Archive for the ‘Veggies’ Category

Ecuadorian Salsa

16 May 14

After trying the original recipe we had found, and then adjusting the recipe through several trials, we found this variation to be our top preference. It is a raw, rather than cooked, salsa, and is just delicious. Himself does the rough-chopping and dicing, while Herself sits at the table and uses the food processor.

1 cup diced raw carrots
1 med cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 cup diced bell pepper (preferably red or orange)
1 large onion, sweet, diced
2 each tomatoes, large, juicy deseeded and chopped
3 each garlic tooths, chopped
10 sprigs sprigs parsley (leaves only), up to — 15 sprigs to taste
Salt, freshly ground, to taste (Pink Himalayan is best)
1 cup Lime juice (Key Lime juice works really well) (yes, that is one CUP – use more or less to your taste)
1 cup Clamato juice (more or less) to taste
5 drops Tabasco sauce (more or less) to taste (optional)
4 shakes Cayenne pepper (more or less) to taste




1. Blend chopped tomatoes, diced onions, chopped garlic, seeded, chopped cucumber, diced carrots and diced bell pepper in a food processor to desired consistency. We like the consistency a little rough, while the original recipe called for using a blender and liquefying the ingredients. Make it however you like it. The food processor Herself likes to use is the smaller one, so each item is processed separately and then all are mixed together in a large bowl.


2. Mix well in a large bowl.

3. Add lime (or Key Lime) juice, Clamato juice, salt, Cayenne pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Use less Lime juice and Clamato juice if you prefer a dryer salsa.

Added Tomatoes & Parsley

Added Tomatoes & Parsley


4. Check seasoning and adjust. (Keep in mind that chips will be salty.)

5. Serving suggestions: serve with corn chips as an appetizer, or as a side with grilled chicken or a grilled, mild fish (like tilapia), or with grilled salmon.

Cooking Tip: Do not use Italian tomatoes, too dry.

Author Note: The original Ecuadorian Salsa recipe called for no additional liquids other than a few tsp of lime juice. The original recipe also called for smaller amounts, with all ingredients to be blended to a smooth consistency. It is a much drier salsa. It also does not call for cucumber – but we really like the flavor it imparts.

Second Author Note: The nice thing about “folk” recipes is that every family makes them a little differently, so if you want to make yours differently from this, feel free!

Mixed and Repacked Keeps well in refrigerator up to 7 days (that's as long as we have ever been able to keep it)

Mixed and Repacked
Keeps well in refrigerator up to 7 days (that’s as long as we have ever been able to keep it – we eat it too fast!)


Third Author Note: If you prefer cilantro, use that instead of parsley – we just don’t much like cilantro. Sometimes we substitute fresh basil from the herb garden Herself works on. Nice change of taste.

Set Out for Eating

Set Out for Eating




Green Vegetables –

12 October 08

Let us speak of green vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans and the like.

Generally, Americans just boil the things, usually from a frozen state. Not really the best way. I am a mostly fan of the French way of cooking the things, although I will admit to liking Southern style green beans that have been slow simmered with pieces of hog jowl. Very tasty with some good yellow cornbread for mopping up the pot likker.

You can kick the French politically, but their cooking deserves its high reputation.

In the French way of cooking, vegetables are blanched, not boiled to death. For fresh veggies, that means drop the veggies in rapidly boiling salted water. Bring back to a boil and boil for 6 minutes. Drain and immediately cool with fresh water to stop the cooking. At this point they are only about half cooked. By blanching and cooling we have preserved the fresh color and taste.

We can do the same thing with frozen vegetables by allowing them to thaw to room temperature and then blanching them for 3 minutes.

After the vegetables are blanched drain them thoroughly and place them into a well buttered casserole dish of whatever is the appropriate size. Cook them in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes.

There are several good variations that can be done. First, after about 10 minutes in the oven remove, cover the bottom with grated cheese, put the veggies back in and cover the top with grated or shredded cheese. Raise the oven to 400°F and give it another 15 minutes or so.

Second, after 10 minutes or so, add boiling heavy cream to the dish and cook for another 10 minutes.

Third, combine any of the above with any kind of braised nuts that you like at the beginning and cook with the veggies.

Fourth, rough chop after blanching, warm in a skillet to evaporate all the water, then simmer in heavy cream, salt and pepper. After about 10 minutes of simmering it should be done and tender. Add some butter off heat and sprinkle with any garnish such as parsley or mint or whatever you like. Correct the seasoning to taste.

{Herself Sez: I have a love-hate relationship with veggies. The Ol’ Curmudgeon gets stressed about it from time to time. I need to keep some frozen collards, and spinach (creamed and souffle) and turnip greens around. I love broccoli – IF it has lemon juice or hollandaise sauce or a nice cheese sauce. I adore turnip greens with cornbread and potlikker (gee, ya think I’m Southern?). Brussels sprouts? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Green beans? We like them best “overcooked” with a cube of hog jowl in them, but we refrain. I often use “Bacos” but they just don’t give the same flavor. Hog Jowl gives the best flavor – even better than raw bacon. SIGH! Green veggies? I’ll eat them, occasionally!}

Gad-zukes –

16 August 08

The ubiquitous and handy Zucchini can be handled a ton of ways. Here’s a packet cooked variation:

thin sliced onion
thick sliced mushrooms
couple of rings of red or orange bell pepper
minced garlic
chopped sweet basil and/or any other herbs you like
blop of olive oil and/or butter
salt, pepper, and other spices you like
bit of bread crumbs dusted over
ice cube – a useful trick in packet cooking – provides steam, but easier to handle than just water

Cut zukes into bite size pieces, place on a square of heavy duty foil. Layer on the other veggies: onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, butter/oil, herbs, spices, ice cube last. Dust well with bread crumbs. That’s optional – come to think of it, everything’s optional in this thing. Wrap it up tight. 450° oven for 30 minutes OR a medium hot grill for 15.

For a far-eastern whang, use some teriyaki sauce or hoisin sauce. For a Vietnamese flavor, add a sprinkle of 5-spice powder, serve over rice with Nuoc Mum sauce. If straight Nuoc Mum is too stout for your taste buds (and/or nose), try adding a bit of fresh squeezed lime juice. The stuff does smell, but damn, it’s good.

Needless to say, nothing fixed in stone on this one. Throw in a bit of ground ham or whatever.

You do know to use true Oriental type rice, not the instant junk, don’t you?

%d bloggers like this: