Happy sunday, folks! I hope you’re having a good weekend and recovering nicely from your festive feast but, if you are still in search of more season’s eatings, I do have one last late christmas recipe for you. A variation on a vegan nut roast – Made to share with my vegetarian family – that makes use of both pasilla peppers and winter chestnuts.
And, meat free as it may be, those chestnuts certainly aren’t umami free. They come through with a slight meaty richness that few vegan foods possess and, if you aren’t sworn off the animal products, pair beautifully with a blend of gravy and Chilli Scrumptious’s Java Hot.
Because yes, delicious and moist as this one might be, on the inside, all nut roasts benefit from a little extra sauce on top.
Here’s how I made it.
Hola, mi amigos, and happy tuesday again. This week, we’re looking at another salsa and it’s the last of the sauces that I got from Simpson’s Seeds. Their “Scorpion Salsa”:
A rather plain-looking bottle, to put it mildly, but one with rather more interesting contents. All of which are plastered across the front and sides of the paper label.
Howdy folks, today’s recipe is another one of my crazy fusion foods. It’s mexican and its american but it’s definitely not tex mex.
What it is is an invention all my own, cobbled together from random pub grub and then remade with slightly better ingredients back home.
It’s a quick, tasty, somewhat messy appetiser that I like to call “Mexican Buffalo Corn” and I really want to share it with you. But first, let’s clear up a few potential misconceptions:
First, it’s not mexican. It uses mexican hot sauce and mexican herbs for a mexican-style flavour but the closest actual mexican dish is a spicy, cheese-laden corn one known as “elotes”. This isn’t that.
Second, this dish is vegetarian. It doesn’t contain actual buffalo but rather a buffalo-style wing sauce, made from the above-mentioned mexican hot sauce. My own twist on a creamy and buttery, yet really rather tangy, american classic. Using corn on the cob where you’d normally find chicken.
And, finally, this is not my main recipe of the month. It’s a mini one that uses the black label Valentina sauce, even if small adjustments will allow you to use anything with a similar mexican flavour. So expect another recipe next week.
For now, though, let’s get started.
Hey folks, how’s it going? Today, I want to take a look at a rather more mainstream company.
You’ve probably never heard of Salsa Tamaƶula but I’d be amazed if you’ve never heard of their signature product. After all, this “Valentina” hot sauce is the mexican staple, on almost every restaurant table across its home country.
So it comes as absolutely no surprise that MexGrocer stock it, along with their more obscure sauces. Any importer worth their salt should.
No, today’s big surprise comes in the form of a second bottle. Another sauce from the same brand, bearing their company name in the same white-outlined, green lettering on red and black.
A slightly smaller container of Salsa Picante Tamaƶula Muy Picante, colloquially known as “Tamaƶula Black”.
Why black? Because the Salsa Tamaƶula sauces are more commonly seen in yellow labels, with these darker ones denoting their extra hot variants – That “Muy Picante” on the packaging.
Extra hot might not actually mean “hot”, though, so let’s see what I make of them.
Hey there heat eaters, do you recognise this chilli?
I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t, since it’s been a long time since I last had it and this time was my first time seeing it fresh, too. It is, however, the chilhuacle negro (literally “ancient pepper black”) that we saw dried in my old enchilada recipe, where I was reviewing La Picanteria’s peppers and salsa.
Honestly, though, that salsa was a tad disappointing. The dried chillies, themselves, had a wonderful earthy flavour that was uniquely reminiscent of artisan tobacco and, even way back then, I thought that I could do better with them. Now, I finally get the chance.
So, years on from that first taste, having I finally managed to track down another supplier of the pepper, I’m making myself a superior salsa negra. A black salsa that isn’t quite the traditional sort but uses the proper aztec peppers and tastes astounding.
Like, devour three portions in one sitting and then go out for more ingredients levels of astounding.
