A hot little holiday number – Datil Devil Sauce!

A beatufil batch of Datil peppers from last year's garden. Photo Credit: Words Etc.

A beatufil batch of Datil peppers from last year’s garden.
Photo Credit: Words Etc.

A few days ago, I shared my recipe for black bean burgers that I’ve been making for several years.  A touch that I added is my Datil “Devil” Sauce in place of the traditional hot sauce found on most grocery shelves. Hot sauce is so pretty and makes a delightful holiday gift from the kitchen.

Now there are a ton of hot sauces out there with all sorts of flashy names.  Mine is a simple sauce with a simple name.  If you’re not familiar with the Datil Pepper, you will find a link to some info in a former post of mine here.

This recipe couldn’t be easier, using a base of plain old ketchup. If Datils are not available, use any pepper from your garden’s yield or that you may find at your local produce or farmer’s market.   And remember you can freeze peppers and use them later in your recipes.

I’ve probably cautioned before about working with hot peppers, please protect your hands with gloves to avoid some very uncomfortable burning sensations that will last for several hours. Take care not to touch your face or eyes with those gloves too!   If you’ve worked with hot peppers and have made that mistake, you know exactly what I’m talking about…..

A batch of brightly colored Datil Devil Sauce. Photo credit: Words Etc.

A batch of brightly colored Datil Devil Sauce.
Photo credit: Words Etc.

Christine’s Datil Pepper “Devil” Sauce

Puree together in a food processor:
2 cups Datil peppers stemmed. Seed if you desired a less hot sauce.
2 large cloves garlic
½ cup cider vinegar

In a medium saucepan, mix together 64 oz ketchup (Heinz is best)
2 ½ cups cider vinegar. Add pureed pepper mixture and stir well. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.
Cool slightly, then pour into sterilized bottles with non-metallic lids.

I save smaller glass bottles throughout the year. Bottles from soy sauce, chili sauce or empty single-serving glass wine bottles work well for this sauce. I find smaller bottles are better so you have a few to give as gifts.

These peppers are cute, but don’t be fooled. They are hot! So protect your hands as with any hot pepper. The sauce is good by itself if you like hot stuff, but is also good to spike up salsa. A dab atop a cracker spread with cream cheese is beyond comparison.

Besides being a great addition to Black Bean Burgers, try blending a few tablespoons of the sauce with an 8 oz brick of cream cheese, thinned with a little milk for another spicy use of this sauce. Here are some more ideas for using this sauce or your favorite hot sauce:

Cocktail Sauce:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Datil sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp fresh horseradish, grated, fine
  • 2 tbsp dill pickle, chopped fine

Mix together and it’s ready.

For our carnivore friends:

Marinade for Steak

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic – pressed
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme or 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsps Datil pepper sauce

Marinate steak for several hours Delicious!!

Enjoy and please share your favorite way to use hot sauce!

Staying on track – before the holidays

After the holidays, everyone is scrambling to get those extra pounds off.  A better strategy might be to stay focused in these weeks leading up to the holidays before the parties and dinners get in full swing. By eating sensibly and staying active, you may avoid some of that extra bulk!

Here’s my favorite black bean burger recipe to get you started.  Packed with 27 grams of protein per burger, you can serve in mini pitas and top  with salsa, lettuce, tomato or avocado.  For an even lighter meal, try it on a salad of lettuce, tomato, red onion and avocado, sprinkled with low fat shredded cheddar or colby cheese.  Try ranch dressing or a blend of ranch and salsa. (Watch the cheese and dressing amounts to keep it light – and don’t forget to hit the gym tonight!)

Enjoy!

Black Bean Burgers – Christine’s Wayblack bean burgers
  • One 15  can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro or Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, using a potato masher or a fork, mash the beans with the mayonnaise until almost smooth, leaving some lumps for texture. Stir in the cilantro, bread crumbs, hot pepper sauce, cumin and salt and pepper, mixing well.  Note, if you’re using a really hot sauce (like my homemade Datil sauce — watch for the recipe later this week!), you may want to adjust this down slightly.

Brush a sheet of wax paper lightly with extra virgin olive oil. With lightly floured hands, shape the bean mixture into four 3-inch burgers, laying each on the wax paper.  (You may use non-stick cooking spray, but I personally prefer the EVOO or another vegetable-based oil.)

Preheat skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes or until hot. Add the burgers and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, about 3 -5 minutes. Watch carefully and flip when browned and continue browning the second side for 2 – 3 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

Serve on pitas with desired toppings or as a salad as described above.  Enjoy!

Each  burger only is approximately  129 calories.

A sweet spicy family tradition

Christine Speno:

It’s my annual “plum sauce making” day — a family tradition. Read my post from 2012 for yummy pictures!

Originally posted on Pudbudder - It's all about fun!:

plum

plum (Photo credit: Greencolander)

Sunday  morning I shared a  picture on Facebook of one of my annual cooking sessions for Sweet Spicy Plum Sauce. I promised more pictures; you’ll find them at the end of this post!  Making this sauce is a family tradition that goes back for years.  It seems particularly special because the original recipe calls for Italian Plums (often dried into prunes) that are only available for a a few short weeks in September, so if you miss that window of opportunity when the small sweet fruits are available, you’re just out of luck until next year.  That seems to make this homemade concoction even more precious. But I admit I made this batch from Red Plums that enjoy a longer season.

Now you could try making this sauce with a canned variety of plums, but to me it’s all about getting in touch with nature and working with fresh ingredients…

View original 271 more words

Peaches and Fresh Mozzarella – a perfect match!

I recently ran across a great summer salad recipe in the Publix Family Style magazine. Those of you that follow me know that I always tweak things. Now the original recipe calls for peaches, quartered and grilled, but I used the nectarines the first time I made this. I also substituted the crunchy part – once I tried walnuts, another time, as shown in the picture, some brightly colored tortilla strips.

I’ve tried this salad with peaches too and must admit I prefer the nectarines as I think they keep their firmness on the grill better than peaches. But either add great flavor especially combined with the creaminess of fresh mozzarella. It literally melts in your mouth.  The grilled shrimp or chicken are my addition too.

So here’s my version – enjoy!

Grilled Peaches and Mozzarella Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

DSCN5564Prepare dressing first:

Chop in mini blender, 1 or two green onion bulbs (add a little of the tops for extra color)
Whisk together with:

1 tbsp lemon zest
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
½ tsp Dijon-style mustard
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Set aside.

For Salad:

  • 2 medium ripe peaches or nectarines, pitted and cut into wedges (suggest you peel the peaches, but skin on nectarines are perfect)
  • 8 cups mixed baby greens
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced or chunked
  • 6 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts or pepitas or other topping to add crunch & flavor

Arrange lettuce on salad plates, arranging the cheese and cucumbers around the plate. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

When ready to prepare, skewer quartered fruit onto metal or wooden skewers. DSCN5563[1]Brush with some of the dressing and grill for about 5 – 6 minutes. I use a grill tray brushed lightly with olive oil to keep the fruit from sliding off the skewers. (see photos) If serving with grilled chicken or shrimp, use some of the dressing mixed with extra olive oil to baste, and cook alongside the fruit skewers.
When fruit and shrimp/chicken (if using) are ready. Arrange on top of the salad and top with walnuts or Pepitas. Serve with remaining dressing.

I promise you’ll make this often if you try it once!

 

Diaper Bag Fun – be creative!

I originally created this post as a private page for a friend to demonstrate my method for creating a diaper bag through photos…… However,  I decided to make it public as other readers are getting notice of the page via  RSS feeds and want to know why they can’t get into it.  So here ya’ go for anyone interested.  I used leftover scraps from a quilt project for the first bag so that’s why you’ll notice lots of piecing.

For anyone interested in making a diaper bag similar to this, I suggest you look at the links below to guide you.  For those of you familiar with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company, you know that she’s always sharing simple ideas for sewing and quilting.  Her video on making bags from charm packs is the basis for this design.  I just changed measurements, added pockets, some embroidery, different straps and borrowed some of the ideas from the Moda link.  I’m not one for patterns and just like to “freestyle” it!

Have fun!

http://www.modabakeshop.com/2009/07/angelas-diaper-bag.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7i6Wrl4rZ8&list=PLv5Ji-VcZ6kSkgygmL1YhZwelxHKta6tD&index=5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4-41NHuFe8&list=LLfV1n0cksAGxG1OqtzopSLg&index=18

Christine’s Photos:

 

It’s summer – time to relish those peppers!

It’s the heat of the summer and if you’re into gardening and peppers are part of your bounty, relish is a great way to keep the flavor going throughout the year.  Several years ago, I found a great recipe from Putting Up More by  Steve Dowdney.  I’ve had several requests from friends for this recipe so it’s time to share!

If you follow me on Pudbudder, you know I always tweak with my own twists and special touches. So without further adieu, get on those kitchen gloves and start cleaning those peppers, it’s time to relish those peppers.

