Thursday, June 5, 2008

My Spruce Goose

Around this time of the year, I set one or two culinary goals and spend the summer striving towards achieving these goals. I can be a bit hardcore and obsessive about these quests (Think Howard Hughes and the Spruce Goose obsessive). This can be a bit unsettling for my family. One summer I purchased a smoker and worked on mastering the art of BBQ. By the end of the summer, my wife threatened to become a vegetarian if she faced a plate of BBQ one more time. Coming from a rancher's daughter, I knew this was a serious threat.

I've learned to down size my culinary goals over the last few years, so I no longer drown my family in the monotony of my madness. This year I've set two goals:

  1. I'm going to learn new ways to use chile peppers in my cooking. When I say chile peppers, I mean all forms of peppers - dried, ground, and of course, fresh. I'm not setting out to add heat to my cooking; my goal is to add layers of flavor to my dishes.
  2. I want to learn to make my own flour and corn tortillas.
Tonight I'll take my first steps in my quest. I'm going to prepare a new rice dish using chile peppers, and I'll be making an enchilada sauce from scratch using a chile puree made from dried peppers. I'll let you know how it goes.

Bless this food,

1 comment:

Steve O' said...

Oh, great... I was just about to sit down and get some work done... and then K-Grrl sent me the link to this site, and now I'm going to spend the rest of a sunny day reading about your culinary trials and tribulations!!

I sent y'all a SW cole slaw recipe yesterday. Two things that I had nothing to do with made it so tasty: (1) Spices from Savory Spices, a little shop downtown that grinds their own stuff. You can put any of their stuff on anything — cayenne on waffles, cumin in your coffee, what have you — and somehow it still works. And (2) I found these crazy peppers that I've never seen before. It was like a red bell, but shaped like an overgrown Anaheim, and it had a smoky flavor with no heat but lots of textures and character. Any idea what that would have been?