Thursday, September 2, 2010

Winter In August / No Shame / Cookin' With the Dish Washers / Long Live the Village Idiot

Well, maybe not winter but it has been cold--especially in the morning. Cold enough that I picked all the peppers...which probably means it's going to get warm again. You're welcome.

I picked all the remaining tomatoes too...not as impressive. Not really a great year for tomatoes. Not in my back yard anyway.

(Who else is going to have a whole bunch of green tomatoes left over?)

The peppers were prolific, but they just never fully ripened. Some did. Most didn't. I guess this is Canada after all, and we can't expect vegetables that do their best in Mexico to also do their best 5000 kilometres to the north.

But we can do our best, and after Mr. Peltier's inspiring post, here is my best attempt at using what I have (peppers) to get what I want (dinner.)

I do love me a pepper. One of my favorite pepper memories comes courtesy of Frost Restaurant in beautiful Williamsburg Brooklyn. Holy crap I love Frost. Is that a boss name or what? F r o s t ! Of all the Italian restaurants I've enjoyed, and I've enjoyed a hand full of good ones, Frost really stands out--if for no other reason than the first time I ate there, before you even got the menu, they brought out the bread (no butter) and a small pool of olive oil in which bathed a big, beautiful, long, dangling, bright red Italian pepper just daring you to eat it. Marone! (p.s. re-bread, re-oil and re-pepper were free)

Speaking of peppers, I also love me some Indian food...really really spicy Indian food. Another peppery favorite was Punjabi Grocery & Deli. While there were (and are) no end of great Indian restaurants in the 5 borroughs, more than one person of Indian descent told me when looking for authentic Indian food, "just go where there's lots of cabs"--meaning go where the Indian cab drivers eat--meaning Punjabi Grocery & Deli. What's more, you could get the full meal deal at 3:30am after a long and joyous night at the Village Idiot.

While that was about 18 years ago, I remember like it was yesterday--eating what seemed at the time (3:30 am after a long and joyous night at the Village Idiot) to be absurdly, nay, punitively spicy food and asking myself "who are these Punjabi people and why do they make such exciting, delicious food?"

Though not a Punjabi, Rafi Fernandez knows how to bring Indian food to the people. How can you go wrong with a book entitled "Great Indian Dishes"? My favorite recipe in the book is for South Indian Pepper Water, aka Tamatar Rasam. But those are different peppers. Those use the little dried red ones...Ring of Fire is what I think they are called. Go on, double the peppers--we have lots of them in the Okanagan.

Trying to figure out what to do with all these poblanos and cayennes, I grabbed for my trusty copy of Yamuna Devi's Lord Krsna's Cusine...and it wasn't there! Where in Krsna's name did I put it? Where ever it is, I'm here to tell you it's an epic, and once you read it, you'll never look at any food the same way again.

No matter. There's Diana Kennedy. She'll help me. The Essential Cuisines of Mexico...just about sums it up, no? While I didn't find a recipe for Too Many Goddamn Poblano Peppers, I did find a recipe for Chilorio, aka Chile-Seasoned Pork--which I wilfully misread, substituting 1/2 off pork chops from the sell-it-now freezer ($4.05/kg) for the usual pork shoulder. I also substituted fresh poblanos, of which I still have at least 30 for the rehydrated ancho, which I didn't have the patience to rehydrate.

Next thing you know, taco dinner. Yum!

Aside from the avocado and the cumin, (well, and maybe the flour tortillas) it all either did or could have come from the Okanagan.

Now, on to some bread making...


  1. yes, I also am looking at probably close to 100 vibrant green tomatoes sitting unripened on the vine. Heart breaking. It's almost time to get in gear for some fermented chili mash, me thinks.

  2. i believe we have the guru indian veggie book. it's great! maybe we shall try some recipes next week...
    your pepper look delicious! wish i could have had some avocado/pepper delights!

  3. That looks CRAZY good, Shan!!!

  4. hey auntie sue...that's not me who made that del-ious foods. but hey! i shall take all the credit (hurt words)
    THANKS!! i am the best!

  5. you could always make an oldfashioned green tomato mincemeat...can it...and use it for pies,tarts,muffins,cookies....

  6. or send a few green tomatoes my way...greg loves them fried....