Pickled Peppers

Oh boy, it’s been a whirlwind of events the past couple weeks. We got married!  I still can’t believe it’s over. Everything went exactly according to plan. The food was great, the cake was amazing, the music was fun, and seeing everyone was exactly what I needed.

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Now that we’re back in the normalcy of things, I am also back to cooking (finally). I don’t know what it is, my stomach reacts too easily to eating foods not cooked by me. And it reacts in a bad way. So needless to say, I am glad to be back in the kitchen.

We bought these serrano and jalapeno plants earlier this year and they exploded with endless amounts of peppers. But considering each one is like an atomic bomb of spiciness, I had to figure out a way to use all of them before they turned red which equals DEATH. Sadly, I only had 5 peppers but to me, letting that go to waste was blasphemy.

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Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

6-8 Serrano and jalapeno peppers, sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1/2 cup white vinegar

3/4 cup water

1/8 cup sugar

1/4 cup salt

1. Boil the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.

2. Place your peppers and garlic in a jar (I use Kilner)

3. Once your water mixture has cooled, pour it into the jar and seal it tight!

4. Refrigerate and enjoy!

I haven’t tried ours yet since we haven’t been home but we will find out soon enough if they are good!

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GYOZA!!

I always have to yell that word. I’m not sure why. Gyoza!!!

So I’ve been meaning to make these for weeks. Weekends have become recuperation time from the craziness of my classroom. Yelling at students about gum chewing and excessive talking is just…just so tiring. But alas, I finally mustered up the energy to make them today and I couldn’t be any happier.

The main reason why I wanted to make these is because I wanted to try out making my own dumpling skins. 2 things:(1) they ended up tasting great but (2) it was quite the challenge making the gyoza look pretty, as you will see below. One looked like a flattened football and the other ones just looked…sad. One also looked like it was going to explode while cooking.

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But all in all, this recipe wasn’t as tedious or time consuming as I thought it would be.

This reminds me. I added miso to the filling. Miso is just so…different. It has a ridiculously distinctive taste yet when it’s added to recipes, it adds a nice background flavor that ties all the ingredients together.

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Time: 2 hours

Makes about 12-15 gyoza

Ingredients:

Wrapper:
1.5 cups flour
.5 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water

Filling:
1 pound ground pork (I ground my own)
5-6 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 teaspoon crushed ginger
3-4 stalks green onion, diced
1 cup napa cabbage, diced and tossed with kosher salt for 15 minutes then squeezed until water is gone
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons miso
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Salt and pepper

(1) For the wrappers: combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
(2) Slowly add water while mixing. If you have a stand mixer, by all means use it with the dough hook.
(3) Combine and add water until the mixture slowly comes together.
(4) Once you have a shaggy dough, turn it out onto a floured surface and start kneading.
(5) Knead for 6-8 minutes until the dough is smooth. Add more flour as needed.
(6) Place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. Let sit for 1 hour.
(7) For the filling: in a food processor, place your pork, shrimp, and “squeegeed” napa cabbage. Process on high.
(8) Add the mixture to a bowl and add remaining ingredients.
(9) Mix with your hand in a clockwise direction until the ingredients are well combined.
(10) Assemble your gyoza. (I failed so miserably so I suggest you Google the techniques)
(11) In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium high heat.
(12) Put your gyoza in and cook for 30-45 seconds
(13) Add in about 1/2 cup of water and lower the heat to medium. Allow to cook for 7 minutes.
(14) Serve with ponzu or soy sauce mixed with rice vinegar.

Enjoy!

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Sweet, Sweet Apple Pie

It’s below 80 degrees here in Pensacola. I repeat, it’s below 80 degrees here in Pensacola and it’s not humid. I think I kind of like it here now…

That’s just the Stockholm syndrome talking. But seriously, we just got a cold front here and it’s the first time we’ve opened the windows in months. So that got me thinking…

IT’S FALL. Meaning, it’s time to make fall things. Meaning pie. Meaning stew. Meaning pot pies. Meaning chili. Meaning HOT foods for once.

My first fall item I like to make is pie. Pie pie pie pie pie! Homemade crust is a must. I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it.
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Anyway, this is an incredibly basic apple pie recipe. It goes great with vanilla ice cream and I promise, you will want seconds. Although your stomach probably won’t.

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Preparation time: 1.5 hours

Makes 1 delicious apple pie

Ingredients:
4 granny smith apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter, cubed
1 pie crust (double the amount if you want to have a fully covered top) (also see my Georgia Peach Pie recipe for my crust directions)
egg wash

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
2. Prepare your pie crust. I typically make a crumb topping but felt inclined to make a fully covered pie.
3. Fill your crust with the apple filling.

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4. Dot the top with pieces of butter and cover with your second piece of crust.
5. Make 4 incisions on the top for ventilation.
6. Brush the egg wash all over the crust.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the crust is golden brown.
8. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream!

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