A farmer and his potatoes

I had no idea what to expect when I was doing this. I think I had 5 of these particular plants and they had the blight (the other potatoes did not have it). So against my better judgment I cut them off as the google instructs and waited the requisite 2 weeks.

OMG!! This was as gratifying as it was easy. It turns out that Ann White was right about something for a change.

Dos salsas

Really, tomatillos, the fruit that keeps on giving. I’ve got 5 to 10 tomatillo plants going in the garden. I didn’t plant them. They just seem to grow. As far as I can see the only thing you do with them is make salsa which is fine but there’s only so much salsa one can consume on a regular basis. Last year I made some tomatillo lime jelly that was good but what do you do with that? Sort of an exciting thing to taste once or twice but then . . . I just noticed it in the back of my refrigerator the day before yesterday.

After all the rest of the produce was picked and pickled I grudgingly collected the tomatillos more out of fear of what those seeds would produce next year if I didn’t get rid of them than that I’d planned on making salsa. But I did make salsa. Red and Green.

The green is avocados, lime, cilantro. The red is tomatoes, peaches, more cilantro for Ann W and chili powder. Oh and tomatillos.

Chicharrones de pollo

Chicharrones are a very popular traditional Mexican snack. It’s not one I like particularly. Deep fried pig skin. GracĂ­as no. Chicken skin is another matter.

I made a sort of enchilada casserole last Sunday that involved chicken thighs among other things. And because it was such a dismal day weather-wise I took the time to make some condiment additions to the dish, pepitas (Mexican pumpkin seeds) that I oven-browned in the pan of chicken fat after I’d roasted the thighs. And when that was done I took the skin off of the thighs, spread that out on the same pan and roasted it until it was crunchilicious. I also whipped up a cilantro (sorry Ann) salsa.

The casserole (because I was too lazy to roll them up individually after all that condiment making) was layered corn tortillas, cheese, black beans, sour cream and house-made salsa verde. What’s not to like? And if you’re worried Ann, there was no cilantro in the damn thing. 

Lazy meal

It has been a hectic several days, nephew got married, hence the missing-in-action thing (surprisingly Ann White has not been hounding me which is a nice change of pace) and last night I was too lazy to go to the store but instead made a meal scrounged from the refrigerator. Onions, peppers and arugula pasta. With feta and parmesan. It was amazingly delicious. And really really quick.

The seething burning on the tips of my fingers and eventually in the left hand corner of my left eye were a small price to pay for such a lovely meal. But next time I will wear gloves when I cut up the serrano pepper.

Roasted chicken for Lord Grantham

I had planned to make something Englishy for the last episode of Downton Abbey. My friend Ann suggested Jamie Oliver’s steak and guiness pie but that took like 47 hours and then my mind drifted to shepherd’s pie but I don’t particularly like that and I doubt Mrs Patmore would serve that to the assembled Grantham-Crawleys. So I settled on roasted chicken. I had leftover herbs and happened to catch a recent episode of Cook’s Complicated, er Illustrated and this version seemed pretty intriguing. And easy.

Chopped up brussels sprouts, shallots, potatoes and carrots in the center. Breast meat on top in the middle (I cut them in half) of a sheet pan and thighs and legs on the outside. Baste the skin with herb butter.

About 40 minutes at 450 degrees. I even checked them with a meat thermometer because it didn’t seem like the chicken could possibly be done, the vegetables clearly were. And so was the chicken. And it was luscious. Even Lord Gratham would have approved.