Sunday, January 13, 2013

Schug (Hot Pepper Dip)


I have a thing for spicy.

Not a HUGE thing.

But I like my food to have some kick.

For this reason, about once a year, I buy a small container of green Schug, a Middle-Eastern hot pepper dip.  I use it sparingly to add that certain something to various foods, including eggs, sandwiches, chummus...just about anything.

Last week, I was walking through the produce aisle and noticed a package of bright red, flawless hot peppers...for $1.  I had no clue what I would use them for, but I bought them.

Then on Friday, I thought, "Schug!  Yay!"

This schug recipe comes out spicy, but not TOO spicy.  It's flavorful, but with that certain kick you look for in a hot pepper sauce.

Goes well with Challah and chummus.

(Note: I didn't measure anything, so there are no measurements.  I'm trying to guess, but I wouldn't worry too much about getting it exact.)

Schug


  • 1 Cup hot peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chopped parsley (fresh is best, but dried will work fine.)
  1. Puree ingredients together.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  It will be very sharp right after pureeing.  If you let it sit an hour or two, it will be much milder.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sloppy Joes

I want to begin this post with a very important announcement:

Apparently, I like sloppy joes!

The only memory I have of eating sloppy joes has me sitting at a friend's house as a little girl eating what was clearly nothing but overcooked ground beef and ketchup.

That was never my thing.  I'm sure I attempted to nibble politely, but rest assured I had no interest in trying it again after that experience.

Then last week, my husband came home from work and requested sloppy joes because his coworkers had mentioned they would be eating it for dinner and now he wanted some.  It's not like him to request anything for dinner.  When asked, he usually just says, "Whatever you want."  Naturally, I wanted to jump on this opportunity.

I did a recipe search and found something that looked ok.  As I planned this dinner, I kept thinking of alternative foods I could have available for myself, because I don't like sloppy joes.

In that spirit, I actually went out to dinner with my mom before coming home and making dinner for the Huz.

This whipped up very quickly and easily.  Sauteed some onions and green pepper, added meat, broke it up and browned it, added sauce, simmer--Meal made!

And then I tasted it.

~BOOM!~

Mind.

Blown.

I hope yours will be, too.



Sloppy Joes (adapted from AllRecipes.com)

  • 1 lb ground chicken/beef/turkey/soy meat
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 green pepper, diced small
  • 3/4 C ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp red wine
  • 3-4 dashes hot sauce, to taste
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • s&p to taste
  1. Saute onion and green pepper in a large in a skillet on medium heat until translucent.
  2. Add in meat, breaking up, mixing with onion and pepper, and letting it brown.
  3. Add in all other ingredients, mix well, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Serve on hamburger buns.  Be happy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Biscuits Updated

This is just a quickie post to update you on those biscuits I made the other day.

I went ahead and made them again yesterday using the 1/2 C all-purpose flour AND rolling the dough thicker.  The result was...

Well...

I'll let you be the judge...

Isn't that glorious?

Now for comparison...
Kind of flat?

Taste-wise, they were the same.  That is to say, they were delicious.  Especially straight out of the oven.

And they whip up in about 20 minutes, so they're also extremely dangerous.

Steamy, fluffy, buttery biscuit...

Whole Wheat Biscuits (adapted from 100 Days of Real Food)
(makes 8-12 biscuits, depending on how thick you roll out the dough)
  • 1 & 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 Cup butter (4 Tbsp/half stick)
  • 1 Cup milk (I used coconut milk the first time and regular milk the second time.)
  1. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Cut up butter into pea-sized pieces and mix into flour, using a fork to mash it in.  It won't become a crumb, so don't worry, just incorporate as best you can.
  3. Add milk and mix until incorporated, then knead with your hands a few times until it forms a dough.
  4. Remove dough to a floured surface and roll out to 3/4" thickness, then cut circles out of the dough, re-rolling as necessary, until all dough is gone.
  5. Place biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 450F for about 10-12 minutes.  Let cool (or not) and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Corn Chowder and Whole Wheat Biscuits

This past weekend, Huz and I took the Boo to visit some friends out of town.  We had a blast, especially the Boo who made lots of new friends, including two kitties, a doggie, and a fellow baby.  There were a lot of fun times over the weekend, but this blog is pretty much about food, so let's focus on that.



Friday night, we had a southern themed dinner which included fried chicken, gumbo, collard greens, mashed potatoes, gravy, and biscuits.  All delicious, of course.  But for me, the biscuits were a highlight.  I ate way too many of them.  Not sure I've ever eaten biscuits before, but this was an eye-opening experience.

I was, of course, determined to make them myself when I got home, so I got right on it.



I found this recipe for whole wheat biscuits which came out amazingly from the oven, though they didn't puff as much as I would have liked, but they were soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and satisfyingly buttery.  Next time around, I may replace 1/2 a cup of whole wheat flour with all-purpose or bread flour to get more puffing.



As much as they were fantastic with jam, I needed to figure out a good dinner pairing, and souped seemed the best option.

After looking up a few recipes, asking for some suggestions, I came up with the following healthy, hearty, tasty chowder.

A few notes on the chowder:  I'd like to try it again with a chile pepper added in for some kick.  Fresh herbs also would have been a good addition.  You can change up the veggies, but the critical pieces are the corn and potatoes.  After that, use whatever you've got on hand.  And if you have some kind of fish available, go ahead and toss it in. :)

Corn Chowder (yields: ~12 bowls)
Ingredients

  • 2 large baking potatoes, diced
  • 2 bags frozen corn
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed & chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, shredded
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 1-2 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning, to taste
  • Parsley, chopped (or dried)
  • Cilantro, chopped (or dried)
  • S&P to taste
  • 6 Cups water
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 Cup milk/soy milk/cream/mimiccreme/coconut milk/whatever
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, saute onions and green pepper until onions are translucent.  
  2. Add in all the other veggies, seasoning and water.  Bring to a boil.
  3. Lower to simmer for about 30 minutes, until all the veggies are cooked.
  4. Mix flour with cold water, then add to soup and mix in.  Let cook another 5 minutes to thicken.
  5. Add in milk.
  6. Serve with chopped scallions or top with some cheese.  And don't forget to dip in some biscuits, too. ;)