One of the great things about late summer and early autumn in my foodie world is figs. I get giddy for those figgies! And, to make them last longer, I often make jam out of figs, which can be used for both sweet or savory things, added to stews or even stir fries, but don’t count out making Fig Newtons! This year, I’ve made two sorts: Cardamom Fig and Orange Fig. Distinctly different but equally lovely.
In the last week or so, the topic of Peri Peri Sauce, or even more specifically “Nando’s Chicken” has come up at least 5 times … twice with acquaintances from South Africa and the remaining time with UK friends. That signaled to me that I should make my own. And then fate decided to tell me that I should really use the peppers from my own garden … which are mostly joloquia (ghost peppers) and habaneros, because actual peri peri chilis are near on impossible to find here. Anyway, voila … homemade Peri Peri Sauce. Spicy as all get out. Can be used on chicken (obviously), but also with veggies, fish or smear it on toast… 🙂 Be forewarned: recipe as written is crazy hot. If you want less spicy peri peri sauce, use less chilis or pick a variety that won’t kill you.
Hollandaise. That lovely creamy buttery addition used to perfect Eggs Benedict, place over white fish or summer veggies. It is pure magic if done correctly, and can be a disastrous mess if it splits on you. This is my technique for making the magic.
And why am I showing you a picture of hollandaise with asparagus, a fried duck egg and serrano ham? Well, in the month of May, Germans are absolutely crazy about their asparagus (the white kind, though white is awful in my parts of the world, as it is old, woody and generally horrible; this lovely green stuff is from the local farmers market and was harvested about 36 hours ago). Holladaise is wonderful with this dish.
It’s usually this time of year — mid January — that I get on my Meyer Lemon kick. Maybe it’s because these gems are so bright and colorful when New England is particularly dreary. Or maybe it’s because they are so plentiful in the shops right now — all three of my regular stores had them on sale this week. So I’m going on a little bit of a Meyer Lemon overload for the next few days. Here are two ways to keep them going for a few weeks longs — Meyer Lemon Sugar, which is perfect on fruit or mixed into tea and Meyer Lemon Curd, which is spectacular on fruit, in oatmeal, on toast or in yogurt.
Ghost Peppers. Jolokia chiles. Hot. Very Hot. Apparently some of the hottest edible chiles around. I’d been talking with someone about a year back so when I saw starter seedlings at the garden shop this spring, I decided to buy some. Thing is though: I now have about 40 ghost peppers. I’ve drying most of them, to grind for chili (it anyone wants some dried, let me know), but I decided to make this BBQ sauce too. It’s not all that hot, balanced by the sweetness of the roasted mangoes, actually. Definitely more of a chicken or veggie glaze than ribs or steak. Very tasty and the spicy kick gets you at the end.