Archive for the peppers Category

A Quick Stop to Meddle with Chili.

Posted in american, bacon, beans, condiments, corn, discount, ground beef, peppers, rice, stew, tex-mex with tags , , on September 18, 2012 by oskila

Since I spent a lot of spring and summer writing blog posts instead of school papers, this semester has had a bit of a rough start.  There’s still a lot to do before I can relax, but I felt a need to at least post a little something. Autumn is about to get serious (even took some time this weekend to pick a bit of mushrooms) and one starts to long for big pots of food that has simmered for hours on end and keeps you warm all week. Also the time for economically minded university students like me to start putting boxed lunches in the freezer. I hit the store and started forming a plan when there was good discounts on both bell peppers and minced beef.

I’d like to apologize to an chili purists out there in advance, as this post might be offensive to you, just like what I did to the other national dish of the United States a while back was potentially offensive. Before cooking the dish for this post I had never laid eyes upon a recipe for chili con carne, nor did I until I had started eating, after which I learned that there are lots of interesting dichotomies and conflicts regarding what constitutes proper chili. But we’ll sort that out along the way.

Sweating onions, garlic and bell peppers. Apparently, onions aren’t really allowed (but onion powder is fine) and peppers should at least be red, but preferably hotter than bell.

Browning ground beef. Choosing ground meat over cut seems to be a big faux pas among chili aficionados, according to the internet.

Adding bacon (which is technically diced pork, should be safe) and seasonings, including chili powders (ancho and nameless) cumin, powdered onion, cocoa, dried basil, chili paste (which is probably unheard of and not right at all) and tomato paste. Tomato is another matter of debate within the modern chili paradigm. My excuse for using paste is that my fiancée is allergic to tomatoes in most forms, but can endure cooked paste without discomfort.

A few minutes later, the minced beef has joined the party along with beef stock, beans and sweet corn. In Sweden, chili con carne is strongly associated with beans, especially kidney beans, but I’m given to understand that Texan law enforcers may fire at will upon those about to put beans in chili. I don’t know if anyone but me puts corn in chili con carne, but I’ve always done that for no other reasons than that it’s an American vegetable and it tastes good.

Here it’s been simmering for a hour and a half, which is a bit on the short side, but considering that I’m using ground and not diced meat I saw no reason to keep from eating it any longer.

And the potentially abominable, chili-esque gringo food is done and plated. I added a bit of rice to secure more lunchboxes and crème frâiche and corn chips for awesomeness.

The Treacherous Chili Sauce

Posted in asian, bacon, condiments, noodles, peppers, sauce with tags on August 25, 2012 by oskila

Before going to France, I had bought a small bunch of yellow chili peppers. Fairly mild, but still not something I’d snack on. Just before we left I put them in the freezer, since we’d be away for ten days. Apart from using a small piece for gazpacho I haven’t touched them since and decided it was time to make use what was left.

I decided to do some kind of cold sauce, which could for example be drizzled on top of instant ramen to give it a bit of bite.

Chilies, bereft of their seeds, chopped up and mixed with various spices, vinegar, sugar and a good dollop of mayonnaise (which we all know is good for you). If the combo seems a bit odd, I’ll have you know that the Japanese put mayonnaise on almost anything these days.

I figured this concoction would be a rather docile condiment with a pleasant heat, since the chilies weren’t very strong, but NO, it had somehow become nearly too strong to be amusing. Clearly not something to be had on its own.

So I did what anyone in my position would have done; added ramen and bacon. Clears the sinuses rather well and gives a sense of accomplishment once one has managed to finish eating.

Even More Ramen. What?

Posted in asian, duck, eggs, mushroom, noodles, peppers, soup with tags on August 7, 2012 by oskila

Early on in the making of this blog, I spoke at length about the drawbacks of instant ramen. After that I’ve been eating more instant ramen than in many many years. Why? Because it’s so darn good.

I’ve also discussed how cooking is often more laid back during summer (after which I took on some of the most labor intense dishes ever). But now, with more ramen in the feed regimen, the cooking has become as laid back as intended.

There’s an Asian shop across the street from the old alma mater (that is, University of Gothenburg, department of educational sciences) which I’ve frequented very often for the past three years, but only to acquire a lunch sub and a can of soda. Today I browsed the rest of their range and brought home rice noodles, tapioca starch and duck flavored instant noodles.

Recently, I happened upon the Ramen Rater, a blog about instant noodles, and learned a thing or two about what to add to a helping of instant ramen. For example fried eggs. Other than that, I looted the larder as usual.

Instant, duck flavored, ramen (apparently approved by the Central Islamic Committee of Thailand) with fried egg, pepper tsukemono, sambal and sautéed onions and mushrooms. Purists might prefer kimchi instead of peppers and why not ssamjang instead of sambal, but to a Swede the difference is negligible (at least until tried). To me, an awesome, flavorful meal. In discussions elsewhere I’ve reached the conclusion that non-instant noodles seldom are as tasty, probably since one holds back a bit when spooning the MSG in.

The Intermediate Goods Feast

Posted in discount, mediterranean, peppers, pork with tags on August 1, 2012 by oskila

Intermediate goods, in the meaning of semi-prefabricated foodstuffs, is often viewed with skepticism by those with culinary ambititons (but ignoring the fact that for example sugar and flour are intermediate goods). I too try to avoid anything even partly prefab when it’s possible. But sometimes the inner cheapskate and lazy bum gets the upper hand. In this case it started out with discount pre-seasoned kebab meat and snowballed from there.

Kebab meat. The black sheep among meat products commonly available in Sweden. I haven’t checked the facts, but I strongly suspect that it’s pretty much shaved off bits and leftovers, which is of course commendable for not wasting too much food, but really doesn’t give an air of quality. On the other hand, under the onslaught of heavy seasoning, it’s gone from slightly nasty to highly edible. I only buy it because it often remains unbought and therefore ends up with 50% discount shortly before expiry.

The semi-prefab snowballing mentioned was mainly the frozen fries we had with it, and the side order of parboiled corn on the cob that my brother insisted on, more as a filler than as something that would fit the composition of the dish.

One could at this point give  in and simply scarf down a plateful of mechanically separated, heavily seasoned pork, with fries and a slightly misplaced chunk of corn or go to some length in imitating a serving of döner kebab. We had, of course, to take it a step further.

The funny little peppers have been mentioned recently, and most of them were still in the fridge. They’re from Turkey. I checked the variety name on the bag, then tossed the bag and forgot the name. They’re not very sweet and randomly offers some heat. The peppers are Turkish, kebab is Turkish. It all comes together.

Peppers gutted and soon to be stuffed with the meat, which has been mixed with a chopped onion and some of the cut off pepper bits. Somewhere backstage, the corn cobs end up in the grill pan on rather low heat.

Returning readers have seen this before. It means pickle. The leftover bits of pepper are simply thinly sliced and put in a mix of spirit vinegar, water, salt, treacle (so you don’t have to wait for sugar to dissolve), paprika and garlic powder. That way, nothing is wasted.

The peppers, stuffed with mystery meat (well, almost). These are going in the oven, so while the oven heated, I made a tzatziki and an impression of kebab sauce as it appears in Swedish kebab joints. Since we don’t (thankfully) have a deep fryer, the fries will have to go in the oven too.

Kebab-stuffed peppers with fries and tzatziki and a slow-grilled, butter smeared piece of corn.

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