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Pesto, Pesto, Pesto!

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Arugula pesto

 

This year Jason decided to get our local CSA so we could have farm fresh food. We have been getting our fresh veggies, capsule dairy and meat since early summer, and we have been loving it! So have our friends. We’ve been having what I call CSA BBQ’s and CSA dinner parties. One thing about getting all this fresh food is, it really is a lot. So you have to be very creative and eat a lot! Having friends willing to help is a blessing. One thing we’ve been getting is greens. Lots and lots of greens. We eat them for breakfast with fried or poached eggs on top, lunch and dinner. But one of my favorite things we have been doing is taking our arugula, cilantro and parsley and making pesto out of them. Not only do we use all of these tasty greens, we get to enjoy them at our leisure. You can use them as spreads, in pasta, as pizza sauce or add to soups, even rub on a chicken and roast it! The pesto will keep in the fridge for about two weeks or you can  freeze it, which is great way to to make sure it doesn’t go to waste.

 

 

Arugula and Cilantro/Parsley Pesto
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: ½ cup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups arugula tightly packed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoons pine nuts
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ lemon squeezed and separated
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Roast pine nuts
  2. Drizzle a small amount of oil on bottom of blender
  3. Add arugula, Parmesan, pine nuts, half of lemon juice, salt and pepper
  4. Start blending and slowly add oil
  5. Blend till you get a good consistency
  6. Taste and add more salt, pepper and rest of the lemon juice if needed.
Notes
I love garlic that's why I added so much. But if that is too much use one clove.
For cilantro parsley pesto you just need to switch out a few ingredients
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
1 cup packed parsley
2 tablespoons almonds(some say blanched almonds but I don't think it's necessary)
And continue as normal.

Final hot sauce is here!

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Wow! It’s the last hot sauce of  our hot sauce mania month! We can’t believe it.  So we accidentally took a couple weeks off and our month turned into six weeks.  We are human and needed to rest and enjoy the summer.  But now it is back to work.  And without further ado I give you:

 

Blossoming Tumescence

 

 

Blossoming Tumescence
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 8 Puya
  • 2 mulato
  • 2 japones
  • 2 New Mexico
  • 1 chipotle
  • 4 garlic
  • ¼ cup chili water
  • ¾ cup of vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Soak your peppers in hot water for 30 minutes
  2. Either in a bowl weighed down so chili's are submerged or in a ziplock bag
  3. When chili's are done pull off stems and discard
  4. Also discard any seed and veins that come with stems
  5. Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth
  6. Strain through a sieve and discard any solids
  7. Serve immediately, mind or put on your favorite bottle for later

 

Hot Sauce number 3. It’s a Cheap Trick!

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Here is the latest in our month long(.. A hum…6week) hot sauce mania.  Great for BBQed Meats!!!

 

Cheap Trick
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiments
 
Ingredients
  • 4 New Mexico chile
  • 6 Japones red chile
  • 3 Pulla chile
  • 5 birds eye chile
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup of Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt pepper
  • Splash of chili water
Instructions
  1. Soak your peppers in hot water for 30 minutes
  2. Either in a bowl weighed down so chili's are submerged or in a ziplock bag
  3. When chili's are done pull off stems and discard
  4. Also discard any seed and veins that come with stems
  5. Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth
  6. Serve immediately.

 

Hot Salsa? Yes Please

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Salsa

 

Our newest hot sauce is more of a salsa but not quite.  We added tomatoes so you can really sink your chips into it.

Also we don’t put this one threw a sieve but if you want a smoother sauce than you can.  With a heat most hot sauce lovers can handle this one will disappear fast!

 

 

Hot Suff
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 packages of grape tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle chile
  • 3 mulatto chili's
  • 1¾ habanero chili(deseeded and destemmed)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • Small handful of cilantro
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • * Splash of chili water
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Soak your peppers in hot water for 30 minutes
  2. Either in a bowl weighed down so chili's are submerged or in a ziplock bag
  3. When chili's are done pull off stems and discard
  4. Also discard any seed and veins that come with stems
  5. Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth
  6. Serve immediately.
Notes
If your worried about it being too hot, generic add some lime juice and or decrease the amount of Habanero peppers.

* Chili water is the water you soaked the chili's in.

Hot Sauce Mania!

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Hot sauce of the week! We shared a new red pepper hot sauce last week and decided to feature a new one every week! We will start out with an easy one. It’s not spicy, link just smokey and delicious. Perfect for that person who can’t handle the heat but wants a great sauce for their tacos or eggs in the morning. Or if you just want to easy into the heat.

