24 May 2011 – Some Like it Hot

Just a quick post tonight. I had heard rumors of this mysterious habanero spiced cheese. It is elusive and difficult to come by.

The Dairy is Cabot in Vermont. They make some of the best cheddar I have ever tasted – especially on the sharp and aged side of things.

Anyways, I have only heard good things about this mysterious ultra hot pepper cheese. I have never seen it locally until tonight when I stopped by the local grocer.

Cabot Habanero Cheese

Cabot Habanero Cheese

No recipe tonight – no time for it. I just took some hearty crackers with a slice or two of Cabot and a bit of leftover bacon for my sampling.

Cabot Hot Habanero Cheese

Cabot Hot Habanero Cheese

It is hot. Hot enough for most chili-heads. It will bring beads of sweat to your forehead and your ears. That is a good sign in my book. The nice thing about habanero is that the heat hits hard and fast and then quickly mellows and draws you back in for another bite.

I am going to try to ration this 8oz block and to come up with a recipe to use it with. Help me out with your suggestions.

Stay tuned.

14 May 2011 – hechos en casa de Texas fajitas estilo

What an amazing title for a post. So, what am I really saying is that it has been so long since I have had fajitas that I decided to cut to the chase and make them from scratch.

As a teenager when I was first teaching myself to cook I developed a short cut for quick fajitas.

  • a cheap thin piece of sirloin
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • Figaro fabulosa fajita marinade – out of Mesa, Texas
  • 1 hot skillet
  • several flour tortillas

Slice steak in strips, coat in marinade, heat skillet on high and add meat. A couple minutes later as the meat begins to brown add your sliced onion and bell pepper. Another couple minutes and you are good to go. The quick marinade made the dish. It had a liquid smoke component, a little heat and some citrus overtones. You could almost make fajitas in the microwave using this marinade with a little creative technique.

However, as I mentioned at the top of the post I am now working on the urge to make fajitas from scratch. So with that in mind we need a little history on the dish. Continue reading

12 May 2011 – Tamale Fix

Having grown up in Texas I am now surprised that I was just into my teens when I had my first tamale. There was a young man that was friends with the family and for a few years at Christmas time he would bring about three dozen home made tamales that his family made by tradition. 12 pork, 12 chicken and 12 beef tamales wrapped in foil and placed in the deep freeze.

I can’t recall if my siblings liked them or not, nor did I care. I do recall that it was a great treat for me. I would reheat them in the microwave as a late night snack.

To the Esparza family – you have my gratitude. My only wish would be to have the recipe.

It has been around 27 years since I had access to those delicious tamales and I can stubbornly claim I have never ordered one from a restaurant in all that time. Why? I imagine I felt that they could never be as good as the home made ones from the past.

Around these parts tamales are a Christmas kind of thing. However, recently they got into my food psyche and I decided to see what I could do about it. Continue reading

05 May 2011 – Was This a Holiday?

Wow – how much the world has changed since my last post. A young prince has married his princess. Over three hundred tornadoes ravished the Southern US on a single day and the murderous mastermind of the 9/11 slaughter has by now met his maker.

There is much to be said about recent events and no doubt there will much more written as the details get worked out in the next few weeks, months and years.

So, what was the holiday? Well it is not celebrated every where but CInco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico and in areas with larger Mexican populations. Wikipedia tells us the following –

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a holiday held on May 5. It is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla.[1][2][3][4] The date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride,[5] and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War.[6] In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.[7][8] Contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day,[9][10] the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico, which occurs on September 16th.

So, what did I do on this day? Well nothing much but I did enjoy listening to my neighbors who are from Mexico celebrate with music, cerveza and colorful conversation until the early hours of Seis de Mayo. Not too much of a problem as they seem like pretty nice folks on the whole. If I would of had enough food on hand I might of shared my Cinco de Mayo inspired leftovers with them.

I had bought an Easter ham  (for Easter) but I ended up going on the road that weekend so for the past many days I have been working hard to re purpose the ham and make use of it. Mostly sandwiches so far. Who doesn’t like ham and cheese? Well, some don’t for religious reasons and I can understand that. I like it and I like it even more warmed up like in an omelet or an enhanced grill cheese sandwich. But on the evening of Cinco de Mayo I made ham and cheese tacos with Serrano peppers.

  • left over Cure 81 ham
  • fresh soft flour tortillas
  • colby/longhorn cheddar cheese
  • fresh Serrano peppers

A simple, easy and flavorful use of left over ham.

Ham and Cheese Soft Taco

Ham and Cheese Soft Taco

In regards to the tornadoes that recently devastated parts of the Southern US I would like to link out to fellow photographer Jeremy Richter who documented some of the damage in his home town in Alabama. You can see his photos here.

Let’s hope for good events, good food and good photography in the world between now and this day next year.