Sunday, April 28, 2013

Jalapeno Powder

Jalapeno Powder

I found some some beautiful jalapeno's at the produce market the other day. I wanted to pickle them because they were so fresh. While pickling I ran out of jars and vinegar. Since I was going to busy for the next few days I needed to do something with the remaining peppers before they started to get funky. Dehydrator to the rescue! I use my dehydrator a lot, particularly to dry herbs and veggies. I also love to make beef and salmon jerky! Those recipes will be coming soon. 

This is really a no brainier to make. First slice the jalapenos thin enough to to fit in between the dehydrator trays.

Arrange evenly on the dehydrator trays and dehydrate over night.

Remove the slices and crumble in a spice mill or coffee grinder. This is my old coffee grinder that I have dedicated for spices only. Grind until you have a fine powder and your done!

This powder adds amazing flavor to spice rubs. I also like to add it to sour cream. Its great on anything that you usually put sour cream on. My favorite thing to do with it is to sprinkle it on top of fried eggs! 

Guinea Gumbo

Guinea Gumbo

This was a standard where I grew up in Southwest Louisiana in a place called Le Blue Settlement. We raised guinea hens along side chickens just like everyone did in that place and time. I haven't had  guinea since those days back on the farm.
 It was a treat to find some local hens at the Urban Harvest farmers market last Saturday. 

Gumbo!Gumbo! Gumbo! 

That's all I could think about so, I made it happen! 

 The Guinea has a smaller body mass but a more intense flavor profile than a chicken. Almost like a wild chicken flavor. Which essentially that what a guinea is, a wild chicken.  Basically the white meat tastes like dark meat! It makes an amazing full flavored gumbo that you cant  seem to get from a store bought  chicken. 
I have a few new tricks that I've incorporated into my gumbo preparations and they have proved true in this dish! Enjoy,

1 medium white onion 
1 pobaono pepper
2 stalks celery 
4 garlic cloves
Equal parts flour and oil
salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste
1 Guinea Hen

Spice Rub: 
2 parts sea salt 
2 parts fresh cracked black pepper
2 parts ground jalapeno powder (recipe to follow)
1 part ground cumin 
1 part smoked paprika 

Wash and clean the hen.

 Pre-heat the oven to 400. Rub the hen generously with the spice rub inside and out. Place it in an oven proof pan. 

Place in the oven until golden brown and crispy. About 30 min.  Remove from the oven. Set aside and let cool.

The traditional vegetable mix, also called the holy trinity in Louisiana cooking, contains onion  celery and bell pepper. I like to use pablano peppers. They have a deeper more earthier taste. I think it adds another level of flavor to the over all taste. Dice up the veggies. 

Saute until the trinity is soft. Add beer or wine to keep the the moisture consistent. 

Now for the hard part, making the roux. If you have it, use a cast iron skillet or some form of heavy skillet. Heat the oil over medium heat  Once the oil is hot add the flour. Stir constantly until it turns your desired color. This could take a while. This took about 20 minutes. Once you have got the desired color remove from and let cool. You can do this ahead of time and place in the fridge for quite some time. I usually make a two cup batch and use it over a month long period. 

Quarter the Hen.

Boil 6 liters of water. Once you have a boil add the veggies and the hen. Bring back to a boil and add one cup of roux. Bring back to a boil and stir until the roux is well incorporated. Lower the heat to low and simmer for an hour. Remove the hen pieces and set aside to cool. Once cool pick the meat from the bones and add back to the pot. Salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add some Crystal hot sauce at this point. Simmer for another fifteen minutes and your ready to serve!

This is what you end up with!!

Serve over some fluffy, salty, buttery rice and top with some green onions!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Gorgonzola Potatoes with Panceta, Onion and Peppers

I know, another potato recipe? The last post was made because it was a,  what needs to be used up before it goes bad dish. This recipe is a take on my mothers dish that I have loved all my life. Its really easy to make. If you have a mandolin I advise using it. You can slice the potatoes and onions super thin and this allows it to cook quicker in the oven. You can also substitute any pepper or potato you like. I love the subtle and sweet  funkiness of Gorgonzola and especially the Sweet creaminess of dolce, but you can substitute your favorite soft blue cheese. I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients: serves 2

1/2 pound potatoes
1 medium white onion
1/2 poblano pepper
3 or 4 slices of Pancetta or bacon
3 ounces of Mountain Gorgonzola Dolce
Parsley for garnish
Dry white wine
Salt and Pepper

Saute your Pancetta until crispy. In the mean time slice your onions as thin as you can get them and dice the pepper very fine. After you have pulled the pancetta out of the skillet throw the onions and peppers into the pancetta fat. Saute on med-low until they are a light brown and very soft. Add a little white wine if it starts to dry out while cooking down.

Slice your potatoes as thin as you can. Oil the bottom of a small baking dish. Line the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of potatoes.

 Next place the onion and pepper mixture on top of the potatoes.

 Then crumble half the pancetta over the onion and pepper mixture. Add another layer of potatoes, onion and peppers. Finally crumble the Mountain Gorgonzola Dolce and the remaining pancetta over the top.

Place into a 350* oven for 25 to 30 mins or until its brown on top.  Finish with some chopped parsley or Basil.

I served this as a side dish with a Pecan smoked Rib-Eye, Venison sausage, and some black truffle deviled eggs!