Tag Archives: garlic

SPICY! The Gentleman Caller’s Texas Style Giardeniera

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

For years I have wondered about giardeniera. Seen it in grocery stores in jars, purveyed in specialty stores in big buckets and such. And here’s the thing: when I finally decided to taste it after years of passing curiosity I LOVED IT.

Its bright, briny bouquet and the textures of the cauliflower and carrot was a treat for my tongue. Mind you, I am a lover of pickled things. I even like pickled eggs.

Froberg’s Farm in Alvin, TX

But back on topic, I was down in Alvin, sauntering through Froberg’s assessing the vegetable selection and it hit me… use Texas-y vegetables like okra and jalapeños, and concoct a giardeniera befitting The Gentleman Caller.

This is a great accompaniment on a relish tray, and works great in a bloody mary.

Get out your jars and let’s get pickled!

What you need:

  • 3 carrots
  • 3 large jalapeños
  • 15 okra
  • 15 green beans
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup white vinegar, 5% acidity
  • about 3 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp peppercorns
  • 3 tsp celery seed
  • lemon peel, optional
  • jars, rings and lids to make 3 pints total

Wash your vegetables. Peel carrots, take tops off okra and jalapeños, remove the stem end of the green beans. Slice jalapeños in 1/8 inch slices, cut the carrots on an angle (see video for suggestions with flare).

Sterilize your jars by boiling them for 10 minutes in a stock pot full of water. When you remove them, add the lids and rings so that the rubber on the ring can soften.

In the microwave or a sauce pan, combine liquids, sugar and salt. bring liquid to a boil and allow everything to dissolve. Remove from heat.

Stuff the vegetables equitably into the jars. You need to really pack them full and evenly. There should be 2 cloves of garlic per pint.

Top the vegetables with peppercorns, 1 tbsp per pint, and celery seed, one tsp per pint. Pour liquid allowing 1/2 inch at the top.

Top with hot rings and lids, carefully avoiding touching the interior sides with your dirty little mitts!

Bring water in the stock pot back to a boil and process the jars upright for 20 minutes. The jars should be covered with at least an inch of water.

Remove from boiling water. Allow to sit for 2, 3, 4 weeks before you crack one open. The longer they sit, the tastier they’ll be!

This is The Gentleman Caller signing out!

Downloadable PDF here: The Gentleman Caller’s Texas Style Giardeniera

 

The Gentleman’s All-purpose Pork BBQ Rub

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Ahhh, barbecue, that most polarizing and satisfying culinary endeavor.  I have gone to great lengths and waited in great lines for delicious barbecue, and have rarely regretted it.

However, sometimes you aren’t in the mood to fight the blue hairs, screaming children of others, and if you’re in Texas – the heat – just for some ‘cue. Sometimes it’s validating to take matters into your own hands.

Now, I am a Texan… well, a New Yorker from Texas… and generally beef is the Bible of barbecue. But I have strayed. Brisket is still generally the king for The Gentleman Caller, but dammit if I don’t love some pork barbecue as well.

We are going to do this step by step. This here is the rub. The perfect dry rub for a pork butt or ribs. This also works brilliantly on pork chops… really any kind of grilled meat. Note that it doesn’t contain any spices that BURN.

Adjust quantities as you need to achieve the yield you want, and let’s go!

What you need:

  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ground oregano
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp Mexene chili powder
  • 1 tbsp finely ground coffee
  • 1/2 tbsp all spice
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin

**For a sweeter meat, you have the option of incorporating 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar. I prefer to pour liquid molasses over the meat as it cooks. That way you can control whether or not it burns. Sugar BURNS.

When I am making my own rubs and blends, I prefer to use bulk spices. My favorite bulk spice purveyor in New York City is International Grocery, 543 9th Avenue, NY, NY 10018. It’s easy to miss, but has been in the same location for decades. They also make hummus and baba in house and it’s spectacular. www.internationalgrocerynyc.com 212-279-1000

If you are in Texas, HEB Central Market sells bulk spices. That’s where I go when I am down South. www.centralmarket.com for locations

Rub this on your meat with total abandon!

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

 

Texas Meets Egypt – The Gentleman’s Black-eyed-pea Hummus

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

I really love a good dip. The bad news is most dips are nasty for you. Mayonnaise-laden, cheesy, greasy, bacon-y. Now that I have you salivating, I’m going to offer this healthy alternative with a twist.

I was experimenting and wondered how black eyed peas would work as a chick pea replacement in hummus. I eat so much hummus. And commercial hummus is shockingly expensive given that it’s basically ground up beans.

So here is my budget-friendly, waist line-friendly, time-friendly black eyed pea hummus with zesty jalapeños.

What you need:

  • 15 oz can No Salt Added black eyed peas
  • one large carrot, or 2 small carrots
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons jalapeño salt*
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2-4 tbsp chopped pickled jalapeños

*If you don’t like spicy things, use regular salt. Fiesta makes GREAT jalapeño salt. www.fiestaspices.com

Here we go; this is so easy you won’t believe it.

Rough chop the carrot, removing the ends. You don’t even have to peel it, just make sure it is clean. Combine the carrot and the garlic cloves. Stir with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast in a 350 degree oven, covered, for about an hour.

In a non-stick sauce pan, stir the cumin on high heat for 1-2 minutes. Cumin burns; don’t burn it. This is going to open up the flavors. You can skip this step if you want.

Place all ingredients except remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it’s coarsely mixed. Then stop pulsing, turn the processor ON and slowly pour the remaining oil in through the feed tube. Allow to process until it’s perfectly smooth.

Stir 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños into the smooth hummus. (I actually prefer 4 tablespoons, but that gets spicy!)

You are ready to serve! Top with another scoop of jalapeños and a drizzle of robust olive oil. I prefer tortilla chips with this, but pita chips would be great, too.

Here’s the printable PDF: The Gentleman’s Black Eyed Pea Hummus

Enjoy!

xo,

The Gentleman Caller

The Gentleman Caller’s All Purpose Chili Sauce #1

Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Happy New Year, spicy friends.

Are you looking forward to 2017 as much as I am? We always can choose hope over fear. And that’s what we do here at The Gentleman Caller: I am choosing to hope you love this recipe rather than fear it burns your tongue off.

I am kidding! You know I love spicy things, but this, despite being full of chilies, is actually deep in flavors without being overly hot.
Today I present to you The Gentleman Caller’s All Purpose Chili Sauce #1. I say #1 because there will likely be sequels, like with a good movie franchise. Consider this my sauce franchise. Most people think that by the time you get to #3 the franchise has lost its luster, but I promise you that in my sauce franchise I will not offer you a “Rocky 7”, a “Halloween 3”, or a straight to video “The Return of Jafar.” May they all be “The Empire Strikes Back.”

This is an all purpose sauce for use on top of tamales, burritos, really anything Mexican. Yes, I am bastardizing Mexican cooking. I am not Mexican. I am TEXican. Take it or leave it. But when you taste it, you are going to want to TAKE IT.

What you need:
(This is to yield about 2 cups)

  • 8 cloves garlic*
  • 1/4 white onion, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lard (or shortening or vegetable oil)
  • 14-16 guajillo dry chili peppers
  • 1/3 cup canned diced tomatoes**
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 allspice berry, freshly ground (1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 whole clove, freshly ground (1/8-1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon masa harina
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken, turkey, pork, or vegetable stock

*If you are a garlic lover (as I am) you may use 8, 10, up to 12 cloves of garlic. If you do, add a little more honey.
**You may substitute Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies for a bit more punch.

Use your kitchen shears to snip the stem off your chilies. Cut a slit up the center of the skin; use your thumb to remove the seeds.
Fill a saucepan or metal mixing bowl half full of very hot water (over 120 degrees). In a dry cast iron or any pan that gets really hot, roast the chilies on high heat till they begin to smoke a bit. You will be able to smell them. Transfer the chilies to the hot water bowl. They should be covered. Allow steeping for at least 15 minutes.

In a large saucepan or small Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon of the lard. Sauté the onion. As the onion cooks, smash the garlic cloves and add them to the onion/lard sauté. Add the tomatoes to sort of deglaze them. Add half the chicken stock and allow to come to simmer. By  now the chilies should have steeped. Add them to this mixture. Pour this entire mixture into a blender carafe and process at high speed until very smooth. Warning: hot liquid in the blender tends to explode on you. Either leave the lid ajar or process in half batches.

Once that mixture is smooth, you can re-use the pan or Dutch oven you just used to melt the remaining lard. Delicately whisk in the masa. Keep stirring as it begins to bubble. Add all the spices and allow them to open up. Pour the contents of the blender into the masa mixture. Whisk it as it comes to a simmer. If it’s too thick, add more stock. Add the honey. Taste for salt level; based on how salty your stock is, you might require more salt.

Simmer while whisking slowly for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it to sit and marry.
Taste again before serving to test for salt and sweet levels. If it needs it, add more salt or honey. You be the judge. Be judicious.

This sauce is obviously not difficult and packs a flavor wallop. You can dip quesadillas in it. You can pour it on simple ground beef for tacos. I invented it for tamales. But we pour Ranch dressing on anything. Think of this as Tex-Mex Ranch Dressing.
That’s it for now. Olé caballeros.
xoxo,
The Gentleman Caller

TheGentlemanCallersAllPurposeChiliSauce1