We had a couple of pepper bushes survive our neglect and produce some fruit so I took a few hours this morning to deal with them. After removing the stems and seeds the food processor with a slicer blade made short work of them:We’ve always used zipper bags to freeze our produce but decided to try the vacuum seal gadget this time. I think it’s a pretty good choice of methods but the truth of it will be when we pull a bag from the freezer to use in a recipe.I kept a few out for lunch:
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 found a frozen block of turkey broth while rummaging through the big box and dragged it out. I added more broth and a few more chicken thighs, tossed in some veggies and a bag of dumplings that have been in the freezer since I can’t remember when. It all simmered for a good while but the dumplings never did get quite right, they’ll be better tomorrow when they have had more time to soak.
These may be my favorite pizzas. For today, anyway. I roasted three heads of garlic and squeezed them into the white sauce along with fresh grated pecorino. The dough used up 3-1/4 cups of bread flour so there was plenty for a 14″ pie. The edges puff up so that they are like soft pretzels, especially when they are brushed with butter and sprinkled with kosher salt. I rolled string style mozzarella into the edge to make it a cheese crust. I gave the crust five minutes in a 400 oven before I added the toppings. I’ve done it both ways, par-baked and not, and I have yet to decide which method works the best, my practice hasn’t really been rigorous enough and the time between pies is playing a role.I par-boiled the broccoli for a couple of minutes and cooled it in running water prior to assembling the pie, the chicken was sauteed to just barely done as well. The completed pie baked for about 12 minutes then finished under the broiler until it looked good enough. I like to see a little crust on the cheese topping and the edge should be browned nicely. Let the finished pie sit for a few minutes before slicing to give the cheese time to settle a bit.I have to wait to get my slice to the plate before I can add the red pepper flakes. I usually give it a grind of black pepper, too.
Wikipedia tells me that “lo mein” translates from the Cantonese to “stirred noodles”. This dish had chicken breast chunks and shrimp with broccoli, onions, and carrots along with rehydrated mushrooms that I bought dried. I’ve learned to simmer them for at least an hour before they are anywhere near tender enough to eat, and don’t try to save the stems. I simmered these with the dried cayenne peppers, and used the broth from that in making the brown sauce. I ran across a good discussion of brown sauces here. Mine has dark soy, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, chicken paste in that mushroom stock, a little chili paste, tamari, and a lot of garlic. I sweeten ours with Splenda but sugar is more common.