But they are hard peppers to get a hold of and, while Yorkshire Peppers had plenty for me, I can’t guarantee that they have enough to go around. If you want to follow along with today’s recipe, you may need to substitute a milder, equally rich chilli like a poblano or a rehydrated ancho or pasilla.
They won’t taste quite the same but they’re the closest easily available peppers that I can think of.
Hey folks, it’s sunday and time for another recipe but, as I mentioned in my thursday post, I’ve not been at my wellest this month. In fact, at my worst, I was physically incapable of keeping down anything with a strong flavour.
Yet, as much of an inconvenience as that was, I don’t bring it up just to whine at you. I’m mentioning it because that time led me to appreciate the delicacy of vanilla, egg and nutmeg in a custard tart – The british dish on which today’s little dessert is based. The starting point, if you will, for the recipe that follows.
But, much as I’ve come to love that pudding, this one’s a little bit different and it contains, as you might expect, my own chilli twist.
What you might not expect, though, is the source of that twist: The sonoran desert between the US and mexico. Home of the wild “chiltepin” pepper.
Hey folks, do you recognise this fruit?
If you’re a Marvel fan, you should, ’cause this is the only thing growing in Thanos’ garden. And, while it doesn’t come from an alien cactus, the inside of the real kiwano looks more extraterrestrial than anything in Endgame:
It’s a freaky-looking fruit and its taste is just as weird – A blend of cantaloupe, cucumber and lime – but it’s right at home with herbs and citrus. It’s more vegetable than fruit but a friend to fresh flavours all the same.
In today’s celebration of superhero movies and obscure, african fruit, I’m not going to be replicating the mad titan’s horned melon soup. That dish is as much of an affront to the world as his use of the infinity stones. A thick, snotty, disgusting mess of a meal, about which horror stories have trickled down through my family for generations.
You do not cook the kiwano.
This fruit or vegetable, whichever you choose to call it, is best served fresh or frozen. It’s typically recommended for use in mousses, smoothies, sorbets and citrus-heavy cocktails but, for today’s recipe, I’m going guac.
Mexico’s famous, creamy dip/condiment hybrid that brings together all things fresh and green.
So, spice lovers, today it’s time for another recipe. Or, well, strictly speaking, it isn’t. My recipe of the month typically goes up on the last weekend and there’s still one more to go this january. But hey, I’m sure that none of you will mind getting something a week early.
Today, I intend to show you a birthday cake. One carefully crafted to please an online friend, who I met up with in person for the first time yesterday. And I would have kept that cake between the two of us, if it weren’t for one minor detail: This friend requested chilli.
Why? I’m not sure. I think, perhaps, that they just assumed that it would feature in anything I made but, whatever the reason, I decided to play it safe. I knew nothing of her spice tolerance and she wasn’t the member of the group who was super into hot stuff.
In fact, I knew very little of her food tastes in general. All I had to go on was that she liked things rich and jokingly identified as a moose but, fortunately, that was enough for me to have an idea.
I would make a chocolate mousse cake, at least partially for the bad pun, using some of the mildest, richest peppers that I knew of – The mexican ancho and pasilla. And I’ll show you how I did it, right after that “Continue reading” button. Continue reading
As another year comes to a close, it’s time to turn my sights to a new company:
Badgers Artisan Foods
A fairly recent one, started in 2016 with some home-grown chillies and this very sauce.
You might think, therefore, that they’d call it their original, but you’d be wrong. The peach and orange packaging and cheeky badger logo may look friendly and inviting but this is their Reaper Sauce.
It takes a bold chef to start a company with a world record but what I want to know is whether the taste can match the implied burn?
Hey folks, Today I’m back with another importer highlight but also an apology to Laterra.
In my post about Mex Grocer, I mistakenly referred to their product as their “Savoury Mexican Tomatillo Sauce”, when that was not its name at all. It was merely the product description.
The true name of that sauce was “Michoacan”, after the region that inspired it – A name that I had mistaken for the sauce’s place of origin.
No such mistakes will be made today, however, as I look at another pair of Laterra’s sauces, purchased from Spices on the Web.