Hatch Chiles

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I love hatch chile season! Around this time of year, our neighboring state New Mexico harvests and ships these delicious chiles to Arizona for us to roast and spice up some of our favorite dishes (they are grown in a town called Hatch). They are calorie and cholesterol-free and high in fiber and vitamin A & C. Roasting them is the best way to bring out the flavors. It’s fun and easy and really balances out the flavors in many dishes. But be careful – they can be hot!

 Roasting Hatch Chiles

* – from azcentral

1. Because touching fresh chiles can sting the skin, it’s best to wear disposable gloves when handling. Select chiles that are firm to the touch and devoid of puckering, a sign the chiles are beginning to deteriorate. Wash well and dry.

2. Place chiles on a grill and roast about 3 minutes until the skin begins to blister. The key is blistering the skin without cooking the chile.

3. When chiles are blistered on one side, use long tongs to turn them. Continue until the chiles are generously blistered on all sides. Place in a plastic bag, seal and allow to sweat for about 5 minutes. Sweating loosens the blistered skin.

4. Place chiles under running water and gently “pop” or pull off the stem. Use your fingers to remove the skin.

5. When done, the chiles will be ready to chop and use in your favorite dish. Or wrap well in freezer-proof bags, and the chiles will keep for up to a year, or until next year’s fresh harvest.

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Speed Scratch Hatch Chile Cornbread

* – from Shockingly Delicious

Ingredients
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 (8.5-ounce) box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

Instructions
Heat oven to 400F degrees. Spray a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a 4-cup measure, add milk. Add egg and whisk well with a fork to combine. Stir in chiles. Stir in corn muffin mix, just until moist. Do not overmix. Allow to rest undisturbed for 4 minutes for maximum crown.
Restir slightly and scrape into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a couple of minutes, and serve warm.
Serves 4.

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Fried Egg on a Burger

When I worked in a burger joint in college, someone once requested a fried egg on top of their hamburger. I remember scratching my head and thinking they were nuts. Well, I decided to do some research on where this originated. Japan, Hawaii, Australia? In Texas it’s called the Texan burger. Red Robin has a burger with an egg on it. Meatloaf is made eggs. But I couldn’t find anywhere on the internet of who started this. But I will admit I am a sucker for trying new things. So I decided to fire up a hamburger and egg and I will admit it wasn’t bad. I threw a jalapeno and onions on it to spice it up.

Crepes

I love making crepes. Crepes are made from a liquid batter (usually made of eggs and flour) that is cooked in a frying pan and then folded and filled with a filling of your choosing – ham, vegetables, fruits etc. Crepes come from the Latin word crispa, which means “curled” and are popular in France. I made blueberry/banana crepes this morning with cinnamon rolls.

Does leaving the avocado pit in the guacamole keep it from turning brown?

When I worked in the restaurant business, I noticed many of the hispanic prep cooks would put a avocado pit in the guacamole. Their reasoning was that is helps it from turning brown. I had never heard this and figured it was some old Mexican wives’ tale. I found myself going along with it and putting my own avocado pit in my guacamole that I make at home and I have been doing ever it since. Today I googled it to find out for myself what makes this work.

From straightdope.com: Most fruits and vegetables change color when their flesh is exposed to the air due to oxidation–that is, reaction with oxygen in the air. Some fruits and vegetables, such as the avocado, are more susceptible than others because they contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase. This enzyme works on phenolic compounds in the flesh of the avocado, changing their chemical structure and thus their color.

So there are two culprits in this browning process–the enzyme in the avocado, and the oxygen in the air. Logic suggests that if the avocado pits prevents browning, one of two things must be happening: Either the avocado pit chemically changes the guacamole, or it prevents oxygen from getting to the guacamole in the first place. I originally proposed to Ed that I do some hard-core experimentation with multiple guacamole preparations, but I was talked out of it, and referred instead to the book The Curious Cook by Harold McGee. McGee did experiments with guacamole and avocado pits and discovered that the secret was simply that the avocado pit physically blocked air from oxidizing the guacamole. In fact, the best way to prevent oxygen intrusion is to take plastic wrap and seal it over the guacamole, pressing it down into the surface of the food so no air is trapped above the surface.

What is a Foodie?

From Wikipedia…

Foodie is an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink. The word was coined in 1981 by Paul Levy and Ann Barr, who used it in the title of their 1984 book The Official Foodie Handbook.

Distinguished from gourmet. Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, foodies differ from gourmets in that gourmets are epicures of refined taste , whereas foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news. Gourmets simply want to eat the best food, whereas foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding food.

Pursuits. Foodies are a distinct hobbyist group. Typical foodie interests and activities include the food industry, wineries and wine tasting, breweries and beer sampling, food science, following restaurant openings and closings, food distribution, food fads, health fads, and nutrition, and restaurant management. A foodie might develop a particular interest in a specific item, such as the best egg cream or burrito. Many publications have food columns that cater to foodies. Interest by foodies in the 1980s and 1990s gave rise to the Food Network and other specialized food programming, popular films and television shows about food such as Top Chef and Iron Chef, a renaissance in specialized cookbooks, specialized periodicals such as Gourmet Magazine and Cook’s Illustrated, growing popularity of farmers’ markets, food-oriented websites like Zagat’s and Yelp, publishing and reading food blogs (a number of people photograph and post on the Internet every meal they ever make or consume), specialized kitchenware stores like William-Sonoma and Sur La Table, and the institution of the celebrity chef.