I had a few crawfish tails left over from last night’s pizza I needed to use pretty soon so I had that in the back of my mind as I idled through a few searches this morning. No one chimed in with an answer for my question “what would be considered a typically Cajun cheese’ so I entered “Cajun” + “cheese” into the search box hoping to stumble across an answer. What I got were dozens of recipes for “Cajun mac and cheese”.This seemed a perfect place to use up those extra tails. The crawfish already had a goodly amount of Creole seasoning so I added more and minced a jalapeno for extra fun. Those are the last of my ridged jumbo elbows so I’ll be needing to make another run to the country store.
Our grill press has been getting a workout. These went a tad too long and toasted up more than I like but they ate well enough. In the category: Wonders, Never Ceasing, I noted the time and temperature and dialed the time back from 15 minutes to 10 and lowered the temp dial from medium high to medium-ish:
Both of these have roast pork, chopped fresh jalapenos and cheese, the first also has some ham I had leftover from something else and provolone, the second is sans ham and has Swiss. The mustard is a spicy mix store brand honey mustard. I’m not too sure what the peppers are, exactly, but it doesn’t make a bad dip. The buns were generic deli submarine/hoagie rolls, just about any of the softer buns and rolls will work fine but you will want to avoid really crusty breads. The placement of the samies in the grill makes a difference, adjust so you get a full, even contact from the top element. It’s open all around so a little trial and error will get you there quickly. A little pre-grill smush by hand will help, too.
My jalapeno jelly was good enough last year to warrant another go at it so I looked around for recipes and found this one. I have several pepper varieties so I adapted the recipe for the ones I wanted to use.The recipe called for a total of three cups of chopped peppers so I stuck with that. My recipe used one green bell, three red Anaheims, five or six ripe jalapenos, six or seven red serranos, and two habs. The habs I didn’t run through the blender, I just boiled them with the rest and then pulled them out before jarring. Yeah, I chickened out. I had more peppers chopped than the recipe wanted and I ended with seven half pints to process.Every jar sealed, I did find one jar with a chip in the rim when I ran the damp paper towel around it just prior to putting the lids on so I hurried to swap jars out, I usually sterilize more jars than I think I’ll need just to be on the safe side. I had a small taste of the hot jelly left over and there is a nice tang to it. I think I could have used those two habaneros without it turning out too hot.I left a few chunks of pepper for the texture rather than smoothing it all out in the blender. I think it’s jelling pretty well. This is the first time I’ve used liquid pectin. I’ll open a jar soon to try it. I’m optimistic!
Spent several hours mowing today so I needed something that would be good on a long simmer. These large lima beans soaked overnight then simmered in chicken stock for almost too long. There’s a large Vidalia onion chopped up in there, and some of the cured pork pieces we keep on hand in the freezer just for bean soups. That meat processor we make a morning out of visiting keeps odds and ends of cured pork in big bags and we pick up a couple everytime we go. The cornbread had minced jalapeno and shredded cheddar added to the basic back of the box recipe, and the bowl is garnished with more jalapeno and minced onion.
I cleaned all the chicken bones out of the freezer, the wing tips from all the wing dinners, and a few pork bones and roasted them all for a nice stock. I used that to braise a pork shoulder for the posole. The recipe doesn’t need much more than that. I tossed several dried chilies into the broth to soften and pureed those with garlic and lime juice, adding the chili paste back to the broth. There’s a diced onion in there and oregano with a few bay leaves.I love to fry flour tortillas in a little oil, flip them once when they start to brown and them remove them to a plate atop a paper towel to drain. Give them a sprinkle of kosher salt when they are still hot. I like to grab a piece and roll a bit of pork into it with some of the cabbage and radish garnish to make a mini taco bite. Dip it into the broth or give it a squirt of hot sauce. Yummy!This is Ginger’s momma. She’s still at the shelter but Mrs J says there have been several inquiries.
I found a frozen block of posole in the nether reaches of the big freezer and decided today was a good day for it. That’s Monterey jack in the bowl with a few nacho chips. On the platter is an array of traditional garnishes. Colorful! Delicious, too.
I debated what to do with the jalapenos growing in the container garden out front on the patio. I have tons of these pickled or frozen and the jelly option finally won me over. Most of the recipes feature green jalapenos but I think the red ones are better looking. I needed to use them before they softened. I caught these at the firm and juicy stage.I followed this recipe closely, using cane sugar and the “no sugar” pectin hoping to get a nice firm jelly. Too soon yet to say how it will look tomorrow. The little bit I had leftover is still a bit runny, albeit still warm. It can take overnight before jellies set properly so I have hopes that these will firm up. It has a great flavor but more of a bite than Mrs J will abide so I will eat some of these myself and give a few away.I ended up with six half pint jars rather than the five the recipe mentions as the expected yield. That may impact the pectin ratio enough to deny me my hoped for jell-o jiggle.