Pepper Primer Part 1

Pepper Primer Part 1

We grow many different varieties of peppers at the farm - some sweet, some mild and some hot.  In this case variety is literally the spice of life! 

Pictured above clockwise starting with the red pepper we have:

Ausilio- use caution, some are mild and some are quite spicy. I love using this in a summer succotash with sweet corn, summer squash and green beans. Also great in corn chowder. 

Shishitos - usually mlid, one in 10 has some kick to it. These are great simply tossed, whole, with a little olive oil and grilled or seared over high heat. 

Alma - a sweet paprika variety. I use this where ever I would use any other sweet pepper - gazpacho, salsa, etc. 

Jalepeno - perennial favorite. Again use in salsas, in a batch of spicy refrigerator pickles, sliced on top of nachos. 

Pueblo Chile - a great chile for roasting and making green chili. Deserving of Its own post on green chili.... stay tuned! 

Poblano - also great for roasting and making green chile or chile rellenos. Again, stay posted for some upcoming green chili recipes. 

There are a few varieties not shown above that will be ready in a few more weeks: lemon drop - a little yellow hot pepper, cayennes, red marconi - a sweet red frying pepper, escamillo - a sweet orange pepper and king of the north- a sweet red bell. 

Shisito, Tomatillo and Roasted Potato Salad

Cut potatoes in a medium dice, toss in oil and a tablespoon of corainder seed, salt and pepper and roast in a 400 oven until crispy on the outside - about 40-45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, slice your shishitos. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook in a hot cast iron pan until a little charred on the outside. Then quarter and handful of tomatillos and prepare the same way, combine with shishitos. While the pan is still hot toast a tablespoon of cumin seeds. When fragrant grinding with a mortar and pestle. If you don't have a mortar and pestle you can crunch them on a cutting board with knife or the bottom of a heavy cup. Place in a bowl and add 1/2 cup yogurt, a small clove of mashed garlic, juice and zest of half a lime and a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir and set aside.

When the potatoes are lovely and crispy take them out of the oven and combine with the shishitos and tomatillos. Dress with yogurt dressing. Top with chopped cilantro if you have some. So Good! 

 

How to Make the Perennial Favorite Potato Leek Soup without a Recipe

I like to make this quite rich to be served hot or cold. Feel free to lighten it by leaving out the cream, or subbing milk or non-dairy milk. You can swap the tarragon for rosemary, parsley or thyme. This recipe is high on the aromatics and rather short on the potatoes. It is too easy to want to throw in loads of potatoes but then your soup is more like a mashed potato puree! 

Roughly chop 3-4 stalks celery and cook on medium heat in a heavy dutch oven. Slice the leeks, then wash in a salad spinner. This gets all the dirt out of the many layers. Add these to the celery. You can also add some sweet yellow or red pepper at this point if you have one on hand. Once these have cooked for a bit and start to turn translucent add your chopped potatoes.  For 3 medium leeks I'll add about 2 medium large potatoes chopped. No need to peel them! The skins hold lots of potassium. And for this amount of veg I'll use about a quart and a half of rich chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer all together until the potatoes are soft. I'll add about a half a cup of cream and small handful of chopped tarragon. Let cool for a bit before running in batched in your blender. Please don't rush and try to load up your blender with hot soup! I won't go into details about the possibility for disaster here.... I'll leave that to your imagination. 

When pureed you can adjust the seasoning and consistency. If you are serving this cold keep in mind that cool things hide a bit of their flavor so you might want to heighten the seasoning. On the other hand if you want to keep your options open to serve hot or cold and find that flavor is a little flatter when cold you can always add a beautiful little garnish... chopped cherry tomatoes with fresh parsley or crisp bacon and croutons.. all seasoned well of course.