Feb 4 2011

sweet-and-smoky salsa

Sweet and Smokey Salsa

1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained well
3 tablespoons minced onion
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 of a canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
salt to taste (optional)

Process all ingredients except salt in food processor. Add salt to taste and process again.

Oven Baked Tortilla Chips

Why would anyone bother making homemade chips? Well, just taste these. They are shatteringly crisp, fresh-tasting, and low in both salt and oil. It’s worth the work and the wait.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 corn tortillas

Drizzle oil over baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Stack tortillas neatly, slice stack in half across the top, then slice each half into three wedges, to yield 6 triangle chips from each tortilla. Arrange the wedges in a single layer on the baking sheet, rubbing both sides of each wedge in oil, using the wedges to push the oil around the baking sheet. Bake in a 250 degree oven for 1 hour. They should be very crisp, but not browned.

Barbara Pilcher has been a natural foods teacher (in Boston), bakery owner (in Tucson), caterer (in Boulder), deli manager (in Asheville, NC) and restaurant owner (Natuaral Café, in Sante Fe, NM). She now lives on the North Carolina coast and writes a blog about home staging. If you are selling your home, she says you need her eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and for Top Dollar. Her site is DIY Home Staging Tips.

Feb 4 2011

WIN: Valentine’s Dinner for Two

It’s easy to enter! Just tag yourself in the photo album on Foodie-isms fan page titled ‘WIN: Valentine’s Day Dinner for Two’. Enter by Thursday, February 10th at 12:00 (midnight) EST.

Haute Dogs & Fries in Purcellville, Virginia is changing up their regular menu and offering a reservation only, white table cloth dinner service for the Valentine’s Day weekend (see dates and seating times below).

Valentine’s Menu

Make your reservations now for one of the most memorable, romantic, and locally-lucious nights ever for you and your Valentine. Haute Dogs & Fries and Fields of Athenry together will provide the white table cloth ambiance, service, and “prepared to perfection” fare.

Friday, February 11th, 6:00 & 7:30pm
Saturday, February 12th, 5:30 & 7:30pm
Sunday, February 13th, 5:30 & 7:30pm
Valentine’s Day, Monday, February 14th, 6:00 & 7:30pm

Jan 28 2011

pequin pepper


The chile pequin pepper we use at La Verdad is also known as a bird pepper. They are grown all over Mexico, and when found dry, are red and about 2cm in length. They are a hot pepper about 7x hotter than a jalapeno, just below the habanero on the scoville scale. The flavor is hot, but not overwhelming in my opinion. There is a certain smokey dryness to this pepper that I really enjoy and goes well with citrus.


To use pequin peppers I like to place whole peppers in the oven until the chiles turn a dark red, just before they turn brown. Then buzz in a blender or spice grinder until fine and use for whatever purpose you need.

Currently I am using the pepper as a back note to dishes. The shrimp cocteles we have on our menu consists of charred red pepper, tomato, white onion and garlic mixed with fresh lime and orange juice finished with chile pequin. The chile adds a bit of smoke and heat that really rounds out and compliments the dish in a way that one can’t put their finger on but can recognize on the palate. We fold freshly poached shrimp, red onion, avocado, and top with baby cilantro and serve with plantain chips. Its an outstanding representation of the subtle yet spectacular influence a spicy ingredient can have while not overpowering the other ingredients, creating balance and harmony in ones mouth.

Darren Carbone is the executive chef at La Verdad. He hails from Philadelphia and was hired at La Verdad (in Boston) to evolve a modern Mexican approach. Darren’s approach toward modern Mexican food allows him to use modern cooking techniques and creative presentations while respecting and embracing what Mexican food is all about.

Jan 27 2011

fruit salsa

2 Granny Smith apples, diced
1 quart of strawberries, diced
2 kiwi fruits, diced
1 orange, zested and juiced
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons apple jelly

Combine all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve. Strain off any liquid just before serving.

Serve with baked cinnamon crisps.