Tuesday, July 26, 2011

you’re hot and you’re cold

Holy spicy poblano!


I’m kind of on a string right now of being surprised by poblano peppers. I think I just have to start touching them and touching my face BEFORE I buy them. See what I’m getting myself into.

These were HOT HOT HOT!

As was the grill. Steve was over and cranked that baby up for me. Which was lovely. I love grilling and everything, but babying the coals is my least favorite task. I should really just get a charcoal chimney, shouldn’t I?


So there were beautiful poblanos at the farmer’s market. And when I see poblanos, I think charred skin, all smoky and awesome, and to get that, of course, one needs to grill them. And you know, stuff them. Because when it comes to good eatin’ I love love love things stuffed in things.

So I cut around the top to leave the pepper Nearly-Headless (<<< nerd) but so the top could be squeezed back on to prevent filling leaking out. Also got rid of the seeds inside.

Then for filling I combined in a food processor:

cream cheese (a lot)
goat cheese (a little)
green onion

And then added fresh corn, cut off the cob.

Can’t really tell you specific quantities. With ingredients that tasty, does it matter? It is hard to mess up cream cheese.

Stuffed that mixture inside the poblanos, and hoped for the best. Hoped that the cheeeeeeeesy loveliness would mellow out the poblanos, as would a trip to the grill.


And stuck ‘em on the fire.

This was something where it paid to have someone more patient than I (Steve) tending to the grill, because I tend to just put everything right over the high heat and cook it fast, but the outside of the peppers seared really quickly, and when I left him to tend to them instead, he put them to the side and let them cook slowly and get all tender and smoky and nice.


Also on the grill: 

Green beans! SO GOOD. Green beans are eons better when you get the amazing blistery char on them. This is my first summer of grilling green beans and I just feel foolish for not having come up with the idea sooner. I live for the blistery char. You can get it in tons of oil at Chinese restaurants, or you can get it with just a drizzle, in a foil packet, on MY grill! Also added Cajun seasoning for a fun bit o’ zestiness.


Now, feeding Steve there is a certain… challenge… in that he eats more than anyone I know ever. And has a terrible habit of skipping breakfast (though it’s improved since I taught him about overnight oats), so ends the day feeling vair hungry.

BUT I think I’ve figured out how to do it. Make enough food for normal people to eat- and then make a cup and a half (dry) of rice.

There will be enough! Nay, leftovers!

This rice was exceptional, actually.


Really Good Rice and Beans

Saute about 1/2 an onion in a drizzle of oil. Add cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon (in descending order). Add 1 1/2 cups brown rice and saute til toasted. Then add 1 can tomato sauce and another canful of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook 35 minutes, covered. Uncover, add 1 can of black beans, and bring back up to a simmer to heat through beans.


For condiments, avocado and my favorite Trader Joe’s hot sauce.


And there you have it- a colorful, well-rounded, oh-so-summery meal that managed to keep Steve full!


So let’s talk about these hot-hot-hot peppers. They looked great. In my opinion, this is beautiful beautiful food right here.


And the filling was BOSS. My sister wandered outside to the deck, where Steve and I were eating, with an emptied out pepper and a request for “just a bowl full of filling”


As for the taste of the dish overall? My goal was a jalapeno popper all grown up, and while the filling was delicious… the pepper was really a bit much. Like, three glasses of water, sweat running down your face much. That being said, Steve ate his… and much of mine… and the outside of Malindi’s pepper… and I think another one too?

By far the best part was the crispy bits of cheese that’d gotten toasted by the fire. I mean, obviously. It’s crispy cheese!


So back to the title (gosh that was awhile ago, huh). Those peppers, that’s the hot.

Now for the cold: remember the watermelon baby I brought home from Chincoteague?

Well, no, only a baby because I had to carry it by clutching it to my abdomen. This watermelon weighed far more than a baby. Now, I ate plenty of it in the eat-slices-with-juice-dribbling-down-my-chin manner, but also branched out into some recipes.

Starting with watermelon gazpacho!


 DSC04972   DSC04976





Stale bread


Plus olive oil, vinegar, parsley, honey. Zzzzz. Not bad.


Made a variation with peaches that was way better. And mega easy.


Peach Gazpacho

1 super ripe peach
1/2 a tomato
1/2 a cucumber
1/4 c. stale bread
1/4 tsp. diced jalapeno (ironically, given the rest of this post, a pretty mild jalapeno)

Put in blender. Give a Zzzzz. Magnificent.

What was even better was a deck-side lunch in which I included the watermelon gazpacho. But it was not all aloney on its owney. No, it contained GOAT CHEESE!

Genius. Sheer genius.


And cause I eat in a highly random fashion when I’m home, a few canned smoked oysters (not just these. There were more.)


And cause I’ve been eating it tons but haven’t documented it, made sure to include and photograph in this meal the Official Summer Salad of 2011, squash ribbons (just made with a veggie peeler- any kind of summer squash you want though the long skinny ones are easier) with pesto. SO good.


So the gazpacho used up a fair amount of watermelon, but a fair amount still remained (it was HUGE). Cooking Light has been getting on my nerves lately, but I was reading the August issue (which also contained recipes like “Buy bread. Put ham and cheese on top of it.” GETS ON MY NERVES), and spotted something that actually looked GOOD and SEASONAL and like real cooking with actual interesting flavors: Summer Pea, Watermelon, and Farro Salad.

They gave you the choice of farro or wheatberries; I used wheatberries. Used yellow watermelon. Used field peas from the farmer’s market (a lot like black eyed peas) instead of green peas. Used parmesan instead of romano. Added cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market for color.

Quite beautiful.


And quite tasty! Delicious balance of flavors (though next time I’ll add more melon :D)

Perfect picnic food.


Finally, the title of this post is from a song by Katy Perry, who is not a very good singer.

Amy Winehouse, a very very good singer, like so many painfully talented people before her, died stupidly young over the weekend, and I recommend everyone read Russell Brand’s touching if slighty profane eulogy and rumination on addiction.

Vair sad.


Lauren said...

YUM! all of these had my mouth watering. Peach gazpacho? how cool :)

Maya said...

Isn't it funny that last time I went to your house we cooked to Amy Winehouse? I can't remember how that came up.

Peach gazpacho sounds delicious!

katecooks said...

i've been trying to find poblano peppers everywhere but no luck! i haven't even seen them at the farmers market, but i keep finding delicious looking recipes with poblano peppers as the star!! your version looks lovely.

Jess said...

I need to find some wheatberries! It looks super, super tasty :) I also need to GRILLLL more :)