Monday, August 1, 2011

August Forges: Four Weeks of Savoury Delights!

Pic credit - Kotanyi

We are mixing it up this month at FF, doing a weekly spotlight on some savoury delectables. Last month was all about the sugar, this month is about the spice. Are you ready? Let's roll up our sleeves and get savoury!

Week One
Pic credit - Woman's Day

We know, you are hot. Wanna get hotter? Of course you do! The first project is going to incinerate you, but in a good way. Let's heat it up!

Habanero Hot Sauce
Rick Bayless
Makes about 2 cups

5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup peeled, roughly chopped carrot (you'll need 1 medium carrot)
1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion (you'll need about half of a small onion)
12 medium (about 5 ounces) orange habanero chiles, stemmed
1 cup apple cider vinegar
About 2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar


Roast the garlic in a skillet over medium heat, turning regularly until soft and blackened in spots, 10 to 15 minutes.  Cool and peel.

In a small saucepan, combine the carrot, onion and habanero chiles with the vinegar and 1 cup water.  Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the carrots are thoroughly tender, about 10 minutes.  Pour into a blender jar, add the roasted garlic, salt and sugar.  Blend until smooth.  Thin with a little additional water if you think your hot sauce is too thick. Taste and season with additional salt if you think necessary.

Pour into jars or bottles and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to add some dazzle to a dish.

*Bonus Challenge for our intrepid forgers - Add some pineapple to that sauce! Smoked, grilled, fresh, juice, or canned - the choice is yours!

Optional Spicy Vinegar! 
Because you want to use up your pineapple rinds, don't you? ☺

Spicy Pineapple Vinegar
yield: ~4 c.

"A bottle of this spicy condiment is found on every table of every fonda in Puerto Rico.  It is, easily, more popular than ketchup."  ~Daisy

2 ripe pineapples
1/2 lg. Spanish onion, thinly sliced
20 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
6 habañero chiles, stemmed & coarsely chopped
1 Tbs. cider vinegar, plus more as needed
1 Tbs. smashed fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1/2 tsp. kosher or fine sea salt, plus more as needed


Peel the pineapples and set aside the peel for use.  Save the pineapple for eating or use in something else.  Put rinds in a pot large enough to hold them comfortably, pour in enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Adjust heat so liquid is at a gentle boil and cook until rinds are very tender, ~30 mins.  If water dips below rinds, top off as necessary to keep them submerged.

Meanwhile, put onion, garlic, chiles, vinegar. oregano, peppercorns, and salt in a large jar (or two smaller) w/ tight fitting lid.  Strain pineapple liquid into large measuring cup or bowl.  Pour into the jar of seasonings. Taste and add a little salt or vinegar if you think it needs it.  Can be used as soon as it cools, but will get better as it sits.  Keep in fridge for up to 2 months.


Week Two
Ready to get a little corny?

Sweet Pepper and Corn Relish
by Karen Soloman author of Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It
Makes about 6 cups (3 pints)
Time commitment about 1 day

I drink the brine on this one. I kid you not. This is a super old-fashioned pickle so self-consciously retro that it’s modern again—ready for its place on your Aunt Bitty’s relish tray alongside the three-bean salad and the pickled beets. Just FYI, I actually prefer frozen corn to fresh here because—well, forgive my shallowness, but frozen corn is just prettier than anything I’ve ever been able to cut off the cob, and the strong flavors in this mix don’t merit the extra effort. (Oh, and thanks to my intern, Sam, who showed me how awesome this is baked with salami on a pizza.) Note that it’s natural for the brine to get cloudy as the corn releases its starch.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3¾ cups diced red bell pepper (3 or 4 peppers)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1¾ cups diced red onion (1 very large onion)
1½ cups apple cider vinegar
1½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon ground turmeric

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and salt and sauté for approximately 12 minutes, stirring often, until the peppers soften and begin to caramelize. Add the corn, stirring to combine, and cook the vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes longer, until the corn is hot. Turn off the heat and add the onion to the pan; stir well.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, and turmeric and stir just until the sugar
dissolves, about 2 minutes.

