need to do something with produce that is sitting around from the CSA.  I’ve started with a soup base that I will freeze, then pull out some chilly day […]