Note:  be sure to use kitchen gloves whenever handling hot peppers and seeds.  You’ll find disposable ones at discount stores like WalMart, Dollar General etc for a nominal cost.  These peppers contain oil that will definitely leave your hands wishing you had used gloves if you don’t. 

Datil Pepper Relish ready for the pantry shelf!

Datil Pepper Relish ready to turn right side up for the pantry shelf!

Hot Pepper Relish

Yield : 3 pints

4 cups diced bell peppers – varied colors
2 cups chopped onion (yellow and red)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp mustard seed

Hot Peppers to add

  • Mild: add ¼ cup finely chopped jalapeno, seeds and veins removed
  • Standard: ¼ cup finely chopped jalapeno, leave seeds & veins
  • Medium: ¼ cup finely chopped hotter pepper – datil or cowhorn
  • Hot – ¼ cup – ½ cup haberno peppers or ½ cup datil
  • Screaming: 1 cup finely chopped hot peppers of choice and reduce bell by ½ cup

Bring vegetables, vinegar, sugar, salt and mustard seed to boil; simmer 3 minutes.

Dowdney recommends to check the pH at this point in the recipe.  However, I have had no problem with simply canning the product as stated below by ladling into sterile jars (do make sure the jars, lids and bands are sterilized), sealing and inverting, then storing in a cool dry place.  Actually this relish disappears pretty fast at our house so not sure how long the shelf life would be for this product.  But use your best judgment – test pH or process for the desired result.

Optional for testing pH: Take pot off heat and allow temp to drop to 205 degrees; test pH. If below guidelines (pH higher than 4.2), drain vinegar and add another cup vinegar per recipe. Bring to boil again. When temp reaches 205degrees, test pH again.

Ladle into sterile jars; seal and invert for at least 2 minutes.

Here are the combinations I’ve tested and developed for taste:

Batch 1:

  • 4 cups mixture green and sweet banana peppers
  • 2 cups onion – red & white mixture
  • ¼ cup Datils, seeded and veins removed, finely chopped

This one is our favorite!

*********************

Batch 2:

  • 1 each red and 1 green bell peppers, chopped
  • (1/2 batch) ½ cup banana peppers, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped jalapenos
  • 1 cup onion, red and yellow mix

This is our second favorite.

************************

Batch 3:

We liked this third version the least. Suggest skipping the pickling spice if you don’t like the stronger ginger flavor in this mixture.

  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, chopped (2 cups)
  • (1/2 batch) 1 cup onion, red and yellow mix
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsps chopped cowhorn  pepper*
  • 3/4 tsp pickling spice

Cowhorn is a pepper I have grown that is similar in heat to an Anaheim pepper. (3,000 – 5,000 on Scoville.)  But be CREATIVE – use your favorite pepper and don’t be afraid to add different flavors to your relish.  Try something new, but be sure to check out where your pepper rates on the Scoville Chart to make sure it’s your kind of pepper. For something hotter, try Serrano or Thai Chili peppers, depending on your tastes.  But our favorite will always be our beloved Datil!

Creativity makes it your own and adds to the fun!   Share your ideas with me and let me know what combination you try!

Eat, Pray, Peel/The Silly Poem Series

Christine Speno:

A fun trip to the world of Pickled Eggs from my friend at ClaudiaJustSaying!

Originally posted on claudiajustsaying:

20140529_094357  Eat, Pray, Peel

On a recent trip north, Mr. Wonderful and I stopped at a rest area in West Virginia. A  pamphlet, “County Cookbook”,  was in a rack of free brochures and I took one. I was intrigued by a recipe for picked eggs, and remember seeing ruby red eggs  in large glass  jars back in the seventies, but  never ate one.  At home I gave pickled eggs a try. Peeling the hard boiled eggs took more than an hour. There was cussing and swearing!

20140529_094436

Pickled eggs caught my eye, Why?
Simple, pickled eggs can be a treat!
But . . . first you need the pickled beets

Like Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth
An iridescent show of color.
Looks good to eat . . . except!

Hands turn red, hot liquid stain
Crimson ruby, not lobster red, or cardinal beauty
Red alert, a warning sign
Out damn spot! I want…

View original 90 more words

Hot stuff from the garden….

Yesterday I shared some updates of “stuff” I’ve been up to through a slideshow.  One pic showed yesterday’s jalapeño pickings. I tried out a simple stuffed jalapeño appetizer and am sharing my version of the recipe here today (as promised in that photo’s caption.)scoville

Now to real fans of hot peppers, jalapeños don’t rate too high in heat. Scoville places it pretty much in the middle as you can see on the chart to the right — well below those really hot little guys in the 2M+ range — like the habaneros!

