Homemade Hot Sauce and YBR

I have a love hate relationship with my grocery store. I love it because I have no car and the store is literally across the street from me. I hate it because often I cannot find sometimes basic items and the produce sucks. What I hate most about the produce is that you often have to buy a package. Hence I got stuck with a lot of jalapenos. Love them, just don’t use them that much.

I found a great jalapeno preserve recipe which I submitted as my November entry of the IIP Salt theme. But I still had about 6 jalapenos left. What to do, google of course. I fell on a site dedicated to jalapenos and settled on a homemade Hot Sauce. I really enjoy trying out recipes where you make a basic ingredient that you normally use in cooking. You have to try this, the taste is so much more fresh and potent than the store bought stuff!

Ingredients

  • 6 jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white onion, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

Cooking Directions

  1. In a medium sauce, combine oil, jalapeno peppers, garlic, onion and salt.
  2. Cook 4 minutes over high heat.
  3. Add water and cook 20 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.
  6. Slowly add in vinegar while processing.
  7. Pour into a sterilized jar with a tight lid.

Makes 1 cup and lasts up to 3 months refrigerated.

NOTE: Be sure to make this recipe in a well ventilated room. The fumes can be quite strong. Enjoy!

Now have you heard of YBR yet? No? Well it is a great round-up idea that Spicie Foodie came up with. Every month participants submit what ever recipe on the blog they liked the best for that current month. It’s a nice way to find the best of the best! Check out November’s YBR now and see which recipe of mine I chose.

IIP: Salt Preserved Jalapeno

It’s International Incident Party time again and this month the theme is SALT. Now we have a love hate relationship with salt in our modern society. We are told salt is bad…yet without salt we would not be alive. Salt was one of the few methods of food preservation before the invention of the “ice box”. Salt was so rare and expensive it was used for trades, salt created empires and unleashed wars. Funny how the precious can become so common over time.

If you are a regular reader then you know right now I am kitchen challenged i.e. it has been demolished and being rebuilt s-l-o-w-l-y. So I needed something very basic, easy, requiring a minimum of space and equipment to prepare. I had a large amount of jalapeno peppers that I was not going to get through before they went bad so I found a few leads on how to preserve them in salt. PERFECT!

But before we get to the recipe, I got curious and I rounded up all the salts I owned to see if I had a lot. These are the ones I located. Yikes! I have Kosher salt, garlic salt, black lava salt, tea smoked salt, salt with espelette chili, black sea salt, hickory smoked salt, fleur de sel and baking soda. Yes baking soda is a salt technically…from sodium jut not the common table one.

On the right is a book I just bought, Salt, which discusses salt throughout history. Of course first I have to finish about 500 page of my current 1000 page book,Pillars of the Earth. Phew.

Salt Preserved Jalapeno

enough fresh jalapeno (or any chili pepper you have) to fill your jar
coarse salt
opt: a sweet pepper for color contrast

  1. Wash and drain peppers then cut into thin slices or pieces, seeds included.
  2. In a sterilize glass jar drop in the bottom 1 tbsp of salt.
  3. Add a layer of jalapeno and sweet pepper if used.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you reach the top of the jar. Close lid tight.
  5. Leave in a cool place for a couple of weeks before using, then store in the refrigerator once opened.

TIP: Use a pair of disposable medical gloves when slicing to protect yourself from burning your hands. You can usually get just a couple of pairs in the hair dye section of the drugstore.

Super easy and quick, perfect for me right now. Oh and this would make a perfect holiday gift for a friend with a spicy pallet! Use any chili pepper you like, mix em up or add some herbs too.

International Incident Salt Party

Daring Bakers: Not so Petit Four

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or an Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

I decided to make the Ice Cream Petit Fours for this challenge. Seems I have been meringued out lately so the Baked Alaska was not calling to me. this was a comedy of farce experience for me due to lack of attention and impatience. I mixed all my dry ingredients together and only read after I had to beat the sugar with the butter. I did not freezer my ice cream into a shape first. I just cut the cooled cake, spread the half melted ice cream, put the top on and threw it in the freezer. Then after 2 hours I was impatient and glazed right away. My cut squares leaked not completely frozen ice cream that were way bigger then the 1.5 inches. My glazes was to thick, even hot, for the job. I got in the end pretty big Petit Fours but they did look great. I did not have cute little almond paste decorations or candies to decorate…but I had frozen jalapeno peppers! This was an awesome combo actually. I had friends over last night for a pot-luck dinner and this was dessert. They vanished in a blink of an eye.

This recipe calls for beurre noisette, or also called browned butter. According to Wiki: Beurre noisette is frequently used in French pastry production. It can also be used as a warm sauce to accompany a variety of savory foods such as winter vegetables,pasta, fish, omelettes, chicken, etc. Unsalted butter is melted over low heat and allowed to separate into butterfat and milk solids. The milk solids naturally sink to the bottom of the pan and, if left over gentle heat, will begin to brown. As the milk solids reach a toasty hazelnut color, the pan is removed from the heat. Beurre noisette may be used in its liquid state, or cooled to a solid form. It has a characteristic warm, nutty flavour, and is particularly included in the batters for madeleines and financiers.

Ice Cream Petit Fours

Preparation time:

Ice cream – 45 min active time, ice cream rests/chills for 1 hour then overnight.
Brown Butter Pound Cake – 2 hours (includes cooling time)
Chocolate Glaze – 15 minutes
Assembly– Ice cream must be frozen ahead of time several hours, then the cake and ice cream freeze overnight. After dipping, the petit fours freeze for one hour.

 

Recipe 1.Make an ice cream of your choice

I used 2 ice creams I had already made, mixed together: Mango Curry Cardamon Ice Cream and Chai Soya Milk Ice Cream.

Recipe 2. Brown Butter Pound Cake

19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
1/3 (75g) cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Note: The pound cake calls for cake flour. You can make 1 cup of cake flour by placing 2 tbsp of corn starch in a 1 cup measure, and filling to the top with all purpose flour.

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.

2. Place the butter in a 10” (25cm) skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns.) Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes.

3. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Beat the brown butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.

5. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.

6. Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

7. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

 

Recipe 3. Chocolate Glaze (For the Ice Cream Petit Fours)

9 ounces (250g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream
1 1/2 tablespoons (32g) light corn syrup, Golden syrup, or agave nectar
2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract

Stir the heavy cream and light corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add the dark chocolate. Let sit 30 seconds, then stir to completely melt the chocolate. Stir in the vanilla and let cool until tepid before glazing the petit fours.

Assembly Instructions

1. Line a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) pan with plastic wrap, so that no sides of the pan are exposed and so there is some extra plastic wrap hanging off the sides. Spread 1 ¾ to 2 cups (450ml to 500ml) ice cream into the pan. Cover with more plastic wrap and freeze several hours.

2. Once the brown butter pound cake has completely cooled, level the top with a cake leveler or a serrated knife. Then split the cake in half horizontally to form two thin layers.

3. Unwrap the frozen ice cream. Flip out onto one of the layers of cake and top with the second layer of cake. Wrap well in plastic wrap and return to the freezer overnight.

4. Make the chocolate glaze (see above.)

5. While the glaze cools, trim ¾” (2cm) off each side of the ice cream cake to leave a perfectly square 7.5” (19cm) ice cream cake. Cut the cake into twenty five petit fours, each 1.5”x1.5” (4cmx4cm).

6. Glaze the petit fours one at a time: place a petit four on a fork and spoon chocolate glaze over it.

7. Place the petit fours on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the freezer for one hour.