Chili's and hot sauce

Easy Lay
Author: 
Cuisine: Condiment
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 Dried Pasilla
  • 5 Dried Puya
  • 4 Dried Arbol
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ cup of vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Soak dried peppers in a bowl of hot water for 30 minutes.
  2. Make sure peppers are completely submerged.
  3. I use a heavier smaller blow for this
  4. Or you can use a ziplock bag.
  5. Just make sure it is on a flat surface and you flip it half way through .
  6. Once peppers have soaked pull off stems and discard them.
  7. Some seeds and veins will come with the stems and that's fine.
  8. Not all your peppers will be completely soft, approved that is ok.
  9. Take the chili's, more about garlic, vinegar and blend, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Once done put sauce through a sieve to remove excess solids
  11. Take sauce and put in your favorite jar or container.
  12. Discard leftover solids*
Notes
* if your anything like us chances are you don't like to waste things. As we kept making hot sauces, one thing was bothering us. What to do with the left over solids? We think we are coming up with some great ideas. And if you stay tuned we will share our discoveries.

 

It’s Getting Hot in Here

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It’s hot sauce mania here at The Lab.  We have been obsessed you could say.  It all started with Christmas and has spilled over.  Our latest sauces have been gobbled up by everyone and it seems there is not stopping us or them.  I can’t believe it started with just wanting to make something nice for Christmas that wouldn’t break my bank account.  We are really honing our skills, patient and what we want out of the sauces.  From mild and smokey, order to oh my god get me a bucket of water!  Our latest is a smoked red pepper hot sauce that has that sweetness of peppers and heat from some red Jalapeño’s.   It was inspired by a restaurant in LA that makes the most amazing yellow pepper dipping sauce.   One day I will crack that recipe!  Here is one of the new ones, enjoy!  Oh and don’t forget the homemade corn chips!!!

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Red Hot Red Pepper Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauces
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 red peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red Jalapeño
  • ¼ white onion
  • Small handful of cilantro
Instructions
  1. Slice peppers in half lengthwise.
  2. Place on shallow pan in broiler, skin side up.
  3. Or line bottom of broiler with foil.
  4. Cook peppers til skin is black on most of the pepper.
  5. Check regularly so as not to burn peppers or housed down!
  6. When peppers are done place on plate to cool.
  7. In the meantime, Chop onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro and put in blender or food processor.
  8. Peel skin off peppers and put them with the rest of the ingredients.
  9. Blend till smooth
  10. Salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve warm or cold.
Notes
You can also roast peppers directly on stove tops open flame, but this is only for experienced cooks.

 

Lasagna

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Lasagna! Filling Onions, <a href=website like this celery and bay leaf” src=”http://houseofzeta.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/image-300×225.jpg” width=”300″ height=”225″ />

 

With winter setting in, ask we all want to hunker down and eat.  And what better way then with a big ole piece goodness called lasagna?!  Do you make it at Christmas or New Years, or whenever you want that giant casserole dish of baked noodles with sauce and cheese?  Do you add meat or vegetables?  Maybe you’re a white sauce kind of person?  For me, it all comes down to one thing, tomato sauce.  It screams lasagna.  All red and bubbly with veggies and Italian sausage, yum!

I usually start with one large and one medium can of whole tomatoes.  Giving them a medium rough chop so you have nice chunks of tomato.  Then I saute onions, garlic and whatever vegetables I want in my sauce, like celery and bell peppers, all seasoned with the herbs I’m using in the sauce.  I find it helps get things going.  If I am adding sausage, I cook the veggies in with the sausage, onions and garlic first then the rest.  Next I combine the tomatoes, veggies, meat and simmer for a few minutes then add some paste to thicken.  More herbs and simmer for as long as necessary.  I even slice zucchini to put in between the layers.

When it comes to cheese, fresh is best.  But we all know we can’t always get it or have the time to make it.  So do your best and it will be just fine.  I do stir up my ricotta if it comes store bought, makes it easier to spread or drop.  But my big discovery is to grate most or all of your mozzarella, which can be evenly distributed.  This will keep you from having that moment when you accidentally sliced it too thick and don’t have enough to cover the top.  Oops!  Been there done that! And who ever thought of cottage cheese as a substitute for ricotta should be shot.  Don’t do it ever! You are not doing yourself or your guests any favors.

Then there is the debate on the noodles.  Fully cook, don’t cook, cook partially.  What do you do?  Ive done all three.  I prefer to cook them al dente so they finish with the flavors of the sauce.  Also cook and extra one or two just in case one rips.  If not then have fun eating it while the lasagna cooks.

Once you have done all this, simply put it in the oven at 350 till golden bubbly, about 30-45 minutes and when done, let it stand for about 15 minutes and serve.   What could be more perfect and easy then that?

*if you think you need more sauce, always add another can of tomatoes, medium or large depending on how saucy you want your lasagna.  Or add another dollop of paste to thicken.*

Teriyaki. Simple & easy. So why does everyone screw it up?