Pack the vegetables tightly into 3 clean pint jars, and pour the warm brine over the vegetables to cover completely, discarding any unused brine. To can the relish for  longer storage, process the jars according to the instructions below. Otherwise, cover tightly, and let the relish sit at room temperature for 1 day before moving it to the refrigerator.

How to Store It: Refrigerated, this will keep for up to 6 months. Canned, it will keep for up to 1 year.

How to Can It: Place an empty canning pot or stockpot on the stovetop (don’t turn on the heat yet). Place as many jars in the pot as will fit without touching one another (you may have to process the jars in multiple batches). Fill the pot with cold water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Put the lid on the pot and turn the heat to high. Bring the water to a boil and let the jars boil for 15 minutes.

Put a kitchen towel on your counter. Turn the heat off and carefully remove the jars from the hot water
bath with tongs or canning tongs and place them on the towel (don’t let the jars touch). You will likely hear some of the jar lids pop, indicating that they have been properly sealed (they can still be properly sealed even if you don’t hear the pop). After the jars have cooled for about 10 minutes, check the seals: press down on the center of each lid; it should not bounce back. If it does, move the jar to the refrigerator once it’s cool and eat within a week.

Excerpted from Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It by Karen Solomon Copyright © 2011 by Karen Solomon. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

And now to get our Bayless on! 
Week Three

Chipotle Steak Sauce 
Makes 1 1/2 cups sauce
Recipe from Season 7 of Mexico - One Plate at a Time
Rick Bayless


1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
3 canned chipotle chiles en adobo
    OR  8 to 10 dried arbol chiles
1/2  teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons cider vinegar


In a food processor or blender, combine, the tomatoes, garlic, chiles, oregano and vinegar.  Process until smooth.  Pour into a small (2-quart) saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Simmer 15 minutes, remove from the heat and stir in water, if necessary, to give the sauce the consistency of steak sauce.  Taste and season highly with salt, usually 1 1/2 teaspoons.  Cool, pour into a bottle and refrigerate until needed.

Week Four
Slow Roasted Garlic Mojo

Mojo de Ajo
Makes about 3 cups mojo de ajo (made with 2 cups of oil)
Recipe from Season 7  Mexico - One Plate at a Time
Rick Bayless


4 large heads garlic
       OR 10 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) peeled garlic cloves
2 or 3 cups fruity olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh lime juice


Heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Break the heads of garlic apart, then mash each clove (a fist against the side of a knife is what I do) to release the clove from its papery skin; if using already-peeled garlic, scoop the cloves into a heavy plastic bag and use a rolling pin to mash them slightly.

Stir together the garlic, oil and salt in an 8x8-inch baking pan (make sure all the garlic is submerged), slide it into the oven and bake until the garlic is soft and lightly brown, about 45 to 55 minutes.

Add the lime juice and return to the oven for 20 minutes for the garlic to absorb the lime and turn golden brown.  (If you’re using the larger quantity of oil, ladle off 1 cup—no garlic cloves—and store it in a cool dry place for use in salad dressing or sautéing.)

Using an old-fashioned potato masher or large fork, mash the garlic into a coarse puree.  Pour the mixture into a wide-mouth storage container and refrigerate it until you’re ready to enjoy some deliciousness. The mojo will last for up to three months as long as the garlic stays submerged under the oil.

Do you have to go in order? Of course not! We are laid back and easy-going forgers. Have fun with it!

1. Natashyas Hot Sauce and Vinegar!

2. Alicias smoked Twilight hot sauce

3. Heathers Hot Sauce

This linky list is now closed.


Heather S-G said...

As soon as I saw that Karen Solomon book at the library, I snatched it up! Love everything!

Pretty Zesty said...

I love spice. This all looks great.

Alicia Foodycat said...

I just made another batch of my smoked hot sauce! I will try for the vinegar though.

NKP said...

My hot sauce and vinegars are up!

Foodycat - smoked hot sauce sounds great! Feel free to link it up as an alternative - we'd love to see it.

Heather S-G said...

Yum, awesome job, N! Mine's made and being used...but I need to get some good photos and do a post!! =)

Alicia Foodycat said...

My hot sauce post is scheduled for Monday - I will link it up then!

Heather S-G said...

Better late than never? Better stuffed into a mish-mosh post than no post at all? Sorry for being a total slacker...but my hot sauce is up. =)