Spicy Marinated Vegetables

This is my version of a common side dish in local mexican restaurants:  mildly spicy, toothsome vegetables in a balanced light brine.  I make mine with carrots, cauliflower, jicama, and jalapenos.

Spicy Marinated Vegetables

Spicy Marinated Vegetables

Spicy Marinated Vegetables

Spicy Marinated Vegetables, in jar for the fridge

This is a great recipe to make in the winter, as these vegetables are all readily available.  These will last for several weeks in the fridge.  Enjoy!

Spicy Marinated Vegetables

6 large carrots
1 medium head cauliflower
2 jalapeños
8 cloves garlic
1 small jicama
2 cups cider vinegar
5 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
about 20 whole black peppercorns
1 onion, peeled and sliced (optional)

Start by prepping the vegetables.  For the carrots, peel and then cut on the diagonal into bite sized pieces.  Peel the jicama root and slice into 1/4 inch rounds, then into bite size wedges.  Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces.  Slice the jalapeños into small slices.  Peel the garlic cloves and rough chop them.  Set aside.

Fill a medium sauce pan with 4 inches of water.  When the water comes to a boil, add the carrot slices and boil for 3 minutes.  Then add the cauliflower pieces and boil for an additional 3 minutes.  The goal is to have the vegetables crisp-tender.  They will continue to soften just a little after cooking, so be sure to not over cook them.  Drain the carrots and cauliflower in a colander and set aside.

To the now empty pan add four cups water, vinegar, salt, and peppercorns.  Heat until just beginning to simmer.  Take the pan off the stove.  To the hot brine add the cooked carrots and cauliflower, jicama, jalapeño slices, chopped garlic, (sliced onion, if using) and olive oil.  Mix to combine, then cover and set aside on the counter or in the fridge.  When cooled to room temp, transfer the whole thing — vegetables and brine — to a glass or plastic covered container and put in the fridge.

These vegetables are ready to eat immediately, but will taste best if allowed to sit in the liquid for a day or two before serving.  Store for up to three weeks (maybe longer, if they seem to be in good shape) in the fridge.

 

Pomelo Avocado Salad

There is a beautiful array of citrus in season right now, including one of my favorites — the pomelo.

lime, avocado, jalapeño, and pomelo

lime, avocado, jalapeño, and pomelo

If pomelo is new to you, you’re in for a treat.  It’s basically a huge, less bitter grapefruit.  There are several types of pomelo, either white or pink fleshed, and all with yellow rind and a thick pith.*

Pomelo Avocado Salad

Pomelo Avocado Salad

For this simple salad I paired the sweet, juicy pink pomelo segments with creamy avocado and a bright, spicy jalapeño dressing.  Enjoy!

Pomelo Avocado Salad

for the dressing:
1/2 green jalapeño, diced
3 TB fresh squeezed lime juice
6 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and whirl for a few seconds until smooth and pale green.  If you love spice, add more of the jalapeño.  Not much of a spice fan?  Just omit the seeds before blending.

jalapeño lime dressing

jalapeño lime dressing

for the salad:
one pomelo, peeled and cut into supremes
one ripe avocado, peeled and sliced into segments
several hands-full of fresh salad greens

Spread the greens on a platter.  Arrange the pomelo supremes and avocado segments on top of the greens.  Just before serving drizzle with the dressing and enjoy.

*pith is the spongy white part of the citrus between the rind and the fruit segments – this is usually the bitterest part of the citrus, and good to cut away before eating.

Lime Chipotle Slaw

If you’re getting some beautiful cabbages in your CSA box, or spy some nice ones in the produce market, I have a great winter salad – a fresh twist on coleslaw.

Lime Chipotle Slaw

Lime Chipotle Slaw

I make this one with tart lime juice and spicy chiptole powder.  It’s crunchy and tangy — and perfect with grilled fish or chicken.  Enjoy!

chipotle, mayo, cabbage, and lime

chipotle, mayo, cabbage, and lime

Lime Chipotle Slaw

1 LB cabbage
1 lime, zest and juice
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup mayonnaise

Slice the cabbage fine.  I use the 4mm slicing blade on my food processor.  Juice and zest the lime.  Mix all ingredients and serve.  For a make-ahead salad, just mix all ingredients except cabbage.  Dress shredded cabbage just before serving.

Perfect Chocolate Sauce

Here is my version of perfect hot fudge sundae chocolate sauce.  It’s chocolatey, mildly sweet, smooth and unctuous without being too rich, bitter, or cloyingly sweet.  It also happens to be a very simple and frugal recipe that you can make and use in under an hour.

Hot Fudge Sundae

Hot Fudge Sundae

Just measure, mix, boil and snap! . . . just add toasted nuts and vanilla ice cream for the best hot fudge sundae ever.

Chocolate Sauce, on spoon

Chocolate Sauce, on spoon

chopped unsweetened chocolate

chopped unsweetened chocolate

This recipe – with a few tweaks – is originally from Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate, but I use Valhrona, Callebaut, or Guittard unsweetened chocolate for better flavor.

Perfect Chocolate Sauce

2/3 cup water
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Put all ingredients (except butter and vanilla extract) into a medium sauce pan.  Place on medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk.  Simmer for 1 – 2 minutes until sauce begins to thicken a bit.  Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla extract, whisking until smooth.  Cool until warm and use on ice cream for a fabulous sundae.  Toasted nuts and whipped cream add the perfect final touches.  Store airtight in the fridge for up to a month.