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.
Not even 5 days past Halloween and I am already focusing on things to make for Thanksgiving. Every year I make a variation on the usually “cranberry sauce” and this year is no different. In that I added Ginger and Red onion and made more of a chutney than a plain sauce. There are cloves and cinnamon in there too, and orange juice, so a whole lot of flavors. It’s lovely though: tart and sweet and savory and complex. The best part about it: you can make it up to three weeks in advance, keep refrigerated in jars (like you would “freezer jam) and it’s lovely and fresh on Thanksgiving Day.
I have a glut of basil this ear. Seriously, I am overrun. The plants come up to my waist and they are thick with delicious basil leaves. There are a number of different sorts, but mostly it is your standard Italian sweet basil. And lots of it.
So what does one do with a glut of basil? Make pesto of course. I have made lots and lots of Pesto alla Genovese (the standard green stuff that one thinks of first when one hears ‘pesto’). It freezes very well so my I am well stocked for a while. So I thought that I would make this Pesto di Noce (Walnut Pesto). It’s not as pretty as it’s Genovese cousin (for starters, it’s brownish, despite 2 cups of basil leaves in it), but it of so amazingly yummy. Pair it with giant ravioli and a few more walnuts and you have an amazing dinner (or lunch, in my case).