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I’ve been making Teriyaki sauce for years now.  I learned it from my old roommate Lisa.  We were living together when she was in college and she used to make all kinds of amazing food.  Thanks to her and her fried rice, order Spam will forever have a place in my pantry, along with Panko.  I used to watch her in fascination as she took ordinary ingredients and turned them into amazing meals.  In a way it helped reignite my love of cooking.  I got disenchanted for a brief moment when I went vegan.  At that time soy products sucked.  So I left my Veganism behind and dove back into carnivore land.  Just in time to enjoy some Hawaiian/Japanese comfort food.  There was was Ramen with an egg dropped in, Spam fried rice, Coroke, and my favorite Chicken Teriyaki.  I have been making these dishes ever since, especially the Chicken Teriyaki.  It has become a staple in my dinner party cannon.

Once you try this you will never order it in a restaurant again.  I have ruined many a persons teriyaki experience with this recipe.  In a good way.  You can change it to your taste, sweet, salty, garlicky, gingery.  What ever way you want to go.  I tend to go heavier on the soy sauce and ginger and garlic.  I don’t like super sweet teriyaki sauce.  When I make for friends I make it how I want it and they usually have that moment of, why does everyone make such a sweet sauce? So here is what I do.  Be adventurous and don’t be scared it’s easy.

Ingredients:

Soy Sauce

Brown Sugar

Garlic(fresh)

Ginger(fresh)

I start with soy sauce and add brown sugar (remember we want a savory sauce so more soy then sugar).  I then add chopped garlic and chopped ginger.   Simmer for a few minutes to thicken and then place the chicken in a baking dish, add sauce on bottom of dish and on top of the meat and bake for 45 minutes turning a couple of times.   I use chicken thighs, they soak up the sauce best.   Cook rice and some veggies and you have an amazingly easy dinner.

 

 

 

 

Inspiration

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Pulled Pork Lasagna

This week we are happy to share one of our new found inspirations.  The NY Times columnist Melissa Clark.  Not only is she smart and makes great food, check she’s also funny and cute!!!  Yes we are totally crushing on Melissa Clark.  This last weekend she inspired us to to make two things.  Quick caramelized garlic and small-batch pulled pork.  Both were quick and easy to make.  We used the garlic in a lasagna, information pills by adding it to the onions and sausage, along with putting it in the sauce.   Our guests we had over on Friday night were loving the it so much I am surprised there was any left!  I would have to say the garlic was a big part of that.

Our second dish of the weekend was the small-batch pulled pork.  This was really amazing and easy to cook.  The ingredients are things most people have in there pantry.  Which made this super easy to make.  Also the pork is boneless so it took a lot less time to cook.  We put it on some potato buns with cornichons and paired it with our famous coleslaw.  It was so good we couldn’t wait for the next day to have leftovers!  Well, it looks like it’s going to be another great weekend and we are really excited to see what Melissa has in store for us.  For the recipes and video’s we talked about, check out Melissa at the N.Y. Times website link below.

http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/05/10/dining/100000002217020/small-batch-pulled-pork.html

 

 

 

 

 

Pork Shoulder with Fennel Slaw

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So I came up with this recipe one night when we had some friends come over and convinced them to stay for dinner.  We were already three hours into making a pork shoulder but hadn’t decided what else to go with it.  I looked around the kitchen as I usually do to see what we need and I found a fennel bulb and thought, medical hmmmmmm what can I do with this?  I was already making and Asian inspired pork shoulder, for sale   Why not continue that theme with a fennel coleslaw?  So here is the recipe for both!!!

Asian Pork Shoulder with Fennel Slaw
Author: 
Recipe type: Main and Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup dark agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • SLAW
  • 1 medium to large fennel bulb
  • 1 large carrot
  • ¼ quarter of red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions
  • Dressing
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tablespoon of fish sauce
  • ¼ tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Score shoulder
  2. Smash garlic and place cloves in scored pork
  3. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl
  4. Place shoulder in plastic bag
  5. Add marinade
  6. Refrigerate from 6 hours to 24 hours
  7. When done marinating preheat oven to 400
  8. Place shoulder and marinade in roasting pan
  9. Cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil
  10. After 30 minutes lower heat to 300
  11. Cook for 4 hours
  12. Take off parchment and foil
  13. Cook for another 20-30 minutes for crispy skin
  14. Check with meat thermometer, should read 185 degrees when done.
  15. Remove from oven cover with foil again and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.
  16. FENNEL SLAW
  17. Julienne fennel bulb, carrot and red pepper.
  18. Chop onion
  19. Toss in bowl
  20. Mix dressing and pour over slaw
  21. Toss slaw to coat with dressing
  22. Salt and pepper to taste
  23. Serve immediately at room temperature.
Notes
Cooking time and temp varies with each oven. Keep an eye on your roast and baste the shoulder with juices. I like to check and baste every 30minutes or so. You don't want a dry shoulder. Dressing for slaw - taste and add more fish sauce or vinegar for your preference. Prep time does not include marinading time. If it's already too hot for you to have the oven on for 5-6 hours then use a crock pot for the roast. Just cut the fat off and pierce the meat then put the garlic cloves in the holes before you marinade. Also since you've cut off the fat, keep a good eye on it so it doesn't get dry. Cook on low for about 4-6 hours. You will know when it's done, it should fall off the bone.

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