And while we’re on the subject of hot peppers, I’m always offended that many Scoville charts don’t include our beloved Datil pepper.  If you’re not in Florida, you may not have heard of this delightful hot sweet pepper.  Do a search and you will find lots of info and sources for seeds and plants. I’ve  made this pepper into hot sauce and added it to a wonderful peach/onion/pepper relish that I started making a few years ago.  I also use it in a relish blended with sweet banana peppers and sweet red peppers as well as in my pickled pepper strips.  I even submitted that flavor suggestion to the Lay’s Potato Chip Contest! And on top of that it produces such a beautiful bright orange fruit – but don’t let it’s “cuteness” fool you. It packs a punch!  And if you do order these plants or seeds, be aware that there is also a milder variety that produces a red fruit – so if hot is what you want, be sure to get the right variety.  This is an heirloom plant and is really quite interesting and fun to grow even if you don’t like hot peppers.  You’re sure to know someone who likes hot stuff!

I’ve gotten way off track here from the Stuffed Jalapeños so I’ll get to that and say “Adiós!”  Happy gardening, cooking and eating!

Christine‘s Stuffed Jalapeños

Start with 8 – 10 fresh jalapeño peppers, split and seeded (be sure to use gloves!)

For the filling, mix together:

  • 1/2 cup softened cream cheese  (to cut down on calories, use half lower fat cream cheese)
  • 1/8 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 5 or 6 slices of pepperoni, finely chopped – I turkey pepperoni as we always have it on-hand (A mini-blender works great for this step.  I finely chop the garlic and pepperoni together in the blender. You may also substitute crumbled bacon if you prefer)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of fresh squeezed lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro and or tomato for garnish  or additional chopped pepperoni

2014-05-29 17.02.42Stuff the pepper halves with the cheese mixture.  Coat a grill rack lightly with grapeseed oil or cooking spray. Grill over medium heat for 7 – 8 minutes.  You want to bottoms of the peppers to be charred and the cheeses to be melted.   Sprinkle with cilantro/tomato.

Enjoy and be sure to have a nice cool drink handy to calm the heat!

Note: You may also use this cheese filling with sweet mini-peppers for a milder appetizer.

Comments, suggestions?

 

 

 

Related articles:

Pickled Sweet Pepper Strips

Chicken Quesadillas from Pudbudder

Hot Peppers!

 

Gallery

More than just cooking….

This gallery contains 16 photos.

The tagline for Pudbudder is “It’s all about fun – A blog about food, cooking, travel, hobbies and having fun. But it seems most of my posts revolve around cooking.  Now just so my readers don’t think I spend ALL … Continue reading

Oranges – more than just a breakfast food!

We’ve heard of the benefits of lemon for cleaning and as an antiseptic. Spray the juice on your hair and it will help lighten your locks in the sun!  Lemon wedges will also freshen your garbage disposal and drains.  I use a few lemon wedges in a bowl of water to remove odors and clean the microwave.  Just heat the wedges in a bowl of water for a few minutes in the mic and let stand for 30 minutes or so to remove odors and freshen the inside. And of course it’s the perfect addition to water and other beverages! For more on lemons, click here

But have you ever considered the benefits of another favorite citrus – namely the orange? I recently saw an idea for an orange-based spray cleaner that grabbed my attention and tried it out so thought I would pass it along.  I tried it and really like the fact that I know exactly what is in this cleaner!  According to what I read, the orange zest is full of d-limonene what acts as a natural solvent that helps dissolve grease. When using this method of creating your own non-toxic cleaner that’s safe around food and kids, be sure to use only the rind of the orange, cutting away all of the pulp and fruit.  (You don’t want mold in your solution – you’re just trying to draw the oil out of the zest.)

You’ll need:

  • rind only from 2 – 3 oranges
  • 1 cup white vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • a clean jar with lid (a pint canning jar works perfectly)
  • water2014-03-07 15.02.15

Place the ring in the jar and pour the vinegar over.  Tightly close the lid and let it steep on your counter top for 2 weeks.  (I kept it on my guest bathroom counter top as a decoration  – it’s actually kind of pretty!)

When the two weeks of “steeping” is done, drain the vinegar/orange solution into a clean spray bottle and add 1 cup of water.  Done and ready to use!!

Let me know if you try it!  Until next time, be sure to send me your comments and suggestions.  Have a beautiful day!