Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bryan and I were at Redd's the other night, and we got into an interesting conversation with Eric the Plug-Eared Bartender. He told us, in between puffs n chugs, about what I think sounds like an interesting way to make chile. Rather than soaking the beans overnight, Eric's venerable ol' southern granpappy put the beans into a pot with some vegetables - one would presume, onions, peppers, garlic, mayhaps carrot and/or tomato - brings the mess to a boil, simmers for a few and puts it in the fridge to THEN soak overnight. The next day he proceeds with the usual day-long cooking. A subtle difference but one I appreciate. Akin to undercooking pasta and finishing it in the sauce. One can imagine small but relevant gains in flavor.
I made a tasty Provencal pepper today. Well, over a week.

Take some small sweet green or red peppers, make an incision in the side and deseed. Soak in white vinegar for a week.
Finely chop a yellow onion with a 2 handfuls black olives, 3 anchovy fillets and a half handful of capers. Stuff peppers. Place in jar and cover with olive oil. Cover. Marinate overnight.
Yum city! serve with bread and a soft cheese, not too rich. My boss told me about it and it's delish, quite pungent and salty.

Also, I made artichokes this way.
Place artichokes upright in a deep cast-iron pot. Fill with olive oil half-way up 'chokes, then fill to cover with water. Turn heat on high and bring to a rapid boil, cover and boil at only slightly lowered heat for twenty minutes. You hear lots of sputtering as the 'chokes suffer. Finally, all the water evaporates, and the oil is left, so the sputtering stops. Serve with salt and lemon juice and a dish of the cooking oil.
The leaves get crisped on the edges, it's delicious! V. luxurious.