cilantro

Pickled Padron Peppers

Pickled Padron Peppers

  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1-2 dozen fresh padron peppers
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced in half
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch red pepper flake
  • 1 pinch cilantro leaves, minced
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat.
  2. Place peppers in the skillet and cook, tossing to coat, until peppers are shiny and start to blister, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Cool enough to handle, toss with the cilantro leaves, and transfer whole hot peppers to 1 quart mason jar and press down.
  4. Make the brine. Combine the vinegar, sugar, garlic, peppercorns, salt and pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Bring all the way to a boil then remove from heat.
  6. Carefully pour the hot brine over the peppers in mason jar (a funnel makes this easier and safer). Leave 1/2-inch head space between the top of the liquid and the bottom of the jar lid and make sure all peppers are completely submerged.
  7. Screw on 2-piece top and leave on the counter overnight. As the brine cools a vaccuum will form in the jar sealing it for long term storage.
 
 

Corn, Roasted Pepper and Cilantro Salad

Corn, Roasted Pepper and Cilantro Salad

adapted from the Food Network

for the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lime

for the Salad:

  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels (from 2 large ears)
  • 3 roasted jimmy nardello pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Make the dressing: Add the oil, vinegar, honey and lime juice to a deep bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Make the salad: Add the corn, peppers, shallot and cilantro to the bowl. Stir with a spoon until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving so the flavors can marinate.
  3. Dress the salad and serve immediately.
 
 

Salsa Verde

SALSA VERDE

  • 1½ pounds tomatillos, husked and washed
  • 1 jalapeños, stemmed, seeds removed for milder sauce
  • ½ cup white onion, chopped 
  • ¼ cup cilantro, minced
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  1. Preheat your broiler and position a rack in the upper position, or about 4 inches below the heat.
  2. Place the tomatillos and jalapeño on a baking sheet or broiler pan and broil until blackened in spots. Keep an eye on them... they can go from perfect to burnt to a crisp in no time.
  3. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully flip over the tomatillos and pepper with tongs. Return to oven and broil for 4 to 6 more minutes, until the tomatillos are splotchy-black and blistered on the other side.
  4. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine the chopped onion, cilantro, half the lime juice and ½ teaspoon salt.
  5. Once the tomatillos are out of the oven, carefully transfer the hot tomatillos, pepper and all of the accumulated juices into the food processor or blender.
  6. Pulse until the mixture is mostly smooth and no big chunks of tomatillo remain, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  7. Season to taste with additional lime juice and salt, if desired.
 
 

Fried Eggplant With Chickpeas and Mint Chutney

Fried Eggplant With Chickpeas and Mint Chutney

adapted from the New York Times

FOR THE EGGPLANT:

  • 2 eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
  • 1 white onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 15-ounce can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • sea salt, as needed

FOR THE MINT CHUTNEY:

  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 green onion, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  •  Plain yogurt (optional)
  1. Season the sliced eggplant with salt. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is heated add enough eggplant slices to fit in one layer without overlapping. Cook until the bottoms are browned, then flip and continue to cook until well browned and soft, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add more oil if things begin to dry out. Transfer cooked eggplant to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and repeat with more oil and eggplant until all the eggplant is cooked. Taste eggplant and add more salt if necessary.
  2. Heat another tablespoon of oil in pan, then add the onions. Cook until golden soft.
  3. Add garlic to the onions and cook until fragrant, 1 or 2 minutes longer.
  4. Add all the spices and cook for 1 minute longer, then add tomatoes, chickpeas and 2 tablespoons of water.
  5. Partly cover the pan and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking until tomatoes start to break down, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Add eggplant to the pan and cook until sauce thickens, or about another 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. While the eggplant cooks, combine all the ingredients for the chutney in a blender with 2 tablespoons water. Blend until puréed, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust for more lemon juice or salt as needed.
  8. Serve the eggplant topped with the chutney and, if using, the yogurt.
 
 

Poblano, Mushroom, Zucchini and Corn Tacos

Poblano, Mushroom, Zucchini and Corn Tacos

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sized white onion, chopped
  • 1 pound tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ancho poblano chiles
  • 1 ear of white corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 2 medium zucchinis, unpeeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, scrubbed clean and sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup queso fresco
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • fresh corn tortillas
  • 3 limes, cut into quarter wedges
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in a large pot.

  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, about 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Add the garlic for the last minute of cooking.

  3. In a blender or food processor puree the tomatoes. Set aside.

  4. Roast the whole poblanos over the flame of your gas range, on the grill, or under the broiler until the skins are charred black all over. While hot, place in a tea towel and roll up tight to steam and loosen the skins. Once they are cool enough to handle use your hands to slip the pepper from its skin and give it a good rinse under cool water. Slice into thin strips. Set aside.

  5. Once the onions have finished cooking add the tomato puree. Cook, covered, stirring often until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

  6. Increase the heat to medium high and add the sliced poblanos, corn kernels, zucchini, and heavy cream. Stir well to combine and cook for 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the zucchini is soft but not mushy and the mushrooms have softened and absorbed some of the sauce, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and mix in cumin, then season to taste with salt to taste.

  7. Meanwhile, as the vegetables cook, heat a frying pan over medium high heat and warm each tortilla for about 30 seconds, flipping once. Wrap the tortillas in tin foil or a towel and place in a warmed oven to keep, or use a tortilla warmer. 

  8. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a serving platter and top with the chopped cilantro. Serve with the shredded cabbage, lime wedges, queso fresco, hot sauce (if using) and the warm tortillas. Assemble and enjoy.