Hippy Heat

Hola, mi amigos! It’s the fifteenth today and, apparently, that means mexican independence day.

So, while I don’t have anything truly mexican to offer you, I am going to be showing off a mexican-styled sauce, in keeping with the occasion. And that product is Angry Goat Pepper Co.’s Hippy Dippy Green:

One which you may well know as the second wing on Hot Ones’ eighth season but which interested me for entirely different reasons.

This is a verde sauce. Not just a green sauce – Despite that being the literal translation – but a tomatillo salsa in a bottle.

An american take on a classic mexican dip, with a few less than classic additions to spice things up a bit.

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Epaƶoté Verde

So the theme for this week has been green and I’m going to carry that on today as I take you through a strange twist on a tomatillo salsa, adapted slightly from the work of Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook.

It’s a recipe that I employed because it uses a large amount of mexican epaƶoté in its fresh form – Rather than the dried stuff that I’m used to – and I had recently received a bulk amount, on import from holland. Along with some unusual peppers that you’ll be seeing soon.

As it turns out, the fresh herb is quite different from the dry and that difference stands out wonderfully in this verde but the plant does come with its fair share of warnings. Since, while it aids digestion, in small quantities, it can seriously hurt the gut, if overdosed upon.

I’m not going to go into too much detail on that in this post, given that the original recipe writers know more about the herb than I, but I will urge you to read what they have to say about their salsa before making it for yourself. As well as maybe not eating it all alone, since it’s pretty potently epaƶoté.

In fact, you might want to skip out on today’s recipe, altogether, if you have any pre-existing digestive problems. But, if not, it won’t hurt to try it and it’ll provide you with a unique look at mexican cooking.

Despite how traditional it is, this blend of fresh, charred and roasted greenery tastes like nothing else!

EpazoteDone

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Back with Beef

Hello again everyone, I hope that you’re enjoying your extra day this leap year.

Me? I’m making good use of it with a later than usual recipe post, on the 29th of february. Because it just so happens that, this year, it’s a saturday.

And what kind of recipe do I intend to show you this month? Why, something simple, mexican and a staple to my home cooking, in order to contrast with last month’s second-hand japanese recipe.

Today, I’m making enchiladas again but, unlike the previous batch, I’m not making them bean-based, for my family, or using someone else’s salsa. This recipe is all mine!

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Chestnut Roast

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.

RoastDone

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.

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Sting-Tailed Salsa

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”:

ScorpSalsa

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.

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Mexican Buffalo Corn

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.

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More Black Salsa

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.

ValentinaBlack

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.

TamazulaBlack

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.

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Return of the Ancients

Hey there heat eaters, do you recognise this chilli?

ChilhuacleNegroCropped

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.

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Chiltepin Caramel

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.

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The Mad Titan’s Molé

Hey folks, do you recognise this fruit?

HornedMelon

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:

HornedInnards

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.

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