This one is not for the faint of heart. The peppers in it are extremely hot but (in my opinion) it's delicious. It's a traditional Thai condiment and very simple to make.
Prik Kee Nu (Thai chilies)
Nam Pla (Fish sauce)
Fresh Lime juice, optional
Cut up the chilies into little slices. Add to fish sauce. Squeeze a little lime juice into the mixture. And voila! You can eat it on rice or stir fry or whatever your heart desires. It's very salty and very spicy, so consider yourself warned. ;)
Warning: After touching these chilies, wash your hands thoroughly and don't touch your eyes or nose (or any other sensitive parts, for that matter) for a long time afterwards. It only takes one time to realize why. Don't let your dog lick your hands, either.
I heard about this recipe from Dawn who found it on the Noble Pig website. (My picture doesn't do it justice, but this is a cooking blog and not a photography blog! If you want to see a good picture (that actually looks as good as it tastes!), click the link for the Noble Pig website.) I just happened to have some tiny red potatoes, bacon and sour cream on hand, so I decided to try it out. Very simple and very filling. Here's how you make them:
Red potatoes, small
Cheddar cheese, shredded
(or whatever toppings you prefer or have on hand)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Scrub potato skins and pierce each potato with a fork several times. Place potatoes on a baking tray 1/2" apart. Bake until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes.
While still hot, make an opening with a knife and place a slab of butter on the potato followed by a dollop of sour cream. Top with cheese, bacon, chives or whatever toppings you have on hand!
1 lb. fresh green beans, strings removed, ends snapped off, cut in half into about 1 1/2 inch length pieces
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh baby dill, chopped
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 medium tomato, chopped
1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and simmer until just crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the beans and run cold water over them to cool them quickly. Drain completely.
2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss lightly.
In my neverending quest to be as green as I can be (and to keep stinky sponges and dishcloths far away from my galley), I stumbled across these Goodbye Detergent! Original Spaghetti Scrubs. The yellow ones are made from corn cobs and the red ones from peach pits, plus they claim to last for months and require little or no soap to do their job: all factors contributing to their reduced impact on the environment. But the part that I like best is the fact that they dry quickly and completely, which translates into NO MORE STINKY SCRUBBERS!
I bought two packs the other day (yellow ones are coarse, red ones are gentle) and so far, I dig 'em. The no-stink status will be determined at a later date... I'll keep you posted.
While most people make New Year's Resolutions beginning January 1st, we decided to make the shortest month of the year "Soberuary". Actually, our friend Mike turned us on to Soberuary years ago but this is the first time we decided to give it a go. Even though our drink of choice for the next 22 days (and counting!) will be water on the rocks, possibly with a twist, I wanted to mention a new rum we tried the last week of January...
It's 80 proof so it's got a little bite to it. (Kilo Kai was only 70 proof.) It's really delicious, but I'm going to give it Second Place behind Kilo Kai because of the extra zing. If I'm sipping rum, I can't really afford the extra 10 proof. It might be a winner among men, but I'm not looking for any hair on my chest. (Although that bite might serve as helpful reminder that I am indeed drinking liquor and not candy.)
The other day I stumbled across this variation of my favored Caprese Bites and decided to make "Tomatoes and Cheese, Two Ways" for a boat party we were attending. I was a little skeptical because goat cheese is not my favorite, but the crowd really seemed to enjoy them. And so did I!
Special equipment: 20 small skewers or cocktail toothpicks
Fill a pitcher with hot water. Dip a knife into the hot water and slice the goat cheese log in half lengthwise. Slice each half into 10 pieces making sure to dip the knife into the hot water in between slicing to ensure a nice clean cut. Roll each piece of goat cheese into balls approximately 1/2-inch in diameter and put onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.
Add the chopped pistachio nuts to a shallow bowl. Roll a goat cheese ball into the pistachio nuts and coat 1/2 of the ball. [Whoops. I coated the whole ball!] Return to the sheet pan and repeat with the remaining goat cheese balls.
Drain the oil from the tomatoes and put onto a plate lined with a paper towel.
Skewer a goat cheese ball onto the skewer. Lay a basil leaf on top a sun-dried tomato. Fold the tomato in half around the basil leaf and add to the skewer with the goat cheese. Repeat with remaining skewers. Arrange on a serving platter, cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Coffee is serious business as far as I'm concerned and unlike many live-aboards, I find instant coffee hard to swallow. When we first moved onto Mother Culture, the previous owner left behind a super-sized canister of instant coffee but I couldn't stomach it, so I immediately began a quest for an energy-efficient way to make a good cup of coffee. What I found was the Aerobie Aeropress. This nifty contraption makes coffee and espresso with hot water and the tiniest bit of elbow grease. No electricity needed. It's definitely a must-have for live-aboards who like a real cup of coffee!
When I was a kid, I remember my mom teaching my sister and I how to make homemade butter. Actually, I was so young (under the age of 8) that I really only remember shaking a jar full of something and knowing that eventually it would turn into butter. My memory of the entire event is sort of dicey. However, while reading the Crunchy Chicken's blog last week, I was reintroduced to the idea of making homemade butter. And since I'm all about self-sufficiency and I love butter, I couldn't wait to finish up the butter we had on hand so I could try my hand at making some homemade butter. Last night was my lucky night. And even luckier that Ben was willing to help me with the shaking! Here are my rudimentary instructions: (For detailed, step-by-step, instructions with pictures, check out the Crunchy Chicken's posting.)
Pour a pint of room temperature heavy whipping cream into a quart-sized mason jar.
Shake, shake, shake (for about 15 minutes) until you see the buttermilk separate from the butter.
Pour buttermilk into a separate container.
Continue shaking butter and pouring off buttermilk until there is no more buttermilk coming off of the butter.
(Buttermilk can be used in other recipes calling for... you guessed it... buttermilk!)
Put butter into a bowl and pour cold water over it.
Stir it around with a spatula in order to rinse out more of the buttermilk.
Drain milky water, add fresh water and repeat process until the water comes out clear.
*I don't measure anything, ever, so the amounts you see are my best guesses.
*If it says "Serves 2", that means it serves 2 people who eat small portions and hate leftovers. You may want to double the recipe for Big Eaters.