Sunday, August 29, 2010

Timely hot chili sauce with garlic

Seeking new ways to enjoy my crop of Shipkas (Bulgarian carrot) peppers I tried out a recipe for hot chili sauce recently published in the NY Times by Melissa Clark. The chief difference is my choice of peppers and a few extra garlic cloves.
  • 4 hot peppers (Shipkas)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Roughly chop the peppers and garlic and combine with the other ingredients in small pot over medium heat.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the peppers are soft.
Puree in a blender and cool.
Refrigerate for 3 days before use - it will keep for several weeks.

I'll report back once I've used it - it does look a lot like the Tuong Ot Toi Vietnam chili garlic sauce I use for marinades and on rice and fish cakes, etc.

The cooled-down chili sauce ready for the refrigerator alongside some remaining shipkas peppers (I have plans for them).

Monday, August 23, 2010

BOSS Pate: Black Olive & ShipkaS Pepper Spread

Ingredients for a Shipkas olive spread
This a strong, hot, but still complex olive spread using semi-cured black olives, garlic, capers, and "Bulgarian Carrot" or shipkas peppers. I've already made it three times and have been enjoying and sharing it with friends over the last 5-6 weeks.

The semi-cured olives are ridiculously inexpensive ($2.59@lb at our local Sis Deli in Los Feliz) and the shipkas, a gorgeous medium-to-hot pepper that was allegedly smuggled across the Iron Curtain, are courtesy of Grassy Knolls - aka our hillside back yard garden.

Here's the recipe that I lashed up after researching tapenades:
  • 1/2 cup of semi-cured black olives (a 1/2 cup AFTER pitting)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium sized shipkas peppers (~2-3 inches long)
  • 10-12 capers
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
Pit the olives and roughly chop the garlic, peppers (do not seed until you've tried this recipe once full bore and want to adjust the heat), and capers and toss into a small food processor. Add a teaspoon of good olive oil and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar (I use a dark cherry artisan vinegar) and chop/grind for a few cycles, just enough to make a thick, spreadable paste.

This will last for some time refrigerated and I've mainly used it as a sandwich spread with homemade focaccia and ciabatta (especially delightful on toast).

Shipkas aka Capsicum annuum aka 'Bulgarian Carrot' coming into maturity at Grassy Knolls