It's a veg-tacular fiesta here at The Crispy Cook this week! I am delighted to announce that I will be hosting another round of that weekly blog event that is near and dear to my heart: Weekend Herb Blogging. Haalo of Cook Almost Anything is WHB Central for this wonderful event, now in its 6th year of operation.
Each week, great cooks and gardeners from around the world share recipes and tips for foraging or growing all kinds of delicious vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits and seeds. If it's a member of the Vegetable Kingdom, it's likely been featured in an edition of Weekend Herb Blogging, although I always seem to find a new ingredient or way to cook an old favorite in a novel way with each round of WHB.
If you have an interesting WHB post, please send it on to me by the deadline of Sunday, May 6th and I'll include it in my roundup the next day. For more information about Weekend Herb Blogging rules, see Haalo's website here.
Things are still quiet in my home garden, except for some chives about to pop, so I thought I would highlight the bountiful crop of hot peppers from the 2011 Crispy Garden for my WHB post. I grew another batch of Tiburon peppers, a fairly spicy dark green poblano. We roasted them, we made chili rellenos and casseroles, put them in salsas and other sauces and chopped up so many that our entire chest freezer is perfumed with their scent.
I also planted a flat of Gypsy peppers from our nearby farm market, which I thought were supposed to be somewhat mild, but they tasted pretty darn hot to me and my crew. My Zone 4 growing season is not quite long enough to get this pepper variety to turn that glorious orange (this is a photo from the night-before-frost, when I had a kitchen full of buckets o' veggies) but I did get at least one orange Gypsy pepper out of the bunch.
These Gypsy peppers were good frying peppers, but again, they were on the pungent side, so we mostly chopped them up for the freezer last harvest season and have been since adding them judiciously to our suppers.
With such a bounty of hot peppers, we also tried our hand at making a hot pepper and garlic paste, like a Thai green curry paste, to freeze and this proved to be a wonderful little condiment. I just added seeded and rough chopped Tiburon and Gypsy peppers to my hard-working blender, and then added in a handful of peeled fresh garlic and maybe a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and pulverized the whole thing until it was a light green, creamy consistency. A little salt and pepper and then I froze this hot pepper paste in 1/2 cup containers (as a little goes a long way!). It's a little watery when you thaw it, but you can drain it a bit before adding it to other ingredients.
In addition to using this hot pepper condiment as a green curry base, I've found some other great uses for it. I've mixed it with sour cream for quick dip or taco side sauce (fantastic with fish tacos!). We scarfed down a batch of fettuccine slathered with some of this pepper paste mixed in with ricotta cheese and herbs and I have plans for it for my annual gazpacho frenzy, when the tomatoes are starting to come in but the peppers are still lagging behind.
If anyone has any other great ideas for this hot pepper goodness, please let me know.
Looking forward to receiving your Weekend Herb Blogging posts! I've already gotten some deliciousness in the email basket that will delight you.
***I also wanted to announce the winner of the giveaway copy of Denise Jardine's Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Kitchen cookbook. The winner is commenter number 12, Betsy. Congratulations Betsy! And thank you to Ten Speed Press for furnishing the giveaway copy of this cookbook.