Farm to Table Friday: Tomatoes, Corn, Peppers

Tacos and CornAs soon as we saw corn, tomatoes, and green peppers on our CSA list, we were inspired to head south of the border for this week’s Farm to Table dinner! This meal ended up being perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day. On the menu this week:

Carnitas Tacos
Fire Roasted Salsa
Sauteed Corn & Pepper Salad

From Bailey
Carnitas Tacos & Fire Roasted Salsa

To start we made Carnitas Tacos. This slow cooked pork is one my favorite items to order at a Mexican restaurant. Instead of going slow and making this on a smoker, I have a great recipe to make carnitas in a crock-pot.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 lb. boneless Pork Shoulder

This is very easy to assemble. Combine all the dried spices, pat them all over the pork shoulder. Put the shoulder in your crock pot, cover it with the chicken broth and drop in the bay leaves. I usually do this at night, then stick it in the fridge. Before I leave for work the next morning I pop it onto low and when I get home in the evening the meat is ready to go. I take it out of the crock pot and shred the meat with tongs or a fork.

IMG_1374 IMG_1376 IMG_1380

Fire Roasted Salsa

  • About 2 lbs. assorted Tomatoes (preferably small or medium)
  • About 1 lb. assorted Peppers (I use the small sweet peppers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro
  • 3 cloves Garlic, diced or minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Special Materials: A food processor or blender

Step One: Clean the peppers and tomatoes, then put them on a preheated grill. Turn them every few minutes to get a good char on each side.

Tomatoes and Peppers Veggies on the Grill Roasted Veggies

Step Two:  When the peppers and tomatoes are roasted, put them in a food processor bowl, You will easily be able to pull apart the peppers to remove the stems and seeds. Add the chopped onion, juice of the lime, the cilantro, garlic, and as much jalapeno as you want to control the spice level. Fire up the food processor and work the ingredients until you get a salsa consistency.

Salsa on the Stove

Step Three:  Move the salsa from the food processor to a pot and heat it on the stove to meld the flavors, serve warm.

**If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender or just chop everything by hand. You will end up with a chunkier salsa, but it will still taste delicious!

We used gluten free, corn soft-shell  tacos for the Carnitas Tacos, and topped out tacos with the Fire Roasted Salsa, avocado slices, cilantro, and lime juice. Delicious!!

From Megan
Sautéed Corn and Pepper Salad

Since we had already made corn on the cob, I wanted to try something new that could also incorporate the green pepper. I came up with this Mexican-inspired sautéed corn and pepper salad. It’s easy to make and has a great flavor. I liked it so much, I ended up making it again to bring to a cookout later in the week!

Corn IngredientsSautéed Corn & Pepper Salad

  • 6 ears of Corn
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ cup of fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Lime Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Step One: Using a sharp knife, remove the corn from the cob. I found it easiest to hold the ear of corn in a large bowl while I cut it, so the kernels did not fly everywhere.

Step Two: Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Once heated, add the corn, green pepper, and red onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until crisp tender. Add a small pinch of red pepper flakes, stir once, and remove from heat.

Saute Corn

Step Three: Pour the corn, pepper, and onion into a bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Enjoy!

Mixing Corn

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Bailey’s Cantina Salsa and Guacamole Recipe

Salsa in JarsThis salsa reminds me of restaurant salsa, which is great! This is a basic recipe that could easily be changed or doctored. I’m already considering adding corn or black beans next time. This recipe makes a ton, almost 4 pints, so be ready to share!

Ingredients:

  • 1 28 oz can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 2 10 oz cans of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
  • 1 whole Jalapeno
  • 1 Lime
  • about 1/4 cup Cilantro
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • a pinch of Salt
  • a teaspoon of Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin

Start my simply mixing all of the ingredients in a large bowl. I throw the peeled garlic cloves in whole. When I cut the jalapeno I cut off the ends, then slice the sides off leaving the middle with the seeds to throw away. Try to avoid putting the seeds in the salsa unless you want it very hot. Feel free to try other peppers to make it hotter.

With the lime, just juice the whole thing. If you don’t have a lime squeezer, buy one! It’s the best tool ever! To get the most juice cut the ends of the lime, then quarter it, squeezing one quarter at a time. After you combine everything put the mixture into a food processor or blender. I only have a 2 quart food processor, so I have to do it in batches. If you have a larger food processor just put all the ingredients directly into the food processor bowl. Process the ingredients together and then serve! It’s so easy!!

Tomatoes Unmixed Salsa  Salsa in Food Processor Finished Salsa

To make this into guacamole, follow the instructions below. Add these ingredients for each avocado that you use:

For one avocado:

  • 1/4 cup Salsa (use recipe above)
  • 1/2 Lime (juiced)
  • 1/4 cup diced Cilantro
  • a pinch of Salt

This makes AMAZING guacamole. Enjoy!

Unmixed Guacamole Guacamole

The Truth About Mayonnaise (recipe included)

Okay. Here’s the truth about mayonnaise. I don’t hate it. I say I hate it. I generally don’t eat it, but mayo and I have a love/hate relationship. I respect what mayo is there to do. On certain sandwiches mustard is too strong, no other condiments seems right, and to avoid a dry sandwich mayo steps up. It’s needed to make delicious dips and aiolis. In a Belgian restaurant it is absolutely essential for dipping frites! However, most commercial mayo is bland and full of chemicals and preservatives.

How have I tackled this condiment dilemma?
I make my own!

You might think this is a difficult task, but really, mayonnaise is extremely easy to make.  It doesn’t take a lot of kitchen prowess; it doesn’t even take complicated kitchen tools. I easiest way to make mayo is to use a blender, but it can be made with a standing mixer or a hand mixer.

Homemade Mayonnaise

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • squirt of lemon juice
  • 1 – 1.5 cups of vegetable oil.

That’s it!!! The type of mustard can vary. I’ve made this mayo with creamy dijon which produced a very mild flavored mayo, or with just plain ol’ yellow mustard which came out a bit zippier. I usually use regular vegetable oil, but there is no reason you can’t use olive oil to produce a healthier product.

Making this mayo is very easy, just add all the ingredients except the oil into the bowl or blender. Mix them a bit to get them blended. Then add the oil slowly so it can emulsify. In my blender on a lower speed it took exactly 5 minutes (adding the oil slowly throughout) to get perfect mayonnaise. If it gets too thick, add a little more oil.

Mayo 1

Start with a clean blender and add ingredients (See above)

Mayo 2

Slowly add oil through the lid and let it emulsify

Mayo 3

If you see a break in the mayo where there is oil under the top, stop adding oil and let what’s already in the blender get blended in. You can also stop and stir with a rubber scraper. 

One last note: Since there are raw eggs in the mayo it does NOT have a long shelf life like store-bought. Being kept in the fridge you probably should not keep it more than 2-3 days.

I use this mayo for sandwiches, in potato salads, or to make spreads of dips… in fact, this mayo recipe will be feature in a few upcoming posts! Other great ideas:

  • Mix in some Sriracha for a spicy dipping sauce
  • Mix in fresh herbs and roasted garlic
  • Add ketchup and relish for secret sauce
  • Use as a dip for fries
  • Use for homemade chicken, tuna, or egg salad