Saturday, September 12, 2009

Salsa or not?

For many years, we have enjoyed salsa in numerous styles. Homemade, fresh, gourmet, etc. It may have peppers or fruit, be hot, medium or mild, even corn or beans. Whatever the variety it was salsa, it must be good. Or so it seemed.

Recently, a relative brought us some salsa as she knew we like salsa. There were 2 types and both were from large, conglomerate type companies.

We took them on a weekend camping trip. When we tried them, we realized how tasteless they were. In very short order we decided that plain chips were better than eating the salsas.

The good news is that we used the remaining salsa in the rice cooker and made what was almost like Spanish rice. We also remembered that sometimes bigger companies just don't compete on quality.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Homemade Chili Powder

As your peppers come in at the end of the summer, consider drying a few of them to make your own chili powder. It is a great way to control how hot your chili powder is and adds a great flavor option to your chili, soup or stews during those cold winter months.

There are a number of methods you can utilize to dry peppers. I will let mine set out for awhile in a bowl until they begin to shrivel a bit. Then, put a piece of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet to protect your next cookies from tasting like peppers. Spread the peppers evenly on the foil and turn you oven onto it's lowest setting. Put the peppers in and let them "roast" all day.

Upon removing them, you will see that they have dried more. If you are not sure they are dry enough to store, leave them either in the oven for awhile longer or spread out on a flat surface for a few more days.

Slice the peppers open and take out the seeds. It you like it HOT, leave the seeds with the peppers. Some folks use a seperate coffee grinder to speed the work. I use a large knife and chop, chop, chop. The smaller the better. Spread the chopped peppers out and let it dry awhile longer. Come back in an hour and chop some more.

When you are happy with the texture of your powder, place it into an airtight container to use as you please.