sábado, 28 de mayo de 2011

Anaheim and Serrano Marmalades

Recipes like this are the reason I named my blog "Shut up and eat". I live in a home with very simple tastes. So simple, in fact, my parents could live their entire lives on picadillo and refried beans and generally refrain from venturing further. My brother won't eat peanuts, coconut, mustard, celery, soup during the summer or pineapple on his pizza (just to name a few of his psychotic nutritional taboos). My sister won't touch anything that came from the sea... cooking for my family feels like balancing the needs of 5 different religions at once.

So every once in a while I tried something adventurous, like say, teriyaki sauce on my chicken, and everyone would just start crying blood, puking pea soup and spinning their heads, speaking in tongues. I simply stopped explaining what I was cooking altogether and just told them to STFU and eat.

It's been a long journey, but we're gradually getting to a point where we can all eat the same meal at the same time.

Today's recipe started with this

Lower left: Anaheim/New Mexico chiles / Upper right: Serranos
It's not uncommon in Mexico for this to happen. No, gringos, chiles don't just burst through the sidewalk (altough, how cool would THAT be?!). Sometimes you get gifts like these, specially around the holidays. Boxes filled with fruits and vegetables make perfect greeting cards.

So I roasted and packed most, pickled some, ate a few fresh, but I was still left with an excess of peppers. Then it hit me: They're fruits... berries, to be precise. And there's all sorts of crap in the market that involve fruits and chiles, so why not make my own?

Very well.... We're making 2 separate marmalades here. One Anaheim, one Serrano.

You'll start with the 8 largest anaheim peppers you can find. It's important that they're as straight and smooth as possible to ease the roasting. You can fire-roast them, oven-roast them or, as I did here, dry-roast them on a griddle. Just make sure to flip them frecuently so you don't burn through the flesh.

Look at these beautiful MoFos
While the other peppers roast, grab some serranos and seed and devein theim. Don't be a pussy, don't wear gloves. They should ammount to 1 cup of chiles. I advice that you keep 1 or 2 whole so you can adjust the heat easily.

Next, you'll need to shock your roasted peppers to ease and speed the peeling. Just dunk them in a bowl filled with ice watter and wait a few minutes.
Once cold, the skin shold come off quickly and easily
After you peel them, stem them and seed them carefully. you can freeze them like this for up to 6 months.

Now peel and core 4 apples, two for the anaheim peppes, and two for the serranos. Keep the peels and cores, that's where most of the pectin is, and you'll need it to gelify the marmalade. Place the apples and the anaheim peppers in the blender, along with 1/12 cups of sugar and 2 cups water.
Lid removed for photographic drmatism, don't be a dork
As for the serrano pepper jelly, blend the chiles, apples, 1 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar. Now place both liquids in their respective pots, add the apple peels and cores and boil away on moderate heat until they're reduced by roughly 1/3. This can take up to 40 minutes. Stir every once in a while to avoid sticking.

Once the liquid is reduced, strain the apple cores and peels out and keep reducing until you get a jelly-like consistency, about another 30 minutes.
Place them in sterilized jars. They should keep in the refrigerator for about 3 months, if they last that long. Alternatively, pasteurizing the marmalades in the jars and sealing them will give you a 1 year shelf life unrefrigerated. You can smother them on porkchops for lunch, or try them with butter on toast. Our take was cream cheese and marmalade on a toasted baguette.
Or chevre...
I apologize for the off color in these pics, It was late and I was half drunk

But it's kalolo aproved, so you know it's good
I mean, so far, none of them have died!

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