Thursday, July 28, 2011

Picked a Peck of Peppers

As I mentioned in the earlier post I missed a couple of days of harvesting and today managed to catch up. I might have planted too many pepper plants! In the back are jalapeno and in the middle are Mariachi (about half the heat of a jalapeno but a nice thick walled pepper). Front left are pasilla (var. Holy Mole) also called chile negro and of course the orange devils in the front are the deadly habanero. Now the trick is to get them put by somehow. I've still got plenty of jalapenos pickled from last year so I am leaning toward making hot sauce... maybe with a compination of habanero and jalapeno. I have never made a mole sauce which is where you are supposed to use the pasilla pepper. The other option is to dry them for use in making something over the winter. The big red peppers on the right are a variety called Carmen and are nice and sweet like my friend of the same name. Madam gave her a quart of dill pickles a couple of days ago and she promptly ate the whole thing. I upped the ante with a gallon but this time I got eggs from her chickens in return and yes they were very nice for breakfast this morning over good old Heinz Vegetarian beans and toasted ciabatta. It doesn't hurt, of course, that I fried them in Kerry Gold Irish butter. Yes, I know Kerry Gold is too good/expensive to cook with but what a luxury!
Since I have two straight days off it also means bread baking and I have a refreshed sourdough starter that is ready to become whole wheat bread. I'll make the dough tonight and let it rest in the fridge overnight and then form loaves and bake it tomorrow. If you bake bread at home and haven't tried letting it ferment overnight in the fridge instead of quickly on the counter then you should try it. Makes a world of difference in the flavor and texture. The cold doesn't stop the yeast but slows it down and allows for a full development of taste. Worth the extra 12 or 14 hours in every way. I also use the same overnight rest for my pizza dough and I'll put my pizza dough up against anyone's.

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