Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vengence is mine; and best served as cold salad

I admit to being somewhat hooked on my cellphone's photography. At its best it reminds me of the images I saw in a small paperback book of early color photography that I possessed decades ago. Soft, impressionistic auras frame the best shots - and the immediacy of this electronic medium seems somehow embossed in the image.

No confessions necessary about my avid interest in food. I love to prepare food and actively consume its material culture, aka foodways.

Teresa and I stumbled upon a cold salad recipe (see my 'product shot' above) a few Sundays ago following an early morning visit to the Hollywood Farmers Market (not to be confused with also delightful but 7-days-a-week Fairfax Farmers Market). One of the better produce stands is located up at the Hollywood Blvd. end and I generally pickup radishes and sometimes other items here. On this Sunday we spied some lovely pale yellow bell-shaped peppers and waited to make a closer inspection while a European-looking gentleman completed his selection.

Often admired but never before purchased I asked the man what these waxy yellow peppers tasted like. Were they hot? No, he replied. Sweet and tasty. Perfect sauteed with some sausage and tomatoes - and wait for the obligatory ethnic profiling - with a little paprika!

That was more than enough incentive for us to buy 4-5 peppers for some happy experimentation banked for later in the day. Before completing our forage we also secured some small orange tomatoes and sweet onions but without specific purpose.

That afternoon, back in the TG (Tularosa Gulch) Teresa set upon a regime of oven roasting, the peppers, tomatoes and the sweet onions at 400 degrees for an hour. Despite the extra heat in our sun baked kitchen, what a divine and heady aroma!

The details are fuzzy but a subsequent Sunday errand to Jon's Market in Hollywood (Little Armenia to be more precise) produced a link of Gyulai kolbász, a hot, dried Hungarian sausage. Jon's is a wonderful multi-ethnic supermarket (part of a small chain) offering a wide selection of products and we bought this sausage with the intention of following the stranger's advice for preparing the yellow peppers.

Gyulai Kobasz
Needless to say, what we wound up with was a special treat that we intend to repeat. After roasting the peppers, tomatoes, and sweet onions we roughly chopped and tossed them together. I sliced and added the Gyulai kolbász and made the first taste. Stop when you're ahead! No need to add oil or vinegar, the roasted vegetables were rich with their own extruded moistures (I'm sure this is NOT proper culinary lingo - please forgive me). Satisfied we struck solid gold we lightly dusted the salad with freshly purchased Adro Szegedi paprika and packed it away in the refrigerator for later (definitely work lunches in mind).