Favorite Summer Recipes

I have some favorite recipes that scream summer for me and my family. Some are so simple, not much cooking since it is always so hot.

The first is a favorite summertime sandwich, Eggplant and homegrown tomatoes! I usually grow my eggplant and tomatoes but this year we didn't get our garden in like normal.
Peel the eggplant and cut lengthwise into long flat strips which I soak in water until I am ready to bread. By soaking in water I heard that they absorb less oil as they fry. When you are ready to start cooking take the eggplant out of the water and dry on some paper towels. I beat some eggs and dip the eggplant into that then over to the bowl of italian bread crumbs. I fry the breaded eggplant in a small amount of Olive oil and move to paper towels when done. I lightly toast the bread, add the fresh sliced tomatoes and then the fried eggplant and some mayo. It sounds simple and it is, not much cooking and some good eating!

I also love my Breyers natural vanilla ice cream and home grown peaches. Nothing compares to that fresh flavor on a hot summer day!

Have you ever grown hot peppers and at the end of the season you are just loaded with peppers of all kinds that you don't know what to do with?? Well I have! I found this recipe in my Organic Gardening Magazine in October of 1992! I have used it so many times and thought I would share it with you. I used to have to open up my house to make this so that the breeze would air out my kitchen. The fumes can fill the house with a powerful aroma and clear your sinuses and bring tears to your eyes.  Now I am blessed to have a outdoor kitchen where I can do all my canning!!!! I know, spoiled huh! Here is the recipe for Hot Pepper Sauce that is a wonderful reminder of those hot summer days all winter long.

1. Collect about 50-60 fresh hot peppers of any type. Wash the peppers, chop off their stems and break any long, slender varieties in half. If you're a heater eater, don't cut off too much of the white area below the stem (called the placenta); it's the hottest part of the pepper. Wear rubber gloves during this part of the job--- hot-pepper juice will make you painfully aware of every tiny nick and abrasion on your hands. Wear safety glasses or some other physical reminder NOT TO RUB YOUR EYES!!
2. OK, now put all your pepper and a head of garlic, skin and all, into a food processor if you're in a hurry or just chop the mixture into a mash by hand if you're not. Empty the mash into a heavy-duty, stainless steel cooking pot, add a half gallon or so of distilled white vinegar and a bit of salt, if you so choose.
    Heat until just before it boils, then lower the heat and simmer for two to three hours, adding vinegar as needed to the mixture. (Some purists don't cook chili sauce for fear that the peppers will lose their heat, but I find the flavors blend better and, believe me, the sauce remains plenty spicy.)
3.  After cooking, transfer the mash to a hand-crank food mill and grind it, saving the liquid, or press the liquid out of the mash by hand using a tightly messed strainer. The leftover pulp and seeds can be dried ( in a food dryer or oven) and used as hot-pepper flakes on pizza or in Minestrone Soup. Pour the liquid back in the pot, thin if necessary with more vinegar, and simmer another hour. This last hour isn't a must, but the sauce is less likely to separate after the extra cooking. If you decide not to simmer for the extra hour, shake the sauce vigorously every time you use it.
4. Let it cool, and store it in jars or bottles in the refrigerator. One batch makes 2-3 quarts. Few dishes don't benefit from ta dosse of this sauce, but we like it with scrambled eggs, hamburgers and bean soup_ Nancy Humes

I have made this sauce and it is so good, we use it in lentil soup and anywhere you need that kick. I did dry the pulp on a cookie sheet in the oven on low and bagged it up for pizza. That was another eye burning experience so open those windows. I then made cookies later that year for Christmas, WOW, those cookies had a kick too! That pepper pulp is strong and it took several washings to get all the heat off that pan!! I did have requests for my hot pepper cookies though!


Sallie said...

I'm a new follower. Kelly at The Wooden Bear mentioned you on FB and I came over.

Karen said...

Our tea party was so much fun.The day was perfect in every way! Good
times, good friends, good food!
Karen M.

Karen said...

Thank you Hillcreek Designs! The buttons on the panel were terrific. Love your packs.

Karen said...

I just checked out Terri Degenkolb's site. Couldn't believe
that she lives in Indiana, my home
state of course. Thanks, Terri, for contributing to Desiree's May Basket giveaway.

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