Cooking

Updated: 2000 October 19

People have asked me for my salsa recipe quite a few times. After handing it out to people multiple times, I figured it might be a good ideatto put it somewhere accessible. And I figure I'll throw in a couple other recipies as I go.

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Salsa (Base recipe)
This changes based on what I feel like and am experimenting with, but this is the base recipe.

Makes about a pint

One can stewed tomatoes
2 cubanal peppers (not hot), finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper (moderately hot), finely diced
half bunch of cilantro (also called italian parsley), chopped
1/2 a spanish or vadella (sp?) onion, finely diced
3 - 4 cloves garlic, crushed then chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in the pan. Add the garlic and onion. Caralmelize the onion. Add everything else but salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer to let the mixture reduce to the desired consistency. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. This becomes spicier after it sets for a couple hours. Refrigerate any leftovers. That batch also has corn, black beans, tomatillos (looks like a green tomato), hot sauce, radishes, celery, curry, ginger, and a hot sauce something like tabasco. I've used pineapple and different colored bell peppers before as well. Depending on how chunky you like it you may want to crush or blend the tomatoes as well as anything else. I've got a dinky food processor that I use with the peppers mainly. If you think onions are bad, try hot peppers.

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White wine sauce

This is an approximate of something I made based on a recipe in the "Joy of Cooking." It turned out rather good. I put it on spaghetti. I think it'll go good with shrimp or clams as well. As far as the hand-full and palm-full measurements go, well, I have a calibrated hand. Mine are on the small side and I love garlic, so you may want to adjust as necessary.

1 C earthy white wine
1/4 C white vinegar
hand-full of italian spices (marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, basil)
4 T butter
1/4 C olive oil
1/8 - 1/4 C milk
palm-full of granulated garlic

In a small saucepan, bring the wine to a boil. Reduce the heat and add vinegar, spices, garlic, olive oil, and butter. Reduce the mixture to thicker than desired. Whisk in the milk. Bring to a rolling boil for a few seconds.

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Sea shrimp and pasta

1 hand-full sea shrimp
1 hand-full water chestnuts
olive oil
garlic cloves
butter
two hand-fulls asparagus
salt
pepper
basil, thyme, and other spices as desired
two hand-fulls of cooked pasta

Cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, remove the legs of the shrimp and remove the shell. Drain the pasta. Put asparagus and shrimp in pot pasta was cooked in. Add a small amount of oil and cook until shrimp turns completely pink. Add butter and garlic. Melt the butter and let cook for 20 seconds. Add water chestnuts and pasta. Toss in oil, salt, pepper, and other spices. Serve with wine.

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Gumbo/S.O.S/Chicken Stew
This is gumbo or S.O.S. depending on the spices you use (yes, my opinion). This can be made on the stove or in the crock pot. I've listed chicken here, but shrimp, beef, pork, or beans (vegetarian) could be used as well. The spices are entirely variable, like the salsa, and are purely estimations on my part. This is a nice, one pot dish that is meant to be whatever you have laying about. So, that bit of asparagus or that little bit of leftover pork chop can go in as well.

4-6 medium potatoes, baked and diced (nuked or boiled works too)
1 medium onion, chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced or garlic powder
1/4 C olive oil
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized strips
1 bell pepper in 1/2" chunks (red preferred)
4-6 medium carrots, chopped
1 can of corn or about 1 1/4 C frozen or fresh
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 can of diced tomatoes or 4-6 tomatoes, diced
1/4 to 1/2 C cilantro, chopped
2 T worshesire sauce
2 T old bay
1 t curry
1 1/2 t rosemary
1 t dill seed
2 T to 1/2 C tabasco (yes, this is a big range, but to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil. As an optional step, partly caramelize (cook on low heat until the onion and garlic start to look like light brown sugar) the onion and garlic. Brown the chicken. Add everything else, stir, and bring to a boil on medium heat. reduce the heat so that the gumbo just simmers. Simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from burning the bottom.

For those with a crock pot: Brown the chicken and add everything to the crock pot. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.

Option: If using shrimp instead of chicken, peel and wash the shrimp beforehand. Shrimp can be added uncooked. A dash or lemon and lime goes well.

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